Monday, November 26, 2012

A weekend of quiet...

 **Désolée à mes lecteurs francophones, mais je n'ai pas envie de tout traduire ce soir... 

The sun was almost setting when we left Cortez, Colorado, on Friday night, after another great day of mountain biking at Phil’s World. We had been through a big week of work and had slept in parking lots most nights since it was the only place we could get half-decent Internet connexion to work at night. You really have to be Canadians to think that the Walmart parking lot will be a good option on a Thanksgiving night since everybody and its neighbor is stuffing himself with turkey and gravy and it shouldn’t be packed with truck drivers that let their engine turn all night (like the first night we were in Cortez...). But we forgot about the Black Friday sales… until the parking lot started to fill at 9 pm… for the sales beginning at 10 pm…
So on that Friday night, heading towards Arizona, we were really looking forward to a weekend without Internet connexion and electricity in the middle of the desert, as far as possible from obnoxious night-time deal finders. I was hoping to go to the Four Corners National Monument, the only place where 4 states touches, to play a game of state twister (right foot in New Mexico, left foot in Arizona, left hand in Utah and right hand in Colorado), but it was already closed when we drove by. We cranked the radio and sang loudly as the night was falling over us. We were a crazy happy bunch!

:: Amazing mountain biking at Phil's Word, Cortez, Colorado ::
We had no specific plans of where to camp, but we shooting for the area of Bluff, Utah, where we would easily find a desert back road to stop for the night. It was getting late and we were getting hungry and there were no pull-outs in sight… When we finally found a spot that could work, it was pitch black. Parking a 30 feet long trailer in complete darkness is not a fun game… not after a long week, with short nights and a bunch of hungry kids on the back seat… The giddy atmosphere quickly turned sour as JF was trying to park and I was trying to light the way with a stupid cell phone flashlight… I never know how to give him direction when it is as bright as day, so in the dark? Forget it. We had a nasty exchange and finally parked the trailer. Once inside, I opened the fridge to start dinner and a chickpea salad bowl fell on the ground and the content started rolling EVERYWHERE. I lost it (you have to know that every time I open either the fridge or any cupboard something falls off. Every. Freaking. Time.). I had a good cry on my bed over our lost evening (yes, it was the first day of my period too…). And I realized something pretty important: as a child, when my parents fought, I never knew what was going on. I was left with harsh words, slamming doors and a knot in my stomach. I know they did not feel like I should be part of it even more by explaining to me more that what I witnessed, but my imagination led me to places that were probably much worse.

This is why I told the girls I wanted to explain something to them. I told them about the big week we had and the dinner that we didn’t have and the stress of backing a trailer in a dark alley. And we talked about stress and yelling and love. And they totally got it and I could see how they relaxed after that. And I totally did too.

It is utopic to think we will never argue in front of them anymore. But it is realistic to think that we will deal with these situations by not over-dramatizing and explaining them simply what happened. And then, we played cards all together a little too late... and they slept their way into the Valley of the Gods and up the Moki Dugway switchbacks until we reached beautiful Muley Point where we had lunch.

We then found a great (and free!) campsite (with picnic table, an amazing view, a fire pit and toilets!). We had a wonderful evening, roasting potatoes and cinnamon and raisins filled apples over the fire, celebrating our blissful and joyful life!

:: Muley Point Overlook ::
:: Muley Point Overlook ::
:: Amazing cryptobiotic soil crust on Road Canyon hiking trail. Cryptobiotic organisms allow the sand to stick together for plants to grow by retaining water and preventing erosion. This is why the Utah desert is very different from the Sahara, for instance. It can take up to 200 years for cryptobiotic soil to look like this, so you want to be very careful not to step on it. ::
:: The best campsite ever at Goosenecks State Park, with Muley Point just above the girls in the background ::
 :: Engraving in sandstone pieces at Goosenecks State Park ::

:: Roasting potatoes and apples, alone in the middle of the desert. A perfect evening. ::
:: Can you see the stars? This was shot in complete darkness, but the moon was so big and bright that it looked like day (exposure of 15 s, the exposure I usually use to shoot stars)! ::
:: A car drove by at Goosenecks State Park ::
:: Another moonlit night shot at Goosenecks State Park ::
:: Goosenecks State Park ::
And a little video of our last couple of weeks!


Melina said...

so beautiful. SO BEAUTIFUL!!!

joanna said...

arguing happens, it's about what happens next! that is the important thing!
et ne jamais sous estimer le pouvoir d'une femme qui a FAIM et d'une femme qui est en SPM... c est un cocktail explosif.
ca m'a pris ben du tps à catcher, ms qd j'ai faim, faut que je mange là là sinon y va se passer qqch de regrettable. mon chum lui peut patienter longtps, moi pas. alors qd je vois que j'ai faim, je m'arrange pr manger qqch, n'importe quoi ms qqch. et depuis que je fais ca, moins de chicanes :O)
de toute facon y a personne de parfait, tu es déjà pas mal parfaite à bcp d'égards alors, let go my friend !

gros becs!

Carla said...

Wow, Catherine. How amazing! What an amazing country, eh! I've never seen anything like that.
Best Wishes from Carla in NZ

csil said...

wahou, c'est impressionnant ces paysages gigantesques !!

L'équipe J'OSE la vie ! said...

Merci de partager votre quotidien et des images de ces fabuleux endroits sur cette planète!

Quand on vit ensemble, on apprend la vie... ensemble! Merci pour ce partage.