Emma, my almost fifteen-year-old, has no qualms about complaining daily about how miserable she was and how much she would rather be home.
I was ready to just shelve the rest of the trip after we visited The Arches in Utah simply because she and Samuel were so miserable. Not only did I feel selfish, I felt like all my adventuring was pretty pointless if half the group felt like our road trip was akin to getting a root canal without any pain medication.
When I made this proclamation - "We'll just go home now, I know you aren't enjoying this stuff and it was organized by me to visit places I would enjoy" to our traveling band of warriors, I wasn’t expecting Katherine to break down in tears. Like me, she had wanted to visit Zion National Park for a long time AND she wanted to complete the tail end of the trip in Laughlin, Nevada, which is a traditional quirky stopping point for our family.
I think Emma and Samuel were surprised, too. Katherine doesn’t usually emote that strongly, she usually takes everything in stride.
I thanked her for sticking up for herself because I have a weakness in that area, obviously.
We headed out that morning with a fairly clean canvas. Before heading West to Zion, we decided to go to a place we hadn’t heard about until the evening before at a coffee shop/truck stop establishment in the town of Green River, Utah.
I had done a google search about this town and quickly fell in love with it for several reasons. They were like a town that refused to die. It refused to give up. It was proud and willing to do whatever it would take to keep going, even with some crumbling infrastructure and buildings that might have been quickly condemned and torn down in other spaces, plucky little Green River kept going.
Our waitress, Miranda, explained how to get to the Crystal Geyser, a rare cold water geyser. “I was there last night,” she said. “It is pretty out there…” she paused… “well, I think its pretty.”
Being from Bakersfield and seeing what Utah had offered so far, we agreed to travel along a questionable dirt road for seven miles to see the geyser up close and personal.
There was no one else at the remote spot which gave it an otherworldly quality beyond the strange orangey rock surrounding the geyser. Each child got up close and personal with the spout, which was rusted and dingy yet also oddly beautiful.
It was a space where we were able to reconnect with each other and enjoy the moment in this odd oasis, each of us, for our own personal reasons.
“I have never seen anything like this in my whole life,” Emma said.
Katherine took a wide armed siesta on the bed the orange rock surface.
Samuel investigated what happened with different weights and sizes of rocks when you tossed them into the water. There were either big bubbles, little bubbles, loud burps or virtually nothing dependent upon weight and density of the rock.
I was able to take some cool textural photos as well as photos of my children. It had been a long time since I had taken photos of “nothing” that ended up fascinating me.
On this day, replenishment came from the quirky, way off the beaten path natural wonder no other travelers seemed to know existed.
I got a nudge just now to type something completely ego centric.
Normally I wouldn’t do that because I like to think I am humble and don’t like to ever suppose anything happens simply for my favor. The nudge is insistent so here it goes:
It almost seemed, in those moments, like the little town of Green River, Utah, existed so that we could repair our relationship to each other and to this journey on that sunny morning.
It didn’t matter if the geyser erupted for us to oooh and ahhh, what mattered was our hearts erupted again as we remembered why we were on this adventure in the first place: because we shared love with each other and wanted to be together.
My children may debate with me about that reason for adventuring, but I am sticking to it.
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© 2012 by Julie Jordan Scott
Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield. She leads Writing Camp with JJS & this Summer will be traveling throughout the US to bring this unique, fun filled creative experience to the people wherever she finds the passion & the interest.
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