Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Birthday (a lil' late!)

I would like to wish Debbie a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I was a horrible friend and missed the special day. I love you Debbie and I'm excited to spend Thanksgiving with you!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pictures from Home

Pops, Uncle David, Uncle Steve ~ The three Whitesell boys = trouble
Their pro wrestling names: Goatboy, Hillbilly, and Gravedigger

The horses as seen from under the trees in the front yard

The farm ~ southern style

Moving again ~ Losing sucks!

Moving gets easier and easier. I’ve now simplified my life more than ever. I own less than ever before, but now have more freedom than ever. I don’t need a truck to move- the Camry works just fine. I went and slept in Saratoga last night, because I missed the kids. I was able to play with them for about thirty minutes before I gave them a ride on my back to their beds. Their favorite thing is for me to play the “pacey, pacey, this is how the ladies ride….”game and I’ve probably done it a hundred times with them.

I played on an intramural volleyball team through BYU and we made it to the Championship in division two, only to lose. I hate losing more than anything. In my job interview for CP they asked me, “do you love to win or do you hate to lose?” It is a standard CP interview question that I have now asked over 50 people. I responded, with a smile, “I hate to lose.” Everyone I’ve interviewed always has said they love to win, but that’s what people think you want to hear. It is a stupid answer. Of course you love to win, but only because losing sucks! Duh!

I know this is a boring entry, but I’m bored. I apologize.

Friday, October 13, 2006

This just in...

Jason, from my rescue course just sent these pictures of Amber and me.
The first one is me rescuing Amber. Scenario- She went unconscious on rappel and I ascended from the bottom and supported her while they rigged a haul system and dragged us up the wall. The second one is after I tossed her up over the edge cowgirl style, and we landed in a ball of ropes and body parts. They had to help us get untangled. It was hilarious.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Aww...remember Sal

Everyone from home should remember Sal, since we were never apart. Some of ya'll may have even been bitten by him before.(he he he) I sure do miss him!

Memories with my girlfriends

These pictures are from the night Isabel's dad came and stayed with Isabel and me. We had all of the girls over and spent the night dancing to latin music and acting like idiots. It was great.

Believe it or not, the shortened version of my trip...

Straight from work I drove down to Zion. It took 5 hours due to horrible rain storms that brought interstate traffic to a complete stop twice. Cars would pull over because it was raining so hard. I finally pulled into the Ponderosa at 9:30pm. The pot luck was winding down and I quickly started looking for familiar faces and handing out hugs and handshakes. There were a few faces missing- Charley and Keith were overdue from Englestead. I toted all of my stuff to the 3rd story of the recreation barn and took an empty staff bunk. After moving everything in, Tom followed me down to the Visitor’s Center to drop my car. I then made Tom drive around looking for Zach’s truck (at the time I thought Zach was with them). When we didn’t see it we drove back up to the resort, thinking they must have gotten out ok.
Back at the Ponderosa I helped Rich clean up and found out Zach left the day before and the overdue Englestead party consisted of Charley, Keith, Chuy, and Ruben, and no one had heard from them. I had a really bad feeling and felt helpless not doing anything active to find out if they were ok. I knew they would go up Orderville instead of down and wanted to go look for them, but my car was at the visitor’s center. Lame excuse. I couldn’t sleep and stayed up and put grommets in my pack. At about 1am I got in bed and set the alarm for 5am.
The next morning I was eager to see if the group had made it back. As I made my way to check their cabin, I ran into Rich. They had made it back and weren’t ready to share stories. I headed out with Tom and Bruce to do Englestead and wondered what stories I would hear later.
The canyon was beautiful, beginning with a 300 foot rappel. There was a ton of water in the canyon creating a few unusual swims. There was a lot of debris and knowing it flashed the day before made me question all of the anchors. When we hit Orderville it was about 3pm and I thought it was way too late to start down Orderville to the Narrows, and the water level was really high. We opted to hike up Orderville with other groups we ran into and mooch a ride back with them. Well the only real obstacle in our way was climbing up the waterfall/chock stone section. Our group was a conglomerate of 4 groups now making for about 15 people all freezing cold. Bruce, Tom, and I were the only ones wearing wetsuits. It was kind of a cluster, but we got everyone up. There were too many people shouting too many directions, and it was a bit frustrating. It took some people some extra help jugging the rope, but that’s what mechanical advantage is all about, right? Because I was the “human anchor” everyone used to climb up on, I was sitting in the water for a good hour hooked to a rope. It was cold, but I was grateful I was in a wetsuit. Once everyone was up, we packed up the rope and started hiking upstream. I didn’t keep my clothes in a dry bag, and hiking in 5ml neoprene sucked. I would overheat, but didn’t have anything to change into. The hike up seemed like it lasted FOREVER. I wasn’t cold as long as I was moving. I hiked ahead of Bruce and Tom and rode with people from a different group, leaving a jeep for the last group out to drive back.
I pulled into the Ponderosa at about 9:30pm, stole a brownie from the kitchen, paid a staff member to take me to pick up my car from the visitor’s center, and spent the rest of the night hanging out with friends and listening to the flash flood stories from the day before. I hope to add footage taken from some of their trips. The seriousness of their situation makes my stomach crawl. I’m so relieved everyone is ok. I can’t think of a more solid group to have to deal with the situation than who was there and I’m just glad I wasn’t with them. We all huddled into Rich’s cabin and the conversation kept going back to Friday’s events. Rich finally kicked us out and the discussion migrated to Chuy and Ruben’s cabin. The weekend's events have definitely been on my mind. And it felt good to get back to SLC, clean all my gear, wash my clothes and fall asleep knowing all of my friends are safe.

