Sunday, 23 April 2017

Adventures on the Steppes

On Friday we got all our chores done around the house so we could go do something fun on Saturday.  We wanted to go hiking but several places that would have been pretty had snow forecasted, so our options were limited to the Red Desert.  I didn't know anything about the Red Desert till Friday night, except that we pass an exit that says "Red Desert" near Wamsutter, which now I know is kind of ironic considering that you're driving through the Red Desert the entire time from Rawlins to Rock Springs. Someone told us they go snow sledding on the sand dunes in the Red Desert during the winter.  Leo wants to try sledding on the sand dunes without snow.   Anyway it's huge and encompasses the Continental Divide Basin, which is kind of like the Great Basin in Utah and Nevada--no drainage out to a sea, all the water drains into the basin.  Only the Continental Divide Basin in Wyoming doesn't get enough water to create a salty lake like Utah.  And a lot of it is steppes.  Actually the town where we live is on the steppes.  I think that's about the coolest thing ever about the town where I live!  Seriously, anything to make it seem exotic like Mongolia is a good thing.  I think Leo should definitely go for this look now, because, hey, we live on the steppes.  
Anyway, I looked up things to do in the Red Desert because several sites compared it to Southern Utah and Goblin Valley, etc.  And basically, there's NOTHING to do in the Red Desert.  Okay there's Adobe Town that's like Goblin Valley, but it's grey.  The reason why Southern Utah is beautiful is because it's red.  Grey is like death.  
See, not my picture, but it doesn't look like a fun place to visit.  Although, I'd happily go hiking there, and if we live here long enough, I probably will.  Leo vetoed it though.  And we thought about going to the Killpecker Sand Dunes, the largest sand dunes in the US.  
But again, it was actually quite far away and not that pretty--although I texted my sister and tried to convince her to meet us there with their ORVs but she was on a plane flying to Guatemala on a humanitarian medical service thing.  Whatever.  Hanging with us would have been way more important.  ;)  The Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Utah, are still prettier, because they're pink.

As it was, we decided to drive to a modern day ghost town and go geocaching and then try to hike around the Green Mountains.

Split Rock.

 So our plans failed.  We never found any of the geocaches we looked for in Jeffrey City.  It was weird though.  It was abandoned in 1980-82.  Before that it had over 4,500 residents.  But it was entirely based on one uranium mining company, and when the industry busted, it died.

The kids played at the elementary school park for a while and we peered in all the windows.  So weird.  There was still math problems written on the chalkboard below.

This was the brand new high school gymnasium--there wasn't even a proper road out to it.  So, so weird.

And then we headed to the Green Mountains.  Only that was a fail too, because all the roads up to the campground and Wild Horse Lookout were closed till June or something. And then the steering shaft broke on our van.  Luckily we had duck tape.    The kids did play in the snow and stream while Leo fixed that, and we had a picnic there.

Sebas is in orange.  He was tired of waiting in the car so I sent him down the road and told him that we'd catch up.

Leo had to reinforce it a bit. Glad it held till we got home.   We did see some wild horses and a lots of antelope.  And Ana was at a soccer game--she still couldn't play due to her concussion.

And pictures of adorable Efraim, because he is a doll!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Cupcakes for 4H

These pictures are in backwards order, but oh well.  This last week has been spring break for the kids, but with Leo working the whole time, we didn't really do anything exciting.  One day the Powells came over and played all afternoon while Jessica and I did some planning for Webelos.  And another afternoon I took them to the county museum, which they really enjoyed--mostly playing house in the sheep wagon outside.  The weather's been pretty nasty (it snowed off and on on Friday,) so outdoor activities have been curtailed.  But one day I helped Elena make a huge batch of banana muffins, which ended with the batter spilled all over the floor when Ana and Sebastian were bugging Elena by picking in, and Elena was trying to keep the bowl away from them.  Luckily most of it was rescued.  And I also helped Isabel make cupcakes that day so she could practice cake decorating.  She's supposed to be doing that for her project for 4H.  Only there's no leader for that project, so we just watched some youtube videos.  Ana's been recovering from a concussion that she got at her last soccer game.  She missed the next soccer game when we went to Utah--she couldn't have played anyway, and Saturday she has another game that she won't be able to play in either.  And Sebas lost his two front teeth.  And that's all our news.  Only I'm still terribly torn about what to do with Frodo.  While Leo was gone to San Francisco I was done and told him we were taking him to the pound.  I even posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted him. But then he was really pretty good on our trip to Utah.  I keep going back and forth even from one moment to the next.  I SOOO wish he wasn't so aggressive/sensitive, then I wouldn't worry about keeping him at all. I'm just scared he'll bite someone someday.  And also Leo and I have differing opinions about where he should be allowed in the house.  How ironic that we used to argue about having a dog when we were first married and our opinions have COMPLETELY reversed since then.  I feel bad for him all lonely downstairs by himself--if I let him upstairs during the day, he just lays at my feet while I nurse the baby.  Ahhh---I hate decisions like this.

Easter Weekend with the Family

Easter was a blast!!  We went to Hyrum to visit my parents and spent all day Saturday at a park. The kids played kickball--which was seriously competitive.  My mom DOVE to get on a base safely.  Red Rover (where only 3 kids cried).  And a lot of time was spent on the merry-go-round, as Leo spent a lot of time pushing them all.  Wyatt walked across the top of the swings, because he's Wyatt. And we dyed eggs and made some crafts that Megan brought.  And of course, ate tons of delicious food.  Leo and Ana went in the early morning to do baptisms for the dead and baptized their grandma, Beatriz.  I convinced Leo to stay extra long on Sunday (he had to work Monday) because the kids were on spring break, and they all fell nicely to sleep only to wake up at Green River, where we switched driving so Leo could sleep, and various kids took turns crying all the rest of the way home.  Leo swears he's never doing that again.  We should have just stopped for gas at the beginning and I should have driven the whole way.  Lessons you learn.  Olivia took photos for me, so there's a lot.  And I did finish the girls' Easter dresses on time this year!!  Yay!!!  And the boys' bowties and tie I decided to make Friday morning before I left, so I ended up finishing them that night at Megan's.  I love being close to family--it's the number one reason that I'm so happy to live where we do now.  It's close enough to drive home!