We just recently returned from a delightfully surprising retreat meant as a birthday gift for my wife Yvonne. Now I say delightfully surprising because it did not go as I thought it would. Or as we planned.
The retreat was a Yoga retreat sponsored by Spotted Dog Yoga at the Lazy R Ranch about an hour up into the mountains of Idaho. I can’t really get any better location because I wasn’t trying to figure it out. All I know is we got off the plane in Boise, loaded up into a van and took our time getting up the mountain.
Now I understand some of your confusion at this point. Yes, I said Yoga retreat. This was not meant as a writing retreat. It was a special retreat set up by my Wifesty’s friends at Spotted Dog Yoga. A five-day event hidden deep in the mountains of Banks.
Now those who know me understand I could use some Yoga to help unkink my body. Those who know me know I have attended two, and only two, sessions with my wife. The first session is infamous for what happened.
I farted. Now when I say I farted I should say I cleared half the room. Each time the instructor called for downward dog my body felt the compression of my stomach and let loose a gaseous cloud not fit for human survival.
I was in the middle of the group. By the time the one hour session was complete there was no one behind me. It was both awful and hilarious. Especially to my wife Yvonne who threw me under the bus as those around us looked to see who the culprit was.
Needless to say, I am not much wanted in Yoga sessions, nor do I participate in them. So why go? My wife Yvonne adores Yoga and these instructors and their style. It was a chance to get away from the world, our house, our life and relax.
You know how it is. Especially when you run a business out of your own home. It ceases to be a sanctuary. It is not a place you can hide from the world, and we needed to hide from the world for a short time and reset our minds back to something other than crazy.
Yvonne, my wife, put it all together and off we went with the idea I would spend this time as a writing retreat while she did Yoga. It turned into something else altogether. First off, I didn’t do any writing. Well, that’s not true I wrote two sentences in the four days we were there. Friday didn’t count since we were traveling on that day.
However, we had other things to do. Sure, they had some Yoga each day, but I napped during it while my wife participated. Yep, I said nap. I did a lot of napping while we were there. It was my major activity if I must admit it.
We stayed in a converted barn with a wonderful room, and I took full advantage of it. When I wasn’t napping, I participated in the planned activities. My favorite was a full day’s white water rafting down a river I couldn’t tell you the name of. It was my third time white water rafting, and it was an experience.
Our first two times we rafted down the American River in Sacramento. A great trip each time and in many ways different to the one in Idaho. The first thing I should have realized was the rafting people did not supply wet suits. I had come to expect this as an option, and it wasn’t there.
I know, you’re thinking it was the end of June and the water should have been warm enough you shouldn’t need a wet suit. Call me a wussy, but oh my God that water was freezing. It was coming right off the snow melt and I froze from the minute the water hit me until I crawled into bed that night.
And yet? It was a fantastic experience. There were long periods between the rapids, so you got to relax and enjoy the beauty around you. Then the rapids were okay. In the beginning they were small and unexciting but as the ride progressed, they became bigger and more exciting.
The last two rapid sections were the crowning glory of the ride. Threw Yvonne and me into the center part of our section of the raft without any control from us. The water hit us so hard it tore her glasses off and a fingernail. Took a shoe off one of our rafting buddies.
It was an all-day affair. By the time we ate dinner and showered, I was done in. I entered the bed and waited to stop shivering. Moral of the story, take your own wet suits.
We also went horseback riding. Another adventurous tale of poor timing and great endings. It made my heart sing once we finished. Not because we were finished but because my wife’s horse tucked itself against her in one of the most loving poses I have ever seen.
I grew up with horses. They were all around me. It wasn’t unusual to see some riding along the one paved road in our town going to the store or someone else’s farm. Horses were a part of my upbringing. And yet, I have never witnessed a horse move its body against a human’s seeking love like this one did with my wife. If I could have brought the damn thing home, I would have.
Then we had a run at line dancing. Few of those present we good at it, nor did we care. It was a blast. We did it as long as we could physically and ended up at a bonfire to commemorate our final night there.
Now this is where the story usually ends. Not for us. The next day at the airport an unusual thing happened to us. The TSA guy wouldn’t let me in. An error had occurred which stated my birthday as one date and not the one on my license. We had to go back to the airline and correct it.
In any other airport that would have spelt doom for us. There would have been no way we would have gotten the error fixed in time for our flight. Nor would the TSA agent, the Southwest airline rep, or anyone else treated us with such respect and courtesy. If it had happened in LAX, I would have probably been detained as a terrorist.
However, each person in the chain of events leading from the discovery of the date being wrong to us making it to our plane was courteous, helpful, and willing to ensure we made it through on time. It blew my mind. I mean it. I hate airports because the people who work there are so often rude, horrible people. I could write a book about how bad American Airlines is.
Anyways. This could have been an awful trip. Instead, it was fun, relaxing, and wonderful. I wish to thank Nick and Katie of Spotted Dog Yoga for organizing a fantastical retreat which was fun, filled with surprises (like a swimming pool filled with minerals from a hot spring), but most of all for taking our minds away from our own day to day dramas.
I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.