I grew up in the forest with oxygen rich air.
I could always tell the changing seasons by the smell of the woods.
My legs were aways covered in scrapes from brambles and branches.
The forest is where I escaped home as a child. It is where I ran away to as a teen. When escaping my ex I sprinted through the forest trails to safety. Clayton brought me to live in his house surrounded by hundred year-old lilacs, cherry trees and evergreens. My children build forts and play make-believe in that sylvan place.
Las Vegas is a lot of things. It is glamours, gaudy, full of convenience, and opportunity. It is where we need to be.
Yet, I am appalled by the palm trees, imported grass, the pigeons — Transplants! My system is shocked, I don’t belong here either. When I need to recharge I am not sure where to turn. I am in a concrete city in the middle of a desert!
Last week I got sick. Really sick. I was fevering hard and couldn’t stay awake for more than 10minutes at a time— luckily the kids stayed healthy! Our stay at the Thousand Trails had run out, it was 105f, and our solar power system does not support our air conditioner. So we loaded up the trailer and Clayton drove the Burble 300 miles and 4500ft in elevation across the Colorado plateau and into the Kaibab National Forest that nestles up next to the South rim of the Grand Canyon.
The kids whooped with excitement as we passed the scenic pull offs for the Canyon.
“It’s so Grand!” Kjellsen yelled.
I clung to consciousness and my iPhone to navigate us to the GPS coordinates for some forest service road where we could camp. When we parked… I climbed into bed and passed out. It wasn’t until the next morning when I followed the kids outside to see the fort they had built that I began to appreciate where we were. The trees were short and most were burnt most the way up, but they were trees! The ground was covered in soot, lambs ears and a blanket of yellow flowers.
The air was cool. The sun warmed my face. This was a healing place.
Over the next few days we ventured very little. The kids stayed so content and entertained playing in the woods. Ninja training by Dude, Battle speeches lead by Liala, and Elsa sprinting about like a soot covered faery. They didn’t ask for an electronic once. We had supplies enough to stay in our little back woods home for days where it was quiet, where there was breeze and the stars were bright and dazzled me.
Clayton healed quicker than me, as he tends to— lucky. He quested with the kids to get their Grand Canyon Junior ranger badges. They delighted in the new information they learned on how to survive the end of days in the Grand Canyon. Proudly wearing their badges for days after their acquisition.
I felt like myself. I could lounge nude in the mid day sun, I had no need for ear plugs in the night… things I miss about living in the country.
Beyond my refreshing taste of nature, my passions for fighting became renewed.
Another set back, and another reason to push forward.
I became eager to learn again, restless in my lack of progression. When I felt some strength return I was up and jumping rope, taking walks, and preparing my mind for the push that lay ahead. I decided I am will drop my weight class from 145lb to 135lb. I want to make it to the big show. I have a mission, a purpose, I have a message I want to share with the world and I have no platform to stand on with out stepping foot onto the main stage.
That forest healed me. It filled me with vitality and vigor. I thank the Grand Canyon and that beautiful forest. Monday, I return to the gym.
….and it is worth mentioning that on the the Thursday prior to our departure from the Canyon, Clayton was attacked by a mama Elk.
The story. He went to fill our water jugs at the fountains by the visitor center. On one side of these fountains an elk Sow was licking the dripping faucet. Clayton took the opposite side fountain. When he Sow noticed his superior water source she came over.
“Do you want some water? Just a sec.” Clayton calmly told the Sow.
Unfortunately she didn’t speak English… so the next thing Clay experienced was her face butting into his. He leaped backwards in time to see her posturing her front hoof as a spear. She let it fly at his chest which he parried and circled away from.
“Bitch!” he exclaimed as he pulled the water jug from under her, as she drank from her conquest.
Everyone is safe, and we have another good story.
Good times, Good times.