The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.

Fifth Day: Bouldering & Hiking & Winery

September 30, 2014 - 11:06 AM

In 1736, Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase in Poor Richard's Almanac, "Fish and Visitors stink in 3 days." Tho, we've changed it to specifically be "3 nights," with how often Josh and I have said this over the years, you'd think we coined it. This is not a critique on our visitors/family/friends, it's about us, as our family begins to definitely "stink" after 3 nights. I can't emphasize enough, "It's not you, it's me," is actually what this is all about. :)!

It started years upon years ago, when we had our first vacation with some extended family, all staying in the same house for a week. At the end of first three nights everyone was happiest and having an amazing time. But, while we all love our family VERY MUCH, there came a point, on the eve of the fourth night that you could sense we were done, d-o-n-e, done. Too much togetherness, too much lots of people crammed in a small space, too much trying to be on our best behavior, too much trying to keep everyone happy, too much stress for mama trying to hold it all together, we were all done. The morning of the fifth day, I wanted to lock the five of us in my bedroom so that no more stress, no more insanity could be had. 

You have to remember at the time we had the above experience, I was a sleep-deprived, zombie mom with 3 little ones. For example, during my normal days, quite honestly, I loved to simply lay on the floor and let the children use me as a jungle gym while I attempted to add an extra 5 minutes of sleep to my mere 4 hours of sleep/day lifestyle. I was not ready to share this type of behavior with others around and my pride (and false teachings) kept me from simply asking for others to help me while in mixed company. 

In addition, we had a child with an undiagnosed allergy at the time. The only thing we saw was out of the blue we now had a situation that required attention. What my self-conscious mind (and false teachings) had told me was that I was a bad mom for not being able to have perfect little children all the time. By spending a week with mixed company the fact that things were not perfect was becoming ever-so-clear for others to see and, quite honestly, my pride did not like it. (Yes, I have issues. I told you, "It's not you, it's me," rings true! Oy!)

By the time we could finally leave, I never wanted to go on another group vacation ever again. It was then Josh and I made our new rule: Limit trips with others in the same place to 3 nights, that way, we can all leave on happy terms vs. frazzled and stressed, leave not wanting to go vs. can't leave fast enough. This rule has served us well even as we have all aged and matured. 

Travel Log: 24 March 2012

And now, here we were, the morning of the fifth day, spending a week vacation with friends. Even though we had our individual condos, I began to feel like we were starting to rub others the wrong way. Sometimes my feelings are all in my head, but the fact that they could be true, made me want to take some alone time and keep our distance for a bit. This morning, we did just that. Have our friends go off and do things without us. The down time was definitely good for the kids and helped to reset my mind, as well. We could do this, we could last a whole week!

When we were ready, we met up with our friends at the Big Bend Bouldering Area, just 7 miles northeast of Moab. This is a great area to boulder not only for the quantity and quality, but also, once again, for its ease of access. The parking lot is right by the boulders, the ground around the boulders is incredibly flat and perfect for crash mats, and there were countless, non-route boulders that the kids could easily play on. And, crazy enough, it just so happened, other friends were in Moab at the same time as us and everyone had gotten together for bouldering. Who knew! 

bouldering

bouldering

Photos taken by my friend Tracey, who we ran into that day. Crazy! 

It was another hot day in the desert and one of the things the kids and I wanted to do was go to the local watering hole while Josh went on a long road bike ride. Locals for years have tried to keep this place a secret, but over time, a trail was made, word got out in hiking books, a parking lot installed, and tourists came. (If only they would cutdown the street sign to make it more difficult to find, :)!)

The one mile hike into the canyon to the watering hold criss-crossed the mountain stream, the MOUNTAIN stream. You could see the snow-capped mountains this water came from, it was still only March, and even on a 90 degree day, this water was skin-numbing cold. At times the crossings were a few feet wide and 4" deep and other times it was 20' wide and 18" deep. By the time we arrived at the watering hole the kids were becoming frozen to the core. (Well, except our little girl, who managed a free ride over every crossing. Lucky girl.)

They tried, OH!, how the kids tried to play in the actual watering hole but the cold temperature was simply too much and they couldn't even get up to their chests. Instead, they threw rocks and ran around, trying to warm their bodies. Except for one little guy, who sat shivering in a towel with his mom wrapped around him. Poor guy!

watering hole

watering hole

Oddly enough, it was when we were almost to the watering hole that we ran into more friends on the trail who had just so happened to come to Moab for the weekend! What a small, small world!

With how many off adventures the guys had been on, us women had planned to go out this night to one of the local wineries, which there are only two to choose from. Because my friends had already been to the one, we opted for the other one. We were following our GPS to its location and when the paved road became a dirt road, you could see the young grape vines and then a group of what looked like double wide trailer buildings, or pre-fab buildings of the same size. The parking lot had 5 cars parked outside so we all went in, with expectations high.

Once in the building, we knew we couldn't leave. Not because the place was SO amazing, but because we had found ourselves in an awkward situation. This wasn't what we had expected and all of us raised-Iowa-nice-women, didn't know how to get out of the situation quickly yet gracefully.

Upon stepping in the double wide building, we were standing in a tiny 8' x 8' area sectioned off specifically for visitors. Squeezed in this area were shelves displaying random items for sale, other storage, and 2 other winery visitors. Behind the counter, was the curious man who owned the winery. With the five of us, all crammed in the space, standing on top of each other, we could have fanagled around the other two visitors and made an escape. However, I think the first two guests saw this as their opportunity to run and they quickly took it, leaving us women there to make polite conversation until we too could escape.

Though hardly 50, the man's skin had obviously been living in the desert sun for many years, it was dry, cracked, and ashy with time. He gave us a darkened toothy, and partially toothless, smile and then stared at us. It felt as if he didn't want us there either but he had us there. Trying to make the best of the awkward situation, I asked the man random questions and tried to find a way of escape. He had owned the winery for 20 years, he had water rights to the lake up in the La Sal Mountains, he had lost all his vines a few years back and was just getting them going again, he loved to eat burgers at Milts, and now that he was going, he had opinions on everything and wanted to share it with us. And throughout the conversation and the tasting, we were not convinced of his winemaking ability. Once we felt the tasting had gone on long enough, I realized we were supposed to pay for each tasting or buy a bottle of wine to get the tasting for "free." I bought a bottle and we backed ourselves to the door, cutting off his conversation to make our final exit.

Once in the car, we laughed our way to the Thai restaurant he tried to convince us out of and we completely enjoyed our delicious food and drinks. Today had been a crazy day of taking a family time-out, chance meetings of two different groups of friends, a verge of hypothermia by the kids, and a curious "winemaker." Tomorrow would be a more normal day with 140' rappels...

I should also note that the winery was put up for sale shortly after our visit and is now under new ownership. The old winery owner is now flipping burgers at Milts. The new owners are working hard to make a go of the winery. I wish them the very best! It can only get better! :)!


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