Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Ode to Rock Canyon

I need to say it, I love Rock Canyon.

Conveniently located seven minutes from our apartment, loaded in climbing routes and covered in trails for strolling and running, Rock Canyon is the best escape from the pressures of school and work. In case some of you still have reservations, here are some photos from climbs, hikes and snowshoeing ventures.

Winter Fun:

Jordan, Michael & John.

Summer Fun:

Another early morning on the Red Slab.

Multiple Michaels.

Artsy shot of Michael climbing Lead, 5.7.

Jordan monkeying up Congo, 5.9+.

Jordan finishing Only Wimps Top-rope the Bulge, 5.8. 

Jordan on a Pink Canoe, 5.10a.

Photo credits to Michael Diamond.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pioneer Day

Well, we missed the Fourth of July since Michael was in India, but we still got to see some great fireworks this summer! Yesterday was Pioneer Day, a Utah state holiday to commemorate the entrance of LDS pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley as they fled persecution. This was a first for both of us, and it was definitely interesting. The DJ at the park we went to to see the fireworks played everything from Beyonce to Christian hymns to the Beastie Boys and Michael Jackson.
Us on the lawn at Ira Allen Park in Mapleton, Utah.
Unfortunately, our batteries died before the fireworks started. Bummer.
It seemed to be a place for parents to let their kids run free, because the park turned into a festival complete with popcorn stands, a bungee jumping station, and tons of kids gone wild. We couldn't help but laugh every time an announcement was made calling for parents to come claim their lost children or for rogue children to come find their parents at the podium. It certainly was all-American and the mountains surrounding Mapleton provided a beautiful scene for the celebration.

We headed for the car right before the grand finale and literally sprinted to the car immediately after the show ended in order to escape the parking lot chaos that was sure to ensue.

World's Largest Water Balloon Fight

BYU hosted an attempt Friday to beat the world record for the largest water balloon fight. With almost 4,000 people they narrowly broke the previous record set by students at the University of Kentucky. All in all it was a ton of fun and we scored free t-shirts and lunches (which included BYU creamery ice cream!).



For more footage of the carnage, click here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Quick Early Morning Timp Climb

What's the best cure for jet lag? A 5,000 ft, 13+ mile round trip (RT) climb of nearby Mount Timpanogos. Jordan and I half hiked, half jogged the peak Friday morning. We left the Aspen Grove Trailhead at 4 AM.

Although it was early, it was good to be back in the mountains.

We made good time to the warming hut, where the sunrise found us.

From the hut, the trail leads north under the summit across the last remnants of winter.

The snowfields are all but gone now.
Looking back.
After climbing to a gap north of the summit, the route scrambles over rock on the west side.

Into the shade and the wind . . . brrr.
Jordan beat me to the summit by about 15 minutes. I was feeling good to be that close behind after a month with little exercise living at sea level in India. 

Enjoying the sunshine and the views.
Looking down on the warming hut, a beautiful tarn and the route we took up.
North Timp & other Wasatch peaks in the background. 

We scurried down the scramble and across the snowfield to the warming hut where we were greeted by dozens of mountain goats.

Dipping our heads in a waterfall on the way down felt great in the rapidly warming day. We felt bad for all the people who had slept in and were just heading up.

You can see more pictures from our trip here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guess Who's Home!

At the airport, July 21, 9:19:23PM.

After not (really) sleeping for 55 hours, not shower for 48 hours and not seeing Emilie for 28 days, Michael was more than a little excited to be home.

Monday, July 19, 2010

More India

I am getting on a plane this evening, but wanted to post a couple of videos first. I hope you don't mind the poor videography.

This is the first temple I visited, the Kapaleashwarar temple in Mylapore, Chennai:

This is the shore temple, Mahapalipuram. I believe this is a World Heritage Site, not that this designation means anything:

A different site in Mahapalipuram:

An elephant at the Srirangam Temple, he takes money and gives blessings in exchange:

This is a different elephant who had died that same day:

Typical traffic in Chennai:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

India Update

My short time here (1 month) in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu is coming to a close. On Sunday night Jerome and I will be boarding a bus in Trichy, the closest town to his home, a head back to Chennai. Click here for a complimentary Google map of this route.

This afternoon (Saturday), Jerome and I went to Tanjore (Thanjavur) to see some of the sites. While I had about had my fill of Hindu Temples, the Brihadeeswarar Temple was unique and definitely worth the bumpy bus ride. But first a flower. . .

Me with Nandi (Sacred Bull)

You probably cannot tell from the photos, but this temple was much taller than the typical Vedic style temples, like the others I have visited. I was amazed to learn the temple's height is one-half its length, to within a few centemeters! Its hard to believe it was built 1000 years ago!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Greetings from India

Hi everyone! I thought you might enjoy seeing a few pictures from India. I have been here for more than three weeks now I believe. It has been quite an adventure. I am learning more than I could possibly layout in a blog posting.

My BYU professor , Joel Selway, and I, in conjunction with a number of very talented individuals here, conducted a couple experiments to explore why public good (roads, trash collection, health care) are harder to create in ethnically diverse societies.

We finished the experiments this last weekend and now I am spending my last week with a new friend, Jerome Samraj and his family. 

I have already seen some really amazing places. Emilie posted photos of a few below. I'll be sure to put up a few more in the coming days.

Speaking of Emilie, the only sad thing about this trip is that she is not with me. Instead, I have to settle for this: 

Needless to say, I am excited to come home and be with her again. **Sorry for the mushiness.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chennai, India

(Michael and Joel)

Michael is in India!! He is there doing research with a professor, Dr. Selway. It's pretty exciting stuff. They are running cash incentive experiments with surveys to determine the effect of diversity on the provision of public goods (healthcare, roads, drain cleaning, sewerage, trash collecting, etc.) in a society.

In the meantime, Emilie is working full time, taking a class, and trying to set up our new apartment. That's right, we moved AGAIN. Photos will come when the apartment no longer looks like the site of an explosion...

Courtney's Baby Shower

(Molly, Courtney and her adorable maternity shirt, Nicole, and Em)

Courtney is having a baby boy! In like 3 weeks!! We enjoyed the opportunity to throw my childhood friend and partner in crime, Courtney, a baby shower and the great excuse it provided for a Georgia Girls Reunion. Love these girls!

Birthday, Graduation and One Year!

In April, Emilie graduated from BYU with a degree in Political Science. In the Fall, she will start the Master of Public Health program at BYU and graduate with perfect timing before we move off to wherever Michael gets into medical school.

Both of our families came out to celebrate the occasion, and we went down to Bryce Canyon with Emilie's sister, Andrea. It was a short, but fun, trip.
The week sure was a big one! We celebrated Michael's 23rd birthday with lots of cheesecake and good friends, graduation, and our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
(Bryce Canyon, April 24, 2010)

Back in the Saddle

It's summertime and, given our track record, that means.... it's time for another post! Ok, so perhaps we will start posting more than once a season. We will begin our attempt to catch you all up on what has happened. Warning: it might not be in chronological order