Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer of Hiking

This summer we have gotten way into hiking. We have done about 70 miles of hiking with a total of about 30000 ft of elevation climbed, which is higher than Mount Everest. We did about 16 hikes total and climbed to the top of 4 mountains. Here are some of the trips:

Provo Peak

Provo Peak is just over 11000 ft in elevation. The trail to the top was relatively short at about 1 mile, but it climbed about 3000 ft in that mile, so it was pretty hard.

You kindof get an idea of how steep this path was. Most of the trail was like this.

Katie and I at the top of Provo Peak. It's something like 11080 ft high. On the way down we were swarmed by flys! No matter what we tried they surrounded our heads and stayed with us the entire way down. This hike was the most strenuous of all our summer hikes. Katie couldn't walk normal for at least 3 days. (We didn't stretch at all after though, so part of it was our fault.)

Alpine Loop Area

Near Provo there is a wilderness area with a bunch of hikes near Mount Timpanogos. We went camping there in July and did a few hikes.

Katie Next to a water Fall that we found on accident. Katie is holding a bouquet of flowers she picked on the way up that she dried and has in our living room.

Stewart Falls. After we took this picture we climbed to the top of the lower falls and then went under the waterfall. When going under the waterfall the cold falling water would suck everything warm and good out of you and you would fall into a brief moment of severe cold and darkness. Pretty sure it's what it would be like to see a dementor. We had to walk all the way back in soft, powdery dirt drenched clothes and shoes. Katie forgot her belt and had to hold her wet pants up the entire way down as well. Needless to say were really dirty sticky when we were done. It was an interesting experience.

Y Mountain

Everybody in Provo has climbed to the Y on the mountain side. We wanted to one up everyone so we climbed to the top of the mountain. We are glad we did it, but it wasn't one of our favorites. You hike the Y trail at first and then branch off at the top of the Y to head towards the peak. The top wasn't' really a peak or pronounced so was a little anticlimactic. We still got a great view of the valley when you walked towards the edges but yeah.

Moab and Blanding

The weekend before Fall semester started we went down to Blanding to visit Katie's Sister. On our way there we stopped in Moab to do a hike and then we did some hikes the next day in Blanding. Sadly, I forgot to put the memory card in the camera in Blanding so we only got fuzzy phone pictures there but we did get some good ones in Moab. These were some of the funnest hikes all summer.

Climbing up the side of a canyon near Moab. This is the Colorado River.

This is at the top of the canyon hike in Moab. It is called Portal Over look. It only took about an hour to get to this spot. It overlooks Moab, the Colorado River, and some of the surrounding canyons. This was easily my favorite view all summer.

Mount Timpanogos

Mount Timpanogos is probably the most popular mountain to climb in Utah. However, it is no easy hike. The trail climbs about 5000 feet and it about 15 miles round trip. It soars 7000 ft above Utah Valley and it is the second highest mountain in the Wasatch Front at just under 12000 ft. The first 6 miles on the trail are about as beautiful as Utah gets with many waterfalls, cliffs, and greenery. After one gets to the saddle the trail is about a 18 inches wide and very exposed with about 3500 feet of steep mountainside and cliffs. On the summit trail the winds were a constant 30 to 40 miles and hour and there was some pretty scary rock scrambling. To get down we went a different way that had a snowfield that you could slide down. That was one of the funnest parts of the trip. At the bottom of the snowfield there was a beautiful glacial lake with many mountain goats. This was my favorite adventure of the summer and it took 9.5 hours total to do.

This is a view from the summit of the trail that we took to go to the snowfield. If you look close you can see the thin trail cut through the steep mountainside and cliffs. If you fell to the right then you would have about 3000 ft of rocky cliffs to cushion the fall. Although the trail wasn't difficult, there was a lot of exposure and wind that made things interesting. When the path curved around the peak on the right the path shrank to about 10 inches at one point. At another point you had to to shimmy across an exposed rocky ledge that was about 6 inches wide.

Our camera wasn't able to capture the moment well so I found some pictures of the path off the internet. Thanks to whoever took them. This was the most technical part of the trail. Anyone could easily do this if there was no exposure but since there was a 2500 ft cliff behind the camera guy, it was bit more intimidating.

Here is a picture looking down from the most technical part. It was a series of somewhat steep switchbacks on a not so somewhat steep cliff. Katie , being afraid of heights, did great on this.

Once again, not my picture, but it shows what we did so whatever. This is looking back at the summit from the path we took down.

Some of the trail went right along the ridge. To the right there is a super steep mountainside and to the left there is a 1500 ft sheer cliff.

If you look close in the middle of the picture you can see a white dot. That white dot is a mountain goat going strait down a cliff. About 5 seconds before I took this picture he was at the top of this cliff.

Here is Emerald Lake which is at the bottom of the snowfield.

Me feeling the water in Emerald Lake.

Emerald Lake reflecting a mountain. We are at about 10000 ft elevation.

Here is the snowfield we came down.

Katie sliding down the snowfield.

Some super steep scree we came down while trying to get to the snowfield. Sliding down the scree was pretty fun.

