We rented a Suburban for our trip because we didn't think our poor van with 191,000 miles on it could make it. Plus the Suburban gave us quite a bit more square footage for stuff & people. It cost $100 per fill-up, but it could go a very long way between fill-ups. It had a DVD player in it which was great. I went to the library and stocked up on movies & some books on tape.
We left on Saturday July 26. about 6:30 am. We were in Albert Lea, MN by 9:30, and in Des Moines by lunch time. We reached Omaha by 3p. We stopped in Winter Quarters to see the temple & visitors' center. I don't know how much the kids got out of it, but Richard & I were both very touched.
We didn't feel like traveling anymore that day, so we set up camp at a KOA Kampground in Omaha. It was actually a nice set up. We got dinner there and rented some pedal cars for Sarah & Daniel to ride around. We brought 3 tents with us, so Richard & I had one, The girls had one, the younger boys had one, and John chose to sleep in the Suburban. I must have been tired because I actually slept, which for me is an odd thing to do while camping.
Sunday morning we got up and continued our journey. We had a Sunday School lesson in the car--what I was going to teach that day if we had been there. We had our lunch in Kearney, NE at a park & then kept driving. We ended up driving for 13 hours that day. YUK! We stayed at Richard's Uncle Andy's house just outside of Grand Junction, CO. We just camped all over their floors.
Monday Morning, we woke up and drove to Antimony, UT. To get there, you go to the middle of nowhere, and turn left. Unfortunately, we missed the left turn off I-70 and went another half hour until we ran into I-15. This happens to be where Cove Fort is (another Church History Site). So we stopped and took the tour there as well.
We made it to Antimony & the Rockin' R Ranch at about 2:30p. The kids found all their cousins & Richard & I were left to explore the ranch by ourselves. Kind of nice, acutally, having some time by ourselves. There were Horses, sheep, donkies, steer. A real ranch. Sarah got to ride on one of the horses the first day. Alisha , Emily & Michael went tubing down the river.
After dinner the first day, we had our family talent show. Our family did the 'Chigga Cheer' which the girls had learned at Girls' Camp. It got the WHOLE family involved. We also saw a 'bagpipe' act, a 'Three Piggy Opera', 'Coqui song' & Judo act, 'Little Brave Elvis', and some guitar. Mom & Dad did 'I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande'. A LOT of fun! (Sarah &Alissa) ( Emily & Kaisey) (Daniel & Austin)
So, the next day, we started out by going on a trail ride. Sarah was VERY excited that she was old enough to go too. All of us went on either the first or 2nd ride except John & Daniel. I was rather saddle sore for the next couple of days.
We played at the pond for a while. There were canoes that people could paddle around, and a zip line. Michael was one of the 3 people that fell off the zip line the first day when they tried it without instruction. Luckily, Michael came out unscathed (though he did lose his glasses, but that was a different day), but my Brother-In-Law, Ben, cracked some bones in his elbow.
After lunch Richard & I joined the group tubing down the river. That was a lot of fun. A relatively slow river with occasional 'rapids' but it was shallow enough that we could stand up & re-orient ourselves if we got upended.
We attempted archery in the afternoon, but we got rained out.
Some of the kids tried the line dancing lessons. I was a bit sore & tired, so I didn't. There was live music & a dance that night.On Wednesday morning, we went on a hike through the rocks & hills. Good thing we went early in the morning, because it really would have been hot during the afternoon.
After lunch, they had kickball. I took a nap. Then we played a dice game outside.
The next morning we said goodbye to everyone & we all went in our separate directions. We went south & discovered we were only about 1/2 hour from Bryce Canyon. So, we decided to stop for a bit. We are glad we did.
The trail ride was beautiful. I've trained my children well & they oohed & ahhed appropriately at the beauty of the rock formations that surrounded them. We made it to Bullfrog Marina at Lake Powell about 4:30 & we took the 5:00 ferry across the lake & then off to Monticello. We got there around 8p.
We relaxed at Richard's parents' house for a bit over a week. Richard worked, but the rest of us relaxed & played. I read old magazines, the kids pulled out all the games and went exploring. Richard threshed wheat & when it rained, he installed a level timer on his parents' well & a reverse osmosis system in the house.
Emily turned 14 the day we left (Aug 9). Not a very exciting day for her as we spent it all in the car. We had lunch by Vail, CO, dinner in Sterling, CO and we then made it as far as Kearney, NE before we called it a night. Richard ended up getting sick that night & didn't feel well the next day, so I did all the driving on Sunday as we headed home. We made it home that night about 7pm.
So--on to the rest of August. Michael got braces on the 13th.
I thought I finally finished scrapbooking last year's CA vacation, but I found another roll of film that when I developed it, had all the pictures we took at the L.A. temple. I was very excited to find them. I did this layout with one of the pictures:I also liked this picture of our family that I found.We had a ward boating party on the 16th. That night, Richard, Alisha & I saw 'Taming of the Shrew' at a local theatre. I had about 4 friends in the cast. It was an abridged version and well done. After that, I put 'Kiss Me, Kate' on my Netflix list. I love that movie!
I went to some Girl Scout meetings. One was to explain to me about the new programs that are happening this year. The next one was for me to explain it to the other leaders. Somehow, I have ended up as the Service Unit Manager for Clear Lake. Not quite sure how that happened.
I went to lunch a couple of times with some friends. I quit just saying 'we should get together sometime', and actually started calling & arranging lunch from time to time. Its been fun.
I took the kids school shopping one day. It is a little overwhelming to see the final bill of school supplies for 6 kids all at the same time. I came home a little deflated.
We had a Cub Scout end of summer picnic one evening. Michael & I had to leave early to take him to 7th grade orientation. I will have 4 kids at the Jr/Sr High this year!
Kathy & I did our performance on the 29th at willow Ridge Nursing Home. As I was setting up, I knocked a cup of water all over the piano. This piano is old, and in the long run, it probably won't cause any lasting damage that wasn't already done, but towards the end of our performance, the keys started to swell with the moisture and started to stick, so it was hard to play the lower notes. Oh well--on with the show!
Well, School starts Tuesday. Kids will be in grades 12, 11, 9, 7, 3 & 1. Fun & hectic times ahead, I'm sure!
I hope you all didn't fall asleep!
Till next time-