Sunday, August 27, 2006

Division Wall

Last Friday evening during our family camping outing, we tackled the Upper Division Wall in American Fork Canyon. It was only a couple hundred feet from our campsite so most everyone came over and either climbed with us or watched for a bit.

I was belaying Curtis' lead when he made me a bit nervous a couple of times. He was 3/4 of the way to the top and about 5 feet above his last quickdraw when he stopped. From the bottom it looked like he was making very slow deliberate moves - but not upward. Then he down-climbed a bit (not a good sign) and checked out the serious bulge below him. He was is in a pretty bad place if he needed to fall. A couple more anxious minutes, some sewing-machine-leg action, then up he goes and clips the next bolt.


A bit of a rest, then a couple of more moves and progress stops again. More very slow movements then up the chains and the route is complete. He takes a couple of extra moments at the top then I lower back to the deck.

Curtis has this look on his face of mixed frustration, stress, and a bit of pain, and a touch of relief to be down. He fills us in how his bad shoulder dislocated FOUR times during the climb! Those movements I was trying to intrepret from the ground were him slowing moving his arm into a position that would allow his shoulder to pop back into the socket without peeling him off the wall!

He also had it dislocate the night before playing hockey so the shoulder was not up to snuff.

The rest of us (Justin, Brittany, Chris and myself) took turns on the climb. Then Maya, Natalie and Parker gave it a good shot too.

On Saturday we climbed the other side of the wall (Les is More - 5.10a) where Jeff lead the climb. Curtis attempted it but bailed about half way when his shoulder dislocated again. I made it almost half way which is a personal best for me as I have never even attempted a 5.10a before.

Great stuff. Can't wait for more. Here are the rest of the pictures: Physical Therapy, Les is More, Others.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Family Camp Out

One of our favorite things to do as a family is camping. Every year, for as long as I can remember, we pack up our stuff and hit the road.

We often headed south to Burk reunions in the mountains of northern and eastern Arizona. Or we headed north to Yellowstone and The Tetons. Or sometimes we just went up one of the local canyons around Salt Lake City.

This time we tried a new spot close to 'home' - American Fork Canyon. As it turned out, we camped directly across (less than 200ft) from one of the better climbing spots in the canyon - Division Wall.

We ended up using 3 sites in order to accommodate our small tent city. The campsites were not laid out very well for tents but we made it work.

The kids spent a great deal of time throwing rocks into the river and getting very dirty and wet.

The bigger kids spent time On the rocks. I will save that for another post.

Why does the food on a camping trip taste So Much Better? Maybe its that fact that instead of draining that extra grease from the sausage, you let it soak into the hashbrowns and pancakes. Maybe its the extra 'seasonings' from the fire on your hotdog or tin-foil dinner. Maybe it is just all in my head. But I don't think so!

The tin-foil dinners were awesome, the banana boats were delicious, the full breakfast ensemble was scrumptious...

Justin showed the little ones how to catch, clean and eat a trout.

Brittany (the newest member of the Burk Clan) at one point mentioned how she was so glad that she married into such a great family. That was later followed by my brothers 'welcoming' her (initiating/hazing/call it what you want) fully into the fold by demonstrating proper (and improper) Blue Dart techniques. What do you think Now, Brittany?

Jason and Curtis played the guitar around the campfire while the rest of us struggled to remember the words and tried to sing along.

Saturday we hiked up to Timpanogos Cave. I had forgotten how long and steep that hike is. The little ones all did quite well. I was proud of Maya who did the whole hike by herself without any complaining. The only incident was when she ran right into a rock that was sticking out into the trail and skinned her knee. She rode on my shoulders for a bit but quickly wanted to walk again.

Great times with the fam.

Looking forward to the next one.

Here are the rest of the camping pictures and the Timpanogos Cave pictures.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Super Sid

On Sunday we had an impromptu Going reunion. Sid Going and his wife Colleen were in town (from New Zealand) to make a cameo appearance in a rugby movie. The movie is being produced by another relative (through marriage), Adam Abel who also produced Saints and Soldiers.

Sid, known as Super Sid in New Zealand, was a celebrated half-back rugby player who played for the All Blacks during the 1960's and 1970's. The Going name is very well known even today as I found out during my visit to New Zealand several years ago.

Growing up, I remember the Super Sid book on our living room book shelves and I have often conveyed the fact that I have famous New Zealand relative. It was nice to finally meet him. Although I did get a short tour of his house in New Zealand while I was there. Unfortunately he was out of the country at the time.

So for a little background, mom is a Going and is a first cousin to Sid. My grandfather (Melvin Going) moved to Utah from New Zealand (Maromaku, Northland near the Bay of Islands), along with several of his siblings. Other siblings stayed in New Zealand. The Going family now has more US descendants than NZ descendants. My Grandmother Ellen (pictured sitting with my Grandfather Melvin with Sid and Colleen standing behind) is Melvin's second wife and is full Maori. So anyway, I'll end the geneology lesson there and just say, I'm proud to be quarter-kiwi!

In two years there is going to be a big Going reunion in New Zealand. Lots of the US relatives are trying to make the trip and hopefully we can get some sort of group rate. I can't wait to visit that incredible country again.

You can find more pictures of everyone here.