Weekend in SLO

I just got back a few hours ago from a relaxing weekend visiting friends in San Luis Obispo, CA. After you get out of the L.A. area the drive is really nice. It is very refreshing to see rolling green hills and so few people. It was a great weekend and I definitely needed a weekend to just relax. Back to school in the morning.

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This morning we awoke to a literal winter wonderland of snow. It had started to snow the night before as we were heading back to the guys cabin. It was pretty awesome to be able to see it snow as hard as it did. Everything outside was covered in 3-5 inches of nice fresh fluffy powder. WWSE 2 After a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, French toast casserole (which was very good), and fresh fruit we had our Bible study. The theme of the study for the trip was to get to know your Bible. After the study the people that were going to go snowboarding piled into the van and left for the mountain. I went with them so I could take pictures of them getting air off the jumps on the mountain. It was interesting to start walking up the mountain with only my backpack as everyone around me had skis or a snowboard. I never realized how fast some of those people can go down the mountain. I had a good time trying out snow sports photography as I had never done it before. After standing on the mountain for a few hours we headed down to get something to eat and warm up. We also went down because Daniel had taken one too many hard falls and was also hit pretty hard by another snowboarder coming off one of the jumps. Daniel was lying in a spot that probably wasn’t visible to the guy doing the jump but the other guy hit Daniel with his body and not his board so he saved Daniel from serious injury. Tomorrow we head down the mountain and go home. While I love to take trips and go places it is always nice to go home.

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Winter Wonderland of Snow Extravaganza 2

Today I went snow tubing with Roya and Chris and we had a blast. I let them go first so I could stay and take pictures of them going down the tubing run. Roya was scared of it at first but eventually got more comfortable with it. Chris is used to snow and tubing and to him it was awesome fun. They did about three runs down the hill which took about an hour to do as there was quite the line to get towed back up to the top. When they were done I handed the camera to Roya and I went with Chris. The way they got you to the top of the run was to have you sit in your inner tube and then hook a tow ring from your tube to a cable with hooks on it. It was pretty awesome to slow go up the hill and be able to see more and more of the ski runs and surrounding area as you got higher. Once at the top I got to talk to the staff guy that was controlling when people went when I was waiting my turn. Turns out he had been to California a few times and knew the area that we were from. He was actually going to be moving back to California to be a hot shot firefighter. We’ll have to see what tomorrow has in store.

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Utah Trip

After a rather interesting day traveling with The Refuge to Brian Head, Utah we finally made it.

We made a surprise stop in Calico Ghost Town in order to waste an extra hour that we had because of a later check in time then we had expected. Calico was an interesting place but it was definitely a ghost town. The sheriff of the town was an interesting fellow and was very good in playing his authentic period character. He was very proud of his authentic Daniel Boone knife. The tour of the mine was interesting to see what the working conditions were like. There were no lumber supports and the ceilings were tall enough that I at 6 foot tall did not have to duck. They had samples of the various ores that were found in the mine and showed that they glowed different colors when exposed to black light.

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The temperature when we got here was probably in the mid teens and there were a few feet of snow on the ground. We are staying in 2 rented cabins that are rented private winter homes it appears. One is very modern with full Viking kitchen appliances, granite counter tops, and beautiful hardwood floors. I will post some pictures when I get a chance so you can see how amazing this place is. The girls on the trip are staying in the nicer cabin and we are using it as the place where we are having meals and our meetings. The basement is a full game room with shuffleboard, an arcade machine, and a dart board.

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The cabin the guys are staying in is a little more homey feeling with more modest appliances and more basic styling. It is overall very nice and there are plenty of sleeping spaces including a loft with access only by ladder that is very interesting. The basement also is a game room in this house although slightly smaller than the other one as it also includes a small bedroom.

The major event of the day was when Pastor Jon got one of the vans stuck in the driveway of the girls’ cabin. We didn’t have chains for the vans and it was stuck half in a snow bank and slipping on ice. With the aid of a shovel and some boards we found, the men of the group managed to push the van free back to the bottom of the driveway to let it get it running start at the ice covered slope. Pastor Jon gunned it and just barely made it over the top of the hill. All the guys cheered for we had taken the hill.