Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Family Vacation (Well, at least two of us)

Most of you have heard that Jake & AJ are back in Provo, having decided not to reside in Flagstaff after all, and are still deciding where Jake will go back to school (UVSC and Western Washington in Bellingham where Luke & Lindsay are seem to be the top two options). Still, we had fun on the way down, and then Kate & I made stops at the Grand Canyon, Arches, and Goblin Valley on the way back. This picture is of all of us at Bryce Canyon on the way down. We made a quick 1 hour stop there.

This one is at Walnut Canyon near Flagstaff, a set of old Indian ruins (Ancestral Pueblo, formerly Anasazi), pretty well preserved. You have to climb down 240 steps to get the level the ruins are on, loop around a little island in the canyon, and climb 240 steps back up.

We said goodbye to Jake & AJ after Walnut Canyon, and then Kate & I were off to the Grand Canyon, where, in spite of living in Utah all our lives, we had never been. I think it had something to do with the 5000 foot drop to the bottom of the canyon, and six small kids. We camped at the campground, took the shuttle buses to the various viewpoints, and just enjoyed the views. At one point, being the bird nut that I am, I was watching some huge bird soaring around the canyon, probably a thousand feet below us, and couldn't make it out to be any kind of vulture that was supposed to be there. I finally decided that it looked like a California Condor, one of the two or three rarest birds in the world, but I thought that wasn't right. I only knew of them being in the southern California deserts, and told Kate that I needed to talk to a ranger. She pointed out that there was an article in the little newsletter they give you when you enter the park about reintroducing the Condors to the Grand Canyon a few years ago, and that it probably was. It was still pretty cool. They have a 9 foot wingspan, and are very impressive in flight. Last thing that night, I locked my keys in the trunk of the car back at the campground. The only set of keys to the Impaler that we own. That cost us about an hour in the morning, and $60. We got new keys made as soon as we got back to Ogden, and I now carry one in my wallet.

We also made stops in Arches, which I hadn't been to in about 11 years, and at Goblin Valley, where Kate had never been. I'd been there two or three times with the boys and the YM over the years, but it is a pretty incredible place, and way out of the way. Well worth the trip, though. Here is one picture of Kate and I, and another of just the scenery. It was hot there, probably about 105, but we don't know for sure. If you saw the movie "Galaxy Quest" with Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver, that is where they filmed the desert scene.

Kate has more pictures, and I hope she will get some posted, but I wanted to at least say Hi. It will probably be a while before we get back down to Utah, so hopefully we'll see some of you at Christmas.

Kevin & Katie