Updates

Oct. 13th, 2014 02:38 pm
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
The Move: We've booked a moving truck (even with gas for the truck and the car this was still the cheapest option and at least we'll have our stuff right away), are about to sign a lease on a 3 bedroom apartment in Albany (wood floors, pantry, dishwasher, front porch, built ins, good neighborhood, previous tenant was there 9 years), and have started packing things up here.

Work: Sent my latest chapter off to my advisor and it was returned with reasonable edits (I'm very happy with this one, it's a turning point in the dissertation's argument) and my boss is very sad to see me go at Ancestry. One of the things I've enjoyed about that job is the performance monitoring they do - you can check your productivity daily and compare it to your squad, team, shift, and other shifts. Unlike grad school, which leaves you constantly wondering how you are doing, I know that I am one of their top performing workers (images per hour, QC disagreements, amount of time actively working in programs), even after only 90 days on the job.

Utah: Last weekend we went down to Arches again and did a backcountry trip in Canyonlands. Nick's old roommate had flown out to go with us and it was a little bit of an adjustment for him to do desert hiking (no peak to conquer or even trail to stick to - just explore!) but I think he ended up really enjoying it and appreciating nature more than he usually does camping. (It was also sort of funny to realize I am now in better shape than Jason, when he kept trailing behind us. Back in Yellowstone a few years back I was always the last person up the hill)

Jason imitating Edward Abbey:
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Taking our packs off for a few minutes - about to descend into the Canyonlands - our destination is that bend in the river behind us, about a 21 miles round trip. It was nice to have a third person around to take photos of the two of us!
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The descent mostly occurred here, at this rock slide (looking back up it). We descended 995' in .95 miles over dozens of switchbacks. Gorgeous views.
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Looking back at where we had descended.
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Taking a break on the way back up, with a view of Airport Tower and our hiking buddy. <3 Utah.
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brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
On Sunday we woke up before dawn to drive down to Mount Timpanogos, the second highest peak in the Wasatch mountains (11,752'). We saw moose, a ptarmigan, mountain goats, pika, and llamas! It was a long day and my legs and feet were sore the next day, but, despite the elevation, it wasn't nearly as hard as Olympus or Pfeifferhorn.

The hike starts overlooking meadows, but you start to go up a "Grand Staircase" of plateaus. The autumnal colors were hard to capture, but really beautiful, as were the shadows the clouds made on the landscape all day.

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After climbing the "staricase" you reach the "basin." That is Timpanogos behind us. You ascend to the saddle on the right and then allong the back of the ridge, through a narrow pass in the first rise, then across the ridge to the last steep ascent.

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This is just after leaving the saddle, you can see the trail on the lower left. It was scary, but not as scary as it could be - at least it wasn't a straight drop off?

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Looking up toward the summit. There is a little hut at the top.

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Looking down from the summit on the Timpanogos glacier and Emerald Lake. Some people continue along the ridgeline and slide or ski down the glacier (when there is more snow). They are crazy people.

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We had a friend.

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On the way back down. We had plenty of time so we decided to check out Emerald Lake.

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Mountain Goats at Emerald Lake. They were introduced and have thrived up here.

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Sadly, there is not much left of the Timpanogos Glacier...

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On the way back we tried to find the 1955 wreckage of a B-25 bomber, but only found the best restroom view on earth.

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We got back to the trailhead at 7:30pm, after 12 hours of hiking, close to 20 miles, and over 4,000' elevation gain. It was probably the most scenic hike we've done here, especially the variety of scenery over the course of the hike. This was also our highest peak yet and the altitude sickness wasn't nearly as bad as I've had at lower elevations, so I think I'm finally adjusting - just in time for a trip to King's Peak (13,528') this weekend with our neighbors! It's the highest peak in Utah, and, alledgedly the hardest non-technical state high point in the United States. 
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
On Sunday we hiked the Pfeifferhorn - a 11,326' peak in Little Cottonwood Canyon that several people had recommended to us. It would be our highest peak yet.

We got to the trailhead at 9:30 AM and saw mostly trail runners on the way up. The trail is very steep after the first few miles - 2,000' elevation gain in 3 miles.

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The peak in the distance is the false peak we would have to summit before reaching the Pfeifferhorn.

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We had lunch at Red Pine Lake, where we watched a fly fisherman catch several fish and asked around about the trail up to Pfeifferhorn but only succeeded in finding out that no one knew anything other than it wasn't marked.

