my loves- daddy daughterThis was WAY harder than I thought it would be. We loaded up the car and I drove Brandon and Anna to the Kaibab Trailhead. They will hike from here on the North Rim, to the Bright Angel Trailhead on the South Rim. You can run it in a day. You can comfortably hike it in 2-3 days. They are taking 4 days so they can make camp and do nearby day hikes in each place. They will see waterfalls, cliff dwellings and so much more. I watched them walk off into the wilderness and clutched my heart. I balled like a baby as I drove away. I’m so excited for them, and so bummed for me.

I’m staying over at an Indian hotel/gift shop/gas station/art gallery/restaurant/post office. I’m all alone in a strange place with hardly any cell service and intermittent wifi. It’s waaaaaaay outside my comfort zone. This is the definition of bravery, right? Pushing through your fear and doing it anyway. Shout out to Angela at AAA in Birmingham, for being a friendly, back home voice from a lonely, nervous traveler.

Brandon’s advice: “If you talk to people, wear your sunglasses. You wear your feelings on your face. Everyone will know you are scared and you’ll be a target.”  Thanks. Now I feel like a lame undercover cop walking around in my sunglasses and ball cap everywhere I go. Don’t worry, I’m trying to smile and act super tough. No one will see through THAT disguise.

I’m going to repack and organize the car, catch up on some reading and writing, drive over to the South Rim and check out all the tourist attractions, and patiently wait for my babies to come out of the canyon alive and well. I can do this, right?

Day 7

cameron azOne whole week, gone from home. Two more days before I see B & A. I’m getting frustrated without internet. It’s hard to believe how reliant we are on technology. I use my apps to find cheap gas, food, places of interest around me. Right now, this arid climate is causing havoc on my sinuses and I would use my apps to find a doctor, a drug store, or some kind of relief. I’m at a crossroads on the Navajo Nation reservation, and there doesn’t seem to be anything around me. I’m having a hard time even making a phone call without it dropping. I’ve got two days before I pick up the fam. I could drive to a major city, but that’s using a lot of gas to get there and back that we didn’t budget for. Not to mention that everything is closed on the holiday and tomorrow starts a weekend. I’d hate to make the drive only to find everything closed and the gas wasted.

I had planned to drive over to the South Rim, but I’m not feeling well, and at least here I’ve got a comfy bed and a bathroom close by. I hate to spend the 4th alone and in my hotel room, but I am getting some much needed rest.  This is what adventure is all about. The good and the bad.

cameron sunsetI’m hoping that Brandon and Anna are having the adventure of a lifetime. Unplugged and together, hiking and camping, exploring, meeting physical challenges and laughing a lot. I’m on my own great adventure. Learning to be self reliant and face my own challenges. I’m resting my hope and faith in a big God. His eye is on the sparrow, so I know he watches me.

Although I’m learning to be unplugged myself, I’ll be really glad to connect again, not just with technology, but with the two people that I love the most in the whole world.

Praying for a wonderful day for all my friends and family, and saluting all U.S. veterans and military. Freedom is not free. God bless America.