So, my initial reaction to Rick's news was just this- What?! Really?! I didn't think you had decided to do it. I mean, I know Brittany said something about it but you didn't give it much thought at the time and I thought that was because you knew you'd have a lot of work to do...I already told Lindsey I'd run the Ragnar and we talked about that and you knew what day and now suddenly the change. You say you told me but I don't remember anything set in stone and you haven't even got a reservation for a room yet and it's only a week away and how sure are you that any of your family will be going too?? That's how that conversation went.
I had already made arrangements to run in the Vegas Ragnar and so I was feeling particularly guilty and bummed because now this Moab thing was meant to be a family vacation of sorts (Not my ideal idea of a family vacation but I'll take what I can get) So, I had to back out of the Ragnar race which was really a bummer and I made Rick a deal. As long as we got to do some hiking to see the beautiful arches in Moab then I was happy.
I was honestly surprised at how well it turned out. Rick had taken me seriously and planned for our first day there to be all about the sights in Moab and experiencing Moab how I wanted. I had little faith that it would really happen and then admittedly confessed to that later to Rick. I was impressed that he had planned it out at all. It made me happy and we had a fantastic day. The road trip up is always easier. The excitement of it all and even the stops along the way are better because it's new. We met some characters from cars although, I'm pretty sure Linc was disappointed or maybe just tired. They were really just a Toyota and something else that had been painted to look like "Cars". Linc mentioned later that it was pretty cool so it must have just been that he had just woken from his nap in the van.
We saw a bunch of the coolest rock formations in the park. There was the Three Gossips, Sheep Rock and the Tower of Babel. We named a few others on our way in to Moab-the Battleship and the Sinking Titanic, the Boob rock and the P rock. We stopped to get a picture in front of the Balanced Rock and then went to the Double Arches where we crawled around and Lincoln acted like Superman and was jumping off high places and repeatedly saying, I can do it...I've got it. Rick and I both about had a heart attack with the bravery that was suddenly in him, although, I think we'd both say it was less bravery and more stupidity. So we kept a tight grip on that one and he wasn't exactly thrilled about it. But the double arches were beautiful and we could sit right under them and peek through to the bluest of blue skies with only the sounds of the earth and the occasional squawk from our kids. The sounds we heard in that place were glorious, because even the smallest things spoken or the softest caw of a bird echoed and surrounded us there; Not loudly but just like whispers all around us. The kids, of course, thought it to be the coolest thing and I'm sure the rest of the people there were just enduring and waiting for the moment that we would leave, but I didn't mind the sounds of my children's echoes and then the laughter that followed. In fact, I loved the idea of being surrounded by those sounds and soon we found we were the only ones there for just a minute before the next crowd would soon be close. So, we hurried on, we still had the delicate arch to see and it takes a bit longer to get from point A to point B with little ones. Lincoln had to stop every few minutes along the path and draw circles in the sand, don't ask me why...even I don't know. He also made friends with a bush while we tied shoes. He loves being outside and with nature and you could see that he was in his element. Penny is much like that but she remained carried for most of the way. The 1.5 mile hike to the Delicate Arch turned into a treacherous, exhausting, straight uphill 90% of the way, kind of hike. Linc decided he had had enough and made Rick hold him on his shoulders the whole way up. I had tried to carry Lincoln but that only lasted a few minutes up one hill and around a corner and I was done. So I carried Penny instead. It was not an easy hike with a load and there were so many times that I came around a corner, hoping it would be there and it wasn't. At one point towards the end, I wasn't sure I'd make it any further, my back and my legs were killing me. But we walked up the "Egyptian steps" (according to Lizzie) and along the cliff. A long chilly shadow and a corner later, I was looking upon one of the most glorious sights to behold. I admit, I teared up and a part of me wanted to bawl like a baby. It was as if this sight was something that had to be worked for, it had to be earned and we earned it alright. There was a spirit about that place too. It was Heavenly and I think even the kids felt it. They couldn't stop saying how awesome it was. As we walked back down, I had a moment of total gratitude for the masterpieces God has created and for my life and the masterpiece, my life is to me and so I stopped and I kissed Rick like I meant it. I held his face in my hands for just a second; I smiled at him and Thanked him. We wouldn't have been there if it weren't for him and my Life would not be the same without him and as tough as it can be, I wouldn't trade it in for anything.
The Festival the next day was not much to take in compared to the Scottish festival but it turned out to be much more personable. They gave these little passport cards to the kids and the idea was to get autographs from the volunteers,contestants, band players and clans. It was a way to get to know about the heritage and history behind different clans. My Lizzie Loved the idea and was bound and determined to get those autographs. I'm not usually one to walk up to complete strangers and talk to them but when I do, I find that I get a new sense of appreciation for people in general. It was a good learning experience for Lizzie as well. I made her work for it and she had to do some talking and asking as well. She did awesome and it was truly a lot of fun learning about and meeting new people. I loved it and so did Lizzie. She got a cool prize at the end of it all along with the coolest autograph from Aaron, the best bagpiper ever. Aaron plays with the Wicked Tinkers and is seriously one of the nicest guys. I only wished we had gotten to hear the Wicked Tinkers play more while we were there, but hearing them was a great finish to our day there.