Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bingham Copper Mine

This post is a little out of order but it's the next one ready to post. I'm still prepping a couple other posts from last week that likely won't get done until we get home from Utah next week. Yesterday we went to the Bingham Copper Mine on the southwest side of the Salt Lake Valley. You've probably noticed the mountain from a distance because it looks bare and there is no peak. That's because it's a giant open pit copper mine. They like to say it is one of two man made objects visible from space.

You can pay $5 to drive up the the mine a little bit to the visitor center, take a look inside the mine and learn about the copper mining process. It's actually pretty cool to learn about and to see the giant equipment they use. The day we went it was windy! My mom was afraid Julia was going to blow away, and I took off her hat because it probably would have blown away right down in to the mine.This is the wheel from one of the dump trucks. They are massive and can carry up to 320 tons per load. The ore deposit is a low-grade deposit, so to be profitable they have to mine at large scale. And they do, the mine produces 20% of our country's copper and has produced 19 million tons of copper in it's history, more than any other copper mine. The mine. It's 2 3/4 mile across at the top and 3/4 mile deep. You can see one of the big dump trucks on the lower right side of the picture. It looks small here, but trust me, it's big.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Los Angeles

We spent a couple days last week in Los Angeles. Julia had an absolute blast while we were there since it was all fun and games for her. We hung out at Robert's Uncle Steve and Aunt Wendy's house a lot which Julia loved because they had toys for her to play with. In fact when I told her we were going there she seemed to remember the last time we were there in February because she said " play with toys Wendy's house?"

We also swam in the hotel pool, went to Knoxberry Farm ( which will get it's own post eventually) and went to the Venice canals to feed the ducks. The ducks all crowded around her and the pigeons tried to eat the food right out of the bag, but Julia was her normal fearless self and loved it all.

We also went out to Claremont to meet our new renters and meet with some contractors. We will be painting the Claremont house in the near future. What color do you think we should paint it? I think the yellow is cute and pretty unique on the block, but Robert doesn't really care for the yellow so he wants to chose a new color. Either way it's getting a new coat of paint soon.

I guess I should also mention that Robert went into work on two of the days since that is why we really went to LA. So that was LA. We were only there for three nights, but I feel like we packed a lot into it. I'm begining to feel like quite the experienced traveller with all this flying across country and hotel stays. Someone on one of our flights asked me if Julia had flown before and I just laughed and said "Oh yeah." She's probably managed a flight about every five months in her two short years.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

We're Off!

Yay, we are heading out to the west coast early tomorrow morning! We'll be in L.A. for a couple days and then on to Utah for the Sandberg Family Reunion. But first, here's a little of what's going on this past week.

Last Saturday morning we had a training/brunch at the Primary President's house for our new callings, Nursery Leaders (for the youngest of the three nurseries). We've been nursery leaders before and loved it, but we were a little sad that we are going to be isolated from everyone else during most of church. After the meeting they asked us what we had going on the rest of the day and we said that afternoon we were going to a place where they make whiskey. And we did!

Mount Vernon (George Washington's estate) has a Gristmill and Distillery a few miles down the road from the main estate. Washington already had the gristmill when a Scottish man convinced him that making whiskey would be a profitable business. So Washington did a few test runs, determined that there really was a market for whiskey in the area, and built the distillery (but he didn't run it for very long, he died only a few years later). Whiskey was different from Washington's other profitable crops because he sold it locally and got a return on his investment quicker; he didn't have to export it and wait months for his profit.

This is the inside of the gristmill (where they ground down the corn). The mechanics of it all were pretty amazing. There was no electricity, so the giant wheel (3 stories tall) that moves the whole system is water-powered. In Washington's time the canal where the water flows into the gristmill (below) was miles long to give the water enough rise in elevation to flow. Then inside everything is connected to the big wheel like a giant clock.

Also this week, Robert is volunteering at the US Open. He can't take his phone or camera so no pictures except this one brought to you by Lexus.
But he seems to be having a lot of fun. He is on the leader board team so he updates one of the many scoreboards around the course. Every shift he is assigned to a different hole. Yesterday the hole he was at was right next to the evacuation center for the players where they have tents and buses to take the players back to the clubhouse in case of inclement weather. While he was working they called a hold on play because a big downpour was about to come through, so the players all gathered around the evacuation center for a while until the rain actually started. Then they went inside and Robert braved out the rain under an umbrella.

Friday, June 10, 2011

National Arboretum

I feel like we are currently in a event lag. Nothing is happening around here, just same old daily things and things I've already blogged about. We will be going to L.A. next weekend and then Utah for a few weeks, so it feels like we are just waiting for our trip. I felt bad not posting anything this week though so here are some pictures from last Saturday.

We were going to go on a bike ride Saturday morning for the first time this year, but we couldn't find the key to the bike lock. Since the bikes were all locked together under the patio that was a problem. We looked everywhere we could think of and then decided to give it up and salvage our morning and do something else. So we ended up going to the National Arboretum (which we have already been to last fall) to see the flowers and have a picnic.
Julia's fond of her stuffed animals right now. She only brought Mickey with us on this trip. Sometimes Minnie comes as well, sometimes the pink dog comes too.

She wasn't looking in any of the pictures of her with flowers.

Julia and Robert acting silly.
And on the way home I reached into the pocket behind the driver's side chair and found the key to the bike lock! So we went on our bike ride after all that evening.