Monthly Archives: December 2012

One Year Ago Today… in Kuala Lumpur

One year ago tonight, we celebrated New Year’s Eve in Malaysia with our Mulu-caving friends, Annette and Peter. After indulging (?!) in a taste of durian, we set off for the Petronas Towers, a destination we shared with a few thousand of our closest friends.

As we say goodbye to 2012, let’s remember when this year was just a newborn.

Happy New Year, everyone!

One Year Ago Today… in a Malaysian Hospital

Heaven on earth: the first class room

Our travels in Malaysia famously included me spending a few days in a Malaysian hospital, about which I’ve written at length.

Reviewing photos and video on the hard drive, I realized that my medical misadventures occurred this time last year. Here’s some never-before-seen video footage from exactly one year ago today. Ah, the memories.

Canyon de Chelly

According to the National Park Service,

If these walls could talk, they would tell you that for nearly 5,000 years, people have lived in these canyons – longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau.

Some highlights of the canyon’s South Rim:

Dancing with Goblins

The most direct route from Bryce Canyon to Monument Valley is far from direct. And we didn’t take it. We had something else in mind: finding goblins.

Our starting point was Bybee’s Steppingstone Motel in tiny (and curiously-named) Tropic, Utah. It’s what a motel would be like if your grandma was in charge and didn’t have much of a budget. The Book of Mormon is readily available for anyone seeking a diversion from, say, a presidential debate.

Monument Valley is southeast of here, so of course we headed northeast on Highway 12, past thriving establishments like Nelson’s gas station.

Cruising through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (hey, haven’t we been here before?), we stopped off and explored a slot canyon. Happily, no 127 Hours-style incidents befell us.

Next, we found ourselves at Capitol Reef National Park. We really just stopped there because it’s on the way to the goblins, and we were rewarded with views of spectacularly-chunky rock formations.

Finally, as the golden sun drifted toward the horizon, we arrived at Goblin Valley State Park. These goblins are not of the Lord of the Rings variety; rather, softer areas of sandstone erode away, and windblown dust smooths what remains: the goblins.