We spent our time with them rock climbing in the bouldering gym where Brandie works, playing cribbage while sharing high quality beers, sucking helium out of balloons which left us convulsing on the floor with laughter, eating good food, sledding, sight seeing in Flagstaff, watching a snow boarding competition downtown, and visiting a great knitting store. Fun, fun, fun!
Flagstaff welcomed us with snow and icicles. It's quite a shock to the system, I tell ya. The day before we visited them, we lounged at the Salt River in our BATHING SUITS. It's quite a shock to the system. Not only because of the temperature difference, but also because Flagstaff is at 7,000 feet elevation, so breathing is a little different here.
|Poor icicle bicycle...|
|Bradley explaining proper rock climbing etiquette.|
|Brandie and Eva sharing a laugh.|
Before all this fun, we were at the Grand Canyon, remember? The day after the boys and I hiked in the canyon, Steve and Bradley were supposed to hike all the way down and come up the same day. Bradley couldn't go, so it was Steve by himself. For mere mortals, this hike would take all day. For my Über-husband Steve, the whole 12 mile trip took four and a half hours. And that includes a half hour break to soak his feet in the Colorado River. It is so unfair that my man is so much faster, fitter, and stronger than I am. And it's not because he has a regular exercise routine or anything. It is pure talent and Viking genes, is what it is.
Although I am slightly bitter about this, I mostly think it's awesome and quite handy to share my life with a man who is so strong and rock solid and healthy. He came back with wonderful pictures from his hike in the Grand Canyon. They have a different feel than my pictures the day before because he went on a day that threatened snow.
Now? We're are homeward bound, heading North. I am ever so slightly apprehensive. I don't want to leave the road and the sun yet. I don't want to be done with this adventure that has turned out way, way more amazing than I ever imagined. I am nervous about returning to my old life, which is so much more hectic and structured and, yes, stressful than our life on the road. Back home, we will jump with both feet into full time home schooling, garden preparation, goat births and hoof rot problems, bills, paperwork, and in Steve's case, hectic work. It's a life that I love most of the time, and I hope with all my heart that I will love it as much as I did when we left on our grand adventure.
Here is what I know:
Our dear friends and neighbors are trying to lure us back. “We've had a few days of sunshine here”, they write, “and we can't wait to have you home again.” These people and our friends in the larger community are a big reason we live where we do. We can't wait to see them either, share meals, sing and play music, go for walks, do yoga together, share stories of the past six weeks.
Here is what else I know:
My old, stinky dog Pluto will be very happy to have us back, a house full of noisy kids and me, his one and true love (At least I hope so. I hear that the neighbors and house sitters have been spoiling him rotten, so I am afraid that he will only open one eye when he sees me, wagging his tail once or twice, and then go back to sleep.)
I also know that it will be time to start my onion seeds in the greenhouse, and that March is not far away, and that the first crocuses and daffodils will soon poke through the earth. I know that my heart will skip a beat with joy when I look out at the yard, into the garden, to the mountains in the distance, and know that I am home.