What a trio we were as we wearily pulled into the driveway yesterday afternoon. All of us tired, two of us sunburned, and one of us bloody. Yet I know Kris and I and I think Jennika, if she could talk, would say that the last ten days, give or take a few low moments, were wonderful memory-filled days that we wouldn’t trade.
Our adventures began with a camping trip at Lake Powell. There we enjoyed the incredible views of the lake, paddled around in our little raft, and swam in the 80+ degree water.
From there we drove to my brother and sister-in-law’s house in Durango. We went rock climbing, toured the town, ate wonderful homemade pies and enjoyed some catch-up time with them. Then we packed into the car again and drove to rainy Denver, picked up my soaking wet little brother and sister (who were at an amusement park) and attended a two-day training. It was intense but such good information and my wonderful siblings volunteered to watch Jennika so I could attend.
Our next destination was Caper, Wyoming, where my parents live. We drove up Saturday night after the training ended at about 5:00. We got to their house at about 10:00. Sunday was Jennika’s first birthday. My mom had made a birthday cake and cupcakes for her since I had been on the road. We ate the Krischke traditional birthday meal, homemade chicken and noodles, and then feasted on cake. Jennika was hilarious to watch as she first cautiously and daintily ate her cupcake and then shoveled it in by the fistfuls! She had lots of presents to open and I think was more interested in the boxes and paper than the toys themselves.
We enjoyed a couple days of rest and relaxing before embarking on our final adventure:backpacking. Wednesday we drove five hours southeast to the Uinta mountains. We loaded up our packs, ranging in weight from 20-45 pounds, and we hiked about two miles into the most beautiful campsite I’ve seen. Nestled at over 11,000 feet were lakes round every corner, incredible mountains, a beautiful little valley for our tents and a little ways from that a perfect fire ring complete with logs for sitting on. We camped there for three days, hiking during the day, exploring the area, rock climbing, fishing, some recovering from altitude sickness, and just having a great time outside. Jennika loved all the rock that she could climb and practice walking on. One morning Kris, my dad, mom, and Jennika saw a huge bull moose walk nearly through our campsite!
Finally on the third day, tired and dirty, we reloaded our packs and began the four mile hike back to our cars(we made a big loop). About fifteen minutes into the hike Kris and Jennika took a nasty fall. Kris landed head first on a rock. I heard the fall and Jennika crying but didn’t actually see it. When I came around the corner what I did see was enough to make any wife and mother’s stomach drop. My daughter was covered in blood and screaming. Kris was standing, dazed looking, with blood covering his hands and running down his forehead into his eye. I didn’t know who to run to first, it was a terrible moment. We got them both cleaned up and inspected. Jennika, amazingly wasn’t hurt at all, just very scared. The blood all over her was Kris’s. We’re still not sure how she escaped injury as she was attached to Kris’s front, God was protecting her. Kris got a nasty gash above his left eyebrow and was scraped up on his nose, lip, arms and legs. The rest of us were pretty shaken and so thankful that it wasn’t worse. We slowly finished the hike out, keeping a close eye on our injured leader, and I think we all breathed a sigh of relief when we got back to the cars.
So that was our last two weeks! We’re happy to be back home, but oh so thankful for the fun trip, wonderful family, and God’s protection.