Sunday, April 27, 2014

Second Spring Break (this year)

Since we missed Arches on the university spring break, we decided to go there on the public school spring break and take the family.

Mar 31, 2014 (Mon)
We took off for Moab on Monday morning (the last day of March). We had a lunch stop at McDonald's in Spanish Fork then continued on to the Red Cliffs condo we had reserved just south of Moab. It was very nice: three bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, laundry, and kitchen/dining area. We were able to fix dinner and relax for the evening.

In front of our condo

Apr 1, 2014 (Tue)
Tuesday morning we headed to Arches National Park. We started with the obligatory 3-mile hike (round trip) to Delicate Arch. The kids did well on the hike. It was windy and cold when we got up there. 
Ready for hiking
The happy rock sitters
Is this what we came to see?
Arch on the way to the arch
Inside Delicate Arch
Huddled masses yearning to keep warm

We then went to Sand Dune Arch, but the wind blew sand in our eyes so we didn't stay long. 
Under Sand Blow (opps - Sand Dune) Arch
Trail from Sand Dune Arch
We went to a picnic area to have lunch. It was cold so most of the kids got their lunch and returned to the car. 
We then decided to go to the Visitor’s Center to warm up. 
Hanna at the Visitor's Center
After that we let the kids go shopping in town. We then went back to the condo, had dinner, and watched “Frozen” (as if we weren't cold enough).

Apr 2, 2014 (Wed)

We woke up Wednesday morning to snow. We knew it might rain, but we were not expecting snow. By the time we had breakfast and got ready the sun was coming out. We went back to Arches National Park. 

We started by hiking Park Avenue, which meant driving a car to the end and trying to catch up with the group. We caught up with Andrea at about half way. It was a very nice hike and brought back memories from years ago when Paul was carrying Kohler on his shoulders and tripped, dropping Kohler on his face and breaking two of Paul's toes.
Park Avenue
Catching up
Where Grandpa tripped during last visit to Park Avenue
We then went to the Windows area and had fun climbing up the arches. 
The Windows
Close friends?
On top of the world!
Smile, you're on a fun hike
Going to Double Arch
Alyssa, that's not an arch!
Kamary, the Windows, not Oh, the wind
We then went to a picnic area. It started hailing when we got there. We decided to try another spot, but it was hailing more the farther we went so we went back to the first place and the sun was out. 
Lunchtime again
Storm clouds
After lunch we went back to our condo. We relaxed. We grilled chicken for dinner.

Apr 3, 2014 (Thu)

 On Thursday morning we got up, packed up, and checked out of our condo. We really enjoyed the condo we had for a few days and were glad we weren't camping. We stopped in Price for ice cream cones then continued on to Salt Lake. All of the kids have been asking to go to the zoo so we ended our spring brake at Hogle Zoo. 

Watch out for the lion!
Lauren in a wheelbarrow
Grandma's house
Two chicks in the nest

Brynlie at the zoo
Grandpa resting after another spring break

March 2014 Highlights

March is the month of change. We don't know if we will ever get used to going on daylight savings time. We also got notice that they would be reorganizing the stake presidency at our stake conference this month. The same day they told us that our bishop had been called into the stake presidency of a young single adult stake so they would also be reorganizing the bishopric in a few weeks. When our stake conference came our bishop was put in as our new stake president, meaning he had three big callings at the same time: stake president, councilor to the stake president in a single adult stake, and bishop. It looks like he will be our stake president and they will find someone else for the other two callings.

Music is still part of our life. Diane attended an organ workshop by Richard Elliot, tabernacle organist. Paul was able to go to the final concert, which was very enjoyable. We also were able to see the university production of "Tarzan" with a neighbor playing the role of Tarzan. They did a lot of flying around on vines. Kamary continues to sing. One evening at dinner she informed us that they had a concert that evening and she needed to be there in half and hour. We made it. She also sang in the 50th anniversary celebration of Logan Middle School.
Our special singer
In the choir
This has been a busy month for Paul. He was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting on Psalms 23 (The Lord is My shepherd). He also had the opportunity to go to the hospital to give priesthood blessings to those who wanted them. This month was "scouting for food". He took Kohler and Kohler's cousin Curtis around the neighborhood to pick up food for the food bank then to a church house to help sort it for delivery to the food bank. On the "hurt" side he had a tooth extracted. It's still sore.

The highlight of the month was Sharon's wedding on St. Patrick's day. We were able to attend. It was a lot of fun to see Dave and his family.
Two beautiful girls
Bride and Groom 
Diane was able to get tickets for the General Women's Conference in the Conference Center in Salt Lake. She was able to take Kate (our niece from Lehi), Ginny (our sister-in-law), and Donna (Ginny's sister). We stayed the night in Lehi so we could attend the blessing of Elodie (Ken & Kate's new daughter). We really enjoyed visiting with family.
A good-looking family in Lehi
Most of the days are spent with a family of 10, each doing their thing. Here are some examples:
Alyssa and Kamary playing "pets"
Andrea on her laptop
Our grandkids think we are crazy. We ran across a Korean soap opera named "The Secret Garden". Diane has always liked the book and musical of the Secret Garden so we decided to watch the Korean version (very different). It is about a super rich boy falling in love with a stunt double. It was a cute TV series with English subtitles (which ran by so fast at times we couldn't keep up). So much for craziness.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our First Spring Break (this year)

March is the month for spring break at the university. Normally we go to Arches National Park, but this year we decided to go to the other side of the state and visit state parks in southwestern Utah. Here is the story as told by Diane:

Mar 10, 2014 (Mon) [402 miles]
            We got up at about 7:30 and read scriptures. We got dressed, packed, and then had breakfast and put things in the car. After some final instructions to Andrea we headed off for Spring Break. As we traveled I read “Escape from Zarahemla”(book 2) to Paul. We stopped in Provo for a stretch and lunch. We then continued south. We stopped for another break and the wind was really blowing. 

