Just got back from a fun 3-day weekend (Thursday-Sunday) in St. George. Andy and I went on 3 very challenging bike rides (I walked a lot more than I ever like to!), the kids got some fun time with the G'rents, and a good time was had by all. Friday morning AK & I took on the must do ride in St. George (okay besides Gooseberry, which we deemed "too far away" and ahem too tough for moi) Bear Claw Poppy. There were some steep drops, one named clavicle hill (um, due to breaking clavicles from end-o-ing or it does look like a chest and shoulders), acid drops, and the funnest rollers. Our only mistake was starting with the downhill first (I tried to get Andy to loop, but it wasn't happening). It was like climbing back up Bobsled, which is not only "illegal" (like you wouldn't get arrested, but you'd get yelled at) and it was not very cool to climb (to put it nicely). After some funny end of the Senior Games International Festival and water fountain play (it felt much hotter than the reported 80 degrees), AK and I hit Barrel Roll. We took off in what we thought was the right trail but ended up on Precipice, which was totally a precipice of a very, very, very high canyon wall and we were skimming along a teeny little trail against it. But that was the easy part. There was a giant boulder section, along the most west rim (killer views down to any even steeper canyon), and then lots of rock climbing, I hiked a lot of this section and moaned and swore, but as the sun set and I got very nervous and said a prayer over and over in my head that I wouldn't have to get off for a rocky section again (or really just un-clip), I realized Heavenly Father does listen, even when you've been swearing (but don't tell my kids that). We got through unscathed, realized we were on the wrong path, and happily made our way along to dinner.
Saturday we went for "easy" which turned out to be so beautifully our favorite ride, as well as the least challenging (yea!). It was Chuckwalla to Turtle Wall to Paradise. Mostly lovely slick rock, along a ridge, but only a few death defying parts, and a little sand (which Andy killed). It was the most beautiful with blooming flowers (we dubbed a passageway 'Bee Alley'), and very fun rocky ledges slick rock coming down (we went counter-clockwise). I was amazed and surprised at the varied Desert terrain we encountered on all three rides, as well as the difficulty. In the end, I would do them all again, because at least now I know what to expect, I am always 90 times more nervous the first "go".
After a great BBQ session with my Dad and Andy, Andy watched the game and had some alone time Saturday afternoon. My mom and I took the kids hiking around red rocks, up on top of the Dixie rock, and through the Chuckwalla trail (and watched the rock climbers). We hit 5 guys for dinner and almost a private show of fireworks (seriously they were letting big ones off 100 yards from us and maybe 50 other people were there, again for the Senior Games Closing Ceremony). I am too pooped to upload pictures now, sorry, 'til later.
Totally re-charged from church today. Sacrament meeting was great, and my Dad taught Gospel Doctrine Isaiah 40-49 beautifully and concisely (yes, seriously, Isaiah), and RG with Mom. After a great beef and veggie stew we were off (with a quick trip for pictures on the Red Rock). We are so grateful for Jared and Linny for watching the house and taking such great care of Javi. Javi turned 1 on the 15th, and yes, we missed it. But she is a dog and she has no idea, so we will celebrate tomorrow, actually maybe Tuesday, because tomorrow may be crazy.