Visit Our Violin Shop

Kevin and Melissa (Richard's sister) invited us to go backpacking with them, however, some of us (I will not name names) wimped out so it ended up being just Thomas and Richard. Richard spent a lot of time packing and making sure he had everything they would need. He was almost like a little boy on Christmas playing with all his new backpacking stuff. (We have actually had the stuff for quite a while, but just haven't had a chance to use it until now.) When he and Thomas were all packed and ready to go, I just had to take a picture of the two. Aren't they just so cute?!
Since I was not involved in this particuar trip, I am going to have Richard fill in the rest of the blanks.

We started on the trail towards Alaska Basin, at about 7:00PM on Wednesday July 23, 2008. By 8:30PM we were tuckered out and decided to make camp. We found a nice little place right off of the trail, and not too far away from the river. This is the river.

That night we went to bed. Thomas kept asking me if his life was going to end early due to a bear attack. I promised him that if he prayed and was righteous, God would only allow him to be eaten if it was his [God's] will. That seemed to calm him down and he went to sleep. I had a hard time getting comfortable so I couldn't sleep. I tried lying on my back, but needed my legs to be more elevated to prevent my lower vertebrae from separating. This condition is caused by my extra large behind which forces my back to arch severely and pull away from my hips when lying on my back with no leg elevation. Now at home I don't have this problem because we have a memory foam topper on our bed. In fact it remembers so well that all I have to do is walk in the room and it immediately caves in to the shape of my giant rear end. I then tried laying on my side which was no good because my shoulders ached from the backpack I had been carrying. Plus my tiny pocket sized camp pillow wasn't thick enough to accommodate my unusually long neck. Come to think of it, maybe I was supposed to add water to it to make it reach it's true size. My sleeping bag was of course not long enough for my body to fit and still have my head fit in the mummy part without my toes being crammed into the bottom of the bag. At about midnight I started to get a wheezy tickling sensation in my lungs due to my allergies and coundn't stop coughing for quite a while. All this time I kept hearing noises in the woods that sounded like bears or wolves coming to eat us. Also during this time there was a really annoying song from the movie "Nacho Libre" stuck in my head: the words went something like this: "Ramsey's number one he knows the secrets of desire ra pa pa pa peedily pup pup peedily pup pup pup Ramsey's is the one he puts the people all on fire ra pa pa pa peedily pup pup peedily pup pup" Just when I was finally getting this song out of my mind by singing "A Child's Prayer" by Janice Kapp Perry, a thunder and lightning storm started up and it began to rain with an itensity that shook the whole earth. Thomas never even woke up for any of this, which surprised me because he usually doesn't like being in a storm like that. After trying several more positions that all proved to be uncomfortable, I ended up just getting out of my sleeping bag and using it as a blanket. This allowed me to sprawl out like I usually do at home. I think I managed to get a half hour of sleep before I heard Melissa and Kevin and Josh stirring at about 7:00AM, July 24, 2008. This was one of the longest nights I have ever experienced.

We (Kevin) decided that we should climb Devil's Staircase that day. Here are a few pictures of that excursion.

Here is a shot of that extra large behind I was talking about. You can see it trying to pull me off the mountain. You can also see Thomas and Josh almost at the very top of the cliff where if they were to make one false move they would fall to their deaths. They are pretty far up there and so you have to look very hard to see them. This cliff and mountain is much steeper than it looks.

Here we are about to enjoy a gourmet meal of Ramen noodles and freeze dried pasta and mashed potatoes. I was so exhausted by the time we reached the top, that I almost just wanted to stay there the rest of my life which seemed to be drawing to a close anyway. I later caught my second wind and we had a nice hike back. We figured that we hiked a total of 10 miles which may not seem like that much, but it was a lot for me. I can't wait to do it again this next week.