Sweet Friends

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These sweet friends are making plans to move.

They are good plans, and a good fit for our friends. We will miss them terribly, but I’ll always treasure this sweet season of life.

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We met before we had kids. We took some crazy fun/awkward/adventurous vacations together. (I’m looking at you, L.A., Branson and Costa Rica.)

Then our boys were born three months apart and became best friends.

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The crew is bigger now, but we embrace the loud evenings over pizza in the dining room with a rush to pack one set of kids out the door for bedtime.

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We will miss you, sweet friends! But may you walk the path set before you.

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Spring in Woodward Park

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When it’s a beautiful day out, everyone wants to be out in it.

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I’ll never forget the day when we visited this park and my daughter was a toddler. Some promotional team was out handing out Monster drinks. I had no idea what they were. Strangely enough, that highly caffeinated toddler couldn’t sleep all night, and it was only later that I realized why.

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Oklahoma’s Salt Plains (That I Bet You Didn’t Know Existed!)

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Western Oklahoma.

There’s not a whole lot there.

It’s flat. It’s windy. It’s mostly farm country. Sometimes there’s no radio signal.

But right near Jet, Oklahoma is an unusual natural phenomena: the Salt Plains.

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It’s allegedly an old lake bed that dried up, and the residual salt was important to area wildlife. It became a bird refuge.

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The crystal digging area is closed October to April to protect the migratory heron that breed there. But in the spring and summer, the area opens up for selenite crystal digging, a crystal that forms with a brown hour-glass shape in the middle, due to the high gypsum content of the area.

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It felt a little like a trip to the moon.

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But we dug up crystals of all sizes and shapes. Actually, I didn’t do much digging. I mostly wandered around the other-worldly space, took pictures and gathered driftwood.

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We finished digging, packed up and enjoyed a picnic lunch at the campground on the other side of the Salt Plains/Great Salt Plains Lake.

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Where we were totally creeped out to watch about 20 snakes swimming by in the 10 minutes we stood there. In a tremoring voice, my daughter said, “I don’t think I want to go swimming anymore.”

Though there was a swimming beach around the curve, but I don’t recommend it. *wink*

#mostphotographed

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I read an article recently about how Instagram users tend to take the same photographs, from the same angles, of the same places.

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Well here’s my contribution to the most photographed church in Taos, which according to Wikipedia, “has inspired some of the greatest number of depictions of any building in the United States.”

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The San Francisco de Asis church since the last 1700 to the early 1800s. Every year, residents and church members gather to “re-mud” the church, mixing straw and adobe to slather on the walls. THAT sounds like a fun event.

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The kids wanted to hold Baby Jesus’ hands, naturally.

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The church was locked the day we were there. I don’t know if there are times that are better to visit, but it was pretty quiet while we were there. I expected more historic architecture and other things in the area around the church, but it was pretty much just a run-down neighborhood.

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But it was worth a stop to add my never-before-seen-in-all-the-world photos to the mix.

Mountain Sheep and Geocaches

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I’m pretty certain our daughter is triggered whenever she hears the word “hike.”

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It started last summer at my high school reunion in Colorado when we brought her on a six mile hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. We made it to the top, but just barely.

I’m pretty sure there were multiple declarations of “I’m never going hiking again!”

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So naturally, that’s what we spent most of our time in New Mexico doing (even on the way there…). We started out easy, with the Rio Grande Gorge bridge, then had fun in the snow.

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Finally, we were ready to tackle the Rio Grande Gorge south.

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The day was warmer, so I think that helped.

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We found some mountain sheep, too, that were closer and we could watch them pick their way along the ridges.

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(They’re hard to see: look at the lower right area of the photo; they’re whiter than the rocks and walking in a line.)

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We found a cool overlook spot and spent some time hanging out and playing.

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After I got them to pose for 101 group photos on timer, we spotted something on a nearby rock.

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It was a geocache.

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They had a blast digging through every “treasure” and finding our own to leave behind. So much so, that I think she even forgave me for making her go hiking …AGAIN.

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I’d follow those two cuties anywhere.

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