Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Up, Up and Away

That's 7,000 feet up, in fact, and away from the everyday.
Absolutely what the doctor ordered.

We went camping for David's birthday this past weekend
in northern Arizona.

Our little journey took us to the top of Mingus Mountain
where we were surrounded by Ponderosa Pines. So woodsy!
The road leading there was curvy, steep and lined with all
kinds of gorgeous plant life and rocks. The campground we
settled into, Potato Patch, was at the peak of the mountain
between Jerome (just outside Sedona) and Prescott.

The views were beautiful. The air was clean, light and
much cooler than the 100 plus degrees in Phoenix.
Perfect weather for campfires at night with plenty
of cool shade during the day.

David's actual birthday was on April 29th -- I normally
make a pretty big deal out of it. It's traditionally a week
long event around here, but this year, I was knee deep
in finals and not really prepared to spend much time
eating cake.

We did, however, squeeze in an amazing breakfast at
this place called The Farm on the morning of. Since we
didn't have a chance to hang out the rest of the weekend
(as I was at the computer lab), we vowed to make up
for it later. And I think we did...

Things really got started when I got home from work
last Thursday night. David was there with Brian Moroney
and his brother, Steve, (in visiting from Portland for the
weekend). We were all hanging out in the kitchen when
Brian noticed the birthday boy was in the pool! We
ended up having an impromptu pool party of four.
Five if you count Killian. David and Brian had him
jumping in after toys and swimming the whole time.
We had some random water contests and solved many
of the worlds problems that night. Good times. Sitting
outside by the fire David made afterwards was the
perfect end to a really fun (and late) night.

The next morning, David and I finished getting things
together for his weekend! It was all part of his birthday
gift this year -- new hiking shoes, some camping essentials
and a weekend up north. We had a fabulous time. It was
so relaxing and peaceful.

No cell phones.
No email.
No television.
No list of things to do.
No house work.
No agenda.
No social obligations.
No work or studying.
No people.
And a complete change of scenery.
It doesn't get much better than that.

Being that it was Killian's first time camping,
we weren't 100% sure what to expect. As usual though,
he was amazing. He was perfectly content to stay with
us in the camp site and let the neighbors (and their dogs)
do their thing without giving them much notice at all. He
tagged along on a couple of hikes and became one with
his blanket next to the fire. We barely even kept him on
a leash after the first night. He also did great in the tent,
sleeping between us on the air mattress like he'd done it
a million times.

Of course, he did miss about eighteen regularly scheduled
naps over the course of the weekend. So, he spent Monday
in its entirety like this...

David has camped all his life. He and I have gone twice
with a big group of friends. But this was the first time
we went camping as a family. After the wonderful time
we had this weekend, I don't think it will be the last. It
felt so freeing and peaceful to get away -- reconnecting
with each other, with nature and with ourselves.

There are so many beautiful places in northern Arizona
and being that they're so near by, it would be easy to get
to them for a quick weekend. There are several areas we
hope to visit throughout this year. I'm thinking this could
be a regular Link activity.

I'm becoming increasingly aware of the importance of
planning things like this; Little getaways. Carving out
special time to be together and focus on each other and
ourselves completely. This weekend, I was able
to get the deepest breaths I've taken in a long time.

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