Saturday, April 9, 2016

Quick day trip to Moab and back

Man I love Utah. It is such an awesome state with incredibly diverse terrain. I love that I live up in the mountains with pine trees and aspens and can drive just a few hours and be in the beautiful red rock country of southern Utah. I've traveled to some beautiful places around the world, but it's hard to beat the wonders we have here close to home.
I've been going to Moab multiples times a year for 20 years (excluding my mission years and when I lived in Maryland for dental school). Every year for the past 7 years we take the kids to Moab for their spring break. Our kids love it down there. The rock climbing, hiking, biking, four wheeling, catching lizards, and just plain rolling in the dirt. We try to make it down there a few times a year. I had this whole week of work scheduled off months ago, but with Lisa's failing health I knew there was no way we were going to be able to go down there. The kids were devastated but understood, so we've just spent the week at home trying to enjoy being with Lisa. We missed going last year too because Lisa was in surgery for her second brain tumor. So this was the second spring break in a row they missed going down there.
I've been stir crazy though this week. I haven't been on a vacation in so long and was itching to get down to southern Utah, so last night I decided last minute that we were going to make a lightning fast run down to Moab today to squeeze in one quick mountain bike ride for the kids. Lisa does pretty well travelling in the car if there isn't too much noise (thankfully our kids are awesome road trippers). I think part of it is the fact that she's contained in her seat and can't wander off anywhere and get in trouble, and there isn't a lot to confuse her.
We left right after breakfast yesterday morning and pulled into Moab around lunch time. We met up with some friends at their campsite and ate lunch with them. Their teenage kids volunteered to sit with Lisa while I took all of my kids on a trail ride with our friends. The kids loved it. When we were done, we loaded everyone back up in my truck and headed back home. 4 hours of driving to get there. 2 and a half hours there, 4 hours back home. Totally worth it to get the kids out.
Lisa did pretty well physically, but mentally she was in la-la land and really out of it. She doesn't talk much anymore, which is strange and not normal for her during a four hour road trip. But she did manage to say something every now and then, which was usually completely unrelated to anything going on and would make us laugh. For example, the kids were quietly enjoying the scenery at one point and Lisa hadn't said anything for over an hour when she suddenly spoke up and said, "We can figure this out. Your dad is a really smart guy. He'll figure it out." Why thank you honey! I am a really smart guy.
Sadly, this might be our last family photo. Definitely the last of many we've taken in Moab over the years.

Here's my little crew with their bikes.

On a side note, I used to be a more dedicated mountain biker. I loved to ride several times a week and go on some gnarly, long rides in Moab. Since I've had kids, that has totally changed. While on vacation, I don't want to leave the entire family for several hours while doing an intense ride. Now I just slow down, find some easier routes, and go with my kids. It's totally different than when I was a young single guy, but still a ton of fun. Watching your kids push themselves and finish a challenging (for them) trail is pretty cool. Blake (who is 5 years old) was so proud of himself today. I just wish we could have spent the whole week down there.
Who's that studly guy in the back? Someone better call a verterinarian because his pythons are sick!


Laurel said...

Good for you! I was dead set on heading to Southern Utah for spring break but Russ' work schedule got crazy and we couldn't make it work. Made me feel antsy and frustrated to not be there once I got it in my head! Utah is amazing.

Marisa said...

That's great! It's so fun to see the kids grow up and be able to bike with you. Way to make good use of your weekend!