Sun Valley was beautiful. I can't ever remember being there before. Jeff ditched his Friday night meeting and we took the kids up the valley for a fun little walk. This monument to Ernest Hemingway was a fun stopping point. The kids had fun tossing sticks in and racing them down the little canal-stream and catching them again at the bridge.
After the kids and I left Jeff to his work for a few days we drove south down to Richfield, UT where my super great cousin and her fun family live. We just happened to time things just right so that my other great cousin and his family were there too. The kids all slept out in a tent in the backyard and the cousins played so great together the whole time.
We took a fun day trip over to Cove Fort which is not too far from their house. Cove Fort is an old mormon fort that was initially built by some of my ancesters. A few years after they left it Brigham Young sent some of Pres. Hinkley's ancesters down there to establish a regular stopping post for the saints heading south to start new settlements.
I honestly enjoy visiting sites like these. I love how the pioneers are always able, through sheer determination and a bit of ingenuity, to make something out of nothing--build little bits of "paradise" out of scrubby dessert and make things work that never should have been possible.
I guess I just love how utterly determined they were to make IT work--whatever IT was that they were asked to do. They never said, "That's not possible". They always just said, "OK, I'll go".
I wish my own children like that.
After our fun stopover at Krista's we headed east and this was our favorite rest stop. We actually spent about an hour here climbing all over these rocks, taking pictures and enjoying the views of the salt flats.
I have to admit, my adventurous heart sometimes gets the better of me and I fully love scrambling around on the rocks, looking into the chasms and trying to climb to the top of them.
I guess, sometimes the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
This was another fun stop. Anyone remember "Hole in the Rock"? Well, this is the rest stop right next to that. The kids were dying to go but I remembered what a disappointment it was from childhood so I convinced them that snagging another geocache hidden here was even better than hole-in-the-rock. We grabbed the cache and did some rock climbing and away we went--ready for the last leg of a very long journey.
The kids and I got to spend a whole day with my sister before everyone else got there and the chaos of so many cousins and so many things to do swept us away. We took a walk downtown. We wanted to show Drew the train but they were all out at the time. We let the kids play in the Animas, walked through the bank (which has tons of cool animals and rocks and stuff), and of course stopped at Del Sol to buy some cool nail polish that changes colors in the sunshine. We made it back to the car just in time to see the stinking meter man putting tickets on cars. Yep, there it was, that pretty, orange envelope letting me know that I was 5 minutes late getting back to my car. I hate parking meters! Seriously, you'd think they would want us to take our time and browse through all of the shops instead of being so worried about getting back to the car in time. I guess I shouldn't have wasted the time shopping in their stores and giving them sales tax moneys. (ok ok, climbing down from soap box now)
We had stopped at the temple in Monticello to surprise mom and dad with a quick hello on our way down. We caught them just between sessions and they were definitely surprised. They were not expecting us at all. I think they enjoyed the surprise.
Pagosa Springs is know for its natural hot springs so while we were there we took the kids to a hot springs pool for a swim. On a hot day, it was almost too hot. But everyone had a great time, especially K and A who learned the art of dog-fighting.
Almost the whole clan made a quick trip up to Williams Creek for some fun in the river. It was so fun to see the cousins getting to know each other again--picking up where they left off the last time. The bonds were strengthened, even just a little. That's a good thing to see.
The mosquitos were crazy-bad though and we all came a little unprepared for them so we didn't complain to loudly when it was time to head back. We needed to get back for Addy's Baptism.
The rest of the week consisted of plain ol' fun. We went to the river a few times. We even hopped on some inner tubes and took a little trip down the falls. After a few tumps into the cold water and the adrenaline rush that always follows such things, that became the #1 dinner conversation for days afterward.
That's my boy--two fisting his ice cream.