Monday, October 18, 2010

Grand Canyon - Rim to Rim

Last Friday I took a quick trip up to one of the 7 Wonders. The Grand Canyon. It really was a quick trip. We left Thursday at 4 pm and got back Friday night at 10 pm. But we did a whole lot... Like, 21 miles.

We set up camp at the top on the South Rim:
After waking up at 3:30, we hit the trail right at 4:30am.
We made it to Bright Angel Campground at the bottom in just under two hours. We really made great time going down.

We found some picnic tables at Phantom Ranch and stopped for about a half hour to eat and recoup.

It was 7 miles from top to bottom, and then from there, it's 14 miles to the top via the North Kaibab Trail... only 14 miles.
Gotta stop the blisters before they start.
We hiked a bit more and stopped to eat again a couple hours later.

About the time we saw this chopper flying through the canyon, we were hoping they had sent it for us... or at least I was.
Cottonwood Campground is the halfway point on the North Kaibab, meaning there's only 7 miles left! I was wishing I hadn't used to much energy coming down the South trail so fast earlier. But the Canyon sure is beautiful.

This is the last picture I took before I died. I had just ran out of water. And it was hot. This is right after the last bridge you go over in the canyon, and from there, it was just steep switchbacks all the way up the last 3 miles or so to the top.
Luckily, there's a water station at about 1.7 miles left. We rested and refilled there before starting the last stretch of switchbacks. But right after we started from there, it started raining. It was falling nice and steady almost the entire rest of the hike out. And it was cold. And miserable. Though I really think the cold that the rain brought helped ease the pain and soreness in my legs. Really. It was kind of a blessing in disguise. But a miserable blessing, because I don't like hiking in cold rain. I was fortunate that I bought myself those new hiking/outdoorsy pants you see me wearing, because they dried super fast when the rain stopped (and here Shirley thought I was dorky for buying those pants).

All in all, it was fun. And though I tell Shirley there's no way I'd ever do it again... I really would. Though next time I would make sure to train much better beforehand. I made it out in 11 hours. Seriously one of the hardest things I've ever done.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Last Update

Oh yeah, and Shirley had her birthday!
It was loads of fun.

And in other news... I'm a pretty handy guy. Just thought I'd throw this in here. Though out back porch has been a mess with all the little projects goin on.

Still Catching Up - 24th of July

We went up with our friends Natalie and Jack to St. Johns for the 24th of July weekend. She grew up there and they invited us to head back with them for the Holiday.

Now, growing up, I honestly never made the connection that the 24th of July was a big mormon holiday. I never did. Looking back I remember doing things like miniature pioneer treks around the neighborhood when I was in primary at church, but I never associated things like that with the fact that we were celebrating the 24th of July and remembering our pioneer ancestors who bravely trod across the country to find a place to settle and practice freedom of religion.

It wasn't until I was serving as a missionary in Montana, where members in even small, small towns would gather to celebrate the holiday, that I realized the 24th is a big reason to celebrate! They would gather together and play stick ball, wrapping a softball in rabit skin and using an old tree branch for a bat. It was fun.

So, anyhow, we wanted to get out of Mesa (where, admittedly, they do celebrate the day - just not as much as in a small town) for the 24th. and go somewhere where they knew how to do the day right.

It was a week long celebration in St. Johns that the whole town got in on. There was a youth dance and a junior rodeo and all kinds of other things leading up to Saturday. We got there early Saturday and, missing the big community breakfast, made it in time for the Parade! They had a full on parade! I caught a couple pictures of the coolest float I have EVER seen.

Meet Abe Lincoln. He stood up! And then would sit down just in time to miss getting decapitated by the power lines. It was amazing!
After the parade we went back to the house for lunch and then headed out to the Rodeo! Did I mention I love rodeos? Cuz I do. Sometime I pretend to want to be a cowboy. Anyhow, it was a real rodeo and everything! And how do you know if it's a real rodeo? Simple... does it have real bull riding. And this one did.
It was awesome.

The celebrations continues with a big community dinner at the park in town and then a nice program in the highschool auditorium. Following which there was the adults only dance that lasted late into the night.

We stayed for church Sunday and drove back home. Another short trip, but packed full of fun activity.

Late Updates - Cabin Trip

We like to go to the Mackey family cabin. It's an old kind of cabin. I like to say it's like a "dad-and-granddad-built-it-with-their-bare-hands" kind of cabin. But it has a nice feel to it, and there are never too many bugs in the kitchen/bathroom when we show up. We've been trying to make a lot of little trips like this this summer since we're having that babeh soon and are not sure how often we'll be able to get away after he/she (probably 'he' though - we just don't know for sure yet) comes. We managed to take two pictures on this trip.

The first is random, but it's just a picture of the kind of stuff we do when we go to the cabin - eat cheese-its and play games. This is one of our recent favorite games. It's called Ticket To Ride. Ever played it? It's loads of fun. Give us a call sometime and we'll have a game night and play it. Really, do... it cost a lot and I want to get my money's worth out of it. Plus it's fun!
And here's Shirley cooking something in the kitchen. I think it was potstickers. She was craving them that day. :-)
The end.