Summer Road Trip, part deux

Last year it was Yellowstone. This year our summer road trip culminated in an awesome visit to the Grand Canyon.

A bit of a late start, as I was dealing with some issues from adding larger tires and a 2″ lift to the truck, but in the end it only cost us half a day.  After crashing overnight at an RV park near Keystone, NE, we started off in Breckenridge, CO Friday afternoon and met up with the “200LCDC“, a 200-series Toyota Land Cruiser club, for a multi-day trail run. Friday night we did a night trail ride up Peak 10, and Saturday we joined a subset of the group on a run up Red Cone (considered difficult) and down to Montezuma (easy).

The view from the top of Red Cone was awesome

and only a little bit of damage from a pretty tall rock we had to roll down on the trail up the mountain

Afterwards we headed to Grand Mesa, CO for a few days of hiking in the mountains before going west to Moab, UT.

Around Moab we hit two of the Canyonlands National Park districts (the Needles and Island in the Sky) as well as Arches National Park. The Needles district was my favorite. We did a short hike (about 2.5 miles) and then a longer (14-mile roundtrip) 4 wheel drive trail out to the Colorado River.

We did a few hikes in Arches though only a small portion of the 7 mile Devil’s Garden Loop

In the Island in the Sky district we took the 4WD Potash Road/Shafer trail into the park (a much more dramatic entrance than the paved highway) and stopped along the Colorado River. Once in the park we hiked out to the Grand Overlook which is where the Colorado and Green rivers meet and split Canyonlands into its four distinct districts.

After that we camped literally steps from the east rim of the Grand Canyon in the Kaibab National Park and hiked parts of the north rim of the canyon before going back to Utah.

Back in Utah we spent a day and a half in the overcrowded (but astonishingly beautiful) Zion National Park.

After Zion, we headed to nearby Bryce Canyon before driving through Escalante/Grand Staircase and a bit of Capital Reef before heading back home.

Fun stats from the vehicle computer (note with the larger tires my speedometer is 3-5% lower so all of these are actually slightly low):

  • 4463 miles
  • 36.2 mph average
  • 8.8 mpg
  • 507 gallons of fuel @ about $2.79/gallon = ~$1,414
  • 123 hours in the car
  • Potential to listen to “Holiday Road” on repeat 3354 times

Now I’ve started thinking where we want to go next year…

No, They Don’t Give Out Free Cereal

So, my first week of MBA classes at Kellogg is done, and I can now say for certainty that the next two and a half years are going to kick my ass. Work, Strategy and Accounting classes, a house to keep up, and most importantly family time (login required) are pretty much destined to suck my remaining free time.  So expect even less posting for a while.

Granted they have the best part-time MBA program in the country, but it was a definite shock to have a mandatory all-day leadership seminar on the first Saturday after classes started. I guess I’m about 10 years out of practice.

Taking the Good with the Bad

I’ve been swamped of late and as such haven’t been blogging recently. Not that that’s really an excuse. Enough has transpired recently that I thought I’d start again.

42° 2′ 4.6428″ north latitude, -87° 40′ 56.9424″ west longitude. That’s where I’m sitting right now, as I type on my laptop on the sofa. For the less geeky, that’s 933 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60202. We’ve been settling in and unpacking for 2 months now, and it’s finally starting to feel like home.

Visiting with my family yesterday, I found out that Aaron Gautier, son of Dan Gautier, was recently killed in Iraq. I’ve known Dan for more than a decade, and have been camping with Aaron and Dan numerous times in Luray, VA. The news saddened me, and my heart goes out to Dan and the rest of Aaron’s family. It seems unfair that he wasn’t old enough to drink, but he was old enough to lose his life in Iraq. He was a great kid, and he will certainly be missed.

On the lighter side, my cousin, Julie Edlow is now engaged to one of her former Recipe bandmates, Kris Kehr. Christi and I (and the whole Silver family, really) are tremendously excited for her. And I’m secretly hoping this will give me an excuse to buy yet more camera gear for her wedding.

Heck of a Way to Start Off

On Monday, I thought for sure I had somehow managed to avoid the wrath of the dreaded rotavirus that had plagued the little one just a few days before. Ah the sense of humor viruses have. The stomach flu hit me late Monday night, and continued for nearly 24 hours. It felt awful to call in sick on my second week at my new job, but I’m sure they wouldn’t have wanted me there.

The little one is still sick, though now primarily a residual head cold. Fortunately the weekend is soon approaching.

Ready for My Weekend to Start

Friday night I took Lulu for a walk around 11pm. When I got back, Christi was in the little one’s room – in the 15 minutes I was gone, she had woken up sick, been given a quick bath, then gotten sick yet again. She seemed to settle down around midnight, and we all caught some sleep.

Saturday, grandpa and aunt Ruth came over to watch her while Christi and I went to the home inspection. The inspection went pretty much as expected, so aside from some final negotiations, we’re on track to close on March 13th. While at the inspection, we took some photos of the house.

Saturday night, the little one got sick again just after dinner. Then again at midnight. Sunday morning, she was settled down, but listless and lethargic. She slept most of the day, but fussed quite a bit the whole day. I’m ready for my weekend to start now.

Late Posting (Part 3)

I’m very, very sad to be back from our third trip to Hawaii. After getting back last time I swore next time would be a one way trip. Every time we go I ponder what it would be like to open a bed and breakfast or just sell everything and buy a hut on the beach. This trip was no exception.

This time we stayed in a condo in Keauhou; ate at the Hapuna Prince Resort and Ke’ei Cafe (among other places); visited the Pololu Lookout, numerous waterfalls near Hilo, and Kilauea (the volcano), snorkeled, hiked, swam, and still found time to relax.

The trip was definitely more challenging with a one year old, both getting to and from the island and getting around while there. Nonetheless, she was a champ with the 15 hours of travel each way and 5 hour time change, as well as the lack of naps as we shuttled here from place to place. It was also more challenging to find food with both my parents and sister in tow, but we happily managed to eat well.

And sadly I broke my promise to not return next time we made the trip. Oh well, there’s always next time.