Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Our visit to Stanley

After spending about a week and a half with my family, it was past time to head up north and visit with Ethan's family. It's only about a six hour drive, so compared to what we'd already been through it was nothing. It is always so nice to be with the Mower family. We spend lots of time talking and laughing and just enjoying being around one another.
One of the highlights of this particular trip was getting to go on a tour of some of the local fiber farms. We actually only ended up having time to go to one of the locations on the tour, but it was a lot of fun. We got to run into some old family friends (I actually lived not far from Ethan's family until I was twelve, so it's not uncommon to bump into people from my childhood while we're up there visiting), and see some fun animals and displays, so I'd say it was a success.
Erik and the alpacas were pretty interested in each other.
A pretty recent batch of pygmy goats, they were for sale too! Too bad I don't have anywhere to put one right now...
Erik was WAY too interested in the spinning demonstration. Aunt Abby was enlisted to help keep him (and his very dirty fingers) out of the way.
We had lots of fun just being at Grandma and Grandpa's house too. Erik loved all the toys, but was a little disappointed when this little train wasn't able to take him for a ride. 
While we were up there, Ethan had a job interview so we left Erik with Grandma and headed up to Santa Fe for a day on the town. After Ethan's interview we went out to lunch for some real NEW Mexican food. Oh man did it taste good! I think the amount of pleasure we got out of the food was making the other diners around us uncomfortable, but OH MAN it was SO good! Green chili in everything, and sopapillas (don't even try ordering these at any restaurant outside of NM, they are NOT the real thing!) and horchata and enchiladas and it was all amazing! 
We happened to be in Santa Fe the day after the Tres Lagunas forest fire started in the Pecos, and you could see the pillar of smoke growing throughout the day. It was really interesting to watch. 
Ethan wanted me to make sure to include a picture of the local architecture, and sadly this is the best I got. There is actually a city ordinance in Santa Fe that makes it so you have to build in the traditional style. I think the building across the parking lot there is a bank, but I'm not sure. Kinda hard to tell when everything looks the same. It's all the flat roof with the vigas in the traditional style. See here and here for more examples. 
After a week and a half in Stanley, we headed south again to spend some time with Kett and Cameron before heading back to my folk's house for my little brother's missionary talk. More on all that to come later.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A trip to the "Cherry Cows"

I thought I'd better catch you all up on what we've been up to since we got to NM, but this is probably going to take several posts now that I see all the pictures that are going into just this one day's worth of activities.
In the first week after we got to Animas, Kett and Cameron came down to hang out and we all went up to the Chiricahua Mountains for a day of fun. (A note on the pictures; if you see one that looks really good, it was probably taken by my sister Kett. She's pretty much amazing and let me steal some of the pics she took that day.)
For anyone who doesn't know, my family lived just a few minutes drive from here for a couple of years and so this area was pretty much our back yard. We spent hours and hours playing in the creeks and hiking the trails, so it's always fun to go back even if it is a 30+ minute drive now that my family has moved.
We started off playing in the creek in the John Hands campground. We splashed around in the creek for a while, than us wimpy girls (and Erik) climbed in the car to head upstream to Herb Martyr Campground while the boys hiked the trail between the two.

Cameron and Ethan were having a marvelous time hunting for the lizards that were hiding in the rocks.  
They caught a pretty one! 

They were even nice enough to let Erik get in on the hunt.

Ethan tried to get Erik to stand in the waterfall, but he wasn't going to fall for that one!

By the time Erik was done playing in the creek he was soaked and too cold to walk back up to the car, so we stripped all his wet things off (except his shoes) so that he could make it back to the car without freezing. 
 Next we drove over to one of our favorite swimming places in the Chiricahuas, Turkey Creek. It has several large(ish) pools, and most of them have natural rock water-slides that empty right into them. We didn't actually have any intention of getting in the water (have you ever tired swimming in snow melt?), but we really wanted to see how the area had fared in the forest fire and resulting flooding that happened a year or two ago. It's always been gorgeous, and we just had to see if it had come through the fire.
Using long sticks to measure the depth of the pools,  they ranged in the depth from 2-6 feet. 
This was a first in all the time we've been coming here. We actually saw wild turkeys in turkey creek. 
 We came to the pool that has always been the best swimming hole. It's got one of the better slides at its head and is the deepest of them all. We were trying to gauge the depth of the water with a long stick, but it just wasn't working out. Finally Cameron decided he would just take one for the team and jump in. It didn't take long before Ethan felt he had to preserve his manly reputation and he jumped in too. Does it look like maybe it was a bit cold?
The water looked crystal clear until they jumped in and stirred up all the muck  in the bottom, I don't know that they'd have jumped in if they'd known how gross it was going to get. 
 While we were hiking up stream to check out all our favorite old spots, Erik and Grammy stayed at the bottom and splashed around in the stream some more. I swear, if Erik could turn himself into a fish, he would. He sure loves water!