Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Traveling Day

We left Moab this morning after a nice run and breakfast. We drove to our camp spot outside of Bryce Canyon. We are here until Sunday morning then we will return to our home base after 26 days of traveling. We stopped in Richfield for fuel and a lunch break. We even waved at the town where our dear friend Josh was raised. He was raised in one of those small towns along the interstate in Utah. I understand and feel for his teasings from Darin since I was raised in a small town along the interstate in Wyoming. Darin is forever teasing me about where I grew up. Oh well, not all of us could be raised in large communities like Vegas, Delta or Roosevelt! Well our campground is in Cannonville, Utah. It is about 20 minutes from Bryce Canyon and near the end of the race for the Bryce Half Marathon we will be running on Saturday. We have lots of friends coming from Hurricane to run the race, so it will be a fun weekend. After getting here and getting things set up, we went swimming. Darin's parents showed up about 3:30. We had made plans to meet them at this point of our trip. After dinner, Grandpa and Matt challenged Darin and I in horseshoes. I thought they would give us more of a challenge than they did. Actually I think Darin could take on all three of us, give us a 10 point lead and still beat us! I was given about a 10 foot advantage and was proud that I scored a few points, including two ringers! Matt does pretty good, and Earl taught Darin how to play, but we don't really have a chance against him. The kids had fun playing at the playground and bugging grandma.
Seven years ago a few of you may remember I was not as calm and relaxed as I am most of the time. This was about the time reality hits that you are pregnant with triplets and they are about to be born! Tomorrow is their birthday. This will be birthday number two for them this year and we will have one more with friends when we get home. How time flies! It has been a fun 7 years and we look forward to many more summer trips to add to the fun. Well I better get to bed, they will be waking soon to ask me again what I got them for their birthday!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We ventured into the Arches area today. The temperature here has a high of 98 degrees, so we left the trailer at 8 AM to start some hikes. There were some interesting places to see and all of them required some hiking. We saw Balanced Rock, North and South Windows, Double Arch, Delicate Arch, and Sand Dune Arch. Delicate Arch is the arch on the Utah license plate. Double Arch is where we took the picture above. It was a fun area to walk around and climb. Our paperwork said Sand Dune Arch is loved by the kids, so we knew we had to go there. That was our last stop in the park. They were right, the kids really liked it. You walk in a ways and there is a lot of sand. There is also an arch in an area where you can stop and rest. The kids took off their shoes and socks and ran wild for a little bit. It was also in a shaded area, so it cooled us all off. We stopped by the visitor's center and the kids did the workbook to become a Junior Ranger at this park too. This park had lots of lizards, so they enjoyed watching them. We came back to the camper and had a relaxing afternoon. We went swimming for a bit too. Matt has met two kids from Amsterdam that he has been able to do a little with. They are 15 and 18. It gives him some teenage conversation and fun. We leave for Bryce tomorrow. Our Bryce is excited for that. We tell him they named the Canyon after him! : ) It has been a fun trip. We have seen lots, but I think most of us are ready to get home to our own beds, showers and friends.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back in Utah

Well we left Utah on June 25th and entered back into the state today. We still have more places to go, but it was nice to think we were back in our home state. We are in Moab for two nights now. We want to go to the arches tomorrow. There are a couple of things I have forgotten to write about so I wanted to add those in now. The little kids have their birthday on July 16th. We decided to do a birthday party with grandpa, grandma and Carol. Each of the kids made their own birthday cake with the help of grandma. They turned out beautiful and tasty. They are excited because we have decided to have three birthday parties. One in Rifle that we just had, then one on the 16th in Bryce Canyon, then one in Hurricane with friends when we return. Matt's ankle is doing lots better. He is walking around almost normal. It will be a week or more before we think he should run again, but he is taking good care to ice it lots. One more crazy thing we did - you know Darin and Bryce like to have real short hair. Bryce keeps asking me to shave his head. Well I was decided yesterday was a good day to try it. He likes it, but I did not really care for the shave cream and razor idea. It scared me and I thought I was going to cut him. Everyone likes to give his head a rub and he is a good sport about it. Now he really looks like Lance, Jess!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday and Sunday - Just relaxing!

