An Immediate Disclaimer: This isn’t going to be the “real” Lost Valley Ranch post.

I mean, I probably cannot do this past week’s experience justice in one blog post anyway. (Also.  My internet connection is rather shady so it can’t handle lots of photos and links tonight.)

Also.  Re-entering the world of Instagram and Facebook and even opening up my computer is all a little overwhelming tonight so I can’t get my act together right now.

And – although I have missed all of you guys – I have not one bit missed social media as a whole nor have I missed screens in any shape or form.

The disconnectedness of Lost Valley from our regular world of duties and responsibilities and blessings and burdens is a genuine piece of the puzzle that made last week feel like straight up magic.  I called it our family’s “cloak of invisibility”.

My life has thus far been full and fulfilling.  I am grateful for stellar moments and lovely bits.

We’ve caravaned and trekked to and fro and I love adventure and exploring with my family.

I honestly cannot recall, however, seven more – stacked in a row – perfect days.

There was only good all day long.  Nothing bad, nothing off kilter, nothing to endure or to put up with or to get over.  Nothing challenging nor one bit of this week’s stay at Lost Valley that I had to say, “Well, there was that, but everything else outweighs it” or “Yeah, it would have been fine except …”

Nope.  Long dirt driveway to long dirt driveway, it was a smile factory for us.

It feels almost unfair to the rest of the world, how perfect it was.

Which is why, of course, leaving the ranch and heading south actually had our entire car load of humanity in pretty sad shape.

Bergen said tonight, as I tucked him in, “I’m pretty mad at myself Mom, for not tricking you into leaving me at the ranch.  I could have passed for a very small wrangler I think.”

My homebody London, who truly prefers home over most any location on earth, declared with the saddest set of eyes you can imagine, “This is the first vacation in my entire life that I have not wanted to return home from.”

All week long I was thinking, “What if I just never drove my car back to South Carolina?  Can I have Ryder fly out to meet us?”

What was our favorite part?  

Was it the riding or the food or the beds being made by cabin fairies every single morning?  Was it the entertaining staff or the interesting guests?  Was it the stack of unexpected new friends I feel like we made all week?  Was it the mountains and the trees and the dream like weather?  Was it the friendliness of the wranglers and the cheerfulness of the kid crew?

Yes.

Yes, it was.

And it was the wide sky and Pike’s Peak and living undistracted and completely relaxed.  It was the square dance and it was the laughter and it was the constant array of delicious desserts and something called Sweet Georgia Peach to drink which sounded like down home to me even out west.

It was the magic of Tony Warnock’s words the first night when he delivered what I can only assume is a pretty standard welcome chat.  And he said something to the effect of, “Whatever is on the other side of that cattle guard is behind you – for this week.  For this week, just let us handle it.”

I took him at his word.

It was the best decision I made all week.