Sunday, March 27, 2011

Soco Amaretto Lime

One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands, Brand New. I've been looking forward to my 18th birthday ever since I first heard this song, just so I could sing it for real :)

March is kind of a tough month. The afterglow of Christmas Break has worn off, but it's not quite Spring Break yet.

I've decided where i'm going to college

but i'm still stuck in high school.

We try to play softball

but we live in Logan where it snows year round.

I have one moving violation on my driving record - I received it in March.
I got a fix it ticket this year - in March.
My birthday is in March - My mom was diagnosed with Diabetes on my 14th birthday.
One of my good friends passed away on my 15th birthday.

Nevertheless, we refuse to let March win. We know a place where the evil forces of March have absolutely no power. March does not win in Moab.

Since March 2006, the Brown family cousins have gathered in Moab UT for an annual hiking/camping trip to Arches National Park.
You may recognize this, the Delicate Arch, from the Utah license plates. But let's get real, a license plate doesn't do it justice. Look at the college pic above and then look at this one to the left. And that's just a picture! If you've never been, you seriously have to take a trip to Arches and see it in real life. It's i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e. I've been there every year for the past 5 years and it still blows my mind every time.

I've gotta give a big thanks to my sister, Kira, whose birthday present to me in '06 was to take me down and meet up with our cousins Johnny, Holly, and Jared.

'06 at Landscape

'07 at Delicate

                                                                 '08 at Delicate

                                  '09 inside Double

'10 by Dark Angel

If I may say so my self, this year was especially great. Sadly, many of our founders were unable to attend :( In fact, I was the only one from that '06 group. If i'm not mistaken, Kevin was at the very first trip where they slept on top of the van. 
(Side note - I believe the orange Honda Element has been at Arches every year since i've been going! Johnny drove it the first time, then it was Sean's car for a few years, now it is Kristi and Chuck's! Good times in the lunchbox on wheels.)  
And Kevin was here this year, so we're not totally lost. Alas, this was the first year that I invited a friend. I invited my good friend Le, and i'm so glad I did. She seriously is so great. A couple new family members and an old family friend came with us as well. It was cool this year to already be familiar with everyone who came, but this weekend was when I really got to know them. Michelle, Hannah, Calli, Maddy, Le and I all shared one giant tent. And the campfire conversation was great Friday night. Depressed leprechauns from far far very far away anybody? Anyways, it never ceases to amaze me how much being away from the world and just marveling at God's creations can bring people together. I hate to say this, but this year could have very well been my last year at Arches. I'll be living in Cedar City next year, which is a good 5 hours from Moab. Since I probably won't have a car and I don't think anyone really wants to drive the 6 hours from Logan to CC to pick me up and then 5 more to Moab, i'll have to ask the rest of the crew to take a lot of pictures and crop me in a few. 

Thanks to everyone who has made these trips amazingly wonderful and i'm grateful that our cousin family could have this to bring us all together, even if we are in our cars for more hours than we actually spend inside the park. Special shout out to Sean and Brittney Young for making the trip with their two very young daughters, i'm so glad you guys came even if you couldn't stay the whole time! And Aimee, you're a trooper. I love Arches, but I don't know if I could do it while pregnant. Props to you girl, props to you. I really could go through every name on the list of people who have ever joined in our group and write about how awesome it has been to be in their company. But there are two folks that deserve a little something extra. 

1 - My brother, Brent :)
He was the one who got things planned. I helped out a little, but he made the reservations, planned rides/meals/hikes, scheduled it out so that everyone could do Delicate (the best one), encouraged everyone to try squirming their way through Kevin's Crack, bought the firewood, planned the dates etc... Brenchenzzo, I sure do love you. Thanks broseph!

2- My cousin, Johnny :)
No disrespect to any of the other 'Arches trip founders' but I think it's safe to say that Johnny was the one who started this all. Since he has moved to Oklahoma for Med school and all that jazz, he hasn't been able to come every year. But he was there at the very first to start the tradition that has become simply known as Arches. Thanks a bunch Johnny, you rock! PS Happy belated Birthday!

Well, I said two folks, but I wouldn't feel right to not add one more. My Aunt Sonya. The tricky thing about Arches is that the bulk of the people who go are poor college students. No one has overwhelming amounts of money to be able to fund the food, occasional matching shirts, campsite reservation fee, hiking snacks, water bottles etc for everyone in attendance. But the first few years when this whole tradition was all starting out, I believe Aunt Sonya covered the bill for a lot more than anyone realized. That's exactly how Aunt Sonya was. She was willing to sacrifice so that everyone else could have a good time and most importantly, make memories. I love everyone who makes Arches what it is. So thank you, to all :)

PS Here are a few pictures from this year. I'll add some of Kristi's when she uploads them.

PSS Brittny knows how much I love Arches, so she made me and Maddy a Delicate Arch birthday cake :)

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