I've kind of been on edge a lot lately. I still can't run very much, we're right in the middle of what feels like the worst election ever, in the last three weeks an unusual number of people have have called or emailed to lecture me on my wrongness and I keep dreaming about Germany -- not daydreaming, actually having dreams about going back or still being there, and then I wake up and feel homesick. It's all made for a really restless and cranky Heidi.
So halfway through the week I suggested to Krista and Mary Lu that we go to Goblin Valley. Goblin Valley, if you've never been, is the happiest place on earth. Seriously. It's way better than Disneyland, because it costs $7, there are no lines and no rules, and it looks like this:
While down there, I suggested that we go to Little Wild Horse Canyon, half of an amazing hike through red rocks, slot canyons, cliffs and scrub oak. Last year when I did it I had a great time and I've wanted to go back since. It's a three-, four-hour hike at most, giving us plenty of time to hike, play in Goblin Valley and get home at a decent hour.
So hiking we went! And discovered that slot canyons, when it rains, fill up with water. And often the water just sits in the recessions until it evaporates, because it has nowhere else to go. And when that happens, you have two choices: turn around or get dirty.
Even though we were already muddy, we tried to Spiderman it across the water traps. (And golfers think they have it hard. Please. All they have to worry about is losing a stroke or two. We had to worry about falling in.)
The good news is, only one person fell in. And I managed to do so almost at the end of the trap where the water was less deep so I didn't end up in a mud bath, and in a canyon wide enough that my head did not meet the other wall as I went down. All I did was bang up my knee. Which I then landed on later, so it was going to be bruised and swollen anyway.
Tell me that doesn't look like the inside of some organ or a bone density scan.
The guy that took the picture above was hiking -- barefoot -- with his 8-year-old son -- also barefoot. We swapped photographer duty. Less than 10 minutes after this picture was taken, I whispered to Mary Lu, "I totally want to marry that guy."
More on that in a sec. We got to the trickiest water trap that required one of two things: wading through waist deep water or doing what Mary Lu is doing below. You basically have to put one foot on each wall and one hand on each wall and, while pushing out instead of down, walk yourself across. It is both exhilirating and kind of scary. The second and third steps were the biggest problems. Once you started moving, it became easier mentally because you realized you could do it and it gets physically easier because the canyon walls hug just a little tighter.
We got there a few steps before the Barefoot Boys and moved aside because we had a collective case of nerves and we doubted they would. They didn't. Barefoot Sr. squatted down a little bit, Barefoot Jr. hopped on his back and they crossed it, no problem. Then he crossed back to get his camera from Krista, then Barefoot Jr. started across just for fun.
I've thought about it before, and this is going to sound really unlike me, but it's true, and I suspect most women would agree with me -- men who are capable, confident, loving, involved fathers are super sexy. They project this aura of trust, rugged competence, strength, dependability -- all qualities that make a woman feel safe and secure, which is one of the top facets women look for in relationships. Yes, even independent feminist women.
After the Barefoot Boys, a man carrying an infant on his back crossed over. Then, after we finished, a man carrying an infant on his back and a 6-or-so-year-old on his shoulders climbed over. His wife was nervous, but when the older one asked his dad if he was going to fall in, he cheerfully answered, "No, 'cause I'm Spiderman! Spiderman never falls."
Like I said -- really, really attractive.
I would show you pictures of Goblin Valley, but, well, between the wading and the shimmying and the nerves and the giggling and the trying to find the best way down and the falling and the figuring out what we do if we had an emergency, the hike took six hours, we were wet and we were tired, so we made a date with our future selves for a return to Goblin Valley.