Sunday, April 3, 2011

Walking Trail to Bloomington Hills

One day I needed to be at J&C's house to help Mary with watching the children. I had the bright idea that riding my bike would save gas, and after all, it was only about six miles, mostly down hill. The time I had allotted myself was 45 minutes so Mary could go do a pickup  after school. Plenty of time, right? I did make it in time, ended up learning it is more up hill than thought, and also learned from J&C that there is a shorter route. Being directionally dysfunctional, it was determined that Mary would take me over to the beginning of the trail and we would walk the trail, so the next time I would not get lost and ride off into the desert. Below are some pictures of that walk.

At the start of the trail, you are able to see the Virgin River, the St. George Temple, and across to the Pine Mountains. It also shows that you have to go up to get on the trail.

The trail is cut into the ridge line and allows one to be part of the beauty of the area.

As you come to a fork in the trail, you can follow the city streets or take a left down hill to follow the river bed.

Coming down to the river bed view with the blue sky and white clouds needed to be recorded that day.

In places the City likes to remind the bike riders that entering a curve too quickly could be a mistake.

Along the trail between the river and some of the homes built along the way, different rock formations jump out at you. The next few pictures are taken at arms length.

Sandstone as washed by river water through the years.

Some of the sandstone looks as if we are looking down from heaven at the earth.

Adding the grass into this picture allows you to understand the many ways the sandstone in this area changes so greatly.

Sage brush, sand, grass, and sandstone could be framed and hung in any art show as an award winning entry.

A little hillside rock garden furnished free of charge if you are willing to walk a few miles along the river bed.

Not every eye catching scene has eye popping colors. Sometimes simpler and subdued is just as important.

Taking a few steps more and the view changes.

What nature provides is hard to understand when you realize these layers are hundreds of years old.

Round the bend and the quality of the rock changes  as do the colors.

This is to show you just how close the river can be to the trail and the sandstone in the pictures above.

We were on the Mayors Loop trail for part of this hike. We were on three different trails for that two and half hours.  I came to conclude that distance, slope or steepness, time of day, and required arrival time will play a part in the decision on which route I take the next time I ride over to J&C home. If riding the trails, I will have to watch out for Old & Gray folks getting in the way. If riding the roads, cars and stop lights will a factors to be concerned. Riding my bike I will be doing again in the near future. Where I end up is yet to be seen.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Class Outing after Six Weeks of Lecture

On March third Mary finished her six weeks of one-night-a-week learning about the local rock formations from a instructor about as old as some of the formations he was talking about. Near the end of the course, the instructor mentioned that he would be "taking a walk" on one of the local trails where a number of examples could be found of formations and rocks discussed. He could NOT have an official field trip, but those that he met on the trail were welcome to ask questions about things within their view.
So on March 5 at 10 AM about 25 individuals crossed his path for a show and tell.
The path was very well marked and the formations and soil types were very clearly visible to the now trained eye. Max joined the group just to take a few photos and ended up walking a lot more than he had bargained for.
First stop along the trail was this large rock, made up of a bunch of little rocks. It is an example of the conglomeration formation.
The good professor moved quickly around the formation explaining this and that and showing the layers of the different soils pressed together.
This gives a better prospective of what he was talking about. See how the little rocks are pressed together in the different soils. Harder rocks are held together by sand and soils.
The far peak is about 20 miles away and that is where these boulders were a bunch of years ago before being moved down stream to this current location. Yes river water accomplished this moving process.
This little house sized rock being pushed around is easy to imagine after seeing the recent news footage of Japan.
Time to move up hill, off the trail. As you can see, some of these folks really dig their rocks. Some even took sacks full home with them to study, polish, and share.
Little ants on the hill side. You will notice there are no close ups of Old & Gray up there. We are just watching for afar.
We were not sure what needed such close examination!
Mountain goats had nothing on this group of senior citizens when it came to going up, down, or sideways in their search for rocks.
This water is just 30 yards from the hill side and some of the damage from December floods is present. You can wade across now.
This formation is of Blue Clay. This clay is responsible for a lot of damage in the area because when it gets wet it expands to 4 times its size. The pressure as it expands buckles roads, foundations, and hill sides.
The Blue Clay shifts off into a fine power and blows around into cracks where it waits to grow out of its space.
Walking away from the hillside and looking back you can not see the people on the hill but the rock on the left hand side is where we started.
Moving into the river wash this little Road Runner stepped out of a bush where he was invisible. We walked along with him as he moved along. At times he just disappeared until he moved his head or tail feathers.
Taking a right hand turn onto a river side trail we moved along until the path looked like this.
Again you can see how little house size rocks can be washed downstream. St. George is waiting for the Feds to place money in hand for repairs like these.
This flow makes me want to put in the kayak, where the flow would take me back down the Virgin River about five miles to the little park a mile from our home.
This little falls is one of three I am scoping out if I can get J to put in with me at this site. Easy unload place, just off a city street. If we are going to do this, it will need to done before the snow melt gets too far along.
This is Mary at the trail head just off the city road in a sub-division. We turned around at this point and walked for about one hour to get back to the car. We were out about three hours. A little wind blown, sun burned, and realizing two water bottles need to be put in the backpack.

