Showing posts from 2012

The Final Haul...Not a MiniFan

Previous Moab Trip Our plan was to take the East Gate of the Grand Canyon, AZ and head to Moab, UT . However, due to the fresher snow and due to short-handed staff over the Christmas Holiday, the roads were not plowed. Our only choice was to double back to Flagstaff, AZ . From there it’s 6-of-one and half-dozen-of-the-other to go to Grand Junction, CO or go to Santa Fe, NM .  GJ route was estimating an hour less drive time than New Mexico but with the limitations of our stupid minivan the snowy roads were likely more dangerous via San Jaun/Sangre De Christo mountain ranges and we would likely lose any time gained. (Next trip: Suburban! Or better yet Syncro Vanagon !) Nonetheless, our kids have been to Moab and Grand Junction so Santa Fe was a good opportunity to see something new. Our drive took us on I-40 and something I never realized existed in the southwest: ancient lava flows in a fairly intact state. There are plants, grasses and lichen but, even from the road, you could

"Given enough time, nothing is more changeable than rock." Enos Mills

Mr. Wood's Classroom             I cannot think of a more majestic place to celebrate Christmas day then at the Grand Canyon National Park . This natural wonder makes one feel trivial and yet powerful all at the same time. We drove into freshly laid snow, green ponderosa pines and red sandstone cliffs. Nature’s decorations trump droopy Christmas trees and rumpled wrapping paper any day. And at night, to quote John Denver, there are no “stars across the land”. It is pure nature at it’s finest.              Of course there are pictures, books and websites galore to learn about the Grand Canyon. I will keep this synopsis short and sweet. For one thing, winter at the GC is cold, sometimes windy and usually under a cloudbank. We consider ourselves fortunate that we could see across the 10-mile span to the North Rim. Due to the chill, we visited a couple indoor ranger-led talks; something we probably would not do when trails and hikes are so accessible in the summer. C

Dirt-Diva and Devil's Bridge

Difficult to discern the Devil's Bridge, but the evergreens in "foreground" are actually behind us. As we left the Painted Desert and headed for Flagstaff, AZ , the San Francisco Peaks loomed in the distance with snow-topped mounts. The entry was gradual but we began to feel more comfortable in our surroundings. Streetlights, strip malls and landscaping made us feel right at home. The cement sidewalks and groomed settings make me wonder who is really taking better care of Our World? Perhaps those forced to reuse and repurpose due to poverty-driven scarcity actually produce less waste. During our first full day at Sedona, we decided to take a hike. We like to hike and also take pleasure in requiring our kids to join us kicking and screaming the whole way. After scrutiny of what challenges we enjoy in a hike and what our kids can realistically handle, we settled on Devil’s Bridge . This is a 1.8-mile hike round trip; to a natural stone arch with 400-foot

Cliff Walls and The Scared Wood's

Day Three: Canyon de Chelly and the Petrified Forest.  Living Navajo Ranch, How many horses can you find?  Once past the Four Corners area we high-tailed it to Chinle, Navajo Nation, AZ. Here is where our children were again exposed to the hardships of our Native Americans. They have seen it once before near Glacier National Park two summers ago; the trailers, the correctional facilities, the over-fat, malnourished poor and the wild, mangy dogs. I have a sense of guilt when I warn my children to stay close and avoid touching surfaces when we stopped for gas well past nightfall. I am part paranoid white-girl and part keeping my children safe from diseases like whooping cough and tuberculosis. We also got the impression that we were not where we should be when all the native customers fell silent and turned to look at us with a halo of shock. "What is Anazai* doing here?" They seem to be asking. Humbly we offer that reservation living is a very sad

The Colorado Plateau Griswolds

Day One: Loveland to Durango – or so we had hoped. Broze, Mesa Verde N.P. Bronze, Research Center Our departure was like most road trips by the Wood Family Circus, 5 hours late. Once on the road we headed south in our rented Town & Country minivan. I personally am not a fan of helicopter-mom status-wagons; however, for long road trips, it provides us a DVD player, Sirius radio, space for five plus luggage and zero mileage depreciation on our own vehicles. The biggest downside and reason to not own one in Colorado is the 2 wheel-drive snow power-slides. As day turned into night, it became apparent that we would not make  Durango . So we settled for  Pagosa Springs . This seems like a quaint town and one I would like to further explore, but I am a sucker for hot springs. Perhaps a summer excursion to include The Sand Dunes, Lake City and Crested Butte, but that’s another trip, another blog.  Our approach into Pagosa Springs was, as I heard from my husband,  a

Vinyasa Flow with Warrior Twists

Down-Dog Inhale, Lift R Leg, sweep through  Exhale, low lunge. Inhale, Crescent Lunge Exhale, Revolved Crescent Inhale, return Crescent Lunge Exhale, Twist to the R, (reach arms to front and back of room, hips remain in crescent) Inhale, Sweep open to Warrior 2 Exhale, Extended Side Angle Inhale, Reverse Warrior Exhale Windmill to Chatarunga Dandasana Inhale Up-Dog Exhale Down-Dog Repeat L Side. 

Crescent, Side-Plank, Toe-Hold

Down Dog inhale lift right leg, exhale sweep into low lunge, rise up inhale Crescent Lunge exhale Revolved Crescent Lunge inhale Warrior II exhale Extended Side Angle inhale into Low Lunge (right leg is forward) exhale step back to high plank, left hand is foundation, right side lift, inhale Side Plank Upchoice - at low lunge, peace-finger your right big toe and move immediately into side-plank with toe-hold. You can flow through your chattaranga vinyasa or skip and return to down-dog and switch to right side.

The End of a Blissful Vacation. Mahalo!

Pe'e Pe'e Falls  Day 11: Volcano to Hilo to Denver If I still have your attention: Aloha! (Hello, Goodbye, with Love) The end of our vacation was a day of packing, checking and a few last bits of touring. We rose at 6am on April 9 and arrived at home 6pm (Hawaii time) on April 10th. It's a long trek back. But I won't bore you with the flight details. Rainbow Falls The flight out of Hilo was not until 9pm (PST), so we view the last few things we felt were landmarks of the Big Island. Waterfalls! The morning started with heavy rains, which was evident with the rapid and brown torrents rushing over Rainbow and Pe'e Pe'e Falls (pronounced Pe'eh-Pe'eh). These are 200' drop waterfalls located behind neighborhoods and the hospital in Hilo. Literally, minutes from downtown. To kill a bit more time, we also toured the Lyman Historical and Geological museum ; which has the rarest (and only) mineral in the world Orlymanite and some glow-in-the-dar