Thursday, December 30, 2010

Adventures in Wonderland: This is no fairytale, Part 2

One of our Princesses (yes, we have connections to royalty : )) has been staying with us this week. We are very close, and after living on the same street this summer, it has been some much-needed quality time. Josh and I don’t have any kids yet, but we have some that we absolutely cherish and love spoiling.

I recently photographed an engagement shoot at a local frozen waterfall, and I have wanted to take Princess there since then, and thought this would be the perfect opportunity. I felt a little unsure, like maybe it was unwise to take her to this place by myself (Josh was at work). What if I fell and broke my ankle? What if we got the car stuck? What if….?

But, not wanting to live in a spirit of fear, I ignored that little voice. After all, we can’t live our life by “what ifs.” It was 36 degrees when we left the house today, and I couldn’t dream of better weather for our little hike. I pack the car with coats (we didn’t even need them from the house to the car!), the camera (of course), a blanket, and stepladder (for the camera because we left the tripod at Josh’s parent’s house over Christmas). We wore two pairs of socks and boots, hats, gloves, and scarves, and I had my cell phone on me. We talked about going slow and holding hands and not touching the icicles and staying away from any running water. We were as prepared as I thought we could be.

We went VERY slowly down the dozens of wooden stairs leading down to the canyon. After we made it halfway down, Princess said she did need her coat after all; I was a little impatient at the time, but it turned out to be important. The stairs were solidly packed with snow, which made every step a little tenuous, but we made it just fine.

What awaited us was a beautiful winter wonderland. The weather was so warm that the giant icicles were starting to drip, and it was so silent that you could hear every drop of water.

We are planning on making a mini-scrapbook of her all the fun activities we’ve been doing since she came, so we snapped a few photos (you can view them here). We were having a great time, playing in the snow, and she was as in awe of this miracle of an ice waterfall as I was.

I went to put the camera on the stepladder so we could take a shot of the two of us for the scrapbook, when I heard


As I whipped my head around, “NIIIIIIIIIIIIIICKYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Princess was standing waist deep in snow: “It’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold!!!!!!!!!!!!”

As I stepped to pull her out (I had only been about 10 feet away), I saw that she had been trying to get close to see the shallow river, and had stepped right through the ice!

Even though it was above freezing, getting wet increases your chances of hypothermia and frostbite exponentially. According to the United States Search and Rescue Task Force, cold water robs the body of heat 32 times faster than cold air. They define “cold” water as around 70 degrees and below, so I have no idea the effect of freezing water that has been right under ice. To say the least, I was scared, and there was nobody around to help.

(continued tomorrow)


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