Wednesday, May 26, 2010

After getting run out of the desert by rain, we hid out for a night at the Escalante Outfitters and planned our backpacking trip. We were out four days and three nights walking along the Escalante River. It was a spectacular trip!

We went back to town after our backpacking trip to meet up wit Josh's friend Kelly. We headed back down Hole in the Rock Road to show him some things we had discovered. We explored a non technical slot canyon, showed Kelly Davis Gulch and made another trip to Lake Powell. This time, the boys took their Thermorests and used them as rafts. The desert was in full bloom while Kelly was there. We saw a lizard fight in our camp!

When Kelly left to go back to Denver, Josh and I packed up to head to Zion!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

Okay, so there was very little down time in Vegas for me to follow up on my previous word... sorry 'bout that. We are starting out eastward trek after some relaxing downtime in Denver. "Downtime" is probably a humorous description coming from one with no job, no real destination and no time frame. But I will tell you that keeping up with adventures is a difficult task and I can only hope to do them justice in writing and pictures- stay tuned!

As for Vegas: I don't even know how to start. To put it most simply I felt more out-of-my-element there than I ever did 75 miles from pavement in the Dollhouse, miles from human contact in the depths of a slot canyon or anywhere in the wilderness altogether. I spent the whole time there just soaking it all in. That place is spectacular, and frightening all at once! But over all I had a GREAT time!! I sat down at a black jack table with $60 and left with $180! so I feel accomplished and Josh won a hundred or so over the weekend. We saw the Beatles Cirque du Soleil and it was beautiful and fantastic.... Pics and stories to come in chronological order.

I am SO behind, I know, I know!! But I just want to leave you with the ultimate promise that I will indeed share my adventures in due time. For now, I am safe and happy and well fed and put up with friends in Denver.

Here's another couple of pictures that I love!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Miss me?

Well!! We have been all over the map since I've last found the time to blog. Please check out the full array of photos on Facebook. I'm currently sitting in Denny's trying to get all the pics on the Internet so that friends and family can see... but finding the time to type out all my journals and thoughts is a different story altogether. The short story is: we spent two, maybe three weeks in Escalante, Ut down Hole-in-the-Rock road. Then headed to Zion National Park for about a week and in both places got in some really cool slots canyons!! Our technical canyoneering skills are being honed every day. Along with our physical skills, our photography skills are also being honed. (While we're at improvements- my legs and arms are getting rather toned as well!)

The highlight of our technical canyoneering career took place in Zion just three days ago. We hiked/rappelled Pine Creek. Pine Creek is considered a "classic moderate" technical slot canyon (the advanced technicals will have to wait until next year- they are a bit of a jump up in skill level from what we are used to) Pine Creek had six rappels: the first one just 100 yards from the parking lot! We geared up in full wet suits, complete with booties and gloves, and boy were we glad we did, because we did some full-on swimming! and boy, was it CHILLY! We had to carry two ropes with us, one 10 meter and one 60 meter. We were able to use the shorter rope for most raps, as they were short and sweet. The final rappel, however, was 96 feet, and free-haning! the idea of it was a little scary at first. Josh and I both, strangely enough, are a little fearful of heights when ropes are not in the equation. The scary part, is setting up the ropes and clipping in, but once your are attached and secured to the rope, it is one of the most exhilarating experiences ever!

I promise to post pictures soon, with commentary so you can follow along. But, like I said, we're dealing with shotty Internet (at best) and I cannot overload my poor browser with uploading in more than one spot at a time. We are leaving Page, Arizona post-haste headed for the Grand Canyon and from there we will be in Las Vegas. Once we get to Vegas (and get a hotel room) I'll have more time to commit to blogging (maybe...) either way, stay tuned!!!

Okay, okay, I'll give you a little teaser:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

After Little Wild Horse/Bell Canyon we moved our camp just down the way to a spot more sheltered from the wind
We stayed in the San Rafael Swell one more night then headed south to Escalante...

We stopped to have a beer and gather local info at the Escalante Outfitters. It was here, that we ran into some old friends of Josh's. Tulsa and Mac were on vacation from Montana with their dog Shackelton. Shack rode in the side car of Tulsa's enduro bike...

Plans were altered... we camped with Tulsa and Mac (and Shackelton) for two nights and did a little hiking with them

Josh took Shackelton for a spin

Then we said our goodbyes to our friends, said we would come visit them at the Yodeler Motel(which they are the proud owners of) and parted ways.

Tulsa and Mac (who by the way is from Alabama... who knew I'd meet a fellow 'Bamaian way out here in the desert?!?!) went north towards Moab and we headed to the Hole in the Rock road.

The Hole in the Rock is famous in the Mormon community for the trek made back in the 1800's from Escalante to the San Juan River... it was one heck of a trek by horse and wagon let me tell you- 'cause it was a long ride in the Subaru.

The first day we spent looking for the home. It took a while, we went to several open houses, we walked around a few nice lots- but we went back to the first one we looked at and moved right in. It had everything, a view, shelter from the wind, a nice neighborhood- unfortunately it was in a bit of a drainage, but this is the desert, so it doesn't rain-- right?!?

We spent three days playing in slot canyons and taking pictures... doing what we do...

Lake Powell is at the end of the 54 mile dirt road and down a STEEP trail about 1/2 a mile... but totally worth the haul to see clear water

Then wouldn't you know, at 5 AM this morning, Josh woke me up to inform me it was "game time" it was pouring and we had to pack up and move out of our humble abode before we got washed away. So we drove to town and got a room at the Outfitters (we were going to just get a tent site, but the temptation of a queen sized bed for only $30 more was too much) and started planning our backpacking trip in the Escalante National Monument. We're off in the early morning and we'll be back in about a week. With plenty pictures and stories to tell!

Have a great week!!

So much to report...

Well, we're sitting in a cabin in Escalante, Utah right now. We have showered, eaten and ingested some beer... now we can safely move on to pictures and recapping the last week or so. Where did I leave off?

(April 22) Green River.... After spending a day in Green River, Utah golfing and hot tubing...

(April 23) We headed East to Moab to catch the infamous car show and hit up the gear shops to get more books on Canyon Country.

We also did a bit of laundry- while we waited for our clothes, we did some hiking and exploring near town.

After our laundry was finished and we were done in town, we head out in search of the perfect camp site. The search turned into a scenic drive up Potash and into the back of Canyonlands NP... We keep finding these gnarly roads!

Turns out, the car show brought more people to Moab than we thought, and we ended up at a group camp sight just outside of Canyonlands- not ideal, but we'll set up where we can when we have to.

The next morning (April 24) we rose early to get to Arches NP and hike the Firey Furnace. One of our friends from the Raft Trip said if we liked the Dollhouse, we would also enjoy the Firey Furnace- and Ali is a rather trustworthy gal...

After Arches, we headed back to the San Rafael Swell. We got there in plenty of time to have camp set up in time for a sunset beer- unfortunately the wind was not cooperating and we had to take in the sunset from the car window, and cook in the tent. We played Go Fish by headlamp.

(April 28) The next morning we went to check out Little Wild Horse Canyon. We'd hear good things...
This canyon is actually two canyons- Little Wild Horse and Bell. It's an eight mile loop suitable for just about anyone. We knew this because upon arrival we saw a family with a toddler walking back to the parking area. It was well worth it, even if we weren't the only people in that canyon that day.

okay, all this blogging (indoors) is making me stir crazy. I'm going to go the restaurant, I'll be back with the rest of the story later...