Sunday, July 1, 2012

Touring Southern Utah

Mid-June took us on a super tour of Southern Utah. Baby Bear was our chauffeur: 
[8+ hours in the car makes us slap-happy. Did I mention this picture was taken around 4 hours in?]
Our first stop was actually Kanab to see my favorite Grandpa. 90 years old & took us on a tour of his yard, downtown for icecream & shagged balls for Keller's batting practice with his cane. He's a crack-up. 

Next it was on to this metropolis:

It was the 2012 Panguitch Balloon Festival + Bike Rally. Mixing hot air balloonists with hard-core motorcyclists -- Why not? Everyone gets along in Panguitch. 

This was Chad's first Panguitch experience. I had to wipe the drool away while he oogled the bikes. The Soper family hosted us so well once again. 

Now -- the balloons are beautiful and all -- but it's the quarkiness of a small town which really makes this fest....well....highly enjoyable:

Dude built a trailer for his bulldog. I'm still not sure if the dog liked his view.

The bikers wanted to make some extra $ for their drinking habits.
Yes -- They made cowboy hats out of beer  boxes.
Yes -- They charged $20.
Yes -- I did see people wearing their proud purchases on Main Street.
No -- I don't think they were THAT drunk when they bought them.
Yes -- I would have to be very drunk to wear it. 

Marchant & Hughes posse in jail. 
The hot-air balloons hardly flew due to high winds. Luckily Kimmy took advantage & brought kites for all the kids who had a blast:

We also fed Keller his first Tearjerker:
Notice cute Grandma & Grandpa Soper in the background. Wonderful hosts!
We celebrated Keller's half-birthday along with the festivities. This pic sums it up: too small Spongebob sunglasses for all the kids, chocolate cupcakes & a DVD that will be played again & again on the roadtrip home:

 Then the festivities transferred downtown [oh yeah -- only 3 blocks away -- small town]:

Love the moon in this shot. We had seen Brave over the weekend & this reminded me of the Pixar short -- La Luna shown before the feature.

After we partied ourselves out in P-town we headed over Cedar Mountain. 
Strawberry Point
It was great fun to take the Tahoe on the back dirt roads on Cedar Mountain to see the best viewpoints. Also had a lunch break at Navajo Lake & saw the gigantic rock slide that closed SR-14. 

We spent the next few days in Cedar City with the Marchant's. 

Swimming w/cousins

Sitting on the front porch with a beloved Brad's Food Hut Vanilla Dr. Pepper. You don't see Liz, Kimmy, Chad, Doug & I happy as can be.
Time at the Marchant's consists of lots of jokes & cracks on each other at the dining room table & lots of perusing the latest book selections from the 'Marchant Presidential Library'. We always enjoy our time relaxing, visiting friends & eating at our favorite CC, UT food joints. 

Headed to SUU for a day to help with the Summer Counselor Conference & got to take in Les Miserables at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Great production -- proud of them.

Lots of wildfires burning in Utah this summer & we drove right through some charred ground near New Harmony still smoldering. 

Survived the 8 hour drive back home -- All in one piece & Chad & I finished listening to The Great Gatsby. 

One fine summer adventure.....

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