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Read more... )
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
We had a wonderful time up in Glacier, getting in a three day, two night backcountry trip on the far northeast corner of the park.

Sometimes 20 hours of driving through the night are worth 72 hours of glacial lakes, thundering waterfalls, friendly foxes, and jagged peaks.

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brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Dissertation: Trying to finish a draft of this rheumatic fever chapter by the Fourth of July. Not sure if I'll make it, but I'm enjoying writing it and getting in a good productivity groove around it. It makes me hopeful for finishing the whole dissertation this fall. I can write a chapter a month, I really can. The chapter combines some old favorites (The Welfare State!) with some topics that I'm discovering are very understudied and would be great material for future articles (especially the history of convalescent homes and the field of occupational therapy). I also have some meta thoughts in my head right now about the privileging of fiction writing over non-fiction writing....

Finances: I have an interview with Ancestry.com next week for a part time historical digital specialist, so send some "good luck" my way. I have about one hundred dollars to my name, although some careful planning from earlier this year means I can survive a little longer (combined with Nick's salary), but I need something soon, especially with fall tuition coming due in September. Chatting with a fellow historian girlfriend of mine about the realities of this job market, the two-body problem, quality of life, and altered expectations cheered me up some. We both struggle but also count our blessings that we are with our partners, live in a part of the country we like, and can practice our profession even if it's not the way we expected to. I struggle with the bitterness sometimes, but playing the victim about the status of academia right now is naive and disingenuous - there are lots of things I could have and can do, while still seeing being righteously angry about the status of our profession.

I mean, apparently, we live in the least stressful city in the United States!

Fun: We got out to a minor league baseball game on Monday, which was really fun.

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We have two apricot trees in the back yard (one hanging over the fence from the neighbor that is ripe now and the one just outside my window that will be ripe soon) so I am looking into canning, drying, and fermenting them. The first two I've done before but I've only ever made kombucha, so it will be a fun new endeavour to try making mead. I need a few supplies (a carboy and an airlock) but I can get the books from the library and have a perfect home set up for it (our wine cellar has seen more use from aging beer and kombucha than wine...).

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We are planning a trip to Glacier National Park over the holiday weekend. It's a ten hour drive, which we'll probably do overnight. It's Nick's favorite park and he's been there twice - once car camping and once backpacking. The Glacier NPS website is ridiculously helpful - they have trail updates, historical fill times of campgrounds, and daily updates on plowing (the main road through the park is still impassable due to snow - welcome to the Rockies!). We will consult with rangers when we get there about what we can access and have equipment for (we aren't as hardcore as ice picks and crampons... yet), but the Three Passes hike looks perfect.

Big Drift, 6-25-2014
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Now that the snow is off of the >10,000 ft. peaks we are enjoying bagging one a weekend that have been on our list for a while. This past weekend was Mount Olympus (9,026 ft.) - strenuous 7.6 mile roundtrip with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain. This meant a constant and grueling uphill grade, often 30%.

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Honestly, this trail is about the destination and not the journey - the trail didn't have much of a view (mostly of SLC itself) and despite the elevation you could hear traffic from the freeway most of the way up.

The best part, by far, was the class 3 scrambling for the last 600 ft. before the summit. Yes, that's the "trail" going straight up - it was just one hair shy of "too" scary - therefore, perfect.

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At the summit the views were mostly of Twin (11,330 ft.) and Lone (11,253 ft.) peaks (behind us - Twin is the peak nearer on the left and Lone is in the distance - we'll be hiking those in July, after we do Pfeifferhorn (11,326 ft.), which is supposed to have great wildflowers this time of year).

I don't have a great camera, so I can't show you the proof, but we also saw a mother mountain goat and her baby on the lower peak to the North - I swear I see more charismatic fauna within SLC city limits than I do in the National Parks!


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Since we had tickets for a Lions game that night we needed to hustle down the mountain, so we ended up ascending it in 3.5 hours and descending in 1.5 hours. My quads are STILL killing me - not just sore or sore when I do something, but burning even when I sit down. Still, that didn't keep me from a five mile run yesterday and cardio class today.

Back to the rheumatic fever chapter... and a sort of last minute idea of ours to head up to Glacier National Park for the Fourth of July weekend to give me something to plan when I need to cheering up :)
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
When we drove back to Wisconsin last summer, after apartment hunting, we briefly stopped at Dinosaur National Monument and knew we had to go back - so that's what I asked for for my birthday :)

We left Thursday night and spent the first night at a campground near the Visitor Center - convenient to get started the next day. Sadly, the park rangers were not as useful with back country advice as we've experienced in the past, but we were able to put together a nice weekend, including several hikes, an amazing drive, and the best backcountry site you could ask for.

