A Little R & R For A Change

14 August 2013 in Memories, Trails/Hiking

We’ve hiked—or ran errands—almost every single day we’ve had off. It’s been go go go here whether we’re working or hiking, camping or cooking. While hiking is probably our favorite thing to do it can take a lot out of you. And while we love our job it can been stressful and hectic as well. So today we decided to kick back and relax.

We started the day off right by sleeping in which by our new definition is anytime after seven. Then Lindsay whipped up some delicious, homemade biscuits which we filled with fried slices of our seitan and slabs of melty pepper jack cheese. We delicately consumed these with tiny bites—as is our tradition—to make the amazing flavor last as long as possible.

20130605-DSC_2045_low-resHaving settled on taking it easy and with the forecast promising high temperatures with lots of sunshine we decided to check out one of the local swimming holes – Rainbow Pools. It’s less than ten miles down the road from us and our fellow rangers had just been raving about it. So we loaded up a few beverages and some snacks along with our towels and sunscreen and headed out.

When we pulled in there were a few fisherman milling about their trucks with poles and tackle and a small family with the same idea as us. From the parking lot we made our way down to the main pool. Roughly twenty-five feet in diameter it’s small, but gorgeous. A twelve foot water fall fills it from above and branching out from the top of the waterfall are ascending walls. The pool is very deep in the middle, but has a shelf lining the edge that’s about four to five feet deep. We chose a spot directly across from the waterfall along a bank of boulders and next to the small stream that served as an outlet for the pool.

We were the only folks down there besides the family and it was quite relaxing. The water was cold, but refreshing in short stints and as the sun rose higher we found ourselves wading in and out more often. The family there with us appeared to be a mother and father, with an older and younger son—the older of which seemed substantially so. He was jumping from a ledge of rock next to the falls and about twenty-five feet above the surface of the pool. The younger son wanted to, but spent a good long while thinking about it. He’d tip toe over and then back off, sit at the edge and then climb back down. I knew the more he thought about it the less likely it was that’d he’d jump, but I also knew if he did they’d have trouble trying to get him to stop.

Jumping into Rainbow PoolsEventually, after at least a half an hour of waffling he jumped. And then jumped again. And then jumped again. I was eager to try it myself, but I didn’t want to invade their space. After an hour or so they left and I didn’t waste much time climbing up there. From below it seemed doable—I have jumped from a similar height in Mexico, from a cliff into a cenote or underground pool. But once I was up there and on the edge my brain quickly went to work trying to pull me back to lower ground. I hesitated for a second, but knew if I didn’t jump soon I never would. And off I went! Like in Mexico I noticed a strange sensation – you go to hold your breath, expecting to hit the water much sooner than you actually do and the fall itself almost feels like slow motion. For that second of free fall everything slows down and it seems like connecting with the water takes forever.

I surfaced invigorated, my heart pounding with a life affirming combination of fear and exhilaration. Swimming over to Lindsay I was all smiles and reliving the minute long ordeal aloud like it was an epic voyage. I wanted to jump again, but needed to sit for a moment and settle down a little. Unfortunately my break would prove too long for down the hill came another small family, this time with young kids. I didn’t want to be a bad example and so I held off on my second plunge. Then before I knew it a mob of what appeared to be high school seniors came traipsing down the hill. They spread out and took over the entire pool in minutes. Crowds were jumping from the rock, practically on top of each other, footballs were being thrown, everyone was yelling and being loud and obnoxious. Our pristine little day in the sun was soon destroyed.

I now understand how annoying I must have been as a teen. I too took over places with hoards of friends, ignorant to how selfish and irritating we must have been. But it’s a public place and is there for everyone to share. Lindsay and I just chose to relocate. Packing up our things we dropped off many of them at the truck and hiked a short distance up stream, above the waterfall. Here we discovered the previous family had not left, but had relocated as well. We also found a couple of quieter and smaller pools to swim in.

We spent most of the day in the sun – just ask our burnt bodies. And by the time we rolled back into our camp we were thoroughly drained. It’s amazing how much a leisurely day in the sun can take out of you. We had hardly done anything, but we were both on the verge of a nap by late afternoon. I’ll let you guess who took one!

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14 August 2013 Memories, Trails/Hiking

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