Saturday, January 24, 2009

SNOWMOBILING!!!!


Last weekend Barbs and I took the opportunity to go to Daniel's Summit near Strawberry Reservoir to go snowmobiling. As a Christmas gift Barbara reserved a snowmobile for us to have all to ourselves for an afternoon. We couldn't have picked a better day, the weather was PERFECT! Even though it hadn't snowed for about a week, it didn't matter, the Uintah Mountains were high enough to provide powder snow wherever we went. With thousands of acres of open terrain, Daniel's Summit provided enough trails, fields and forests for us to ride in for the day. But, before we could take off, we had to make sure we had the right gear for any outdoor motor occasion. I sported the want-a-be extreme helmet with the protective face guard while Barbs sported the retro Star Wars X-Wing Fighter Pilot Helmet with the flip down visor :) You have to admit, she looks MMMMMM....MMMMM... GOOOOOD!!!

We headed out on a 35 mile trail that took us to the top of the summit where we could look out across both the Heber Valley and Utah Valley. We were blessed to have gone snowmobiling on a day where we had sun, blue sky and only a handful of clowds.

Barbs did a great job helping me drive the snowmobile up the canyon trail to the ridge. I think she's a natural. Barbs comes across as a gentle person, but get her on a polaris RMX, and she can tare things up :) Every couple miles on the trail we would break off and blaze our own trail. Even though I absolutely loved doing this, I don't think blazing our own trail in the back country was Barbs idea of having fun. She kept reminding me that there were groomed trails for a reason, I just liked to think of them as trails or guidelines that were there for those unadventureous type. Although I have to admit there were a few times that my heart started beating fast when we got turned around in a hollow full of aspen trees and another time when we had to decend a 200 yard hill, that was steep enough to make anyone struggle trying to climb it, while at the same time dodging aspens and pines. The addrenaline rush was enough to make anyone want to turn around and do it again :)

Thanks to my beautiful and daring wife for the wonderful weekend adventure that we will never forget. This is definitely one of those events that you hope will become an annual tradition.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall Activities



Here it is, my first official blog post. Every night for the past month I have been saying I was going to do this but haven’t found the time, so we’re going to start back at my birthday. Drew took me up to TaiPan to get fall decorations. I’d wanted to go forever so it was fun to finally get up there. We found some great stuff, which has been fun to decorate our place with and enjoy during the fall season. Our next fall activity was making pumpkins over conference weekend with Drew’s mom and sister. Even Drew pitched in and made some fun pumpkins! My sister gave us this great pattern. They all turned out really cute and were actually pretty simple. But now we have so many pumpkins in our living room, we feel like we’re living in a pumpkin patch sometimes- we may have gone a little overboard. =) A couple weeks ago, we finally found a day that both of us had off and got to enjoy our day together by going on a hike and enjoying the beautiful weather. We went up American Fork canyon and loved all the fall colors. Unfortunately, we went during the heart of hunting season. Luckily, we left our moose and deer hats at home in the closet ☺ We passed numerous groups in camo with rifles slung over their shoulders and heard shots in the distance about every ten minutes. But, it was really fun to get out and enjoy the outdoors before winter sets in. One night when we were coming home from playing tennis we drove by “The Halloween House.” This gets our number one vote for best decorated house in town. Now we know what our competition is for next year. We also carved pumpkins, twice. Thinking we’d plan ahead, we carved pumpkins two weeks before Halloween, but didn’t realize they would go soggy so fast! So we had to throw those ones away and do it all over again. We enjoyed Halloween evening together, eating pizza and watching movies. Drew picked the Haunted Mansion and The Burbs, I’d never seen either. Both were good, the Burbs was hilarious. It’s been a great couple of months. We celebrated our six-month anniversary in October, crazy it’s already been that long, it’s been so great! Just trying to keep up and take a day here and there to have fun and enjoy each other.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kokopelli Triathlon 2008

This past Saturday, Sept. 20th, Barbs and I had the opportunity to compete in the Saint George Kokopelli Triathlon that is held every year in the fall. After picking up our wetsuits Friday morning, we hit the road. After hitting a few hairy rain storms on the highway we were concerned that we would have to battle a typhoon during the triathlon. Once we got closer to Saint George the skies cleared and the weather was impeccable. A balmy 85 degrees with a slight breeze, mmmmmmmm...nice. After signing in at registration and picking up our packets and numbers, we headed to the Red Cliff Inn. To our surprise, the Red Cliff Inn was located right across the street from the new In-N-Out Burger joint. Barbara was in heaven :) She couldn't wait to go there. I had to restrain here from immediately running across the street and grabbing a #2 cheeseburger combo. It just wouldn't set well during the triathlon. Latter on in the evening we met up with Weston & Becky and Kyler & Jen at the local Pizza Factory. We gobbled down as many carbs and we could handle for the traithlon. That evening we prep'd the bikes and hit the sacks early. The following day started way to early. We woke up at 5:20 a.m. and quickly loaded all of out gear and bikes on the car and headed to Sand Hollow Reservoir where the competition would take place. We set up our transition areas with our bikes, biking gear and running shoes and quickly squeezed into our wetsuits. The water was perfect! About 64 degrees and smooth as glass. The swim was as intense and we anticipated but the steep hill that we had to bike up during the bike portion of the race was brutal. It's about 3/4 mile long and has about a 90% grade. DANG!!! The run was as good as it could have gone, considering that you're running in the desert, on dirt and in 94 degree heat. Why do people willfully put their bodies through such pain and torture? BECAUSE WE LOVE IT!!! Whaaaawhooooo :) Barbs and I were very pleased with our overall standings and finishing statistics. I finished 19th in my division with an overall time of 1:34:96. Out of the 1200 competitors, I was able to finish the about the top 30%. For anyone who is up to the challenge, we would love to have you join us next year and we make this a yearly tradition.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

GO COUGARS!!!!

