Monday morning when Bruce and Maurice came up to bring the rubber foam mats and chairs they had borrowed for the reunion Bruce started talking of wanting to go up to the mountains for a couple of days with his family. I could sense his desire to go again to the mountains and I was in full sympathy with his feelings for I have those same feelings many times. Actually we were waiting for a good excuse to go up to the property and see if it had rained there and check on the cattle and things in general. So I said, "We cannot go until Wednesday because we work in the Temple on Tuesday". So the plan was to get ready and go on Wednesday and to try and include Troy and family to go with us.

It has long been my practice to make a detailed check list in preparation of what we need to take. Since Bruce was planning to take the food I decided that we had better go down and make a check list with him so that we would not find ourselves up in camp lacking many things that we wanted to take. Troy had other things planned and didn't want to go with us so we proceeded to make out the list starting with tents and ground sheets and camp equipment that we would need. Finally we completed the detailed list of the food and all the little details. Bruce decided that he wanted to be here for the 24th of July celebration and wanted to leave after that. I told him that it would not be wise to leave so late and not give us time to set up camp before dark and the rain. We finally decided to leave on Thursday morning early and come back on Friday so that Bruce could go catch his plane on Sat.

Paul Price and his wife Michelle came to visit us on Tuesday afternoon. During the conversation we told them that we were planning to go to the mountains on Thursday morning and come back on Friday. Paul turned to his wife and asked if she would like to go and she said that she would so they decided to go with us and they would drive their truck to take the load of equipment. I suggested that they come down the the 24th Celebration and then load up and we would meet them in Colonia Juarez about 8:00 AM Thursday morning. This was a great relief since we had been very dubious about taking Maurice's truck because the tires have been a doubt and a worry for some time.

Naoma and I were both awake before 5:00 AM Thursday morning so we decided to get up and get ready to go. We packed our bedding and pillows and our little overnight bags that we in our old age feel that are necessary to take. We had a leisurely breakfast and put in the last details that we could think of. After gathering the fresh herbs for the herb tea, we went promptly at the appointed hour to pick up Bruce and family. Daniel was ready and waiting and came out burdened with two back packs. Soon all was loaded and I could feel the excitement and anticipation of the older children Daniel and Georgia, even the beautiful little dark curley headed Emma seemed full of wonder and anticipation. It reminded me of when we used to pile all of our family into the van and start for the mountains for a weeks pack trip.

When we arrived in Colonia Juarez Paul was all ready except to load the foam pads that he had unloaded the night before so they would not get wet from the rain that fell during the evening and night. By the time the Pads were loaded Michelle and little Meg and Peter were in the truck and waiting to get started.

As we came onto the San Diego flat we could see signs of the heavy rains that had fallen recently, My heart was pained as we saw the deep ugly gashes of erosion on either side of the road where the rushing water had gouged out the soil and left deep gullies. On one side in places it was a drop off of 4 or 5 feet and on the other side there were places that had washed a deep gash that was ten to twelve feet deep with the sides straight up and down.

On each side of the road and just beyond the gullies the grass was green and anxious to receive the life giving water holding it back and letting it soak deep into the roots and the thirsty ground. No erosion here just the natural beautiful grass that for ages has defied the erosion and had held back the water and slowed it down to give life to the grass and provide graze for the animals that fed on it. Only where the blade of the bulldozer had cut into the earth and destroyed the grass roots and left a nice road of dirt for the vehicles to rush over, only there could the erosion of wind and water carry away the good soil and leave the rocky gullies. These gullies often crossed from one side of the road to the other and back again leaving rock strewn gullies in the road to slow the traffic to a laborious crossing. When it rained the water would begin to gather and flood down the road washing the dirt off the rocks. Before long a raging flood would be washing the deep ditches on the side of the road and flooding from side to side. Then farther down the road it would become a river filling the whole road and carrying the soil away and leaving the rocks. I have driven on the road at such a time when the water was a foot deep running down the road until I could hardly tell where the road was.

In contrast the water out in the grass was evenly spread and slowly moving down through the grass soaking up the country giving life every where. Even in the lower swales the water moved slowly watering the plants and trees and Mesquites..

In our lives we need to have our values deeply rooted and our knowledge of the Gospel keeping us protected from the erosion of the floods and torrents of evil around us. If we are firmly rooted in the principles of the Gospel we can defy the erosion and use our experiences to give strength and beauty to our lives. With self discipline we can control the floods and slow down the stream and control it to our good.

After fencing our stream in the mountains to protect it and let it grow back naturally, it slowed down the floods and the water ran clear and beautiful. It was no longer a muddy torrent carrying the soil away and leaving an ugly gash in the land. The natural grass, plants and willows can control the rain water letting it soak in and form a sponge and actually run longer and raise the water level of the land around it.

If we read the scriptures, study and pray we can firmly root our knowledge and values. With self discipline we can control the floods and turn them into life giving water and raise our spiritual level and strengthen our lives. If we let the erosion of wrong choices and mistakes begin to wash away the good soil of our lives, our road of life can become rough and rocky with plenty of bumps to slow our progress.

As we climbed the grade we found that a lot of roadwork had been done and we could increase our speed except where they had made high mounds in the road to divert the water and keep it from collecting down the road to wash away the dirt they had worked so hard to haul in.

This is Friday August 2, and we will leave for Texas in the morning early so I will not be able to finish this little account until we come back. First our phone went out then our Modem was hit by a surge from the lightning and burned out. Consequently we have been without a computer for a few days while they were replacing the Modem which seemed to be giving them some problems getting the new one installed.

We love you all and send our greetings and love to each of you and will write again when we get back from Texas. Anthony and Rosalee have invited us to come and be there for the naming of the baby our Little Aleia Rose. We will fly from El Paso tomorrow and spend a week there with them.