Friday, October 19, 2018

OBU in London #2 - July 19 (British Museum)

Harrod's Emporium
At Kensington Palace ticket office
At Buckingham Palace

This summer, I had the privilege of spending a month in England with a group of 15 students from Oklahoma Baptist University.  Dr. Lindsey Panxhi (an English faculty colleague) and myself, along with our respective spouses, conducted a faculty-led Study Abroad that spent four weeks on the ground in London teaching OBU courses to OBU students while being immersed in the culture and history of Great Britain.  These are our stories!



Thursday, July 19 – Orientation Tour & Harrod’s

We hit the ground running to combat jet lag.  Class in the morning – Lindsey’s English Lit class (British Authors On Location) from 8-10, then my Biblical Ethics class from 10:15-12:15.  Vanessa and Arsid (Panxhi) spent the morning grocery shopping.  Lunch from 12-1, then we went on an “orientation tour” of London.  We took the tube to Kensington Palace, where we bought the Historic Royal Palace memberships for the whole team.  These will get us tours of Kensington, Hampton Court, the Tower of London, Kew Palace, and Banqueting House – definitely a worthwhile investment.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

OBU in London - July 17-18 (Travel to London)


This summer, I had the privilege of spending a month in England with a group of 15 students from Oklahoma Baptist University.  Dr. Lindsey Panxhi (an English faculty colleague) and myself, along with our respective spouses, conducted a faculty-led Study Abroad that spent four weeks on the ground in London teaching OBU courses to OBU students while being immersed in the culture and history of Great Britain.  These are our stories!


Reykjavik Airport and horizon

Days 1-2; Tuesday & Wednesday, July 17 & 18 – travel to London

2AM - finally packed!
My flights home from Phoenix (I was in the Grand Canyon from July 8-16, then turned around immediately to fly to England the following day) were late – I didn’t land in Oklahoma City until 10:45.  I was at the front of the plane, and beelined straight out.  Got the car, and made it home by 11:30.  It was sure nice to see and hug everybody!  I threw my rancid Grand Canyon clothes into the wash, and started getting other things packed for London.  Got to read and pray with both girls for the only time in 6 weeks – so I treasured that.  By the time my laundry was done and bags were packed, it was 2:30.  Then we were up at 7:15 to get ready to go!

Friday, October 12, 2018

July 8-16 Grand Canyon Tour - Whole Experience Blog

View from Helicopter (ride out, day 9)
In July, I had the unique opportunity to spend 9 days in Arizona, 7 of which were floating down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  I am grateful to Canyon Ministries for the invitation, and to the trip leaders (including Arizona River Runners!) for the absolutely outstanding experience.  Over the past three weeks I have shared bite-sized chunks of the experience.  Today I want to put the whole experience journal into one big blog entry, with some of the best pictures from the experience.  Enjoy the one-stop shop for an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience of the Grand Canyon from river level.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

July 8-16 Grand Canyon Tour - Post #14 (Monday, July 16, trip ending)


In July, I had the unique opportunity to spend 9 days in Arizona, 7 of which were floating down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  I’m in the middle of blogging through the amazing week from my hand-written personal journal.  Bite-sized chunks ... I hope you enjoy them. 


Monday, July 16, 2018, 6:15AM (at Whitmore’s Wash) 


So it was relatively late in the afternoon that we arrived at our campsite – almost 4:30.  Usually we camped between 3-3:30.  As soon as we landed, a light rain started.  I managed to get my tent set up before the rain got heavy – and then the skies really opened
up.  So we all sat and chatted in the rain.  I had been soaked all day, and then soaked through the rain – I was a bit of a drowned rat!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

July 8-16 Grand Canyon Tour - Post #13 (Sunday, July 15, lunch to bed)


In July, I had the unique opportunity to spend 9 days in Arizona, 7 of which were floating down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  I’m in the middle of blogging through the amazing week from my hand-written personal journal.  Bite-sized chunks ... I hope you enjoy them. 

