Archive for July 2012

Summer Trip – Hiking, swimming, ghost town

Our summer trip finished up with a day of hiking at Cedar Breaks and Cascade Falls in the Dixie National Forest. I always enjoy the drive up Cedar Canyon and visiting Cedar Breaks and Brian Head. I’ve been taking trips there since I was a boy to visit my grandma and grandpa. It’s even more fun going with my dad because he tells stories from when he was a boy. Stories about Boys Cave and Squirrel Rock and pointing out the roads he surveyed while working for the forest service.

Cedar Breaks

Cedar Breaks

Ainhoa and family at Cedar Breaks

Ainhoa and family at Cedar Breaks

The hike to Cascade Falls is fun and easy and there is a nice viewing deck at the falls.

Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls

Emily and Anne at the falls

Emily and Anne at the falls

Grandpa, Sam, and Anne

Grandpa, Sam, and Anne

Hiking up from the water

Hiking up from the water

We finished the afternoon off with time at the Cedar City aquatic center where the kids enjoyed the lazy river, water slide, and big huge bucket of water that continuously filled up until it tipped over and splashed everyone about once every 3 minutes.

At the aquatic center

At the aquatic center

Sam loved the water slide

Sam loved the water slide

On our drive back home, we decided to take a detour and check out the ghost town of Frisco, UT. Frisco’s claim to fame is the huge beehive charcoal ovens and they were certainly impressive; however, it isn’t much of a ghost town. There isn’t a single standing building beyond the ovens; only old foundations. Still, it was interesting to try and imagine what the place was like as an active mining town.

Frisco, Utah ghost town

Frisco, Utah ghost town

Charcoal ovens at the ghost town

Charcoal ovens at the ghost town

Frisco, UT

Frisco, UT

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That's a big oven!

That’s a big oven!

Wrapping up the summer

Ainhoa’s visit over the summer wrapped up with a flurry of adventures:

Hiking in Little Cottonwood Canyon
A trip downtown and to the state capitol building
A visit to Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon copper mine
Timpanogos Cave National Monument
A week at girls camp

I never would have thought you could pack so much into a couple of weeks of summer. Nancy and Ainhoa and the kids certainly kept busy.

Hiking in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Hiking in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Nancy enjoys hiking

Nancy enjoys hiking

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Checking out the copper mine

Checking out the copper mine

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A view of the mine

A view of the mine

Diana and Ainhoa making bizcocho

Diana and Ainhoa making bizcocho

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Hiking up to Timpanogos Cave

Hiking up to Timpanogos Cave

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A trip to the state capitol building

A trip to the state capitol building

Ainhoa at camp

Ainhoa at camp

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Braiding hair at camp

Braiding hair at camp

Girl's Camp

Girl’s Camp

Sam’s attendance

Sam missed only 2 days of class in 4th grade. Good enough to get an attendance award. I’m not sure he was too happy about getting his picture taken in front of the class. Next stop, 5th grade.

Sam receiving his 4th grade attendance award

Sam receiving his 4th grade attendance award

Summer Trip – Les Miserables, Aladdin, and the 4th of July

Some other highlights of our trip included attending Les Miserables at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Les Miserables isn’t exactly Shakespeare fare but I’m glad they staged it nonetheless. We have the CDs and videos in our house and it’s a particular favorite of Anne’s so practically everyone in the family knows the play and the songs by heart. All the kids seemed to enjoy the play – even Samuel, who would have got my vote for “Most Likely to Get Bored”.

Nancy, Anne, and Ainhoa on campus

No trip to SUU would be complete without tooling around campus with Grandpa Kent and hearing stories about Old Sorrel, Nellie Unthank, and the days when Grandpa was a student there. I’ve heard the stories and seen the buildings and statues plenty of times before, but it’s still fun to hang out at SUU with Grandpa.

My favorite part of the summer trip was the 4th of July. Cedar City has a “Children’s Parade” on the 4th of July which means lots of Little Leaguers and dance studio kids but not too many marching bands or floats. The best part about the 4th of July in Cedar City are the games and activities in the Lions Club park. Grandpa tells stories of going to the park on the 4th when he was a boy and I can remember going when I was a boy. 20 or 40 years later and it seems like the games in the park hasn’t changed a bit.

Waiting for the parade

Only Sam, Caroline, Diana, and Ainhoa wanted to go to the parade so only they were the ones that had fun at the park afterwards. I gave each of the kids 3 dollars to spend, picked out a tree where we should meet when we were all done, and sent them on their way to have their fun. I got a kick following them around and seeing what they would spend their money on. Sam spent his first two dollars on cotton candy and chocolate bars. He held onto his last dollar for a little while and checked out the various attractions but in the end I saw him with a second cotton candy.

Diana waiting for the dunk tank

Caroline apparently spent all her money at the “Go Fish” pond because she came back with rubber lips and whistles and candy rings and such. Diana was the most fun to watch. She was absolutely fascinated by the dunk tank. At first she wanted to get in line to be dunked but the line was too long. The line to throw baseballs, the paying line, was much shorter. Diana walked up and handed the lady two dollars right off the bat so she got 6 balls to throw. After each miss they moved her closer to the tank but she went through all six balls without getting a hit. When her turn was over she waited off to the side and watched the bigger boys throw strikes and dunk the people in the hot seat. A few minutes later I saw her get back in line and hand over her last dollar. She got really close to the tank and managed to barely brush the target on her last ball and down into the water went the person on the hot seat. It probably helped a bit that the tank operator was hiding out and secretly pulled the chain on her last ball.

One of many attempts at hitting the target

I don’t remember what I spent my money on when I was a boy but I don’t think I could have had nearly as much fun as a boy in the Cedar City Lion’s park as I did as an adult watching my own kids. Later that evening we drove down to St. George and saw Aladdin at the Tuacahn theater. The Tuacahn setting was spectacular and so were the special effects and the post-play fireworks show against the canyon walls. It was a great way to end the 4th of July.

Summer Trip – Cedar City via Cove Fort

This summer we had an exchange student come and stay with us for a month. Ainhoa is from Zarautz Spain, in the Basque country. The start of her stay coincided with a trip to Cedar City to visit Grandpa Kent and Grandma Connie. It was fun having Ainhoa along although one problem with increasing our family size from 7 to 8 was that we couldn’t all fit into one car. We ended up taking take two cars with a plan to meet up at Cove Fort for a picnic lunch.

As the kids pointed out, “Dad drives a lot faster than Mom”. Sam, Diana, Ainhoa, and I got to Cove Fort with time to spare and spent some time relaxing before Nancy arrived. Sam and Diana’s favorite pastime? Messing around with the camera.

Hanging out at Cove Fort

Sam at Cove Fort

Diana at Cove Fort

Eventually Nancy and the other girls showed up and we enjoyed a nice picnic lunch and a tour of Cove Fort. We made our way to Cedar after lunch and to our hotel near The Lighthouse. A quick swim in the hotel pool and dinner at a Thai restaurant to celebrate Anne’s birthday topped off the first day of our trip.

The gang at Cove Fort

Anne’s Birthday

Anne somehow managed to finagle a friend party for her 15th birthday. I’m not sure how she managed to pull that off because Nancy is pretty much “partied out” from doing birthday parties over the years. Perhaps the fact that our exchange student Ainhoa was visiting helped Anne convince her Mom of the need for a party.

Anne on her birthday

Anne on her birthday

Now that she’s 15 she can get her learner’s driving permit. Heaven help us!