Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Day Weekend 2009!

For the fun weekend of Labor Day, in which Michael and I both had time off to play, we were invited (along with some others) to take a trip down to Southern Utah! The Ajer Family (Richard & Kathy, Brooke, Megan, Mariah, and Justin) are old friends of Michael's from his home ward in Taylorsville and actually were kind of like a second family to him during his "growing up" years. He would go over to their house and watch movies, make crazy fast trips to play in Lake Mead and Lake Powell, and all sorts of things. It was great to spend more time with them and get to know the family better on our long weekend as I've only met them a few times. They are such a fun family and I can see why Michael loves them so much!

To start off our trip, we drove down Friday afternoon and stopped in Goblin Valley along our way. The sun was almost fully set when we arrived at the hiking area full of really neat rock formations. View of where we would be hiking, just as the moon was coming out.
Waiting to climb up and into a cave. [Thank you Michael for the picture of my booty!]
After leaving the dark and very small cave. As you can see, it was rather dusty out there!

We spent the night in Hanksville, a little town in the middle of nowhere, just an hour away from Lake Powell. We crammed 11 people into 1 hotel room! It was a cozy night. And the next morning, we arose early to beat traffic and made our way to the Lake, piling everyone and all their things on the boat. We found a camping spot on the beach and then went out to play until dark!
Michael showing off his knee-boarding skills.
Our new friend, Alex, got up on his first try knee-boarding!
Kinda hard to tell, but this is Michael seeing how long he can hold on to the rope handle while staying underwater. The guys all thought it was cool, haha.
The girls (Brooke, Mariah, and me) on the tube, waiting to be pulled out to our near deaths!
Holding on for dear life. Wish I had a picture of the gnarly bruise I got when I was first bounced off, it's rad.
Richard, Michael, and Chuck preparing to go out on the tube. Poor Michael got forced into this. Little did he know what he was getting himself into!
This is known as "The Vortex", where the driver of the boat stops suddenly, sinking the front of the tube and causing all to scramble to hold on and not get sucked down, spinning 6-8 times before resurfacing. It's intense!
Michael was the most entertaining one to watch, he would flip around trying to not get knocked off, and when he would fall off it was usually hysterical. I recall his feet flying up in the air while he rolled over backwards off the tube...heehee :)
Fighting the wind and water. These guys tried to pull him off so many times.
Sunscreen application in the morning. Very important stuff. I think our motto became, "We don't want to get skin cancer and DIE!"
Riding on the boat next to Kathy and her worried expression as we headed to Rainbow Bridge for a leisurely Sunday hike.
Kenzie, Alex's wife, having fun and smiling as she did practically the entire trip. She's such a sweetheart.
First glimpse of Rainbow Bridge, the National Monument.
Water run-off down the side of the rock. I thought it looked cool. This is what allows plants to grow in the middle of rock crevices where you think it would be impossible for anything to grow.
Isn't it beautiful? This is a symbol to the Native Americans of how the sun moves across the earth, illustrating how there is always a beginning and end to all things. It's so sacred that no one walks underneath it out of respect for the beliefs and traditions that have been passed on for generations.
Michael and me in front of Rainbow Bridge.

We enjoyed such a fun trip with such fun people, heading home on Monday afternoon after some cliff diving, wake-boarding, water-skiing, more tubing, and some classic beach time. We were so glad to go on this trip and in some ways, happier to be home to the modern conveniences we all enjoy and sometimes take for granted. It allowed us to reflect on our lives and be grateful for all we are blessed with, not just indoor plumbing, but also for the beautiful earth our Heavenly Father has created for us! All in all, a wonderful experience!

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