Monday, July 25, 2011

Utah Visits

After leaving Idaho, I headed toward UT for some rapid fire visits of some friends before I headed back to TX.
My first stop was to see Collette.  I have to add a disclaimer that I had just exercised and hadn't showered yet, so please excuse my face in this picture.  Collette looks great as usual! :)
After staying with Collette, I headed to SLC to see my old roommate and good friend, Allie.  Here she is with her two little girls Megan and Adele.
It couldn't have been a more perfect day for me to visit her because her whole family was getting together for a pool party.  I hadn't seen everyone in years so it was perfect!
Here's her dad with Adele.  He had on sunglasses and his reading glasses.  He and his wife just got back from serving as mission presidents in South Africa for 3 years.  I wish I would have gone to visit while they were there!
This is Allie's sister Jen with 3 of her kids.  She was my roommate for a year at BYU too!
I hadn't gotten Kim yet in the group shot yet so I made sure to get her with her two kiddos before I left.
We set this one on a timer and it turned out blurry.  Oh well!
After leaving Allie's the next day, I met up with Elliott and one of his friends for lunch.
I then went down to Provo and caught Kirsten and her fiance Scott just before they left town.  
It was great to catch up with her as well.  She had just gotten engaged that week.
That night I stayed with Daylen and Scarlet again.  I never got a whole family picture of them again, but I thought I'd put this one in of Valeska.  She turned 4 the day after I left.
I had lunch in Provo with Joe, Brittany, and their cute little Stella at the Brick Oven.  Notice the Y in the background. :) 
I snuck in a quick viewing of Harry Potter then headed back to the Salt Lake area to hang out with Nate.  Julie Larson was there too, but I totally forgot to grab a picture with her.  She had a bridal shower to go to, so she didn't hang out very long.  Nate and I went to a Chinese buffet.  His powers of persuasion haven't faded.  He got me to eat a crab leg, some sushi, and a mussel.  The first two weren't bad, but I actually gagged twice with the mussel.  Never again!  He even ate a few that he thought were gross, but pretended to like them so I'd eat one!!!!!
We had his mom take a picture of us.  This is one of 6.  He's making ridiculous faces in all of them.  I just picked the one of me I liked best! :)  Also, I think this is the only one where he's actually looking at the camera.
This one is not actually in Utah, but it fits.  I left UT and made a 15.5 hour trip to Midland.  I've got quite a bit of family there and my Aunt Margene was kind enough to let me stay with them.  It's a double bonus though, because not only do she and my Uncle Blaine live there, but my Uncle Darrell and Aunt Darla do as well.  I had another camera lapse and didn't think to take a picture of all 4 of them when we were all chatting the night I arrived.  I didn't see either of my uncles on Sunday because of meetings.  I did get my cute aunts, though!  I made it home Sunday night!

Back in Moscow

I couldn't miss out on another visit to Moscow to see Adam, Susannah, and of course little Evie!
My GPS took me the scenic route toward the end of the trip.  I ended up on several dirt roads that took me out over several hills.  It was a little sketchy but beautiful!
This picture was actually from my previous Moscow trip, but I forgot to put it in.  Adam and Evie had picked some flowers from a tree and I snapped this picture as she was "giving" me one.  I thought it was cute.
I think this was one of my last nights there, so it's not really in order, but I LOVED having her finish her nap on my lap.  We had to wake her up so she'd sleep that night.  
Evie loves bath time.  Susannah has found this easier than some other methods she's tried.
Brandon came into town to visit and the boys went out fishing so us girls went to the farmer's market, went out to lunch, went on a walk, and had a a great time.  Susannah snapped this one at lunch.
We liked how you could see Evie's reflection in the table.
The morning I left Moscow.  I love this cute little girl!
Susannah was so sweet and made us muffins and smoothies that morning.  What a great send off.  The only thing that made this parting bearable was knowing that I'll see them again in Hawaii in a week! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Havasupai Hike

