Friday, December 16, 2011

Best Adventure Yet. . .

Erik and I have spent the last few months contemplating what our future children might look like. . . incredibly handsome like Erik, or great fashion sense like mine.

Lets all find out on May 18th, when our beautiful baby GIRL is scheduled to arrive!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


All this football over Thanksgiving weekend is nothing compared to the big game that is scheduled to come this week.  The famous intramural women's flag football team, the Thundercats takes on the less famous Rugby Girls for the big match-up in the division I championship game this Thursday.  We are all SO excited for the big game.  We have defeated the Rugby Girls team 2 years in a row, this match-up will mark the third year in the rivalry.  The Thundercats also have 7 consecutive DI championships under their belts bringing a host of experience to the game.

Last year's champions

Here is a little preview of what to expect from the Thundercats this week.  Interceptions, defensive marvels, long bombs, and a myriad of other tricks up their sleeve.  This video also includes the collision I had that resulted in the big concussion.  You can't miss it. THUNDERCATS OH!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Subway, From the Bottom, Zion NP

The weather in Zion NP called for highs in the 40's and lows in the 20's with several inches of snowfall. But this was the weekend were were finally able to procure permits to hike the Subway, a world famous technical canyon. We spent all week trying to convince our group of nine people that the weather would not be a problem. Thick wetsuits and warm sleeping bags solve all problems! However as the week went on noses started running, babies were being born, and fear of the cold settled into the Arizona crew.  Our group size slowly dwindled down to only Erik and I.  We went to sleep Thursday night extremely discouraged having decided not to go anymore, but we both woke up Friday morning determined to make it happen, so the two of us packed our warmest and headed to Zion.
Weather was mild as we set up camp and spend the evening exploring the Emerald Pools trail in Zion. We got to bed early, hoping we could find a way to make the Subway happen the next day.   It is impossible to do the technical section of the Subway with only one car, you have to have two cars for a 10 mile shuttle.  The next morning when we picked up our Permits, we were hoping to get info on other groups doing the canyon, we thought we could join in with other adventurers.  However, no one else was doing the technical route.  We also inquired at Zion Adventure Co, were we were renting wet suits, if they knew of anyone doing the Subway that day. No luck.  So we accepted the fact that we would have to bag our original plan and we opted to hike to the scenic sections of the Subway from the bottom up.  Still a fun hike, but you don't get to see the best sections of the canyon, and there is no rapelling or technical climbing.

We headed out the Left Fork trail head in chilly weather, but warmed up fast hiking down into the canyon. 

The fall colors were perfect and we loved the yellow and red leaves mixed into the scenery.  The first few miles of the hike we followed the creek all the way up canyon to the Subway.  There was a ton of stream crossings, but we were able to keep dry up to this point.

We ran into one other hiker, a photographer who had hiked in during the morning snow and was waiting for some good light to take pics in. We took advantage of the chance of seeing another person and took a shot together at the entrance of the Subway.

The subway was incredible, tons of clear green and blue pools, cascading waterfalls, and amazing rock formations.

This was as far as we were able to venture up canyon without having to swim.  You can see it is pretty deep swim through the narrows here.  That is where we would have come from if we had done the canyon the technical route from the top down like we wanted to.  Miles and miles of narrows and clear pools.  All this trip did was wet out appetites to come back to do the real thing.

Amazing day of exploring.  On our way back to the car the sun came out and we had a fabulous Fall day.  We spend the rest of the day meandering the Virgin River Narrows walk and warming up in camp with Erik's famous chili and a warm fire. I am so glad Erik and I still went down even if we couldn't do the entire Subway. It would have definitely been doable, it wasn't that cold and the weather was much milder than predicted. It was still fun to visit my favorite place on earth to rejuvenate and prepare to finish the semester. 

