My husband, nephew and daughter (aka, the Principal, the Biology teacher and the student) all had the day off. So, we spent it being led by one of our favorite staff members, Joe, as he gathered a group of high school students to head to Fossil Creek
near Strawberry, AZ.
It was a nice drive up north. A nice drive, that is, until the last 15 miles of bumpy dirt road that we maxed out at 15 miles per hour. About half way in we saw that our first van had stopped and the kids appeared to be looking over the cliff.
Obviously we were curious, so we got out to join them. So began our first lesson in driving on bumpy roads with no rails and steep cliffs.
Lesson 1: Don't drive over the cliff.
After an hour drive on the road to the creek, we quickly realized, it was all worth it. Every bump!
I think what blows my mind is how in the midst of the desert, if you follow just the right path, you end up in what seems to be a tropical paradise. The water was clear as glass, with electrifying shades of blue and green. I forgot that I was in Arizona and for a moment though I was back on the sandy shores of Haiti.
At this point we began hiking. I had heard rumors of hiking adventures with Mr. Richter (our trip leader), most of which can be summarized by the fact that even if there is no path, the land can still be hiked.
Lesson 2: You don't need a path when you can see the top of the mountain. Make you own path!
So the first group went ahead followed by my group which included my husband and two other young men. We quickly figured out that the only way (that we could see) was straight up the river as we saw no path and much of the ground was thick with bush (and bugs). I am thankful that there isn't (much) video footage of me trying to make my way upstream. Trying to get my footing on slippery rocks, sudden depth changes and a strong current make for an interesting trek. Here is the first current that I tread through safely. However, this same current on my way back actually picked me up and pushed me against the rocks and down the little fall. I gained a new appreciation for water, rapids and currents. Very powerful!
Lesson 3: Respect the power of water
Venturing on to our second destination was a favorite for the students as they enjoyed the water, the view and the jumps!
It was a great day. Fun to be with the students, fun to be with my husband, daughter and nephew, fun to experience a bit of paradise in the desert with the people that I love and respect.
Today was worth every bump and bruise.
At this point, I have to over share, so I am giving you warning to turn back now if you want to leave this story on a high note.
As with every adventure and journey there are always a few mishaps. We had a bunch, as this is what happens when you hike the untrodden trail and make your way up stream and downstream grabbing on to branches and anything else that will keep you from going under. ENJOY!
The Ouchie Segment
(All in a days adventure)
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.