Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Havasupai Indian Reservation

we went to the Havasupai Reservation this last week and had an amazing time! we drove down Wednesday afternoon and arrived at the rim of the canyon just in time to start hiking (about 5 am). it was a ten mile hike from the rim to the campgrounds and we had amazing weather. we went to Havasu Falls first and cooled off in the water by climbing up under the water fall and jumping off cliffs through the waterfall... very cool! Next, we headed to the campground to pick our spot and we waited for our bags to arrive on the pack horses. They didn't come as early as we'd hoped so some of our group headed to Mooney Falls a few miles down trail. The descent to the bottom was pretty wicked, but so cool! You basically use chains and anchors that are placed in the rock and make your way down the rock wall. (Mom, this is the part you wouldn't want to see!) what a rush! we found a rope swing and played on that for a while and swam under the small falls to a little alcove. We didn't swim to the main falls because it's 200 ft. tall and makes quite a wind and tide away from it. we headed back to camp to see if the bags were there yet (we were starving!), just to find out that they weren't there. we waited a bit longer and they showed up so we set up tents and made a late lunch. some people fell asleep (Jeff was out for the count!) and some of us went to a fun rope swing to play for a while. we ate dinner, hung out around the camp and then finally crashed. the next morning we set out for Beaver Falls. it was a beautiful hike through green valleys and floating down the river in the canyon. we played a while on the way, at a rope swing,Jeff tried to do a back flip and couldn't quite figure it out. It was on this leg of the trip that Mandy got swept down a little waterfall and Jeff went down after her. Needless to say we got pretty beat up. Mandy got it the worst. She was quite the trooper however and finished the hike and the rest of the trip in stellar fashion. On the way to Beaver Falls there were many other falls that we jumped off and had a great time. We finally made it to Beaver Falls and Mandy ended up having to jump off a 25 foot cliff to make it to the other side. She again did great! Most of the guys ended up jumping off the big cliffs at the fall. After all the excitement, we started to hike back and didn't have any more incidents. The next day we went to Navajo Falls and by now Mandy's scrapes were really painful. But she was a good sport and we climbed all over the falls. Up through pools and trees... very cool! We ate lunch at the falls and stayed there most of the day. We headed back to camp and ate dinner and got organized since we were leaving very early the next morning. In the morning, Mandy realized why her toes had been throbbing and painful the whole trip... she had 1/4" blisters under her big toes so she couldn't put her tennis shoes on. She hiked out in her Teva sandals and barely made it, but we persevered and made it to the top just when our bags got there. We packed up and headed out. We stopped and Denny's for breakfast (we were famished!) and made the long haul back to Utah. It was not a great trip for Mandy considering she lost 3 toenails and gained some good scars in the process (while 10 weeks pregnant), but Jeff can't wait to go back! (Mandy wants to go too, only she'll take the helicopter in this time!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Misc photos and videos to catch up!

this is old... mid-July
here are some photos and videos that i love. they're not in order as far as dates go, but just some i'd like to share. we are having so much fun with asher! he amazes us everyday. he loves to be outside and play. he's walking very well now and can almost run. he's learning his first word, moon, which he pronounces mmmaa... so close! he's up to six teeth and has a few more on the way. his hair is growing so much and is still very curly. lots of people say it's getting blonder too. he loves to play with cars, trucks, jeeps, motorcycles, etc. pretty much anything with wheels. he makes a great sound when he plays. if you haven't heard it, check out our post from Yellowstone. we have a video of him playing in the campground with his jeep and he makes his noise. he loves to climb the ladder in his play room up to the loft. the video is about a month old, so he's faster at it now. he loves to give big hugs and will squeeze really tight and grunt! he gives kisses too. he's so loving and holds our hands while we pray (well, our fingers anyway!). we love our little dude so much and are so thankful for him in our lives.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Yellowstone July '08

We went to Yellowstone for the 4th of July weekend! What a blast! Asher had such a great time and loved sleeping in the tent. We left Thursday evening and stayed in the west at the Madison campground. Asher loved seeing the stars (he usually goes to bed before it's dark enough to see them). He slept in his own sleeping bag and was such a trooper. Our airbed had a slow leak so we had to refill it several times throughout the night... not fun! The next day, we tried to swim at the Firehole River, but the river is running too high so it was closed... bummer! We were really looking forward to having Asher swim in the river again. Maybe later this summer? We headed down to Old Faithful and got some great photos there. Asher took a nap in my arms inside the amazing Old Faithful Inn and then we headed to the Lamar Valley. We stopped on the side of the road on the way and saw a black bear (that was brown). It was relatively close and it was fun to see. We got to the Lamar Valley and stopped where some people had pulled over. There was a Brown bear (Grizzly)! It's pretty rare to see one of those and it walked closer and closer to us. We got great views of it and even took photos through a spotting scope! We headed to the Pebble Creek campground to ensure we got a spot and set up camp. I had decided that we should pack breakfasts and lunches, but to eat out for dinner. I just don't like having to wash all the dishes in the freezing cold sinks and make sure you get all the food off to not get eaten by a bear! So we headed out the northeast entrance to Cooke City, Montana and ate at a restaurant there. Asher made lots of new friends (as always) in town and we enjoyed our time there. We headed back to camp and on our way, we saw two bison in the road. Jeff stopped the car to let them pass. Well, they passed all right... about one inch from our side mirror! Jeff almost touched it, but I wouldn't let him! Close call! Asher got so excited when it was time for bed. He crawled all over Jeff and me and giggled like crazy! He sure loved the tent. He tried to eat my nose, cheeks, forehead... whatever he could get his mouth on! He finally settled down and we all slept well (except Jeff... he's a pretty wimpy camper! =) ) The next morning, Jeff woke up early and went out to see the wolves. He went to the normal spot and nothing was happening so he headed back to camp. On his way, he saw 3 wolves off the side of the road... very rare! He rummaged through the car trying to find the video camera and they started howling! Two more wolves popped up out of the grass and he still couldn't find the camera! He raced back to camp to wake us up and we all headed back. We missed the roadside show, but saw them through spotting scopes. They are amazing animals and we've been lucky to see them as much as we have. We headed back to camp, ate breakfast and packed up. There wasn't any action on our way back through the valley so we headed to our next campsite. We stayed at Bridge Bay campground and we got a good spot with a view of Yellowstone Lake. We set up camp and let Asher play around. We took a walk through a meadow and into a forest on the other side. It was a great day and we enjoyed the sunshine. Asher and I took a nap and then we headed to dinner at Lake Lodge right by the lake. We hung out there for a bit and let Asher meet new friends. We had a fire back at the campsite and headed to bed. Asher had another hyper session and crawled all over until he collapsed in exhaustion! We woke up fairly early, had breakfast and packed up. We wanted to spend some time in the Tetons on the way home. Unfortunately, we caught the traffic of everyone else headed home so it took longer than we expected. We picnicked right by Jackson Lake and had a great view of Grand Teton and Mount Moran. We headed home... what a drive! It took us 6 hours total! We were very ready to be home and shower up! All in all, it was a great trip and Asher is a true camper... good thing he got my genes there! Just kidding Jeff! We love Yellowstone and feel very blessed to live so close. Love to everyone, MK