Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Under the Knife

Deb recently underwent surgery on her spine.  She experienced many months of unrelenting radicular pain down her left arm.  She had an anterior diskectomy at her C5-6 and C6-7 and then the surgeon placed two artificial disks.  The surgery went very well and she is almost 3 weeks out.  I see a lot of progress, but she is inpatient and wants to be completely better now.  It looks like it will take months for her to heal and get back to her baseline.  This has been a humbling reminder how fragile our health can be and that our aging bodies have problems from time to time and sometimes there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. We just have to deal with it and make the best of it.  Deb and I are optimistic that her previous fitness and good health will give her an excellent chance to heal and overcome this problem.  It has been a tough few months for her.  I just want my climbing partner back!

Monday, July 07, 2014

4th of July & Larsens

This past weekend we drove up to Midway to gather for the 4th of July (2014) and a Larsen Family Reunion.  Most of Lowell & Marilyn Larsen's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were present.  Five of the six brothers made it this year.  We had a meal outside in the yard and hooked up the pony cart and watched fireworks.  This year the fireworks show on Memorial Hill was wilder than ever with significant brush fires consuming a portion of the hillside.  The following day many of us put on our backpacks and hiked past Ruth Lake and camped at Naomi Lake.  There were twenty five of us all together.  It was quite a backpacker's camp!  I did get in some rock climbing with Ben and CJ caught a huge trout out of Jewel Lake.  Nick and Eric hiked up on a mountain to visit Lofty Lake.  Except for fierce gnats and mosquitos it was perfect conditions for the short backpack trip.  Siena even took a tumble trying to climb a big boulder beneath the cliff where her grandpa (me) was climbing.  Glad she was only bruised.

West Canyon

Last week Eric and I participated in the super activity for the Young Men in our ward.  It was my idea to go back to Lake Powell and camp on a beach up lake.  I did also suggest that we have the boys backpack up West Canyon on the south side of the lake overnight to explore this long canyon and perhaps negotiate down through a dark tight slot.  The hike was longer and more difficult that anticipated and our group size too large.  We failed to get into the tight upper slot, but we did enjoy the middle section of the canyon and see the amazing overhangs and water falls.  Upon arriving back to the boats we discovered that one of our boats had mechanical failure and was back on it's trailer at the marina.  This left us with the challenge of shuttling our group back to the marina on the final day.  We did, however, avoid any summer thunderstorms and we survived the hot afternoons.  Once again I hope I gave the young men a good challenge without causing any permanent harm.  Eric, of course, did just fine.  I would need to find something a bit more difficult to challenge him I believe.