On top of the snowfield.

Katie at the summit.

The trail to get to the summit.

Looking East at Heber on the summit.

Me on the summit.

Looking down at Emerald Lake from the Summit.

Katie on a very exposed area.

The summit from below.

A herd of mountain goats that came to visit.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Squaw Peak Hike and Camping (kindof)

On the Forth of July weekend we went camping in the mountains near Provo. We drove up to a great lookout point on a dirt road that was about 30 minutes aways. Because I am way minimalist when it comes to camping we ate on the way up (plus I got out of school at 6pm) and didn't even bother with a fire. We just backed into nice little spot near a 1500 ft cliff and whipped out the camping chairs and watched the sun set. After the sun went down we went into the truck camper and watched some House on the laptop. The next mooring we hiked Squaw Peak. The trail starts in Provo and climbs about 3000ft through Rock Canyon and up the mountain. It was about 8 miles long and was pretty awesome.

Panoramic from camping spot. Click on it to make it bigger.

Panoramic from Squaw Peak

This was a meadow near the top with a bunch of blooming yellow flowers. I don't know if my trashy camera was able to capture it.

This was near our camping spot. This is Rock Canyon and the mountain in the back is Wymountain.

This is the camping spot .

A view from inside the camper. We were about 4 ft from the 1500 ft cliff.

On top of Squaw Peak with Utah Valley in the background. Almost 7900 ft elevation.

Here is a 360 view of the top of Squaw Peak.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kitchen Update

So we didn't really like our kitchen so we decided to get the counter tops refinished and to paint the cabinets. We were a bit nervous when we were in the middle of painting but are pretty pleased with the result. Our tan appliances are a bit ugly and the vinyl flooring is archaic, but we have plans to get some new(er) white appliances and some cherry wood laminate flooring.




Friday, January 1, 2010

Texas Trip

This Christmas we had the opportunity to fly out to see my family in Texas. We flew out Friday the 18th of December from Salt Lake after having left Otis (our truck) in the care of Diamond parking (Which we highly recommend! They were great!). We were on a plane with only like 72 seats on it, two rows of two. Needless to say we were very cramped. We arrived in Texas after almost three hrs. It was really great to see the fam! My mom and little brother picked us up. In my mom's truck we got our first close up of San Antonio Texas, while also getting our ears chatted off by my little brother talking about his most recent Nintendo game. Texas is very flat.... I am sure it is very pretty in the spring though. My parents actually live outside of San Antonio in a city called Boerne (pronounced bernie). They live on Katie ct.! Isn't that great!? My dad got home from work that evening and then my older sister's family came that evening. My little sis came late that night and then my older brother actually wasn't able to come until the next tues. that first weekend was nice, it felt so good outside and we had a lot of fun with the fam. We made gingerbread houses, played Nert and watched Star Trek. Saturday we made our potato soup and everyone loved it!
Monday we went to some local caves that were supposed to have a 120 ft waterfall. Total waist of money really, there was no waterfall, the tour included a water damaged building... yup.. pretty much a huge thumbs down! that evening we decided to take a little tour of downtown Boerne. Very cute and old. Boerne was established a very long time ago by a group of Germans and so many of it's main streets have fun unpronounceable names, it made it fun. They had a bunch of cute little antique shops but sadly, most of them were closed when we made it to them (at 5 pm).
Tuesday Erik and I went to downtown San Antonio, walked along the river walk and saw the sights. We spent six hours walking around and saw some pretty interesting things. It was really pretty, there wasn't a lot to do but it was still enjoyable. We saw the Alamo. We saw our first display of public urination (pretty traumatizing..). We ate dinner at a little Texas style restaurant.
Wednesday we drove to Lizi's home down in Big Spring. We were there through Christmas. We played a lot of games and ate a lot of very nummy food. On Christmas Eve, Santa came to visit. My niece was very excited! My dad, as part of marketing his company and had been going around the hospitals as Santa so he brought the suit home and dressed up for Kyleena.
Christmas was exciting. It is always fun opening presents, no matter how old you are.
On the 26th, we had a girls/boys day. The girls went out shopping, looking for Christmas decor sales. As part of a girls day tradition we went to Olive Garden for their endless soup and salad and had a waitress through water and soda all over everything on accident. The boys went to gamestop and played golf on the wii.
We drove back to my parents house on Sunday the 27th. We watched some more star treck, caught up on some sleep lost at Lizi's and then on Monday we flew home.
It was a great trip and I am very grateful that we were able to go. Next year we are planning on going to Erik's parent's home and can't wait! Hope everyone had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Katie's Family

The River Walk at night.

Katie Remembering the Alamo.

Turkey Day

So we have been pretty into cooking this semester and decided to make our own Thanksgiving. Bask in the glory of our results (by our results I mean Katie's results):
Katie's turkey. 14 pounds of gluttony.

Gnawing on a turkey leg in a tryptophan induced stupor.

I forgot to drain the water from the sweet potatoes to they turned out to be marshmallows floating on a sweet potato soup.