Thursday, June 29, 2017

June 2016

I forgot when doing May 2016's blog post that June we also had a trip so it's another LONG blog post!

Kaleb graduated from 6th grade! He received the presidential academic award and has always been a straight "A" student. He loves reading and is a great writer. I always love reading his stories he writes.

June 1, 2016

Kaleb has a great group of friends and this is a couple of them.

The two 6th grade teachers split the day so that each teacher has one class for half the day and then the other class for the other half, each taking half of the subjects. It's a good way to help prepare them for junior high.

Kaleb's home room teacher Mrs. Tanner (on the left) told me a story how she'll never forget the first day of school (it was her first year teaching) and Kaleb smiled at her as they were lining up and asked her how she was doing. She said she was so nervous and that he made her feel so welcome.

I just couldn't believe how fast elementary school flew by!

That evening my aunt, mom, sister and Olivia and I went to visit Tracie's house to see her pretty amazing flower garden. Tracie and her husband went on the cruise with us to Alaska. Olivia enjoyed hopping from stone to stone.

June 1, 2016

This girl is always finding something to pose on and having me take her picture.

June 3, 2016

We spent another fun day at the cabin and Ashton's friend Zen came up with us. It's always fun playing at the lake.

June 4, 2016

Kaleb was asked to speak at Stake Conference! He did amazing, he's a really good speaker and is very animated. He wrote his talk and wasn't nervous at all, or at least you couldn't tell he was. I can't even imagine not even being 12 yet and speaking in front of the whole stake. He had to speak in our ward a couple months later and was hoping to give his same talk he had prepared but I didn't let him. :)

June 5, 2016

My sister went with me to see the musical Newsies. We have always loved the movie and music and it was awesome to see it in person. This show was the beginning of Ashton and Olivia's obsession with the music too. They know many of the songs and still a year later are constantly asking me to put the CD on in the car.

June 11, 2016

We had to celebrate Kaleb's birthday early because Matt and I were going to be out of town. He chose Italian Village to eat for his birthday dinner.

June 13, 2016

These 2 can be crazy sometimes.

We let him have his present that night and Ashton didn't want him peaking when we brought it out so he put Olivia's apron on his head.

This kid always only wants books or Lego's so instead of getting the same old thing we got him a youth kayak to use at the cabin. He always loved paddling around in the one we had but since it's really big it's hard to paddle, especially for him. He was really excited about it.

Back in February a friend from high school wanted to go to Havasupai and I had said that I would love to go back. So we called starting on the first day of reservations which is crazy because everyone is trying to get through on their phone lines and after probably 3,000+ tries and the second day of calling my friend was able to get through. Unfortunately she had an injury and didn't end up being able to come. Thankfully starting in 2017 they changed their reservation system and have on-line reservations but they still fill up within a day or 2 for the year. The power of social media has made that place extremely popular the last couple of years. Although this would be my 4th time going, I hadn't been since the summer of 2007 and I was barely pregnant with Ashton then and wasn't able to do everything I wanted to.

There were 6 of us going, 2 other couples. We set off to drive straight through to the Indian reservation early in the morning. We stopped in Las Vegas for lunch/dinner at Maggiano's.

June 14, 2016

We rented a car that would fit all 6 of us and our stuff and drove late into the night. This was the last town we would pass through. We ended up getting to the parking lot where you start the hike just after midnight. The last hour went really slow because there were so many elk all over the place and being a reservation there aren't fences anywhere so we had to drive really slow. I had never seen so much wildlife and cows while driving and never that many in the other times I had been there. We had decided just to try to sleep in the car since we would start hiking around 5am but that was very optimistic of us. When I've gone before we've pulled off the road and set up tents and then would get up early and drive the last 30 minutes or so but we also would get there earlier in the day. We didn't want to deal with tents for 4 or 5 hours of sleep but I don't think any of us got much sleep. I was in the drivers seat and there was no way to get comfortable. It was the longest 4 hours of my life watching time slowly go by and I didn't sleep at all. So around 4:30 I wandered over to the bathrooms and I think since most of us were up we started getting ready around 5:00 to go.

