Sunday, August 2, 2009

28 days

I have struggled this week.....waiting to find some ingenious way to blogument our 4 week vacation. It is not going to happen. The longer I wait for this inspiration, the more stuff happens that I am going to need to document. My blogging life is beginning to look a lot like my closet...and you don't want to go there....stuff is piled every where and even though I have some stuff that I know I love, I can never find it. So I am just going to start hanging up our days on the road in an orderly fashion before it is too late. 

This year, our family summer vacation was wrapped around the idea that Corey really wanted to do a small bike tour, his parents had just returned from China where they had been teaching for the past year, his sister was just about to give birth, and they are all now living in Boise, a very bikable 400 miles away!  Wallah!  Family Vacation Problem Solved.  I won't go into the logistics of his preparations, because that is pure torture for me.  Pack, blah, get a new fancy bike, blah, study your route for hours on end, blah.  Ok. He was ready to go.  He left.  I thought it would be fun, or it least less boring than staying home, to follow him and meet him every night at his stopping point.   I skipped the first night and we caught up to him on Sunday night in Grangeville, Idaho.  He had been doing great.... a bit sunburned, but doing great....and was sleeping on his stinky motel bed with the door wide open when we caught up to him.   We snatched a quick dinner at Subway and retired to the hotel for some night swimming in the 4X4 foot pool.  Then it was off to bed for some live repeated night vomiting action from Ansel  in the 4X4 foot motel room.  
Hmmm.  Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. 


I was a little skeptical after the barfacious events of last night, but the minute I saw this Mammoth sign a few minutes after leaving Grangeville, I knew I had made the right choice.  Leaving the main road, we took our first detour....because we weren't in a hurry and could take our own sweet time.  
This is the lake where the Bones of 40 Mammoths were discovered in 1994.  I was as giddy as a young Paleontologist, but Ansel was expecting to see some Mammoths.  I mean, that IS what the sign showed a picture of.  I didn't blame him for being upset.
A few hours later, we were in Riggins, Idaho, One of the possible stopping points for Corey.  I nervously discovered one of the glitches in our cell phone service.  I hadn't had any for miles and didn't know if, and when Corey had stopped.  I ogled every human along the main drag, and then, not spotting any sweaty tall person, decided to move on to town #2, hoping  phone service would be there.  Now I was too nervous to make any unexpected turns or stops.  I was on a mission to find my husband.  
Of course I had over-reacted and we were reunited not much later. Apparently, we had passed him while he had stopped under a shady tree.  We made up for our less than ideal pit stop last night by checking into the Shore Lodge in McCall, a beautiful resort with rooms just feet from the shore of Payette Lake.   

A hot tub was also located just feet from this lake, making it quite difficult to convince anyone to remove themselves from the hot water and actually swim in the colder lake formed by glacial deposits.......

unless floating trampoline in installed on the icy lake. THIS kind of fun,  Emmy and I found irresistible.


We made it to Boise just a few hours after Corey's sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and I was able to hold her while she was still hot. This photo was taken by Corey's brother. You can tell because it is actually good.  


We went to Roaring Waters today with Cary Judd and his family. The girls went on all the rides, but especially loved the lazy river and wave pool. The men went on all the rides, but especially loved the Viper's Vortex and took it upon their manly selves to beat some teenagers' tale of some 'mega rad dudes' who once spun 4 times. They made it three times. Ansel went down one scary dark ride, screamed bloody terror the whole way,  and was pretty much finished for the day. Thank you, Erin for taking him home so that I could enjoy the rides myself. Oh, and by the way Corey and Cary....I rotated 5 times when you weren't looking. So I am Mega Rad.  

We spent a sweltering day at the Boise Zoo.  The heat annihilated all other memories of the day. 


One of the highlights of our trip was the Judd family water gun fight.  I was a little surprised that my daughter's took it so seriously.  Thanks again for the great photos, Curtis.  

