You know how you get used to not doing something. Say, shaving your legs. And you just put it off. And put if off. And soon you are used that prickly feeling. And you get used to finding hairs longer than others (“Hmm, must have missed that one a FEW times!”) There are other examples of things you get used to not doing, of course. Ones we’re all guilty of. That working out thing. You go four days without breaking a sweat and soon you’re onto day 6, 9, 13, 16! You find yourself doing lunges in your room before you hop in the shower. Perhaps a little motivation to get you to commit the 60 minutes of cardio
fun hell. Will you ever get back into your routine? Here’s another one. Reading. You want to read. You have lists on napkins, scraps of paper… maybe you even have books stacked up on your nightstand. “That’ll do it! I’m bound to read these if they’re here!” Soon they become excellent coasters. Perhaps something to keep your nightstand level when it begins to wobble. “Wow, how convenient these are here!” Then you realize, wanting to read is not the same as reading.
Well, the same thing happened to me with blogging. I was on a roll! Well, by roll… I mean, I hadn’t yet gone on a two month hiatus. But this girl got busy! I traveled through Lusk, Wyoming to stop for gas of course and Aric bought a superb straw river hat. Then to Ft. Collins, Colorado where we realized, “hey, it’s Memorial Day…. it’s way too busy here at ODell to even enjoy this!” but then we found a food truck and the greasy goodness of my BLT made everything better. Next stop, Denver, Colorado where there was eating, REI, more eating, more REI, yoga, more eating, one more trip to REI, and we watched a show about cats in our hotel (why I remember these things….). Then we entered the Mormon State… or was it the Beehive State? Aric and I played an extensive game of “guess the state nickname” THEN we played several more times to test our memories. Oh roadtrips. That game beat the license plate game big time! So onto Moab, Utah where it was over 100 degrees during our entire stay… and we camped… a lot…. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful and like nothing I’ve ever seen, but sometimes you need to get a good night’s sleep without suffocating in your tent. Arches National Park was excellent and the guy at the front gate looked like Jake Gyllenhaal (is it sad I already knew how to spell his last name and didn’t even look it up?)… I think he’s researching a role or something. Naturally we decide, “YEAH, LET’S HIKE 10 MILES!”… I crawled into rocks and took pictures, accidentally sat on a small cactus, followed the “carins” (stacks of rocks indicating the hiking trail’s direction). The only terrifying thing about that is ANYBODY CAN STACK ROCKS! You could end up in the wrong place easily. Luckily we didn’t because we were on the primitive loop for 6 miles and didn’t hear or pass a single person the entire time. I later found out several people have gotten lost and died on that trail. Cool, good thing I did my research… We also spent a lot of time at Love Muffin Cafe, the most delicious breakfasts and lunches (because we naturally ate here 3.. or was it 4… times during our few days in Moab).
While still in Moab, we began our Epic River Trip down the Green River. We pack our gear onto our canoe and paddle on our way. It was a 65 mile, 3 1/2 day trip…. self-guided. It should probably be a requirement for all newlyweds to endure such an adventure in their first few months as a married couple. Our kayak got turned around in “rapids” (necessary quotations because these weren’t anything ferocious… but as two fairly unskilled canoeists make their way through, they’re bound to be thrown off a bit….) Luckily we were never thrown over board. We rented kayak chairs for our trip– meaning those canvas supports that if not properly secured will make everything uncomfortable. I’m still very glad we had them because when they were secure, they were great. But when they weren’t, it warranted stops every so often to stand up. After several uncomfortable miles, I needed desperately to stand, so we pulled ashore of a small island. When I stepped out, I stepped into calf-high mud…. the kind that refuses to release your shoe from its grip. This would not be the only time we’d encounter this same mud. In fact, from that point on, we would only encounter deeper and deeper mud. On our last night, the mud reached past my knees. I might have freaked out. Maybe… but soon you’ll know why. We rowed 21 miles on our first day, 100 degrees, but it was nice because we could splash water up on us and sometimes find shade from the towering canyon walls. The next day, we woke up too a cloudy… gloomy…. sky. “Maybe it’ll rain!” I exclaimed to Aric, thinking of how nice it would be to cool off a bit from all that heat. Words I would soon regret, unfortunately. The next two and a half days of our trip were very wet. And cold. Some might even say miserable. At times we were laughing, finding humor in our misfortune. Other times we were rowing mindlessly, making it 30 miles that second day. We had decided, “We have to get out of here. The crew will be at the pick-up spot tomorrow, as noted on our information card. Let’s