Seriously, when people say Zion is their favorite Utah national park I am starting to think they are oncrack.

The Mitten Park Fault - our view after we hiked out to a beach on the Green River:

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Happy campers:

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The view of the Mitten Park Fault and Steamboat Rock from 2,500 above. It's hard to tell, but the Yampa River (which you can see a little of in the center of the photo) is actually meeting the Green River (which you can see more clearly on the right side) behind Steamboat Rock, even though those rocks look continuous.

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Lots of abandoned (and not abandoned) ranches:

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Our campsite at Ruple Point. No complaining allowed:

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Split Mountain dominates the center of the park. The Green River splits the mountain (which is the far eastern edge of the Uintas - the highest east-west mountain range in the lower 48) in half lengthwise - so, you can see how each side would match up with each other by matching the geologic layers.

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Dinosaur National Monument is named for the massive Dinosaur quarry formed by a "log jam" of dinosaur bones that then fossilized and folded on it's side, preserving many specimens that are usually found flattened.
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There are also many Fremont Petroglyphs.

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This is the only place one can find Fremont lizard petroglyphs.

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Seriously, if you want beautiful scenery, quiet, space, and variety I highly suggest this gem. We are already planning our next trip there to see the northern side of the Green River and explore some slot canyons.

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brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
After a night in probably the worst motel room ever, we returned to Arches to hike into the Petrified Dunes and backcountry camp for the night. The website and guidebooks discourage backcountry camping in Arches - it is a small park with limited backcountry areas and requires a lot of water - but once we talked to actual rangers they had tons of suggestions and we were so glad we basically pack our full backcountry gear everytime we go camping, so we had everything we needed.

If you check out this map, our destination was pretty much exactly where the pin is. This is my GPS watch's record of our first day (the battery died halfway through the second day - dream REI purchase? Solar panel charger). You can see where we tried to climb out of the canyon and wandered all over :)

We entered the canyons with the plan of going up the third one and seeing if we could climb out of it to camp for the night (no trail, only rules were camp on rock more than 300 feet from arch, water, and archaeology sites). The canyon was actually quite lush, with lots of water crossings and signs of beavers.

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About a mile in the canyon walls got much higher and we started taking breaks to scramble up them and explore.

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We resisted the urge to soak our feet in the water.

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Eventually we began to wonder how we were going to climb back out...

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Looking back toward the main canyon, from about halfway up the canyon wall:

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In our attempt to find our way up on top of the canyon we explored caves, shelves, and arches - did I mention there was no trail and not a sign of another human being - well except archaeologically speaking (we saw a campsite that was probably 200 years old)?

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This was as close as we got to the top - Nick went exploring and decided we had a 95% chance of making it. We decided it wasn't worth the risk, since the fall was over 200 feet.

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It helped that we had spotted a flat rock area at the bend in the canyon, so we knew we had an option for the night. Since we still had daylight - and we are completists - we went to the very end of the canyon and found an even better spot to camp. Desert camping - you may need to carry a lot of water (5 liters per person per day - heavy!), but no bears, bugs, or people? Heck, due to the canyon walls we were able to sleep in!

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On the way back out we took a slight higher route, enjoying the Spring wildflowers.

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26 hours later!

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We had a few hours of daylight left so we checked out Double Arch.

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Petroglyphs:

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And Delicate Arch.

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brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
The weekend before I left for Chicago Nick and I went down to Arches and Canyonlands for the weekend. We left early on Friday hoping to get a first-come campsite, since everything in Moab is booked for ages, but after driving around for a few hours gave up. We booked a motel an hour away (did I mention there are only three towns between Provo and Moab - four and a half hours and three towns?) and spent the day at Arches doing "easy" hikes.

This trail had increasing difficulty - and boy did we take advantage of that...

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Our first Arch!

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La Sal Mountains.

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After losing the trail in one direction, we doubled back to Landscape Arch:

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Then attempted the trail in the other direction:

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Basically making our trip 9 miles instead of 4.

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But we saw lots of Arches :)

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brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
The day after the race we went up to Ogden (which is apparently where Utah's rednecks live?) to do an easy hike up Waterfall Canyon. It is a pretty popular hike - lots of dogs (and one cat!), people doing the weirdest hiking things (bringing a radio to play music while hiking, eating McDonald's on the trail, and generally not following simple trail etiquette rules. That being said, it was a pretty hike with an impressive waterfall at the end.

