Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Bluebeard

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

The company where I now work has a lot of University of Utah football fans.  I’m a BYU fan.  Those two teams are fierce rivals, and Saturday is their big game.  So to support my team, I dyed my beard blue!

Before…

Then I bleached it…

And colored it!

Everybody keeps asking whether I used permanent dye.  The answer is YES.  The dye is permanent.

It’s just the beard that’s temporary :)

Nick’s Week Long Trip

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

The week after we arrived back in America, my young men’s group had scheduled the yearly week-long trip. I departed, not sure that it was a good choice; plus I was a still little tired from traveling. It turned out to be one of the funnest week longs I’ve been on!
Morning on the Second Day

This is a picture of the morning of the second day. As you can see, the scenery was wonderful!

We were canoing down the Green River over a distance of more than 60 miles. It took us 5 days, Monday through Friday, and each day had its own story.

On Monday at 8:00 we began our drive from home to the launch site. Two leaders, Cameron, Allan, Ben, Ian, and I were the crew on this voyage. We cast off into the cool water around noon and set course for the first camp sight. Well, we didn’t really have to set course or cast off or anything because the water moved us along in the right direction. Downstream.

The first day, my canoe buddy Cameron and I were weaving all over the river. We probably went 18 miles instead of the 13 or so that we predicted. I was bad at steering :) When we arrived at the campsite a few hours later, we got camp set up and had dinner. We also swam across the river and back just to see if we could do it without getting swept away. We all survived. I caught a frog and tried to catch a really big lizard but it ran into a bunch or thorny brush that I wasn’t thrilled to go into with my hands or my shorts. Night came. Sleep was good that night.

The second day was nice and sunny to begin with, but there were a few clouds that cooled it down, so it was even better. I realized quickly that I had a couple of nice dark sunburns on the tops of my legs from the first day. I wore more sunscreen from then on, but it wasn’t always necessary as you will see in a few paragraphs. We rowed through canyons of red rocks, it was very nice! Cameron and I did much better this time; I was in the front so I was no longer the pilot, I was the engine. We enjoyed the scenery and took it easy for a while.

Rowing Day 2 This is a picture of what my view looked like from the front of the canoe. Notice the threatening clouds. And notice how the string is inside the boat and not outside. There is a very good reason for that, mostly for playing “Get the Beef Jerky From Allan.” Getting caught by the front is pretty much check-mate. You may have noticed the odd number, 7 people. Canoes usually have 2 people in them. We had three canoes, but one of our leaders dubbed himself “The Lone Woof” and took his one-man kayak along. There is no better word for “cheating” than “kayak” when we were playing River Tag. Got to a spot that we thought might be a good camp site and we hiked around in the canyons.

Hiking a Canyon

I caught a little lizard and a crawdad. We got 6 crawdads that we boiled for dinner later. Ben donated his hat to the cause.

Crawdads in a hat

We also saw some cacti too, which proves we were still in a desert.

Cactus Field

We moved on to a different and better camp site later that day. We made dinner and swam around. My camera got soaked, so my pictures are only from these first two days. Here’s a picture of the trees by our camp site.

Camp #2

We loved the shade! Wind came hard that night, it was blowing my tent flat despite the poles and stakes. We think the wind may have gotten to 60 miles per hour. The rain began.

Morning on the 3rd day wasn’t bad, we got up and the sand was a little wet. At least it wasn’t hot! I made breakfast first, then the others followed. That’s the way it usually was, I was the first to meals and I got the leftovers. We canoed some more. We played games of tag and such. We got going pretty fast when we were playing games, we think maybe 5-6 miles per hour or more. Pretty good speeds for canoes. It sprinkled a little throughout the day. Camp site #3 was cool, it was very big and open with a lot of sand. We played Ultimate Frisbee, the leaders and I were on a team and we dominated! There was also a hundred year old message written on the wall of the cliff across the river that said “Launch Marguerite 9/1/1909.” September 1, 1909; that’s pretty cool. We thought of coming back on September 1, 2009 just to celebrate the centennial anniversary, but no plans have been made. It was written with a tar-like substance that was probably used to fix the boats. It was cool to find something 100 years old!

The 4th day, Thursday, was funny. We rowed a little ways down the river when the clouds covered the sky. We hoped for a little rain to cool it down, but what came was more than we expected! It started raining harder, and harder, and harder, until we had to pull up on the shore and get to cover. There just happened to be a nice big rock that fit almost all of us underneath it. The rock was nice because it gave cover, but also because it gave us front row seats to a view that was once-in-a-lifetime. The water had formed waterfalls all along the red-rock cliffs across the river and it was pouring down like no other waterfalls I have seen before! Some water was shooting out 50 feet before falling 150 onto the shore. I looked down and saw a cactus plant, this sure didn’t seem like a desert! How amazing, waterfalls in the desert! The waterfalls disappeared quickly after the rain lessened. After the rain calmed down, we got back in the canoes and went to the final camp site. I spotted it first, it was a nice open sandy beach that was like our 3rd camp, but smaller. I made a fishing pole out of a long stick, but I didn’t catch anything. We had dinner and we went to bed. Bed was a little restless for me, but most of us got to sleep after the others stopped singing camp songs like “Alice the Camel” and a modified “Row, Row, Row your Boat.”

The last day, Friday, we rowed to the pull out spot and got picked up at 12:00 noon. We voted to go home. The drive was long and a little rainy, but I like the rain. I enjoyed the crazy weather! I don’t think the trip would have been as much fun if it was just hot and sunny all the time. I enjoyed the hard winds and the heavy rains. It was cool seeing the waterfalls. I liked the adventure and the challenge. It was a very memorable, fun trip.

Leader and Allan in a canoe resting

The Tooth Fairy in China

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

In Beijing kids that lost a tooth wouldn’t put their tooth under their pillow.  If the tooth they lost was on the top of their mouth they would put the tooth on the ground/floor.  If it was a bottom tooth They would throw the tooth on the roof(if its a 1 story building.)  A few days ago I got a loose tooth yesterday I pulled it out I didn’t want to throw it on the floor so as any American child would I put it under my pillow.  Next day there were seven 1 yuan coins (1dollar.)

Our Apartment from Space!

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Using Google Maps and a GPS, we’ve found our apartment in Beijing! Here it is!


View Larger Map

Here’s a link to Google Maps in case you can’t see it here.

Here are our exact coordinates:
N 39 51.328
E 116 25.184

The Forbidden City

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

On Tuesday, Carol and the boys went to the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City was the emperor’s palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was used until the early 1900’s. It’s “forbidden” because commoners were not allowed into the area; it was for the emperor’s family and servants only.

Two towers at the Forbidden City

The architecture, jewelry, and sheer size of the place was just amazing! Ryan said “now I know why it’s a forbidden city instead of a forbidden palace” in awe. We were all very tired after walking from one end to the other and back. The city is famous for having 9999 rooms (a room is defined as the space between four pillars)! We all enjoyed seeing the buildings and the collections of jewelry and sculptures and Andrew enjoyed photographing them.

Andrew's favorite picture!  Three arches

A tree made from coral

A well.

The busters standing in front of a gnarly old rock.