July 15, 8:15PM – camp @ Whitmore’s Wash, mile 188.5

The end of a long river day!  It was, of course, glorious.  I sat up front the whole day, all 52 miles.  It was a very wet afternoon – I was thoroughly soaked the whole time!  The most spectacular sight today was the lava flow from Vulcan’s Throne – a fairly recent volcanic eruption in the Canyon.  The lava flow came over the rim and poured over all the layers of rock, coating them.  Apparently, when the lava reached river level, it flowed both upstream and downstream, and piled up to form massive dams that blocked the River.  The water pressure built as the lava cooled and condensed.  As water filled the resultant cracks, some dams eventually burst, sometimes
changing the course of the River into a newly-cut channel.  Fascinating! 

Seeing all the lava filling the hillside again is just a good reminder of the forces involved in God’s Creation.  God’s power is incomprehensible!  The two coolest parts of the “lava gorge” portions of the river … (1) Vulcan’s Anvil – a 20-tonne (15x15x40 or so) deposit from the volcano that rests in the middle of the Colorado River – it’s quite a monument to the massive eruption.  (2) Lava Falls, a 10-rated rapid at mile 180.  At the front of the raft, it was quite a “moving” experience – I was thrown around a bit, but loved
the ride!  We had an absolute blast!

We are camped at the helipad at Whitmore’s Wash (right after Whitmore Rapid), where we will take an 8-minute helicopter ride in the morning to take us up to Bar-10 Ranch.  Our campsite is “Whitmore’s Wash” – the helipad itself is about 8ftx10ft – hard to believe the copter will land there.  It is surrounded by rocks and bushes, so not much room for error.  It’ll be interesting!

The suppers on the trip have been very good – some were close to gourmet fare.  Tuesday: salmon steaks & rice pilaf.  Wednesday: lasagna and garlic bread.  Thursday: stir fry steak & veggies.  Friday: pork chops & rice.  Saturday: chicken fajitas.  Tonight: steaks & mashed potatoes – the steaks made to order and cooked to perfection.  Really impressive job by the boat crew from Arizona River Runners.


with Cliff McManis

I’m exhausted.  It’s after 9pm now, and I’ll certainly be up by 5.  Time for bed … I pray, Lord, that you keep us safe on all the travels tomorrow.  Keep Mataeo and the Bandy’s safe while camping in Colorado.  Be with Vanessa and the girls, flooding them with Your love.


  













Vulcan's Anvil - impressive weight!






Vulcan's Anvil coming into view

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

July 8-16 Grand Canyon Tour - Post #12 (Sunday, July 15, to supper)


In July, I had the unique opportunity to spend 9 days in Arizona, 7 of which were floating down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  I’m in the middle of blogging through the amazing week from my hand-written personal journal.  Bite-sized chunks ... I hope you enjoy them. 

Blue Heron (mid-right)
Last day on the River … last full day before I get home.  Praying that my family has a precious time in worship and Sunday school this morning. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

July 8-16 Grand Canyon Tour - Post #11 (Saturday, July 14, evening)


In July, I had the unique opportunity to spend 9 days in Arizona, 7 of which were floating down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  I’m in the middle of blogging through the amazing week from my hand-written personal journal.  Bite-sized chunks ... I hope you enjoy them. 





Saturday, July 14, 8:00 P.M. - camp @ Football Field, mile 137.5

I felt today that I was running out of adjectives to describe what we are seeing and experiencing!  Around every bend of the river is another beautiful vista.  Up every side Canyon is another mind-blowing sculpture.  Words (or pictures) really don’t do it justice. 

As the rain stopped, we pulled in at Deer Creek (mile 136.5), one of the favorite hiking points in the Grand Canyon.  It was a bit difficult getting from the boat to the trailhead, where I changed into my running shoes.  Deer Creek runs from about 1500 ft up the Canyon, beginning as a freshwater spring that flows out of the layer of limestone.  We hiked all the way up!  It was a bit dicey, with lots of (to me) difficult climbing sections and narrow ledges to traverse.  Apparently, this was the first time that all 24 members (and 4 leaders) on a Christian Leaders’ Trip have gone on the Deer Creek hike!