Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Views from the Airplane

I flew to the National Cave Rescue Commission weeklong training in Mentone, Alabama via Salt Lake to Las Vegas to Nashville. I managed to score window seats on both flights and it was a clear day, so I had a lot of fun looking at the terrain. Can you identify what I saw? I'll have the answer at the bottom of each photo.

First flight: Salt Lake City to Las Vegas
Little Sahara Recreation Area, a large sand dune area north of Delta, Utah

Sevier River, at 383 miles, the longest river in Utah.

Sevier Lake. Usually it's Sevier Dry Lake, but at this time of year it still has water in it.

Wind farm north of Milford, Utah.

Pig farms south of Milford, Utah.

Very cool geology.

A mine with Valley of Fire in the background.

Next, on to the flight from Las Vegas to Nashville:
The Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Shiprock, New Mexico.

Oil or gas wells, New Mexico,

Most of the agriculture is no longer pivots.

Maybe the Ozark area?

On the return trip, I had a window seat on the other side of the plane. It was a lot cloudier, but over Arizona it cleared up.
Meteor Crater.

Sunset Crater, south of the Grand Canyon (well worth a stop!)

I liked how obvious the lava flow was from this crater.

More of the San Francisco Volcanic Field, an 1800-acre area with more than 600 vents. It looks so cool from the air!

Next time I hope to remember a map so I can figure out even more landmarks.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kit Fox

 I've been teaching cave rescue out in Alabama for the last week+. I really enjoyed all the greenness, and the trees didn't even make me feel claustrophobic. The humidity was actually really nice, and I thought it was awesome to be able to go swim in a river without totally freezing in five minutes.

Nevertheless, it's always nice to get back home. The greasewood looks especially green, the mountains are dusted with snow, and we saw some kit fox. This is such a beautiful place!

I still have a mountain of laundry to wash before I go through all my photos, but here a couple more of the kit fox. It was such a treat to see them.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Feeding the Animals

 The cousins left for the weekend so we got to take care of their animals. This was a great delight, as the kids are just crazy about animals.

 My husband fed the goats.

 Desert Girl imitated him. Except she had mittens (I'm not exactly sure why), and the goat wasn't too interested. She kept her banana safely by her side.

 What a look of glee!

 Desert Girl had fun playing with the goats. The goats sure have grown since we saw them last!

 It was a lot of fun helping with the animals.

 Then came some extra fun--the merry go round.


Thursday, May 17, 2012


 I can't help but take photos when I'm at preschool, all the kids are just so dang cute. These were a few weeks ago. Addelyn is above.

 Aysa. She looks like she enjoys driving.

 Teacher Gwendy and Desert Girl trading secrets.

 Evan. He's being safe. Or getting ready for football. Or maybe both!
 I love this photo: while the boys are all pushing to go through the window, Ava finds a better way off to the side.

 Snack sharing is very popular.

Oh no, maybe the window is a little tight for three little boys at the same time!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Moving Cows

 On the way back from Cedar City, I saw something up ahead. As we got closer, I could see horses, trucks, 4-wheelers, cows, and dust. They were moving some cows.

 It looked like the cows weren't the only thing on the move--a flock of birds flew alongside some of them.

 The cows were strung out for miles, cows and calves plodding along towards their summer pasture.

 Most of the time they were single file, with fabulous mountain scenery in the background.

 Isn't that great geology? Or are you looking at the cows?

 A Red Angus is daring to mix in with the Black Angus.

We rounded the corner and the cows were a little bunched up. But then they figured it out and continued as far as the eye could see. When I see cows like that, I feel like I'm in an old Western movie.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Weekend Adventure--Part Two

After our fun eating and dancing at the Border Inn and photographing the full moon, it was time to start our camping adventure. We pulled to our camping spot under the full moon and found a level place. We transformed the seats into beds, brushed our teeth, and quickly laid down. We were tired, and it was late. But the wind blew, rattling the trailer. My husband got out of bed.

"Where are you going?" I asked.

"I better turn off the pivots," he said.

It was cool enough and with the wind he was afraid they might freeze. Some folks down the valley had a pivot fall over due to ice. It costs about $10,000 to put a pivot back up, and my husband did not want to have that kind of trouble.

We hadn't separated the trailer from the vehicle, so he did that and took off. That left me thinking about what I would do if the wind blew so strongly and the trailer started rolling towards the lake. Especially because the door is really hard to open. Finally I told myself to stop worrying and go to sleep. And I did.

But my husband said he kept thinking the same thing all night long, so we decided next time we won't leave the trailer pointed towards the water. We had the wheels chocked and knew the tongue would drag in the mud if it fell off the blocks, but one's imagination can go a little wild once in awhile.

Fortunately the trailer didn't move during the night, except when the wind blew or someone rolled over. It was a little wobbly. Okay. It was a lot wobbly. My husband has already bought another jack to try to make it more stable.

We woke up early as the sun streamed through the windows. I mentally added curtains to the long to-do list for the trailer. We transformed the beds back to seats and put up the table. The kids thought it was fun.

We haven't had a chance to hook anything up in the trailer, so my husband cooked over the little camp stove.

Henry had his breakfast, too.

Then it was time to walk around the reservoir.

We all had coats on, but Henry was eager to go for a swim and continually chased sticks that we threw out for him to fetch.

The water level is really low right now. We've had a dry winter, plus water is being used for irrigating the first crop of alfalfa. There's a lot of concern that there won't be water later in the summer, so there's effort to try to get the early crops as good as possible.

It's kind of neat to see all the shorelines. It makes me think of Lake Bonneville, that ancient lake that once covered so much of Utah.

The reservoir looks a little puny. I'm sure some folks wish that it was warm enough to do our annual triathlon with this low water level!

The west side of the reservoir has willows and the inlet, which meant good adventures.

With the low water, it wasn't too hard to swing the kids across the creek.

From the channel, it's clear that the inlet sees some more turbulent times. It was a little muddy in areas, but fortunately we didn't sink too deep.

Desert Boy found some "dinosaur" tracks.

We also saw some tracks that looked like skunk tracks to us.

With the low water levels we noticed a lot of trash. We had two big trash bags with us and filled them both up. Beer cans and beer bottles were the most common trash. Hopefully the reservoir will stay a little cleaner this summer.

The dried mud was fascinating to Desert Girl.

"Look what I found!"

When we got back to the trailer my husband wanted to eat lunch. As it was only 10 a.m. I vetoed the idea, but conceded that we could eat early in an hour. We played cards, read books, and relaxed. It was cold enough that if we had been in a tent we probably would have just gone home, so we appreciated the trailer.

By 11 a.m. the wind was strong enough we didn't want to build a fire, so we roasted our hot dogs over the camp stove. It still gave them a good taste. Then it was time to pack up and head home.

Mission accomplished. The camp trailer is lots of fun, but still needs a lot of work!
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