Thursday, July 21, 2011


So theBRIGADE has begun to branch out with our backpacking and now we're gonna talk about what equipment we like to use.  Take a minute and check out theBREAKDOWN, our new product review blog.  Be sure to tell us what you think, and let us know if you have any questions about a product, even if we don't own it, we'll check it out and write up a review!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Manti Pageant Trip

With the reorganization of the young single adult program in the church, I've now received the calling of activities committee co-chair.  Luckily a few activities were already scheduled, so I just had to get the fine details worked out.  The first activity was a trip to Manti to see the Mormon Miracle Pageant.  The trip was a huge success and we had a giant number of singles show up, without anyone getting lost.  I didn't take any pictures of the actual production because I was transfixed on the story, but I did get some pretty cool shots of the temple!

If you haven't ever seen the pageant I highly recommend it.  Once is enough, but it's definitely good to see.  Make sure to check it out next year!

Marriage Mayhem

On the ninth of June, Tim got married.  For this joyous occasion I was asked to be a groomsman, which I gladly accepted, knowing that Jake and Dylan would be joining me in the festivities.  The day came and we gathered at the Salt Lake temple to see Tim and Tay emerge as husband and wife, destined to drive each other insane.  A picture was taken, then a few more, and eventually we made our way to a luncheon in their honor.  The reception wouldn't be taking place till the next day, so that was the end of our fun for the afternoon, but we had a few plans to take care of before Friday...

So then came friday, the weekend, a time for devious wedding pranks, good food, and more pictures.  Jake and I went to the mall during lunch to find some new ties for the groomsmen.  Specifically fish ties, more specifically a nice king salmon.  Unfortunately we weren't able to find any, so instead we chose some wonderfully horrific slim neon green ties with black stripes, perfect!  Phase one ready to execute!

Next came helping to set up the reception.  I didn't get there till most of the stuff was ready to go, but I helped a little, then Tim and the rest of the group went off the change into their formal wear, and us groomsmen got our chance to begin phase two.  We quickly ran off to the store to stock up on Oreos, toilet paper, Saran Wrap, jelly donuts, and window paint.  Let the games begin!

The reception started and we walked in sporting our new ties.  Tim gave us a rather odd look, but he didn't make us take them off (good thing, as we'd burned our others!)  We celebrated our success by taking more pictures with the photographer, that's just how sneaky we are!  Next came the trashing of the truck!
Jake, Dylan, Brandon, Ben and myself, thinking outside the box
Like any good group of groomsmen, we were up to the task at hand, and more than excited to perform.  we gathered around and began to unleash mayhem!  Soon the truck had turned into a marriage-mobile!  We stood back and admired our handiwork, then returned to the party, in a single file, totally non-conspicuous line.  No one suspected a thing, except of course, Tim's mom,  NOTHING gets past her...

Tim and Tay stayed for a few more hours and then went out to be greeted by our surprise.  At this time we also had a little pyrotechnic display to send it over the top.  Mission accomplished!

Bachelor Party, Brigade Style!

This post is really late in making the blog, but summer is just too much fun to spend my time writing posts. Please don't spend too much time reading it, instead get outside and enjoy you some good ol' fashioned vitamin D!  But if you would like to skim through, I'll write a few lines and post some epic pictures!

On May 19th,  theBrigade set out once again for the Cedar Mesa area of Utah, to search for more Anasazi ruins.  This time our plan was to attack the Bullet and Sheiks canyons, and this time we would have Tim along to celebrate his coming marriage vows.  Our group consisted of Tim, Jake, Jeff, our good friend Cody Hardy, and myself.

The drive down was ordinary, meaning that right from the start it was insane!  The most memorable moment was when a teenage carhop girl called us out for not tipping her,  when WE walked up to the order window!  We did end up tipping her, only to find she makes a terrible shake, joke was on us I guess.  The other highlight was Cody finding a well placed ten pound boat anchor in this pack.  Good thing he found it before hiking in!  We camped at the Mule canyon trailhead so we could show off the House on Fire ruin first thing in the morning.  Life was good!

The next morning we woke up to a low fog that soon turned to complete sunshine.  We took a quick trip back to the Ruin, where Tim proved to be of good luck, when he spotted pictographs we hadn't previously seen.  Tim and Jake ran up the trail to the fortress, while the rest of us went back to camp to pack up.  The boys took another plunge in the small pool, and then they came back, just in time for us to go get our permit at the ranger station and begin a new adventure.

Our first discovery was a panel of pictographs resembling tall, scary men.  We contemplated it's meaning for a few minutes and then moved on.  From the panel we quickly found a small hut that was impossible to get to without a ladder, which makes me wonder how the terrain used to be to allow for access.  Even though we couldn't get close, it was still awesome.  We named it the honeymoon suite in honor of Tim and Tay, ah yeeah!  As we descended the wall of the canyon back down to our packs, we found another, super small ruin with pictographs all around it.  Due to its size, we now refer to it as the dog house,  but with its proximity to the honeymoon suite, it may have other meaning...

Tim and Jeff looking at the tall, scary guys
Honeymoon Suite

The Doghouse

The next few hours didn't produce any findings, till we came across the amazingly amazing kiva, fittingly named, Perfect Kiva.  While this kiva has been restored to ensure structural integrity, it was still amazing to see.  Plus the pictographs were still completely original and they were everywhere.  To enter the kiva a ladder had been installed, and the others quickly climbed down while I took pictures of the artwork.  After everyone else had come up I took my turn in the pit.  Entering alone was an odd feeling, and I didn't really know what to think.  There was very little light coming in, the air was stale and stuffy, and the thick walls absorbed all outside noises, leaving me in complete isolation.  I got some pics and got out quick.  The next ruin was the Jailhouse ruin.  It was another good one and provided me with a few hours of exploration.  We camped there for the night and called it good.

Just outside Perfect Kiva

Grinding stones for crops and medicines

Inside Perfect Kiva

Jail House

Tim's incredibly large, heavy dinner

Cody on the edge

Cody in a jam

Our plan the next day was to day hike further in, but Cody and I decided to relax while the others went off in search of more stuff.  They did come across some cool artifacts, but I was content with my decision to chill for the day.  That night we began the hike out and Tim spotted one more ruin way up the canyon wall.  Tim, Cody and I went up and checked it out, only to find we could access this one either, but it was still cool to get close.  Sleep came quickly knowing that the trip had been a success.  In the morning we had a quick hike out and headed home.  The third trip of my year was officially behind me,  AWESOME!!!
The last ruin