The Tuesday Ten, Vacation Time

Logan Utah and Cache Valley Photographer

Ah. The joys of being on vacation are many. But… it’s ALWAYS hard to come back to reality and work. One thing I LOVE about Vacation is coming home to my house, my bed, my honey and regular life. I know it sounds weird but I really do love just being at home sometimes. However, I love to travel and vacation any chance I get. This past week was a trip and adventure in it’s own. You might have seen a few pictures on my Facebook Page from my vacation but here are the details and additional photos.

10 Things I did on Vacation 

1. Drive. Yes it was a LONG drive and then we did more driving while we got there and then we Drove home. LOTS OF MILES on the road that’s for sure. So where did we go exactly? We drove from Logan Utah to Andrews Texas. Then we drove to Midland twice while we were there and then to Carlsbad, New Mexico twice as well. Then a long drive home. I think we drove about 2991 miles total in a week. Let me show you where we were… We got to drive through a few fun towns – Like Roswell New Mexico.

This is the way to Texas
This is the way home

2. 5 States – I drove through 5 states this past week, two of which I’d never been to so that’s always fun to add to the list! Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

3. Pump Jacks – We saw LOTS of pump jacks. In west Texas there isn’t a whole lot to look at EXCEPT pump jacks. New Mexico and Texas had the most but Utah actually had a few on our route home. While Pump jacks aren’t really that neat looking or amazing it was only customary to get some cool photos of pump jacks and my sister had asked me to take a few pictures so she’d have some to remember Texas by.

(Photo Credit on this one is my mom, via her iPhone while I was driving )

When I got home I also was curious how a Pump Jack worked so I looked it up on Wikipedia

It is used to mechanically lift liquid out of the well if there is not enough bottom hole pressure for the liquid to flow all the way to the surface. The arrangement is commonly used for onshore wells producing little oil. Pumpjacks are common in oil-rich areas.
Depending on the size of the pump, it generally produces 5 to 40 litres of liquid at each stroke. Often this is an emulsion of crude oil and water. Pump size is also determined by the depth and weight of the oil to remove, with deeper extraction requiring more power to move the increased weight of the discharge column (discharge head).
A pumpjack converts the rotary mechanism of the motor to a vertical reciprocating motion to drive the pump shaft, and is exhibited in the characteristic nodding motion. The engineering term for this type of mechanism is a walking beam. It was often employed in stationary and marine steam engine designs in the 18th and 19th centuries.
4. The Break Down – On Wednesday we had planned on going to New Mexico to the Caverns National Park. We loaded in my sisters van, 7 of us: 3 adults and 4 kids. Carlsbad is about 2 hours away so we headed out early that afternoon. We got to Carlsbad and filled up on gas. The tire pressure light had come on so my brother in law checked the tires and filled the one that was getting low. The Caverns are another 25 minutes outside of Carlsbad so we got back on the road. About 10 minutes outside of Carlsbad we had a break down. The tire blew and Ray immediately pulled the van over as he had lost power. We got out to look at the damage and what we saw was troubling: The blown tire had ripped the wiring harness apart. It was awful. There we were with 4 kids on the side of the freeway practically in the middle of nowhere. We got a tow truck on it’s way but they were about 45 minutes out. I called a car rental to see if we could get another van or large truck to fit us all.. with no luck! Ugh. When the tow truck arrived it could only fit two people so Shayna and I took a ride and put the two small kids on our laps. Ray, Jaycie and Dylan were left on the side of the road in 97 deg weather. It was a rough day. We got a rental and then picked up those stranded. We headed to the auto repair to get the down low on the Van. We then headed to get food and went home. It was a long day and somewhat horrible with everything that happened. (We had a sick kid on the way to Carlsbad who threw up too. Poor guy). 

5. Caverns National Park – This was a BLAST and seriously so amazing. Since we broke down on Wednesday I needed to take the rental car back to Carlsbad. It was actually much cheaper to drive it back 2 hrs than to drop it off in Midland so we opted for that route. My mom, Jaycie and I took my two rental cards (one from Utah and the other from the break down) and headed to New Mexico. We left at about 8 am so we made good time. After dropping the car off we continued to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park and I’m oh so glad we did. This cavern was mesmerizing. It’s dark in there so pictures are hard and I didn’t take my tripod but it is seriously cool. If you are ever in the area it’s worth going. We only had flip flops on but we made the self guided tour just fine. Had I had tennis shoes and Andy with me we’d have done one of the guided tours to see more and crawl around in the caves. The walk took us about an hr and a half after the elevator ride down 750 feet. Really cool area! 

 6. Swimming – One thing we did on Thursday was go to the Splash Pad in Andrews for an hr or so. I’m not sure why we didn’t go more often because it was a blast. It’s only open from 1 to 5 so that made it hard for scheduling but it was a great pool/splash pad and the kids loved it. 

7. Catching up – It was nice to get caught up on editing while I was gone. I am nearly done with a wedding and got all the other family/newborn sessions done and CD’s burned. Wedding’s just take extra time. I’m so close Marlee! I promise. 
8. 4th of July – It was somewhat different and hard to be away from home on the 4th of July. I cherish the activities we are accustomed to and love being in Cache Valley for them. Texas style was quite different but neat. My Sister and I took the kids to the town square for their festivities. Everything there was free as far as activities go. That’s not something you see in Utah. It was fun. Lines were long. The two boys got to ride the bull – ha it was awesome. We also watched some turtle races which were actually really fun. It was hot out so we didn’t say super long. That night we went to do fireworks with my sisters ward. It was fun to look out and see so many fireworks going. Because the area is so flat you could see nearly every fireworks show in the air from where we were at. Something you don’t really get to see in Utah. I loved spending time with my family for the 4th but I also missed Andy and Kira. They had fun in Utah without me though. 

 9. Four Corners – On the drive home we had decided to take a small detour and drive to Four Corners National Monument. It was only about an hr total off our main path so it was worth it to stop. None of us had been to it. We got there, waited in line for 45 minutes in the hot sun. Took pictures and then were off. It was a pretty quick stop all together but it was neat. If you are in the area, I think it’s worth stopping. Plus it’s pretty cool to say you were in 4 states at one time! 

10. Family – The best thing about this vacation was the reason we went. Being with family. My sister has 5 kids now, one of which was a week old when we got there. I miss those little ones so much. It was nice to spend time with them for a week and snuggle the new baby. Loved every minute of it. I can’t wait for them to move back to Utah so I can see them more often. 

Additional details / Photos:

Don’t drink the tap water! We saw lots of water towers and went to a museum. 

About Stacey Hansen

I'm a 30 something year old wife, mom, step mom, dog mom and photog! I'm passionate about capturing your memories in the moment and creating a unique client experience for all to love.

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