Saturday we just hung out in Rifle and then went to the movie. The kids had all wanted to see Ice Age 3, so we went to that one. It was a cute movie. Sunday we went to church with Grandma and Carol. It was nice being a visitor again. Not many more of those though before we get put back to work in our home ward. It has been nice relaxing at with my parents and not being on the go. We leave tomorrow for Moab. A week from today we will be home. So any of you that may miss us, not much time left before you see us! The kids have not seen the Arches, and I think they will like them.

Broken or Just Sprained?

Friday we went on a hike to a local cave/waterfall area called Rifle Falls. It was a great hike. We went just before lunch and the weather was great. We knew it was just a short hike, but the kids have a lot of fun exploring some of the caves. Matt was being a boy and was running and jumping over rocks when he completely misjudged a rock and came down hard. He grabbed his ankle and started rolling around just nearing the crying point. Darin went to pull the car closer to us and found someone to help him carry Matt to the car. Side note, the guy he found was a young man going to UVU in Orem on a javelin scholarship. They carried him back to the car and we called the insurance so we could decide what we were allowed to do for him and not be charged an arm and an ankle. : ) Well, we went to the Instacare that evening for an x-ray. It came back with a little chip and we were told the snap that we all heard could have been his ligament. They said he would be off it for a while and it may be two weeks before he can run. He is glad it is not broken since Cross-Country starts in about four weeks. That pretty much was our day. Rifle Falls and the doctor took up most of it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rifle, Colorado and Our Truck

After the long day yesterday, we decided to sleep in a bit. We are at my parents' home now and plan on staying here until Monday when we leave for Moab. First thing this morning we got a call from the Ford Dealer. They can't find anything wrong with our truck. They tested it over and over, drove it a bit and still nothing. I guess it really did just need a rest. Going so long and trying to climb such a high mountain was not in it's plans yesterday! Darin and Matthew went the 120 miles back to get the truck. It was pretty much a relaxing day. Time to catch up on the blogs, play with grasshoppers, and take a nap. Tomorrow we have a plan of going on a run and going to a waterfall/cave area grandma and the kids like to go to. Hope all of you are having a great summer!

Wednesday's Travels

We left Douglas this morning for a 400 mile long day. We figured we could make it to Rifle, Colorado to my parents' home by about 4:00 that afternoon. We were doing great and making good time. We cruised through Wyoming. It was good to see all the antelope and rabbits. Time for reminiscing since I grew up there. We continued south until we got to Denver then went west for Rifle. Denver is about 5280 feet, thus the name Mile High City, and we had to go over a mountain pass that was almost 11,000 feet. I guess the truck was getting pretty tired because it made some serious clanking noise and then lost power. We pulled over to the side of the road. If any of you know the road we were about a mile from the top just about to go through Eisenhower Tunnel. Our check engine light came on so we called the tow truck. They gave us an estimated arrival time of one hour. Well about two hours and a bit more later he pulled up. He towed us about 20 minutes away to a Ford Dealer. My mom picked us up there about 8:30 and we were to her house by 10:30 that night. So much for a early arrival to grandpa and grandma's!

Leaving South Dakota

Well it was time to leave South Dakota on Tuesday, July 7th, so we packed up and headed straight south to Hot Springs, South Dakota for a small stop. We had read about the Mammoth Site in the area so we decided to stop. It was an amazing place. Several years ago someone was preparing the spot for a housing development and scraped a tusk of a mammoth. They stopped preparing the land for houses and built a building over it and now have a huge site. It was a neat tour and very interesting tour and setup inside. We allowed the kids to get a souvenir from here and two of them selected a dirt cube that has mammoth bones inside it that you dig out and then glue together. My little Britton in liking this paleontology work. I told them they could be whatever they wanted to be as long as they lived by me when they grew up. : ) He can work in St. George at the dinosaur place there! After our stop there we got on the road again and headed south some more. This part of the trip took it through the state of Nebraska. We went through the top corner by Chadron, then headed straight west to Wyoming. Very flat and landscape boring drive. Not many animals or houses in the area. We got to Douglas, Wyoming that afternoon for our stop. We did the swimming and playground thing for a while. It was a good stop. We also learned a new game called Blongoball or Ladder Golf whatever you want to call it. Google it and you may get some other name. It was better than playing horseshoes with Darin and getting beat over and over. Well, kind of, he still beat us every time but it was a different game. We will see about playing that at our next party.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Evans Plunge