When we came home we had something awesome waiting for us in the mail! Our permit requests to backpack the Grand Canyon this December were approved! So get excited for that incredible trip report.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stewart Falls, Autum Colors

Last week Erik headed up to the Uintas to on an elk hunt with Brandon.  It was a beautiful Fall day and I had to spend it outside so Trisha and I took her dogs and headed up the canyon.  We ended up stopping at the Aspen Grove trail head above Sundance.  We spent all afternoon heading up the aspen grove trail and then taking the trail to Stewart Falls.  We hit the changing of the colors just right and the trail mountains glowed with yellow, orange, and red hues.  Most gorgeous day I have ever spent up on the Alpine Loop. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

St. George Marathon

We had a pretty interesting marathon race weekend down in St George, Utah.   After a nice pasta dinner followed by a miracle BYU football game, we got to bed early for the 4 am wake up call.  I was so nervous/nauseous the morning of the race I could barely get a few bites of muesli down.  Minimal breakfast. . . not the best way to start your marathon day.  I met McKesha at the finish line and we rode the bus together up to the starting line in the dark.  Our bus only arrived 10 minutes before the starting time, so we hurried to the bathrooms right away.  Like all distance races the lines for the jon were terrible and I was literally sitting on the pot when I hear the starting horn go off.  Oh well, so we missed the start, we then took our time eating a shot block, downing a few last gulps of water, and ditching our sweats bag.  There was still a huge line of people waiting to get to the starting line so we were cool hopping in with the 4:30 pace group and starting about 8 minutes after the horn. 

It was nice and cool and we felt super fast passing people nonstop for the first 16 miles of the race.  Starting several minutes after the horn is a good confidence booster.  Erik came up to cheer at Veyo and it was super cool to have a fan so early in the race. 

I felt really great for the first 7 miles, then we hit the hills.  I am not the best hill runner but I tried to muscle up the big hills to stay with McKesha.  Bad idea, after busting my best effort up the next 4 miles of hills I was toast.  My hamstrings and calves were done by 11 miles, and the rest of the race was spent just getting from aid station to aid station.  I was really upset, it is one thing to hit the wall with 3-5 miles to go, but to hit the wall with 15 to go! I was hurting to say the least.  I tried to stay as positive as possible and feed off of the many cheering fans and waving signs.  I knew if I picked up the pace I would cramp so I had to just keep shuffling along like a snail.  There were ups and downs were I would start to feel a little bit better, but they never lasted more than a mile at a time. 

After turning the final corner in town I was never so happy to see a finish line in my life.  I crawled over the finish line at 3:48, about 20 minutes slower that I projected I would run even on a slow day.   I got a little emotional at the finish, but not for typical reasons runners do.  I was just so happy that I got to stop running.  Erik was at the finish and gave me a hug.  I felt pretty horrible for the next few hours but after a while I began to see the joy and positive in what I accomplished.  I was proud that I ran through that much pain for that long in stead of quitting or walking, and I was proud of choosing to run despite some physical circumstances I was in.  You have to always be proud of just finishing a marathon even if the time was not anything to be proud of.  It was the worst and best thing I have ever done at the same time.  And thus is the insanity that is distance running. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

20 Mile Training run for St. George

Hurray! Let the celebrations begin! This Saturday McKesha and I completed our final long run in our training program for the St. George Marathon.  We have spent weeks upping our mileage and have had long runs consisting of two 15 milers, three 16 milers, two 18 milers, and one big 20 miler! Now we heave the sign of relief that the hard work is done, and let the taper begin!  Now we just have one more 12 miler, and a 8 miler for our Saturday long runs, SO NICE! And now, rest becomes more important than the training, oh how it feels great to be on the downhill slope, the hay is in the barn, and the race is just around the corner.

We headed out to West Mountain to do our big 20 miler.  We were really getting sick of the Provo River trail and the other routes that we ran all the time and we wanted something different.  I did my last 20 miler out there with Cameron when we were training for Utah Valley and we loved it.  On your right you have the Utah Lake South Shore and on your left you have the towering West Mountain.  There are numerous fruit orchards out there and a bird refuge with lots of varieties of birds to keep your eyes entertained. 

