Monday, July 14, 2008

Pack, Peddle, Paddle

The "preachers" (teachers and priests) from our ward had a great adventure last week: Pack, Peddle, Paddle. They backpacked for three days in the Uintas, then took a 40-mile bike ride, followed by a day on the river in rafts and canoes. Michael was a participant in this event and I got to drive some of the boys and their packs in Michael's truck to the trailhead: 2 1/2 hours to Roosevelt, 1/2 hour east and then 1 hour on a dirt road going 25 mph. After dropping them off I turned around and made the trip home - an eight-hour round trip! It was fun to see them head off into the mountains with their packs.

Much better than the last time I was at this trailhead: 12 years ago I dropped Brian off there with the Scouts to hike King's Peak. It was pouring rain and I was leaving my first son on his first backpacking trip and everything he owned was wet. I cried most of the way home.

Girls Road Trip

1. Somehow I managed to get to the ripe old age of 50 having never seen the Grand Canyon. It has a been a dream of mine for some time to see this amazing natural wonder. My friend, Judy Richards, just a year my junior has shared this dream with me for some years now.

2. Jenny's sweetie, Trevor, is working hard for their future selling food storage in Mesa so, of course, wanted to visit him.

3. My friend, Clyda Thurman has two daughters and seven grandchildren living in Mesa, so she's always up for a road trip to visit her family. And her cute daughter, Kylee who is one of my lovely Laurels joined us.

All of which led to a really fun Girls Road Trip! So on June 27 the six of us headed out bright and early for Mesa, AZ - a 10-hour drive. I have never been to Arizona (if you don't count that little piece between St George and Las Vegas) so it was great to see new country. Our first stop was on the bridge next to the damn that creates Lake Powell. Judy, Jenny and I thought we should walk across it just for fun. After that we decided that we were the best "dam" friends ever!

We had a delightful weekend staying at Mandy and Aaron's lovely home, complete with swimming pool and fun grandchildren! We shopped a little, ate at the Cheesecake Factory, went to the Mesa Temple ( #22 for me) and visitor's center. I got to see Trevor's house and he even took me to a Fresh Produce store. (my favorite clothing brand) It was a really pleasant and relaxing trip.

On Monday we headed home via the Grand Canyon. We got there Monday night just as the sun was setting. We tried to do some stargazing, but it was cloudy. (darn!) Tuesday morning we watched an IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon and then drove east along the South Rim stopping at several view points along the way and even venturing a little hiking.

I have to say that after anticipating seeing the Grand Canyon for many years, it does NOT disappoint! It is awesome and amazing; beautiful and scary at the same time. These pictures definitely do not do it justice!

Thanks to my fun traveling companions, especially Clyda for being such a great and generous driver. It was a wonderful trip!