do it!” After our sore arms rowed heavily those 8 hours, we were exhausted. I set up the tent while Aric scrounged for dry firewood. Guess we should have packed our firewood like we had planned before the crew told us, “YOU WON’T NEED THAT!” After a failure of a meal of chili over a dwindling fire, we went straight to bed. It was 9:00. Just 14 miles left in the morning and we will be free! Free of the pouring rain, the wet firewood… “and just think, by tomorrow night we’ll be nice and warm in our sleeping bag we left in our car because it had been so unbearably hot!” We woke up the next morning and rowed those 14 miles in less than 3 hours. That’s fast. We were so excited to get some good food, get warm & dry, and have a shower! Hours passed and our crew hadn’t showed. We stopped several people asking them to call once they got to town. Unfortunately, the roads getting to the pick-up were too dangerous for the crew and they left us there. We spent the afternoon drinking wine out of a carton and nibbling on peanuts that tasted like they had spent the night in the same dry bag as our trash. It had. We thought we were leaving… we didn’t care about our measly peanuts, we were going to have a feast! Alas, there was no feast. There was no warmth, apart from the small towels we had to cover up in the tent. And then there was no dry space either, as our tent began leaking at 1 AM. With all that went wrong on our “epic” river trip, I’m not going to say it was a complete disaster. It was beautiful, weaving through the canyons, following along with our river guide, and talking to the blue herons as they dipped their toes in the river. Was it memorable? My god, yes. Will I do it again? Certainly not. At least not a 3 1/2 day trip. I like kayaking and canoeing. Did I mention that after we were picked up by the crew, we walked two miles straight up the switchbacks while the van made it up without people in it for “safety reasons” and there was an hour or two we stopped to help some European tourists who had gotten their GMC Yukon rental stuck in the mud by a huge drop-off. Like I said… memories. Such vivid memories.
Needless to say, Aric and I were in relaxation mode after that grueling adventure. We were off to Bryce Canyon where we stayed in the always classy, Tropic, Utah. We weren’t quite ready for camping…..but Worst. Hotel. Ever. But we knew what we were getting into. I read the reviews. I slept on top of my sleeping bag that night. After Bryce Canyon, we were off to Zion. We spent two days in the park and some time in the town of Springdale. We hiked Angels Landing… well, not necessarily. We hiked 6 miles to Scout Lookout and it was another 1 mile to Angels Landing. The thing about it though… is it’s a very narrow and steep hike… with chains to hold onto. Sorry, but no thank you. I’m not sure where my fear of heights came from (my father, I think) but I am now terrified of heights in my ripe ol age of 26. Aric said he would have done it if I wanted to, but aside from the gutsy father with a baby on his back who we saw coming off from the narrow hike that has claimed the lives of several over the years, I just didn’t have it in me. Bravo, though! Father of the Year??
It was then Salt Lake City and Park City. Of course we were still in relaxation mode after our more adventurous first half of our trip, so we spent a lot of time enjoying our low-priced because it’s low-season ski resort in Park City! We drank beer, we worked out (not in that order), we walked around town. What more could you want! I also may have watched two hours of Wife Swap…. it reeled me in somehow. Oh, and we also watched 3 hours of Vine videos from my laptop. Time well spent. Oh yeah, we also visited Dinosaur National Park and stayed in Steamboat so as to decrease our driving time on our way to Denver. It was back to Denver for us for one last night of our trip. We stopped at Tommyknocker in Idaho Springs. A pleasant surprise. And then it was time for Hanson! We were glad to be back in Denver. Apart from the fast-as-lightning freeway, it’s very clean and MY GOD THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO! Naturally we visited REI one more time. We arrived to the theater for Hanson and of course Aric had the best time. I bought him like 4 beers. He said it was okay. I really didn’t care. I had a great time, apart from it not being the same without Kelly there.
So, like I said… I’ve been busy. And that was only the month of September. I’ve started working at the flower shop in town as well. I’ve been learning a lot, and strangely none of it has to do with flowers. I’ll have to touch on that subject another time. As wasps swarm our front window and we’re practically banished from our front porch, I write from the living room. Wearing my Scottish Terrier fleece robe. Yeah, it’s true. Three 0’clock on a Sunday.
Perhaps I haven’t written in two months, but it’s not to say I haven’t thought about it. I actually tried logging into my blog account for an entire week using the wrong username. I also took the time to upload a brand new look courtesy of some awesome person on etsy. I tend to do some of my best writing when I’m getting ready for my day… ahem…. hence today’s post.