Mesquite cooked

We left our hotel late Sunday morning, heading home from Utah. We weren’t sure whether we’d make a 2-day trip of it, stopping in St. George or Vegas, or whether we’d pull an all nighter. It would depend on how we felt.

It took a while to leave Salt Lake City — the kids wanted to see the Lake, and we had to stock up on a few things. It was mid afternoon before we really got moving in earnest. After five hours of driving broken by the usual parade of bathroom breaks (we were driving with three kids, after all), we stopped for dinner in Mesquite. The kids were relatively well behaved. M. and I both felt pretty awake. And we were tired of living in hotels. We decided we would definitely push on, and we’d get home around 1 a.m.

I should mention that the SUV had recently made a weird humming noise, three times. Sorta like a loose belt. We had worried a little about that, and so we took it to the mechanic pre-vacation to look everything over. But it only made that noise very intermittently — twice in the past two months, both times for just a few hours — and when we took it in, it wasn’t humming like that. The mechanic looked the SUV over and didn’t see anything wrong.

We left Mesquite with full stomachs and high spirits. Fifteen miles out of town, the temperature gauge shot up to the red, and the idiot lights came on. M. immediately pulled to the side of the road (left side, as there was a semi on our right) and stopped. We popped the hood. Steam poured out.

The next little while was an interesting time. We turned on hazard lights, and checked under the hood. The serpentine belt hung loosely from its place — it seemed to have broken. That would do it. And so, we called insurance, to get roadside assistance coming. We also got the kids out of the increasingly warm car, into the warm, but windy, desert. We sat together on a blanket. Ten yards away, the a parade of semi trucks whizzed by at 85 mph. Above us, the stars were gorgeous. The Milky Way was brilliant. I tried to get a few pictures, but they didn’t take. I had to set shutter speed to really slow to get the stars, and that picked up too much of the passing headlight light.

Roadside assistance said that they couldn’t find a tow truck at 9 pm Sunday in Mesquite. It looked like we would be waiting an hour or more for a truck to come from Vegas. And then, who knew? If it was just the serpentine belt, we’d be on our way fast. If we hadn’t gotten off the road fast enough, maybe we’d be replacing an engine.

From 9 to 9:45 or so, we sat on the blanket. We checked out the stars, and talked, and I reassured Son1 that it was unlikely that rattlesnakes were out this late. It was kinda warm (95), but there was a nice breeze. At 9:30, insurance said they were looking in Vegas, and that it could be an hour or more.

At 9:45, highway patrol pulled up. He said there was a tow truck a few miles away if we wanted one. We jumped on it, of course. We may have to pay for part or all of it, but it’s better than sitting with the kids in the desert for an hour or more.

Highway patrol called the tow truck (who actually had spotted us first, but is prevented by state law from soliciting us). We got hooked up, and in to Mesquite. M. called insurance to tell them not to send someone from Vegas. While she was calling them, they called her back, and left a voice mail saying that their driver would take about 3 hours (!) to arrive.

We rode the tow truck in to Mesquite. M. called insurance back to cancel, and left a message. The kids oohed and ahhed about riding in a tow truck. We parked the SUV outside an attached auto shop at Wal-Mart. We weren’t sure if they could fix this. If not, we’d go to the Big O nearby.

M. mentioned that it was just the serpentine belt, and on a whim, we popped the hood, and looked at it with the tow truck driver, who had some tools. Weirdly, the belt wasn’t broken, like I had thought at first. Instead, it’s just _off_. But still in one piece. We got out flashlights, and begin threading the &*^@ thing through the little wheels.

As we worked, I talked to M. and the driver. Maybe that weird humming from before had been just a loose belt. So now, maybe we just need to get it back on. (But why would it fall off to begin with?)

Even with the driver, we really didn’t have the tools to re-thread the belt. It required pushing one little wheel up at an angle and sliding the belt on. This took about forty minutes, between me, M., and the tow truck driver, with various people holding flashlights and pushing with a crowbar, trying to get the belt over the last loop.

Finally, we got the belt on. M. and I looked at each other. Were we going to get back to San Diego tonight after all? Was the engine even going to turn? (Did we get to the road side fast enough?)

