Monday, June 23, 2008


It's been a while since I've posted. I guess I've been waiting for something post-worthy to happen. Well, I guess the day is here. I had a great weekend in Zion National Park with 3 friends. My mom tells me we've been there before, but I remember nothing about it (I was in high school at the time - you'd think I would have some memory of it, but no), so this was essentially my first time exploring the park. Here's the rundown:
Day 1 - We found a GEM of a campsite! In case you're ever looking for a free place to camp, when you're driving in toward the main entrance of the park (near Springdale), there's a great place on the right side of the road just before mile marker 24. It is right by the river and has great shade trees (PERFECT for slacklining!). Sadly, we all thought the other person would bring their slackline and we ended up without one at all.
Day 2 - One of the main reasons we wanted to go to Zion was to hike the Narrows. So Saturday morning, we headed into the park and hopped on the shuttle bus. Then, we realized we should probably get a map and figure out where the heck we were going. So we went into the visitor's center and I asked the ranger what shuttle stop we should get off at for the Narrows. I think he must have misunderstood and thought my question was, "can you please tell me how dangerous the Narrows hike is?" because his reply was, "The water temperature is currently 54 degrees. Hypothermia can occur in 1-2 hours and you will have to be in the waist-deep water for 4 hours." "Ok," I said, "let's just say I wanted to go LOOK at it. What shuttle stop would I get off at?" In the end, he reluctantly told me how to get there. So...we weren't going to be thwarted, but we decided it might be better to wait until the afternoon to do that hike. So we did Angel's Landing first. It was beautiful and had great views. It wasn't nearly as scary as I had imagined from the stories I've heard.

After Angel's Landing, we took a quick dip in the river and hopped back on the bus to go to the Narrows. WOW! It was so beautiful! The Narrows is the epitome of an oasis. I think I probably said the word "lush" about 10 times to describe the sights. There were cascading waterfalls, bright green trees, flowers growing out of cracks in the rock. I don't think my pictures nearly do it justice.

Oh, and the water was cold, but usually only ankle to knee deep and we were far from getting hypothermia.

There were squirrels and chipmunks everywhere! They weren't afraid of humans at all (they've obviously been fed way too much). After the Narrows, we were pretty exhausted. We headed back to camp, made dinner, and finished off the night playing a few rounds of this great dice game called Fill or Bust. What a great weekend!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Trip to LA

I had the opportunity to go to LA this weekend with my boss to hold a support group for parents living in the LA area that have kids in our residential treatment program. It was a quick trip - just about 36 hours total - but it was a good experience. This was my first time to travel for work (other than camping trips), so it was a big deal for me! There were about 25 parents there. I explained what recreation therapy is, what all we do in our program, and some new things we are starting. I also did a few experiential activities with the parents as an example of what we do with their kids. They seemed to really like it and I got great feedback from them that I hope to use to better our program.

We got to go to the beach for a couple of hours the first day. (Yes, it was a little awkward going to the beach with my boss - who is a married man twice my age - but hey, it was the beach.) It was beautiful, but a little chilly, so I didn't spend much time in the water. The hotel we stayed at was really nice, too. I was most excited about the IHome speakers in my room so I could hook up my ipod and listen to my music rather than the crappy radio. When I travel, I usually go for economy rather than luxury, so it was a treat to stay at such a nice place and bill it to the company!

Ignore the ugly foreground in this picture and just admire the sun reflecting off the water.