Friday, January 18, 2008

Oh, did I say SUNDAY?

Ummmm, yeah. So I missed the mark by a week. Or two. We'll just say that I was having some bad days and leave it at that, shall we? I've had 3 WHOLE day without tears, though, so that's some good news!

The 100th post winner ~ Sherrie! If you want to see some really amazing photos of Alaska, check out her blog. She's a total bad-ass, is one of the sweetest girls I know, and I think I can safely say she was one of Adam's favorite people to work with on the glacier. Thanks for your encouraging comments, Sherrie ~ I hope you like your notebook!

Honey & I have had an adventure of our own, although nothing like climbing ice falls. This past weekend, we went on an annual camping trip to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our dear friend Bill's death. Through Billy, we have made some equally amazing friends; people who accepted us into their group for no other reason than because we were okay in the eyes of Bill. And if there was anything I could say about Bill, it's that if Bill said it was a good idea, you believed it was a good idea, too. That was just Bill's way. To be in Bill's world was something incredibly special, and those who knew him know exactly what I mean. I could say I felt slighted that I knew him for such a short time, but I don't think Bill would approve of that sort of thinking. Instead, I will be grateful for the months that I did have him in my life.

The camping trip was at Cowee Meadows, a 2.1 mile hike from the road. Adam & I have done this hike several times, but never in these conditions. And FYI, hiking in thigh-high snow while 6 months pregnant: NOT EASY. Ordinarily I would rather shoot myself in the foot than say anything negative about Dooce, but I'm sorry; her snow is nothing compared to this.

Honey went first to pave the way for me & Doodles, not that it didn't still suck. This is where we made the foolish, foolish mistake of cutting out into the meadows rather than stick to the trail in the woods, which under normal circumstances would make the hike considerably shorter. Not the case when there's 2 feet of fresh snow on the ground. We cut back into the woods as soon as we could, but by that point, I was already so sore I could hardly lift my legs. I was not anticipating the strain it would put on my hips and on my body in general. And when one falls, which I did about a dozen times, it's really, REALLY hard to get back up when you're in that much snow, and totally off balance with a backpack & a big belly. I am not ashamed to say I used Doodles as a brace to get myself back up on more than one occasion. He just looked at me like ~ Excuse me? What is this we're doing??

And this would be me, wearing Honey's outdoor gear because none of mine fits anymore, and obviously early enough in the hike that I'm still smiling. Trust me when I say that I would only make this trek in this condition for Billy K.


This is what relief looked like to me on that day: seeing the cabin after 2 VERY long hours of hiking. Cowee Meadows is one of my most favorite places to be, although we only camp here once a year. We used to come out with 2 other couples on another annual trip, but they've since moved away.

This trip, there were 3 other couples, 3 dogs, and one toddler named Meadow ~ named for these meadows. Six of us slept upstairs in the loft while the couple with the toddler slept downstairs. Between the crinkling of sleeping bags, pacing dogs, the fear of a mouse coming into my sleeping
bag, multiple snorers, and Meadow, who woke up screaming in the middle of the night, I got very little sleep. Oh, and because I didn't have the strengh to move my legs, to roll over I had to either manually lift my legs or use the slope of the cabin's roof for momentum. And worrying about a mouse coming to visit? Not for not. I woke up to the light of a headlamp because a mouse was on Bret's face. ON. BRET'S. FACE. He handled it much, much better than I would have.

The drive home was no piece of cake, either. Not for Porter, of course, who slept the whole way. There was about a foot of snow on the road, and there is no road mainenance that far "out the road". There were times that the car got a little squirrely, heading dangerously close the edge (the edge being a cliff that dropped off to the ocean). I'd put my hand firmly on Honey's leg, as if me, not his seatbelt, was going to keep him from being tossed through the windshield. It somehow makes me feel better, though.

My poor body has since recovered, and even though I am so glad we made the trip, I don't think we'll make it next year with an 8-month old baby in tow. I may have been a trooper this year, but I have my limits!

Me at 24 weeks. I'm not thrilled with my face getting fatter & fatter, but I rather like my belly. Sometimes I still can't believe this is my body, that I've got a real little person growing inside me. Until she starts kicking & punching. I think I will miss that feeling. I know I will. She's kicking hard enough for Honey to feel, which I'm sure makes this more real to him, too. Sometimes we sit with our hands on my belly going ~ Felt that! Felt that! Even though my pregnancy hasn't been easy for me, I am still amazed every day that there's a baby in there.


Jerusalem said...

Wow! You are so much committed than I am. There is no way I would have ventured out to hike in that snow. I won't even hike when the weather is nice. I hate to hike. Wonder why I left AK? Lol. Your belly is tooooo cute! I love it! Can't wait to feel her kicks in person!

Nancy said...

Bill was truly a blessed man to have so many people care about him. Your description of the type of person he was and how you felt, brought tears to my eyes. And I'm right up there with Jerusalem! You're much stronger, braver, gutsy, than me! I would have given up and gone back home! I used to worry about mice at Uncle Stans, but the couple times I went up to your dad's cabin, I'd sleep with my glasses on and half dressed because I was afraid a bear would come through the window and I wanted to be prepared to run!

jeanetta said...

o man it makes me hurt to look at your belly. i just think of the stretching and pushing and how my stomach would morph into all these different shapes. but yes it does look super cute. and yeah i would have been back in that cabin holding down the fort so to speak under those conditions. unlike jeru i do like to hike but only under certain circumstances. well you know how i feel when i am pg and you know how i feel about the cold so that pretty much rules out your whole experience for me. lol. glad youare doing better and wish i was getting to come for the trip.

Sherrie Soltis said...

I can't believe that you hiked through two feet of snow to camp....even I'm not that crazy!! I actually hate winter camping...weren't you cold? I think the only way i would have done it is if I was pulled in a sled by Ryan and if I got to hold a whip and beat him with it as he pulled me through the snow. Your brave...and mice in the cabin...EWE!! I hate it when you can feel them running over you...I have had a lot of rodent encounters at night in third world countries and they totally creep me out!
Your belly is getting so BIG!! That's awesome, your little girl is growing fast! Still three months to go! I'm getting excited for you two...WOW! Any thoughts of names yet?
Did I really win the 100th post? I never win anything like that, but I saw the SS and you said she was a climber, so i think its me! So exciting, your so creative, very inspiring!
Good to see new posts, I love checking in on your blog and seeing pictures and hearing stories!
Take Care!

Things That Inspire said...

I found you through the Inspired Room. Beautiful pictures in this post! Congratulations on your pregnancy!