M. climbed in and turned the key. The engine turned, and steam came out, fast. We turned it off fast. The belt was fine. What had cause it to come off was that the water pump went out. This meant that one of the six little wheels stopped turning, and the serpentine belt just came off after that.

Apparently that occasional humming was the water pump giving out. Too bad it didn’t do that when the mechanic was pre-vacation checking everything! But it makes sense that internal water pump problems would burn it out after a long desert drive, but also not be noticeable to the mechanic seeing it after we drove a few city miles to the chop to check it all out, especially without the humming.

The truck driver dropped us off at a hotel. It turned out to be sold out, so we had to hike another half mile through the Mesquite night, carrying clothes, to a hotel next door.

The next day, M. got the car to the mechanic, who was able to replace the water pump. We swam with the kids in the hotel pool, and met and chatted with a nice LDS family from Utah. We ate at Denny’s. Eventually, we picked our car up, and headed home.

It was so nice to see Mesquite fading away in the rear view mirror.

22 comments for “Mesquite cooked

  1. Adam Greenwood
    August 15, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Ha ha ha! Oh, sorry.

  2. bbell
    August 15, 2007 at 2:21 pm


    Do not scare me. I am driving from Dallas to Artesia NM on Friday. Would not be fun to break down like that out in West Texas with 4 kids and wife in tow..

  3. Ray
    August 15, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    My experience with Mesquite:

    Honeymoon spent in the desert in grandparents-in-law’s trailer. (Grandparents in CA; us dirt poor.) FHE in St. George watching a movie. Returning home late at night. Lots of lights flashing in the distance. 8 police cars double blocking each on and off ramp at our exit. Cops with shotguns pointed at us telling us to drive on to the next town (Mesquite) and spend the night there.

    Next day – Discover two murderers and a rapist escaped from Maryland prison, drove cross country in stolen vehicle. robbed convenience store in St. George, abandoned car at our exit due to hoards of UT, AZ, NV, Hwy Patrol & FBI chasing them, hid in sage brush as cops went door-to-door. Hence, “Spend the night in the next town tonight.”

    We didn’t mind saying goodbye to Mesquite, either.

  4. Jacob
    August 15, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    My experience was with Daggatt, CA, not Mesquite, but the rule applies. When I was a wee lad, we went with my Grandpa in his RV. I don’t remember anymore where we were going, but as we pulled up to Daggatt, we broke down. We had been towing my Grandpa’s truck, so we all piled into that and stayed in the area for the day until the RV was fixed. We then moved onward in our family adventure. On the way back – I kid you not – we broke down passing through Daggatt, at nearly the same spot. This time, we piled into the truck and went home. My Granpa went back later to get the RV. I hate Daggatt. (I don’t remember how it’s spelled, either. I just remember it’s around Calico Ghost Town. I also think a drive-in theater there was used in the movie “Spies Like Us”.)

  5. August 15, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Um, divine retribution for your having taken part in Sunstone?

    (Something tells me Sunstone and Kaimi will both recognize lame humor when they see it and not bring out the big guns in response. Good sports and Christians, they are.)

  6. August 15, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Nice. Mesquite is a frequent stop for me on the road to-and-from Utah. I’ve recieved two speeding tickets on Mesquite’s main street over the years. But I’ve also gambled and won at one of the local casinos during a two-day family reunion (yeah, that’s right, Mesquite was the reunion location… crazy in-laws), so my Mesquite balance sheet is probably balanced.

    We had a similar car breakdown traveling through the twisting Virgin River mountains that separate NV and UT. Wife and kids eventually piled into a friend’s passing car while I waited for the tow truck for about 3 hours. It was one of the most peaceful and relaxing 3 hours of my life, as I hiked the hills and canyons nearby while waiting for the tow truck, and took pictures of the amazing landscape. I’ve always appreciated that stretch of land, but it is much more beautiful when you aren’t driving past it doing 80 mph and have nowhere else to go. I’ve thought back to that personal hike an inordinate number of times in the 3-4 years since it happened. Hopefully my car will break down again in the same place some day.

  7. August 15, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Ardis makes a compelling point… Particpate again next year and it won’t be a mere water pump. Consider yourself warned, thus saith the L…

  8. Sara R
    August 15, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Juanita Brooks grew up in Bunkerville, just down the road from Mesquite. Her father was the mailman and rode his horse all the way to Glendale, 30 or so miles down the road, to the train to get the mail three times a week. When she was a child she rode with him a couple of times, and describes the trip in detail in her memoir “Quicksand and Cactus.” When I drive through that part of the desert, I think of that trip on horseback and how much nicer it is now–unless the car breaks down. Glad you got back okay.

