Friday, September 6, 2013

What a fun summer we had camping with the family. We spent part of a week near Ririe, Idaho (about an hour away from Jackson Hole, WY)  and an entire week in Payson Lakes, Utah.
The first was a family reunion for Todd's mom side of the family. There were a lot of kids the same age as mine. They would wake up every morning and play all day long. It was wonderful. Emilia became more comfortable riding her bike without training wheels.

We visited Payson Lakes with Todd's parents, siblings and their respective families. We had some memorable experiences while there.  One of the afternoons we decided to take the kids to the lake and take turns on the canoe.

In the span of an hour the weather at the lake went from sunny, to overcasted, to a Texas-style downpour and hail. We were all huddled under the canopies we had set out holding them down by the poles so they wouldn't fly out.

On Friday, Todd, two of his siblings and I decided  to go on an eight mile bike ride. We read the descriptions of nearby trails and decided on one with 'rolling hills' and beautiful views popular among bikers for its ease.

It was all but easy to ride and the hills were steep not rolling. The path was more like a dried out stream bed full of boulders and rocks to navigate around while either straining to climb or trying to stay balanced while descending. At times it was easier to go off-roading rather than try to stay on the path.

At one point we had to cross a muddy creek at the bottom of a steep 6+ ft descent and immediate ascent. I kept wondering if we were on the right path. After two hours and no sign of our destination we decided to stop and discuss our options.

Out of nowhere another cyclist climbing up the opposite direction stopped to greet us. He told us we still had at least another 40 minutes of riding and that our destination wasn't very impressive.

We ruled out finishing the ride based on the cyclist information. Our other two options were to travel back the way we had come or to chart our own path perpendicular to the trail to reach the road that traveled about a mile away from were we stood.

Since our trip so far hadn't been easy we decided to opt for the second alternative. We had to carry our bikes as we walked across weeds that were at times as tall as I am. All the while, I was praying that we wouldn't come across a snake.  Every few minutes Todd would look at the GPS on his phone and determine our position, scan towards the direction we needed to travel and chose a path for the rest of us to follow. I told him that he looked like Lehi consulting his Liahona.

In the end, we came out of the woods at a lookout point where we had stopped the day prior. It was a great relief to me know where we were. The rest of the ride was AWESOME! We coasted downhill at speeds of up to 30 MPH until reaching our campsite.

It was quite an adventure! I enjoyed all of it. Even the most challenging parts. What a great way to end our vacation.