We continued on and stopped in Kolob Canyon. We drove up the 5-mile scenic drive then we took a 1-mile round-trip trail to an overlook. It was a beautiful hike and view. 
Kolob Canyon
Finally a place to sit
We then went on to St. George and stayed at Crystal Inn. We went for a swim, which was relaxing, and then we went to the Black Bear for dinner.

Mar 11, 2014 (Tue) [195 miles]
            This morning we got up, got dressed and went for breakfast. After breakfast we packed up and headed for Snow Canyon. We bought an annual pass for the state parks. We then hiked some trails in Snow Canyon. 

We hiked Jenny’s Canyon, which was named for a girl that loved nature and had passed away. We
View from Jenny's Canyon
 looked at the Sand Dunes, 
View from the Sand Dunes
the Pioneer Names,
See the names of the pioneers
Rock climbing at Pioneer Names
(look for the climber up high)
and hiked Hidden Pinion Nature Trail. 
Nature trail
Hidden Pinion overlook
By that time it was 12:30 pm so we left Snow Canyon and headed for Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. On the way we ate lunch, stopped at Quail Creek State Park 
Quail Creek State Park
and Sand Hollow State Park (they are reservoirs). 
Sand Hollow State Park
We then went through Zion’s National Park. I read from the book as we traveled between sights. 
Stop to greet the buffalo
At Coral Pink Sand Dunes we walked on their nature trail that goes across some of the dunes. It was fun and interesting. 
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Down the dune
WATER ----
We arrived at Ruby’s Inn by Bryce Canyon at about 5:30 pm. We had dinner  relaxed.

Mar 12, 2014 (Wed) [176 miles]
            This morning we slept until 7:45 am. We went over to the restaurant for breakfast. After we finished we went back to the room and packed up. There was frost on the car so Paul moved it into a sunnier place. It had mostly thawed by the time we were ready to leave. 

We went into Bryce Canyon and drove to the farthest point (Rainbow Point). From there we stopped at all the viewpoints as we worked our way back to the main part of the park. We skipped the sights we had been to recently. 
Rainbow Point
Yovimpa Point 
Black Birch Canyon (COLD& WINDY)
Ponderosa Point
Agua Canyon
Natural Bridge
Farview Point
After a fire
Sheep Creek
We filled up the car with gas at one of the stations by Ruby’s Inn. We then went to Kodachrome Basin State Park. The scenery here was beautiful. We took a nature trail. 
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Towers of stone
We then headed to Petrified Wood State Park. There was no one there so we didn’t have a trail guide, but we took the nature trail anyway. At the top we found the petrified wood. There was also Wild Hollow Reservoir there. 
Wild Hollow Reservoir
This is hard wood
Fallen tree rock
We then continued to Anasazi State Park. It is a very nice museum of those Native Americans that lived there in the 1200’s. It was very interesting and was different from what we remembered. We then headed to Torrey. 
Anasazi State Park
The views over Boulder Mountain were spectacular. 
View from Boulder Mountain
We got a room at the Best Western Capital Reef Resort. We have a beautiful view of the red cliffs from our room. We love this place. We ate at the restaurant here and enjoyed a relaxing evening.
View from our balcony
Mar 13, 2014 (Thu) [257 miles]
            This morning after getting dressed and having breakfast at the restaurant we headed for Capital Reef. 
Castle of Capital Reef
We stopped at Panorama View Point. 
Panorama Viewpoint
We then went down a gravel road to the Gooseneck Viewpoint 
The Gooseneck
and Sunset Viewpoint. They were short walks. 
Sunset Viewpoint
Hiding behind the tree
This must be our family tree
We then went to the Visitor’s Center. We decided we would hike to Hickman Natural Bridge. When we got to the parking area we found out the trail was closed. We then decided to walk the Grand Wash Trail. We only went as far as the Narrows. As we got to the end of the Narrows we climbed up into a cove and had a snack. We then went back. The map shows the Narrows as being about halfway on the trail. 
The Narrows
Climbing to the cove for a break
We then headed to Hanksville and stopped at the store there to get some things for lunch. 
Wolverton Mill in Hanksville
We headed for goblin Valley State Park, eating lunch on the way. At Goblin Valley we wandered all through the “goblins”. It was fun to just wander. 
Which is the goblin?
Slippery slope
We then headed north to I-70 then over to Highway 10. Highway 10 took us up through Castle Country where the geological formations look like castles. 
San Rafael Reef (I-70)
We stopped at Millsite State Park and 
Millsite State Park
Huntington State Park. Both of these were reservoirs. 
Huntington State Park

We then went on to Price and got a room at National 9 Motel and had dinner at Wendy’s. Time to relax.

Mar 14, 2014 (Fri) [211 miles]
This morning we slept until 8 am. We had to hurry to get ready so we could have breakfast before 9 am. We then headed to Provo. I read to Paul on the way. 

We stopped at BYU and went to the bookstore. We then went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. It was a sports Bar & Grill. It was very noisy with games going on. The wings were OK, but we don’t think we will go there again. We continued on to Salt Lake and stopped at Bon Worth. I bought a two shirts. We then went on to Bountiful. I finished the book on the way. 

We stopped at Columbus Travel to check on plans for New Zealand and Australia. We then stopped at Tai Pan Trading just to look at their seasonal decorations. We then came on home and arrived at 5:30 pm. We have been slowly unpacking and catching up on the weeks news.