Monday, May 21, 2007


Well, it's official. I have been accepted to Saint Louis University's History program. Later this summer Jan, Bree and I will leave Utah for approximately 5 years to complete my Ph.D. in Medieval European History. SLU has one of the world's preeminent medieval scholars, specializing in the Crusades (what I am planning on emphasizing), and Dr. Madden and I hit it off immediately when we met last month.

This will be the longest time any of us have lived outside the Zion Curtain. As of right now, the probable date of departure has been set for Monday, July 23.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

8 wonderful years

Thank you for everything, Jan. It's been an amazing journey, and you're the best partner I could ask for.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Little Wild Horse

Stage three of our whirlwind tour of southern San Raphael began on the morning of April 30 when we packed our goods, deconstructed our shelter and drove out of the Valley of the Goblins. Turning North then West we sought the trailhead for Little Wild Horse Canyon, which we found after the road crossed through a recently flooded wash/arroyo/wadi (presumably Little Wild Horse Creek), arrived at the parking lot and threw on our packs.
It was Bree’s first real slot canyon. I think it was also Jan’s, but she’s done it a couple times before. Though I’ve done other slots, it was my first time through it. What a fun little canyon it was! Quite a variety of wall texture – from the long flat sided sections to the majorly twisty-bendy-convoluted.
Bree, of course, paused quite often to play in the sand. That’s okay. This trip was for her. Her parents, however, found unexpected relief when we met Jasper and his dog Boo-boo, with parents in tow. They were from Colorado and were out enjoying the beautiful day. For Bree, lacking N.A.M. as motivation to keep moving, Jasper became a very competent substitute and next thing I knew, Bree and he were walking hand in hand while Jasper “taught” her how to hike, run, jump, et cetera. It was very cute. He shared his treats and toys at our break, just like a pure little gentleman.

We parted ways after the narrowest of the narrows as they went back, and we finished the hike. Bree didn’t last long. I had to carry her back most of the way because she was drifting in and out of consciousness (late nap-time for her). I didn’t mind a bit. She’s still light enough not to be too much of a burden, and I enjoyed her little head on my shoulder. Very cute. Very enjoyable hike.

From Li’l Wild Horse we went pretty much straight home, pausing only at Mom’s CafĂ© (Salina) and REI (SLC). An amusing, whirlwind-tour of a trip. Goblin Valley - not to mention it’s juxtaposed environs - is highly recommended, especially if you’ve got a child, or a rambunctious inner-child, who loves trackless, pathless running, rambling and reveling.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Valley of the Goblins

Our new home (we were only renting). The view was great.

Pulcheria thinks: Hm. I wonder where Bree's hiding.

Bree thinks: Now! now! now! Quick! While her back is turned! Freedom! Woot!!

'Say "cheese," Bree!'

Stage Two of our adventure began when we arrived at our camp (still Sunday, Apr. 29). We tented among the goblinesque hoodoos of Goblin Valley State Park. After pitching our home we headed out to play. Bree had such fun running around and leading Pulcheria from hoodoo to sand heap, sand heap to hoodoo. She climbed, clambered, slid and generally had a fantastic time there, sans trail, sans schedule. Pulcheria very patiently allowed her to run and play pretty much wherever she wanted. Meanwhile, I went off exploring the outer valleys, in which I had never before been. I got reasonably (and pleasantly) lost in the labyrinthine system drainages and spires (generally much bigger and more impressive than Valley #1), and finally ended up climbing a ridge to get my bearings. An hour and a half later I rejoined my family (still led by Bree), got some last minute playing taken care of, then back to camp for dinner and bed.

"Daddy! Look - I see a IZARD!!"

Pulcheria poses, looking particularly pulchritudinous.

One of Bree's favorite activities was to "ride" the myriad Entrada fashioned "camels."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Meadow Hot Springs

For stage one of our mini-vacation, we arrived at Meadow Hot Springs at approximately 11:30am on April 29. Now this pool has a lot of charm to offer the soaker. First, the pool itself is completely natural. Unlike the commercialized Crystal Hot Springs or even the rustic, rudimentarily improved Ogden Hot Springs, the only two alterations in this place are the wooden fence surrounding the pool and a thick rope encased by heavy PVC pipe running across the pool at its deepest level. Second, although there is only one pool accessible, it is just about the right temperature to suit everybody’s needs. I’d guess it was somewhere between 95 and 100 degrees [so, a tad cooler (5-10 degrees) than Ogden]. The water is amazingly clear and beautiful. There is no detectible sulfuric smell surrounding or surmounting the spring. The travertine deposits about a foot under the surface (perfect benches) and all around the pool make it seem like an exquisitely built set for a multimillion dollar film. Truly an amazing piece of nature. Its many attractive features draw bigger crowds than the less picturesque springs I've visited, but we enjoyed the company. Pulcheria and I had a good long soak. Bree, in and out frequently, also had a great time.

For those interested in going themselves:

N38* 51.8___
W112* 30.1___

Further directions to be acquired upon request and/or bribes.