Friday, July 29, 2011

Climbling Mt. Everest....

or maybe just Vulcan Pacaya. This was the final week for our Hall of Fame Intern of the century - Lexie Ware. Lexie has been with us for the past month - serving, loving, learning, and giving of herself. Words cannot describe the blessing she has been to our family over the last few weeks. We miss her terribly already. We decided to do some fun touristy things during her last couple of days.

Lexie & kids in Antigua.

Saturday, we took a boat over to San Juan and did some shopping. She was looking for a painting of the lake to take home. I was supposed to be helping her shop, but somehow I came home with three new paintings and she came home with nothing. Not sure how that happened...but here is the result.

Limes, Oranges & Watermelon - The paintings almost look like photographs.
Sorry - the pic is not great. Had to take it at a weird angle.

On Monday, we hit the zipline in Pana. We had the most amazing weather and the view was incredible. I have done the zipline once and was not too interested in going again, but Lexie wanted it to be a family event, so we all had to go. It was such a beautiful day - I'm glad I didn't miss it.

Then we drove to Antigua - stayed at our favorite hotel - Posada don Erickson. (Thanks Todd & Mo for a great time!) On Wednesday, we hiked an active volcano. Anna Kate and I chose to ride horses up the volcano, while Parker, Lee & Lexie walked up with a group.

Smoking crater!

You start below the tree line, where the path is shaded by tall trees and lush greenery. As we got higher, the trees were farther apart. You could see where the trees had burned in last year's eruption and new growth was beginning. Trees and shrubs that looked dead, with charred and burned trunks were springing fresh new life and growth. As we got near the top, it became a barren wasteland. It made us think of the moon - rocks, dust, darkness.

Where the tree line meets the lava line.

Lunar landing - walking through the lava fields.

Such troopers! Great view of the crater!

We came to a place where a great crevasse releases so much heat from the earth, you can roast marshmallows and hotdogs. We toasted marshmallows and ate smores. What a treat after a long ride/hike up the mountain. We also walked into a lava tube, which releases a ton of heat. It was like being inside a sauna. We were still a pretty good distance from the crater, but we were surrounded by heat being released through vents in the earth's crust.

Eating smores, roasted over the molten earth!

At the entrance of the sauna. Toasty!!

We were all tired and sore by the end of the trip, but loved every minute of it. We miss Lexie already. The house is not the same without her. Come back soon, Lexie Lou!

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