Today I was able to go shopping in downtown Boise by myself and finally felt an endearing connection to the town of Boise. It has a great downtown. Unfortunately, because I was alone, I don't know if anyone believed me that Henry Winkler passed by me on the street. The sadder part of this story is that when I told my 16 yr old niece that I saw The Fonz, she said with disdain, "Who's The Fonz?"


4th of July. Bought a PYRO Pack of fireworks and made the 90 mile trip to Tamarack Resort, Idaho only to find that there was nowhere that we could safely light the fireworks.  We had to wait until we returned to Boise a week later to finally light them off.   We knew that the Tamarack Resort had recently gone Bankrupt and shut the ski lifts down in March.  We knew this and thus were able to get an amazing rate on an amazing cabin.  What we didn't realize was that the entire Resort would be people, no cars, no stores......nothing but a million mosquitoes and us.  It was so beautiful that we didn't care.


A small historical town was having art show this morning. This one man band was the highlight of the festival for all of us.

Afternoon at Cascade Reservoir

We happily discovered that we could use the pool and jacuzzi at the abandoned lodge.  

Ansel's  first real lost tooth (the other top 2 were traumatized and removed years ago) occurred in this apocalyptic pool. Whether it was swallowed, sunk to the bottom of the pool, or sucked into the black hole where all other humans in the vicinity were sucked, we will never know.


Ansel and I hung out on the beach while Corey took the girls on a bike ride

They complain about a short mt. bike ride through the state park, but will spend endless amounts of time leaping from one large rock to another large rock rather far away. I was sure that I was going to capture a broken ankle shot at one point.

We ran into Curtis and his family in McCall and spent some enjoyable time eating ice cream, swinging, and feeding the millions of trout they have caged up by the shore.

I was able to go for a mountain bike ride......ahem.......a ride up the cat tracks because I am too 'careful' to bike those scary single tracks the way that I used to.

DAY 10

We spent today with Corey's sister and father. It was tough work trying to get them to stay out of the road and such. Those Judds are just a rough bunch.

This is one of those pictures that I am going to keep on my nightstand so that when Ansel is a terror of a teenager, I will look at this photo, remember him this way, and refrain from evil thoughts of changing the locks while he is at school.

We took a long drive down a dirt road, ate a picnic on a burned out log surrounded by stinging nettle, munched on wild strawberries, and hiked through a few streams before reaching our final destination..... VULCAN HOT SPRINGS.

The Springs were too hot to even touch, and although someone had tried to dam a portion of the spring where it was cooled by the river, mud wrestling to the death would have been a more likely activity than soaking in the rejuvenating properties of the so called Vulcan Hot Springs.  

We found an old house to explore, a field to run through, and a dock on which to suck sno cones.  Not a bad afternoon. 

DAY 11

Ansel choose today's activities consisting of first, getting a haircut, and then going horseback riding. I had envisioned a leisurely jaunt along a flat trail. But this was the real deal. We were scaling rock inclines, jumping over downed logs, and galloping through rivers. Ansel led the way without an ounce of fear. Definitely not a foreshadowing of his uncourageous behavior on our river trip the following day or hike the day after that.

Every time I looked back at Corey misfitting and awkward on that horse, I couldn't stop laughing. I don't know if the horse or Corey was in a more tragic position.

We concluded that our attempt at finding a remote, secluded hot spring the day before had been a beautiful, happy failure.  This evening we decided to try the closer, touristy option.   6 separate alkaline, mineral rich pools, each at a differing temperature to suit each family member's individual hydromassage needs, straw laden cabanas, and a life sized chess set all made our trip to Gold Fork Hot Springs well worth the gold we had to fork out to enter the waters.  
DAY 12

We found a Rafting Company that allowed us to book a last minute trip covering a 20 mile stretch of the Salmon River.   Even though it was a little chilly and we were treated to a tooth-chattering downpour for a while, our day on the river cemented our resolve to someday soon own our own raft and take multi-day excursions.  Ansel is the only one who may have some negative things to say about it all, although I don't know why because he doesn't have that many teeth left that could have been chattering.  I suppose he would tell you that he thought that we were going to die.   