Just after 5:30am we were ready to go but there wasn't anyone at the office to check our bags in that were going down by horse. Thankfully I had remembered to bring duct tape and a magic marker to mark all of our stuff with our reservation information. After 3 of us starting the hike and another 3 waiting with our bags a tribe member told me as long as I marked all of our bags and had reservations that they would make it down and we could start hiking. Other groups that were waiting wanted to do the same but didn't have anything to mark their bags so I just left my tape and marker there and we started our hike down the grand canyon.

June 15, 2016

It's such a pretty hike as you get deeper into the grand canyon. The actual trail was rockier than I remember with loose gravel the whole way until the village when it turns to sand.

Once in the village we stopped for their breakfast burritos that were huge. I also bought a post card and mailed it off at their post office. Their mail is still done by mule train and so I wanted to send one to the kids.

It's always exciting as you start getting closer to the waterfalls. The water is such a pretty turquoise color. About a mile before camp there's 2 new waterfalls since their flooding in 2008 that were created. The upper one you can barely see in this picture is Fifty Foot Falls and the lower falls is called Little Navajo Falls. 

The main waterfall that's the most well known and is right by the campground is called Havasu Falls. It's changed quite a bit since the flood in that it only flows out of one side instead of 2 and the pool below it is smaller and more shallow. It's still so pretty though and awesome to see in person.

The rest of the day we set up camp and hung out at Havasu Fall's. Our feet were tired and we were ready to get a good nights rest. It was a little cooler that night than what it's been other times I've been there but I still just needed a blanket since it was pretty warm at night.

The plan the next day was to go to Mooney Falls which is at the end of the campground and then hike the 3 miles from there to Beaver Falls.

Getting to Mooney Fall's is always awesome because you are going in and out of the canyon wall to get down there. They have chains and ladders to climb down on but it's still slow getting down there.

June 16, 2016

This is from the top as we started going down looking down the canyon towards Beaver Fall's.

This is the last part of the trail to get to the falls.

Mooney Fall's is the largest waterfall at 200 feet. Being so tall you get sprayed quite a bit from the water hitting the bottom. Even as you're hiking down the last part it's spraying you with water.

We played for quite a while jumping into a pool that was there at Mooney Fall's. There was a rope swing that you could use to swing off of.

As we started hiking to Beaver Falls there was a picnic table so we stopped to eat.

The trail to Beaver Falls is really pretty. You're in and out of the water the whole time and for some reason it felt longer than 3 miles. Maybe because there's a lot of up and down.

These aren't the best pictures but I only took ones with my GoPro of Beaver Fall's. Beaver Fall's is hard to capture because it's a series of cascading falls. You can see Michelle standing on the top tier and this is where we did the most jumping from. 

I was then trying to scale down the rock to the second their and that's what this picture shows.

And then this is taken at the bottom of Beaver Fall's and you can't even really see the first two tiers of the falls.

This is a picture from the internet that shows most of it. It's hard to see how big it really is in pictures but it's definitely pretty.

There's a spot just after this that is really popular for jumping that you'll see in video online but we didn't feel like venturing farther down the canyon knowing we still had a long ways to get back to camp.

I loved this lonesome palm tree on the trail.

One of the coolest parts of the hike to and from Beaver Fall's are the parts where you're going through big grape vines. We've always called them the Jurassic Park fields because it reminds me of the scene where the raptors are in the tall grass. Although here you just have snakes and lizards to worry about.

We made it back to Mooney Fall's and it was getting close to dinner time.

It was another long day of hiking but well worth it!

