the adventure

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

As you can tell, I am catching up in the blogging lately. Don't worry there is more to come, its been an eventful couple of weeks. Today we'll turn our attention to July 24th: Utah Pioneer Day and the narrow-minded ambition to conquer the mountain.

For what its worth, I'd done it before. This was nothing new, except that I'm older, balder and fatter, but then again, that's not the point. I woke up at 7 am to begin the trek, by eight o'clock a.m. I was packed up and ready to go, however my overly ambitious hiking buddy was not. None the less, it was an hour later when we finally pulled off the road and claimed our parking spot. For the next six hours my little white truck would wait faithfully for our return.

It towered upon our approach and even more so standing at its base. She goes by the name of Mt Olympus and Paul and I were determined to reach the top, clinging to the recklessness of our youth. 3.7 miles, 4,000 vertical feet, and little did we know at the time, 99 degrees of sweltering heat awaiting our descent. Let's roll.

If you want a beautiful hike scattered with breathtaking views and well trekked trails I highly recommend this particular day-hike. Though be warned, its not a casual undertaking. At about the half-way mark you're headed straight up the mountain. That aside, if you get the chance - do it, its worth it.

As we set our course for the peak we stopped off from time to time tracking geochache after geocache on our GPS's, and resting plenty in the shade so as to not overwork ourselves. My buddy Paul is preparing for a trek to the top of Mt Rainier come mid-August, so he decided to take it to the next level and load his pack with and extra 30 pounds of rock. Not my idea of a good time, but to his credit he hauled that bag of extra devil-rock hitchhikers up one side and down the other. Kudos, Paul.

We caught a few photos of butterflies and lady bugs, incredible valley overlooks and all types of natural beauty along the way up. The first half is relaxed and enjoyable, but half-way through you begin the real hike. Shooting straight up the mountain then twisting through switchbacks, resuming your straight ascent and finally rock crawling your way to the peak you'll discover your reward. Gorgeous panoramic mountain and valley views stretch across ever horizon. On a clear day you'd think you could see the ocean from there. We enjoyed some sustenance upon reaching the top, signed the log book and took off back down. The way down was a straight shot, no photos, just descent.

What we least expected was that the way down was the most grueling of the excursion. About a sixth of the way down I made the process a little more complicated. Getting a little careless and wearing my old hiking shoes (hence retired) I recklessly took a step of a rock and lost my footing. Okay, so thats an understatement, I lost my feet and came down hard, landing on my right thigh... on a rock... a big pointy rock. I thought I knew what a charlie-horse was, oh lord I was wrong! I spent the entire descent with a severe limp and slow pace. Trying to carry all my weight on my healthy leg only wore it out, by the time we reached the bottom both legs could hardly bear the stress, I near collapsed. Though I must say the heat played its part.

Long story even longer: well, we made it down alive and fairly well - all limbs, though bruised, attached. I must admit I am not a bruiser, so I questioned whether or not I would have some legitimate evidence to corroborate my story. I am proud to say that at this time I have a brutally colorful bruise adorning my thigh.

That night we enjoyed the Dancing Cyber Monkey and Keg o' Color fireworks down at the Haskin's farm. I do have to say my Father-in-law Gary puts on quite a fireworks show complete with a mesmerizing choreographed dance number. If you see plan on seeing a broadway show anytime in your life, cancel now, its got nothin' on this. Oh and I must add, I celebrated the conquering of Mt Olympus with not only fireworks but a delicious steak dinner. Kudos to Gary for yet another delicious steak, a perfect follow-up to the days activities.

The next day Shelli and I got away again after work, heading up to Deer Creek Reservoir for some camping. Though we had a lot of fun, and I would certainly go again, I have to admit this throws off my youthful ideas of camping. We were right next to the restrooms so our campsite was incredible during the day providing every convenience we could ask, however at night it was the Vegas strip complete with an accordion serenade. Let's just say we didn't exactly 'rough it'. However, that being said we had so much fun: cooking dinner, playing cards (yes, Shelli will boldly announce she cleaned house in the card games, i didn't stand a chance) and playing in the lake. We'll have to make another trip soon, right when I get done practicing my 'Go Fish' and 'War' skills.

one year and the infamous flower debacle

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

373 days ago... 365 days ago as of July 21st, 2008 (I am a little behind) Shelli and I were saying our "I do's". I can't believe  how fast this year has gone by and how much has happened. It has been an incredible and wild ride. I have discovered many things in marriage in one year, none so much as discovering that I love my wife more with every breath and every moment. I am unexplainably excited for everything the future holds for us. It is going to be an incredible year two with many more memorable days. 

