Getting Back to Nature Part II

I’ve been MIA lately due to my glorious cough-’til-you-puke condition and finally broke down and went to the doc. Sure enough, I have bronchitis and he sent me home with some wonnnnnderful drugs that make the kids sleep through the night. Or rather, make me sleep through the night. Same result in the end. :-)

But onto Getting Back to Nature

Following my little episode of Parents Gone Wild, Jamie and I scaled up the crimson cliffs that cowered over our grotto and passed out on a slab of sandstone. This was one of my favorite moments on our trip: lazing around together, snuggling and intertwined, just listening to silence.

We watched the colors of the sky shift, like pigment seeping into paper. Blackish blue to midnight blue to dark blue to ebony. We talked of all things meaningful and spiritual. The setting was almost womblike in its reverence as we watched constellations and satellites magically appear.

We then went back to the tent where I puked. Over and over again.

Fortunately, I spared the innards of our habitation and left my mark just outside the door. It was a cacophony of hacking and convulsions. Between each of them, Jamie complained: “You get sick on every trip.”

Cough. Bleh.
“Costa Rica.”
Cough. Bleh.
Cough. Bleh.
Cough cough. Bleh.
“Our cruise.”
Bleh bleh bleh.

He really could have worked on his timing. You know, for sympathy points.

Fortunately our trip was so much more than just my violent coughing bouts. We also spent many hours slithering through Devil’s Kitchen’s countless labyrinths, hanging out in Moab for an antique car show and indulging ourselves on our final night at a gorgeous adventure lodge with a private patio that backed out to the Colorado River.

One of my favorite stops after backpacking in Canyonlands is at the Needles Outpost. This little general store has some eccentric wares, along with hilarious grey-haired proprietors who have lived at this veritable hippie mecca for ages. It’s the kind of place I would not be one bit surprised if they grew certain contraband plants out back nor if they smoked them a minimum of well, daily.

My latest experience did not disappoint. As I was paying, the woman looked down at my flip flops.

“I looooove those!” she exclaimed.

“Oh, thanks. They’re actually Crocs.”

“Reallllllly. I so hate their other shoes. They’re sooooo ugly. But those are coooooool.”

“I agree. These are really comfortable, too.”

She gazed at me in awe, zipped around the counter, bent down to analyze them and reverently queried, “Can I touch them?”

The mere scent alone would have warded most people off. But this gal looked like she hadn’t showered in a month so I brazenly said, “Sure!” and proudly displayed my repugnant feet. She ooed and awed over my footwear.

I almost asked if she wanted my autograph but stopped myself. Just in case she would have actually taken me up on it….


A closing thought for all those tree huggers out there: Nothing says “Getting Back to Nature” like this lovely eyesore. I’m glad they included the arrow. Just in case you somehow missed it, of course.

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