Goff Family 2021 Summer Sabbatical Part 1: Utah Trip

Okay, so for the first leg of my sabbatical, we went on a trip to Utah to visit my family. It had been two years since the last time we had seen any of my family in person. Our last trip had been to go be there for my “little” brother’s wedding in the Salt Lake temple. A lot has happened since then, including Jeremy’s wife Emily graduating from BYU, my older brother Adam graduating from Western Governor’s, and Jeremy and Emily having their first baby.

So as early as last December, when it was clear that effective COVID vaccines were soon to be available, we had been notionally planning on going out sometime in May or June. Once Tiff and I had our shots scheduled, we decided to plan something for end of May. Serendipitously, by the time we went to leave, Tiff, Jonny, and I were fully vaccinated, and Jamie and Peter had at least been able to get their first shots. At the time we planned this trip, we had no idea that I was going to be taking the full-time position at Voyager and transitioning out of my Altius role. Once we decided to do that, we set my last day at Altius as the day before we wanted to leave for Utah, and then worked extra hard to make that happen.

I ended up working late my last day at Altius, so we ended up taking an extra day (the 21st) to finish packing and take care of passport things. It turns out that in our part of Colorado, all of the places you can apply for a passport require an advanced appointment to be scheduled, and all of them were booked over a month in advance. With expedited passports taking 4-6wks, and us wanting to leave on our Canada trip by the second week of July, we couldn’t wait that long. Fortunately, Utah didn’t have as much of a backlog, so I scheduled a passport meeting at the civic center for my parent’s town for our third day there. And then of course made it look like on Twitter that the whole Utah trip was some last-second idea we decided to do on a lark as a way to get our passport applications submitted, because silliness.

We had a great time out there, participating in the baby blessing for Jeremy and Emily’s little girl, Victoria, visiting with my family and all of my siblings (and Tiff’s little brother), getting to see Jenny and Alan’s new place they’re remodeling, visiting and getting longsword lessons from my long-time friend Danny Farnsworth (and then later catching dinner with him and his girls), catching lunch and playing pool with Tiff’s “fake adopted sister” and her family, visiting BYU and getting a tour of the new engineering building1, getting to “hike the Y” with Jonny, hiking Bridal Veil falls with the family, a visit to the cemetery on our way out of town, and a side trip to Arches National Park on our way home.

We also got to stay in scenic Parachute, CO because the Eastbound I-70 was closed due to a huge accident in Glenwood Canyon. All the hotels in the town where the road closure started (Rifle) were completely full by the time we got there around midnight, but fortunately we only had to backtrack to Parachute. And we were able to make it home Saturday afternoon.

Anyhow, here are a few pictures from favorite parts of the trip:

Mountain Scenery on our way out to Utah
A great picture Ki caught of Jonny holding Baby Victoria2 after her baby blessing
Someone lost their first mouth stone at the pool party we had at our hotel
Peter and Jamie looking at a sculpture outside the BYU Museum of Art
BYU still doesn’t have an Aerospace Engineering degree3, but between their rocket club, their spacecraft club, and the robotics and UAV groups, they’re heading in a good direction.
Patrick Walton giving us a tour of the new engineering building at BYU. This lab was where his startup, CareWeather built their first satellites
Patrick also showed us the ground stations for BYU’s spacecraft club that they used for their PICSats. For CareWeather’s cubesats they switched to using an Iridium transceiver and had much better success.
On our second-to-last day in Utah, Jonny wanted to “hike the Y” with me. The Y trail is about 2.2mi round trip, and has over 1000ft of elevation change. I think the last time I made this hike was as a freshman at BYU, back when I was Jonny’s age.
The first few sections were pretty brutal, but ultimately we both made it all the way to the top!
Here’s a panoramic view from the top of the Y, looking out over Utah Valley.
That evening, we went to Bridal Veil falls with my mom, my little sister Mary, and Tiff and the boys. Tiff, Jamie, and Pip decided to hike all the way up to the first falls.
A view of the upper falls, with Jamie and Pip
Me, Jonny, and my youngest sister, Mary sitting around the firepit in my parent’s “Secret Garden”
Another view of their Secret Garden
A trip to Utah wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Jarom’s grave. Tiff had the good idea of having us sing a hymn while we were there, so we sang Families Can Be Together Forever. Very apropos.
On our way home, we went to Arches National Park for the first time as a family. It was a lot of fun. Here were the youngest three at the North Window arch.
And here are all the boys, looking silly as usual, in front of the South Window
I think the Double Arch was my favorite one of the park. Interestingly while we were here, I met a Filipino family from Cavite4, and then we ran into a family from our latter-day saint Ward here in Lafayette, CO who were also out on vacation. Small world!
The boys, striking a pose at the Double Arch
Peter and Jamie at the upper viewpoint for the Delicate Arch. We didn’t have enough time (or water!!) to do the hike out to the arch itself.
That night at Olive Garden in Grand Junction, Pip got to have spaghetti with a meatball that was almost the size of his head. If you’re wondering how I did with my calorie budget on this vacation, I believe the best description is the line from Alien “Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure!”
With westbound I-70 blocked due to a huge accident up Glenwood Canyon, we had to backtrack to find a hotel. Fortunately we got the last room at the Grand Vista Hotel in Parachute, CO, and didn’t have to drive an extra hour back to Grand Junction. It was a bit crowded, but with the rollaways, we made it work.

Anyhow, that was the first leg of our adventure. We’re now back in Colorado, starting to pack up so we can move out of the house we’ve been renting for the last 8yrs. Tomorrow morning the dumpsters arrive, and Friday we get several of U-haul’s equivalence of the PODS mobile storage units. Wish us luck!

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
  1. Thanks to my brother-in-law’s brother, CareWeather CEO, Patrick Walton
  2. Torie for short
  3. Though apparently they do finally have an Aerospace Emphasis that you can get with your Mechanical or Electrical Engineering degree
  4. I recognized them speaking Tagalog, and could remember enough to strike up a conversation
Jonathan Goff

About Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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2 Responses to Goff Family 2021 Summer Sabbatical Part 1: Utah Trip

  1. johnhare john hare says:

    Good Luck. Have fun with it all.

  2. Jonathan Goff Jonathan Goff says:

    Thanks John!

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