We had dinner back at camp and we noticed all of these helicopter loads of stuff being dropped off at camp. They had the name Wilkey on them and I knew that was the name of my uncles friend that we would always go with. He takes a big group every year there. I found some guys that were hauling everything to a camping spot and sure enough they were the Wilkey group I went with the first time almost 20 years earlier. They were expecting 250 people in 2 days and they were there to get the supplies set up. These buckets were all filled with food. Crazy the amount of stuff that was dropped off.

After dinner we hung out at Havasu Fall's again. We tried to climb up some of the rock next to the falls but the current is so strong it would wear you out pretty quick. There's also a couple of pools to jump into.

In the evening you had to make sure to watch where you were stepping because these little guys were all over the place.

The next day we went to explore Fifty Foot Fall's and Little Navajo Fall's. This is the view from the trail on the way there.

June 17, 2016

First we went to Fifty Foot Falls. There was a spot to hang out behind the falls that was pretty cool. We had blow ups so we hung out and relaxed in the water for awhile before heading to Little Navajo Fall's.

This was the best spot we found for jumping. It always seems so much higher up than it looks when you're standing there.

We stayed here for quite awhile taking turns jumping off of the falls. We saw a guy jump with a GoPro on his head and his sunglasses on and we knew they would get knocked off as soon as he hit the water and sure enough they did. He found his sunglasses but the GoPro sunk never to be found again. It's not very deep but it's cloudy right there and sand so no one ever found it. His girlfriend was pretty mad because they had just hiked down and this was their first time using her new GoPro. I always had a float attached to my camera just in case and I'm glad I did!

I had read about there being "Hidden Falls" between the camp and these two upper falls so we tried asking some of the local kids where it was and they said just to follow the river. The problem was there didn't look like there was an way to do that at a certain point so we made our way back to the trail. As we kept hiking we could hear people and so we found it by going to the edge of the rock cliff. You had to go past the fence that keeps you on the trail which is why we never saw it and most people don't know it's even there. You can see a flat area to the right of the falls above it and that's where people jump from. It's really high and I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to do it. Maybe half way up I would have but it was a big fall into the water. Next time though I'm determined to find my way there!

Matt had just put something in his mouth. :)

It was our last evening there and after dinner we went back to Havasu Fall's to hang out. Someone had pushed a picnic table to the edge to jump off of so we tried it out.

This place is truly amazing and I always tell people they have to at least go once in their lifetime! We wanted to go back this year (2017) but figured we would wait a couple of year and go with the kids. And they raised their rates quite a bit this year too. :(

We all had so much fun together!

We stayed up and played card games for awhile before going to sleep of the last time.

We woke up around 3:30am to get everything packed and start hiking out. It's really hot and you want to make sure you make it to the switchbacks at the end before the sun is on them because they're hard enough without the added heat.

June 18, 2016

The last mile was a killer for all of us. It's so steep and you're exhausted and just want to be at the top that you can see but seems so far away. The sun started hitting the switchbacks as we were finishing and you would make sure to take a break in the shade because it was getting hot. We finished just after 9am and I took a screen shot of how far we had hiked.

They say it's 10 miles to the campground but my phone clocked it as 11.19 miles with maybe a little bit around camp but not much.

We covered a lot of miles on this trip. My phone showed just over 40 miles in the 4 days and that only includes when the phone was on us. When we were exploring the falls and jumping and climbing around we didn't have it on us. It was worth every mile though! We drove to Mesquite and stayed there for a night before heading home the next day.

The kids enjoyed getting our postcard we sent them.

I put together a video of our trip since I took quite a bit of footage with the GoPro. It was fun being able to have it in the water.

Ashton had scout camp the following Monday and Tuesday. He was really excited to go.

June 20, 2016

Ashton and Olivia had fun at their cousin's birthday party at Jungle Jim's. They tried out the tornado tunnel. I'm not sure how much Olivia liked it but she was smiling.

June 25, 2016

Later that evening we played on the playground for awhile. The sprinklers were on and so they had fun running through them.

June 25, 2016

We love summer, late nights, playing outdoors and flexible schedules!