Mike and I were suppose to meet the rest of the gang at Navtec to pick up our gear from the river trip. We were up really early, so we went by to get our stuff, and then across the street to get a coffee and scone. We determined it would be best to head up to Arches and do the primitive loop. The primitive loop is eight miles long, a very nice hike. There is one spot at the end of a fin, that Mike likes to sit and contemplate life. It is called Mike's Patio. We had lunch there! Turkey Jerky, trail mix and rice crispy treats. We finished the hike and then hit the La Sal loop. This is a fifty mile lop that takes you from Arches into the La Sal Mountains. The reason for this was to get a look at Mt. Peal. We headed back to town, had dinner at Jamil's Mexican Sot. Fish Taco's.... Then we did some shopping! Headed back to the hotel and rested for a while. Thursday morning, we had to be at Dessert Highlights by 8:00am. This was a guided tour into the Fiery Furnace. There were 10 of us and 2 guides. There is limited access to the furnace do to the ecological impact humans have, and extreme danger of the terrain. We learned several rock climbing skills, and rope skills, harnesses, carabieners, and figure eights. This hike has two rappels, one is 125 feet, and the other is 55 feet. It was awesome. I did not hesitate, I was first down both times. When we were done, Mike and I went to the hotel and cleaned up. We hit Zax that night for dinner. Chicken Pizza.... Mmmmmmmm! We did some more shopping. Friday morning we got up at 4:00am. I wanted to be climbing Mt Peal by 6:00am, due to the frequent lightning storms. We were headed to Dark Canyon for my assault on the mountain, when we encountered a Toyota FJ stuck in a snow bank. Turns out it was two ladies that teach at OU. They had been stuck for 14 hours. We pulled them out and they headed off. Mike hiked up a small valley with me and we agreed on a time to meet back at the road. I figured it would take me four hours to summit and one hour to come down. I was close! I actually came down on the North side of the mountain and laid under a big pine for thirty minutes. The climb was arduous. The whole mountain is limestone scree! Small to medium limestone rocks, that trigger rock slides as soon as you touch them. Footing was critical! One more side note. When I was coming down I got rim rocked. Rim rocking is when you are stuck, and can't go up or down. Well I was not only rim rocked, but my pack slid behind me and was pushing me toward the 1500 ft cliff. I will say this is the closest I have come to dying ever. I was barely holding on with my finger tips. I slid my pack off and tried to drop it on a ledge 30 feet down. It ended up 1500 feet down the mountain, my camera was in it, but my jacket inside cushioned it. Once I made the snow line I glissaed down the snow field to the tree line. Hiked through the trees and found the road. When Mike picked me up we headed back to town, cleaned up and hiked out to Murphy's point. Another one of Mike's favorite places. We also made a stop at Mesa Arch, my favorite place on earth. Saturday morning we got up packed our stuff in the truck, and headed out to the Needles district, we hung around there for several hours, then 100 miles South to Hovenweep. Hovenweep is a collection of Anasazi ruins along a canyon. Hovenweep is in between Mesa Verde, and the Colorado river. There are 100's of theories as to why it is there. I think aliens built it! (LOL) After Hovenweep, we turned the truck toward the Southeast and started home. We got to my house at 5:00am Sunday morning. Three hours of sleep and off to mow my mom's lawn, then back here to mow mine. I took the family out to dinner, then came home to relax. Monday morning came early, work, then the gym. I ran before practice and actually felt really strong, kept a great pace, and it was great. Once back in the gym, I started dragging butt! Headed out at 8:00 and came home for a shower and dinner. I am soooo ready for some rest! I again want to take an opportunity to thank Mike Champlin for the week! There are sooooo many thing I just could not write about. There will be jokes, and stories about this trip for years. Mike is my ambassador of kwan! I also want to thank Lisa, Aimee, Mark, and Mickey, for their acceptance and friendship!