Thursday, September 27, 2007

Zoo time

My employer gave me two tickets and $10 zoo dollars for the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. Over the past weekend Christina and I visited. They have a ton of land and a nice collection of animals. My personal favorites were the prairie dogs and (big shocker here) the monkeys. Christina liked the tree kangaroos.

Christina got a new camera before her trip to the Grand Canyon and it put it to good use snapping this photo of the duck boats.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lizards, Mice, Boulder Fields and Waterfalls

Well we made it back! all limbs still intact. The trip started out a bit rocky though (no pun intended). after driving 1.5 hours to the canyon entrance point. We got out of the car and realized we had a flat tire. as we are fixing it, Kelsey realizes that she has left her wallet in the lodge bathroom back at the Inn. Kristen and Kelsey got back for it while Cameron and I forge ahead. Our plan was that there was no way that the girls could catch up with us before dark so basically we would meet up with them the next night (monday) at the bottom of the canyon. As the girls drove out of sight Cameron is like, we don't have the topographical map (and cellphones don't work here). We started to realize that the girls had many other important things that we needed like the cables for the tent. Cameron was convinced that we could just find some cave that his dad had talked about and sleep there, but not having the map made finding it impossible. We lost the trail at one point and I fell in a sage bush and couldn't get out on my own. My legs are still scratched up a week later. Anyways, finally after lots of stopping, scouting, backtracking, etc. we gave up and found a rock that we could sleep under. I was less than enthused with this prospect and then just as it is becoming dark who do I look up and see rounding a curve---Kristen! The four of us couldn't have been happier to see each other and be reunited (and it felt so good :)! The girls made amazing time on their hike. The picture below is our 'campsite' and is overhang that Cameron and I were going to sleep under. It rained that night so I was really happy to have a tent!
Above is the esplanade. (that's Cameron up ahead) this area of hiking was nice because it was all flat, also was very scenic with rock formations.

Above picture is from a day hike to a waterfall down at the Colorado river. Kelsey has a great picture of the waterfall so I will wait and put hers up later. it was nice to have a bath of sorts in the middle of the trip. And also a day to rest where we didn't have to carry our packs everywhere.

This is a rock formation that has been carved out over thousands of years by water. This creek eventually became the waterfall.

A couple other mishaps occurred along the way. One night a mouse chewed in to Kelsey's backpack and ate her jacket. It ate a bit of mine too and pooped all over our packs. from then on we slept with our packs in the tent which made for tight quarters considering we were already sleeping between everyone's food.

See that middle section of rocks above the trees in the picture above? That's an inclined boulder field. picture was probably taken a couple miles away from it and when we would watch people hiking in there they looked smaller than ants (just to give you an idea of the scale). We had to go down the boulder field and then up it again two days later. It was heinous and we were just dreading it. We decided to get up at 5am in order to begin hiking out of the canyon when it wouldn't be as hot. Well kelsey and I somehow lost the path in the boulder field and got hopelessly lost. I ended up on the completely wrong side of it and were not too happy about expending extra energy when we still had a long day ahead.

THE END! Looking a tad rough enjoying our diet coke/mountain dew/coke/water. kind of like the carrots that were helping us finish the last leg of the trip and yes I am wearing a skirt. That's how I roll, but then did you expect any less?

To summarize the trip, it was grueling, we saw beautiful things/places, one of those trips where you can't wait for it to be done, but then once you get home it seemed like fun. Also kelsey was the one with an X on her back it seemed; she was a trooper despite everything. Oh and she got heat exhaustion.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Home alone

With Christina gone all week I had some time to get some house work done. We need more storage (or at least more organized storage). I decided to start in the basement and go from there. My basement is funny. I think my house was originally much smaller because it has a smaller foundation wall inside of the basement. There is a back room that was framed and has drywall, but it was never painted and has accumulated dust for years. After moving all sorts of stuff out, I cleaned and painted it. IT might be a tad small to fit the pool table my neighbor offered me, but at least I'm not s
cared to go in it.

On the other side of the basement I have my laundry area and a narrow secton along the south side walled in with old wood siding. I ripped most of it out. The basement is much brighter now and I'm building some shelving with some of the old doors left in the basement. An electrician is needed to move some lights closer to the ceiling (the joists are around 6' 2"). Seriously, I broke a fluorescent bulb with my head by accident yesterday. It wasn't all bad though. When I ripped out some of the wood wall and old work bench I found an antique glass hydrometer in a case. It is used to brew beer. I found a few on eBay going for over $25. The cool thing is a have a hunch the narrow room was used during prohibition. Once everything is organized we can focus on the upstairs room that will eventually be Christina's craft room.

Tuesday afternoon, then today we got buckets of rain. Here are some photos (noticed the new gutter on the front of my garage).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Wes Anderson directed a few At&T commercials. I just like how he sticks to his unique style. I'm also looking forward to the new movie, however the last few haven't lived up to the hype I create for them by myself.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Roughing it.... part 2

Well two years later we are heading back to do it all over again. Cameron, Kelsey, Kristen and I (yes all our names start with the hard 'C' sound, also we all look the same with our blonde hair) are heading back down into the Grand Canyon, but this time to the North Rim, instead of the South Rim. The previous south rim trip was arduous to say the least, but this time we are armed with experience and a trusty pair of hiking sticks. Also I am bringing my nano --my one 'luxury item'-- chock full of npr podcasts (there is only so much thinking to yourself you can do before you go crazy). We leave tomorrow for our adventure and hit the trail on sunday morning and will spend 5 days, 4 nights there. Backpacks will be ranging in weight from 60-80 lbs depending on how much water we will have to carry for the day.

Picture above was taken at the end of our trip at the top of the canyon. 5 days and no shower-- I'd say we look pretty good... ok maybe not our finest photo moment.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tirelessly working.....

Ever since I moved in we have been doing nonstop projects. Things are looking good, but aren't done yet. Lots of painting, etc. for us. For the 200th post of this blog, here is how far we've come (on the front of the house at least). Look! it can be like the picture games in Life magazine. find all the things that are different even though the pictures are the same. The top picture was taken this morning, the one below it was taken soon after purchase in May of 2005. here, i'll get you started— there isn't chimney in the top picture....

A big chunk of our time has been devoted to this room (sorry no before pic). it has had many tenants in the past 2 years (stach, adam & nathan-- not all at the same time though), but its new use will be the computer room/guest bedroom. yes, unbelievably the computer is out of the dining room! we spent labor day weekend fixing the plaster, painting the ceiling and walls and revamping the closet. it's nice to have it all done.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

= September Link of the Month

I never listened to National Public Radio or Minnesota Public Radio until I met Christina. And although I don't love it as much as she does, I've added it to my routine. It recently made it onto my pre-set car radio stations. Woopie, right? Well if you didn't know they have a great website, worthy enough to be McBlog's LINK OF THE MONTH.