2013: Truth in Numbers

We’re a little late to this 2013 paddle log thread but here are the digits for we three Sig’s. I think I counted everything correctly as the year went on.

2013 Family Activity Log

2013 saw each of us paddling for over 32 days this year on 15-18 different streams streams for 113-170 miles. We continued to try out lots of boats this year which means some of us paddled 10 different boats. Some were open boats and I’ve since made the switch to paddling canoes. This, of course, upped all of our swim counts compared to the year before though Mandy still has the fewest (duh!).

Last year also saw us camping out 23-38 nights last year and hiking 40-108 miles. Hiking has taken a backseat to paddling but Mandy got her numbers up by spending three weeks rambling around the western US.

Even our dog Hayduke managed to hike 31 miles and camp out 11 nights which is more than many folks. He really is a luck dog.

All in all, it was another great year and a lot of that credit goes to the community of paddlers that makeup the Arkansas Canoe Club … those folks have taken us in to safely show us the ropes. SYOTR!

I Do Love to Plan a Trip

Mandy has the doctors’ blessings to keep playing; she’s learning how to protect her back and mitigate her pain. And so we’re launching ourselves, without the usual time to plan, into our summer adventures. Our friend Britt had planned to go with her on a two-week train-and-bike trip to northern New York, but they decided they weren’t up to the back-to-back 70-mile days that it would require. They’ve put their heads together and decided to go on a two-week rambling road trip to the Badlands, Corn Palace, Mount Rushmore, Glacier, and Arches. She’s gone to Tulsa for her three-week visit, leaving the rest of us to plan their trip. Britt’s planning the route and the side trips and the car campgrounds and the dayhikes they’ll do. Earlier this week, Britt tucked three pages of notes under my windshield wiper in the office parking lot.

2013 07 12 Britts Trip Notes for Blog Continue reading “I Do Love to Plan a Trip”

Pink Granite

It’s nearly the end of the semester. It’s that part of the spring that finds me sitting in one class, worrying about what I’m not getting done in another. I’ve been looking forward to spending a whole weekend at home, doing labs for structural geology. So of course, on Thursday night, when Bryan suggests that we pack up and leave on Friday for the Wichita Mountains in western Oklahoma, I think that sounds fine.


I do love the Wichitas, and he knows it. It’s been several years since we’ve been there and he also knows that I’m a sucker for a good road trip. By the time I walk out of my Thursday-night class, our plans are made: we’ll stay up late packing, pick up Kathy after work on Friday, and meet Mitch and his kids along the way. Continue reading “Pink Granite”


One year ago today, we took our puppy swimming for the very first time. At the time we really didn’t know if he’d like the water. He did – so much that we thought it would be appropriate to celebrate his first Waterversary.

So we went back to the same spot – a nice swimming hole on the Little Missouri river, a couple of miles’ hike in from the car. We invited Kathy and Jarion and Ivy, who were with us last year. We also asked Adam and Bonnie to come along, because we like Adam and Bonnie. (Note: Redheads do not always remember to wear sunscreen, even as adults. REMIND THEM.)

What a pretty day. We swam and played in the water. Mandy tried out Kathy’s new GoPro. Kathy took a hammock nap and I stayed near her while the others ranged upstream to play in the water with the dogs. Hayduke, ever the mama’s boy, ran back and forth between his playmates and me, while I sat on a warm rock reading a book.

Hike Little Rock

On the day I picked Mandy up from ecology camp, I got to meet Inge, her favorite other camper. Mandy said that Inge is from Little Rock, so I said hello to Inge’s mom and got her email address. We made some arrangements earlier this week, and picked up Inge for a hike along the River Trail near Burns Park. We walked up the Emerald Park trail to the knife-edge bluff overlooking the river, then across the back of the old quarry, past the backyard of the VA hospital, and down to the River Trail again.

20100710 - Hike LR (small) 20100710 - Hike LR (small)-2

After our hike, we drove downtown for a little unicycle practice near the Clinton Library. Mandy was pleased to show off a little for her friend, and her friend was suitably impressed.

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We all enjoyed Inge’s company. She’s smart and silly and unselfconscious in a way that most twelve-year-old girls aren’t. We called her mom to ask permission to keep her for awhile longer, and Bryan and I took the girls to the Purple Cow, a local hamburger place, for supper and milkshakes. After dark, we drove the girls out to Pinnacle Mountain for a ‘star party’. The local astronomy club sets up in the parking lot there, sometimes, to let people who don’t have telescopes come out and enjoy looking at things. We saw Saturn and Venus, and the Dumbbell and Ring nebulas, and we still had Inge home right on time.