October 08, 2013

Behind the Hiking Photos

Look at our camping photos from this past weekend!

Look at us, all happy and together and bonding. Not fighting, just smiling. Not crying, just laughing. Not breaking down, just loving life and each other. Not lost on a trail, just doing some adventurous off-road rock scrambling.

Except for the part where there was fighting and crying and me breaking down. The part where we did some "adventurous off-trail rock scrambling" and I scared the kids to such an extent that we now ALL need therapy.

And here's a little segment I'll call...

Some of you are reliving high school and college (...and beyond) right at this moment. Others of you have no idea to what I'm referring. And THAT, my clueless friends, makes you superior to the rest of us trash TV junkies.

It begins on hike #2, day #2 of camping.

Yeah! Life's grand! Rob's all, I'll be artsy and take this selfie with the family perched on a ledge behind me.

And this is the point where Silas breathes and I start getting a little nervous. But I'm laughing. To prove I'm not a weenie. I'll show you, Facebook, that I'm a laid back, my-kid's-about-to-tumble-off-this-ledge-but-I-am-so-relaxed-I'm-laughing-(not-peeing-in-my-fashion-forward-leggings-with-shorts) hiking STUD.

Rob still taking selfies. Me, two kids, and a dog furiously looking - but not finding - a path.

Me: I don't think there's a path! I don't like this!  Rob: Hold on! I'm taking another selfie!

Meanwhile Rob graciously offers to take the dog (after I yell at him about mentally-absent fathers), and then leaves me on the side of Death Mountain with two slip-sliding kids. However, he stops to take our picture.

About 300 feet up. Me, starting to contemplate the seriousness of this situation. Rob still documenting. Still not helping.

Contemplative, serious, and SEVERELY ANNOYED. Are we going to die? MAYBE.

And here is where we arrived at Death Crevice, the point where I start to audibly pray. The angle of this shot is worthless as it looks like a grand place for a picnic with its gently-sloping rocks and breathtaking vistas. It is not.

Death Crevice actually looks more like this, this, or this. Quite simply, it looks like INSTANTANEOUS SLIP-SLIDING DEATH.

Right. Here. Let's stop right here for a moment.
What you don't see here:
a) Jannika slipping while climbing 20 feet above my head.
b) Me supporting the entirety of Silas' weight while I scramble for hand and foot holds that don't exist.
c) Me starting to tip backwards under Silas' weight.
d) Me screaming at Rob because he's a jerk.
e) Me sobbing against the rock while still supporting Silas. And his fragile life.
f) Me snarling like a demon, startling Rob from photo documentation long enough to come down and rescue his son from certain death.
g) Me clinging to the face of the mountain, unable to move, still sobbing about my babies.
h) Rob asking, So are you saying you don't want to go on?
i) Rob asking, Do you mind if I go to the top for a second?

And we can pick up here again.

Pictured: Rob taking selfies at the top of the mountain. Not pictured: Me still sobbing while leading two wide-eyed, petrified kids back down the mountain. Except I only make it like 20 feet before I have a near panic attack and get stuck at the top of another sheer rock formation.

Pictured: Rob still taking selfies. Not pictured: Me, wailing down the mountain, I'll pay $200 to anyone who will get my kids down aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive! Silas crying and asking me if he's going to die. Jannika rubbing my back. My parenting skills broken and disemboweled at the bottom of Death Mountain.
Pictured: The cruddiness of my soul. Not pictured: Us arriving at the bottom - with Rob's help - and me crying all over again. Rob apologizing. The kids recounting how they almost died. Me getting mad all over again. Rob apologizing...again. Silas finding and PICKING UP an entire, ripped-off dove wing on the ground.
It's camping, folks. You wipe away the tears, you move on, you disinfect Silas' whole two arms, and you get back in the car to do another hike.

Kid from the back seat: Do you remember that one hike, mom, where we almost died?
Me: Um, yes. It's awfully fresh in my mind. Especially since it just ended 23 seconds ago.
Kid, dreamily: Yeah, I remember it, too.

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