Sunday, July 28, 2013

Trip to the Tushars

The past four days I led the young men of the Eagle's Landing ward on a tough backpack trip around the Tushar mountains east of Beaver, Utah.  Eric is a priest and was my tent partner.  There were twelve of us all together.  Most of the boys had been on many of my backpack trips in the past, but a few had not yet experienced one of my trips.  We originally had planned on hiking the Dive of the Buckskin into the Paria all the way to Lees Ferry, but a strong monsoon thunderstorm pattern prompted us to change our plans due to the high risk of flash flood.  I had gathered some information and a crude map from my friend Michael Nad who had hiked and backpacked a multi day route around the mountain range.  He spoke highly of the area.

We spent three nights and hiked four days making a loop back to our starting point and our trucks. We probably covered around 30 miles total.  A third of the time we had to make our way through steep and rugged terrain without a trail and on more than one occasion we had to backtrack.  Each day we chose a peak to summit.  All of the peaks were at 12,000 ft or higher.  We also saw many elk & deer.  We always had our camp sites and canyon to ourselves.  I only made one boy cry.  Two of the leaders took painful falls with their packs on, but no serious injuries occurred.  Our dog Roxie came along and she wore the skin off of her pads and we had to wrap them up each day to keep her going.  Eric agreed it was a challenging trip.  Thunderstorms did catch us on 3 of the days, but the cool mountain air was refreshing and the campfire time was enjoyable.  I should have explored these mountains much sooner and I am sure I will go back again.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I am in Breckenridge, Colorado at a Wilderness Medicine Conference.  I have been working on earning  my "Fellowship" in wilderness medicine over the past few years and need to attend these conferences from time to time.  I convinced Deb to come with me and we have had a great time.  The first few days our afternoon activities have been modified by the mountain thunderstorms, but we still have got to do some fun things.  Today we rode mountain bikes along some challenging trails and down through town.  Last evening we did a sunset hike of Quandary Peak.  The rain stopped for our hike but the clouds and mist persisted.  We stood on the 14, 200 ft peak right at dusk, but were enveloped in clouds.  I had to settle on climbing at the local climbing gym as the rain kept us off the rock.  We had the little gym to ourselves, so we still had fun. Each morning before breakfast and lectures we have been doing some trail running.  The higher elevation has us breathing hard for sure. Tonight we are going to a banquet and will get to rub shoulders with some world class explorers and doctors.  It has been refreshing to be in the heart of the Rocky Mountains with the cool summer temperatures.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Larsen Family Reunion 2013

This past weekend we gathered for the 2013 Larsen Family Reunion at the Zion Ponderosa Resort & Ranch.  I do believe that all who attended had a great time.  We all stayed in a beautiful home with many bedrooms and bunk beds.  There was horse shoes, swimming, mini golf, zip lines, climbing walls, skeet shooting (a favorite), pony rides, bungie trampoline, barbecues, pounce games, movies, ping pong, foosball, pool, ATV riding, slide watching, Sunday morning devotional and canyoneering.  We enjoyed an afternoon thunderstorm and cool mountain air.  I took a group two days in a row through Keyhole Canyon on the East side of Zion.  On the way home Deb and I did another canyon that I had wanted to do for some time.  It is called Jolly Gulch.  It has only two rappels, but they are quite good.  I appreciate all those who drove down from up north to be there.  There sure were a lot of little kids there this year and more are on the way!  Be sure and look at the Photo gallery on the Larsen Web site for more photos and go ahead and post more photos if you have them.

Friday, July 05, 2013

4th of July in St. George 2013

We enjoyed a hot summer day celebrating the 4th of July in St. George this year.  I had a work shift at the hospital at 2 p.m. so we gathered for a pool party at Marty's place early on in the day.  A traditional barbecue lunch with watermelon and such filled our stomachs to bursting.  Grandpa & Granda Quaife were here to celebrate with us and visit the twins.  Fireworks at night came in waves with one round being lit up at the church parking lot to avoid catastrophe.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Just A Little Warm

The past few days in St. George have been hot.  Really hot!  I have been on duty each afternoon in the ER and a lot of our patients are dehydrated no matter what problem brings them in.  It was 113 degrees yesterday and today should be similar.  My morning mountain bike ride feels like a hot afternoon ride.  Climbing is out of the question if it is in the sun.  We have made it to the lake with the boat a lot lately, but swimmers itch has taken some of the fun out of it.  Our last run to the lake was good, and we had the twin boys and Lexi with us.  They did surprisingly well.  Hailey had a spray bottle to use on them to keep them cool.  Lots of swimming, early morning outside things, then air conditioned house the rest of the time.  We need to head for the mountains!