Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Time for my favorite holiday! Halloween is a blast now that we can experience it again vicariously through our children. Logan dressed as the pirate Jack Sparrow and Samara as a cute little monkey. We recently watched Pirates of the Caribbean with Logan and he was a little bewildered to find out that pirates were actually bad guys. They're always made out to be fun and adventurous in stories and books. It seemed like a pretty big moment of realization for him.

Samara really got into the Halloween spirit while 'trick or treating'. She didn't want us to carry her or her pumpkin even though it was getting so heavy with candy that it was throwing her off balance.

We also carved a Jack-O-Lantern for the first time with the kids. They had a blast helping me out - Logan sketched the outline on the pumpkin and Samara tried to clean the insides of the pumpkin by eating all the seeds!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Alonzo Stagg Hike ver. 3.0

I did the 50 mile hike again this year (my old church group in Maryland puts it on every year.)
The hike started off really bad. After reaching the start of the race at 9pm, I realized I left my bag of essentials (music player, moleskin, and pain killers) at home. So as the first group was leaving to start the hike I had to drive home and pick up the bag. That set me back 40 minutes right from the start. As I was driving to pick up my bag the sky opened up and let down a fury of rain. All the other hikers who started on time were getting drenched. It was still raining when I arrived back at the trail with my bag so I had to grin and bear it and head out in the cold cold rain to catch up with the group. I ended up having to run about 3 miles in the pouring rain to catch up to them. The most important thing to take care of on these hikes are your feet and I had just started a 50 mile hike with completely soaked shoes and socks. This was not looking good.

The rain stopped after about a half hour and we slowly started to dry out. I decided to put on some dry socks even though they'd get wet pretty fast from my still soaking shoes. It took me a while to figure out what to do with the original wet socks so that they'd dry out, but eventually I used my brain and wore the socks on my hands like mittens. The heat from my hands and the exposure to open air dried them out really quick. I rotated those two pair of socks throughout the rest of the hike.

The bulk of the hike passed by uneventfully. My friend and I would sometimes talk to each other and other times just listen to music.

I was dealing with my legs tightening up throughout the majority of the hike. At the checkpoints I'd be sure to stretch them out as best I could. At mile 35 I was feeling pretty good and decided to start jogging a little. It was hard at first but running actually felt better and stretched out my legs.

At that point I was second to last of all the people who eventually finished. When I started running I didn't plan on running long, but I felt OK so I kept on going. I ran approximately 13 of the last 15 miles! I have no idea how I pulled that off. The most I've ever run before was 7 miles and that was back in high school. This wasn't a fast paced run, but for having just walked around 35 miles it was pretty impressive. I ended up going from second to last to finishing second. My overall time was a personal best for the hike - All 50 miles in 14.5 hours.
Other than being tight for a couple days afterwards I was fine. I recovered much better than expected. It usually takes me a couple of months to say I'd be willing to do it again next year, but I'm already looking forward it next time.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Shawn and McKenzie's Wedding

My brother Shawn and McKenzie were married in the Salt Lake Temple on Sept. 21 2007. It's hard to believe but it's been four long years since I have gone back to Utah. As much as I dislike the state, it also holds a special place in my heart so it was good to go back. We had an absolutely fabulous time seeing relatives and old friends in the area. It was good for me just to hang out with all my brothers again. The wedding was perfect - they could've have picked a better day weather wise.
Congrats Shawn and McKenzie!