-april 19-

After I hit publish on that last post, I realized…. those weren’t very flattering pictures of Roger. Here’s a better one. (Photo credit goes to Avery.)

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When we start making anniversary plans each year, we tend to think of it as a celebration of the day we started our family. We don’t really need a reason to add extra romance to our lives, but we usually jump at any opportunity to have some memorable family time. Shortly before our anniversary a friend gave us a gift and told us to use it for a family outing.

Not a problem. That’s one of our favorite ways to spend money.

And to make it even better… our anniversary was on a Saturday, the weather was supposed to be beautiful, and there were no work groups at camp. (Actually there was no one at camp at all – everyone else went home for Easter. So we were completely on our own.)

And so we bought shrimp…

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…glass-bottled drinks and other things that make for an out-of-the-ordinary picnic for our family and drove out to Natural Bridge for the day.

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Those are shrimp and veggie kabobs on the other side of the chicken. (Or in Wesley’s case: shrimp and bacon kabobs.) So. Good.

It amuses me to see Judah carrying this book around – it looks just like our dictionary. But I think Brandon Sanderson is a little more absorbing than old Webster.

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Out of all the times our family has been to Natural Bridge, no one but Roger has ever ridden the chair lift. (This is my fault. I have a deep fear of taking infants and toddlers on chair lifts. Have you ever looked down and seen the water bottles and flip-flops that people drop off of those things? I have an overactive imagination when it comes to my babies and potentially dangerous situations. So…. I always took the hike up with them instead.) This seemed like the perfect day to try something new – especially since we weren’t planning to do our “real” hiking there at Natural Bridge. It seemed perfect. Ride the chair lift up to the bridge, walk across it, ride back down and then go find our hiking trail.

Ruthie making judah smile for the camera

When we parked our van, I pulled $40 out of my wallet, locked the rest of my cash in the van and jokingly said, “You think this will be enough?” I knew there was a fee for riding the chair lift, but I figured it would be $2-3 a person.

Wrong. After we walked to the ticket window we found out it was going to cost $50-60 for our family to ride both ways. Wow. I decided I would rather hike back down the mountain than walk back across the parking lot to get more money, so we spent $42 on a one way trip. I realized halfway up the mountain this was a better plan anyway. Going up a chair lift is one thing. Coming back down is a whole different challenge to a fear of heights.

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chair-lift selfie

IMG_1640 IMG_1674Some dummy (me) didn’t notice that the date was being impaled on every one of these photos – and is too lazy to crop it out of all of them.

We walked across the bridge…

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…posed for a few photos…IMG_1689

…and started the hike back down, which provided many photo opportunities. (These kids love to crawl into crevices, caves, nooks and crannies and smile for the camera. )IMG_1703

(Selfie, anyone?)IMG_1714

 

This child cracks me up. Look at that ramrod posture and that serious expression. Like she’s posing for a Victorian-era photo.IMG_1708

Eventually we talked her into giving us a quirky smile:IMG_1710

 

Notice Judah’s bare feet. That’s his thing. He doesn’t wear shoes when we hike. Makes him more awesome.IMG_1741

 

This picture. These two.IMG_1718

 

Here we are (outside the photo) at the bottom of the trail on the way to Cloud-Splitter Peak, which you can see off in the distance.IMG_1752

 

Some of us can hike for hours with effortless grace and ease.IMG_1768

 

Others of us reach a point where we say, “Forget this. You go ahead and climb that rope up that bare rock face. I don’t care about seeing a cave anyway.”IMG_1770

 

Sitting on the top of Cloud-Splitter Peak. The people who brave the rope climb are rewarded with the best view. Supposedly.
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Isn’t there one of these guys in every crowd?IMG_1779

 

(Disclaimer: The previous photo was completely staged. No child was harmed or in danger of actual falling. Or so they say. I wasn’t actually there.)

Proof that I’m not a complete loser. They found me an alternate route to the cave entrance. It still felt like a scene from the Hunger Games, but there were tree roots to hold onto instead of bare rock.IMG_1783

Once again, those who persevere… triumph. If you climb up that tree branch that Malin is on in the previous photo, you come to a crevice of a cave that opens out into this:IMG_1784

 

ps – I climbed up the tree branch, took one look into the cave and decided that was enough for me. I know some people feel like they haven’t completed a trail unless they’ve followed it all the way to its bitter end. But those people are not me.

Random strong man randomly commanding a cute little girl to let herself be picked up for absolutely no reason.

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After I took a couple pictures, she told him to set her back down. I said, “Avery, your strong brother offered you a free ride. And you turned that down?!”

“I have my reasons,” she said.

Funny kids.

Random beach-y moment. (And most likely the only one I’ll get this year.) IMG_1797

 

Best day ever.
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About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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3 Responses to -april 19-

  1. Marcus says:

    The no shoes while hiking thing I get, but what I’m confused about is why Judah had to put socks on for the chairlift. Cold feet from the altitude increase? 🙂

    Like

  2. DeAnn Miller says:

    Love it! Can’t believe we haven’t been there yet as a fam since moving to KY. And btw, soon after you posted about your son being taller than you…i also accidentally realized one of mine is too!

    Like

  3. J. Roy Hunsberger says:

    @font-face{font-family:Calibri;panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;}I enjoyed this outing with you from my easy chair (: Glad you could go off for a family fun day. Judah is amazing to hike barefoot!! And I bet Avery had good reasons for not letting her brother carry her too.

    Like

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