Monday, February 28, 2011

History In The Making

Part of the new adventure in the west is taking time to do things that need catching up on, things that need starting, and even finishing a few things that have waited a very long time.
Thanks to both of our mothers, bins of family history have been gathered, some traveling from the west to the east and back to the west again. Some of these treasures have come from North Carolina via Connecticut then to St George, Utah waiting at least seven long years to be opened.
Well upon setting up this new home, a room has been designated for spreading out, sorting, and sharing of these family history items. Mary has started with two bins that came from Grandma Roa's home. What follows is just a sample of what this project looks like.
When we talk about bins, these are the kinds we mean.
On the day Mary started, we grabbed a shot of the first small bin as it was spread onto the sorting table.

In the beginning it was just an idea to get things in like piles.

With some subjects needing more space than you would think.

Remember, this table full is from one little bin.
Taking time to read, ponder, and question is requiring this project to move slower than first thought.
Some items have been sorted out of the mix and with much concern removed from the collection.
As photos were sorted, some duplication was noted and sharing bags started. Some will travel to California to seek help in identification.

As you can see, one table was not enough space, so the photos spilled over to a spare bed.

Now some sorting of important papers and objects from a second bin is underway.

Quick reading has provided a little time line and history of the Maxfield clan.

Time has moved forward from December 2010 to March 2011 and the first two bins are still not finished.

With two empty bins and more in from the garage, this project is not going to see a finish date in the near future. But it is started and progressing as rain, snow, and sleet keep Mary from her appointed shopping, walking, or hiking. The upcoming heat may also add to the time available for sorting, sharing, and filing away.
Some of you may even want to check this site out:FamilySearch

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ambers Birthday Cake

It has been a week and a half, Feb. 16, since some of us got together to wish Amber a "Happy Birthday".
Other photos were taken but are yet to be shared with family members. We now share a little happy time spent by Old & Gray and the Birthday Girl. Mother C's comments and pictures.
This was a busy day for the Birthday Girl as she went to visit a friend for a play date, came home with a bad ear ache, little brother was feeling bad and was wanting all the attention, plus she had to wait until after cake to open her packages.

Amber waiting as preparations are being made to share her birthday with family.

As you can see from the background everyone is gathered. Some even think others need to move over.

All Right! Candles burning, extra help waiting on the side to blow them out. But wait for the camera's to pop.

Amber was able to handle the task without help.

Yes! That is the cake. One cup cake for a big family like ours?

As you can see by the size of this cake in Papa J's hands, this was not your run of the mill cup cake.

Cut and divided out awaiting the ice cream and some left over for later.

Birthday girl served and little sister with fork in hand.

Grandmary standing by with little brother. Never fear they both had their share!