DAY 13

Day #13 was spent at the Brundage, the ski resort that didn't go Bankrupt and actually contained live human beings. We took the chairlift to the top of the mt. and Corey biked the trails while the kids and I began our hiking 3.5 mile descent.

We made it about 100 feet before tragedy struck our hiking party.  You may be wondering what kind of horrible mother would, rather than soothe and console her whimpering child who just fell and dusted his knees, decide to snap a photo.  Come with me on my next hike with you know who and you won't be wanting to impart much consolation either.

Savanna found me cold and calloused and was eager to get down the mountain. She took the matter into her own hands.

After Corey biked around the trails of Brundage, I decided to bike from Brundage to a section of the highway that Corey had biked last week on his 380 mile expedition.  I tried desperately to keep on my allotted 3 inches of highway while huge diesel trucks spit gravel and breathed  hot exhaust down my neck. My respect for Corey and his recent highway biking travels grew 10 sizes that day.  

DAY 14
Today we transitioned from Idaho living to Utah living. Ansel helped Grandpa Judd mow the lawn on his John Deere. We said good-bye to Corey. He drove back to Spokane where he said he would be living in his cocoon until we returned (isn't that sweet and sad?) while we flew to Utah. We were welcomed by our traditional lots of food, lots of cousins, lots of aunts and uncles, and lots of noise noise noise noise.

DAY 15

Tonight we met for a family dinner in Highland, where there is almost always a double rainbow, no crime, and everyone is always smiling. You think I am kidding.

Cousin #1 is throwing up

DAY 16

Picnic and Hiking up Emigration Canyon.

cousin #1 and #2 are throwing up

DAY 17

We spent the morning at Liberty Park and enjoyed some of their retro rides that I remember from visiting Utah in the 70's.

I can't even look at this picture without feeling a little queazy. Three of them rode on it twice. Once was enough for Emmy

When a new water feature opens in Highland, it may not be wise to show up to the grand opening because, to be sure, there will be an overpopulation of children and a shortage of free hotdogs.

cousin #3 throwing up

DAY 18

Hiking To Timpanogas Cave with the cousins that aren't throwing up

You don't want to mess with Emmy in a dark cave


Followed by a family dinner and smores up Tibble Fork

cousin #4 throwing up

DAY 19

This is my youngest sister Camille. She just graduated from college and has a fantastic job as an administrative assistant in the Cardiology Department at the University of Utah Hospital. They opened a new wing today and Camille invited us all to attend for a private tour. She may not have realized that too many Porter's in one public place....not such a good idea. Just like trying to fit into this mini-Jeep.....also not such a good idea.

We left and spent the rest of the afternoon at Red Butte Gardens....a little slice of Heaven where children are allowed to run and jump, be noisy, and get as dirty as they want.

no cousins throwing up

DAY 20

Today was one of those days that are almost swallowed whole with preparations for a trip. We were finally ready and drove up to our rented cabin in Heber. The kids ran inside, turned on the television in the basement, and screamed in delight that a POKEMAN marathon was in full swing. Pokeman for the next 2 hours! We were about to tell them to turn it off and play outside in the beautiful woods, but were blown over by a second thought of DUH!. The mothers spent the next few hours laying out on the deck and staring at the aspens while the kids killed their brain cells watching Pokemon.

cousin #5 and #6 throwing up

DAY 21

A perfect day spent at Deer Creek

cousin #7 throwing up

DAY 22

Today was Sunday and we decided a nice way to spend the day in preparation for the upcoming Pioneer Day was to visit an old Pioneer Cemetary. None of the kids thought it all strange that many of the pioneers had a lot of kids and more than one wife.

cousin #8 and # 9 throwing up

DAY 23

We left the cabin and headed back home. We spot an old farm house. The kids don't want to stop. We stop. I can't not stop. My sister can't not stop either.