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Working out those post-race calf cramps.

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The view down to Ogden and the Great Salt Lake. That poor black dog got sprayed by a skunk on the way up the trail (maybe you should keep your dog on a leash?)

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We were done by 4PM so we thought we'd do another hike while we were in the area, so we drove down to Adams Canyon. This area was much more alpine and shaded, with more waterfalls (though less impressive).

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The water was actually too high to see the final waterfall, but Nick tried to peak around the corner to see it.

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The weekend was rounded out by delicious foods (half price oysters and craft cocktails at a new bistro, followed by dinner at our neighborhood brewpub) and quality time together, including reading in the back yard.
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Yesterday we went for a hike up Grandeur Peak (8,294 ft with 2,829 ft of elevation gain in 5.82 miles and 3:43 hours). The trailhead is located very close to the city, in Millcreek Canyon and on the way up mostly offers views to the south, especially of Gobler's Knob.

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We had wanted a hike with some snow, which we got near the top.

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The view at the top was wonderful - I love the way the city goes right up to the mountain.

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You can see some rain over the Great Salt Lake, downtown, and even our neighborhood.

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Looking East at a reservoir.

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We had the peak to ourselves so we relied on the timer to take a photo :)

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Afterwards we went to the home opener of the Salt Lake City Lions (SLC's brand new Ultimate team). Of note, those were the mountains we were in as our game's backdrop.

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brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
On our way down to Vegas we stopped at Zion. Our friend may have just started to get into hiking, but he is still used to eating every meal of the day out and having constant internet access, so he wanted to stay at a motel instead of camping. The next morning we had a healthy breakfast at a local cafe that also made us sandwiches for hiking (I had an amazing veggie/fruit/nut wrap). Due to the need to airlift out the toilets at Angel's Landing, we couldn't do that iconic hike, so we did a longer, more strenuous, higher elevation one - Observation Point. I'm glad we did, as it had more varied terrain.

The trail started with a steep ascent, but with well maintained switchbacks.

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And was directly across from Angel's Landing.

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After that ascent you enter Echo Canyon, my favorite spot on the hike.

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Then you start ascending again, with sharper and sharper switchbacks until you reach the mesa.

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Lunch at the top (6508ft). Again, not very high by Utah standards, but southern Utah is a lower elevation than northern Utah, so the ascent was still over 2000 ft. gain.

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On the return the light in Echo Canyon was even nicer than on the way up.

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Visitor!

Feb. 23rd, 2014 02:15 pm
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
This week Nick's college roommate Greg came to visit. He was very excited to try the hiking, so we started off with The Living Room (followed by the Natural History Museum, since they share the same parking lot), which he did well on, so the next day I took him to Frary Peak on Antelope Island (Nick had a lot of work to do before our trip to Zion and Vegas).

The Peak is the highest point on the island, which is one of the islands in the Great Salt Lake. Due to it's protected nature and remoteness, it has herds of bison, bighorn sheep, deer, pronghorn sheep, and coyotes. We saw all of those except the sheep on the trip.

You know you are getting used to Utah when your guest sees this view and says "wow!" and you say "yeah, it's alright."

Frary Peak

The peak is only 6596 ft, but the island is at a quite low elevation, so that isn't low for out there. After about three miles of ascending around foothills you reach the false summit. You then descend the right side of the peak before ascending up again. The peak is in the distance.

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Near the top the ascent is very steep.

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The views were amazing though - 360 views of the area.

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On the way back the sunset made everything look different and wonderful.

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brdgt: (Smiling by ABM)
On Sunday I picked our weekly hike - Lake Blanche, an alpine lake within a glacial cirque in the shadow of Sundial Peak. The pollution has been bad, so we wanted some fresh air, but just hiking a peak for the view isn't a good option, since most views are blocked by the pollution. I heard about this hike on Fitocracy - the view is *up* to Sundial Peak and the snow pack was good enough that you didn't need snowshoes. I did pick up some YakTrak the day before and brought my hiking poles, neither of which were necessary, but definitely helped in expending less energy sliding on snow.

It was 34 degrees when we left the trail head, but with a 1,000 feet elevation gain per mile and walking straight into the sun in a cloudless sky, we were plenty warm.

Lake Blanche Trail

We went from following a canyon stream only slightly covered in ice (just muffling, but not completely hiding the sound of the water) to beautiful stands of birch trees.

