Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dynamited Cave

We have explored most of Dynamited Cave over the last 15 years. I have been in the cave on many occasions because people (mostly scouts and young men in the church) hear about it and ask me to take them. It is a specular cave with some very interesting climbing problems. Essentially, you are climbing in the dark, in the rain, and on crumbling rock.

Jim Berndt rappeling down the Devil's Throat.

Me climbing out of The Pit.

Me climbing into The Pit.

Shea in The Pit

The seasonal sand speleotherm.

Rigging an anchor.

Brad Smith and I took the Ellensburg 3rd Ward Priest Quorum into the cave last weekend. We slept just below the 1st rappel. (There is a nice (almost dry) flat sandy spot which makes a nice camp site.) We got to the end of the cave by 11:00 am the next morning and were out of the cave by 3:00pm. We met a group of Venture Scouts from Kennewick at the Devil's Throat (rappel No. 2) and had a nice visit with them. They had never gone beyond The Pit (the 3rd rappel), nor onto the Devil's Gut (the 4th rappel and the largest room in the cave), which is sad because beyond that, just above the Rainbow Room is the best part of the cave. The last rappel (the Devil's bowels) is complex and big and fun to explore. Below are some pics of this last trip and when Shea and I went with Evan Berndt and his dad last summer.

Enrance of the cave with Brad Smith.

Carson Arnold Climbing out of The Pit. Me on belay.

Entrance of Dynamite Cave. Hauling gear into the cave.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

La Marcha!

La Marcha 2007

We participated in La Marcha in May of this year for the 3rd year straight. It was a little smaller than usual this year. There was no imperative political issue at stake at the time. The first year was amazing. There were 17,000+ marching down Yakima Avenue, with 2 Mariachi bands loud speakers, etc. Chelsea marched the second year with employees of Smart, Connell & Childers, P.S. We provided water for the marchers and worked on voter registration.

I will forever have in my mind the image of Elena "Leni" Gamboa standing on a picnic table in the middle of Miller Park screaming into a loud speaker urging people to register to vote. We served as runners passing out forms and encouraging people to complete the forms, which we then filed for them. Her normally squeeky little voice seemed to have the strength of a mighty warrior. For me, this was one of the most powerful examples of the 1st Amendment that I have ever witnessed. The right to peaceably assemble against criticism and against the current of popular thought in our community. I was so proud to watch her stand like a soldier armed only with a megaphone, but behind it was the voice of thunder. It was truly a beautiful moment in my professional career.

Miller Park (the park right next to our law office), the gathering spot for the marchers, pre-march speeches, and post-march music, etc.

Marching out onto 3rd Street

"Diego" marching with his Mexican flag.

Our most righteous event shirts created by Raul Rodriguez, Teresa's husband.

Christopher and Darrell preparing the flags for the march.

Employees of Smart, Connell & Childers, P.S

Chelsea, Teresa and Abby

Leaving the office with copies of the Constitution to pass out to the anti-march protesters (aka, Minutemen vigilantes).

SCC Staff members.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ciudad de Mexico Templo Rededication

As a Stake Presidency we participated in the Rededication of the Mexico City Temple. This was a pretty cool event. President Monson spoke and gave the dedicatory prayer. President Eyring also spoke. It was neat to see President Rudy Pinon interpret for the prophet. He struggled a couple of times to keep it together emotionally, particularly when President Monson started talking about his love for the Mexican people. I really love my friends in the Spanish Branch. They are such genuine, awesome people.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mt. Hood

I climbed Mt. Hood twice this year. Once with the Scouts from the Yakima 3rd Ward and once with my kids. I enjoyed the physical challenge of mountaineering. I am not into life threatening climbs. I just want to work to get to high places. I like hiking and backpacking and enjoying these activities almost as much as mountaineering. I like the problem solving that technical climbing presents. I also like rock climbing, technical caving and ice climbing. I am not a particularly talented climber, but I am not climber to prove anything. Rather, I like the difficulty that mountaineering presents.