Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little Trip

Seth and I went and did a little overnight backpacking trip. Since it was the later part of June, a wet and cool month to say the least, some of the upper Uinta trails were muddy and with snow. The gal at the toll booth told us of some lower elevation hikes. One was up a ATV road to Big Elk Lake, saying "you should have no problem" as she looked at the minivan. The first 50 yards of the road should have told me differently. Being the guy I am, I tried anyway. After about a mile of 5MPH boulder heaven and a literal lake Seth and I decided to turn back. Having gone through the "lake" in the road, I was a little worried since it was so deep. But I decided to stop and have Seth jump out and memorialize the pass back through the puddle. Ironically the van is a "Town and Country". We took the "Country" to the extreme. As a reference, If i would have opened the van door, I would have been immediately inundated with the brown soup. SO i new that I couldn't afford to get hung up or stall. So I took a path down the middle and maintained an assertive foot to the pedal.

We decided on a little trail on Shingle Creek, one of the first drainages up the Mirror Lake Highway. I was worried it was not wilderness enough for my tastes, but up the trail I was impressed with the beauty of the river and canyon. Seth was a little worried about the trail head warnings.

Here is my buddy.

Who, like most boys, likes to play with fire. He couldn't even look away for a picture.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A good fish story

requires a few pictures. I took Seth, Emma and Sam up to Henry's Lake with their cousins. We got up at 4: 30 but was still a little bit late to the ramp as it was pretty busy. We got out soon enough and caught our fill of fish. It was fun, until it got hot and boring. Leave it to kids to get bored of hours of fishing for some monster sized cutbows and brookies.

Sam caught a few, and had fun running all over the boat.

Here is Emma and I with a nice one. I had to hold it because she wouldn't.

Here is Seth with a lunker. Not to many like these in Farmington Pond.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Understanding Kids (Seth)

We were in Park City for the weekend, while Nat did some shopping for New York and some for the kids. We would have done some more had it not rained all weekend. On the way home we took a long-cut over the mountains to see the fall colors. I told the kids that I would give the first person to see a deer, 5 dollars. We were about 25 minutes down East Canyon, just past the dam when Nat yelled at me to Watch out!, then suddenly a really small deer ran right in front of the car, kicking up some mud on the windshield. Had I not hit the brakes, I would have certainly hit it.

Seth quickly inquired. "Was that a Kangaroo?!" It was a nice laugh.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Understanding Kids (Emma)

Ok So we are thinking about planning a family vacation. I ask the kids where they would like to go and Emma blurts out; " Wisconson!" I dont need to say anymore.....Why try.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Understanding Kids (Sam)

Why try... I was helping out the other day folding some laundry in front of the TV. It is not a usual thing for me, since Natalie so kindly does the task every Monday. Sam was loitering nearby, playing with some toys and watching along. When out of nowhere he began to freak out. "Sam", I said, "Slow down, what is the problem". After a couple of iterations of his explanation, I learned that I was folding his underwear incorrectly. I was folding it half. I believe Nat must fold it lengthwise or just lays them flat. Either way I was way out of line. Ah, the little joys.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Trying to understand any of them

What kind of child would do this to thier sibling. Taking advantage of a liitle brother, like he is some sort of doll. They dressed Sam up in this crazy super-chip'n'dale bunny outfit and made him go door-to-door trick or treating. Its only Labor Day for pete's sake. Sam, it time for a little lesson on payback!

Friday, September 05, 2008

First Day of School

Ah, the first days of school... when sanity returns to the house during the day, until homework, friends, dinner, sports and a reasonable bedtime are crammed into a 3 hour block. The peace and quiet is fleeting. Seth is now in 3rd grade, Emma in 1st Grade and Sam has started PreSchool.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Camping at Trial Lake

Well we have been in Utah long enough that we needed to some of the things that we love to do in the State, getting out in the glorious outdoors. Since we actually camped last, we have added two more children to the clan, Sam and Sydney. This was a first for them and they loved it. Sam loved hiking and fishing, while Sydney loved marshmallows and playing the dirt. Like Sam and Syd, Seth and Emma also took after dad and moms respective camping hobbies. Seth was fishing and playing while Emma took care of the treats.

Trial Lake in the Uinta is a nice little gem with plenty to do in the area. Being the 24th of July holiday here in Utah we took a chance, hoping to get a campsite without a reservation. We were luck and took the last one of about 75 spots. Whew! So we set up camp and explored the area. Syd went down for a nap and I took Seth, Emma and Sam fishing.

Sam loved reeling in the line. Seth and Emma were quickly bored of not catching any fish. They complained a bit and decided to walk back to camp along the shores of the lake. Sam and I figured out that the fish were down a bit deeper and wanted to take in some Powerbait. This was mine and Sam's first fish using Powerbait. But we caught it and turned it back int0 the water and went back for dinner of hot dogs and beans.

