"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Monday, March 16, 2009

(More) Adventures in Geocaching


We've been a little too housebound. We've been sick with various ailments recently, and Everett was diagnosed with strep throat on Friday. On Saturday, no one wanted to hang around at home - including Everett, who felt much better after a good night's sleep and his first two doses of antibiotics - so we headed out to do some more geocaching. Since Everett wasn't up for hiking, we chose a series of micros that were right off the side of the road, all in row. Perfect for "park and grab" caching. At some of them, myself and one or more of the kids jumped out, and at others Mike took a turn. We did all 11 caches in the series, and enjoyed a leisurely ride through a beautiful area. When we finished with those, we did only two that were a couple hundred feet from the car...

One in a really cool wash




And one on a long (and beautful) winding mountain road, at the location of a no-longer standing General Store.



We were pretty hungry by that point, as it was well past lunchtime and we hadn't eaten since breakfast, so we decided to call it a day and head home. We'd been on the mountain road for a long time (which is funny in retrospect, given what followed) and didn't really want to retrace our steps. We weren't sure if it circled around to somewhere familiar or not, but we were having fun and willing to chance it. We promised the boys we'd stop at a store - when we found one - and get them a snack. We enjoyed the scenery; passed a campground, some tiny houses and old sheds, and a whole lot of miles of nothing. We were feeling pretty good about coming out to civilization soon, and then we came across this sign:


The sign made me laugh. What else could I do? There were tears in the backseat though, which turned out to be due to a fear of being "lost in the middle of nowhere." We reminded the crying party of the GPS, showed him the atlas with its detailed map, and told him that if all else failed we had cell phones. Mike did some quick research, and found that there was a turn-off road (that would eventually lead to the freeway) up ahead and that we would not in fact have to go the whole 60 miles. Onward we went.

It really was a beautiful area! Truly God's country. I pray I never get blase about the beauty that is Arizona.



It was well into the afternoon by then, but we were all enjoying the drive. It was slow going of course, as some spots were extremely rocky and/or steep or narrow, but no one seemed to mind, even the hungry boys in the backseat. It was an adventure.

And then there was a sound, and a "What was that?", and well....


Not to be deterred, the pit crew made quick work of the flat, and we were on our way again in 20 minutes.


Are you wondering if we passed any other cars? We did. In fact, two good samaritans stopped to see if we needed help while we (by "we", I mean Mike) were changing the tire. After we were up and running, we came across one of the very same good samaritans again, when they were dealing with a flat tire of their own. We returned the favor and stopped to help. We stretched our legs, and Tegan had a snack - the only one of us who was able to eat all day...



While we were stopped, we were passed by more cars, this time coming from the opposite direction. They were bearing news, and it wasn't encouraging. Three miles up ahead was a river that had to be crossed. A wide one, with large rocks and soft sand.

Did I mention my truck is not 4-wheel-drive?

It does have high clearance though, which played a big factor in our decision. Of the people who stopped, one thought we could make it if we took it slow and easy, and two thought we'd be foolish to even attempt it.

There were a few more brief tears. The kids, who were incredibly patient and pleasant for the entire trip despite being starving, were getting tired and were not happy with the new turn of events. But we all eventually rallied.

We had two options... not even trying, turning around where we were, and driving the many many hours back through the mountain (eventually through the dark); OR continuing on up ahead and risking either having to turn around like the others and driving the many many hours back through the mountain anyway, or even more worrisome, getting stuck!

There was really only one thing to do.

Mike took one look at the river three miles later and essentially said that it would be a piece of cake. And it was.


Until it wasn't.


Thankfully, no one panicked when it got stuck. It took some rock rearranging, some finagling, some praying, and of course some careful driving... but it was only a matter of time before he got it un-stuck. Our hoots and hollers must have been heard clear across the mountain when we'd finally made it back on dry land. My truck, and my husband, ROCK!

There were even more tears. This time, of happiness. The last hour of the trip was perhaps the best. The sun was setting as we were finally making our way out of the mountain, and everyone agreed that it was well worth the drive.






It was 7:30 PM by the time we made it back to the highway, and our first order of business was stopping at a Walmart to get the kids their promised snacks. We got them their snacks (and some dinner too!) then we headed home, all six of us tired and happy.




4 comments:

Erika Seirup said...

What fun! Such great adventures. Aren't you glad you started geocaching? What a beautiful breastfeeding picture, too! Tegan's a lucky girl. I'm always like "Doug, take a picture of us nursing!" because I don't want to forget these precious times :)

Great pictures Jen!

Barbara said...

Expect the unexpected, as in Big Brother!
That was quite an experience. We are so glad all things worked out to a happy ending and great memories.

Kerry Estey Keith said...

Yay for geocaching! Have you ever heard of letterboxing? Just learned of it last night, and it seems fun.

jen said...

I've heard of letterboxing, but have yet to try it! I brought it up to my husband and his response was something along the lines of, "We already geocache, why would we need to do that too?" Ha. I still want to try it someday; sounds like lots of fun with the kids.

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