Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sand Hollow Reservoir

I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day Weekend. We aren't venturing too far from home, mainly because last weekend we did. We wanted some warmer weather, so we headed south to Sand Hollow Reservoir near Hurricane (pronounced Hurr-eh-kun), Utah. We had never been there before, so we didn't quite know what to expect. We stopped at the store to get a fishing license and lures for the bass and stocked up on snacks.

We drove along the dam to a quieter part of the state park, where another dock and boat ramp were found. After we got home, we learned that quagga mussels had been found by divers just days earlier. Those are nasty things, and it's really too bad that they are now in this reservoir.

I had to have my cuties pose for a photo in the wind. That wind was everywhere last weekend.

Desert Boy quickly found a game: wade out in the water, then climb up on the dock, then wade out a little further, and repeat. The water was cool but not unbearable.

We watched some bass boats go near the dam, and one boat had a lot of success. So we gave it a try, but didn't have near the success.

We did get to see one bass, washed up dead on the beach.

Then we wanted to see a little more of the state park, so we drove around part of the reservoir. There's an area for four-wheeling on sand, picnic spots, a campground, and some really beautiful wildflowers. A botanist had told me that the Mojave desert was having a really good flower year, and I was happy to get to see some in bloom.

I took a lot of flower photos, but I'll just include a couple here.

I really like the orange sand, it gives everything such a nice glow.

We found another spot to try fishing. You might notice the different fishing attire. Desert Boy then had a new target--wade out to his papa.

When he got a bit chilled, he returned to the beach to play in the sand.

Then it was time to head back out in the water.

Meanwhile, I was holding Desert Girl on the beach and playing with the camera. She didn't really like it when I dipped her feet into the water. Doesn't she have lovely legs? I just want to continually squeeze them. Of course she might get a little tired of that, so I only squeeze them once in awhile. I'm glad that it's getting warmer so that I can admire her legs more often. There's just something special about rolls of baby fat.

I was having some difficulties getting photos of her while trying to hold her up at the same time. I think she was amused by my efforts.

Here she looks like she's contemplating the sand.

I think the sand on her feet was something that she enjoyed a little.

Then my husband came and took a proper photo of the two of us.

We knew it was time to leave when she started looking so concerned.

I imagine that during the summer this place is packed, but there was plenty of elbow room last weekend. Someday we'd like to go back and visit again. Maybe we'll have more luck fishing.

Desert Girl agrees that's a good plan!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Preschool Fun

School ended this week, along with preschool. Desert Boy really enjoyed his first year of going to preschool and learning how to better interact with other kids and have a little more structure. One of the best things he learned was that before he could play with a new activity, he had to put away the one he was playing with. We reinforce that at home all the time.

He also learned his colors, more numbers, and how to say the alphabet correctly. He misses Teacher Gwendy already and was sad when I told him that there was no school for the summer.

On the last day of preschool, we went to the school for the kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders. There are seven students in total for the three grades.

During recess, all the kids had fun playing together.

The girls had fun posing for the camera.

Desert Boy hung on every word that the teacher said. He was so excited to be in the big kid school.

Meanwhile, another mom, Chayo, was helping me with Desert Girl.

And then Isaac came and we thought it would be fun to have a little photo shoot. We honestly didn't plan their outfits. We just were thinking on the same track, I guess!

I think Isaac is telling Emma that he has some news for her.

"In just a couple years we'll be in preschool and get to have all the fun."

But for now they can lean and drool and chew on things. Life is good.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nevada Northern Engine House Tour

On Mother's Day we headed to Ely, Nevada to ride the Nevada Northern train. Moms ride free that day, so we figured it would be a great opportunity to get our little train aficionado a treat and do some relaxing and enjoy the scenery. We started at the East Ely Depot.

They have a scenic old cart near the loading area.

Desert Boy thought he was so cool with his conductor shirt on. Then came his friend Ava, who was totally outfitted as a conductor. We all got a kick out of watching them compare their outfits.

Then it was time for the real conductor to collect the tickets.

It was a windy, chilly day, typical Ely weather. We braved the weather part of the time to go to the outside car.

Lots of people chose to enjoy the views from the warmer coaches.

At the end of the ride, they offered a tour of the engine house. We had never done that before, so we got off and waved by to Ava and her dad.

Then it was time for our tour guide, an extremely knowledgeable gentleman (whose name I didn't catch), to start the tour.

Safety is obviously a big component of what they do, there are safety signs everywhere.

The signs next to the door read, "No admittance except employees only" and "Notice: Book agents, insurance agents, peddlers, ticket sellers, solicitors, politicians Positively Prohibited from visiting the offices of shops of this Company. Nevada Northern Co."

That part about the politicians is good.

The shop is huge, filled with all sorts of machines, tools, and other stuff.

Here's a giant lathe. Many of the machines are really large because the train parts they're used to make or repair are also very large.

Then the doors on the side open, and the diesel engine that had been pulling our train entered the engine house.

The Nevada Northern Railroad has a huge number of volunteers who help keep the trains running. It's quite an impressive effort.

Our tour group dwindled as others had to leave to do other things, so we ended up getting the tour guide all to ourselves. We went into the next room and found it full or trains.

The Nevada Northern has two working diesel engines and two working steam locomotives. They also have one of each that they have plans to repair. And they have many more housed there, probably because they have room and future plans.

I should have taken notes on the tour, because I'm afraid I don't re,member all the details. I guess I will have to take the tour again!
As we were leaving, we saw steam locomotive 93 heading into the engine house. It gets a bit of rest before it goes out on its next trip.
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