Couples therapy. Family therapy. Heck, it's just good therapy, that Big White Van. And the funny thing is this - it doesn't really matter where we go in that Big White Van. It could be five miles away at our local state park, or three hundred miles away, to the desert. The effect it has on us as individuals and as a family is apparent. We find our center. We come together. And the rest is just plain ol' fun.
We love that Big White Van.
On this first weekend out of the camping season we headed for the Colorado desert. The warmth, those red rocks and the expansive view keeps us coming year after year. Early spring finds Steve and I both starting to crave the desert. There's just something so alluring about the alien-like landscape.
Second to the red rocks, I most appreciate the plant life. It takes an unworldly strength to survive in the harsh environment of the desert and the little plants, flowers and cactus that do so are quite beautiful.
Even after months away from life in the Van, we easily find our rhythm. Steve and I each have our list of chores that we're responsible for to make it all happen. It takes quite a bit of effort to pull it off, but it's so worth it.
A typical weekend, no matter where we overnight, finds us waking in the morning to Zinnia's sweet voice (and face whacking). After the appropriate amount of snuggling, Steve is up to make our coffee while Zinnia and I play and read under the warmth of the sleeping bags.
Breakfast usually consists of eggs and toast grilled in the cast iron pan. After that's inhaled then our attention shifts to preparing for the day's hike. We spend our mornings as a family wandering the trail du-jour. Our trail lunch is almost always avocado, cheese, mustard and pickle sandwiches. I don't know what it is about that combo, but for years and years this has been our go-to hiking lunch.
These days we time our morning hikes with nap time. While Zinnia naps in the van, Steve heads out for two hours of solo time - this may include hitting the trails on his mountain unicycle (muni), taking a trail run or fly fishing. This break in the day gives all of us the time to find our personal center. Whether I read, sunbathe or sleep, I'm rested and ready for the afternoon. And Steve, well he needs intense exercise daily to find his center. We do what works for each of us. When we come together again as family, we've all had our needs met and we're ready to connect to each other again.
After three days out in the van we return home feeling like we were out a week.
Yep, that's good therapy.