Lake Blanche Trail

The trail was nicely packed, but the snow was several feet deep on either side - it was important to not step off.

Lake Blanche Trail

After the canyon and birch trees, we went through several rock slides and avalanche fields - the hike probably made easier by the snow. About 2.8 miles and 2,800 feet elevation gain we finally got to Sundial Peak.

Lake Blanche Trail


Sundial Peak

We had lunch and climbed a bit further up, so we could claim to have gone over 9,000 feet (Sundial Peak is only accessible with mountaineering gear and experience).

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Sundial Peak

You can see the view of Salt Lake City in the distance here - with the inversion covering the whole valley.

Inversion

On the way down we encountered quite a few backcountry skiers (why pay for lift tickets when you can climb a mountain and ski down it?) and two moose! No pictures of them, even though they were less than 30 feet away - camera was too cold, light was failing, and too many bushes.

Lake Blanche Trail

In the end, just over 6 1/2 miles, about 4 hours, 2,830 feet of elevation gain, two moose, and a great day - my first hike that was snow covered the whole time! And all just a 30 minute drive from our home :)
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Yesterday Nick and I hiked Battle Creek Falls, a short trail south of Salt Lake City. Given the recent snow we didn't want to do something with too much elevation gain and there were big wind gusts yesterday, making Antelope Island seem miserable. This was a pretty little hike, with a light snow and good company :)

The falls are at the base of Mount Timpanogos, the second highest peak in the Wasatch mountain range. Technically, you can climb the mountain from this trailhead, but it is described as a "dangerous, miserable, loose-scree climb."

As soon as we got off the highway we knew we weren't in Kansas anymore. It was a Sunday - not a single business was open. Not the Burger King, not even the supermarkets. We counted 9 churches in the ten mile drive to the trailhead from the highway - they were all packed. (Seriously, I was glad we had a full tank of gas and had packed sandwiches for lunch!) That being said, we encountered a few other people on the trail - to whom we wanted to challenge "why aren't you in church??"

Trailhead at the start of the canyon:
Battle Creek Falls

The frozen falls:

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A couple of guys were ice climbing this - they "hiked" up the rock on the left, rappelled down, then climbed up, and then came back the way the hiked up. The rappelling and climbing seemed the safest part of their endeavor.

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We hiked up until fording the stream seemed too risky (wet clothes for the rest of the hike? no thanks) and "had" to slide down parts of the trail on the way back.

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Looking West toward Utah Lake on the way back.

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The neighbors invited us over to watch football when we got back so we got to get to know them better and pet Oink before heading home to relax on the couch with season three of Breaking Bad. God, I hate Walter White.
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
The day after Thanksgiving we climbed Little Black Mountain (8040') - a 6 hour, 11 mile, 3,544' elevation gain hike. Little Black Mountain is the mountain in the center of the photo, it's actual peak is the smaller looking one furthest away.

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This was around where we turned back last time. The snow actually made it easier.

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After 7,500' both of us felt a bit dizzy from the elevation, but the views were great.

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The last mile or so was along the ridge-line. This is only the false peak, the real one is hidden by this one.

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Little Black Mountain's peak - it's pretty scary.

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This was as far as we got, since it would take a good hour to scramble the last bit and we were fighting daylight.

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We were still proud of ourselves.

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Looking down into the valley - you can just make out downtown in the inversion.

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brdgt: (Windy Road by iconomicon)
Yesterday we decided to go for a hike before the fall colors were completely gone and it was too cold at high altitudes - so we went back to City Creek Canyon and headed up a very old trail and then hiked toward Little Black Mountain until it was too late to get back by dark.

This is the route according to Nick's camera's GPS (I forgot to wear my GPS watch)

MAP

As you can see, the Pipeline trail is... poorly marked....

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But it brought us, steeply and quickly, to a seven way intersection:

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And since we'd seen lots of views of the city (and the city is under a pretty bad inversion right now), we headed toward Little Black Mountain.

Inversion:

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Our goal, if we could make it before we had to head back to our bikes, was the ridge on the right, several ridges before Little Black Mountain:

Goal

Apparently the trail is very popular with trail runners and we saw a lot of them (and found ourselves running down a lot of the trail on the way back, since that was actually easier):

Little Black Mountain Trail

We got to around 7,100 feet at 4:30 and decided we had to turn back, so we had a snack and enjoyed the view:

October Hike

Next up we plan on taking a quicker route to the start of the trail and starting earlier so we can go all the way to Little Black Mountain. Then, after that, maybe Grandview Peak, which can be seen here:

Grandview peak

Lately

Sep. 16th, 2013 12:33 pm
brdgt: (Naps and Kittens by iconomicon)
On Saturday I went for a hike to check out a potential trail running route on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail up above us (it had also been a rainy couple days and I felt cooped up). It was a nice trail, but I think I would do it in reverse, as the first part is very steep straight up on sidewalks, while the second part was nice shaded switchbacks up the canyon.

