Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day by Day

I've received a few, shall we say, "complaints" that there are too many pictures on Flickr and it takes too long to weed through them. To be fair, these certain individuals have an internet connection that is slower than molasses in December...painfully I guess I can be a little bit sympathetic to their plight. Although, if I were them I would not tolerate such slow internet service and I would choose to live somewhere other than southern Utah. LOL. But that's just me.

So anyway, to accommodate those whose internet connections are excruciatingly less than ideal, I've decided to provide some photographic highlights of our trip. Enjoy.

Day 1
Storm clouds on I-15
Racing the storm on our way to St. George
Day 2
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Rainstorm at Grand Canyon

Quaint room in Williams, AZ
Our quaint room in Williams, AZ
Day 3

Hunter on Route 66
Hunter on Route 66
The VLA has moved
Ruidoso sky
Nearing Ruidoso
Day 4

More water wars
Jo, Phil & Ginger at war
The battle wages on
The battle rages on
Everybody is drenched
The after-effects
Sweet Laurel
Sweet Laurel
Day 5

ruidoso 055
Garrett ponders
ruidoso 079
Two cute golfers
ruidoso 082 vintage
My sweetie
ruidoso 071v
A pro at work
Day 6
durango 007
Speeder car
durango 017
A bunch of speeder cars
durango 064
Santa Fe
Day 7
durango 094
Durango & Silverton
durango 105
Chasing the Durango & Silverton
durango 121
Million Dollar Highway
durango 132

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ride to Ruidoso

grand canyon rachie 038
So, we just returned from an awesome roadtrip. Hunter's sister Ginger has a vacation condo in Ruidoso, and we invited ourselves to join her and her family, as well as Joannah and Phil, for the weekend. They graciously agreed, and we started planning our trip of joy. We hopped on the Wee and hit the road Wednesday, August 15th; here's a quick look at our itinerary:

Day 1 Murray, UT to St. George, UT: 296 miles
Day 2 St. George, UT to Williams, AZ: 330 miles
Day 3 Williams, AZ to Ruidoso, NM: 475 miles
Day 4 Ruidoso, NM: 0 miles
Day 5 Ruidoso, NM: 0 miles
Day 6 Ruidoso, NM to Durango, CO: 425 miles
Day 7 Durango, CO to Murray, UT: 480 miles

All told, we travelled a grand total of 2006 miles! Holy cow, our bums were not happy about that. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful time. We visited the Grand Canyon, which was absolutely incredible. We also got poured on there, which was fine since we had our riding gear. The rain made for some pretty amazing pictures, too! We stayed at a cute little bed & breakfast in Williams, and enjoyed a gunfight show in the town streets that evening.

While traveling through New Mexico the next day, we noticed some large satellite dish-looking objects in the distance. This turned out to be the Very Large Array, which is a group of radio antennae that act together to perform the same function as one huge antennae. It looked rather sci-fi, which was strange enough...but then we stopped to take photos and that's when it got really weird. The antennae started moving! It was so eerie to see these giant satellite dishes moving in complete unison...I half expected the mothership to show up. Hunter loved it; he had heard about the VLA and was excited to see it firsthand. I was happy to finish taking my pics and get the heck out of dodge.

It turns out that Ruidoso is not what you would expect, considering it's in New Mexico. Hunter had told me it was mountainous, but for some reason I was still unprepared. Ruidoso is gorgeous! That part didn't necessarily surpise me, but the forest did. It felt like we were in Montana, the forest was so thick and lush. It was beautiful, and I can understand why it has become such a popular resort town for the Texans. I loved it there!

I was finally able to meet Ginger & James and their super cute family. Their baby (Laurel) is about the same age as Reagan (Sarah's baby), and she is a sweetheart. She is so good natured and easy to love. I had a hard time giving her back to her mom! :) Garrett is also a cutie, and it was especially cute when he and Hunter went golfing together. I took at least a million pictures!

We always love hanging out with Jo and Phil, and it was so much fun to see them again. It's just too bad it was only for the weekend! We need like a month or so...wouldn't that be awesome?!

