You know that book by David Wiesner, Tuesday? It's a brilliant book about frogs flying on lily pads and the adventures they have along the way. He uses illustrations to tell the story and when I read it to the boys, there seem to be great moments of pause as they take in the story and make it their own.
Well, today felt much like we were a family flying on lily pads floating through the hours of our Tuesday. We'd decided to drive around to the town of Poolewe and then up the coast of that peninsula to check things out. Scott loaded his bike along with Ethan and Christopher's, in hopes of finding a trail to try. One trail on the map looked interesting but we wanted to see it a little closer. Along the way, we ran into a rural Scottish traffic jam straight off a picture post card. We stopped to let the sheep pass (and the shepherd and dog) and then kept heading towards the tip of the peninsula.
When we arrived, there was really not much to see so we decided to drive back down and around the other side to see the lighthouse. (there is no road across the tip of the peninsula so you drive making a U)
And here is where our Tuesday changed course. Scott decided that he could meet us at the lighthouse if he rode his bike across this land that had no road. It also had no trail for that matter. We both had a cell signal and so off he went with his bike and the boys and I in the car. About an hour and a half later, I reached the last town before the lighthouse on the other side of the peninsula and we started up the lighthouse road. The lighthouse is currently a hostel with a few rooms and there were many signs that said the road and parking were just for those guests. I ignored these thinking Scott would be pretty tired and would like to get in the car and so off I went on this very skinny single track road. At many points along the way, I thought my car was going to straddle the road it was so small and the bridges were so scary that I held my breath when we crossed.
Many miles later we reached the lighthouse and sat in the car trying to reach Scott by phone. Since we were now so remote, I had no signal. I wouldn't let the boys get out of the car because the cliffs were so close, I didn't know if we were supposed to be there and frankly, I was really worried about Scott and too distracted to keep these little energetic boys away from the danger zones.
By now, I've studied the map over and over and decided there was no way Scott could reach us by cycle and that he would be better turning back the way he came. So, we turned around to drive this lovely wee road the opposite direction in hopes of a signal and word that Scott was okay.
Once I reached him, we discovered that he'd been carrying his bike and trekking through the mud. Therefore, he decided to turn around. We would then start to head back around the peninsula to meet him. The boys and I had seen this beautiful sandy beach on this side of the peninsula, and we were very tired of being in the car; so we stopped to stretch our legs knowing that Scott would be awhile.
We played in the surf (the boys waist high in the freezing water) and climbed on the rocks. The weather has been mild today (a blessing in hindsight) and it was so nice to be out in the fresh air. Check out the star fish we saw in the tidal pool. When we reached the main town on this side of the peninsula and were able to reach Scott by phone again, he said he had at least another hour and that he was still walking, his legs we're locking up, but that he was okay. Meanwhile, I'm thinking it's been 3 1/2 hours, he has one bottle of water, no food, it's 40 degrees out max and I am trying not to panic. He told me to take the boys to get something to eat and then to touch base.
So I did. The boys had chocolate cake and hot chocolate for lunch at a little cafe and then off we went to where I thought his current trail would lead him. Finally, after 5 hours of pause and prayer, he came flying around this curvy road on his bike. He was in one piece, he'd been riding for 100 yards, (after walking 9 miles sometimes in mud to his knees carrying his bike) he was thirsty, and tired.
We're back at the house, boys in the yard playing, Scott by the fire and I am thankful to be filling in the words of our Tuesday with Scott safe and sound.
Wednesday's looking better.