The kids really enjoyed Arches. Hannah said that they’re “climbers” now and would like to climb everything. They certainly were doing their share of climbing! Here are some things we’ve seen or noticed so far…
- Foreigners really love our national parks! At Arches, I’d say the ration was maybe 70/30 with 70% being foreigners! It’s a great opportunity to practice my language skills. Last night in the hotel I was walking down the hallway and a little boy walked by and casually said, “Bonjour.” I replied, “Bonjour.” Then his whole family smiled and said hello. On the trail yesterday, I was able to use a little German and Spanish. We also spoke with families from Austria, Netherlands, France, and Japan. The parks are their own little melting pot.
- We saw a man at Mesa Verde who was biking to a bunch of the parks we’re visiting. If I remember correctly, he was from Virginia, but when I say “biking,” I don’t mean motorcycle. He was literally on a bicycle! He had four packs on the back of his bike and we saw him everywhere. He biked up the huge hills at Mesa Verde. He has biked all across the west. And then someone else yesterday said they saw him biking toward this direction. Daniel said he must have thighs of titanium.
- The park rangers were talking about how many people go out on the trails in Arches without enough (or any!) water so when Daniel and Hannah and I hiked to Delicate Arch, we took plenty of water for ourselves (with extra for me) and then we took one of our gallon jugs of purified drinking water to share with others. As we came upon people who looked like they were struggling, we would give them a refill (because it was obvious who had run out a long time before). These people were incredibly grateful for more water. It makes you think of a lot of things. I’m glad we planned ahead and I’m glad we were able to bless some others. Hannah said she expected me to start giving out prayer pamphlets. “Here’s your water; now here’s your pamphlet. Let me pray with you.” I didn’t do that, but I was very nice and tried to let people know we cared about them. One guy at the top said he thought it was awesome that we were giving out water when it was such a commodity there. 🙂
- Speaking of water, we’ve become water addicts. We’re drinking about 4-5 gallons per day EACH. I’m sure I’m drinking even more than that because I’m paranoid about getting a blood clot and my leg is still swollen from our trek into the Great Sand Dunes. But anyway, we love water now. It’s precious. And delicious. And necessary!
Well, I’m out of time again. We’re having a great time. Honestly I’ve been doing pretty well other than my leg and also I seem to be incredibly allergic to something here. I think it’s the Juniper Pines. My throat feels like I have two small golf balls in my old tonsil holes! It’s frustrating because I can’t breathe well and it hurts. We’ll be in this area for a few more days and then hopefully it will subside when we head north.