Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mohave Memories

On Saturday I was driving through Laguna Beach with by SisNBff. We were talking about how our lives together will be changing… not for the worse… just a change. We are a family that is big on making memories. They are things that we will always carry with us no matter where we live, where we go. Coli was saying how we should really concentrate on making tons of memories before life changes in Texas and how every moment should be made special. Hence, the next thought from my head was…

Give us a moment, we’ll make a memory.

My thought was based strictly on what we were talking about regarding our family time, yet we both realized how great a tag line this would be for the photography business. Stranger things have happened.

These past few days have been filled with memory-making moments… from a wedding in Newport Beach where I know I had more fun than the bride, to the Laguna Beach portrait shoot where the waves decided that they were going to have fun and wreak havoc on the bridal party, to our drive home with Lauren where the evening was filled with silly conversations about bean barritas and Out and In burgers, to an awesome Sunday message spoken by the pastor but inspired by God, to a Sunday afternoon filled with moments captured on film, to our yesterday on Lake Mohave filled with sun, spills and belly flops.

I have so much I want to write about, but I just don’t have the time today. So, I will prioritize and capture those special moments of yesterday.

5:30am… Early rising, out the door, pause for a twilight photo opportunity, and pile in the truck for a 3 ½ hour ride to the river, which turned into a 6 hour cruise from our stops to eat, gas, potty and eat again.

11:30am… We made it – Lake Mohave! Time to drop the boat and drench our bodies in SPF. J’s back from parking the truck, the boat’s engine is revved up, the wind is blowing through hair, and we’ve now officially started our Funday!

11:45am… Our first chance to get wet while Jason is inflating Big Mable (ooops, I mean the Big Maple Bar – thanks, Coli!). We’ve only been on the water for 15 minutes but we’re all already overheating cuz it’s sooooo hot outside… 116 Dees-Grees! I waste no time, and am first to dive in. What’s surprising is that in this kind of heat the water isn’t as cold as we thought it would be… almost lukewarm… but still reeeefreeesshing!

12:00pm… The tube is ready to go and so are we. Coli and I strap on our life vests and jump onto the Big Maple Bar. New tube… new experiences… new thrills… new spills. Our first few rides are just setting the stage for the fun to come.

12:00-Whenever… We all take turns riding the Big Maple Bar, except for Alec and J. J was the captain of the ship, making sure the boat stayed afloat. Alec… well, he decided to cop out of the tube fun (not sure why) and saved all his energy for belly-flopping. (For a glimpse of these memory-making memories… check out the soon-coming video posting)

2:00pm (or so)… We pull into a cove, let down the anchor, and all dive in for swim time. We’re in a cove surrounded by cliffs, surrounded by beauty. I get this thought… “I wonder if one of these cliffs is accessible for cliff jumping?” You see, the other day I was told that the only way to conquer my fear of heights is to tackle it head on. YOU who gave the advice… you’re the inspiration for this next memory.

I assess the depth of the water, ask for my flip-flops, and head off to my next adventure. There’s no easy way to get up the side of the cliff… I had to pull out my “never before used” rock climbing skills to pull myself up. A bit more dangerous than I was initially expecting… considering the rocks just a mere 4 feet below the water surface waiting for my fall. But, I had already mentally challenged myself and I was not turning back… not yet, anyway. I get up to a place on the cliff where I can kind of walk/crawl along the steep incline. All I can think once I get up there is… “What was I thinking?” I’m up here all alone on the side of a cliff, my $2.50 Target flip-flops are falling apart and leaving my bare feet to endure the rocks that feel like they are heated to 200 Dees-Grees, and I’m in no protective clothing other than my bikini. I look down and all I see is the incline of a slippery-slope, and every new moment that my feet are burning, they are also losing ground on the side of the cliff. I now realize that I have absolutely NO access to the dive point from up here… something I could only realize once I was battled my way up the cliff side. Now I have to find a way back down the cliff and the nerves start to kick in. The remaining 5 minutes (which seemed like an eternity) it took me to get down I seriously prayed out loud begging Jesus to allow me the opportunity to live past this really foolish decision and get me out of this mess. Every step I took truly felt like it was going to be the one where the dirt and rocks gave way underneath my feet and I was going over the side. I felt true fear, something that’s quite unusual for me, for the few minutes it took me to get to a point where I could get myself back in the water. I finally made it, I’m sure only because of the 4 angels Jesus sent to surround me on my way down. By the time I hit the safety of the water again, I had incurred scraped knees and elbows, burned feet and hands, and somehow managed to grab a prickle bush with my bikini top and ended up with a million tiny pin-like prickles consistently poking my body. The leaves of the bush were so imbedded in my top that I had to remove it and borrow another top for the rest of the boating time. Needless to say, I will not be attempting to tackle my fear of heights like again – unless the way to the cliff is clearly carved out and set a glow for me.

3:00pm (or so)… time for capturing some more moments on video. Alec belly-flops and Coli catches an attempt at a group dive, which turns into the funniest moment on our video highlight reel. We then head out for some more tubing fun and it’s time, once again, for Coli and I to board the Big Maple Bar. Here’s my chance for reaching back into history for a moment… history that took place a mere two months ago during our first river trip this summer before Memorial Day weekend. You can read about this adventure in one of my former blogs. Anyway, back then I categorized Alec as our “safety first” guy, Teighlor and Coli as medium tubers, and me as the high tuber… all relating to the speed at which each person was willing to be pulled. This time around I was so proud to promote Coli from the medium to high-medium because of her willingness to ride with me and let whatever happens…. Happen. Because of her “throw caution to the wind” attitude, I had the BEST EVER ride of my life – even beating out those moments where I rode by myself, caught air, and skipped across the lake like a smooth rock. Her screams, her noises, her looks… I laughed so hard while we were tubing that I almost lost all strength to hold on. At times I couldn’t even get enough breath to make a laugh noise… I just had my mouth open waiting for my stomach to catch up to my laughter. Coli, I will never forget those two rides, back and stomach, with you. By far, the best moments EVER!

Teighlor and Lauren then take to the tube and give us awe-inspiring moments of profound tubeness. You girls rocked that tube like no other. You held on in moments where we for sure thought you were going to eat lake water. Teighlor, watching your body flail around like a rag doll at times when you could barely hold on… priceless. And you’ve both proven that you deserve to be promoted to “high-medium”. When you can ride the tube by yourself and still survive bone-crushing falls like me… then, and only then, will you be promoted to HIGH!
5:00pm (or so)… Teighlor and Lauren are partaking in the ride of their lives… and the boat stops. Boat’s broken down… not good. Jason spends the next hour trying to get us going, but it just isn’t happening. He flags down a Good Samaritan family who generously offers us a tow back to the launch site. Well, just like cars, boats break down too. At least we got our day filled with fun before this mishap.

6:30pm… We finally make it to Harrah’s buffet for an hour of stuffing our faces with good food – something we were all looking forward too after expending so many calories on the lake earlier in the day. I wonder who ate the rest of my Boston Baked Beans?????

8:00pm… Food’s consumed, it’s in the process of digesting in our tummies, and it’s time to pile back in the truck and head home. We’re all EXHAUSTED… tons of sun, water, tubing and food will get the best of anyone. We did make it home by 11:45pm… great time considering we were only doing 35mph!!!!! *SMILE*

What an absolutely FABULASH day it was…

Oh, almost forgot two special memories of the day…

“Oh, that’s what it’s called. A crop.”

“We’re 2/3 of the way there.”… “So we only have 2/3 left to go???”…. “Oh, I mean 1/4th.”


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