Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Grand Stair Case

There are so many "stairs" we take in our lives.

The easy up and down in the house ones.

The back porch ones.

But, in Utah state, their are GRAND ones.

Marc, for over a month, had been planning a backpack trip to the Grand Stair Case Escalante National Monument with Brother and our nephew, Bryan.

Bryan was all excited and rearing to go, but Brother on the other hand, was, well, anxious.

I've told you about Brother before and how his anxieties and fears can try so hard to keep him from doing anything new. So we have been preparing him ever since Marc brought up the idea. There were days that Brother was excited enough to mention that he was going backpacking to family or friends and there were other days where he would randomly yell out, "I'M NOT GOING!!!"

So began Brother's slow, steady climb to accepting the challenge to go on a backpack trip with his dad and cousin.

As much as we tried to keep him on the slow stairway to his first ever backpack trip, it regretfully became one of the steepest staircases I have ever witnessed just the day before leaving.

He was completely and utterly in tears and a pile of nerves and fear on the floor.

We strongly contemplated not sending him. It is so hard to tell when we are pushing him past his anxiety or pushing him past his limits. We were at a loss as to what to do. So, I did what any parent of Brother would do... I sent a desperate text to his teacher at night excusing myself for sending a "teacher" text during her "mommy" time at home and asked her if Brother had talked about this particular trip at all to her in a positive light (he shares more with his teacher sometimes than he does with us). She replied, first telling me that she is always a teacher and then let me know that Brother had indeed told her that he was going camping with his dad with a big smile on his face.

I knew right then, that we were dealing with anxiety and that, it would be tough, but he would do it.

Backpacking in. Two nights camping out with the boys. Searching for petroglyphs and Indian ruins.

And guess what! When it came time to hop in the car Thursday afternoon, he got right in without a problem or a whine!

Not only did he get in the car with success, but the entire trip was a success!

Brother LOVED it! He absolutely LOVED it! And he did fantastic! Marc was so happy. He had such a great time with his son and his nephew.

He also took some awesome pictures! Here are a bunch for you to see.

I think he had this smile on his face the entire time! And I have to say, that the Fragile X low muscle tone didn't seem to slow him down from packing his own pack! (And Marc packed it as light as he could for him).

Some of the views they saw, including the dwellings in the mountainside pictured in the bottom two pictures.

Their campsite and backpacking food setup. Brother LOVED the Mountain House stew and that is saying something!

It's a beautiful area down there with the river, greenery and the redrock all surrounded by rocky mountains

Brother was SO excited when they saw the petroglyphs that he wanted to hug them. He couldn't have been happier. He loves learning about ancient indians and this was dream come true.
One of the only pictures of Marc the entire trip. He is such a great dad. It's not everyone who wants to take on the challenge of taking their child with special needs on a backpack trip just to encourage a good father-son relationship. Marc is amazing!

As they were about to leave Bryan spotted the mountainside dwellings. There is one in the top right of this photo.


This shows what a task it must have been to get home each day...
hope they had a ladder, cause I can see this is not where they placed grand staircase...


  More writing on the wall...

My favorite picture of Bryan from the trip.
striped mountainside

Marc got a beautiful shot of this natural arch. Brother named it "The Bridge of Narnia!" Tee hee... man, I love that kid!

Brother took this stick pretty much everywhere with him and enjoyed drawing in the sand with it.

Brother didn't want to cross the river so Bryan would take his pack and Marc would carry him across... aw, wish I would have been there for that one.

Just love this one
Bryan and Brother on the hike out.

Views from the road on the way down

They stopped by the museum there too and Brother was very excited about that too!
So there you have it.

Brothers "staircase" that led him to the Grand Stair Case Escalante National Monument. I think, if he could subside his anxiety, he would tell you that it was worth the steps to get there.

2 remarks:

Bonnie@TheFragileXFiles said...

Just awesome story, just gorgeous photos! I hope to see this one day!

Mariah said...

I find such joy in the triumphs of your life. It reminds me to watch for those moments in my own. I'm sending big smiles your way!