Monday, August 31, 2009

Family Reunion in Colorado

Well, after less than a week at home, Darren had to go back to Provo to move into his apartment for fall semester at BYU, which starts today. He and I drove up on Tuesday, the 25th, and he moved into his apartment (reuniting with his old roommates David and Adam) on Wednesday. We hung out in Provo for the next couple of days, during which time I was able to see all of my brothers at least once -- including Kelly, who was recovering from back surgery and divorce. We saw Devery and Easton the first night, staying with them in their apartment; they got up early the next morning to drive to Albuquerque for a couple of days, and I continued to stay at their place in their absence.

On Friday, Darren and I drove from Provo down to Pagosa Springs, where Dorine and I had planned to have a family reunion of sorts. (Dorine's brother Don and his wife Margarita had the cabin that week, and we booked rooms in town, intending to spend time at the cabin during the day on Saturday.) I experienced a lapse of judgment and chose to drive through Grand Junction, Delta, Montrose, and Ouray, instead of taking the "normal" route through Moab, Monticello, and Cortez. Not only was it longer, distance-wise, but most of the towns we drove through in Colorado had traffic lights out the wazoo, and much of the route was mountainous (and thus slow going), and the climb south out of Ouray -- which is on a narrow, winding road with no shoulder and huge drop-offs -- nearly made me wet my pants. (I'll never make that mistake again!)

Anyway, we finally got to Pagosa at about 7:15 pm and met up with Heidi and Devery and their hubbies/kids, and later Dorine and Kiley showed up with Kristy's kids (Kristy ultimately couldn't come). On Saturday, we went to the cabin and spent some time there with Don, Margarita, and Margarita's sister Adriana. Then we drove to Treasure Falls (see photo), which is on the way to Wolf Creek Pass, and finally ended up back in Pagosa at the malt shoppe and the river. On Sunday, Devery and Easton drove Darren back to Provo -- and now he's gone...again. (Sniff!)

As is evident from the photo, both Devery and Heidi are with child, both at about 31-32 weeks along in their pregnancies, and both expecting boys.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Darren's Back!

Darren has, at long last, returned from Honduras. This video was shot by my brother-in-law Mike, although obviously he couldn't quite remember where Darren had served his mission. Darren's homecoming was an emotional experience for all, especially since his flight from Miami to Dallas was almost two hours late and there was a lot of doubt whether he'd make his connecting flight from DFW to Albuquerque. However, he got here all right, even if his luggage was left stranded in Dallas. I am extremely thankful that he made it out of Honduras without difficulty.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Me as a Senior in High School, Spring 1977

My mother took this photo of me right after I bought my Gibson SG electric guitar, just a few weeks before my high school graduation in 1977. I knew at that point that I was headed to BYU for college, and it was at about that time that I allowed myself to be talked into starting school in the summer, living with my brother Kelly and his wife and infant son at a small apartment complex in Provo called the "Hacienda," which I can't even place now. (It was located, I'd guess, at about 400 North and 200 East.) In retrospect, it was a mistake to leave home that soon after graduation, even though it did help bridge the gap between living at home and being on my own that fall.

This is the quintessential me as a teenager -- skinny as a rail; hair parted in the middle (sort of); wearing Levi's super-bells, Tiger (later ASICS) running shoes, and my favorite knit shirt; hanging out at home; sitting on the third of my dad's four Ford LTDs; and holding a guitar. I can't remember if I liked any particular girl at that time, although I had ongoing crushes on a couple of girls (one a cheerleader, the other a gymnast) at my high school, neither of whom I ever addressed in conversation.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ft. Stanton Cave

Today I was pressed into duty, on two days' notice, to guide our 11-year-old scouts through the upper main passage of Ft. Stanton Cave. (Steve Plimpton, who had secured the permit and was to be the tour leader, had a bicycle accident this week in which he separated a shoulder, and I was at hand.) The route we took was pretty casual, as we went down the main passage, past Crystal Crawl (see photo), to the Lunch Room and then back out. (In the end I decided to steer clear of "Skinner's Squeeze" and what I refer to as the "Big Muddy" passage -- through which very long, beautiful extensions of the cave, including one called "Snowy River," have been discovered in recent years.) However, the kids all seemed to eat it up.

Going on this overnight trip were Andy Greenwood, our scoutmaster (and de facto 11-year-old scout leader, since we currently have no active deacon-age boys in our ward), Adam Greenwood, Ray Mocho, Lucas Smathers, and Onesimo Chavez. The cave is about 170 miles from Albuquerque and lies about five or six miles east of the town of Capitan.