  9. Adam Greenwood
    August 15, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Um, divine retribution for your having taken part in Sunstone?

    Not retribution, just a friendly warning.

  10. Bob
    August 15, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Next time, carry some panty hose. They can get you to town in place of your broken belt. no jokes please!

  11. August 15, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    If Mesquite is anything like Elko…well, I’m glad to hear you made it back!

  12. Citrus
    August 15, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Look at the bright side, you could have been assaulted by tiny ogres.

  13. Bill MacKinnon
    August 15, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    There, but for the Grace of God, goes I…

  14. Marjorie Conder
    August 16, 2007 at 12:07 am

    I had hardly started reading this post when I was taken back to early July 1950 in the Mohave Desert. My Dad had INSISTED that we were going to California and our always practical Mother, who usually prevailed could not dissuade him. She correctly pointed out that we had a rattle-trap car, not so much as a spare tire and no money for such a trip. Nevertheless we went. As children we were delighted to be going anywhere.

    As I remember it things went well until we got somewhere in the middle of the Mohave Desert at dusk. We had a flat tire and no spare. We also didn’t own any real camping equipment. (My Dad had literally homesteaded in his youth and was pretty sure all we needed were canteens and bedrolls. I hate to camp to this day!) Anyway, he unloaded supplies for our Mom and us kids and he went out to hitch-hike for help. A woman who lived in the desert picked him up in her truck and took him, I don’t know how far to get help because he was all night getting back.

    Meanwhile “back at the ranch” our Mom sat up all night terrified at being alone on the desert with three kids. My brother and I remember it all differently however (our youngest brother was too young to remember it at all.) But we remember an amazing star filled night, full of interesting sounds. It was all magic. A couple of years ago when the three of us were returning from a funeral in California, we pulled over on the freeway somewhere east of Winnemucca in the middle of the night and gazed at the sky, and two of us remembered another star filled night on the desert many years before.

    But there is a postscript to this story. Our Dad was driven by the feeling that he wanted to see his son, our half-brother, a Marine, who was stationed at Fort Pendleton. When we got to Fort Pendleton and they looked him up, he was asleep because he was preparing to ship out in the middle of the night for Korea. When this trip was planned I don’t think any of us knew where Korea was or anything about it and there certainly was no war. But now there was a “police action” and our brother was shipping out with the very first contingent. Our brother spent the rest of that day with us. Late that night our Dad took him back to the base. It was the last any of us saw our brother. He was reportedly the first Korean causality from Utah.

  15. makakona
    August 16, 2007 at 12:36 am

    1. never pull off to the left!
    2. submit the tow bill to your insurance. sometimes they pay it, sometimes they don\’t, but they should in this case.
    3. how did i miss that \”home\” is san diego? what part of sd? we think we might be moving there soon.

    that\’s an amazing story, marjorie. thank you for sharing.

  16. WillF
    August 16, 2007 at 1:22 am

    Our Dodge Caravan burned up its serpentine belt in Dinosaur National Monument Park a little over a month ago, so I sympathize with your story. Instead of the water pump going out though, the A/C compressor seized up. In our case the belt burned itself off. It was on a Saturday evening at about 4:30 PM and the visitor center was closing at 5:00. Thanks to the kindness of church members who happened to be there we were able to get our family and the van back to Vernal, UT where a park tour bus driver and her husband allowed us to wait in their home while my parents and brother drove from Salt Lake.

    We would have stayed overnight in Vernal, but it turns out that all of the hotels and motels within at least a 25 mile radius of Vernal were booked solid — not for dinosaur fossil tourists like you might think, but for oil workers! The oil business is booming in Eastern Utah, and Vernal has become a hub of this business, to the chagrin of the residents we met who wish it still felt like a small town.

  17. Mike
    August 16, 2007 at 11:44 am

    My Inspirational Car Story.