I will spare you any anniversary photos, however Shelli and I had a blast on our trip to the Anniversary Inn in Logan. We reminisced back where it all began and had a chance to get away from all the craziness of our lives (not to mention we had a chance to soak up the deliciousness of tiny spicy chicken from Formosa, one of my favorite dishes).

I tried to be somewhat surprising and have flowers delivered to Shelli, however I forgot she traded shifts on Friday and when they went to deliver the flowers to her the missed her by about 30 sec. They called me right as Shelli was walking through the door (with no flowers) to confirm that she had received them. I informed them that my wife had not gotten the special delivery and they decided they would pick them back up and deliver them on Tuesday the next week (Our Anniversary was Monday). Well, too late, because a co-worker had already texted to let Shelli know that she had a little something waiting for her, thus blowing any shot at a surprise. This is my life. Surprises just aren't my forte, but I try, though I fail about 98.6% of the time (of course, this rule carries over into most facets of my storied life).

Well thanks for reading my lame anecdote. If nothing else it should help you fall asleep tonight. Its has been one of the best years of my life and I know they can only get better from here. I am very blessed to have such a loving, wonderful and beautiful wife. I have no idea how I ended up so blessed, but thank God! I couldn't be happier. 

I love you Shelli and I only love you more with every moment - here is to many more great years of marriage!

The infamous flowers...

back in the saddle...

For years Shelli and Summer blew away the competition in the 4H circuit as an indomitable team. Shelli has been on sabbatical for a few years while she was attending college, however Summer has continued her all-star form with a new rider. Well, they're back. Shelli is back in the saddle and Summer was certainly glad to have her as they completely stole the show a few weekends ago cleaning house with 4 first place awards, a second place and a third place. They were both so excited they even did a little pole dance for the audience (if you weren't there you'll have to ask Shelli, and its not what you might think).  It was incredible to see Shelli back atop Summer and to watch how graceful and powerful of a team they make; it was beautiful. Shelli plans on training their other horse Milly to jump this next year and get her ready to take the world by storm. Shelli is an amazing and gifted rider, and Summer is an incredible and beautiful horse. Milly has a ton of potential and it is exciting to think about what lies ahead. So for now, may I just say great job to my wifey and to Summer for an incredible show. 

The secret is out.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

.....I am a slight.....(ok, let's just be honest)....big fan of American Idol. It's my guilty pleasure that I just can't seem to break. I plan my work schedule so that I will be home to watch AI during it's season. I plan the most important of life's events around it! Who wouldn't? Kelly (either by default, or perhaps because he knows it's amazing as well) is a big fan of American Idol also. So, when my mom got him and Travis tickets to the American Idol Live Tour for their birthdays, I was a little bit pumped. (Thanks MOM!)

The concert was last night, and it was a lot of fun! The concert began at #10 (Chikezie) and went to #1 (David Cook). They all sang 3 songs, except for of course Utah's one-and-only David Archuletta, and David Cook. They also sang songs as a group mixed in there a bit. The crowd (comprised of mostly teenage girls with very high squeaky voices) was pumped, and whenever the word "Arch..." was mentioned, it was all over!

We refrained from buying any memorabilia, but Kelly did admit to me that he really would like a Mrs. Archuletta t-shirt.....I'm pretty sure that it would look awesome on him. I know what I'm getting Kelly for Christmas! Hehe.

Here's a few pics that captured the night, just make sure you're sitting down. That's how incredible it is!

The 5 Year...

After almost a year of planning, we pulled off our 5 year high school reunion this weekend. It was a success and it was really great to see everyone that I was buddies with back in the good ol' days! Being a Sr. Class Officer in high school means that I now owe my life to Riverton High...eek! Let's just say that getting a hold of 750 people from your past isn't exactly easy! I look forward to the next 4 years of rest before we have to plan for the 10.