Friday, August 15, 2014

Wrapping up the summer and a surprise guest blogger!

Our summer is winding down here at Arrowhead Point Resort. I haven't posted in a while because frankly, I get tired of writing sometimes! Especially when we aren't doing something fun and exciting. It is always much easier to write about those types of things rather then the real life mundane things.   Luckily my guest blogger will add his thoughts on this post. I hope he will continue to do so in the future!

Not to say we haven't had some more good times! We have gone on several more hikes and bike rides but we decided that we wanted to do some road trips before we left.  One was to the Red Rocks Amphitheater where we saw a concert with Chicago and Journey. It was really fun. The Red Rocks Amphitheater is amazing by itself but throw in a bunch of old hippies and it was rocking!! We had a great time and didn't get back to the campground until after midnight. I was exhausted and could not keep my eyes open on the drive home. I remember when our night out didn't even get started until midnight! But truthfully, two people over 50 shouldn't be driving over two hours at night after a long day/night. Sean stayed awake with no problem but he said I kept doing the head bob in the passenger side. I was trying so hard to stay awake so I could help keep him awake. Luckily he succeeded in staying awake and getting us home safely like he always does.  My nice friend and neighbor, Sharon, took Remi out for some walks while we were gone so he could get out and go to the bathroom. Having an RV dog has its problems.

The very best thing was the visit by our son Cory and his girlfriend (though she feels like my daughter!) April.  It was a wonderful visit but I will let the guest blogger tell that story!

A sad event that occurred was the passing of my favorite and last living Uncle, Steve Perry.  I flew out for the funeral and stayed with my best friend Lisa Wierck. She and I had a few days to hang out and visit which we never get a chance to do anymore.  We had left our Honda Element in Casa Grande at my sisters house. She and her husband were gracious enough to bring it to Scottsdale to my brother Larry's house. And being the wonderful brother he is, he had a new battery installed so I could drive it back here to Colorado.  We will take it to Texas when we leave and switch vehicles with Meghan.  She decided to use the Element and we are going to sell her Civic. That will help with our expenses quite a bit too. Anyway, though I went to Arizona for a sad reason, it was wonderful seeing my siblings, Aunts and cousins at the get together after the funeral. It was a great tribute to a great man.

My drive back to Colorado was long but incredibly beautiful. I really enjoyed the drive and the solitude. It was an excellent time to look back not only on the passing of my Uncle but also my parents. My Aunt Shirley and Uncle Steve were always a very big part of my childhood and we spent a lot of Sundays together having BBQ's and visiting with my grandmother who lived in Prescott. They are some of my most pleasant child hood memories.....

Anyway, on to our guest blogger, my hubby and partner in crime....Sean Finley!

Time for a different perspective; or as they used to say on Rocky and Bullwinkle – “And now for something really new”…. Ourturn, will be Sean’s turn.

Been awhile since we have updated this thing, so will see what we can remember.

The highlight of the month was a visit by our son Cory, and his girlfriend, April. Cory was celebrating his recent graduation from college and had a condo near Vail for a week. Unfortunately, their visit coincided with the start of a pretty aggressive monsoon season, so they got pretty wet.

The day before they left, they visited us in Buena Vista for a half-day rafting trip. Having already been rafting twice this year through Brown’s Canyon, I was eager to experience another route.  Actually, during our previous trips, Brown’s was the only trip available since the river was running at record levels, thanks to all the snow in Colorado this winter.  I suggested “the Numbers” to Cory and April, so named because the rapids come so quickly they didn’t have time to name them all separately! It consists of class III-V rapids and was recommended for advanced rafters. Problem being, Cory and April have never been rafting before. A call to the rafting company revealed that they want folks who are able to paddle and follow directions of the guide. So far so good, as both of them are very fit. Both agreed, although with a little trepidation on the part of one of them.

Upon arrival, Cory and I met our guide, who stated he was the operations manager for the company, and would be working with us since our guide called in sick.

Now, for the prequel; just keep reading because it all comes together – at some point. Just prior to our trip, a recent accident broke the record for drownings on the Arkansas River.  In one of the most recent tragedies, the guide was thrown out of the raft, which subsequently flipped. All but one of the rafters made it to safety.

Our guide had been with this company for 10 years, and now he was a manager. My mind, which some call skeptical, immediately goes to his “seaworthiness”. Thinking, now we have an “office manager” as our single strand to safety. Flashback to the guide being thrown from the raft…

This feeling is not satiated as during the safety briefing where the guide details the bad things that can happen, the other guide in our party calls April out, stating that they always have somebody with that look on their face (or words to that effect). And he wasn't referring to her usual happy go lucky carefree self!

We arrive at the river and we are broken down into two groups; the full day trip has six paddlers and the guide. Our raft has Cory, April, the guide. and me. April is not convinced we have the weight, horsepower, or resources to traverse on of the most “exciting” sections of the river. To her credit, she presses on with a sick smile on her face.

Like everything else in life, she was hooked after the first rapid; nowhere near what she built it up to be. Good lesson for all of us.

As we progressed through the numbers, I watch the lead raft with the full day folks. Although not in a rapid, the raft hit a large rock and the guide bounced forward into the raft; thereby no longer steering said raft. Raft meets rock. Raft flips. Rafters are ejected. We spring into action (ha-ha, paddle ahead) and are there in a second. Our guide directs the swimmers – that’s what you’re called when you’re not in a raft – to swim to shore. Two others are on my side of the raft, where I am the only paddler. One male, one female. The male is smiling; seems he wanted to flip. Female, on the other hand, is not in a happy place. Petrified. As we head to another small rapid I am trying to decide weather to stop paddling and pull them in and put us in a rock, or just pull them in. They are holding on to a line on the raft, so aren’t going to float away so I pull the guy in and guess the guide secured the female and then paddled to the side to pick up the others.

Things definitely became a little more somber, especially when we saw another flipped raft soon after. Still though, faced our fears, helped other realize their dreams, looked death in the eye, and still managed to take some pictures. A great day.

This is a video of the raft over turning from Sean using the go pro fixed on his helmet. You have to keep your eye ahead of Cory and April to see the raft overturn.

We have a few more weeks here and then onward to Texas and my baby girl! It is her senior year and we are so excited to see her. When she graduates we will have two college grads and one very experienced fire fighter/paramedic and excellent father. We are blessed to have such motivated kids. Guess we did a few things right!

Here are some random photos from the last month.....

    Our neighbors dog, peanut, lounging in the sun

    Remi and his friend Molly 

    Chilling out with us

    Sign at a church in Buena Vista...LOL!


    Bike ride in Leadville 

    Chilly night!

    Hike in the mountains

    Marmot - funny creatures you find high in the mountains

    Four wheel drive adventure with our friends. They got very stuck but were pulled out successfully 
    Taking shelter near some mines on four wheel drive adventure
    Camp fire with our co workers

And some random photos of kids and grand kids

    Carson enjoying a tasty treat!
    Carson and Ais playing
    Sean fighting fires in Northern California aaarrrgghhhh!!