    I knew my parents could not afford to put me on a mission so I worked hard during summers mowing lawns, hauling hay, irrigation and farm work. I had over $6000 in the bank when I turned 19. My first mission companion taught me how to make money in Japan by bending a few rules. We tracted “without purse or script” and I saved enough for 2 quarters of college. After that my dad got a raise. So at the end of 2 years my $6000 was miraculously still there. I got another scholarship and stayed ahead until graduate school. Then I joined the military. What seemed like an endless stream of steady income stretched indefinitely into the future. So that original sacred $6000 was never used and it went towards the purchase of my first car.

    I paid $7800 cash for a then new ’84 Cavalier and it served me well. I drove it all over the US on various trips and we named it The Blue Goose. But then it started giving my wife trouble, stranding her on the Interstate a couple times with wiring and transmission problems. She bought a new Toyota in ‘88. At that time I was walking to work and The Blue Goose was just sitting in the carport. I dedicated it to the Lord and gave the full-time missionaries who lived down the street a set of keys and told them to just come over and use it whenever they needed it. For some reason the mechanical problems evaporated. The offer still stands. As recently as last month the missionaries were looking for wheels and I told them the car is only a 2 mile hike from the train station and the key is in the ignition. They looked dubious at the prospects of driving a car older than they are.

    I have moved several times most recently about 12 years ago. Each time I have come close to selling The Blue Goose. Even when it has problems they are not as bad as they could be. Once I noticed rubber coming up out of the back of the car. I stopped and one of the rear tires had disintegrated into little pieces but the car continued to ride so nice I hardly noticed it. The second battery lasted 17 years. A memorable trip we took from SLC to Vernal to Rock Springs and back with my in-laws and their new car. They were concerned that the little grandchildren would be at risk and insisted they ride in their new car which promptly quit during the most violent electrical storm. We all crammed into the Blue Goose and made it back home through the hail and downpour. The Blue Goose has over 308,000 miles on it now and is starting to rust. At least 1/3 of that is on dirt roads. The horn quit and the AC went out about 10 years ago. The roof liner came off, and the key is frozen in the ignition. The park brake is a block of wood in the trunk. It is a great camping car because if it rains and the tent leaks, the scouts can’t seek shelter in the car because it leaks too!

    I have this campfire story about how a small black bear climbed up a tall pine tree during one scout trip and fell down onto the trunk of the Blue Goose and dented it. (Actually it was a large limb that fell from my pine tree while the car was parked in my driveway. Details.) Another story involved being chased by the ghosts of Gadiaton robbers across the desert. There are many other ghost stories involving it. Only bigger scouts get to ride in the Blue Goose because you never know when it might need a push.

    About a month ago I was going to pick up my son from the week long scout camp. I only made 30 miles in 3 hours with bumper to bumper traffic in 8 lanes each direction and temperatures over 100 degrees and no AC. Finally the traffic thinned and while barreling up a hill at about 80 mph the Blue Goose quit rather suddenly. I was alone and my wife had a house full of party-happy teenagers so she couldn’t come and get me. But AAA towed the car after a one hour wait along side the road where I acquired over 30 chigger bites. My son hardly missed me being there the last night of camp. The scouts did felt awful the old car had quit while their parents breathed a sigh of relief.

    I thought a very long friendship had finally come to an end. But the mechanic said he could fix it for about $400. My wife rolled her eyes when I gave him the go-ahead. The way I see it you can’t buy a better old car for any less. We are taking the Blue Goose into the Cohutta Wilderness area, several miles on dirt roads this weekend camping with the ward scouts. Wish us luck.

  18. janeannechovy
    August 16, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Divine retribution? I\’d think it was just as likely because of driving an SUV as because of participation in Sunstone. ;)

    Nice to meet you and your family, Kaimi.

  19. Kaimi Wenger
    August 18, 2007 at 2:24 am


    I know that people like to harp on how awful SUVs are. But really, what exactly am I supposed to drive?

    We’ve got 3 kids, including one very energetic one who needs a lot of space on road trips. We like to camp and take trips. And we often transport cousins, ward members, scouts, etc.

    We did a lot of the same with the van, which we owned previously. But it was decidedly limited in its abilities to camp, handle dirt roads, etc.

    Recently, M. and I went driving through the San Jacinto mountains, to Joshua Tree national park, down the winding 78 to Julian, and so on. There are thousands of switchbacks, narrow mountain roads, some dirt roads. Not minivan territory.