On Saturday morning, Barbs and I attended Zack's, my nephew, baptism up in Heber. It was a wonderful opportunity to be with family and see Mom give a wonderful talk about the Gift of the Holy Ghost directed towards Zack and the other two individuals getting baptized. After the event, we all headed over to the Ellis' home for some scrumptious sandwiches and cookies, but since the baptism started at 11:45 a.m. and the BYU game started at 1:30 p.m. we had to book it down the canyon to make it to the game. We made it to our seats just in time to see the starting of the 2nd quarter where BYU immediately scored their 2nd touchdown. Needless to say, this was only the beginning of UCLA's butt whooping. We all know that BYU football is great, but I totally underestimated what BYU can accomplish. I hope that BYU finally gets the respect and recognition that they deserve on the national level. Just look at the score.....WOW!!! Not only was it fun watching BYU smash UCLA, but it was fun to sit with The Boys and get caught up with everyone. While Barbs enjoyed holding Matt & Katie's beautiful little boy, Ben, the rest of us couldn't stop jumping up and down, screaming and yelling every time BYU scored a touchdown or forced a turnover. Needless to say, we were jumping and screaming the whole game. Unfortunately Barbs and I didn't scream loud or long enough because on Sunday we had to speak in church AND teach Sunday School. Talk about a double whammy.......ouch! After a long day at the game, Barbs and I were up to about 2 a.m. preparing the talks and lessons for the next day. Since our church now starts at 8:30 a.m. we barely got any sleep. Oh well, the game was worth it :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Adrenalin Rush!

What can I say, I LOVE ADVENTURE. Barbs and I look for any and every opportunity to have fun and push ourselves to the limits. One experience that I'll never forget is a trip that my family took, at the beginning of this year, to a small place called "La Jolla de Mismaloya". It's located about 30 minutes South of Puerto Vallarta on the west coast of Mexico. My brother Weston and I have always talked about how we would love to go bungee jumping over the cliffs and ocean every time we visited this place, so during our last trip we sucked it up and took the plunge :) Talk about an adrenaline rush, we couldn't stop talking about it for hours after we took the leap. The only thing I remember saying as I leaped off the plat form was AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! and the only thing I could think of was "I hope the cords don't snap and I hope I don't go smashing into the warm ocean water or the sharp cliffs". Needless to say, I'm still alive, but looking back at the experience, Barbs likes to remind me how crazy we were to put our lives in the hands of some side-road bungee shack that probably doesn't meet the security or safety codes of the U.S. and how the cords are probably just waiting to snap any day. To tell you the truth, that was half the excitement :) I was planning on going bungee jumping in Europe a couple years ago when I was there last but when we went to the tram where they used to offer it, we were informed that a few years ago the bungee operator miscalculated the cords of one jumper who ended up dying after smashing into the ground. So........after missing one opportunity to fall over 200 feet, I wouldn't let the next opportunity pass me by.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fiji Adventure

Barbs and I took advantage of our stay in Fiji and tried to experience everything that Fiji has to offer. Wananavu Resort is located on the Northernest tip of Viti Levu (Main island of Fiji), a couple miles from the town of Rakiraki. As soon as Barbs and I landed in Fiji, we knew we were in paradise, what we didn't know is that Fiji is a developing country. The majority of the people live in small huts or shacks made out of cement with tin roofs. The number one exported good from Fiji used to be sugar cane, but is now Fiji water. Go figure :) The natives are so polite and willing to do anything to help. The Fijian culture, food, music and dress is so different and beautiful. While at the resort we did everything from snorkeling, horseback riding on the beaches and in the sugar can fields, hiking, ocean kayaking, tennis and we even slid down a waterfall into a pool of water. The weather was extremely hot and humid but not unbearable. Our Bure (hotel room / hut) was located right on the beach and looked directly out across the water to a nearby island. We were fortunate to see both an ocean sunrise every morning as we woke up and we also saw ocean sunsets every evening. Its a rare occasion to see both the sun rise and fall over the ocean. On our last day in Fiji, we took the ocean kayaks and kayaked over to the nearest island, which took about 30 minutes of non-spot paddling. We then spent the next 4 hours just laying on the beach and playing in the water. While snorkeling along the reefs of this small island, we saw everything from sea snakes, eels, starfish, blow fish and every kind of bright tropical fish that I can imagine. After snorkeling for about an hour we realized that we drifted about a half mile off shore and quickly got the jitters that maybe we were a little to far off shore. I swear we could then hear the sounds of jaws playing in the background. Barbs couldn't take it anymore and "b-lined" it back to the beach. I've never seen her move so quickly :) I, in the mean time, slowly swam back taking in all the coral reef and sea life.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wananavu

videoWananavu means paradise in Fijian. Take a second to view and listen to a native little tune that will make you wish you were out of the office and on the beach of the South Pacific. I have about a half a dozen songs recorded by this back-porch group that is wonderful to listen too. Every afternoon and evening this group would serenade the resort guests as we ate native pineapple, homemade bread, salads and sandwiches. The dinning room and porch where we ate everyday hung off a hill that overlooked palm trees and the ocean. Everytime I take a second out of my day to listen to their songs, I swear I can hear the sound of waves crashing and the rustling sound of palm beach leaves swaying in the background. Even though I love the mountains, there's a little piece of my heart that has fallen in love with the South Pacific.