Bankhead Adventures

21 June 2022

Wilderness Marriage Therapy in Yosemite

While the children had a ball at the world's most exclusive summer camp (thanks, Mom!), Amy and Paul ventured into Yosemite's wilderness on a kidless backpacking trip. 

Things that made Paul especially excited: 

  • Sleeping in the back of the truck the first night--what are trucks for, after all? 
  • Enjoying a snow-chilled Diet Coke next to an alpine lake on the morning of Day 2. (Not worth having to carry the extra weight in Amy's opinion, but boy was Paul happy about it.)
  • Identifying dozens of peaks with our map and compass.
  • Appreciating that frequent yoga breaks made him feel awesome. (This was all Paul. Amy did not enforce this.)
  • Resting his head on his new inflatable backpacking pillow.
Things that made Amy especially excited:
  • The fact that we can just drop our kids at the airport curb and they fly away.
  • Having no access to phone calls, texts, or emails.
  • Taking the time while hiking to analyze with Paul the most recent insights from his therapist.
  • Hiking in minimalist sandals to make river crossings extra easy.
  • Loving the gnarly, gritty trees that cling to rocky slopes.
Ten miles into our hike, on Day 1, we discovered that our water filter was broken. That made the rest of our trip a little more complicated, so instead of taking a leisurely two more days to hike out, we blazed down the mountain at our fastest hiking speed on record. We arrived back in civilization in time to enjoy dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant and to congratulate ourselves on not getting giardia. 

Previous backpacking trips:

Kings Canyon in 2010

Yosemite in 2012

Mount Whitney in 2015

Sequoia National Park in 2017

Uintas 2019

Yosemite in 2020 (with kids!)

20 June 2022


Amy spends a lot of brain power on making sure all the Bankhead children do all the things. Here's a sampling of what we are up to outside of school and what makes calendaring the Bankhead family a logistical feat.

Miles played his second season of baseball with Amy acting as assistant coach. There was a COVID-related shortage of uniforms, so the only team left to choose was the Astros. Also, the only available coaches shirts were XL, which is not Amy's size.

Amos played the role of Bruce Bogtrotter in the school musical, Matilda, with Amy running the stage lighting.

Sadie played the role of Yvette in Clue with our local youth theater. Amy baked cookies for the intermission refreshment table.

James convinced Sadie to join a robotics team. We hosted the team. Nothing like a huge robotics table taking over the living room for 4 months.

Amy was on the decorations committee for the elementary school's annual auction. She compensated for the fact that she has no decorating skills by borrowing stuff from all her church friends (for example, every item in this photo).

19 June 2022

Miles Joins the STEM Expo 2022

Miles enthusiastically participated in the STEM Expo at school (an event formerly known as a science fair). He did all the research himself and created a professional-looking trifold. He received plenty of positive feedback, and many commenters mentioned how useful Miles's research would be in their future pasta-boiling efforts.


18 June 2022

Spring Break in Moab 2022

We are spectacularly lucky to have family to host us in Moab over Spring Break. Not only is their house clean and comfortable, but it is stocked with loads of gear for climbing, rafting, and rappelling, and they showed us how and where to use it all. Southern Utah is uniquely fascinating and wonderful. Canyoneering was a big hit with the all the Bankheads, especially the rope swings we rigged up amid the red rock. 

Our flight to Moab got canceled, so we teamed up with Sarah, a fellow traveler, and drove instead.
Sadie rappelling into "The Fairy Grotto"

How amazing is this swing through an arch?

Paul made a Herculean effort rowing us against the wind.

17 June 2022

Redeeming Christmas Gifts at the Theater

For Christmas the Bankhead family received theater tickets to two different shows. First up was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Two days before we were supposed to attend, the theater changed their vaccination policy which meant that several of us would not be let into the theater. Fortunately, we were able to change the tickets to a later date, when everyone was fully vaccinated. Paul couldn't stomach the thought of such a long show, and Miles hasn't read the books yet, so Sadie got to invite some friends. We were thoroughly entertained and spent most of the drive home trying to figure out how some of the special effects worked.

Next up were the tickets to Dear Evan Hansen. The whole fam attended this one, and although there was some question about whether the show would be appropriate and/or interesting to the younger Bankheads, they all declared the experience worthwhile and asked to see it again. We aren't all as theater-crazy as Sadie, but we certainly appreciate the many excellent theater opportunities around us.

16 June 2022

Silly Stuff

The Bankhead children lead a fairly structured daily existence of school, piano lessons, and chores. But this post is dedicated to some of the funnier things going on.

Firing squad for failure to do the dishes

Kids pop up in surprising places

Amy was surprised to find this one morning

15 June 2022

The Art of the Brick

 While Paul was away heliskiing, we went to San Francisco to check out a LEGO art exhibit. The Bankhead children have spent countless hours playing LEGO, but this was next level.

14 June 2022

Christmas Break 2021 (with COVID!)

2020 was the first year ever that we didn't travel to Utah over Christmas break. We had a lovely celebration in California, but we were especially happy this year to resume our usual holiday traditions by crossing Nevada to be with our family in the Beehive State. What a joyful reunion with so many people! We did many holiday things like building a snowman and making Christmas ornaments and ice skating. Then several people tested positive for COVID and the real fun began. Amy and Sadie and Aunt Heidi and Aunt Sica quarantined together at Sica's house for unprecedented amounts of movie-watching and skillful puzzle-assembling and food-ordering from Door Dash. We are sort of unclear about what the rest of the family did for the remainder of the vacation, but inside Sica's house was one of the best Christmas breaks Amy and Sadie have ever experienced. We highly recommend asymptomatic COVID isolation with your favorite people.

Hiking in the snow with Uncle Jeff at Rattlesnake Gulch

Using craft skillz and mod podge and glitter to make ornaments

Ice skating was only moderately successful

A classic snowman by James

Happy faces and a colorful puzzle in quarantine