So, with less than a week until we flee the country, Mike and I have been cramming in a few last-minute stateside trips.

For elaborate reasons I won’t delve into, we set out on a road trip to Iowa City last week. But what’s a 2000-mile drive without a few pit stops, right? Mike’s really into canyoneering now (and I’m a huge fan, though less knowledgeable), so we took a side trip to Zion National Park in southwest Utah. Beautiful! The park has been on my list of places to visit since I moved to Arizona, so I was glad to get it checked off (although I’ll certainly have to go back and see more sometime). We spent a few days camping in the area and completed a few of the canyons. Keyhole Canyon was short and sweet (alas, not sweet-smelling) and Pine Creek Canyon was a bit more dramatic with some rather long rappels. Since Mike hasn’t had a chance to upload pics yet, I’ll link you to some pics posted on the official Zion web site. The last rappel was a 100-ft.-long drop into a shallow pool of water — quite breath-taking, especially considering the fact that the walls pull back into an enormous cavern about 10 ft. into the rappel leaving you to dangle on the rope in open air for the remaining 90 ft.

After our few days at Zion we set off on our long drive to Iowa . . . nothing much to say about that. Moving on . . .

Now we’re in Iowa City hanging out with my family, spending most of our time eating, visiting, and preparing for our trip. I’ll also spend an extra day with Kristen, doing fun wedding-prep things as Mike heads back to AZ early to finish packing up. I’m very excited for her big day in October, and I’m looking forward to seeing the whole fam then.

So — to recap — some pluses and minuses for the past week:


  1. Home cookin’ (soon to be missed, as we’ll be eating rice and beans for every meal).
  2. Our Spanish language teacher, Mr. Antonio-Banderas-sound-alike. Yo quiero estudiar espanol.
  3. Super soft campsite sand
  4. Panera, Culver’s, and Steak-n-Shake — mmmmmm!
  5. Seeing the fam
  6. Zion canyons with spectacular rappels


  1. Rubbery, over-priced eggs at Bumbleberry’s
  2. Suicidal bunnies and one lucky deer
  3. Getting stuck in a slot canyon (damn that “Fat Bastard’s Revenge”)
  4. Nebraska
  5. Smelly, icy-cold, green water that just couldn’t be avoided
  6. Gas prices

Next post, we’ll be underway, so stay tuned!

P.S. Mike says, “dyhq;7=”.

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