This year Bean was in D.C. the first part of the week, and was home by Wednesday to go along, and we old folks were invited to go see what this gorge and climbing entailed.
First of all, I suppose I was expecting something a bit more commercial- not so. No cell service for me and you were miles from what seems to me to be at every exit most places you go. If you needed something, better hope the little service station had it. No fast food to be seen, which has elevated a few hole in the wall joints in the area to great popularity. Our house was nice and roomy for all of us and the dogs. Bugg and I went early in the day and had some time to ourselves. A dear friend would celebrate the life of her Mom on Saturday, which also happened to be said friend's birthday. She loves cookies. I knew she would be having out of town guests, so I brought along my mixer and some new recipes for Bugg and I to try.
Our first batch was oatmeal, chocolate chip, peanut butter. Before I left early Saturday morning to get home in time for the service we also baked cherry white chocolate, toffee pecan, and chewy chocolate ginger. I threw some crafting things in the bag as well.
As I've shared before, time moves on and they are much busier than before. Not only that, but they've succumbed like the rest of the world to communicating and being entertained via a techno device. I miss all the time I spent reading and doing projects with them. So we enjoyed cookie baking and then a little painting.
The first morning we headed out to climb. Well, I hadn't planned to actually put on a harness and climb a cliff face. Umm, actually I hadn't planned to climb anything at all. Clearly, I had not adequately assessed my situation. I'm thinking there is this very lovely parking lot beneath a cliff and you park and they climb and I say, "Yay, look at you." That's my job, well besides feeding them. Ahem. First you drive on these very twisty roads, but at least said roads are paved. This vertigo girl concentrates on keeping her eye on the white line. Then you turn off the very twisty paved road to a very narrow gravel road that not only twists but additionally goes straight up or straight down, while still somehow twisting. On the way, there is a random port a pot and the Captain says that is the all and there ain't no more, so I wisely decided to take advantage of the facility. As soon as I close the door, my phone dings and I have the only minute of service I had the whole trip. All the while I am seriously questioning why any rational person would think this is a road to be taken and the Captain is oohing and ahhing over how much better shape it is in than last time. Wow. Then you park
and walk, on the twisty gravel road, until you see (well, I didn't see till he pointed out this little wooden sign hidden in the weeds) the Chicka Bonita sign. Hurrah, we've arrived! Not. Now you climb up the side of the hill, and more twisting, only sometimes on a very narrow dirt path from which I would likely not survive falling from. At last, there is a cliff for climbing.
I was a bit curious how this would go as Bean had never climbed an actual cliff. He shot right to the top.
It was bit harder for Miss Bugg who doesn't have the arm or leg reach yet that the guys do, but she makes up for it in dogged persistence and up she went right to the top, with her Gramerly cheering all the way.
Rinse, wash and repeat with Pap holding on while another line was set further down the cliff.
This was a big more challenging for Bean and I wondered if he wasn't going to get up there, but he did. Go Bean!
Later in the evening, I pulled out another craft/experiment I found on Babbble Dabble Do.
You make our fav Gak, only with chalkboard paint.
Then you pull, stretch, and appreciate the beautiful colors.
Even Bean joined the fun.
On Friday, the men folk headed out to Indian Staircase, said to be a short but dangerous climb. In fear for Pap trying to climb while holding to a not so leash trained pooch, Bugg and I stayed home to make more cookies and watch the dogs sleep on the front porch. Thank the Lord, they all returned in one piece.
I said, "So long," and headed home early Saturday morning. It was big time!
When my kids were little, I routinely envisioned opportunities just like this. However it turns out that I raised some very independent children. My Mom is a fretter and I didn't want to be a fretter. Yeah, well I am a fretter- go figure. While I certainly wanted to be a part of their lives and them mine, I never wanted them to feel like they had to call me everyday and keep me up on every jot and tiddle. I didn't suppose that might mean that I would go longer than I like sometimes without talking to them. Now and again I have to wrestle with some envy over families who do spend copious amounts of time together and are ever sharing their escapades and undying love and gratitude for parents on social media. Well, anyway, the Captain came and taught my students about compasses, then he came again and helped with the refugee simulation and then I got to enjoy watching him do something he loves with his kids, so I am feeling grateful.