Monday, October 9, 2006

ACA Rendezvous 2006-Zion

Englestead Canyon- Trip report coming soon (I wrote three pages, so I have to condense my experiences for the blog)

Englestead canyon behind me, this is right before we rappeled 300 feet into the canyon.

Bruce coming off of one of the many log jams

I know, I'm sexy

Tom stands at about 6'2 and this Canyon soup came up to his arm pits. Can you imagine me standing at 5'4 trying to swim through this? It was pretty funny. Some places looked like you walk on it, but then you'd sink.

I was ready to get home...what can I say.

Thursday, October 5, 2006


I leave tomorrow to go do Englestead Canyon in Zion with Bruce and Tom, friends I met in AZ earlier this year. I'm pretty excited; I hear it is a beautiful canyon. This picture is one I grabbed online and hopefully I'll get some awesome shots with my camera to post for ya.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Girls from the homefront

Shannon, Venetia, Me, Brix, Isabel

Hay Bug, Heather, and Aunt Jessie

Monday, October 2, 2006

I love the Ponderooooosaaaa!

As I looked around at how the Ponderosa had changed, I took in a big whiff of horse poo and knew things were just as I last left them. The horses were in their muck and fly invested coral, the disgruntled guests were still yelling at the front desk, the squeals of little kids filled the air, and incompetent ATV riders speckled the hillsides. Yes, things were just as I had left them. Well, almost everything, Steve ever so kindly informed me of the latest fatality. When asked for a name, he only could provide, "a young horse, I think it was whitish." There was also a new pile of trash in the field by the horses that I hadn't seen before. A pleasant surprise left my jaw dropped when I ordered dinner. I had choices; there were no limitations on serving size. Salmon, BBQ chicken, T-bones, Burritos, and the customer service!! Boy oh boy!
Before showering in the Ponderosa showers and eating the Ponderosa's food, I rode the Ponderosa's ATVs. Fun times.

Mosquito Cove

Falling asleep to the sounds of the river running, the trees rustling, the fire cracking, friends’ voices, and a guitar make for sweet dreams. My previous state of loneliness and friendlessness ceases and I realize there are kindred spirits out there. The key is to not over analyze or over complicate. Keep it simple, keep it real, keep it honest. Don't calculate the next move or the response your stimulus will create.