Can you guess where we went on Friday? This idea to blog about our (secret) location using the ABC's was actually my friend Stacie's idea, so kudos to her. So glad we went together! We actually went through the alphabet while there, but I know I've forgotten some of what we said...so some of these are mine, and some are Stacie's, Eli's, Avy's, Michelle's, Ella's and Gabby's.
A is for amazing view. What we had when we made it to the top. A is also for Avy. She said at the end, "If we can do this, then we can do anything!"
B is for beautiful. The mountains are beautiful this time of year.
C is for the Chime Chamber, my favorite part. I wish that I could have been there years ago when they actually used to ring the stalactites to hear the chiming sound!
D is for dolomite and other rocks that we saw. D is also for darkness. Without the lights, the cave is very dark.
E is for Eli and Ella. They did it!!! (And Ella did it with almost no complaining. She often cheered Eli on! I was so proud of her. And surprised.) E is also for encouragement. We had to provide plenty of encouragement to make it up the mountain.
F is for freezing. That's what the kids thought it felt like inside... 45 degrees Fahrenheit. I was so sweaty...I thought it felt great!
G is for Gabby. She got carried the whole way up. On the way down, she wanted to walk, stopping every 2 - 3 feet to find a "Gabby-sized" rock to sit on. :) After a bit, I picked her up and gave her a piggy back ride so it wouldn't take hours to get down.
H is for heart. The heart of Timpanogos weighs approximately 4,000 pounds. Stacie was very interested to find out how they figure that out. The heart was Michelle's favorite part. (And if you hadn't figured it out already, you should know where we went!) H is also for Hansen Cave, the first cave found, by a man named Hansen who was following a mountain lion when he discovered the cave.
I is for imagination. Inside one room, they pointed out all the interesting shapes...one that looks like an alligator, one that looks like a chicken. My kids noticed a stalagmite that looked like a unicorn's head. Imagination is important in so many endeavors. I is also for the ice cream cones we got when we were done!
J is for journal. Stacie was planning to write about this in her journal... and I consider this blog to be my journal. Maybe I can even get Ella and Michelle to write about it in their journals.
K is for kicking rocks. Really, we didn't kick rocks...you aren't supposed to, but we couldn't come up with anything else for k....and sometimes you do kick a rock on accident.
L is for lion as in mountain lion. Mountain lions, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, rattlesnakes, squirrels, and chipmunks all consider American Fork Canyon their home.
M is for Michelle. Michelle was tired and wasn't sure she would make it on the way up. But she and Avy were the speediest on the way down. They kept having to stop and wait for the rest of us. :)
N is for nature...where we spent our day. N is for national park.
O is for opportunity...to get exercise, to spend time with friends, to smell the pine trees, to learn new things, to see amazing sights, to live on a beautiful planet. We are blessed daily with so many opportunities!
P is for park rangers. It was fun to chat with a few park rangers. The kids wanted to know why they carry guns and we asked how many times they hike to the cave each day (usually 2 or 3 times...Wow!) We were told that there is a park ranger that has been there at Timpanogos for 43 years! Another park ranger retired a few years ago (and died 2 years ago) after more than 50 years there.
Q is for NOT quitting. Even though it was tough for the kids, they didn't give up. They triumphed (TRY + UMPH...see the last post!). Q is also for questions, because you learn more when you ask questions.
R is for river. As we got out of our car, the kids were thrilled to be so close to the river. As we hiked back down, we could tell we were getting closer when we could hear the river flowing again. Gabby was sure she was hearing a waterfall!
S is for signals. The park ranger that led us through the cave, told us that her mom was a ranger when she was younger....and they lived in Lehi, very close. Her mom would call her on her lunch break and then use a mirror to send signals to her at her house. She used a large mirror to flash signals back. How cool! S is also for Stacie, whose idea it was to go, who made all the arrangements, etc. Thank you!
T is for Timpanogos caves. They are amazing! Totally worth the long hike.
U is for unique cave structures...the caramel falls, the stalactites and stalagmites, the heart, etc. It was cool when they turned off the lights and showed how a laser pointer just put a dot on the rock, but when it hit the crystals or quartz (can't remember), it began to shimmer and spread light. They asked if anyone had a diamond and since I was next to the guide, they shined the laser on my diamond ring and sparkles of light were everywhere. Cool!
V is for victorious! How we all felt when we made it to the top!
W is for water. Water was a necessity on this hike (3 miles round trip...lots of switchbacks) and we should have brought even more than we did. This was a hard hike for the kids...and since Stacy and I were carrying backpacks and camera bags and trading off carrying Gabby, it wasn't that easy for us, either!
X is for X-ray... fortunately, we had no broken bones or injuries and therefore didn't need any X-rays!!!
Y is for yummy snacks. At one point, several of the kids wanted to quit. It was lunchtime and so we got out sandwiches, apples, and chips. After the yummy snack, they felt better and were able to keep going.
Z is for the z-shaped trail we could see on the mountain opposite us.