Saturday, December 13, 2008

Disney is Awesome

I just got back from Disney with David and his family as well as Klayton. We had a great time! We spent a day at each park and did absolutely everything there was to do. The best ride is the Rock and Roller Coaster and the best overall experience is the show "Fantasmic". Disney is certainly an awesome place.

With the fam at Epcot.
Three little pirates. Montana, Stephen and Klayton. The boys had so much fun.

In line for Pirates of the Carribbean.

Mr. Potato Head is awesome!

Fantasmic is definitely the best show at Disney.

The star of the show!

At Hollywood Studios.

The Star Wars experience.

The Lion King.
Pocohantas - hubba hubba.

Diving with Zachary.

The little guys riding at Animal Kingdom.

David and I with our Mickey Mouse hats.

Two of the best Disney characters - Pluto and Goofy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

South Texas Hunt

I just returned from a trip to Corpus where I got to spend time with some of my very best friends (Josh and Sheridan) and their kids as well as go on an amazing hunt. Unlike most Texas hunting we didn't sit in a stand and wait for the deer to come to us. We formed a line of seven hunters and pushed South thru through brush trying to stir the deer up and get them moving. It worked very well. We brought home seven deer and one Nilgai - an indian animal from the antelope family that is about the size of an elk.
I killed the biggest deer of my life and had a blast. I killed an 8-point buck that broke from a stand of trees about 30 yards from me. I pulled up on it with - using a .257 Weatherby - a popped it in the right shoulder from about 75 yards while it was on a dead run. When I got over to it the deer was laying on its back and had flipped head-over-hoof when I shot it. I thought it was dead but it was only playing opposum. Once I got within about 10 feet and was about to crouch down to make sure it was dead the deer opened it's eyes, looked deep into my soul and grunted loudly - apparently he had other plans. The buck proceeded to flip over, get up and come after me at which point I high-tailed it away yelling at Matt to "shoot that deer". It was pretty funny. The deer then turned and ran away from me and dropped after about 50 yards at which point I shot it twice with my pistol and put a knife through it's heart and still had to wait about 20 minutes for it to stop kicking so I could clean it. Enjoy the pics. I can't wait to go back.

Our deer at Andy's house. Mine is the one on the left. Andy's is on the right - a 13-pointer.
Posing with our kill. Jason and his Nilgai, Josh, me and Andy with our whitetails.

Me and Josh with my buck.

Posing with my buck. You can come visit my house in about six months and see it haning on my wall. :)

Sunrise over the Gulf as we headed to our hunt. God definitely blessed us with a great day and a blessed hunt.

I had to put a knife in his heart in order to bleed him out so I could field dress him.

Disembarking from the boat for the 1/3 mile trek over to the hunt.

Andy and his 13-point. This was the first kill of the day and really got everyone excited for what was to come.

Me and Andy with my buck.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Nephews Make Me Laugh

I have four nephews that are constantly saying the funniest things. As all of you with kids know, kids insights are hilarious and so often catch you off guard. Anyway, I recently took my nephew Klayton to work with me. He was hanging out in the neighboring office and would come in to "check on me" in my office every so often. After a few visits this is the conversation we had. I am not sure what put this in his mind but it really made me laugh as it does everyone I share it with.

Klayton: "Uncle Stephen, do you want to be a dad one day?"
Me: "Yes, I do want to be a dad one day, when I find the right person to marry."
Klayton: "So right now your are just a man living with a dog?"

This is the point I just started laughing. I mean, really, what do you say to that. I am not sure where this train of thought came from but it sure caught me off guard and still makes me laugh.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Devil's River Kayak/Camping Trip

I just got back from one of the best trips I have ever taken and if you know me very well you know that is saying a lot because I love to travel to fun places. James Garner, Zach Knight and myself took a kayaking/camping/fishing trip to the Devil's River in West Texas. This was the first time any of us had been there and we were blown away, to say the least. I think the most repeated phrase of the week was "This place is amazing". Everytime we would hit a new stretch of river we would witness a new level of beauty in God's creation.
We took off on Wednesday and met up at the "Who Cares B&B" north of Del Rio. After spending the night there we loaded up for the two-hour ride to the drop-off point for our three-day and 25-mile journey down the Devil's River. The river is surrounded by private land so you can't camp on the shores the first night. Instead we found a rock island large enough to hold us and all of our gear. We slept out under the most amazing number of stars after covering 10.3 miles in our kayaks the first day. Day 2 was more of the same - a lot of kayaking and fishing and being amazed by our surroundings. It was like being on a river in Colorado but with water from the Carirbbean Ocean. The water got clearer and the scenery more beautiful as the trip went on. We covered about 7 miles on Day 2 and camped at the State Natural Area where we used out tents. The first morning we woke up and our gear was soaked from the dew so we had to delay our fishing and departure in order to dry everything out before packing it. We caught fish for dinner on Day 2 and accompanied it with potatoes, corn and green bean casserole. We have all had our fair share of outdoor adventures so we were able to eat extremely well on this trip. We needed to cover about 7 more miles on Day 3 in order to get to the pickup point for the ride to our trucks. We didn't do whole lot of fishing because most of the trip was spent traversing rapids or paddling through mile-long deep pools. It was amazing. After portaging our kayaks around Dolan Falls - the largest waterfall in Texas - we took on about eight sets of rapids including Three-Tiers that is rated as a Class 3. It was a blast! I wish I had more pics to show you but the memory card on my camera was wiped out so I had to get all of my pics from James. I am waiting for Zach to send me his pics as well. We have already pledged to make this a yearly trip - at least. I think Zach and James are going back in the spring but my schedule will not allow me to go at that time - I may have to quit my job. :) Enjoy!
The windmill and water tank at the "Who Cares B&B"
Kickin' it at the B&B

The kayaks all geared up.

Lunch on day 1. A rock island on the Devil's River.

Checking out the scenery with Zach.

Kayaking through the canyon.

Reading on the rock island we camped on the first night.

A view of our campsite. This is all the room the three of us had. It was awesome.

Beautiful morning scenery.

James and I at bedtime. We slept out underneath the stars the first night.

Morning view from our camp.

Kayaking in the morning fog.

More morning kayaking.

The morning fish.

Rock cave on the river.

With Zach night on some rock structures. These were all over the river.

With the big black bass. It was about 17-18 inches long. The biggest bass I have ever caught.

James and Zach at Dolan Falls.

Dolan Falls - the largest waterfall in Texas.

Three Tiers Rapids - this was a Class 3 rapid that we took the kayaks down.

Check out the crystal clear water.

A big boulder had fallen from the nearby cliff and rolled in to the river.

James with a self-portrait.