It's been quite an eventful week. We had originally planned to take a mini vacation to Moab, Utah this week. The kids were out of school for the UEA conference on Thursday and Friday. I had arranged to take the days off from work.
As the time grew closer for the trip, we reviewed our finances, and determined that taking a vacation right now was not the prudent thing to do. Because of this situation, we decided to cancel our vacation. It would have been fun. My parents and brother were going to come along in their motor home, too. It was disappointing to have to call it off, but we didn't have the cash right now, and the trip would have been charged to our credit card -- which we didn't want to do.
I ended up working on Wednesday and Thursday, which I originally had scheduled off for the trip. In fact, I ended up working all night Wednesday, and into the early afternoon on Thursday. We had upgraded to a new server at work, and we encountered many problems as people came to work on Thursday morning. After working nearly 27 hours straight, I turned everything over to my boss and my co-workers. I went home and crashed for a few hours, got up for the evening, and then got a good night's sleep Thursday night.
It took me a few hours on Friday to come to grips with what day is was, the passage of time seemed like such a blur. It was like having major jet lag! I've had to pull all-nighters at work before for various projects. However, this one seemed to take a heavier toll on me than the last time -- The last one was back in 1999, in preparation for Y2K.
I still had Friday scheduled off from work, and my boss graciously let me take it off, even with the situation at work. I had originally planned to have a kid's day, and a mama day this weekend. Kid's day would have been to have me take the kids out of the house, to give mama a few ours of peace and quiet. For mama's day we had hoped to go see the new film about Joseph Smith in the Joseph Smith Memorial building in downtown Salt Lake City. We had also hoped to visit the Church Museum of History and Art. The plans for those two days melted away, in the wake of my all-night work marathon.
On Friday, we decided to have a family day, and visit the Alpine Loop, around Mt Timpanogos for a picnic. I really needed to get out after pulling my all-nighter. It was nice just to get away for a little while.
Once on the mountain, we found that the Autumn leaves were past their prime. Most of the Aspen trees had already dropped their leaves. There were only a few spots with yellow aspen leaves here and there. Recent snows have dusted the mountain peaks.
We found a little out-of-the-way spot for our picnic near the Little Deer Creek campground, in Wasatch State Park. Our spot was amid a few of the last golden Autumn leaves. We made some sandwiches from some special deli meats. I tried my hand at making grandma's famous shell macaroni salad -- and it turned out pretty good!
It was nice just being outside, hearing the birds sing, and to navigate some 4-wheel-drive trails. My favorite activities are 4-wheeling, and photography, and my family graciously let me indulge in both that day.
After our picnic, we started heading back. It so happened that we encountered a large mud puddle. I couldn't resist going through it at a fairly high speed just for splash effect. After we went through it, I heard a chorus of "Do it again, daddy!". What could I do but oblige. After going through it a couple of times, we decided it was worthy of a picture. (You'll have to click on the photo to get the full effect.)
I consider having mud on my truck a badge of courage. A kind of social statement that says, yes, I really did have some fun this weekend! How about you?
I'm driving the truck to work on Monday, with mud intact, just to brag about my weekend!
After slathering our truck in mud, we found ourselves in camo mode. We came across some deer near the edge of the road. Two does, and one fawn. They didn't seem too worried to see us. They must of known we meant no harm. Maybe it was our mud camouflage, who knows? We stopped long enough to take a few photos. This was the best one. After snapping a few pictures, I felt like saying, "Run Bambi! Run!" We had seen some hunters nearby on ATV's.
We had a nice time on the Alpine Loop. The kids got to run around and have some fun in the woods. And I got a needed breath of fresh air. My wife got to see a smile on my face as I took photos, and plowed through the mud puddle, and negotiated the 4WD roads. You can see more of my Alpine Loop Photos here.
Finally, as I was working the all-nighter on Wednesday night, I remember wistfully thinking during the wee hours of the morning that, "Gee, I could have been in Moab right now!" Instead of going bleary eyed during the server migration. This is a photo from our last trip to Moab in 2004 of the Salt Creek Canyon area in Canyonlands National Park. We probably would have visited this place again, had we gone there.
Oh, well, I came back to reality soon enough. I know we made the right decision not to go. We'll get to go there again someday soon -- Maybe next Spring if things work out!