It was sad to see the weekend come to an end, we had such a good time. We were looking forward to spending some time in Durango, however, and wanted to spend some time in Chama so we headed out early Monday morning. Chama was cool, as always, and we got to see a bunch of speeder cars that were in town for the Durango Railfest. We toured a bit and took some photos, and then headed to Pagosa Springs. We were riding along, minding our own business when guess what...we saw a bear! It was crossing the road ahead and we were grateful it didn't decide to have a snack right then (ha ha).

Durango was also cool, as always. At this point we were getting kinda road weary though, so we were getting anxious to be home. We had a long ride ahead, but that didn't stop us from sending the train off and then racing it to Silverton! Actually, there wasn't much of a race...the train takes about 3 1/2 hours to arrive, and it took us about 1 1/2 hours. What a scenic ride, too! It was absolutely breathtaking. We decided we absolutely have to ride this train, so we are now planning our next roadtrip. :)

After stopping in Silverton and passing through Ouray, the ride became significantly less scenic. At this point I started wishing for a time warp that would land us in Murray in the next 20 minutes. Ya, no such luck. So we pressed on and other than discovering a butterfly in my coat sleeve the rest of the ride was mostly uneventful. We did encounter a sobering scene in Grand Junction, where a car accident had just occurred and the driver of one vehicle was clearly dead. I found it rather disturbing, so we looked it up when we returned home and found that she had intentionally run a red light and was broadsided by a garbage truck. Yikes! Note to self: don't run red lights!!

So the rest of the road trip is a blur of exhaustion and anxiousness. It's hard to enjoy anything when you have an impending workday hanging over your head! It's always tough to come back to reality. But it sure is nice to be home again! I was so happy to see my bed, and promptly parked myself there for the next 8 hours.

I apologize for the lack of photos. However, if you click on the photo at the beginning it will take you to my flickr page, and there you can view all of our trip photos to your heart's content! I'm still updating photo titles, etc., so take your time going there, and take your time when you get there! :)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Seven Ways To Make a Nerd Look Really Cool

Let's say you know this chick, and she's a bit of a nerd. She grew up in some town no one has ever heard of, and she always did her homework. She was even the high school valedictorian, which would be more impressive if there had been more than 28 students in her class. Nevertheless, she was definitely a nerd. So how in the world would we make her look cool? After years of research and implementation, here are my top seven suggestions:

1. Get her out of the house. For goodness sake, how can she look cool if no one ever sees her? Fresh air and sunshine are the primary ingredients for a nerd-transformation. The more you add, the better the results.
2. Take her somewhere cool. If you take her somewhere that has been deemed cool by the officials (i.e. Glacier National Park, the Zozobra Festival, Madeira Beach, etc.), she becomes cool by default. And, she has pictures to prove it.

3. Take away her book. I don't care if it's Harry Potter, reading in public is not cool behavior. However, be sure to brush up on your martial arts before attempting this, as you will be engaging in a death match.

4. Give her an RC car to drive. You would be amazed at how much attention this attracts. Suddenly the average, non-descript woman becomes the center of attention. Everyone is fascinated with her amazing "toy", and wants to know how it works. From small children to grown men, suddenly everyone is in awe.

5. Give her an RC boat to drive. This is pretty similar to the RC car concept, but applies to the waterfront setting. Since there is no way she would look cool in a bikini, give her an RC boat and she becomes the center of attention. It's an incredible phenomenon.

6. Put her on a motorcycle. She might be self-conscious at first, but this is a guaranteed way to alter her image. Research has shown that when a person walks into an establishment carrying a motorcyle helmet, he or she is immediately perceived as 500% cooler than those without helmets. It's true, I swear!

7. Have her marry Hunter. And not just any hunter, it has to be Hunter Sheedy. This is the number one way to instantly increase a nerdy chick's coolness factor without fail. Fortunately, I happen to be the lucky nerdy chick who married this incredible guy! And I have to say, I've never been so cool in my whole life. It's amazing what the right guy will do for an innocent bookworm from Henrieville's social status.