Sunday, August 25, 2013

Zion's and Back Again: A Girl's Tale

Last weekend I joined a fellowship of travelers.  The 9 of us became close friends as we traveled the 16 difficult miles through the narrows.   By executive decision we were all given names.  Me and another girl were given Pippin and Merry.  This was probably due to the fact that that we were the only girls there and we were clearly the most entertaining people..  Oh and maybe because we were also the most under prepared.. but that's not important.  I personally hoped to score the role of Legolas, due to my long blond locks.  Instead some kid with short brown hair, with no Elfish characteristics was chosen.  Makes perfect sense.

Like any good backpackers, we came upon a mountain of problems.  The handy map given to us at the entrance of the park suggested that we start our hike at 12:00 PM as our campsite was about 6-7 hours away. We were running a little late, and our car get there until 2:30.  Notice that I said our car.  We didn't caravan with the other car since we figured we were all going to the same place, and no one would get lost.  When we arrived, we took pictures, put on our shoes, and then proceeded to wait, and wait.. and wait some more.  We were out of cell phone service (bless those people who lived and traveled before cell phones) and thus had no way of getting a hold of them.  After I finished two chapters in my BOM and another friend set up and took a nap in his hammock, we decided it was probably worth it to drive the 30 minutes to service to ensure that they hadn't rolled off the road and died.  Turns out they had made a wrong turn.  So, instead of starting to hike at 12, we started hiking at 5. 

Other than that little inconvenience and all the blisters our renters of shoes encountered, the hike couldn't have been better.  The narrows are all they are hyped up to be, and have soared to the top of favorite hikes that I've ever done.  I was torn when I reached the end of those 16 miles.  I was loving the backpacking experience and wanted to keep going, but my feet were in open rebellion against my shoes.

Once back to civilization, the problems started again. One of our friends had his grandparents come pick us up at the visitor's center.  Half the group went home with grandma to get pizza ready for everyone else, while the other half went with grandpa back to the beginning of the trail head.  While driving on this dirt road, grandpa ran over a huge rock in the middle of the road, and we started to hear unnatural noises.  Turns out he tore off the protective covering underneath his car.  I felt terrible. When we finally made it to our car grandpa took off, and we were convinced he had gone to smash things to get out his anger.  In actuality, grandpa was probably the chillest person I'd ever met.  I still feel terrible about what happened though.

Now we left the visitors center at 6 with grandpa to get our cars.  Grandpa told us to go around the park instead of through the park, because it'd be much faster.   I calculated that we'd be home by 9, and was already wondering how I'd survive until then (due to the fact that we hadn't had lunch OR dinner).  Around 8:50 we crossed the Arizona border.  20 minutes later, my friend started to get suspicious that we were in Ferdonia, AZ in the middle of no where and were only 70 miles away from the Grand Canyon National Park.  After panicking for a bit, we found the right road and saw we were 80 miles from our destination.  Good thing my friend and I had a good sense of humor.  I think we laughed at how ridiculous the situation was all the way to the house.  At 10:00 we rolled into the grandparent's house in Hurricane.  4 hours later!  

Once there we found that Grandpa had decided to go the original way, and thus had already showered and eaten his fill of pizza.
He totally did that on purpose to get back at us for ruining his car.  

Good one Grandpa Walke.

 Just waiting for the other car.

Merry and Pippin doing what we do best.  Entertaining.

First time that we spotted other humans in the canyon so we could take a full group picture.  It was about 8 hours into our total hike.  

These squirrels were just in your face.  You'd push it away with your stick and it'd still come and scratch away at your backpack.  And due to our 20 blisters the size of Texas, we improvised with electrical tape.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sometimes I Panic

Two years ago I went to one of my good friend's wedding dinner with my roommates.  We were sitting there discussing various topics, when I took a swig from the drink slightly to the right of me.  Mid drink I came to the realization that this was not my drink as I had already finished my drink, and this one had been completely full.  My friends were sitting to the left of me, while some boy I didn't know was sitting to the right.  

I had a semi panic attack, then turned to my friend Lora and told her to give me her drink.  Confused, she did as I asked.  I took her drink, looked around to make sure no one from the boy's group was watching, and subtly filled up the guy's drink to the level that it had been at before.  

Lora couldn't believe what I was doing, but to me it was the most logical solution.  Instead of fessing up to my mistake, I'd just give the guy both mine AND Lora's germs. 

Makes perfect sense.  

I promise I don't always make dumb decisions.  Just in moments when I'm panicking.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hello Seattle

When I turned 23, I decided to make a fun goal before I reached my 24th birthday.  This then allows me to justify everything related to my goal that I do.  I decided on, 24 states before my 24th birthday.  Now anytime mentions a state that I haven't been to, I do everything I can to make sure I go with them.  A friend asked who wanted to go to Seattle, and of course I was all over that as it would allow me to cross off two more states, bringing my grand total up to 20.  Five girls started out on the trip with us, and made the ride up a lot of fun.  We dropped 2 off once we were in Seattle, but then were lucky enough to be there the same time as 2 other friends, so that they were able to join us. 

To make the road trip as exciting as possible, we had to stop at every state sign and take a picture.  Washington was dumb and had there sign on a bridge.  There was no way we were getting a picture of that. So we settled for a pterodactyl instead.   We had a really good time in Seattle.  While there we got to visit the beach, the famous Space Needle, Pike Market Place, as well as the always famous (and disgusting) gum wall.  We stayed with a great family in Seattle who welcomed us with open arms.  Two of the boys had previously lived in our ward, and were actually performing in their city's rendition of Beauty in the Beast, which we got to attend.  Seattle you were quite good to us, and you did your state justice. I was glad to include you in my goal 24 before 24

We started a girl band, here's our cover.
I was determined to do something momentous in Oregon, so that it would count as a state that I had visited.  We started it out with some piggy backs.  Then we drove all the people at the rest stop crazy by playing with the hand dryers.

On the way back we waded in a river in Oregon, for another momentous moment.  I can  now say with full confidence that I've been to Oregon, so none of you better try to dispute that.
I used Nikki's wallet to prop up the camera to take this picture.  Nanette wanted me to take a picture right after, and I subsequently forgot about Nikki's wallet, right next to a gas station.  After driving 3 more hours, we arrived in Seattle and realized we'd left it.  Thanks to the giant pterodactyl  we were easily able to locate where we had stopped,.  We called the gas station to check if the wallet was still there.  IT WAS!  And the kind lady kept it for us until Monday, for when we drove back.

These seagulls were absolutely terrifying.  And huge.  There was a sign next to them that said, "Please don't worry about overfeeding the seagulls, it's not possible."  So feed them we did.  They are well trained in the art of catching flying fries. 

Picking wild blackberries to our heart's content.