Sunday, September 27, 2009
P.S. For those of you reading my blog, you can now post comments.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
D. Money making opportunity
The correct answer is: C & D
It used to be just C for our family, but now for Kevin's business, it's both. Living in the Southwest is a peculiar thing when our storm comes in the form of dust. Very pleasant. This storm was when Dillan, Chloe, Sharon (Arizona Grandma-no relation to us, but we filled a vacancy that she had) and I were on our way to see Wicked.
Now haboobs can be very interesting to watch as you observe the dust rolling in across the valley or on the news in the comfort of you confined space.
We had to walk through this, so I told Chloe to close her eyes and I would guide her through it. Up there in the left hand corner is Gammage Auditorium, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I know he's a legendary architect, but I am not a fan of this building. For starters, the rows are one continuous long row of 100 seats, so say you are in the center and need to get a snack/ drink, you have to squeeze past everyone, because of course, it was designed at a time when people were smaller, so there is little leg room. Then if you are seated in the balcony, the grade is steep so as you are squeezing past everyone, you feel as though you could pitch sideways and fall in the row down from you. Not that I'm complaining. I think if I did fall, I could get a large sum from the FLW estate due to poor design.
Monday, September 14, 2009
It was at this point that the bats came out and were flying a little too close for me and I high tailed it back to the Western Cabin that we were staying in. They should have named it Spider Lodge instead. I was not happy when Kevin says "Look at that spider! It's humongous. It has all these colors." Being the good husband that he is, he removed it. With my hiking pole. There was another spider in the bathtub in the morning, but I had already decided the next time we go, we are not staying in the rustic cabin.
The shuttle was due to leave at 5:15 or 7:15 am. Neither one was a good option since, one was too early and the other too late, so we opted to walk down the two mile road to get to the trail head.
This was my view the whole descent. I mean Kevin's backside, which at one point asked if his pack made his butt look big. Not likely to ever be a problem for him. Don't worry, he gets me back(side). We saw a funny squirrel that we tried to get a picture of that was dark brown and had a super bushy white tail. No, it wasn't a skunk.
We hit the first look out point where one can take pictures or bird watch: We chose to keep going and not look for any birds. It was a lot of downhill, and because the grade is relatively steep (average is 21%), we ran most of the way down because gravity takes over. Fine by me, as I was trying to achieve a PR for the trail. That means a personal record. I know, I've never done it before, but I wanted to set the bar high for the next time, or just so I could brag to my friends who would then look at me in amazement at the physical feats I am able to achieve. But then again, most of my friends have already achieved their own PRs for other things that I will never do. I digress! These are a few of the pictures that I took on the descent.
Kevin and changing leaves. We don't see this in Phoenix. We had to stop.
The tunnel of love!
This is a good example of my downhill view. Kevin way ahead propelling me forward. It's because of him that I was able to finish as quickly as I did. If he hadn't kept my forward progression, I would not have done so well. It is an analogy for our marriage as well. Not that I intend on finishing our marriage quickly, the forward progression, I mean, toward a goal with him being the example and catalyst.
Me at Indian Gardens (pronounced In-jun Gardens if you are from Idaho). No mules! That was the best part! No mules on the trip out that I had to try to pass up. After here, I got my second wind and Kevin told me to push ahead. I did, of course, because I really wanted to do it in less than nine hours.
Almost there! A couple of stories from the trip. One was a woman who was so impressed with my feat that she took my picture to put in her journal. The other is, I kept seeing bare foot prints on the trail as I was hiking out. I could not believe that someone would hike in bare feet. Then I came upon the man, and I said You're the one hiking without shoes! He said that his friend's had broken, so he gave him his shoes! I told him he was a wonderful man.
This is a list of the casualties: All toes except the 2nd toe on each foot and left little piggie. WARNING: The following image may contain content offensive to sensitive viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
That is not a strawberry on my toe, it is a blister, which I popped. Fortunately, I was prepared and did not let the blister juice squirt all over, like it did in Myrissa's car one time.
That's me pointing to where we had come from. The canyon to my right is the North Kaibab trail and then if you look down by my hip where there are trees, that is Indian Garden and Devil's Corkscrew by my waist.
Kevin having some "alone time" with the canyon.
Sedona storm coming!
It was a fabulous trip, even if I am sore in my hips, quads, back, and my chances of a pedicure in the next year are zero, and I feel like I've worked a night shift. That's a weird feeling when you slept ten hours the night before. I think our next Grand Canyon trip will be North Kaibab trail in and out in one day, which is 28 miles round trip. Am I a glutton for punishment? Looking for any excuse to get away? A champion athlete? Maybe all or none of these, but I do know I am looking forward to the next round.
And a big shout out goes to Grandma for babysitting the children AND keeping them alive (big bonus). We are very grateful to her to allow us these indulgences and allow us some together time.
My PR for a Grand Canyon rim to rim is 9 hours and 30 minutes with two and a half hours worth of breaks, which is seven active hours for a speed of 3.42 miles per hour. It will be broken.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I have packed light, which means, my pack at this point only weighs eight pounds, but that number will rise as I add my water, cameras, and make up. The weather is expected to be good. The high at the Grand Canyon rim will be 80 degrees. Now, in the canyon is waaaay different. The bottom is about the same temperature as Phoenix, which the high is expected to be 104 degrees. And from what I have read from past rim to rim hikers, there is a seven mile stretch on the North Kaibab Trail (the on that we are descending) that feels like a parking lot in Phoenix. Interesting. I can't wait to get through that part. I am so excited and hopefully ready. Kevin thinks that I need a shell to wear in case it rains, which is very likely since we are still in haboob season.
This has nothing to do with the hike, but, of course, this is my blog and I can do whatever I want. On Tuesday, Kevin went to the Diamondbacks game with one of his friends. When he came home he said, "You and I really need to start going to those games together." Awww. I thought for sure that he meant he wanted me to go with him so he could parade me around like a trophy wife, which seems to be what people do around here at professional sporting events, like he said Dan Majerle had who was sitting by him. No, that's not why he wanted me there. It was because he saw a couple in their fifties and the woman was rubbing the man's ears while he watched the game. Kevin thought that this would be heaven!
Even though this is a short entry, you may now post a comment on my blog. Please keep it clean (Julie, that means you)! And please, no personal attacks. I am far too delicate to take it. After all, I am a little underdeveloped.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Now comes the final preparations. I've been doing the bleachers in the morning and the treadmill routine. I don't like hiking the local steepish trails around here because it's more like a singles bar on the trail than a training experience. The girls get all made up and are in skimpy outfits and there is a heavy scent of cologne. Ick. I have my new equipment. But now here comes the really tough part. For me at least. Due to the logistics of the feat, we can only take what we will be carrying in our packs on our trip around the canyon from the south to the north, meaning, I will have to carry minimal beautifying products. I know what you're all thinking, What beautifying products? I know it looks like I am a natural beauty, but it takes A LOT to make it look this effortless. Just ask my sisters. This will cut down on my prewaking Kevin up getting ready, but still, it's very tough to whittle it down to just the necessities. Plus, I don't want to pack pajamas and all that. I won't even tell you what my RSP suggested! A little PG-13. This is the biggest challenge of the whole trip. I may change my mind after, but for now, this is it.
As a postscript to the last entry, I forgot to mention a sacrifice my mom was willing to make for us to watch the children. She will be missing the Howdy Neighbor Breakfast. I do not really see this as being a problem since she knows everyone in the neighborhood and they know her, but still, it is an event I'm sure she would love to be at.
There are 10 days until we leave. Tomorrow I'm going to rip another link off of my paper chain.