Just outside of Montrose Colorado sits this river carved valley of rock and lava formations. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, two million years in the making of majesty and wonder.
We explored the South Rim this past weekend and it did not disappoint.
Taking our time to learn about the gneissic banding, mafic, and how slowly lava can cool, our kids enjoy each stop, rock and ray of sunshine. There is something purely magical about watching your children soak in life and the small things we so often take for granted. While I do wish this park had far more guard rails, it was not crowded and the views were unobstructed. That’s not to say my roadside sideshow sat outside the gates and waited for me. It followed along without hesitation and brought a memory that none of us will ever forget.
As you know, traveling with three small bladders — I mean children — you have to stop often and everywhere.
We stopped at the Sunset overlook, and all three of our littles had to go, and now. In the bathroom we went, and started our line. I had been holding my turn until the end, when I realized I couldn’t wait anymore and booted my son out of the way when I heard that fatal drop.
My phone had landed inside the vault.
I know what you’re thinking, “Ok thats gross, move on with your day” or “Surely she has insurance, just leave it” or “At least you have everything backed up on the cloud.”
Well, I don’t have insurance, I have an iphone 6+ with 128GB. I don’t have a drop of it backed up, because I’m old school and like to transfer it all onto my laptop so I can organize it, and edit what I want in Photoshop.
I also like to put the matching photos into the folders I have created for photos I take with my Nikon. I have almost 15,000 photos on my phone, and as of a few updates ago haven’t been able to transfer them to my computer. This is where my circus begins.
I start freaking out “ NOOOOOOOOO!!!! MY PHONE!!!! KIDS GET YOUR DAD!!!!”
My husband from the parking lot yells to me “Come on! That is where it stays!”
In my panic I holler back,” Absolutely not, I have 15,000 pictures that are not backed up! Come help me!”
Before we get into the nitty gritty of this, let me give you some information on my husband. He has never met a claw machine he could not defeat. I’ve seen him pull out two and three stuffies at a time. I’ve never even managed to pull one thing out at a time. On to my second point, I’m sure your husbands love you, and I’m not doubting their love for you by any means, but what came next in this adventure, surpassed even my own understanding of love.
My husband comes marching over, I’m quite positive he was questioning his whole life at this point, and marches past me to a down tree, and pulls up two huge branches. Comes back into the bathroom and tells me to hold the door open while he peers inside the vault. Right on top, there it is, crying out for help and desperate to escape.
He looks over at me, and says “This is absolutely disgusting, I’ll buy you a new phone.”
I argue back, “Babe! Please! I don’t have any of these photos backed up, like our son as a baby, PLEASE!!!!”
He scrunches his face, takes one last deep breath, and sticks his giant claw grabbers inside. I start cheering him on, “Babe, you’re the best, you are so amazing, I know you can do this!” He glares back and tells me that I’m not helping.
So, I stand helplessly with the door propped open for light, waiting. He starts to pull it up and it slips. I cringe, he gags and he starts over.
Quietly and carefully he begins again, he’s got it! He starts pulling it up and it slips out again.
He’s so grossed out at this point, he tells me it’s my phone, I need to deal with it.
I laugh, because I know he’s kidding.
But he wasn’t this time. I step up to the plate, reach in and start trying, not only do not get a hold of my phone, but manage to get it up on its side and it’s hard to see at this point. I quit then and there. I start begging and making promises of the future, and he tells me to wrap the ends of the sticks with toilet paper and he will try one more time. This is it, the only chance to save my memories.
It seems so disgusting, and without question it is, it’s terrible that I’m even willing this to happen. But our son was born early and only four pounds and the videos I have of him and his sisters meeting him for the first time are literally irreplaceable. If they had been backed up I would have walked away and cried a little cry and bought a new phone. As a parent, you’ve got to understand the absolute pricelessness of this situation.
For the last time, my husband steps up to the vault, holds his breath, and puts in the sticks wrapped with toilet paper.
He is as still as a tiger about to pounce while he concentrates, then slowly I see him moving, and I can see the top of my purple case.
I start to lunge and he quietly says to me “do not touch it!!!”
He carefully puts it on the ground, and reminds me where it has been.
“I have to, I can see liquid under the case!” I say in a panicky voice, as I begin to wrap my hands in toilet paper. I start ripping the case off and chuck it into the trash. “I’ve been meaning to get a new case” I laugh.
My husband, visibly grossed out, shakes his head at me, pumps a handful of hand sanitizer and walks out to leave me to attend to the filth which has now become my phone. My drivers license, which was stuck in the back of my case, falls off the back of my phone and I grab new toilet paper. I start sanitizing and walk out with my claw machine prize.
As soon as I reach our car, I start laughing uncontrollably hard.
First off, did that really just happen? I can’t handle it, and laugh harder.
My mother in law hands me two different kinds of sanitizer and I get to work. We get back to my in-laws place, I pack my phone in a bag of rice, and leave it in the sunshine to help kill any lingering bacteria that may have survived the first three styles of sanitizer I smothered it in.
We are heading over to Dinosaur National Monument to celebrate our son’s 5th birthday, followed by the Grand Tetons.
I am sure our next adventure will be crazy, but hopefully not this kind of crazy. Until next time, let my sideshow attraction be the lesson, laugh and moral you needed today.
Phones truly have no business in back pockets or bathrooms.