Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Capitol Reef

I started off my Memorial Day weekend with a scheduled shoulder surgery.  Back in high school I separated my shoulder my senior year at a wrestling tournament.  It got better, but once every few years I re-injure it by running into a tree mountain biking or crashing while snow skiing.  It usually gets better after a few weeks, but I injured it last December and it never improved.  I went to my physician and they couldn't see anything, so they had me go to physical therapy.  After a few visits the physical therapist without improvement, I finally went to an orthopedic surgeon here in Park City, Dr. Metcalf.  He is the one that operated on Tiger Woods.  He's an amazing surgeon.  Anyway he checked me out and found arthritic bone spurs on my joint and that the clavicle was rubbing bone on bone on the AC joint.  He didn't initially want to do surgery, but wanted to pursue a steroid shot first to see if it worked.  After three days, the relief from the shot wore off.  At that point he decided it would be best to go ahead and do the surgery.
Lisa drove me to the hospital that morning for my surgery.

The surgery went pretty well.  They removed the arthritic bone spurs and shaved off the end of my clavicle.  Here's a photo of the newly cleaned off clavicle.  Not as cool as Lisa's brain photos, but still pretty cool.

I don't do well coming out of general anesthesia.  Even with phenergan I still feel like I need to puke.  It took me a few hours to overcome the nasty effects of the drugs.

The doctor was pretty minimally invasive with the surgery and just left three holes.  Well done doc!

After surgery, we went home and decided that the next morning we would head out to Capitol Reef for the weekend.  I packed up the trailer the night before, so Lisa just had to drive it down there.  I figured I could either be miserable at home, or go be miserable somewhere beautiful and let the kids run around and have fun.  I think I made the right call.
It rained on us right when we were about to arrive.  Rain on that soil turns things incredibly muddy and slick.  We got stuck really, really bad at first.  After a lot of work and some prayers, I was able to get us out.  We then went and found the closest and easiest camp site at that point.
The kids were soooo muddy.  It was a mess.

Cole and Blake with their sticks.  This is a common site while camping with them.  They almost always have sticks in hand and are whacking everything in site.

Me chilling in the lawn chair.

Lisa taking a selfie while pampering me.

Saturday morning we headed into the park.  Lisa, her mom, Tucker and Aubrey hiked the Grand Wash.  I drove around to the other end with the two little boys to pick them up.

One big advantage of the rain storms was all the wildflowers that were in bloom.  They were gorgeous.

Here's the narrows section of the Grand Wash.

After the Grand Wash, I went back to the trailer to sleep while the rest went to hike Hickman Bridge.  We had done these hikes as a family 5 years ago, so I wasn't really missing out.

They were all great little hikers

Saturday was Susan's birthday, so Lisa bought a turtle pie (her favorite) and we all sang her happy birthday.  I think it was a good birthday for her.

The kids loved their turtle pie while sitting around the fire.

On Sunday we decided to take the long drive through the northern end of the park.  We had never gone to the area before because it's so out of the way and isolated, but we decided this was a good time to explore it.  It is a 60 mile loop that has several really scenic overlooks.

The views were well worth the drive.  Spectacular scenery in a rarely visited part of the park.

Me and my bride.

These two goofballs really wanted to pose on top of this mound.  They are funny.

Lisa and I walked out on the ledge of this look out point and left everyone else back on safer ground.  It was a fairly precarious point, and we didn't feel like herding the little kids around with the sheer drop offs that were there.

While hiking to one look out point the two little boys held hands and said that they were being best friends.  Silly boys.

Here are some cool views in Cathedral Valley. The kids named each one of these monoliths a castle of some sort.  There was an ogre castle. Elsa's castle, a knight's castle, etc.

This is huge sinkhole that was interesting.

Temple of the Sun.

This was "Glass Mountain".  When I asked the kids afterwards what their favorite part of the trip was, all of them surprisingly said it was glass mountain.
This is a small (about 20 feet high) mound of pure gypsum crystals.  It glistens in the sunlight.  The kids thought it was super cool and enjoyed climbing around on it.

As I mentioned earlier, the rains had the desert blossoming.  It was quite stunning.

On our way out we passed the spot where I was so badly stuck.  I wish we would have thought to take a picture while I was stuck.  It was bad.  I was up to the axles in mud.  Off to the left is a cliff drop off, so we are lucky at least that we slid to the right into the pit instead of to the left off the edge.

In all it was a fun, adventurous trip to Capitol Reef.


Lindsay said...

We love Capital Reef! Looks like a great time, minus the mud and getting stuck!

Sarah said...

Every time I read a post about your camping adventures it makes me a little jealous. It looks like so much fun! And then I remember that I hate camping and muddy, dirty kids.... and then I feel better ;)

Looks like you guys have been having a fun, adventurous few weeks!