    Bottom line, we’ve got kids to carry, mountains to drive. We just can’t do what we want to do with a Prius.

    If we were rich, I suppose we could buy a Prius, and a small jeep, and a mini-van, and maybe something else.

    But we’re not, and we’ve got to make do. Our seven-passenger Durango suits us just fine. It carries the kids, and it does the mountains.

    I do wish we had a V6 instead of a V8. We’re not towing anything, and we don’t really need the V8. But we got it used, for a pretty good price, and 7-passenger SUVs are not all that easy to find.

  20. Kaimi Wenger
    August 18, 2007 at 3:41 am

    Thanks for the commiserations and the stories, all.

    And especially, Marj, thanks for your story. That is remarkable.

  21. janeannechovy
    August 19, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Not to turn this into a Car Talk episode or anything, but . . .

    We were recently in the market for a larger car (I’m the hugely pregnant one, remember?), and we thought about all these things. The Toyota Highlander holds seven passengers and is available in a hybrid, but it has less space than the Durango (I know, I ended up driving a Durango to Sunstone last year when I had reserved a Neon). And Toyota’s Sienna minivan (the second-best rated minivan) is available with AWD.

    For us, we kept thinking about the winter times we would not have been able to get out of our very hilly neighborhood but for the really-works AWD of our previous car, a Subaru Outback (because of a weird confluence of factors, Portland snow is amazingly slick, but comes along infrequently enough that the city doesn’t own much snow-clearing equipment). Ultimately we decided that, in spite of being rather tepid on a lot of praxis issues, we have enough food storage to survive the few days we would need it, and ended up with the top-rated Honda Odyssey.

    But hey, man, if you need the clearance, you need the clearance.

  22. Mike
    August 19, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Follow up comments on #17

    The Blue Goose ran perfectly if anyone cares. But the scout trip did not go exactly as planned.

    First, after weeks of drought it rained about 2 inches during the 15 minutes parents were dropping scouts off at the church and we got soaked. Next trafffic was so bad we stopped about 10 miles away from home for dinner at Wendy’s. At 10:00 pm the older guys who have early morning seminary were asleep and by 11:00 pm we found the place where the dirt road begins. The dust was so thick it was like the worst blizzard I’ve ever driven in. Wipers on full speed to keep enough dust off the windshield to barely see. By midnight we arrived at our campsite and were waking the scouts up to set up the tents with bribes of twisters and root beer. The biggest tent where half the scouts were to sleep had a broken pole but we tied it to a tree. If it rained hard some people were going to get wet again per usual, but it didn’t. We camped 10 feet from a dirt road (not my idea of the best place) and some hoodlums with loud pick-up trucks held races up and down the road for several hours. The breakfast cook burned the sweet rolls and the scouts would not eat the oatmeal I brought as a back-up. By 9:00 am we had everything cleared out and back in the cars for the short drive to the nearby hiking trail head. Policing the camp site for liter recovered a dozen beer bottles, a couple used condoms, one syringe (probably a diabetic, yea) and some interesting underclothing, all of which provided great introductions to teaching moments.

    The hike in was perfect. Warm but gently down an old jeep trail for about 5 miles in thick eastern forest. JJ our newest scout lead the way. He lives in an apartment complex deep in the city where the full-time missionaries were recently told by the police they best move or be murdered and where the RS visiting teachers have been accosted. So he doesn’t play outside much. He is a cheerful stocky and talkative little guy at about 5 feet tall and 200 pounds. He was so happy and amazed at the beauty of the outdoors. We swam and played and jumped off some small cliffs and ate lunch. We watched these other older guys with elaborate tattooes and one nearly naked young woman jump off higher cliffs into the river.

    At 1:00 pm we headed back up. JJ became somewhat scared because he couldn’t get up the cliff at the river in one difficult place and he sat down and nearly started to cry. I showed him how to use the “human ladder” and had him place one foot in my knee the next foot on my arm and the next on my shoulder. Then Vishmopf (the latest nickname for my 14 year old son with the blond afro) got a hold of his wrists from above and just hoisted him the rest of the way with brute strength. JJ sat down for a rest and realized he had lost his asthma inhaler and he wasn’t breathing quite right. This made him even more upset. He walked a ways and stopped and coughed. Eventually he was crying in pain and choking and vomited a few times. Vish already had taken his pack and the other kids were running on ahead. We forced water on him and poured it on his head to cool him down.

