Wilson River Footbridge

DSC_8176This was our little piece of heaven yesterday. Yes, everyone there is in our little party, and then more joined after this photo was taken. Part of my DNA is socializing with my friends. The more friends, the better! We go here a few times each summer and every time we go, it’s like anticipating going to Disneyland for the kids. Literally. Max was up at 5:30AM. AM!…waiting for us to wake up. We spent 10 glorious hours at this amazing swimming hole (20ft. deep), complete with rapids to ride, a bridge to swing from and cliffs to jump from. DSC_8101 DSC_8095This was my second time down – the first being fun and uneventful – and it didn’t quite go as planned. As you can see I rolled under (while the 3 strangers on the side had quite a show), rode some rapids AND, mind you, kept my sunglasses, headband AND flip flops on the ENTIRE time. 3 points for me.

photo 3(2)photo 4 photo 1(1)photo 2Jo’s bestie got to join us for part of the day too! DSC_8149-2This was Urko’s first time to the river. His other Basque friend came as well, and exclaimed, “This is like the movies!” DSC_8129 These two…river buds.DSC_8126These boys could stay in the water all day…we got there at 10am and pulled them out of the water around 8:00pm.DSC_8118The Hartfords have gone to the river with us for YEARS, every summer. We can always count on them for an impulsive trip to “relaxation island” when we get an itch to go.  DSC_8107-2DSC_8104-2DSC_8125We even got so lucky this year to invite a friend that brought a paddle board! The kids loved trying it out.DSC_8193DSC_8200DSC_8188Let’s not forget the bridge jumping…it’s about 35ish ft. Max did it twice – he loves adventure. I did it in high school and checked it off my bucket list 🙂DSC_8184DSC_8186And the famous rope swing. Tad designed this last summer and let me tell you – everyone that came by this spot asked to try it. Here Max makes it look like a walk in the park. Easy-peasy. Honestly, I don’t do this one…Not so sure I could hold my weight anymore LOL. But everyone else swang to their hearts content. Was it dangerous? I guess it could be. But when I was in Jr. High I was walking with a friend down the side walk. Just walking. She literally stepped off the curb and went to catch herself and in the process, she broke her arm. I don’t see walking as dangerous, but I guess it could be.

Warning: Soapbox…

I believe we should allow our kids to do dangerous things. Things that push them to test their own strengths, their abilities and to be able to teach them to have discernment. I know some with disagree with me – that’s ok – that’s why I’m not the parents of your kids, but of mine. But I know that doing adventurous activities with our family has grown our kids into strong, capable young people who aren’t fear-based, who can walk into a situation and size it up before deciding if they want to participate, with discernment. Of course, they are kids and will do stupid things, like we all did. Here is a quote from someone who is more qualified than I, and who can explain this in a more logical way…from an article with a sub-heading that says, “Teens Find Identity through Discomfort”.

“Changes to the limbic system of the brain cause teens to seek risk, challenge, and emotional stimulation. While some parents fear this phase of a child’s life, it’s really quite natural. And it’s a time to be embraced as a positive transition to adulthood.

Of course, we mostly associate teen risk-taking with drinking, drugs, smoking, and sexual experimentation. But risk-taking is equally associated with positive activities, like mountain climbing, community service, politics, faith groups, and other experiences that can push young people out of their comfort zones and reward them handsomely.

Like the teens that were part of my research study, risk-taking can seed happiness, life purpose, and well-being.  When young people learn to overcome challenges and meet risk head on, they learn to be resilient. They learn that exploration beyond their comfort zones often leads to unexpected rewards and psychological peaks. They develop courage, curiosity, self-confidence, and persistence.”

Ok, that’s not why we decide to go swinging from bridges…but it is a benefit 🙂

DSC_8134-2Kayla didn’t try the swing year, but this year she was ready. After the first run, she was addicted. DSC_8171

DSC_8172Ok, I couldn’t resist posting this classic photo. Priceless. You see? Pure fear, turned into accomplishment, turned into confidence to do it again.DSC_8153-2This is Tad. He’s just amazing and most of my kids’ genes come from him 🙂

photo(1)This is my cup of tea. Sitting with my feet in the river and reading a good.photo 5(1)photo 4(1)DSC_8081DSC_8132All in all, a highlight of 2014! DSC_8070-2