Probably every healthy couple has moments where one looks at the other and wonders why in the world they have stayed married. I know my husband and I have had several. The one I remember most happened in the bottom of a canyon twenty-seven years ago.
Five months pregnant with our sixth child we were on a family vacation in the Golan. On the last day we’d planned to do a hike at Nachal Amud in the Galil. My husband had been at the spot as a chaperone for one of the kid’s school trip and he couldn’t stop talking abut how beautiful it was.
Family vacations being what they are it took almost forever to get everyone up, dressed, fed, and into the car to start our day. We finally arrived at our site late morning. Not knowing the area well we left our car about a kilometer from the trail head and wasted a lot of time hiking to where we discovered a convenient parking lot waiting for us. It was high noon when we finally began our descent and it was as hot as a summer Mediterranean sun could possibly be.
“Don’t worry,” my husband encouraged us. “When we get to the bottom you can go wading in the crystal clear water. And the falls are so beautiful. Believe me, it’s worth the effort.”
I believed him. Only after all the effort I’d made we discovered there wasn’t any crystal clear water. There was barely even a trickle of any running water. Although the nachal might have once been beautiful the recent drought had made it a dry river bed.
Hot, sweaty, and disappointed I shot my husband a look that precluded a need to express my feelings.
“Have some water,” he tried to placate me.
I wasn’t placated.
Everyone drank. We ate our picnic lunch. Then it was time for the ascent.
“I can’t move,” I informed my husband. “There’s no way I can make it to the top.”
We’d been married long enough for him to realize that he wasn’t going to be able to talk me into trying. I don’t really remember how long it took him to find a solution but he found one.
The Society for the Protection of Nature always has staff members patrolling the nature reserves. I’m not sure who met who first or exactly what my husband told him but this worker arranged for a jeep to travel the emergency road and get me and the children out of canyon. However, my husband was told there was no room for him. I guess the worker wanted to give him his just punishment.
At the end of the day we survived the outing. I didn’t sue for divorce and we kept on going for hikes. A dozen years later we finally returned to Nachal Amud in the winter. That time there were dozens of breathtaking waterfalls, and a lovely running river. We had a glorious time and instead of being the spot where I almost ended our marriage it became a romantic site that we visit over and over again.