Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now, the Rain is Gone

And now back to adventures with Megan, summer-style! Let me just say I've never had such a crazy beginning to summer weather in Utah before. Most of June, it rained. I couldn't believe it. And everywhere I went, if someone found out I was from Oregon, they would immediately ask me, "Remind you of home?" Well, naturally. And while I love rain, I was ready for the sun to come out. We got lucky at our work summer activity, because the rain held off that day long enough for us to have a good time outside with our bbq, etc., and the sun even popped out for a bit! Hallelujah! But the instant it was over, "the rain came tumbling down". It was crazy to drive home in!

The rain also prevented me from going down to Manti on a blind date. I still went on the blind date and everything, but I wasn't terribly disappointed that I didn't have to drive for two hours away from home with a guy I had never met. Had we actually gone to the Mormon Miracle Pageant (which was what was awaiting us in Manti), it would have been a long, late, wet blind date. As it turned out, it was none of those things, so I thank the rain for coming down in sheets that day.

But the rain did eventually go away, thank goodness. A single sunny day in the middle of the days was the day that Alicia and I went to the Pleasant Grove Strawberry Days Rodeo with Sylvia and a couple other people from my previous ward. It was pretty fun, especially when one of the guys doing steer wrestling got out of the gate and got that steer down and tied up in 3.7 seconds! It was amazing. From our angle, I could have sworn the guy just touched him and he went down. Seriously. Wow. Good day.

At the Rodeo

Last weekend for the 4th of July, Esther and I took a jaunt down to Moab, Utah, where Arches National Park resides. We camped for two nights in a campground that's actually in the city, which was interesting (not-so-interesting was the fact that we weren't allowed to build campfires . . . grrr). We got there at night-time, so we were setting up our tent in the dark. Fun. But we got it set up correctly and everything, and it only took us an hour to get everything settled! Anyway, Friday consisted of going to Arches and hiking to Delicate Arch and then around the Devil's Garden trail, which contains seven or eight arches to see. It was quite warm, and we both had issues with our camelbaks at various times, but fortunately, those times didn't last forever, and we were sufficiently hydrated, even in the midst of the heat. We both got really interesting sunburns, despite all efforts with the sunblock to avoid such catastrophes, but at least now we have proof that we were outside, right? Anyway, there were points when my 'fraidy-cat height tendencies loomed their ugly heads, but I see it as a blessing that the wind didn't pick up while we were on top of the rock fins. I still moved forward. Huzzah!

Some choice pictures from hiking around Arches

Saturday took us into Mill Creek Canyon, where we found ourselves Left Hand, a swimming hole that is a local secret. (we asked three different people for directions to get there, and had a bit of an adventure trying to at least find the trailhead parking lot.) We got conflicting reports of how long it would take us to reach it, so I allowed my discouraging attitude to peek through after about twenty minutes, which was frustrating for Esther, I'm absolutely certain. I am shame-faced. But it was kind of fun crossing the creek a few times and negotiating our way through the jungle-like environment when that was an issue. Missed my machete, for certain. (haha) We did eventually make it, and it was a really fun place. There were a couple of different pools that we could slide ourselves into (really slippery rocks), and aside from a few dogs that liked running around in the water while their owners looked on, we were the only ones there enjoying it. It was a pretty awesome experience watching Esther try to get herself out of the deeper pool. There wasn't really a great way to pull yourself out of there. The first time we were both down in it, I really think it's a miracle that we got ourselves out. So Esther tried swimming against the current of one of the slides, and that caused us a lot of entertainment as her vain attempts increased.

And at Left Hand
(a strategy to get out . . . good luck!)

Our hike back out took a little bit longer, firstly because there seemed to be even more trails presenting themselves to us than there had been on our way in, and secondly, because Esther slightly injured her foot on one of her attempts to pull herself out of the water. But we weren't stressing out too much about her foot injury. That is, we weren't until about four hours later, when we had checked into the hotel, showered, and napped, waking up to Esther not being able to put any pressure at all on her foot. Uh-oh. She was really feeling the pain, so, instead of visiting the 4th of July city park celebration, we drove past it to get to the hospital that was a couple blocks away from it! Fortunately, it wasn't broken or sprained, just a contusion, but I got a few choice pictures of Esther in a wheelchair and then on her crutches. Naturally, the next morning when we woke up, she wasn't in any pain at all. Figures.

After church in Moab that morning (where this cute old lady was kind enough to point out how obvious the burn was on the back of my neck), we drove out to Goblin Valley, which everyone knows is where they filmed a portion of Galaxy Quest. The rock formations there were really cool, but we didn't stay there really long because, well, it was freaking HOT! So, with much trepidation, we made our way back home to Provo. Good weekend.

Last photo opportunity at Goblin Valley

This week was definitely a week of going out to eat. Monday night was Tucano's (mmm . . .) when Tom and Lisa came into town and we met up with cousins to enjoy some excellent meat, and lots of it. We may as well admit that we are carnivores when we go to Tucano's. After dinner, we all went down to Scott and Michelle's house (sans scott and michelle, since they were traveling in oregon at the time) in Payson to hang out and talk more. So fun. I love my family. And I was really glad to see them, even despite hearing the horror stories of pregnancy that Lisa, Kathryn, and Christina were commiserating with. Thursday afternoon we went out for lunch for work, because Brett and Allyson are fleeing the state! (allyson will still work for us from her new home in texas, but brett is going to be gone for good.) So we used that as an excuse to go out, which was fortunate because Sarah Phelps was back in Utah for the week, and it was really fun to catch up with her while we were out to lunch. The week culminated with Thai food with my friend Jackie, who I hadn't seen in at least a year. Oh, man, I was happy to see Jackie, but I was excessively excited about the Thai food. Oh, the scrumptious goodness. What a week to eat.

All right, as ever, I have written an epistle. My apologies. It's not as though people need to know what I eat. But I do feel it an obligation to spread the good word of Tucano's and Thai food. It's just important. That's all.


"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and to let the food fight it out inside." -Mark Twain

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