Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kayaks and Backpacks and Bears...Oh My!

I'm on my own this week. Bret has gone on a week-long, 35-mile kayaking/backpacking trip on the Buffalo River in Arkansas. He, my brother Ira, and my brothers-in-law Robert and Chris have been planning and dreaming about this since early in the fall.

They've all been saving, asked for Christmas gifts in accordance with the needs for this trip. They've shopped together, had planning meetings, bought books, been working out...this has been a BIG deal.

Bret had his backpack packed two or three weeks before the departure date. He's even thrown it on and hiked up and down the road in front of our house a few times, to make sure everything was balanced and to get himself used to the weight of the 40-pound pack. Here he is Saturday night, before they left Sunday afternoon.
They met up in Granbury Sunday afternoon, loaded up Dad's truck, ran out to Chris and Lydia's to change clothes and grab the other kayaks, and were on their way. They would all probably be really mad at me if they knew I was posting a picture of them packing the truck -- and including a picture that shows the world that a Target bag was among the items packed. Nice and manly, huh?

I was doing okay with this, not worrying too much about all of the "wild things" that lurk about in the wilderness they were going into...until I heard Bret mention to someone else that they would be hanging their food from the trees so that the bears wouldn't get it. Bears? I didn't know there would be bears...

So that's been the running joke -- Rachel's worried about the bears. Truth be told though, I'm much more worried about really bad sunburns, keys/cell phones drowning in the river, gashes requiring stitches, broken ankles, and the like. In fact, I'm not entirely sure that if one of these guys injured themselves badly enough that it needed medical attention, but not badly enough to be considered life-threatening, that we wouldn't hear about it until they showed up back home on crutches. I don't think they'd lie...I'm just not sure they would "think" to mention it...

As they drove on Sunday, Bret was pretty good about updating his twitter:

So, we're in Pickle Gap, AR...which is fairly close to Toad Suck Park. 2 days ago
Middle of nowhere national park...awesome!!! We made it - time for cigars on the banks of the Buffalo River. 1 day ago
3 AM -Just chased racoons away from our stuff for the second time tonight...nobody seemed to hear them fighting over our breakfast...awesome 1 day ago
At least they weren't bears! good morning rain... 1 day ago
12:30 - Kayaking, fishing and turning off my phone... 1 day ago
About the same time as his last update, he also called me to say that they were about to set sail and emailed me these pictures from his phone:

Beautiful, isn't it?!

But that's it. That last update/phone call/email was around noon yesterday. They've turned off the phones, conserving batteries in case of a real emergency. Lydia did get a text from Chris this morning confirming that they had made it through Night #2... I know that "no news is good news," but I can't help but worry that "no news is because my phone and the rest of me are in the belly of a bear," or that "no news is because Bret got sunburned so badly today that his nose actually fell off, and if we call anyone Rachel might find out." (Yes, he took sunscreen and a sunhat and promised to use both...but this is the kid who could even get "moonburned" that we're talking about here!

So that's what Bret's doing this week...the boys and I are holding down the fort. We actually tried the zoo again today. We had a wonderful, beautiful, well-deserved afternoon!
Missing our hubby/Daddy and can't wait for him to be safely back home...

6 comments:

Hollie said...

WOW!!! That's totally awesome! He is SO blessed to have such an amazing wife to be ok with him being gone for a whole week!! So when's mom's week long trip away? Praying for a safe vacation there and back for him and the other guys!! Praying that you have peace about the whole wilderness thing and especially about Bret not coming face to face with a bear!! The boys looked like they had a GREAT time at the zoo! You rock!!

Heidi said...

I see you were able to make it in one piece to the zoo...and I notice in the last picture that your Sonic Diet Coke survived too!! YAY. Praying for Bret's safety on this trip! I know he is having lots of fun....

Rachel said...

Hollie, you are always so sweet.

Heidi, now how did you know I had Diet Coke in that Sonic cup?! ;)

Amanda Brooke Kilgore said...

Wow! They've been eating, sleeping and drinking this trip, huh? Well, good for them. Surely they are having a great time - the pictures are BEAUTIFUL. I bet you can't for the day all three boys can go with him and you can have the week to yourself!!!!!!! Oh, what fun that would be: shopping, shopping, watch an old black and white movie, take a bubble bath, and do more shopping.

CB said...

Well, I hope that Bret is having an awesome Man-time!! I hope you will survive the week with the crew okay!! Your pics are so good! I wish we had the same sunshine for the photos!! Looks like you all are having a good week together...you will have to throw off the boys as soon as Bret gets back and indulge in a Starbucks by yourself!!

BooBoo said...

Great post...glad you and the little ones were able to enjoy a day in/with the "wild," too! Are those ferocious yellow birds on those boys sticks in that picture? If it's any consolation, probably every other thought in Bret's mind is, "I wish Rachel/Conner/Micah/Joey were here to see/do this, too!" I'm with Hollie, though, I think the girls need to take a little jaunt, too, sometime! Love you, MOM pfu,wpfy