Bonneville Shoreline Trail to City Creek Canyon


This week I picked up a knitting project I had set aside for months. After only one episode of Orange is the New Black (as I am counting hour long periods of time lately) I was able to figure out where I was in the pattern and since then I have almost finished the sock (picked up again from the heel turn).

First Black Sock


Yesterday the gardener came over to weed and pointed out that the grapes in the front yard were ready to be picked if I wanted them.

Grapes on the vine

Why yes, yes I would like that very much:

Grapes Ready to Eat
brdgt: (Jesus Baby Dinosaur by Iconomicon)
On Saturday I went to the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Championship at the old Olympic Biathlon venue. It must be one of the biggest of it's kind in the US, because it was four days with over 40 competitors each day! My friend Jen invited me (she used to handle sheepdogs in 4-H growing up) and we had a really great time - it's surprisingly tense! The dogs had to go about 1/4 mile up a hill, drive 5 sheep down a hill, around a pole counterclockwise, back up the hill through a gate, across the hill through another gate, back to the handler (who is guiding them by whistles), separate two or the three sheep from each other, and then drive them all into a pen - all in 12 minutes! We only saw one dog successfully get the sheep in the pen and, sadly, since he missed a gate, didn't even place! Everyone clapped when a dog completed a part of the course and we all generally agreed that sheep are jerks.

This is from the same competition a few years ago:



There was also a "splash dogs" competition - dogs jumping into the water for distance. The furthest we saw was 22 feet! Watch this video with the sound off (stupid "who let the dogs out?" music playing). We saw several of these and especially enjoyed that Jack Russell terrier in the beginning!




On Sunday we got our Mormon on and checked out Temple Square, the world headquarters of the LDS church. It's a very pretty area, with lots of beautiful flowers and fountains - and many pairs of "sisters" who are happy to help you with any questions! You can't go in the Temple (in fact, not all Mormons can) but they do have a replica in one of the visitor centers.

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The Angel Moroni:

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I didn't learn anything new about Mormonism, but the experience did actually normalize the religion to me - in a way that sort of made other religions seem equally weird - but as a born and raised atheist, I guess that's normal.

Anyway, we got a little Mormoned out and headed up to the Capitol, which was pretty dead, since it was a Sunday.

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It's not nearly as impressive as the Wisconsin Capitol, but hopefully we can go back sometime with out of town visitors and go on a tour.

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And I swear to god, every single time I leave the house I see a wedding - any day of the week, any place in town.

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Then on Labor Day itself we went for our first hike! There are quite a few trails that go up from the Lake Bonneville Shoreline Trail behind the University (mostly from mountain bikers), but the Mount Wire peak (about 7100') seemed like a good starter hike for us. It is recognizable for the two microwave transmitters on top:

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The trail alternated between shady scrub and exposed rocky hillsides. It went pretty much straight up the canyon, with little to no switchbacks.

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The view at the top is nice though - Salt Lake City all the way out to the Great Salt Lake (you can really make out The Avenues - our neighborhood - the Aves are the very straight streets on the near right, going up the foothills):

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South East toward Mt. Olympus, which we want to climb as soon as we get a car (we were able to bike to this trailhead - about 7 miles roundtrip - steady uphill on the way there and mostly downhill on the way back)

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Selfie at the top! You'll be seeing a lot more pictures of me in hats now that we're in Utah :)

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Then, instead of heading back the way we came we went over a saddle to the Red Butte, where the trail went right along the steep ridge-line:

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This is looking back up at the "trail" as we came down toward the "Living Room" - a rock-slide locals have name such for the sheets of rock people have turned into "chairs."

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Taking a break in the "Living Room"

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The hike took us most of the day and we are definitely still getting used to the altitude, but it was great to get out and enjoy our new environment! We even ran into two Madison natives on the trail and a UW grad at the supermarket later!
brdgt: (Afterglow by Iconomicon)
I'm back! I posted an album on facebook if we are friends there, but here we go for LJ's sake:



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