Sunday, January 11, 2015

In Which We Go CANYONEERING! (Again!)

So, we've finally gotten to go canyoneering again. It's been a while, actually. We've been hiking and out of town, but not actually canyoneering. This canyon was called Minnow, and it was actually the third time we've tried it. The first time I made a mistake on what road we were supposed to walk on (there were two) and we ended up doing something else after we took about a two mile circle right back to where we had parked. The second time we drove out there and hiked to the right place, and we decided it was probably too icy (not usually a problem here), and after actually doing it, I think we were right. There were enough places that would have been really dicey if there had been snow on them. At any rate, I really enjoyed this canyon. There was a lot of fun downclimbing and some really cool cave-type stuff that was fun to go through. We went with our friends Dustin and Sarah. Here are some pictures:

View from the head of the canyon. The Superstition Mountains are awesome.

Nancy heading down the canyon. At this point I think we were mostly past all of the thorn bushes.

Sarah on an unnecessary downclimb (I walked around)

The first cave is in this picture

Nancy going into the first cave. It was the biggest one.

Everyone from inside of the cave.

This chamber was cool. It was better in real life.

Continuing down canyon

The end of this canyon had some awesome views.

Here's an even more awesome view!

Climbing down to the rappel.

Me at the top of the single rappel.

Nancy rappelling

Dustin rappelling. This was after he finally got the pull cord out of that stupid bush he's
next to.

Fish Creek!

The Fish Creek bridge.
So, then Dustin hitch hiked back to the car and we drove back to Phoenix. The people that picked him up actually made someone get out of the car and ride on the bumper to give Dustin a ride. That's what's cool about the people around here. They're really nice. I really liked this canyon and would happily do it again, and the great thing is that it's only about an hour and a half out of town. The only downside was the thorns, but that's the southern Arizona desert for you. So, another successful canyon descended, and for those keeping track at home, this was my 61st canyon and my 75th descent of a canyon, so, that's pretty cool. I'll have to make sure that my 100th descent is something special. At any rate, that's about all I've got to say about this. This is Captain Danger out.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas Break

I can't believe it is already the last day of Christmas break but we had a great time spending Christmas with family, enjoying time off of school, and feeling the joy of the season. 

At The Nutcracker
We started break with a date night to The Nutcracker to see one of my students perform.  Cliff had never seen the show and I hadn't seen it since I was a kid.  It was fun to get in the spirit with the Christmas tradition.  Especially since nothing seemed to feel like it was almost Christmas with the weather being so warm and all.
Then on Saturday night we went to the Mesa temple to walk around the grounds and see the Christmas lights.  It was shortly after our first date 5 years ago that we first went to see the Salt Lake Temple lights together so it was really fun to do it again here in Arizona.  Walking around the temple grounds is always a great way to get into the real spirit of Christmas and remember what the whole season is really about.

A nice lady asked if we wanted a picture together.  I politely declined but Cliff took her up on it so here I am obviously begrudging. 

On Sunday, we had a little pre-Christmas separation dinner with our friends Sarah and Dustin and then we headed to the airport to fly to Reno.  This was our first time being in Reno for more than 12 hours for two years.  We stayed for a little over a week but it felt so short.  We got to spend Christmas with my parents, Tod, and Janet and the boys.  It was so fun spending Christmas there and watching CJ and Julien in all their innocence enjoying Christmas trees, lights, and presents.

CJ helped Cliff shovel the driveway after a big snow.

Cliff had fun helping the boys make a gingerbread house.

A day at the park. Julien loved spinning Cliff around in there.
We had a great time visiting with my family.  We even got to go eat an awful awful at the Little Nugget.  Last time we ate those was the day before our wedding!  We also did a session at the Reno temple, which is always special, I get to walk past the room we got sealed in on the way to the ladies' dressing room.  

On Wednesday morning, we boarded a New Year's Eve plane back to Phoenix.  We spent New Year's with our friends Erica and Nate from our ward and their new baby.  We didn't plan on staying up till midnight but somehow, we all ending up making it. 

We spent the last couple days of break relaxing and starting a few projects for baby boy.  Today, we went to the Superstitions to get a canyon in before the end of break but when we got there it was all snowy and icy.  So, we opted for a little hike around the snow frosted desert and headed back into town.  

All in all, it was a great break.  We are sad that it is about over and time to get back to jobs and responsibilities.