Running, Wrecks, Arch Adventures, and Travel Surprises

Wahoooo! After moving back to the U.S. at Christmastime and feeling like my lungs were full of black pollution and then getting pneumonia in January (which took longer to recover from than I wanted it to – a week should be sufficient, right?), plus the other fun adventures in un-health that I attribute to a combination of China’s pollution and age, but mostly the pollution, I am happy to say I’m seeing progress in the running/lung capacity department. I can now run 1 1/2 miles with the same amount of lung effort that I ran 1 mile just 2 weeks ago! Happy Dance! I still head out the door thinking, “This is so hard, maybe I’ll just walk today.” But by the time I’ve gotten the blood moving, I start to think, “Well maybe I can run a little ways.” Then before I realize it I’ve run nearly a mile and I’m thinking, “This isn’t so bad. I can go a little farther.” And then I realize I’m almost to the mile-and-a-half mark and figure I may as well keep running till I get there. When I switch to walking though – oh my legs feel like noodles. It’s pretty exciting to think that in another couple weeks I’ll be running 2 miles! At that point I will be running more distance than I walk, which is a very awesome thing for me to consider. It’s been a long time since almost-never that I could do that.

Mr. T got a surprise last week. While Miss Electric, Arctic Boy, and I were driving back from Arches National Park, he was driving home from somewhere and while he was in the left-hand turn lane a lady driving a mini-van drove into his driver’s side and passenger door. Our insurance repair appraiser came yesterday and declared our/his car a total loss. According to Mr. T though, her car was definitely in much worse shape than his. Unfortunately, she was driving uninsured and lied to the police officer, giving him false insurance information. She also received a citation. I’m just glad that no one was hurt. She had two kids in her car with her and Mr. T’s car was a rather heavily built car (bad gas mileage) so the frame really protected him from the side impact. Aside from the shock of the accident messing up his day, and that we now have to look for another car, he has suffered no harm at all. Thank Heaven.

Here are some photos from this trip to Arches:

Standing inside one arch with Delicate Arch in the background.
Delicate Arch. I cant believe we got a photo of it with no people in it.
If you are a fan of The Roadrunner cartoon, youll recognize Balanced Rock.
Marching Soldiers on our hike to the Tower Arch.
You can see the Tower behind the arch. The Tower is the tallest feature in this part of Arches.
Me climbing up some slickrock below the Tower Arch.
Looking out from the Tower Arch.
View across the desert to the LaSal Mountains.

Miss Electric is back at college now. She survived last semester with respectable grades, even though she got a mean virus and also had to miss some classes because her “Basic Skills” class had a three-day backpacking trip she had to go on. Ahh, the hard life of an outdoor recreation management major. I think that this semester, she has a kayaking class. How come the high school counselors never tell you about these majors? (At least, they never told me.) Yes, she has some tough classes too, but really, can you get a better fit than that for an energetic, tree-climbing, horse-loving, high adventure-seeking, girl? And all of this at a university just 20 minutes from Yellowstone National Park. Too bad she has no car or spare time. 🙂 Ah well, there’s always kayaking.

Mei Guo has been having fun adventures in China as well. She and some friends went to Guilin, Yangshuo Village, and went on (very) long bicycle rides and went hiking and rock-climbing, and took a Chinese cooking class, and generally had a lot of fun. Then, she went back to school and her Dad came back to China (I think that really all his traveling back and forth to China is a plan between them for him to act as her clothing and candy-courier) and she got to spend some weekend time with him. I think he’ll be going back in May also, so that he can take her on a cross-China road trip before she comes home for good in June. Maybe after that Mr. Hot Stuff will be able to stay home for a while, though I’m not holding my breath for it.

I almost forgot – Mr. Hot Stuff comes home today! Good thing. He booked a surprise trip for our 25th wedding anniversary and we leave on Thursday. We had to do our family Easter celebrations early. It mostly worked out though, because Miss Electric was home and Mr. Hot Stuff got to play Easter Bunny for Mei Guo. Man, life is crazy.

winner-winner, chicken dinner 🙂

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