August 2 2009
These last few weeks have been really fun. Oliver and I are just realizing that we only have 3 Sundays left here in Los Alamos. It’s been a great summer and I’ll probably miss this little town. However, it will be great to be back at BYU with friends and family…I’m just not looking forward to the workload yet.
This last week I went on a campout for work. It took a lot of preparation to buy and pack food and supplies for 25 + people, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. It started out on an exciting note, when I hurried out into the hall at the YMCA (before we left) and nearly stepped on a snake that had wandered into the hall. (You all know how much I like snakes). After I yelped, my co-worker came out and tried to chase it back out the door. All of a sudden the snake (which had been black) turned a bright fiery red. Ugh. I hate snakes.
On the way up to the campground I was driving the mini-van with all the gear in it. I think it was a bit much for the van, which started smelling badly and I noticed there was a flickering orange light down by my left foot. I started getting really scared that there might be a fire in the engine or something –luckily however it turned out to be just a flickering light bulb (hello--since when are there light bulbs down by the emergency break in a car?)
Anyways, we took the kids up to a place that Oliver and I camped a while ago called Jemez Falls. Somehow I convinced all the kids to get in the falls with me and we had a great time splashing around in the cool water. However, I realized after getting in with my socks and shoes on (because it’s rocky) that I had only brought one pair of socks for a 3 day campout. Later that night I took off my shoes and put them by the fire, only to realize a few minutes later that they had started melting! Good thing they were my old and worn out ones. I had to resort to putting duct tape on the back where they had become all crunchy.
That night Oliver came up to the campsite and got there right before an enormous lightning storm struck. We were literally right in the lightning storm. A flash would go off very nearby about every 5 seconds. It was also pouring like crazy. Oliver and I just sat in the car and after about 30 minutes of the storm decided we would just sleep in the car. I slept okay, but the back of the car is about 1 foot too short for Oliver, so he couldn’t straighten out the entire night. However we fared a bit better than most of the others who were wet and soggy in their tents that had been hammered by the rain.
Anyway, the next day we went to a place called Soda Damn which is this incredible formation from the volcano that used to be here. A big waterfall comes out from underneath a rock formation (that looks like a mushroom) and the water is a brown color with lots of foam on top. It literally looks like you’re swimming in cream soda. Sounds gross- but it’s actually pretty cool. Later that day we went to a trail called Las Conchas. This is one the most beautiful places my eyes have beheld. I felt as if I was walking in a fairytale. The forest was lush and beautiful with grass everywhere and covered with white daisies, golden sunflowers, and lavender fireweed. There was also a very clear brook running through it for about 3 miles. It was incredible. After that some guys from the Mountaineer club met up with us to help us rock-climb. Oliver and I have been climbing once a week at the climbing gym, but this was my first real rock climb. It was fun, but a lot harder than the climbing wall, mostly because I’m more afraid of scraping myself.
That night Oliver came up again and I tried to make dutch-oven cobbler. Well, we only had one dutch oven so I tried to make this huge batch of it. The problem was that we had put really hot coals from the grill on top of the dutch oven, and so the top got singed while the rest of the cobbler remained soggy and uncooked. Haahh, oh well.
The next morning we packed up and then went on a hike to the Valles Grande. I’ve posted a picture of that before and it’s just breathtaking.
Anyway, I continued hiking as Oliver and I went to the Bandeleir National Monument on Saturday. This is where your can see cave dwellings from Native Americans that they actually let you walk around in. We had to climb up ladders for 150 ft before we could get to them. It’s hard to imagine people actually living in them.
Meanwhile during the week Oliver and I trying to research different graduate schools to attend and what are plans are for next summer. I’m applying to be an intern in Washington D.C. to help plan and organize the annual National Folklife Festival put on by the Smithsonian. Oliver is going to try and find work at a lab nearby. We’re also thinking about applying to graduate school at Berkeley (because right now it’s the only school with both of our programs in it).
Well I hope all it going well at home. I can’t believe we’re coming back in just 3 ½ weeks!