Flew on a regular plane from NYC to Denver, then on a rickety prop plane to Farmington, New Mexico. It was a bumpy ride over the mountains, made worse by the fact that the guy sitting next to me eked out a horrid fart, causing the other nine passengers to open our air vents and pretend we didn't notice.
Dinner Thursday night at Francisco's, my favorite restaurant--there were thirty of us in all.
Rafting down the Animas River with my sister April and her family. Not exactly whitewater, but still fun. Cheeseburger and milkshake afterwards at Sonic.
Rehearsal dinner at a restaurant next to the Durango train depot. This is my niece Addie and nephew Ryan.
Went to Cascade Canyon with my niece Mary (I have a lot of nieces), her boyfriend Freddie, and a couple of her dancer friends, Neile and Jessica, to wade through icy mountain creek water and jump off some waterfalls. Here we are in the giddy moments before we nearly lost our lives.
The water was ice cold and the current was strong. We had trouble staying on the rocks. At one point we had to slide down a rock into a pool below, and Mary and I both went about ten feet under and had to struggle a bit to get back to the surface. I hit my head on a rock on the way up, lost my hat, and got a mouthful of water.
Then Mary looked downstream and said, "No way. It's too turbulent." The walls of the canyon were steep, and there was no way to go back upstream.
So Mary climbed up a cliff with a 20-foot drop to the rocks below. If you fell it was a broken bone at minimum, but the rest of us decided that was a slightly better option than dying of hypothermia. As the others climbed up I thought, "Well, if I die here, at least the last thing I see will be dancers' butts." Then Freddie went ahead of me, so I willed myself to live.
Here is a picture of someone else, as no photos were recovered from our waterlogged camera.
Saturday afternoon was the wedding, which we were happy to be alive to attend.
My dad officiated the ceremony, even though he is obviously not ordained. If you're allowed to grow your own pot in Colorado, I guess you can also officiate a wedding ceremony.
Here I am with my brother Brad, the father of the bride. Note my new hat, which I bought an hour earlier.
My favorite part was playing with the flower girls...Addie and Adelyn, both missing the same tooth, shy Taylor, Skyler the dancer, Stella, who wouldn't let go of my hand and demanded to be swung in circles until my nose bled, and 4-year-old Lily, who had pretty blue eyes, a pink polka-dot dress, and was just learning to jump rope.
The world would seriously be a better place with more dogs and flower girls.
Mary and Freddie picked me up at 9:15 and we climbed Hogsback, the mountain overlooking Durango.
Mom and Dad drove me back to the Farmington airport (with a stop at the Wendy's drive-thru for a Frosty), then back onto the prop plane for another bumpy ride to Denver.
Here's my little town of Durango from the air:
I took that photo about five minutes before the guy in front of me threw up. Suffice it to say the plane rides were not the best parts of the trip.