Saturday, August 16, 2008
Alex is a Mountain Goat
Our nickname for Alex is "Alex-Bear" or "A-Bear" matching "Joseph-Bear," "Joe-Bear" or "J-Bear." Turns out we have the wrong species.
Our biggest hike of the trip was a 3 mile round-trip hike that included a climb of over
400 feet up to the iconic arch in Arches National Park--the Delicate Arch. I let
Dave and the boys scamper on ahead of me
while I stopped frequently to "take pictures." At least that was my cover story. In reality I was stopping to figure out if I could possibly climb another inch without keeling over. I am NOT in great physical condition--I found myself muttering under my breath about "if Rollie-Pollie-Oldie makes it back to the car it will be a miracle." But trudge on I did. See photos.
So, the last photo in this long post is the one of Dave and Alex, together safe and sound! They are the little tiny grey and blue specks under the arch. By the way, Rollie-Pollie-Oldie made it back to the car safe and sound and Dave thought it was the longest 3-mile walk he ever took.
We lost the trail near the end, and all ended up where we could see the arch, but we were not right under it. Other people were right under it--and so we needed to turn around, backtrack a bit, and take the real trail. Well, I could take a photo of the arch where we were, just not a good photo, so I was done. Joseph was done, 'cause we had already given him my iphone and he was watching Sponge Bob. Alex said he was done--he wanted to sit and drink water. So we three sat down to enjoy the view, and wait for Dave to go around and get right under the arch. We were in a pretty spot, see photo. After 15 min or so we saw Dave by the arch. See photo where he is waving for the camera.
Now, after Alex saw Dave over right by the big arch he decided HE wanted to be over there. I explained that he couldn't go by himself, he might get lost. We would just have to sit and wait for Dave to come back. That was not the answer Alex wanted. Another woman had just headed over to the arch the short way, across the red sandstone, and Alex decided he would try it. Dave cautioned that it was very steep. Much steeper than it looked from where we were. He had contemplated taking the short route back to us. Alex was unfazed. He headed out, determined to get to Daddy. I figured he is pretty cautious and fearful, and that he wouldn't do anything silly, and he would be right back by my side in just a moment... Well, I was mistaken. Check out that little tiny boy with the dark blue shirt on as he strides off to see the arch. Note how he has disappeared behind the arch in the fourth photo.
This is the part where I couldn't see Alex, and it was steep. According to Dave, at this point he COULD see Alex, and Alex was starting to panic. (I was in a full fledged mother panic--I couldn't believe I had let him go.) Dave was preparing to head back around the long way so he could get to Alex and help him get back to where I was waiting with Joseph, but before he could start back, there was Alex! He had scrambled up the steep part, unassisted. Swallowed his fear, and did not look down.
Now, I don't recommend hiking off trail in the National Parks. But thankfully this story had a happy ending. Dave and I were both proud of Alex. I think even Alex was proud of Alex, but he wouldn't let on. That would be, like, not cool.
at 6:42 PM