    I have hiked with extremely out-of-shape kids before and always they make it if you just keep them hydrated and going slowly and keep them cheerful and distracted with the beauty all around. Fast hiking scouts can entertain themselves at the end of the trail while they wait. Vish is usually at the front and he challenges others to foot races and he likes to “fluff” other kids with his hair or duct-tape them (or his dad) to trees. But it was over 100 degrees with high humidity and heat index close to 120 degrees. And JJ was miles from the car and not able to go on. I ran ahead and had the others come back to help. We redistributed the day packs and Vish hoisted JJ on his back and carried him about half a mile.

    But being carried piggyback is not a very acceptable position for breathing for a person the size and shape of JJ and he got to where he couldn’t even breath at all. We tried two different ways of the two-man carry and JJ was so heavy that even the strongest of us could not hold him up with just our arms for more than 50 feet. We were walking about 10 feet, then excruciating piggy back again, then a two man carry and it was clear we were never going to make it. With only two leaders, one unfamiliar with the area, when do you split up and go for help?

    We prayed and then gave JJ a Priesthood Blessing. Our new scoutmaster is man with much experience in scouting and in the church. But he was so rattled at this point he could not remember how to do it. I gave JJ a simplified one part version of a Priesthood blessing that seemed best under the difficult circumstances using “unconsecrated suntain lotion.” I know that asthma has a very strong emotional component and if JJ could calm down he would be able to breath a little bit better. But from his perspective he was choking to death and he knew he needed to be in the ER about an hour before. And I know that young people can die from asthma.

    From one perspective the blessing did not change any of our problems. It didn’t help the asthma and it did not lower the scorching temperature or bring rain. We stumbled along as before. I picked up a scrap of littered newpaper on the trail and it had the word “death” in the headline and that was like a really bad omen. But a short while later Vish saw a small fallen hemlock tree about the diameter of a baseball bat. I broke it into a pole about 5 feet long. We duct-taped some towels around the middle to make a seat. JJ sat on the middle of the pole with his arms around the necks of two people. Vish and I carried the ends of the pole. It was a primitive one pole litter with about 50 pound for each of 4 porters and JJ could breath in that position about as well as any. That much weight is not too bad in a backpack. But carrying it with hands and arms curled on a rough pole was a nightmare. Vish was a beast and never relinquished his end of the pole. Our scoutmaster is a typical slightly out of shape guy in his 40’s and he could only do it twice for about 5 minutes. (He did his best, what more can you ask?) I run 20 miles a week and it was killing me. It was everything our team of mostly little scouts could do to carry JJ out and I was never so glad to see the dusty old blue goose.

    We still had miles of dirt road in the car and more miles to a hospital. The scoutmaster is from Idaho and he has air conditioning so JJ rode with him. He drove down those twisting rutted dirt roads at speeds that seemed like we were sliding around on snow covered roads, sometimes up to 80 mph, like the Dukes of Hazzard. He honestly thought JJ might die before he got him out of there. The Blue Goose could not keep up and after a couple of half donuts, I slowed down to a reasonable 30-40 mph. It was hot and dusty. By the time we reached the hospital JJ was doing somewhat better, being able to relax and rest out of the heat and absorb some water and not throw it back up. I thought maybe we should just take him home. I called his mother to see what she thought when we got cell coverage. She decided it was best to take him to the closest hospital.

    They were very helpful at the small rural hospital and strange but the respiratory therapist was a Mormon from Idaho and knew people that our scoutmaster knows. I entertained the other scouts in a nearby park in the heat for a couple hours and eventually took them to dinner. JJ recieved asthma treatment and felt better. They decided to not keep him overnight, maybe when they figured out about is mother’s insurance. We got back to Atlanta in record time, traffic was really moving out. I hope the scoutmaster was just joking when he told me he was going to have a talk with the Bishop today about resigning; he is the best we have had in a very long time.

    It was a trip we will never forget. I am thankful we got JJ out and in good shape even though my arms are so sore today I can hardly type. I hope we can draw the correct conclusions from this, our new scoutmaster’s first camping experience with our ward with all of its unique challenges and it can be the foundation for success in the future. Any comments or insights would be appreciated.

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