Wednesday, May 9, 2012


At one point in my life I wanted to be President of the United States.  (Can you even imagine?!?)  When I got my first real sales job, my goal was to eventually be the CEO of that major corporation.  While I appreciate those who do fill such important positions, my vision for my life has changed dramatically as my family has grown.  Even before we left for China the first time, I could see that I enjoyed  my kids far too much to follow career paths that required such extensive time away from the family.  There was also a period where I wanted to run a marathon.  I have talked to several people who have done this (or even an Iron Man triathalon!) and their experiences have been tremendous.  But at this point, I don't think that a marathon is for me (although I did run my first 5K last summer and might attempt one of those again).  My knees are a bit banged up for such punishment.

But I do have a passion, one that I can share with my wife and (some of my) kids.  Hiking to the top of tall mountains!  I love it!  I can't explain the rush I get from it.  It is a magnificent, even spiritual experience for me.  I definitely enjoy a beautiful viewpoint that can be accessed by driving to it, but there is something amazing about the view that you have had to work for.  For years now, Taylor, Parker, Christi and I (and sometimes Christi's brother, Matthew) have back-packed in to the Lone Peak Wilderness and camped overnight.  We don't go to the top of Lone Peak, but we climb about 2500 feet in elevation and get to a spectacular viewpoint.  We treasure this experience, and it is a tradition that I hope continues for years to come.  (The boys always ask me how long I'll keep doing this hike and I tell them my goal is to be able to do it until I'm 70!)  I have set the goal to get to the top of 7 of the mountains along the Wasatch front (the mountains along the east side of the Salt Lake Valley and Utah Valley) by the time Parker graduates from high school.  Our goal this year is to peak Mt. Timpanogos

Last summer we got to the top of the first of those seven mountains:  Y mountain in Provo.  This is the mountain that has the "Y" on it above BYU campus.  We have hiked to the Y before, but never beyond it.  We set out on this amazing trip in the afternoon, knowing that we would reach the top before dark, but would need flashlights on the way back down. We climbed about 3500 feet in elevation and hiked about 10 miles.  As we were going up, there were times I wondered what I had gotten us into.  But once we reached the summit, there was no question whether or not it was worth it.  We were exhilarated!  What a treasured memory.  I am sure we will do it again.  Here are some pics from the trip:
Ready to get started!

The view looking up from the "Y"

On the "Y"

Utah Lake in the background

We went in October and the colors were gorgeous!

Mt. Timpanogos in the background

We made it!!!

My honey loves me:)

I mentioned that is was a 3500 foot, 10 mile hike.  That was for Christi and the boys.  I got a bonus adventure!  When we were back at the Y (about 2/3 of the way down) Taylor suddenly realized he had left his backpack with our $500 camera in it at our previous rest stop.  At this point, it was pitch black.  The camera was probably a mile and half and 1500 feet behind us.  What to do?  At first I just resigned myself to a lost camera.  Then I thought of the pictures and really wanted to get it.  Maybe I would come back on Monday and retrieve it.  But we were already at a point that was halfway to where the camera was.  So I went and got it that night.  By myself.  In the dark.  There's a reason the BYU mascot is the cougar.  Yes, I was a bit nervous.  Made plenty of noise so as to scare any large predators away.  I almost picked up two sticks and started hitting them together (think Parent Trap:).  In the end, all was successful, although I looked like I was about 95 years old as my creaking knees hobbled down the final mile of the trail.

All in all, it was an unmatched day.  I am so grateful for my three fantastic friends and travel companions.  Love you guys!