Saturday, September 10, 2011
The Worst Parents of the Year Award
It was Labor Day, we didn't have any plans, but we wanted to get out of the house. One idea we had was to go on a beach hike, since there are various locations around us where you can take paths down towards the beach to explore tidepools, etc... I hopped online and found 2 hikes we could go on, both leading towards some tidepools. The first hike we had done before, and it was pretty strenuous and steep, so we opted for option #2. Option #2 was called the "Shipwreck Hike." Based on the reviews, about half of the people said it was fun and adventurous, while the other half said it was horrible and to NOT attempt it. I went to Martin with the reviews in hand, and we decided that we would take a risk and do it anyway.
Dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
We got there and I jumped out of the car, ran down the trail and took a look. Many of the reviews said to take the "drainpipe route" since it was 2 miles shorter, went straight downhill, and the shipwreck remains were only about a half mile from the bottom. I had a bad feeling right when I stood at the top, and asked Martin to take a look. We decided together that we would be adventurous and do it anyway.
Now, from this vantage point, it doesn't look too bad.
Sure, it's steep, but we could do it. But this was a looooonnnngggg way down. Pictures just don't do it justice, people. Here's another view.
It pretty much felt like a straight drop down to our deaths. Why didn't we turn around and head back up? Because we were determined. We slowly made our way over crumbling rocks and glass shards, all the way down. I did not know why we were doing this, but every time I turned around and looked back up the hill, I knew that I did NOT want to climb back up. About half way down, I started to have a panic attack. Every single step that my children took, I worried for their lives. I actually cried at one point, hiding it behind my sunglasses. I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed for mercy. I prayed for help. I prayed that we would live. Martin was confident, though, and we just kept telling the boys, "we're almost there!" with fake smiles on our faces.
Finally after over 30 minutes, sweating and dirty, we made it to the bottom. This was the second time I cried. I couldn't believe we made it. Our nightmare continued, though, as we had to step over large and small boulders alike, tip-toeing across them so that we did not break our ankles. Micah kept crying, "I hate this hike! I want to go home!" But we were determined to see this shipwreck that we had worked so hard to get to.
We hiked, and hiked, and hiked. We only ran across 1 couple, who passed us and looked at us like we were crazy. Because we were crazy (see the arrow right by the tiny people? That's how far we had walked from the hill of death, through clouds of sand flies and stench from the seaweed).
The only thing interesting that we came across was a bum-hut made by other people who had attempted the impossible.
Oh, and the shipwreck? Well, this was all we saw of it.
Yeah, that's because the REAL shipwreck remains were another 1/2 mile to a mile AWAY from where we were! (see arrow)
And from what I had read, there wasn't much left.
So, after much crying from everyone involved, and sand flies all over our faces, we turned around to head back up the hill. (Insert sobs here)
Seriously, these pictures make it look like it's a piece of cake. But we made it back up with many rest stops, and much comforting of a very mad 6 year old.
Jaden was the only one who enjoyed himself, finding treasures along every step of the way. Thankfully nobody got hurt, until we made it to the very top of the mountain and Jaden took off running towards the car. He fell flat on his face in the dirt, scraped up his hand, and cried a lot. At the top of the hill, we saw a cop sitting behind our car. I was sure someone had probably called the cops on us for taking our kids on such a dangerous hike. He left us alone and we drove away.
We awarded ourselves the "Worst Parents of the Year" award and left that dreadful place, never to return. Labor Day will forever be etched in my mind as the day we almost died. Or I almost died. Of a panic attack.
So, what's your "Worst Parent of the Year" story? :)