Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ruins close to home

JJ checks out some ancient dwellings
We've lived in Kanab for 10 years now so it always comes as a surprise when we find new "secret" place to explore. A friend told me about these wonderful, ancient ruins a couple weeks ago and before taking the family, my friend Molly and I scouted them out. Today was a beautiful 60+ December afternoon and we thought it would be perfect to head out and explore w/ the kiddos.

The ruins are just a few miles North of Kanab, but they're hidden. And that's why they are still in such great condition. It makes me sad to see so many local treasures defaced by vandals.

Mackie doesn't mind being bottom of the totem pole

A fun little stop along the way

Perched on a cliff, these ruins are older than our country :)

Ho hum, just another ruin.

At least someone seems impressed :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Post T-giving adventure to Cobra Arch

A few snaps from our recent adventure to Cobra Arch. We took the kiddos this time, not sure how they would handle the distance and/or terrain. Harry impressed us with an 8 mile roundtrip, his longest ever, without any whining --- and it was pretty strenuous! We are so proud of him! I'm too tired to caption these -- but pretty much, Cobra Arch (and the hike there...) rules. Werd.






I DO actually have to caption this one. Our scrunt, Mack, is seriously THE BEST hiking buddy anyone could ask for. He is such an awesome trail pooch. Yay Mack!







Our awesome crew -- Lisa and Darren, Maude and Tucker. Harry, JJ, Steve, Mackie and me. :) xoxo

Let's just say we got a lot of use out of these jeans today :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Zion yadda, yadda

It's that time of the year when I become completely obsessed with getting the perfect photo for our christmas card (note: this is not it!!!) I actually feel bad for my family because I will do just about anything to get that ONE shot... it could be freezing out (which is was) or we might need to climb up some steep, slippery rocks (we did) but ultimately we WILL get that shot (I DID!! but I won't unveil that here).

The coolest part about living in southern Utah, within 20 miles of Zion, is that we always find something new here that we didn't even know existed! On this adventure we discovered totally new petroglyphs!! FREAKIN AMAZING!

Check this out...

Etched big horn sheep petroglyphs in Zion National Park

More sheep!
The petroglyphs we so cool... but just as we were hiking back out, we saw this guy:
This dude looks familiar!
Here are a few more pics from yesterday's outing. I'm sure one day my kids will be in therapy from their mother's psychotic photo taking obsession.
More petroglyphs

It's still fall in Zion :)

such pretty colors
"mom, I'm COLD. Are we done yet???"

Brotherly love. Awe.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Our 20 year old cat!

You've probably heard by now that we have a new family member.


Dexter is a 20 year old kitty who was rescued from a hoarding situation in southern Utah. Most of the time, the people who do the hoarding think that they are doing a really good thing. They think they are saving lives. They just "can't say no" because many times they think that bringing in a stray cat is better than reaching out for help. One turns into ten, and ten into.. (in Dexter's case) 100. Yes, 100 cats.





In reality, the hoarder is unable to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter and veterinary care – and the neglect often results in starvation, illness and death.

Well, that's all in Dexter's past now. He has a new lease on life here in the Williams' household. Of course he's going to be spoiled and doted on. The thing I find incredible is how sweet and affectionate he is! At 20! And towards kids! They already have a very special bond. We love Dexter!



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Handprints Cave

There's no shortage of awesome Indian ruins and artifacts in southern Utah. The handprints cave is a very special place. It is hidden from the world, and filled with wonderful cave art and old graineries. It's always fun to take friends to these places.

A fun crew :)

Bush-whacking

Discovering ancient cave art

This one's a lil' feisty :)

Mack isn't always a scrunt. He's actually our best hiking buddy!

Fun stuff :)

Weee!

Hiking back at sunset in Angel Canyon = pure blissful beauty
There are no directions to this sacred spot that you can find online. I like it this way. We've seen way too much vandalism of these very special places and so the better well-hidden, the more pristine they can remain. But if you want to see them, come visit us in Kanab and we'll take you here :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

an ULTRA amazing opportunity!

I'm almost too excited to type this post.

I've been asked to be an Ambassador for Ultra Adventures! Ultra Adventures organizes trail and endurance running events in and around the southern Utah and AZ area.

Running through antelope canyon in the inaugural Antelope Canyon 100 last February

Last year I was fortunate to run three of their races. First was Antelope Canyon 50 mile. This was my first ultra marathon and the beginning of a new obsession. Thanks to my good friend and running mentor, Cory Reese, I signed up (somewhat unwillingly -- very nervously...) and the rest is history. I've discovered a lot about myself through competing in endurance races. I've learned that 1.) I'm tougher than I ever thought I could be 2.) I am an athlete (this one actually took many, many years to come to convince myself of) 3.) I have what it takes to push through and win! (I took first place female at the Grand Canyon 50 mile ultra).

Amazing views at the Grand Canyon Ultra!
I'm pretty happy here :)

This is when I found out, right after crossing the finish line, that I had won!! It was such an awesome moment :)

So what does all of this mean, really? Well, it means that I'm going to be running a lot next year. And I could not be more excited to get started. Looking ahead at 2015, my tentative schedule looks something like this:

Antelope Canyon (50 mile) - February
Monument Valley (50 mile) - March
Zion 100 (shooting for the 100 mile -- but we'll see how I'm feeling) April
Grand Canyon Ultra (50 mile -- hoping to shatter the course record I set last year)
Capitol Reef 50 mile - July
Tushars 93k - July

And then... if I'm lucky enough to be selected, The Grand to Grand Ultra in September. More on that one later because I don't want to jinx it.

I can't even begin to describe how honored I am to be asked by Ultra Adventures to advocate on their behalf. They are truly a one of a kind business. I felt like part of their family from race #1. They are such genuinely good people. I'm truly grateful to participate in their events and to call them my friends.

Stay tuned :)
Peace,
Jill

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!





and of course no blog would be complete without a silly, adorable Mally :)

Flora, ready for her first marathon :)