Sunday, September 14, 2014

First day of school

We had a shorter than usual summer this year (9 1/2 weeks). For some reason they got out late and started early. As soon as Dave and Spencer got home from the 50 miler, it was time to go to all kinds of orientations. Spencer's in 9th grade and has started high school, early morning seminary and cross country. Tyler's in 7th grade, and he has started working in the snack bar. Dallin is in 5th grade, and Brennan is in 2nd. They are so excited that their new principle has gotten rid of the line-up-after-recess rule! Now they get to go straight to class instead of being yelled at by the yard duty that their lines aren't quiet/straight enough. Rediculous. Finally, Levi attends transitional kindergarten at a different elementary school. So that's 5 boys in 4 schools. It's a little bit crazy!

Levi goes to school at 10:30, so he gets to stay and play with Chloe for a couple hours after everyone else leaves. These two are becoming good friends!

The house becomes very quiet after they all leave and it's just me and Chloe at home. She's a pretty good shopper, although she feels so strongly about so many things that everything takes a really long time. I must say, I quite enjoy naptime. I get to have two whole hours all to myself!

Levi LOVES school! He loves his teacher (Ms. Starr), his friends, his lunch, his homework, and his schedule. This is going to be a great year for him!

He came home the first day and announced, "They didn't teach me how to read yet." He is so excited to learn!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

50 Mile Hike in the High Sierras

The Venture Scouts from our Boy Scout Troup went on a 50 mile backpacking trip last month. Dave and Spencer were already up at Courtright Resevoir (elevation 8,170 ft) with the younger scouts, and the rest of the hikers met them up there Wednesday night. They set off Thursday morning. There were 4 adults and 10 youth. They started planning this about 9 months ago (I think), and they were busy all summer getting ready and gathering gear. They had several overnight "shake-down hikes" to test their stuff. They were so excited!!

They hiked a total of 6 days, with one day off (Sunday) to rest.

Lunch break the first day. They were a little tired.

Spencer and his friend Caleb. Nathan and Kevin behind them.

I was so happy they took all these pictures! Spencer also did a video log. It totally reminded me of Survivorman.

They camped the first night in a meadow. It rained, so they huddled under a tarp to cook dinner

"Beans and rice never tasted so good."

They bought this little 2-man backpacking tent for the trip, and they loved it.

They rested their 45lb backpacks whenever they got the chance. 

Spencer's friend, Phoenix                                  I cut Dave's hair pretty short before he left.

Beautiful sky! I love all the panorama pics.

Fleming Lake, on the way to Disappointment Lake

2nd rain storm. They stopped and huddled under the tarp to see what the rain would do.  The hail storm came later that day. 

Disappointment Lake, which of course was anything but disappointing! I LOVE this picture!

Amazing! Elevation: 10, 342 ft

Dave said this wasn't as bad as it looks: it was mostly preventative for hot spots. Spencer didn't have a single problem with his feet, and I think he may have been the only one. He wore 2 pairs of socks (liner socks and merino wool) and newish boots. 

Drying out the tent and gear after one of the daily rainstorms. I think there were 2 days of no rain, and one of them was Sunday.

Looking up at Hell For Sure Pass from Disappointment Lake. That was the steepest part of the trek.

Hiking up to Hell For Sure Lake from Disappointment Lake

Hell For Sure Lake

Elevation: 10,762 ft.

Hiking up Hell For Sure Pass. It's funny because all our phone pictures are in chronological order with each other, so as they were hiking up this (the hardest climb of the week), I was getting a pedicure with Kristen and Nathan's neice, Bethany. 

At the top of the pass:11,284 ft elevation. It was very windy and cold. 

Going down the other side - you can see the tree line.

San Juaquin Falls, where they relaxed on Sunday. Dave took a hot shower (he packed a small backpacking shower, and the water heated up to 110 degrees in the sun), they had a little devotional meeting, and they played Bang.

Spencer went down to the bottom of the falls with a couple other guys. He said it was so nice to go everywhere without the backpack on Sunday. 

On Monday they hiked 13 miles along the San Joaquin River.

After a very long hike Monday (their longest hiking day), they arrived at Miur Trail Ranch. This is a funky place where backpackers can resupply. Their scout master, Theron, had gone up the week before and dropped off food for the remainder of their hike.  Then it was ferried here for them to pick up. They were also able to throw away trash, and there were buckets and buckets of free stuff left behind by backpackers trying to lighten their load. They got a bunch of free food, and Caleb got a cracked Kindle!

That evening they relaxed in the Blayney hot springs. The water was murky and smelled like sulfur, but they said it felt great!

More rain at dinner time Monday night.

Lunch on Tuesday near Florence Lake

Spencer said this was the coolest bridge of the trip.

Dave lost about 6 lbs. His face looked pretty thin when he got home.

Florence Lake, elevation: 7,200 ft.

This was the first picnic table of their trip. It was at a car camping site at the end of their trek as they emerged closer to civilazation.

Ward Lake. Elevation: 7400 ft.

This was the most doubtful water source. Thank goodness for a reliable water pump and to our neighbor Andy for letting them borrow it!

Nathan and his boys went fishing at Ward Lake. After a few hours, they had success. Dinner at 10 P.M. for those guys.

This was the last long ascent to lake Edison (elevation 7643 ft) to meet up with the cars Wednesday. 

They made it!! Spencer said he's never been so happy to see a car, and I was SO happy to get the text that they were safe and well and heading home. The hardest thing for me was not being able to communicate with them for 9 days. I missed them!! But, wow, what an experience. I'm so glad they were able to do this. Dave said it was the hardest thing he's ever done, but it was also amazing.