Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Visit From the Fallstroms Minus 1

Hillari had a class reunion June 12, so her and the kiddos came down for the weekend. Keith stayed home to work on the packing and preparing of their present home for a renter, since they have bought a new home and will be moving into it in July. It was nice to have some time with Sareny, Isaac and Finley, and HIllari of course. The kids love to come for visits, and they especially beg to go for "Wanger Wides." So Saturday morning we took them on the Wanger Wide to end all Wanger Wides! Seriously, it was so long that they even said they just wanted to go back to our house. They never do that! Jeff isn't known for short ranger rides, so they are used to some pretty good rides, but this one one super long. We took them out to Redrock, and by the time we hiked around a little and took some pictures, it was a pretty long time. And of course it didn't help the situation that Bampa was teasing them all the way home, pretending to take the wrong road at every turn and scaring them that we were lost, and were going to have to build a little rock house in the desert to live in. I think they mostly knew he was teasing, but weren't quite sure............

Sareny and Isaac posing by the hieroglyphics. The picture doesn't really do them justice. They are pretty cool. Isaac was totally scared. He doesn't like heights.

They were so cute sitting in this little cave.

Jeff and Finley. Redrock is so beautiful. And until we got the ranger, I had never seen it!

I love this picture, even though Finley doesn't look too happy. Isaac was trying to be a good brother, but I think Fin thought he was trying to hold her down, which he kind of was.

Finney is just so cute though. The spring flowers were still kind of blooming and it was quite pretty. At the end of this long ride we had three very tired kids. Sareny actually fell asleep on the couch later on.

Sareny finally got to open her birthday presents! She was very happy to get two Liv dolls, and some new Sunday shoes from Grammy and Bampa.

Liv dolls are Sareny's new favorite thing. They are pretty darn cute, and seem much funner than Barbie. They have different wigs you can put on them!

Finley found a "baby" to take care of, so she was happy.

Isaac got to open his presents a little early rather than late. His birthday isn't until the end of June, but we knew we wouldn't see him, so we let him open his too. I wish I could be there for every single Grandkid's birthday, but that is never going to happen as long as they are so scattered around the country. So we do the best we can!

Isaac spent most of the weekend begging (I'm not kidding!) to take a bath or shower. He loves my big jetted tub, and my big shower with a hand-held shower head that he can mess around with. Sadly, no one had time for him to have as many as he would have liked, (it's not like you can turn him loose. My bathroom would be flooded!) so I promised him next time he comes he can bathe and shower to his heart's content. We did manage to have a very nice weekend with them, and look forward to the next time they can visit!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

They Did It!

I think we are home to stay for awhile now, so it's time to continue the blog-catching-up. Pathetically I am now caught up to June.......... So here is what happened early in June: Right after graduation on June 3 we headed to the Grand Canyon for Jeff's big Rim to Rim hike. He has been wanting to do a "Rim to Rim In One Day" hike for several years, so he finally made plans to do it. It's about a 24 mile hike, with some of it almost straight down, and some almost straight up. We stopped to pick up Lexi and our good friend, Paul Webb, who were also going to to make the hike, and drove all night (mistake number one) and got to the GC at 5:30 am. It was so cold! (35 degrees!) Here are the hikers right before they started off, with Lexi lookin' so good in her "Pollyanna hat" as Paul called it.

I had the not-so-fun job of driving around to the south side of the canyon to meet them when they came out, a five hour drive. It was a pretty drive, but I had to be careful and watch for deer because they were all over the place.

These are just some of the many pictures they took along the way (mistake number two). They took so many pictures that they were quite a bit later getting down to the bottom than they should have been. And it was 116 degrees on the bottom! Paul is a really good family friend we sort of adopted (he calls us Mama and Papa Keel), and he treats Lexi like a sister.

Here they are at the Supai Tunnel, which is cut through the rocks to make a trail.

They crossed several bridges on their trek.

Obviously it was very beautiful. It was Paul's first time to even see the Grand Canyon, so he really loved it.

I'm really glad Lexi got to do this with her Dad. It's a great memory they'll always treasure.

Don't they look like pioneers or something, trekking across the plains?

Lexi and Paul on one of the bridges they crossed.

Hot and tired by this point, they got in the river to cool off and help their poor burning feet.

Ever the good Samaritan, Paul not only helped Jeff when his legs started cramping up super bad, but he also helped many others who followed behind them, or were coming from the South side. Paul is awesome, and has some pretty good doctoring skills, as he is a sports trainer at a high school.

A cute picture of Lexi.

Jeff and Paul with the bridge over the mighty Colorado River in the background.

Mistake number three was when Jeff didn't realize he was starting up Devils Corkscrew, and therefore didn't get hydrated enough. He later said it was very aptly named! All of these little mistakes combined to make the hike even harder than it normally would have been, which is bad enough. But Jeff was already exhausted from driving all night, then they got to the bottom when it was so hot, and that drained them some more.
Jeff says he never would have made it out without the help of Paul.
They were supposed to contact me by radio at 2:30 or 3:00 pm, and when they didn't until 5:30 I was pretty worried. Their goal was to climb out at about 6:30 or 7:00 pm . Well, they finally climbed out at 12:30 am, or somewhere around there! I was a basket case. I was very worried by then, because I knew Jeff had been struggling with serious leg cramps. Plus everything closed up at about 10:00 pm, so there I was pretty much by myself waiting for them. Right before all the restaurants closed I bought them some food that I knew would be cold by the time they got to it, but I knew they would be famished so I figured anything was better than nothing. Then I locked myself in the car and tried (in vain) to sleep. I did get to observe some Elk and deer that wandered around right by my car! But boy was I glad to see the hikers when they finally made it out! Jeff could hardly walk, but he was basically okay. We went to our motel, and I was glad I had us a room on the bottom floor. I seriously think we would have had to carry Jeff up if we had had to climb any stairs!

We took Paul back the next day so he could see the GC looking out over the rim, since he had never seen it. They posed by this sign because it was the Bright angel Trail that they were on. All three of them were very tired and sore, but they were glad they did it. I'm glad that Jeff accomplished something that he has always wanted to do, but as far as I'm concerned I never want him to do it again!