Well I guess there is only so much history and walking you can make 6 year olds do, so Darin and I decided to treat them to some kid fun today. It was a place we knew all four kids would enjoy without any complaining. We went to an indoor water park. It had a few hydro tubes, a swimming area, Tarzan rings, and a lap pool. It was a lot of fun. Brooke almost cried when I made her go down the tube by herself, but then she wanted to keep doing that by herself. Bryce and Britton got real brave and followed Matt to the steep tube that even I didn't care to go on. They thought it was fun though. I guess I am getting old. :) Matt tried to get across the Tarzan rings, but could only go a few rings. He got farther than many, but we did see a few make it across the pool. It was a fun few hours and a good change from the many things we have been doing. This pretty much rounds out our days in South Dakota. We will be leaving tomorrow and staying in Wyoming. By the way tomorrow is our two week mark. It has sure been a fun trip, but we have some more to see!

Mt. Rushmore and Jewell Cave

The Internet is not available from our camp site this time, so I had to make the walk to the front office to the game/book area to write tonight. Yesterday, Sunday, was a good day. Finding a church in South Dakota is not like finding one in Utah, on every other corner, so we had to skip church. We did our best to make it a calmer day and rested a bit. Well you know me, I rested more than the rest since we drove a bit. Good thing I trust my driver. I make sure he has his directions and away we go. We started our morning by going to Mt. Rushmore. It was an amazing place. We walked part of the trails and read lots of history. We watched a few video clips about the area and just stood and looked at the mountain. It is amazing to see how they made the men and the equipment and work that went into constructing it. I am glad they listened to their math teacher because there is some serious geometry in that monument. : ) The kids all liked it and even told me some stories about George Washington that I did not know! It was a good morning walk.
That afternoon we had made some reservations to walk through Jewell Cave. It is about 20 minutes from us and is the second longest cave in the world. It was a real neat cave. It was actually quite different from the Meramac Caves we visited in Missouri last year. Now that I understand caves a bit they are different because of the moisture. Missouri is much wetter than South Dakota. It was a fun experience though. One of the funny parts about the cave is the discovery of it. Two brothers were riding their horses by it and they saw the a hole in the mountain. The older brother attached a rope to the younger one and dropped him in. He went in quite a ways then he pulled him back out. Just a funny thought though as I thought about Bryce making Britton go into the cave to see if it was okay for him to go in. The National Parks have a program where the kids can become a Junior Ranger. I decided to let them do the program at this cave. They had to do some writing and reading and then answer some questions by the Park Rangers. They are now official Junior Rangers. They really liked the cave and learning about it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Custer, South Dakota and Flintstone Village

We started off our morning with a run. We found a real nice dirt trail that ran along the mountain for many miles. Darin and I ran 6 together then I stopped by the trailer to get Matt to run a few more. It was a neat run seeing some rabbits, a beaver, lots of birds and 6 deer on the path near us. It was a nice 12 mile run. At the end of our run we were talking to a couple who had kids playing at the playground. Come to find out they are originally from Utah and have ties to St. George. Small world! To help with our activities yesterday she said a friend of hers went to the fireworks at Mt. Rushmore and stayed in the rain for all those hours then left part way through the show because the clouds were so low the fireworks were not any good. That made Darin and I feel better.
After that we went on a drive to a cave in the area and made reservations to go to it tomorrow. We then came back to our campground. We are staying at the Flintstone Village RV Park. I stayed here as a kid and thought it was neat. It has an amusement type park so we hung out there part of the day and then walked around the town of Custer. We are watching the fireworks here in town from out RV park. They are supposed to be really good.
We hope all of you have had a great July 4th and remember the people who serve our country. Enjoy your barbecues and fireworks with family and friends!

Miles City to South Dakota!

