Westwater Canyon, the Jordan River, and Summertime Water Adventures

Logan (age eight), Evan (age six), and me (age ten) on top of Mt. Timpanogos

Logan (age eight), Evan (age six), and me (age ten) on top of Mt. Timpanogos

The same way I spent my childhood camping in the Uinta Mountains, hiking through southern Utah’s red rock canyons, and eating tinfoil dinners “because if you’re going to eat dinner anyway it might as well be over a campfire,” Mark spent his childhood at the Pacific Ocean.

Mark and his brothers at the Ventura Pier. Photo by Michael Sears.

All the brothers at the Ventura Harbor. Photo by Michael Sears.

Growing up only four blocks, and later eight miles, from the beach, Mark inherited his dad’s love for the ocean, for surfing, and for beach volleyball. Family fun meant body boarding, tossing a frisbee or aerobie around in the sand, and catching waves. And whenever we go visit the California folks, it still does.

Photo by Michael Sears.

Photo by Michael Sears.

Photo by Michael Sears.

Photo by Michael Sears.

Now that Mark is here in my landlocked country to stay (at least for the next few years), he’s been having some water recreation withdrawals, so we do our best to find summertime aquatic adventures.

We love the Mona rope swing…

163319_4805238602241_1922045108_n

The water park that’s only five minutes from our house…

image

And the Payson Grotto with the siblings.

wateradventures1

Last summer we decided to go whitewater rafting for Mark’s birthday. We piled our camping gear on the motorcycle and drove 235 miles to Moab, where we set out for Westwater Canyon.

wateradventures2

Westwater Canyon is a seventeen-mile stretch of the Colorado River that features class IV rapids and otherworldly terrain. It’s a black volcanic rock canyon inside of a red rock sandstone one, so when we weren’t paddling as hard as we could through the rapids and trying to stay in the boat, we got to float and take in the gorgeous scenery.

wateradventures3

And this year for Mark’s birthday we found a good deal on an inflatable paddle boat! We’ve already taken it on some grand adventures: to the Spanish Fork Reservoir with friends and on a seven-mile journey down the Jordan River, where we saw amazing wildlife (a beaver so big it looked like a baby bear, among other things) and felt like we were in another world.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kimberly’s Temporary Mission Address

Hi all!

Kimberly has been reassigned to…. (drum roll please)

Salt Lake City South Mission!

The reassignment is temporary, while she waits for her travel visa, which she expects by the beginning of March. Right now she is serving in the Kearns area, Spanish speaking, and is part of a tri-companionship (three sisters). Although she is bummed about the delay in getting to Argentina, she is pretty happy to be serving rather than waiting it out in the MTC. Fortunately, they get to drive most places, because her bags were packed for an Argentine summer, not a Utah winter!

Her temporary address is

Hermana Kimberly G. Brown
Utah SLC South Mission
8060 South 615 East
Sandy, Utah 84070

She would love to hear from you!