We were sitting in the middle of Social Studies one day when in walks none other than our favorite person in the entire world James. *James is our best friend that let us tent it up in his backyard, you may recall* We hadn't seen James since Adoption Day, and so it was a splendid surprise indeed!
He came baring gifts. Lava Lavas to be exact. (and in case you missed it, they are beautifully showcased in Rachel's post relating our experience to Hogwarts. Yeah, go ahead and read that here. She nailed it.) He also came with news.
"Girls," he said, "we are going on a hike on Saturday. The young men in my ward are going and I asked the bishop if you could tag along. Bring your togs and a lunch because we will hike to a beach."
And just as quickly as he came he was gone.
Saturday morning arrived and we were all ready for a little adventure. With very few details to go off of, we had envisioned in our minds a quick hike through some woods to a beautiful secluded beach where we would be able to layout and relax for the rest of the day.
The nine of us piled into James van. In this van, which is particularly large and noisy, it is hard to hear what is being said in the front seat, and yet I kept capturing words from James and Sara's conversation like, "rough trails", "rock climbing", "injuries", and "death." I chose to ignore it and focus my attention on Whitney Houston playing in the background.
|Ignorance is bliss.|
|Andrea: "These Chacos are ready for anything! Except marriage..."|
When we arrived to meet up with the young men we would be hiking with, we were finally ready to face the possibility that today may not turn out as we had originally expected. The young men leaders started filling in a few more key details.
"Stay on the trail, if you wander off you could get lost and die of hypothermia. It's happened before."
"You'll need to make sure your valuables are waterproofed for when we have to cross through the river."
"Keep your hands free for the rock climbing segments."
"Watch your step, it's very easy to hurt yourselves."
|Andrea and Sara: What did they say?|
And just like that our excitement very quickly turned into anxiety.
"Don't worry!" said James. "When we reach the end we can all take a picture by the 'Experienced Trampers Only' sign!"
(For the record: I am a pre-beginning level- walk around the park kind of tramper at best, just ask my brother in law Jon Wayne.)
And so the adventure began.
Thankfully there were people there to document it, otherwise I am fairly certain my family would have never believed me. (Especially Jon Wayne, who once told me I would never get married because I don't enjoy hiking. Well, you can eat it Jon. Now it will be my love of cats that keeps me from the altar! Or possibly the faces that I make in most of these pictures... Time will tell.)
|And we're off!|
|Where's the trail you ask? Yeah there isn't one.|
|Brooke Multitasking: hardcore hiking whilst hardcore creepin|
|Take a handful of raisins and peanuts and pass it on. James knows how to keep us moving.|
|James: "Now it's time for some bum hiking."|
James: "I mean gluteus maximus hiking."
Not the clarification I was looking for.
|Bum hiking = sliding down the really steep parts because there are not hand/foot holds|
|Finally made it to the river|
|Still looking pretty happy...|
|Feeling pretty strong...|
|And then we worked our way further up|
|And suddenly we were crossing rivers on rocks|
|And suddenly there were no rocks|
|And that made me feel like this. Although I would like to just be clear that this picture was posed and I shed no tears on the trail. Just for the record. No tears.|
|Somewhere along the way Andrea fell, and even though she bruised her hands horribly, it was still totally HI-larious.|
Yet with all that hiking....
|We somehow went from this...|
|And then this.|
I did mention I'm not much of a hiker, right?
But in all honesty, it was one of the most fun things I have ever done. Especially when we finally reached the WATERFALL!
But, that's another story....