Monday, September 27, 2010

Eva has pretty long legs

Devin flew down a couple of weeks ago to backpack with me and my little girls. We all went with Gordon and Lily to Turkey Creek hot springs in the Gila Wilderness in southwest New Mexico. Super fun.

I'm hoping Gordon posts a photo of his Gila trout and a video of 9-year-old Lily telling 25-year-old Devin to "step aside!" after he thought for a little too long about the 10-foot cliff jump into the 85-degree, 9-foot pool. And that Devin posts a photo of the tunnel or cliffs or waterfall or windmill or some of the other great scenery we saw. But here's what you get from me:

On the way up, Eva had to hike more than anyone else. Not farther, just for a larger amount of time. She took plenty of breaks, but they were a bit shorter than others'. For instance, we stopped for a while at a nice spot on the river where there were plenty of boulders and enough space between the canyon walls to lounge and play.

After a nice rest and when it was time for us to move on, Eva wanted to watch Gordon fish.

"Sorry Eva, we've got to get going."
"Why, dad? Gordon and Lily aren't going yet."
"Because they have long legs and you have these little short legs. You need a head start."

A couple of hours and about a mile later, Eva and I were plodding along in silence a couple of river bends behind everyone else when she said, "I have pretty long legs, though."
"Compared to what, a two-year-old?"
"Compared to a Daddy Long Leg."

It's true. She does. And Daddy Long Legs have pretty long legs.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Karate Kid-ette

Don't tell Jaden Smith, star of the Karate Kid and Will Smith's son. But Eva really identifies with her.

She kept saying, "She hates it there because she keeps getting beat up" or "They're mean to her." And one of us would say, "That's a boy."

A couple of minutes later, she'd say, "She's a fast runner." And one of us would say, "That's actually a boy."

"I call it a girl because of her hair and her voice."

"So Eva, that's not very modest of that girl to be doing Kung Fu without a shirt on, is it?"
"Well, it's because she's sweaty and hot. That's why she took her shirt off."

I bet she called him a girl 25 times during the movie.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Truchas backpack

I went backpacking (solo) a couple of weeks ago while the little girls were at their grandmas' houses.

I hiked 6 miles the first day, at least 16 miles the second day and 14 miles the third day. Started and ended at Santa Barbara Campground. Made it to the top of North Truchas Peak, one of three 13,000-foot peaks in New Mexico.

I saw a herd of elk, two groups of bighorn sheep, several marmots (aka rock chucks) and a few pikas. I didn't even know the pika lived in New Mexico and it's one of my favorite animals.

I'll stop right there and let you think this was the smoothest, most successful backpacking trip I've ever experienced. Any questions?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

That's my thing

Saturday at our friends' apartment swimming pool:

While Eva hit the restroom, Isobel and I tested the hot tub.
I paused at about knee depth -- "Wow! That's hot." -- and looked over at Isobel. She was already up to her neck.

"Isn't it hot?"
"Not really. This is my thing. When I shower, I turn it on this hot. I like hot water. It's just my thing."

About 5 minutes later, Eva was dipping her toes in the water and Isobel was headed back to the pool. A couple of minutes after that, Eva had eased in up to her shins.

"I have to let the water get warm and then get in a little bit more. This is just how I am. I don't know, it's just how I am. Is this how Isobel is?"
"No. Isobel got right in up to her neck and said, 'This is my thing.' "
"Hmm. That's how she is. But this is how I am."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wait! Those are mine, too.

I've never lost anything before, but this winter I lost a couple of, well, four things.

The night before taking the girls skiing earlier this year, I gathered the gear: Coats, hats, gloves, goggles, snow pants, lunches, snacks, ski passes, poles, boots and ... skis?

My newest pair of skis was in the shop, so I had planned to use my old, durable, kinda beat up skis. But they were nowhere to be found. I hadn't used them for three weeks, because we'd been in Utah and I'd left them home. So I asked Bettie to help me think back. She'd last seen them outside, next to the car after our last trip. I had this image of them in plain sight in the back of a pickup in our driveway. Either way, somebody had stolen them right from my driveway!

I rented skis for a couple of weeks before getting my new skis back from the shop. So I took the new ones up to ski with Isobel again. (Really fun, by the way, and both of them are getting pretty good and, most important, having fun at it.) At the end of the day, we returned their gear to the rental shop, made it through the usual end-0f-day meltdown(s), battled our way to the car, slid down some scary roads and got home safely. We brought in our wet stuff to dry and relaxed for the night.

The next morning, we got in the car to go to church and -- "Where are my skis? I didn't bring them in last night, did I?"

No, I didn't. My $1100 setup was still where I'd left it: Leaning up against a ski rack outside the rental shop with a WWE lunch box and some crappy ski poles hanging from the tips. My excuse: After renting for two weeks, I wasn't used to carrying skis back to the car. Add that to the madness of getting two cold, tired girls ready to go and stressing about driving down a steep, windy road in a blizzard and, it wasn't so hard to believe ... right?

I called the resort. They checked the lost and found: No skis had been turned in the day before.

So, and don't tell anyone, I skipped the first half of church to drive back up to the ski resort in a still-worse blizzard to make sure they weren't still where I'd left them: Leaning outside with some crappy ski poles hanging from the tips.

I felt empty from my chest to my toes all the way up there. My backup skis have already been stolen. And now I've left my good skis, you know, outside with a WWE lunch box hanging from their tips. Got to think about it for an

When I finally made it up there -- after spending an extra 25 minutes watching 14 cars give up on the road and turn around, only to slip into a snowbank, get pushed out and finally slide their way back to Santa Fe -- I looked at the rack outside the rental shop: No WWE lunch box, and no skis like mine. They'd already told me they weren't in the lost and found, but I had to double-check. I knocked on the door, went in, and said, "I left some Dynafit Manaslu skis leaning up ... with a WWE lunch box hanging from the tips yesterday. ... and there they are." He checked and verified that they had been turned in the day before. And then I said, "Wait! Those are mine, too."

Apparently, the guy who stole my old skis out of my driveway had skied on them at Ski Santa Fe and left them there! (Because there is no way I left TWO pairs of skis at the same ski resort within a month. And definitely no way I could have left that first pair when I didn't have the I-guess-I-got-used-to-renting excuse. And certainly no way I wouldn't have noticed they were even gone for three solid weeks.)

So now me and my four skis are happily reunited. And all I lost were the crappy ski poles. Probably the same serial thief that took my skis.