On our journey home, I looked back at Ansel munching on some wheat thins and noticed his other bottom tooth gone. Another LOST lost tooth. This one was undoubtedly swallowed. We made a pit stop at the Park City Outlets where I found some great deals, but temporarily LOST all of Ansel's teeth and the rest of his body when he somehow thought it a good idea to prostrate himself on the floor behind a clothes rack and remain oblivious to my frantic searching.

cousin #10 throwing up

DAY 24

We were fortunate enough to be here for one of the humanitarian days my mother frequently organizes at her church building. The kids were able to stuff balls (my mother stitched together like a crazy person), stuff and paint bears, and knit hats.

We head to the Scera Pool for the afternoon. It is all going fine until.......yep.....Savanna throws up.  No pictures.

DAY 25

I always try and drag the kids to BYU campus to show them where Corey and I met and fell in love. I couldn't get the girls to leave the newly arrived kitten and Ansel is still young enough to be tricked into coming places with me. Our first stop was the Art Museum which was finished the year that we were married. This art display of caffiene free diet coke reminded me that BYU is like no other place on earth. I still managed to have a great experience here in spite of the wierdness.

This was the last photo I took before being apprehended by the BYU museum police. Apparantly, flash photography may harm the flattened garbage bags installation. Quickly, past memories of being apprehended by BYU security guards were metaphorically dumped at my feet......walking on the Grass (cougars don't cut corners), wearing shorts above my knee, and eating pretzels in the library are just a few that come to mind. It's good to know that Security is just as tight as ever.

This is the day the stray kitten (later named Skitty) entered our lives. The majority of the day was spent fashioning elaborate pillowed beds in the crooks of the plum tree, conducting powwows honoring the arrival of Chief Skitty in Grandma's teepee, and serving her a 20 course meal. This is Savanna's face when she had to say good-bye....just for the night.

The rock stars aligned the two weeks that I was in Utah and I was able to hear Death Cab for Cutie, Andrew Bird, M. Ward, and of course my personal North Star...Josh Ritter. This photo was taken with my cell phone. Obviously, I was front and center stage. There were some real crazies sharing the front and center spot, the proximity to whom, almost cancelled out the benefits of seeing the sweat drip off of Josh's nose. It made me wonder if it was possible that I was the only sane super fan, or is it also possible that I am in a state of sefl-crazy denial?

DAY 26

It climbed to over 100 degrees today and we decided to head to higher ground. All the years that I lived in Utah, I didn't know about this bouldering paradise at the farthest point of Little Cottonwood Canyon. When we arrived, it was only 78 degrees. Needless to say, it was hard to leave.

DAY 27

Pioneer Day

One of many sisters lives just a few blocks from the Pioneer Day Parade Route. We were able to wake up and walk to the parade, while thousands of others camped on the side of the road. I like parades. I don't love them. I certainly would never stay on the side of the road for 12 hours waiting for one to start.

Since Cousin #12 began throwing up this afternoon, we decided to lay low and avoid the big fireworks show in Salt Lake. Savanna was able to spend some more quality time with the cat.

DAY 28

I extended my trip by a day because I hadn't been to Sundance and I couldn't leave without visiting (actually, Corey, the workaholic, agreed to pick up a weekend shift, and there is no way in heck ((saying heck...been in Utah too long) I would come home to a lonely house)

My third backup camera died right after this photo. Time to go home


Anonymous said...

What a great vacation! Even with the vomiting, you kept on trucking!!

Kaerlig said...

Wow. I'm impressed by how packed your 28 day were. Very fun. You didn't make it to Rock Canyon somewhere in there did you?

Joal said...

Great travelogue. I would have grown too frustrated with Blogger's poor editing functions to use this many photos with captions.