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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cousins!

We were very excited to see our cousins (my cousin Michael Young & family, on the Hamel side) from Alaska as they came for a weekend in Orlando. They flew his mom, my aunt, Bridget Hamel down from Ohio, so my dad got to visit with his sister too. Plus all the kids got to meet cousins they haven't met yet! It was funny to see how alike they were.
Almost got a serious one. 
Cousins, aunts, and uncles. 
Cousins, second cousins, or first cousins once removed, and third cousins, or twice removed... we tried for hours to figure it out and finally did, but I'm not sure we got it right. :)  Here's a chart if you're keeping track at home. :) 
Let's try L to R. Matt, Lizzy, Michael, Caleb, Tamara, Kira, Bridget, Seth, Kathy, Josh, Chuck, Margie, Allen.
Cousins. At least that one was easy. :) 
We think this is the last time all the cousins were together. 2000! We were babies. :) 
It was so great to catch up with some and meet others for the first time! Hopefully soon we'll work our way up to Alaska to visit them there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a beautiful (and free!) city park, right in Colorado Springs.
Gorgeous rocks just jut up from nowhere, right in town. 
Kissing Camels. :) 
Yes, he's carrying a gnome through the park! 
Looks like it's storming on top of Pike's Peak. 
The visitor center has pet dinosaurs! :) 
So cool. 
Lots of climbers and lots of routes here. 
Balanced Rock, right beside the road. 
Ryan unbalanced it of course! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hiking The Wave, Coyote Buttes, AZ

The Wave in the Coyote Buttes in Arizona is a popular Windows desktop wallpaper. It's also been one of our bucket list items, but not near the top because of how hard it is to get there.
Not the hike itself (though the 3 mile hike there was very challenging with no signage, no trail, no shade, and lots of climbing!), but getting the permits to go. Only 20 people are allowed in this part of the Coyote Buttes a day. 20!! 10 online and 10 walk-in. A day. (In 2014, only 14% of those who applied actually got permits!) Fortunately, we have no schedule so we (as in Allen) could go each day and apply and wait for the verdict. Amazingly, his number was called on the second day! We were so excited and so happy to have the Johnsons to share this experience with!
It was incredible, of course. And SO much more beautiful than any of these photos can show. 
There was beauty around every corner! And no actual corners because it was just twisty, turny, layers of pretty! 
This man made it possible! He finds all the best places to take us to. 
Click for the rest of the pics:
https://goo.gl/photos/GkK2f4uYQm7S32tXA

Hiking to The Wave

Just hiking to get to The Wave was challenging. 3 miles across the desert with no trail or signs! We were looking for landmarks and shapes and just hoping we were aiming in the right direction. It was no picnic, though we did bring food, so I guess it was kind of a picnic.
It was nice to see very few people all day, but it's also nice sometimes to know you're going the right way! 
These twin mounds were part of our directions. Allen thought they looked like boobs, because he's super mature like that. 
For some reason, we thought this little depression looked like a hot tub. We were probably hallucinating at that point from the relentless sun and heat. 
This was the first time we've seen sidewider tracks in the desert. Ick. They give me the heebie jeebies!
The hike in didn't compare to The Wave itself, but it was beautiful too!
But we finally did reach The Wave and wow! Check out that post here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Paria Rimrocks Toadstool Hoodoos

Near Kanab, Utah we found a fun hike to see the Paria Rimrocks Toadstool Hoodoos. The harder rock on top protects the pillar beneath it, although it erodes away. They were very cool and there were so many of them and so many sizes. Once you see the toadstools, you can hike back to an incredible view and even more toadstools.
Of course Allen had to issue his usual CHALLENGE! 
Which the Johnsons are getting used to accepting. 
We even have a great view from our campground in Kanab!