Friday, October 28, 2011

Kolob to Mystery

I have been able to complete trips down two canyons in Zion over the past week. First I canyoneered down Kolob Creek with two of my ranger buddies, Andrew and Brandon. The canyon was as challenging as ever with the water flow a little higher than in previous years. This made for some spectacular waterfall rappels. We were a fast party and finished the canyon and the grueling hike out in about 9 hours. The second canyon I descended was Mystery Canyon. This is a Zion classic that ends with the beautiful waterfall rappel into the Narrows. I led a party of 6 including my new partner Dr. Crosby. We had a sunny day, but with temperatures near freezing at the start of the day. Fortunately the time spent in the water was brief. The autumn leaves were at their peak and the water cold and clear. In between the two canyoneering days I managed to travel down to Red Rock Canyon west of Las Vegas and rock climb with Ranger Andrew. We tackled a mega classic route named "Epinephrine". This climb ascends Whiskey Peak on a 2,300 foot wall. The first part of the route involves climbing smooth chimneys. Exciting and strenuous climbing. At the top the climbing eases up but offers delicate moves with lots of exposure to huge drops into the canyon. That climb took us 11 hours and we finished hiking down to the truck in the dark using our headlamps. I think every muscle in my body was sore the following day. A satisfying type of sore.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lake Powell 2011

This year's trip to Lake Powell has set the bar way up there! We stayed two nights for once and we had great weather for 3 days. High temperatures in the low 80's and low temperatures around 50. Very little wind, lots of smooth water and few other boaters to compete with. The moon was nearly full and so the nights were bright and beautiful with the mesas and towers of sandstone casting a beautiful shadow and silhouette in the background and foreground. Our party consisted of me, Deb, Eric and his friend Sam. Good wake boarders and hikers, but not much for conversation. We found a good canyon to explore near Rainbow Bridge, called Forbidding Canyon. A little scare with a close call on running out of gas, but I was never seriously worried like the others in my party. Hopefully a few more of my children can find the time next year to join us like years in the past. It was sooooo good this year guys!

Two Tri's

I just recently completed my second sprint distance triathlon by competing in my first World Senior Games. I took 5Th in my age division. Respectable, but not really competitive for a gold medal. I think I will have to out live most of them and then maybe when I'm in my 80's I might go for a gold medal. Still it was quite fun and I must admit that I'm fairly fit right now from the training. The first tri was the Kokopeli out at Sand Hollow Reservoir and had a much bigger field of participants I didn't feel as good for that one, but still enjoyed doing it, especially having my son-in-law Peter out there with me. Thanks for the support from Deb, Sheri and Angie out there cheering me on.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Call Me Old

First there was a grand daughter, then my 50th birthday, a prostate procedure (I don't want to go there in this blog!), my first year competing in the Huntsman World Senior games (in the triathlon which I run in the morning) and now a new calling at Church. I had served in the Young Men's organization for the past 16 years, with the last 10 years as assistant scoutmaster and Deacons quorum advisor. A truly great job for me and one that I will sorely miss. I have been called to serve on the High Council in the Young Single Adult Stake which draws from 11 stakes in the Washington County area. Dad came down over Conference weekend and ordained me a High Priest. It was a special evening having him do that for me and then Eric and Peter joined us to attend the priesthood session of Conference. I will be called upon a lot to speak at the various single wards in our stake throughout the year and I am awaiting other more specific assignments that will surely come. I anticipate that a missionary soon to return home will be called upon to accompany me on some of these speaking assignments (Marty!!). No doubt, I have begun a new era in my life. One that I hope will be rewarding and full of adventure. Maybe I can talk one of the bishops into holding sacrament meeting on the slick rock somewhere one of these sunny Sundays?!