Well things have been going so well for us, there was bound to be a problem! Ok, I am usually very optimistic, but this was crazy. Somewhere along our trip we read the fireworks were on July 3rd at Mt. Rushmore. That being the reason to be there a day early, we did not want to miss it. So I made some phone calls learned you had to be at the park by 12 to park in the garage and any later you would be walking and that could be up to 3 miles. Therefore, we left Miles City, Montana at 4:30 AM on the 3rd to make it. We arrived at our camp spot dropped the trailer and went to Mt. Rushmore. As we got to a certain point we started to see cars parking along the road. It didn't really hit too hard until we drove 1/2 mile more and then saw the sign that said 2 miles to the monument! Now we are in shape to walk, but 2 1/2 miles uphill in the pouring rain was not sounding too fun nor even possible with our three little ones. It was only 12:30 and the fireworks did not start until 9:30, that is IF they happened with all the rain. You had to carry in your food and put your chairs down in your spot, then stay with them until the show started. You were not allowed to leave your items unattended. Well after many moments of deciding what to do, we decided to keep our marriage in tacked and our kids from disowning us, so we opted to miss the fireworks.
With that as our plan, we had to switch our days around and make up something else to do. We decided to go to Reptile Gardens. We had the chance to watch an alligator show, a snake show, pet a few snakes, turtles and tortoises. It was fun and the kids really enjoyed it. Yes, they keep asking me for a snake as a pet, but I keep holding my ground. The vote is 1 to 5, but I have more authority! I told them all our friends would not come to our house, so please be on my side!
After 8 hours in the car, Reptile Gardens and battling four kids and two dogs, that was enough for the day. We played miniature golf at our campground and the kids played on the playground, but it was early to bed for us.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Custer's Last Stand

This morning we started off with a good run in the area. Running at an elevation of 4,000 ft is much easier than 7,000 ft! As many of you know Darin has a running schedule he has to stick to. He is on the "Couch Potato to 5K Program." Today I told him I was going to run 6 miles and he, in his little competetive mind, decided to run with me. It was actually nice having his company. We didn't talk much, but it was a good run. So for those of you who know his routine, yes he really did it and he changed his routine on his own! : ) After that we packed up and headed east a bit. We made a detour to the Custer Battle Field. It was a neat place. Lots of history there. There is still some controversy in the area with the white men and the indians. They have changed some things in the area even as recent as 2003. It was fun trying to explain this site to the kids. They enjoyed it though and Britton really caught on to some of the stories. He was retelling me some things and you can tell he understood. The weather did not cooperate too well with us at this site, so we did not stay long. It was a good stop for lunch and yes another sandwich. Brooke is already tired of them. : ) We then went 150 more miles to a small town called Miles City. We are staying here tonight and then getting up way early to go to South Dakota. We rented the kids some bike type things to try and wear out their little legs. Then after dinner they went swimming. We have a busy day ahead, so I sent them to bed early. We will hit two new states tomorrow so we can put those new stickers on the trailer map. We found out Mount Rushmore puts on its fireworks July 3rd, so we have to be there way early tomorrow. I will let you know Saturday how things go since we will get home mighty late tomorrow night. There are supposed to be thousands of people that go to the show, but it is also supposed to be one of the best. I hope so, I have looked forward to this part of the trip for a while! I really like fireworks. That could go back to my past and illegal activities, but I have repented so let's leave that in the past. : ) Well that's about all for tonight. I will keep you posted on our activities for tomorrow when I can.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Museum of the Rockies - Bozeman

What a fun stay we had in Yellowstone, but that too had to come to an end. We headed north to Bozeman, Montana where a wonderful museum is with lots of dinosaur stuff. Our kids love dinosaurs, so it was a must stop for us. Britton now wants to add paleontologist to his list of want to be when I grow up. The museum also had pirate treasures, Indian artifacts, wild west history, and lots of other stuff. It really was quite the place. We spent a couple hours there, then headed east to a small area called Big Timber. It is a nice KOA where we had plenty to do for the evening to keep us busy. We went swimming and I got my laps in for my cross-training while dodging the football that was coming at me or the three smaller people doing a cannonball or belly flop over me. Then we ate dinner and the campground host taught us how to pan for gold. Never know when you may need that talent. Darin decided he would just go to the jewelry store for Brooke's gold items. After that we had to try out the jumping pillow and the basketball court. I lost quick in pig to Matt and Darin, so I headed over to the pillow. It is a huge trampoline/bounce house put together. It was fun. As you can see from the picture I can jump! Ok, not really it is just the position of the camera because these legs have no jump in them. I guess that's good for now. I better get my rest, we have lots of miles to run and drive tomorrow!