Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Southern States tour

My sister Kim moved to Washington D.C. this summer so my 3 other single sisters(Carol, Connie, and Kim), my mom, and I decided to do a southern states tour. I hit several new states like North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. I only have 5 more states to go.

Nat (college friend) and I in Atlanta. She did a great job showing me the sites.

New Orleans

Heidi (college friend) and I at Texas Roadhouse

A cool old house we drove all over to find somewhere in Mississippi (I think).

Monday, November 06, 2006

2-Guatemala: Tikal

We went to see the Mayan ruins in Tikal, Guatemala. They told us that Tikal is the largest Mayan ruin site in the world. Who knows if that is actually true but it was amazing. Here is a picture of Bo and me on one pyramid looking back to another.

Here I am on top of a flat pyramid.

Temple # 5 was the steepest. There were 104 steps that you had to climb like a ladder so that you wouldn't fall. It was pretty scary but the view from on top was worth it.

Here we are on top of Temple #5.

There were over 10 big pyramids and tons more that they don't have money to uncover. Basically, every hill has a temple underneath it.

This is the vip-line tour we went on through the jungle. It was a lot of fun and I screamed a lot.

1-Guatemala Trip October 2006

At the beginning of the year my sister’s friends started planning what I call a "High Adventure" trip to Guatemala. I thought it would be fun so I decided to go. There were 20 in all that went in our group and I only knew 5 of them before the trip. My sisters Carol and Connie came, my friend Bo from Grand Junction and two friends from Denver, Jill and Pauline. We left on Friday 10/20 and returned on Sunday 10/29. I didn't have to miss any school since we get a week for fall break. It was an amazing trip and I couldn't believe that I was really in Guatemala and doing the things that we were doing. Our main activities were sightseeing in Guatemala City, exploring Mayan ruins in Tikal, hiking a volcano, mountain biking around Lake Atitlan, and kayaking through the dense mangroves and spacious wetland lakes to the Pacific Ocean to stay the night on an island.

We had enough time to go to the temple in Guatemala City and do a session. It was Saturday so it was very busy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

3-Guatemala: Acatenango Volcano Hike

We started hiking Acatenango Volcano in the morning. We had three guides (Matt, Cisco, and Luisa) with us for the hike. Matt told us that there wouldn't be a warm up because the hike started with us going straight up. He wasn't kidding.

Connie and me when we stopped for lunch.

I climbed the watch tower but it was really high and the tree was moving so I only made it half way up.

Connie summiting in the thick sand. It was so steep and such deep sand that if you took 3 steps, you slid down two. It was really frustrating. I laid down about 10 feet from the top for a break. The sand made a really soft bed. It was hard to get up and start moving again.

Me at the top. I wanted to cry for joy since I was done. We hiked straight up for 6 1/2 hours. They kept telling us we would get to switchbacks but I don't think the Guatemala definition for switchback is the same as the American one. We hiked straight up the whole time.

Fuego Volcano at sunrise. At night we could see the red glow of Fuego. I tried to get pictures of it but they didn't turn out.

Connie in front of Fuego. You can see it smoking.

Our camp site in the mouth of the crater. It was really cold that night and we were all excited to get going in the morning. We couldn't build a fire so we just froze. The view of the stars at night and the other volcanoes in the morning made it so worthwhile.

I took a lot more pictures on the way down since we weren't as tired. The rainforest was awesome.

As we got closer to the bottom we kept taking off the layers.

Carol and me almost at the bottom. We hiked about 5000 feet up and the top was about 13,500 feet.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

4-Guatemala: Biking around Lake Atlitlan

Lake Atlitlan after our 13 mile road bike trip with the group. We stopped at an overlook for lunch.
Anne Marie, Ken, and I decided that we wanted to try Guatemala mountain biking. We got a picture with our brave guide Cisco before splitting with the group to do single track mountain biking.
The mountain biking totally kicked our butts. Ken ended up in the corn field twice and then later a barbed wire fence. I fell several times in the dirt and Anne Marie ended up in this ravine but as you can see we are still smiling because it was awesome.
Cisco took action shots of us while we mountain biked.
Sometimes the action was us carrying our bikes over hard sections. We called it Hike Biking.
Cisco and me after we completed our bike ride. Lake Atlitlan is in the background.
After we got back to the vans we had to have a victory shot. We all had battle scars to appreciate our ride even more.

Friday, October 20, 2006

5-Guatemala: Kayaking

We took a waterproof camera on the kayaking trip and I haven't developed them yet.

Connie and Jill are sitting under the mosquito net. We got eaten alive that night. The mosquitos in Guatemala give no mercy. I am still itching 1 1/2 weeks later.

The Pacific Ocean view from our bungalow. We found out the next day that there were sand fleas on the black sand beach and because of the fleas on my first day back to school, I wore only socks all day. My feet still itch because of the bites. We also found a syringe on the beach. Not the best beach I have ever been to, but the sunset was beautiful.

Loading up the boats the next day.

One of my favorite Spanish words that I can still remember is Biblioteca and we found one. I was very excited.