Thursday, January 24, 2013

Natural pools, explosive bathroom incident in the desert, and more hiking and fun

Tuesday:  Steve woke up barfing into the RV toilet, which hopefully was just dehydration and not the stomach flu. We shall see if the rest of us get it. He got over it very fast, and by noon, he was ready to hike. So we explored Oak Creek close to Sedona, where Bradley, Steve and the boys bouldered and climbed, and Brandie, Eva and I relaxed by the water, knitted, talked and painted our nails. This sounds very, very stereotypical gender-roley, doesn't it? But I assure you, all three of us girls are tomboys to the n-th degree, and we can hang with the tough boys any day. We just felt like being girly...

This is were the boys bouldered.
Lukas turned out to be a talented boulder-dude.  I'm not surprised - this kid has climbed everything ever since he could barely  walk!
The guys even jumped into the (very cold, snow-melt) water.

Brandie enjoyed painting Eva's nails, and Eva loved getting her nails painted.
That night, we found a wild place to camp. I made a typo in the previous post, where I wrote we don't want to camp wild. We do, we do! Camping wild means we have no electricity, no water, and no sewer, but instead we get to faraway places with no other people around. We have the generator and a pretty big water storage tank, plus a toilet that can be emptied at a campground in a couple of days. Brandie and Bradley pull their home built trailer around, where they sleep and store stuff.

Bradley peaking out at the sunrise in his sleeping quarters.
In the mornings, the kids like to sit up in the sleeping loft, play with legos, and dress up (in Eva's case).
Wednesday:  When we woke up yesterday, Steve opened the blinds on the little lookout window in our RV loft and said, “Oh, no, it's all cloudy”. Panicked, I scrambled out of my sleeping bag and checked the sky, which was cloudless and perfect and pink from the sunrise. Funny jokester, is my man. He knows that the whole reason for this road trip is to find the sun, and stay in it. Who cares about natural beauty, quality family time, or educational opportunities? It's all about the sun, folks.
So when we woke up today with some real clouds in the sky, I panicked again and checked the weather on my smart phone, which miraculously gets service out in the boonies in our wild camping spot. The weather forecast threatens rain for several days, starting in a couple of days. Outrage!!! What is the guy in charge of the weather THINKING??? The Sahlin's are on a six week road trip, and rain was not supposed to be in the picture! C'mon!!!
We had a fun day anyway, clouds and all. We hiked for seven miles with Brandie and Bradley to a magical place called Beaver Creek. It's a spot up a canyon with boulders and pools and a bubbling brook. We spent most of the day there, climbing around, lunching, napping, knitting, making yucca plants into cordage, doing a little yoga, talking, laughing and enjoying each other and the scenery.

I love the Sycamore trees - they look like ghosts...
These were some of the natural pools.

Life is bliss, it really is...
Here is another knitting picture... I am so glad Brandie is as obsessed with it as I am!
There were a bunch of caves to explore.
Steve and Eva in the background.
Too bad we look so unhappy, right?
Here is what happens when you camp wild and don't shower or wash your hair for a week.
Steve and Bradley making cordage out of Yucca fibers.  Male bonding at its best.
The Sahlin family, happy as can be.
Guess who carried Eva most of the way? Head mule Steve, of course, never complaining, ever cheerful, ready to take on the burdens of the world, or the burden of his little child, who is not so little anymore and weighs a ton, if you ask me. Whenever I lug that kid around, my arms and back are sore the next day. I keep saying, “Who needs to join a gym when you have a three year old?” The little princess fell asleep on Steve's back on the return hike, and when I caught up with them, I marveled at how she could possibly have fallen asleep, all curled in on herself and folded up on her Daddy's back.

Look at that kid!  Look at that Dad!
Also on the way back Lukas had a little... explosive bathroom incident, shall we say, and there was nothing to wipe with. In the Pacific Northwest, we have lots of natural toilet paper (Mullein leaves, Thimbleberry leaves, moss), but here in the desert? Kai, upon seeing Lukas' dilemma, suggested helpfully, “Cactus?” Hmpf.

We said goodbye to our dear friends Brandie and Bradley, since they had to head back home for work, and since poor Brandie had been fighting a nasty cold and possibly strep throat. But does that girl every complain? No! Cheerful and beautiful as ever, she just hiked along with the rest of us, spreading her good vibes around like magic fairy dust. I wish I could be more like her, but I tend to whine and sniffle instead.

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