Ok, so I didn’t finish my tale immediately. Hopefully I can remember everything I wanted to say.
We ended up working everything out the night it rained in our tent. We wiped up the floor as best we could, flipped over our air mattresses and found out the sleeping bags weren’t as wet as we feared. So thankfully, we didn’t have to sleep in our car or on wet mattresses!
I wanted to write a little more about the family we met at had our campsite. There were two families—Amy, Alyssa’s friend with special needs, with her parents and Amy’s sister and her husband with four little boys. I mostly wanted to write about the boys—they were SO CUTE! They were ten, then seven or eight, five, and about two. The five-year old was named Kyle and was absolutely adorable. Mommy and I went for a walk with a couple of the little ones and their mom and Kyle just talked and talked and talked. He was hilarious! He started out by saying “We have sooo much food! It’s kinda yike heaven! ‘Cause in heaven, there will be as much food as you can eat. And if you DO eat it all, God will just say “DON’T PANIC!” (And he held his hands out in front of him). He then told me about a dog who ate all the food in heaven… and then he “esploded and he was all ovah heaven!” I took a ton of pictures because they were just so cute! Here are a few.
Anyway… they left on Thursday and we had to find our own amusement after that. It wasn’t too hard, actually, because Thursday afternoon Alyssa had a phone call from Social Security. Why the government insists on talking to her when she has no idea what they’re talking about, I have no idea. When they called, we put the phone on loudspeaker so we could hear. The conversation went something like this.
S.S.: Hello Alyssa, I’m just going to ask you a few questions about your case, going all the way back to June of last year? Do you think you can remember that far? [The answer… no way! But that doesn’t stop them].
S.S.: Ok. Can you tell me your birthdate?
Alyssa: Alyssa Barden.
S.S.: No, I need to know your birthdate.
Alyssa: Alyssa Barden [obviously she thought they wanted her name].
S.S.: Do you know when you were born?
Mom [whispering]: Tell them your birthday.
Alyssa: July 5th.
S.S.: Do you know what year?
S.S.: No, what year were you born?
Alyssa: August 24th
S.S.: I thought you said your birthday was July 5th.
So… you can kind of see how THAT conversation went. It was interesting.
Anyway, we ended up spending most of the afternoon in town (where we had cell phone coverage) talking to Social Security, getting groceries and checking email outside a Laundromat with free wireless.
On Friday we finally got around to hiking and exploring the park! Mommy and Matthew went on a nine-mile hike while I sat at camp and read about the Modern Middle East. When they got back, they were completely worn out. I made lunch and we tried to stay cool in the hot, hot sun by sitting in the shade and reading a book called Under the Overpass (which I highly recommend, by the way).
When it finally cooled off a little, we went to find another place to hike. We had to drive, so we piled in the car and headed off. We stopped at a trail to ‘Delicate Arch.’ (The picture at the beginning of the last post). Matthew and I hiked a mile and a half up pretty steep terrain to see the beautiful arch. At one point walking down, I thought, “I’d better be careful. It would be awful to sprain or break something and have to hobble all the way down.” Well, I did fine both up and down the mountain. However, about 20 yards from our car, Matthew yelled “look at that!” I turned around to look and twisted my ankle. At least I didn’t have to walk down a mountain with it hurting! It wasn’t too bad, so I forgot I had hurt it when I jumped into bed that night and landed on it!
Yesterday (Saturday), we mostly sat around camp again and relaxed, which was so nice! In the late afternoon, we walked down a trail to Broken Arch. It was a little over a mile, but it was mostly flat, which was great for my twisted ankle and Alyssa and Tiffany’s small energy reserves. We enjoyed the walk and Alyssa was so proud that she “climbed a mountain!” After awhile, though, it started to get dark and we weren’t quite finished. Alyssa and I were going pretty slow and Mommy started to worry that we wouldn’t make it back before dark. She and Tiffany headed off at a much faster pace to get the car and a flashlight, just in case we didn’t make it off the trail before dark. Alyssa was tired and went quite a bit slower than Matthew and I, so I had her put her hand on my shoulder to help her keep up. That turned out to be not such a great idea—she fell into me and I twisted my ankle again! So we hobbled to the main road and then sent Matthew to bring back Mommy and the car.
Last night we went to a show they had at the amphitheatre, but we got rained out and headed back to our tent. This morning (Sunday) we decided to head out… close to a week in the heat and sand, without showers was a little tiring. We packed up and got to Cedar City, Utah around 5:00pm. We found a nice hotel (that takes dogs!) and I have enjoyed having a shower, internet and a bed! Tomorrow (Monday) we head a little farther south and west to Ivins, Utah, where we will rent a house for a week and I will hopefully finish studying for my last two tests!