After winding and winding and winding our way through the mountains on a road that didn't make Brandon happy - I tried to point out the pothole free paving - paving, not just rutted dirt tracks that had the faint memory of asphalt, and he just pointed to the sheer drop-off with randomly scattered concrete barriers that were only occasionally at road level instead of five or ten feet down the side of the hill - we made it to the spa.
So we turned around and went back to the bottom of the hill. I saw something that looked promising, so after stopping to move a donkey out of the path, we started hiking. Then it started raining. The temperature in Dushanbe had been about eight-five when we left, but with the rain and altitude, it was down to sixty by the time the rain had started. We waited five or ten minutes under a tree to see if it would stop before heading back down in the rain. As we reached the car, the sun came out.
But we still had a picnic in Brandon's backpack, so we went in search of a good picnic-ing spot. After some driving we pulled off by a little stream by the road and followed it back to a nice small waterfall with good wading spots.
The children, of course, were as happy as could be. All of the good stuff - treats and wading - without any of the trouble to get there.
After eating all of the treats they stripped off shoes and socks and waded in the cold, cold water. The only place water is coming from - ever - in this country is snow so that means that any moving body of water is cold enough to turn your legs bright red in about five minutes.
But the children didn't care because it was a clear sunny day and who doesn't love wading in a rocky mountain stream? I remember doing the same thing when I was about their age while visiting family in Oregon.
By the end of our picnic, Joseph was pants-less - his shorts were getting wet because he was just too small - Edwin was soaked from the waist down, Kathleen had her shorts rolled up to her upper thighs, and I had my shoes and socks off too. This is, of course, why we try to choose remote locations that are private. Because if you're white trash when nobody is there to see it doesn't count, right?
Which worked just fine until someone came up the path right as Joseph had gone completely naked from the waist down. This nice little waterfall also served as the local water source for several dachas down the hill from our picnic spot and this man was getting everything ready for the summer, including starting his water. So after watching him fiddle and clean the rocks and dirt out of his pipe and climb the waterfall - useful information for our next trip - we cleared out and headed home.
But I've got this spot marked for the next time we need some private wading on a hot summer day.