Last Thursday I flew from Seattle to Phoenix and met up with some of my High School friends. Jinny and Jill picked me up at the airport and we headed to Flagstaff where we met up with a bunch of other ladies for our Havasupai trip. We ate there, then headed to Seligman to a hotel. We woke up at 4:00am on Friday to begin the hike.
We probably didn't start hiking until almost 6:45 am because of the drive from Seligman to the top of the canyon. This is a view from the trailhead.
Luckily they had some port a potties there that we took advantage of before heading down. They were probably the nastiest ones I've ever used.
The first part of the hike is a mile worth of switchbacks to get down the canyon. These girls were all in our group. There were 22 of us in all!
The scenery was so beautiful. That's Jinny in front of me. We all packed our gear in. My pack weighed 30 pounds when I flew in. I left some stuff in Jinny's car, but I'm guessing it weighed pretty close to that because I had to fill up my water bottles and camelback bladder.
We had to kind of "pull over" lots of times going down because of all the mule and horse teams that were headed up the canyon.
Another cool scenery shot.
We hiked 8 miles to the village and then continued on the 2 miles to the campground. This is Navajo Falls that we passed on the way to the campground. I think it was a good half mile or more from the campground, though. There were some boys cliff jumping there and we had fun watching for a bit before continuing down.
I liked this view around the bend from where we were in the previous picture.
Just before you get to the camping area, you pass Havasu Falls. They were so beautiful! I would have stopped longer, but by this time, my feet were killing me from walking 10 miles and from going downhill so much.
The campsite we chose was right next to this little stream. Someone put one of the picnic tables in the water and we instantly took advantage of that. My feet were very happy about it. Girls either pulled out their little air mattresses and took a nap or stuck their feet in the water.
After some rest, we set up camp.
This sign tells about the beautiful water color of the falls and streams around the area.
After we were all set, we walked back to Havasu Falls for some swimming.
It was SO pretty.
I got this video of Jinny jumping off this tiny little cliff while others cheered her on. Just a couple of minutes after this was taken, a big thunderstorm rolled in and we took off as fast as our tired legs would carry us back to make sure rain flies were on tents, and that all our gear was put away. It rained for almost 2 hours. We were soaked and pretty cold. We constructed a little shelter out of some tarps and ate pretty early. We just chatted and played games until bedtime.
I shared a tent with Jinny. In the morning, she found a squished frog under her little air mattress. Poor little guy!
We did some yoga to stretch out our super sore muscles before the day's adventures.
We hiked down to Mooney Falls. This is at the rim just before going down. I had to get a shot of our little JCHS class of '95 group.
We had to hike down a pretty shear rock face descending through some tunnel/cave like things. It was pretty crazy but cool.
I took this from the bottom looking up at some of what we had to climb down. It was crazier than it looks.
These falls were even bigger than the Havasu one!
We were pretty hot and nasty from that short little hike and people immediately headed for the water. We played around the falls for a bit.
I took a little video of the the girls out there to give an idea of how loud and powerful the falls were.
There were only a few from out group who didn't hike down to the falls so this is most of us.
After our little photo op, we went down river because some of the girls who'd been before remembered a rope swing down a bit. It was a very pretty walk.
I loved this little spot.
We found the rope swing but the river was too low to do much. Some of the girls still played on it, but it was a good lunch stop for us too. We heard some thunder on our walk back and booked it back to camp again. We kind of packed up and started readying for our journey back up the canyon.
I taped up all my sore and blistered spots to protect them on the way up. I had been blistered by my hiking shoes and my Chacos (water shoes) so my feet were in pretty bad shape, but the duct tape really did help. The hike up was pretty brutal for me. It was a killer getting up to the village. The group I was in hiked pretty fast too, so I'd say that of the 9 miles to the switchbacks, about 7-8 of them were cardio exercise for me. I had to take the switchbacks slow because I was pretty much out of energy by that point.
Here's the Joseph City crew at the top. L-R: Jinny, Jill, Julie, Me, Cindy Brown, Ginger, and Jolynn. It was really good to see everyone. I hadn't seen the Browns since the end of my 8th grade year!
Janet found a puppy up there that was a trail dog that had been abandoned. There was a Navajo lady up there that told Janet she could have the dog so she took it with her.
We made it back to our motel and slept REALLY well. Those were the smallest double beds I'd ever seen. Jinny, Julie, and Jill were in my room.
We had breakfast that next morning at the Roadkill Cafe before heading out.
After picking up/dropping people off, we went down to Jinny's house in Gilbert. It was great to see her little family. They were so great and so much fun.
Her daughter Rylee had some fun braiding my braids. She was so sweet.
Jinny's son Mason took me out to see the scorpions in the backyard. They found out that if you shine blacklights out in the dark, you can find the scorpions because they light up. I couldn't hold still enough to get a very good shot because I set my shutter to be open for so long, but you can kind of get an idea. It was pretty cool.
This morning, my mom helped me take out the 29 braids she'd put in for me before my trip.
The suggestion was made for me to brush my hair after that and this was the result!
This is not really related to my hike, but had to throw this cute little thing in. We stopped by my dad's office today to pick him up for a matinee of Thor. I love my family!