Friday, April 8, 2016

To the Desert

I guess we're getting older. Being wanderers at heart, it's hard to stay at home for long although we know that periods of stability are good for the kids, especially in the teen years. Two days after Hamlet ended, after months of anticipation to leave on our next big adventure, the day finally arrived. We climbed into our carefully packed 1985 VW camper van, Sylvia (though she has recently acquired the nickname Appa, named after the sky bison the avatar and friends travel on in our favorite zen/element kung-fu animated series) and hit the road with our eyes on St. George, UT for our long-awaited climbing trip. We have trained all winter in the climbing gym for this and we are all feeling strong. Here's how it's gone so far.

Day One: We arrive in Salt Lake City, eat sushi at the always delicious Takashi and spend the night in the city KOA.

Day Two: Jason bends over to fill his coffee cup and.....throws out his back. Sad, sad, sad. Usually it's Sylvia who breaks down. After a bout of moaning, despair and struggles to stand upright, I suggested he call a chiropractor. Luckily Jason managed to find one two miles away that had time to see him so we hopped into Appa and sped on over. We hobbled in with Jason leaning on my shoulder. The chiropractor was amazing. He spent two informative and rehabilitative hours with us (including electric therapy, ice and massage) after which Jason was able to walk out on his own. Just before we left he also popped one of my ribs back into place and sent us on our way with exercises to keep our bodies happy. Thank you, thank you, thank you! With me behind the wheel, we made our way down to St. George where we collapsed for the night.

Day Three: Jason was still in a lot of pain and the boys had acquired a cold that had been running though the cast of Hamlet. Not the best start to a trip ever but we kept our spirits up and set out. I started the day with my first-ever yoga session in the desert. It's so cool to do yoga in awesome settings. We then ventured out on a mellow hike up petrified sand dunes. Jason did great with his gimpy back. Next we grabbed a poke bowl lunch and ate it near a splash park. Boy, are there a lot of kids in this town! We finished the day in a red rock city park where we hiked through mazes of rocks and then adventured up a narrow fissure that we like to call "Fat Man's Despair." At it narrowest point, Jason just barely squeezed through sideways with both chest and back scraping the walls.

Day Four: Jason's back was making good progress so we headed to Chuckawalla for climbing. Yay! I did all of the leading and Jason and Isaac were able to follow. Sweet relief! We didn't train all winter long and spend two long, painful days in the camper van for nothing.

Click here for photos.

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