Death March at Ryder Lake!

June 30th about 4:00 am, the alarm goes off and I throw it across the room! It is way too early to wake up on a day off or any other day for that matter. Laura and I slowly climb out of bed to get ready to leave by 5 so we can meet everyone else at Christmas Meadows by 8. Today we were headed to Ryder Lake; a nice 9 mile jaunt from the trail head to the camp spot. It really wasn't bad. Other than the fact that Laura and I hadn't been backpacking since our trip to Red Castle back in 2005. We were both huffing and puffing by the 3/4 mile mark! 

Anyway, we got to the trail head about 7:55 and everyone else showed up within a few minutes. We were on the trail by about 8. As always the meadows were beautiful and it wasn't long before we had seen a couple of moose.
We couldn't have asked for better weather this trip. The days were cool, the nights were warm, and the sky had just the right amount of clouds to make for great pictures.
By lunch time we had made it to the "Meadow" made so famous by Grandma Lila Colton's painting. This is what is looked like all those years ago.
This is what it looks like now... It was beautiful! This has to be one of the few places in the world that even after so many years looks just the same. What an amazing place!
About 3:30 we all straggled up to Ryder Lake and the camp site Brysen and Nate scouted out for us. It was a great camp site; far enough away from other campers and with a nice opening in the trees that gave us a great view of the lake and the waterfalls.
The mosquitoes were horrendous and if we didn't keep covered or keep the repellent slathered on they may have carried us off to be heard from no more!
We had a beautiful sunset that night and everyone slept pretty good.
We woke the next morning with the sun and had a bit of breakfast; a pop tart, some water, and a few snacks. Jordan "forced" Sarah, Laura, and I to go with him to the top of "Colton Peak" and he wanted to get an early start.
No comment here...
Not far above Ryder Lake is McPheters Lake; amazing view.
That's right, Laura, we're going all the way up THAT and THAT is just the beginning!
This hike was so amazing (am I using that word a lot?).
Every step brought new sights to see and each was more amazing than the last.
We made it to very tippy top and Sarah piled up some rocks to get even higher!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well being there was worth thousands of pictures and we almost took that many!
There were only a few really scary parts. You know the kind that one slip would have meant certain death... for sure... without a doubt... and this was one of them. The ledge at the bottom of this crevasse was just a couple feet wide then it was several hundred feet of shear cliff to a rocky splattered death! It was a lot of kicks!
As we made it back down to McPheters we were all quite pleased with the hike and more so that we didn't have to watch anyone fall screaming to their death!
You may have noticed that you didn't see Jordan hanging over any cliffs this time. Well, it turns out that Sarah was charged to keep him safe and from doing anything "crazy". She failed miserably!

Here come the "Cliff Hangers".

They started out pretty mellow.
Some didn't even look too "crazy".
Then I got daring and that was it...
Jordan had to take it to a new level!
and then just a bit further!
Remember how I said we were all glad we didn't see anyone fall to their death... that anyone would have probably been Jordan! Now just to clarify, I would have been right there along side of him but someone... I won't name names but she's my wife... wouldn't have let me sleep next to her for a week had I gone up there too!

These next few pics are of us fishing. The fish were biting and we all caught plenty for dinner. Kate just couldn't stand to have the fish she caught get hit over the head so she let hers go. What a sweetie; I'm sure we just caught them again further down the bank and they got hit over the head anyway but it is the thought that counts, right!?
After a great dinner of fish and MRE's and a bunch of other yummy trail food I think we all slept very well that night. We were all pretty well exhausted by now and slept good regardless of the hard bumpy ground!
Our hike back took about half as long as the hike up did. Everyone was ready to get to the cars and head home for a long shower and a real bed. All in all those of us that hiked to the top of Colton Peak went about 22 miles over the weekend and we all came home alive. Jordan was very proud of us!

First Day of School!

Jamie is in first grade! Our little girl is growing up.  She got the early schedule this year and that means we wake up by 6:30.  Jamie is not a morning person (neither am I) so I'm a bit scared.  The excitement of the first day made it easy to get up and ready and to the bus stop 10 minutes early. All the buses have pictures in the window so the kids can tell which one is theirs. Jamie's has a big blue "Y" in it. I'm not sure what it stands for but...maybe I'll ask one of my brothers. Anyway, when Nathan and I went to pick Jamie up at the bus stop in the afternoon, she wasn't on the bus! Panic! Where is my baby!!?? I quickly calmed down and called the school. The secretary informed me that a lot of students get on the wrong buses, especially on the first day. They tracked her down when she made it back to school after riding the "giraffe" bus around some unknown nieghborhood. So, she caught the later "Y" bus back to our bus stop. She must be growing up because she was not even a little bit upset after the whole ordeal.

Summer Fun

So, I want to catch up on all the fun summer stuff we have done since school is starting in a week! This post will cover pretty much the whole summer. I've taken the kids on a bunch of nieghborhood outings (this awesome woman in our neighborhood planned an outing for every tuesday of the summer. It's been so fun!) We also went to Logan and the zoo for the 4th. So, here's all that stuff:
Neighborhood outings:
Kennecott Copper Mine-
Nathan was pretty excited about the tires that are bigger than our house.  He wanted to take all the little vehicle models on display in the museum. He threw a fit of course but the whole thing was really interesting even for the kids!

Silver Lake, Big Cottonwood Canyon-
This was such a beautiful walk - not even a hike really.  You can take baby strollers on it.  We saw lots of flowers and animals including some moose, prarie dogs, ducks and ducklings, and chipmunks. It was so nice to be up in the cool mountains on a hot summer day.
Wheeler Farm-

A wagon ride, feeding geese and ducks, and riding ponies were some of the activities we enjoyed at Wheeler Farm. We saw lots of cool farm animals including a very pregnant little goat.  Shoulda got a picture of that!  She was wider than she was tall, poor girl. The kids enjoyed riding Marshmellow and Nibbles (the ponies) the best!