Thursday, June 18, 2009

15 years

...ago, none of my siblings were married yet, Kasey would be the first, in December of that year, followed by Sara, me and Judd 18 months later (within a month of each other). 2 more of my brothers followed suit in Dec 2002/Jan 2003 and the last of us in 2006.

Here is a shot of all 7 siblings, taken this weekend at our InCLINE Village reunion.

If you think about it, 15 years doesn't really seem all that long. But if you put it in this perspective, it's a lifetime.

All 35 Clines together in one place (2 houses), sharing meals, hot tubs, kites, bubble wands, Wiimotes, and lots of memories! Life's a lot more exciting when you multiply!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Shock and Awe

Has anyone ever said something to you that was so unexpected, so undeserved and unprovoked that your brain couldn't process it in order to respond immediately?

I am not one to generally be caught without a witty comeback, or unable to verbally express what immediately comes to mind, but it happened today.

I went to my parents' local Target with my kids and my Mom. (Yes, we're in California, we drove all day yesterday...would you believe we only had to make 1 lunch and 2 potty stops! My kids are veteran road-trippers!) We were browsing, looking for a specific color tank to go under a blouse for my Mom, birthday gifts for a niece and nephew, kid toothpaste and sunblock. Nice combo, eh?

We walked past the $ spot and decided to peruse it. They had some cute plastic bowls with cartoon characters, we looked at them for a bit, we walked past to see what else was offered. A minute after, I decided those bowls would be perfect for road-trip snacking and turned around to pick some out. My girls were there next to me, and so I asked them which ones they preferred as I stood to the side of the end cap and reached for a different color that was in the center of the shelf.

There was an older woman (retired age) standing directly in front of the shelf looking at the same bowls. I was at least 3 feet away and did not have the cart with me. As I reached my arm out for a pink bowl that I thought Syd would love, an older man (turned out to be her husband) came out of nowhere and bellowed very loudly and rudely at me, "Excuse me, we were here FIRST!"

At first I didn't know he was talking to me because I was looking at 1 of at least 500 bowls and I wasn't encroaching on anybody's personal space. His wife then chided him for being so rude and I think he apologized, but said something I didn't quite understand, and motioned to his rear-end as if he was saying he was grumpy from having diarrhea and that's why he barked at me.

This whole time, I'm looking at him, jaw on the floor, probably looking pretty dazed and confused...but I couldn't formulate anything in reply. I.DIDN'T.SAY.A.WORD. I was totally incapable of it in that moment. It was a pretty odd experience for me, and I'm still a bit perplexed by it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Duck Creek Day

Friday we decided to explore the many things around the Duck Creek Area. It looked like it was going to start storming early, so we hurried and got going.. Above is Navajo Lake. At the far end of the lake is a huge field of Lava Flows...I didn't get a shot of them, but they look pretty incredible. They stock this lake and there are kayaks and boats for rent.
Here is an outside shot of the cabin we stayed in. It was pretty rustic, but it kept us dry and warm!
The first adventure was Bowers Cave, you would walk right past this opening if you weren't looking for it....
Here's Gunnar climbing up an old tree branch to get out.
Poor guy went running after his Dad in the dark (Dad has the flashlight) and ended up running cheek first into the cave wall. Good thing he's tough.
Here's the opening of Mammoth Cave....I used the shot with G to show just HOW HUGE it is. Unfortunately the environmentalist tree-huggers were able to gate the cave opening below to protect some stinking bats....and hadn't reopened it in April like they were supposed to. Don't get me wrong, we're tree-huggers, but we actually think PEOPLE should be able to explore PUBLIC lands!!
It wasn't a total loss however, we came upon a horny toad that kept our attention for about a half hour. The kids were enthralled!! Fun stuff!
Shortly after that it began to POUR, so we headed back to the cabin for lunch and resting. When we ventured back out the roads were MUDDY, we encounterd this 8 ft x 10ft puddle.
We parked the car before it and were prepared to hike it the rest of the way, fortunately that was only about 100 yards....not that we knew that though!
This was the 3rd cave that day, and the coolest. Or should I say, COLDEST. That's snow at the entrace of ICE CAVE. The floor is coated in a sheet of ice, and there were some pretty cool formations inside.
Next stop, Cascade Falls:

We were pretty excited about this hike, so when we saw this we pretended we hadn't. We don't need no stinking trails, we're BUSHWHACKERS!
THIS was the reason for the trail closure, it wasn't a big deal...
The camera just couldn't do the waterfall justice, it's so beautiful, just cascading out of the rocks. You can hear it from a mile away!
I think the Sierra Club built the trail, look at those steps! This has to be one of my favorite trails, it goes along the rim and overlooks the whole valley with evergreens, aspens and redrocks throughout (see the pic on our blog title).
Good and muddy after all the exploring and hiking that day!
We were glad we had brought our crockpot and came back to the cabin for pulled pork sandwiches, ready to be eaten!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bryce Canyon Day

Last week we had a much needed family vacay.

We arrived Wednesday afternoon and pretty much hung out in the cabin. Played some Uno Spin, checkers and had some tea parties with the Princess Set that lived there. Nice perks, right? They even had a vibrating massage chair in the living room...the kids were really funny with it.

I love that we had a functioning kitchen to prepare meals there, less stress than trying to hunt something up each mealtime like we'd have had to in a hotel. (cheap pans though, next time I'll pack my own....I DID bring my crockpot and tupperware however...)

After dinner Chris took the kids to the lake to try some fishing which didn't go the way they'd hoped. Bummer, they haven't been getting many bites the last few times they've tried... We're starting to think the fish are getting wise to Powerbait...

Thursday was our "Bryce Day". Here we're at the lookout at Sunset Point, about to hike the Navajo-Queens Garden Loop.
As we quickly descended into these switch-backs I decided I was REALLY glad this was a loop trail and we decided to start at THIS end. Much easier to hike down these, than up! There's a narrow slot canyon and some gorgeous stone stairs at the very bottom and then you are at the floor of the canyon.
Here we are about at the floor. We love HooDoos!
This is the view at Natural Bridge. There are so many beautiful pics that I could share, this is one of my faves though.
Thought this was Thor's Hammer at the time, but turns out, it's not... It's HUGE though, this picture doesn't do it justice. It was about mid-way on our loop trail.
More to come, I'm doing this in lil' bits as to not overwhelm you with a Monster Post!