The next morning after a breakfast of Sausage and Eggs, we loaded up the car to find a less crowded lake. We only drove a mile away to Lost Lake. There we gathered out stuff and walked a 1/4 mile down the shore to a nice spot with some deeper water. We threw in 3 different lines and almost immediately caught 3 fish, all hooked at the same time.

Emma caught the first one, and for some reason, decided to get scared of the floppy fish. She only came near the fish for a picture after much persuading. Sam picked up on this and shrieked at the sight of a fish on the line. He had no problems with the fish caught the day before.
We caught about 12 fish turning 5 back. We kept 7 for dinner. In the afternoon we went for a drive down the north slope to get some ice and visited a ranger station. We were told that bears were harassing campers at Mirror Lake only 6 miles away from Trial Lake. We arrived back at camp to see that Ryan and Joyce had arrived with the kids. Camping with cousins is always a fun thing to do. We had dinner together, including some fish. Even Emma was bribed sufficiently to have a bit.

The next day after breakfast we went for a hike. Imagine that Seth and Emma got a long well and had fun, almost as if they were friends!

We took off north around Trial lake on a poorly defined trail, looking for a main trail up to Wall lake. After a slow hike with several small children, we arrived to find Wall lake to be a beautiful specimen of a lake, larger than Trial and guarded by cliffs on the west side. The expanse of the mountains were more apparent, and despite the apparently heavy use, it felt more serene being away from the cars and campers. We moved to a ledge a couple feet off the water at the foot of the cliffs on the west side to set up for some fun.

Sydney stayed close to Mom since she is just walking now. The rest of us managed to explore a little, fish a little and rock climb the "Walls" of lake.

Nat even strapped on a harness to give the wall a climb. After the heat set in, I took the liberty to strip down to my shorts and take a dive from a 20 foot cliff above the water for a brisk swim in the cold alpine water. It wasn't that bad after my graceful plunge in to the water. Not bad for a big guy. Seth and Parker took the cue and began to jump in for a swim as well. It turned out to be a really fun place for the afternoon.

The hike back was much more brisk, yet longer since we came back around the south end of Trial Lake. The GPS determined that we hiked about 3.3 miles and climbed about 420 feet in elevation. With 2 kids on my back it felt like 1000 feet.

That was the Trip for us. As we walked back into camp it began to drizzle. We packed the car up and headed home. I think we are all looking forward to getting back to camp some more and enjoy all the amenities of the mountains.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Parting company

She has been through it all, a new spouse, 3 job changes, 2 states, 6 different homes and 4 kids, not to mention 6 minor fender benders and over 190,000 miles. But in the end she held together remarkably well averaging nearly 30mpg per tank and only needing the basic upkeep such as tires, brakes, mufflers, wiper blades etc. And with all that I sold her for about 20% of what I paid back in late 1996.

Good bye little lady, you will be missed (kind of).

Monday, June 09, 2008


I got to participate in a "sprint triathlon" last weekend with the boys of the Priests Quorum with whom I work. It was the Desert Sharks Triathlon Club, "Shark Attack" Triathlon. It was a lot of fun despite the apprehension that I had going in to the race. I was not really able to train as well as I had hoped or planned because of travel to Houston and Atlanta the 2 weeks before, but mostly due to bad abdominal pains most likely associated with aggravated scar tissue from the recent hernia surgeries. Despite all the problems, I swam better than I expected after only swimming twice this year. The bike portion of the event was the killer. I used my mountain bike with road tires. This didn't help. I was passed by a lot of people on road bikes, including women, like I stood still. The bike event is where the bulk of all the time is made and lost. I ran on par with expectations in spite of too much walking. The hardest part of the race, without question, is the first half mile of the run. After being on a bike for 12 miles, the legs just don't want to work how they ought.

Attempting and finishing the race was wonderful in building confidence and character in the boys, and hopefully in the the adults (me) as well. The activity was certainly a nice little lesson in life to me and especially the youth, Practice, training and preparation are important and required to ultimately succeed.

Here are the race results for me, the boys and other leaders.

Or see the actual spreadsheet of the Farmington 18th Ward Participants, go to http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pWNXdK1HJ7Xa4sq1VFsq0cQ

For all the race results including individual summaries, go to the actual race page at http://www.milliseconds.com/ResultsQuery.php?varRaceID=1044

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Soccer Season

Well, while we are into baseball season by several weeks, we just finished soccer season. The overlap is maddening. I can hardly wait until Sam is working up through the ranks as well.

Seth had a lot of fun this season. Fortunately, fun is not measured by goals. He learned to hustle and play physical. The kids this age like to show off with chest blocks, sliding kicks, and headers (when they can make contact). Seth played well and was really good at defense, a role-player if you will, much like his father. He liked being with his friends and always was laughing and enjoying the time.

Emma was Emma, always showing up nonchalantly, and proceeding to get about with business. She scored most of the goals for the team. I believe one game she score all 7 of the teams goals. The funny thing is that, while she has fun, it is not what she wants to do. So she isn't going to play next year. She wants to dance or do gymnastics.

Now we can go dedicate a lot of time to baseball.