Monday, July 22, 2013

Who Knew?

Boy, was I wrong thinking that I knew my guys! On our road trip I learned that Lucas loves ribs. He ordered them three times, finishing a whole rack one night at dinner. Who knew ribs were his current favorite?
I'll have the full rack of ribs (repeat, repeat)
Then there's Daniel. He's hooked on candy cigarettes, rock candy and grape Shasta soda. That's new to me! What happened to root beer?
Excuse me, where can I buy a carton of candy cigarettes around here?

Then, there's my husband. After hours facing obstacles in the canyon slots Saturday, it was time to canyoneer back up. Of course there wasn't a trail to follow, but a huge rounded side of a mountain/rock we had to scale, keeping balance by placing our weight behind the balls of our feet. There was no path or steps. There were some natural small perforations, but not many. Our guide gave us pointers, showing us the "open" spots that were extra risky. There was nothing to hold on to, but a scorching hot rock that burned if you left your hand there for too long. Balancing carefully, we started up.
Taking a break before we attempt the final hurdle ....UP!
This obstacle was different in that there weren't ropes to catch us if we lost footing.  It was a long, long, rocky way down. Our guide offered ropes, but the kids and I made it up and up. Then our guide asked us to wait. My Teckie was really struggling. I could see the sweat glowing on his arms, and frustration on his face. The guide coached him, but knowing his limits, he asked for rope.

This guide was smaller than my husband and I was curious how he was going to make this happen. The three of us were crouched down trying to keep awkward balance on the side of this rock mountain. He asked the kids and me to sit behind him and clip our locking carabiners (metal rings with spring-loaded gates, used as connectors) on to his back belt to serve as "anchors." We leaned back.  My Teckie clipped a carabiner with a special rope to his harness that the guide was attached to also.  The four of us leaned back and up he came!
After scaling the rock face, we had to traverse along the side ridge

My husband is in good shape, is an excellent hiker and outdoorsman. He has hiked numerous tall mountains. It didn't add up. After returning, I asked what happened. Little did I know, he had a fear of heights!  He was  paralyzed with anxiety that he would slip. And it was a long, dangerous way down. Too risky for him.  When he looked behind him and saw the possible danger, he freaked out inside. Who knew?
Rock climbing is a physically (I'm still a tad sore in the arms)  and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control.
Who knew "mental control" was part of canyoneering?
I'm just saying that whether it be messy ribs, candy cigarettes or a fear of precarious heights, spending concentrated time together creates an environment to learn new things about one another. Yes, it can also drive you nuts after ten. solid. days. However, on the upside, it's an excellent way to learn some of the "nooks and crannies" about the people you love the most!

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