I let my son jump off a cliff. I didn’t want to. I did not want to see him launch himself over a 25-foot high cliff. He’s only seven. And even now, it feels wrong.
We visited Yosemite in July. During our travels, we discovered Rainbow Pool. It’s a stunningly beautiful place tucked away off the side of a road into the national park. The kids enjoyed playing around in the water. Nate? He couldn’t take his eyes off the falls. He couldn’t stop watching the people jumping off the cliff. Or riding the falls like a water slide:
I said no. No. No. No. No. And hell no. He’s too young. Can’t swim well enough. On our first visit there, I won the battle. On our second visit to cool off, I made my son and husband SWEAR there would be no JUMPING OFF THE CLIFF. They agreed.
After playing around for a while, and watching the jumpers, Adam decided Nate was ready. He said yes. I was not happy. Not really. But I also knew this was an important moment. Adam was honoring and encouraging Nate’s sense of adventure. I had to trust in that, while praying that he would be okay. Adam had a plan. A fellow dad was in the water, waiting for Nate to jump while Adam was with Nate at the top of the cliff. Adam and Nate climbed the cliff. I almost couldn’t watch. And I couldn’t not watch. I didn’t videotape because it didn’t feel right. They stood up there, and walked to the edge. It took a minute or so, but he did it. Nate jumped off that cliff. He stepped of the edge and soared into the water. I was terrified, and yet incredibly proud.
Sometimes, we just have to let go, so our kids can fly. And believe me, he flew!
During our RV adventure through Gold Country and Yosemite, we visited Groveland, CA. Gold was discovered here in 1848. Groveland, was originally called Garrotte, named after the swift and often horrific manner of justice that was served upon the outlaws at this hanging tree: (Which coincidentally stood right outside the main gate of our motor home park, Yosemite Pines RV Resort.)
A stop in Groveland isn’t complete without visiting the Iron Door Saloon, which is said to be the oldest continuously operating saloon in the US.
On the second day of our rv tour through Gold Country, we ventured into Yosemite National Park. We stopped at the first waterfall we spotted and got out to explore.
Naturalist John Muir discovered the glory of Yosemite. In 1899, he petitioned Congress for the National Parks bill, which preserved both Sequoia National Park and Yosemite. Today, a 215 mile trail, named after John Muir, stretches from Yosemite National Park, and continues 215 miles through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King’s Canyon National Park, and ends at the highest mountain in continental United States, Mount Whitney at 14,496 ft.
We were lucky to meet up with Mark Ferguson, one of Adam’s mentors and a former teacher of his from Glenbrook South High School. He was in Yosemite to start his three week journey across the John Muir Trail.
That’s Mark, with his pack. I cannot imagine being alone, on a hot and dusty trail for three weeks. He had to ship his food in advance to post office stations along the trail. Everything else that Mark will need is in his backpack. He does not have a phone, or a gps device. I’m really proud of him, for taking on this adventure. He loves hiking and communing with nature. Of course, I’m a little worried about him too. I’ll be thinking about him and thinking positive thoughts on his behalf as he works toward finishing his journey.
After we left Mark, we rounded the corner from the Yosemite Village Market, I said to Adam “I want to see a deer.” Two seconds later, Nate said “Mom, a deer!”
When we hit the road in our rv for an adventure in glamping (glamourous camping) we call ourselves the Goldberg Family Traveling Circus. It suits us. We bring with us our three massive Newfoundland dogs (about 400 pounds of dogs) and our 7 year-old twins.
We drove about three hours longer than we had to, thanks to Google Maps. Driving an rv with a tow vehicle on Highway 49 was hellacious. We swung right and left on pin-tight turns along the mountain roads. It was so bad I found myself wishing for a xanax. We arrived in historic and rustic Groveland, CA and were thrilled to be greeted by the creatures who live in the petting zoo at our motor home park.
This photo is for my Aunt, Annie LaPensee, who sits on the board of Save Your Ass Rescue. Sweet donkey!
There were lots of cool things to keep the kids busy, including panning for gold. Nate was fascinated by this, and spent a lot of his time foraging for golden nuggets.
Though Nate has long grown out of playing with this Tonka truck, he finds many new ways to repurpose it. Ryann forgot to wear her shoes on the walk down to catch the nightly hayride, so brother came to the rescue and gave her lift (or a push!).
We took Sunny, our youngest newf, down to see the critters in the petting zoo. After he licked the donkey’s faces, he sat down and posed for this picture.
Check in tomorrow to learn about our adventures in Yosemite. We met up with dear friend of ours who hit the John Muir trail for a 211 mile trek, which will take him three weeks. Can you imagine hiking, alone, for three weeks without access to a cell phone or a computer? This glamping girl cannot imagine herself doing such a thing!