Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Spring Break!!

I wrote this to Isaac (serving his mission)

Well all about spring break! We started in the Valley of Fire north of Las Vegas with beautiful red rocks. Even thought it wasn't too hot, close to 80 degrees, that desert heat is a hot one! We explored pastel canyon, a short but very beautiful slot canyon not on the map, so it wasn't inundated with spring break/Easter vacationers.
Then we moved on to the Mojave desert, south of Las Vegas. There's not much there lol. Lots of Joshua trees. Remember how Grandpa T used to quiz you on that? We slept in the middle of the Mojave desert and it was amazing. Not a person in sight, except the frequent horn tooting trains (two long blasts, one short, one long blast for all trains. Not that it woke me in the night or anything ;) )
We hid Easter eggs for Ammon and Allison in the cactus hehe. Followed by a fantastic sunset, and moonrise. We played Hearts! (several times actually).
Monday, we hiked a trail called the Ring Trail. It has unusual rock formations and a small slot canyon what you had to use large metal rings to climb out of the canyon. Ammon really does love these type of adventures. Allison sat in the car. #teenagers. We made it to Andy's by 10 pm.
Beach day! We spent most of the day at Ponto beach near Andy's house. Their family joined us in the evening for a Dittmer vs Thomson softball game, then a hot dog roast. Very fun!
Wednesday turned out kinda lame. Can't win every day right? Plans kept changing so our packing kept shifting and we didn't get out until after lunch time. We drove to La Jolla beach intending to snorkel (with wet suits) but it was freezing! I was too chicken! There were TONS of tourists and basically no one in the water. Plus those seals can be so stinky! We drove from there to Gavin's campsite. He wanted to have a couple days camping near the beach to surf for his break, all by himself. We picked up Andy, Garrett, and Clara and headed to Los Angeles for the night. Andy scored a sweet hotel only a block from the Walk of Stars, with THREE queen beds. We all slept in one room hehehehe (which turned out great btw). We walked about a miles worth of stars. I think we were in the old section, so not a ton of current stars, but Johnny Depp and Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Thursday, we spent the day (with Andy and kids) at Universal Studios and the Wizadry World of Harry Potter. Meh. This surprisingly ended up towards the bottom of my spring break list. It was very busy, not their fault, but almost all of the rides were 3d glasses, simulation rides. One great roller coaster. Hogwarts, of course, was amazing. We let Ammon pick a wand, Dumbledores! There are about a dozen windows that you can interact with to make something happen. He really liked this. I'm planning/hoping on selling it, which we had planned from the beginning. Ridiculously expensive.
We started our way home Friday stopping to explore Afton Canyon but were denied! There is a wash that is impassable by basically all vehicles. I walked in it to see how deep the water was and it was way over my knee! It was SO SO SO SO windy! Like really windy with sand blasting you. We camped in the campground, which I was reminded why I like to go out on our own, once again. When we first got there in the late afternoon, there were some rednecks moving their empty tent to another space with more trees to help with the wind. Except the left the door open so were almost being dragged backwards haha! Plus one of the guys, overweight, was wearing cut off jeans, booty style, with cowboy boots. Bwahahaha!
As the evening came on, so did their drinking and swearing. Dad actually went over and asked them to stop swearing, which they did for a couple hours, but it didn't last. They had music blasting until 1 am. I slept in the car with Ammon. I guess Dad was up until 1 am, but Allison slept through it all. So Dad was kinda grumpy that night and the next day.
Saturday, our adventures were lava tubes and hot springs, both which I love. Allison again, chose to opt out. Ammon didn't swim but loved the lava tubes. They took us over an hour to explore, it is a very large area. I think you'd really like it. Dad LOVED the hot pot. The one we swam in goes to 27' deep. He kept diving under checking out all the little cave areas.
We made it home by 10:30, driving through a MN like rainstorm. Huge rain pour with lightening and hail. Fun! But not so much while driving.
It ended up being a great success!

Ammon said it was his favorite camp out.   When I asked him why,  it was because we saw a desert tortoise.   It's a cute short story ... he really wanted to see one,  but when we asked the ranger about it,  she basically said you probably won't see one.   Well that night I told Ammon he could pray to see one,  which he did.   We didn't see one during our adventures (Mojave desert)  but driving out of the desert dad saw one crossing the road!  We were able to get some really great photos and watch it awhile.   It was a great teaching moment that I hope he remembers as much as you remember your getting lost story.   #tendermercies #notacoincidence

Valley of Fire.  Pastel Canyon.

 Logandale Trails, Nevada.  Very cool place but WAY too many atv's probably due to the weekend.  Ammon found a bunch of leftover eggs from someones hunt earlier in the morning - we hope!  There was evidence that this was the case. 
 Poverty Flats camping.
 Storm trooper in the rock found by Ammon
 Valley of Fire

 Elephant Rock
 Pastel Canyon

 Seven Magic Mountains

 Mojave Preserve

 Working payphone

 Sweet campsite

 Coyote Melon
 Thomas Place

 Desert Tortoise!!!

 How long are these lines?  About 6-7 feet.  

 Skip ahead to Meadow Lava Tubes
Cool birds that were fighting.

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