Tahoe Dad: Purple glue in Yosemite
My friend and I have been planning a trip to Yosemite to do some rock climbing. When our schedules started to line up with the California Public School spring break, we decided to go ahead and bring the families, four adults and four kids. Why not?
Well, for lots of reasons.
First, there’s the ability to just simply sleep in a vehicle or in the dirt with minimal foresight. Bringing children along changes that calculation exponentially.
Second, there’s all of the stuff that is required for any extended trips with children: sleeping stuff, reading stuff, toy stuff, clothing stuff and basically 10 times more general stuff than would otherwise be required.
Third, there’s the kid distance and ability factor. Essentially whatever activity you were planning on doing, reduce it by tenfold.
Fourth, there’s the money thing.
So despite knowing full well what we were getting ourselves into, we decided to embark as a gaggle of eight, instead of a covert pair. We’d be in Yosemite for enough days to rotate the kid-watch and still be able to climb.
On the first day in the park we had a pleasant visit and rock scramble at Bridal Veil Falls and were hiking back down the path toward our vehicles. Michael and our friends’ two boys were laughing and chasing each other up and down the small boulders that lined the path.
Wanting to keep up with the older boys, Jane also ran ahead and was doing quite well scaling rocks and having a good time, until she tripped. She skidded to a stop scraping her knee and arrested her fall with her chin against a rock. The resulting Italy shaped split was deep and more than just a little gruesome.
Wifey rushed in and swooped Jane up. “Do you see this? It’s bad,” she said while taking some napkins from her pocket and applying pressure to the wound.
Once Jane had been transferred to me I answered with perhaps too much nonchalance, “Oh that’s OK, scars are cool.”
“It’s her face,” Wifey implored.
“Well not technically. It’s actually under her chin.”
“Really?” Wifey shook her head.
We decided after some additional debate on the merits of scars and whether gender has anything to do with their social acceptance, to clean it, bandage it and give it a couple hours.
After a romp in El Cap meadow with Hula Hoops and ukulele and a lunch at Curry Village, we peeled off the Band-Aid to have another look.
“Yeah that probably could use more than a Band-Aid,” our friend commented after inspecting Jane’s chin.
“All right, you guys go on that hike to Vernal Falls and I’ll take Jane to the medical clinic at Yosemite Village.”
Later that night at dinner, we went around the table and asked the kids what their favorite part of the day was. Our friends’ children commented on the scenery and all the cool sights. Michael agreed saying that he liked “seeing the waterfalls going down fast.”
When it was Jane’s turn to say what she liked the most about her day in Yosemite, she didn’t choose the bouldering around, the hikes to the waterfalls, or even the candy, which is usually her choice. She said, “I liked when the doctor tickled my chin and put the purple glue on me.”
As I sit in our little rented cabin in Groveland typing this column, I try to quiet my nerves over the big climb planned for tomorrow. Jane’s attitude and bravery are instructive. I too want to plunge into my aspirations for our climb with a similar zeal, although I’ll be a little more thoughtful about where I place my feet.
M.C. Behm’s columns appear every other Saturday in the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is a full-time resident of South Lake Tahoe and author of the forthcoming novel “The Elixir of Yosemite.” To learn more or respond to columns visit http://www.mcbehm.com or email email@example.com.
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