Tour de Highway-Nebraska

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The book race continues. Between Hope & The Highway started in Utah, pedaled down to different points in Texas to meet with authors–Maria Hoagland and Taylor Dean. Now we have busted our buns up to Nebraska (pant, pant) to be interviewed by my good author friend, Gina Barlean. I hope you can join us to cheer my book on down the highway. The more the merrier.

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Hiking Zion

Picture 036It’s time to explore. I’ve posted about Zion before (because it’s one of my favorite places on earth), and thought I’d explore this place some more with you (since it’s cold outside and I’d like to dream of warmer places).

I’ve hiked Zion before in the winter, but it can get a little bit of snow and always ice. That, combined with the slick red rock, can make hiking treacherous. It’s still doable…but I usually do the flatter trails (like the Temple of Sinawava trail) because it’s hard to climb upward when your feet can’t gain any traction.

These pictures are from early summer a few years ago. Aren’t they beautiful? Have I mentioned I LOVE Zion?

I’m not going to go into a travelogue of my hike to Observation Point. You can read about it by clicking the link if you’re interested and want to make plans to hike it someday. I’m just going to meander Continue reading

Disneyland, Wookies, and Sharks…oh my!

DSC03568I’ve fallen out of the blogosphere, but have a good excuse (at least to me). My family went to California. Now, I won’t tell you that it was before Thanksgiving and I don’t really have an excuse for not blogging since except that I’m technologically challenged when it comes to getting pics off my husband’s phone to put on here. I won’t tell you either that I haven’t even tried to figure out how to get them off his phone…because then you might think I’m lame. Continue reading

Culture Shock

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMy daughter returned from South Korea last month. She served a mission for our church there for 19 months. It’s been nice to have her home again (even if she must now leave again for college). She has made me laugh at how shocked she’s been by everything here in the U.S. after being away for so long.

She thought it was cold here when she walked out of the airport. The temperature was in the high 90’s. But she left a Seoul summer which was maybe the same temperature, but extremely high humidity. She said she was soaking wet all the time and none of her clothes ever dried out. It’s dry here too, which is Continue reading

Backpacking & Quasimodo

DSC03197We went backpacking with our friends this 4th of July weekend. We hiked 5 miles into Jenny Lake, which is about 30 miles outside Idaho City. I haven’t backpacked for a number of years due to many awesome reasons (i.e., we have a 3 man tent and 4 people; my hip hurt; it sounded painful, etc). But this year, after losing weight and doing physical therapy to get my hip and knee working better, I decided to go for it. And like the American women in the World Cup, I went for it with gusto. Go USA! Continue reading

Readers…write reviews!

20140719-BatteryParkCityNY-LunchWithErinAndrew (56Edit)You don’t have to be a writer or be really good with words to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. In fact, even if you never came close to clinching the English student of the year award, you can still leave reviews. Leaving a review will make book sites, authors, and even other readers LOVE you!

Have you ever thought about purchasing a book, yet you’re not quite sure whether it’s a right fit for you or not. What do you do?

I go straight to reviews and start skimming to get an idea of whether I want to buy the book. Books with few reviews get skipped over, even if there’s nothing wrong with them. That’s why EVERY review is important, whether it’s short or long, super funny or basic. Continue reading

Fun Fall Frolicks

Fall is whizzing by in a swirl of colorful fun. I’ve slowly been regaining my confidence on my mountain bike since my accident. It feels good to be out again. I love being out and seeing views like these…

I also did a road trip with Continue reading

Olympic Beauty

DSC02768Before school started, we took a trip to the Olympic Peninsula to relax, see my brother, and pick up my daughter (who’s been working there all summer). I thought I’d share a few of my pics. I absolutely LOVE this area of the country. It’s so green (although they did have yellow lawns this year because of record-low water this summer). Still, compared to Idaho, it’s super green and lush.

Last year, I posted a series of my top 10 reasons I love Washington, so I’ll spare you a rehash. But we did Continue reading

Sink or Float

DSC02460Starting off my summer with a broken arm didn’t lend itself to lots of extracurricular activities, but I did manage to have some fun despite my bum arm.

In July, we took a day trip up to McCall, Idaho to canoe up the river. My arm still was healing, so I had to be careful with it, which meant I didn’t have to row. Yippeee!!! My husband and son rowed me while I sat in the middle like the Queen of Sheba. That was pretty nice. I could get used to having people row me around, although I would demand a more comfortable seat next time.

Wanting to please me (or terrify me, more likely) my son stood and pretended he was a Gondola driver. He made me quite nervous that he would tip our canoe and drown me since I was wedged under the bar…but thankfully Continue reading

The Narrows – Zion

DSC02411Here’s another hike my family did back in June. I couldn’t go since I was handicapped with my fractured arm, but I did this hike with my husband back when we were engaged, so I remember it. This is another amazing hike that touches the soul because it’s like you’re viewing a piece of heaven you never get to see in normal life.

My in-laws were beyond kind and drove my family 2-1/2 hours to the drop off point at some ranch outside of Zion National Park. You should have a big stick for support; this helps to check the river depth and gives you an ‘extra leg’ when hiking through the river (which you have to do a LOT on this hike since it’s in the narrow slot canyons).

This year was a low water year, so the water didn’t get above their waists, but on high water years, be prepared to swim many parts of this hike (waterproof your belongings either way). The river is full of slippery, mossy rocks, so wear sturdy shoes with good ankle support and carry a big stick (I sound like Teddy Roosevelt). Continue reading