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Summer adventures

These last few nights, there’s enough crisp in the air that we can sit out on the porch, watching the sun set behind the crape myrtle. Teachers returned to school last week to prepare for the school year. Our school population has grown enough to merit a huge addition, and over half of the staff moved to new digs, including me. My new office is small and bright, and desperately in need of some wall décor and plant life. Summer is nearly over, and oh, what a summer it was!

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My new office, looking spartan.

 The day after students finished, when most teachers were still finishing up with packing and submitting grades, I was on a plane to Orlando to attend the Korean War Veterans Digital History Teachers’ Conference. So soon after the tragic events in Orlando, I couldn’t help but connect current events to the historical ones we learned about at the conference. Thoughts of lives cut short, of divisions and community, of tremendous bravery and selflessness…the highlight of the conference was the opportunity to speak to several Korean War veterans, now in their 80s, and hear their stories.

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Memorial to the Pulse Victims, Orlando

 

Later in the summer, I spent ten days on a grand sweep of the Southwestern United States with my husband and stepsons.

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Zion National Park

 

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The Narrows at Zion

 

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Bryce Canyon National Park

 

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Bryce Canyon

 

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Mesa Verde National Park

 

 

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Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque

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ABQ Biopark, Albuquerque

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The Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 The best part of the journey was seeing through the eyes of my stepsons many of the same places that had captivated me as a young child. My parents had the wisdom and endurance to crisscross the country multiple times with three young children in a station wagon, toting a pop up camper. As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary, I remember the diverse and beautiful places I had the opportunity to see as a child and an adult.

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First time visiting the Grand Canyon

 

 And now I start a new school year with a continued commitment to bring the world to our students, with same can-do spirit that my parents embraced over 30 years ago. Here’s to a year full of adventure, discovery, and joy!

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Forging Our Own Trail

Tucked into the Wasatch Mountains, Park City drew us from Salt Lake City for the weekend with promises of gorgeous views and vibrant town life. We arrived during the saddle season between winter and summer, when many businesses were closed. Undaunted, we forged our own way.

Saturday morning, we started early and walked straight up from quiet Main Street and into the mountains.

Park City, Utah

Utah

Climbing and climbing

Morning hike with Mike

The trail disappeared and reappeared beneath our feet, becoming mostly snowfields as we climbed higher. We walked past an abandoned silver mine and many closed ski lifts.

Abandoned Silver King mine

Abandoned silver mine

Abandoned silver mine

Park City

Above Park City

Mike hiking near Park City

Finally, up to our shins in snow and completely off-trail, we turned around, and skitter-slid back down the mountain, along steep snowbanks and then through slushy mud.

Mike's death march: mile 3

Park City, Utah

Park City altitude

Lunch at Wasatch Brewpub  and a soak in a hot tub rejuvenated us and our chilly extremities. Though late April is not the most happening time to visit Park City, we found a lively crowd and delicious pizza at Vinto later that evening. In such a short visit and in the offseason, we missed out on many of Park City’s offerings, but we plan to return now that Mike has steady clients in the Salt Lake City area.