Wouldn’t it be great if we could just plan a trip and do it? Not so fast. At our age, stuff happens. This was the second year the three amigas planned to hike the Grand Canyon and the second year we had to cancel it. What’s the point of being the Three Amigas if one of us can’t do it? Last year a blood clot sidelined one. This year, it was a bad knee.
By holding on to our prior expectations, all we did was increase our stress and the guilt feelings of the amiga with the bad knee. Not a good way to start a road trip.
So the order of this trip was to cancel all the reservations and start over. We were packed and the car was loaded, so last minute is an understatement. Consequently, we took stuff we didn’t need and left things we could have used. Making it a little more complicated was an extended monsoon season. So all our hiking and sightseeing involved dodging raindrops and finding dry clothes to change into.
But it worked because we were able to let go of our expectations and grab for the fun where we found it. If there is anything useful we can learn as we age is to be flexible and choose to have fun. It helped that we had firmly affixed in our minds the reasons we were doing this trip: to spend some extended girl time with dear friends and guard this oasis of fun between frantic bouts of normal activity. Everything else is gravy.
We got one extended lovely hike in before the heavens opened up, and then spent most of the rest of the time in a cave—very handy during monsoons. And a lovely cave it was: Carlsbad Caverns with its size, theatrical lighting and amazing formations kept us busy for quite some time. And did I mention the bats? Carlsbad has a thriving bat population. We watched them fly out in the evening and would have watched them fly back in the morning if it hadn’t been pouring on the al fresco amphitheater. So instead, we adopted bats for all our grandchildren and various other relatives. (Won’t they be surprised?)
When we came home, we were all three recharged and ready to face whatever mayhem presents itself. We also had a long bucket list of future trips with varying degrees of activity, depending on which one of us is indisposed next year!