Like usual, Kesha and I started running in the dark before the sun is up to beat the heat.  Things started off normal it was a gorgeous morning with the stars and city lights reflecting off the lake. Suddenly we started hearing a weird deep humming in the distance.  Then we started hitting thousands of bugs.  Big bugs, little bugs, brown bugs, black bugs, green bugs, yellow bugs, bugs that bit, bugs that stuck in your hair, bugs that flew in your ears, bugs that you inhaled every breath, bugs that liked getting in your eyes, bugs that were taking up every square inch of the planet. . . or so it seemed.  We were being tormented and infested no matter how slow or fast we ran with that constant loud humming of the swarm equal to the Egyptain Plague. . . or so it seemed.  We covered our face with our shirts, tucked our chins deep into our chest, and just kept running through them.  I wanted to cry the whole time, we didn't know if we should turn back or not.  Would the rising sun make the bugs worse or clear them out? Would the lake shore road stay this close to the lake the whole time?  All I wanted to do was dig a hole to get away from the bugs, that probably would not have worked though, they were probably hatching eggs in the ground. All we knew was we could not run the entire 20 miles in this infestation.

We just kept running, it felt like hours, we wanted to turn back, but the thought of going back through them was torture.  The sun was slowly bringing light to the road, making us more able to actually see how many swarms of bugs there really were, it was more depressing.  We just kept hoping they would clear up as the sun rose, or that it would start raining, or that winter would come and freeze them all, or that a flock of seagulls would rise up and eat them all, anything.  I was praying so hard for them to go away. Finally and slowly the bugs began to clear.  We were only about 5 miles into our run and emotionally we were tired, but we just kept trudging along.  Slowly the bugs melted away and we got distracted by the nice scenery and the joys of the run. 

I was so grateful we hadn't turned back when the swarms of death decended upon us, the rest of the run went really well.  Just another tender mercy extended to Kesha and I.  Think about all of the gospel analogies in that story as well! We pushed ourselves out 10 miles and then back to the car.  2:42 to run 20.  No greater feeling that finishing that last long run, knowing you have prepared yourself for race day, and that the taper can begin!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day on the Pfeifferhorn, Wasatch Range

We celebrated Labor Day with a sweet summit up the Pfeifferhorn. We were joined by Brittan and Ben Parker and the old hiking pro himself, Coach Legas. It was a fantastic hike with rewarding views the entire distance and a great scramble over a knife edge and up the face of the peak. Coach Legas wasn't feeling up to his usual speed walk up the mountain, so I was really grateful when he took the lead away from speedy Erik, and we got to summit at a much more leisurely pace. My 16 mile run two days before had my legs pretty wore out. We saw two moose on the way up, and Erik and Ben fished in Red Pine Lake on the way down. Check out the pictures!

Here is a link to a hike description if anyone is interested in doing this hike

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Misery Canyon, Zion NP

The 5 am wake up call came early Saturday morning and it took some motivation to leave the warm sleeping bag. Eventually we did stir with enough time to break down camp and drive from Duck Creek to Zion NP where we had plans to complete Misery Canyon. Our planned group of 7 had dwindled down to 3: Erik, myself, and Stephen. On our way down Stephen asked us, "Do your friends always bail on you?" I guess it just isn't easy to keep up with the Rasmussens.

The canyon took 8 1/2 hours for the three of us to complete.
2 Hours: Approach Hike
3 Hours: Technical Slot sections
1 Hour: Lunch and Swim in Parunuweap Canyon
2 1/2: Brutal Exit Hike in the heat of the day.

Highlights of the canyon included:
Watching the sun come up over Zion's sandstone cliffs
Walking up the steepest longest sand dune of all time
Seeing lots of wildlife
6 fun rappels
Our first rappel off of a dead man's anchor
Building our first anchor (Dead Man's)
Water slides into nice pools
The Indiana Jones swing
Great downclimbing
Wading through a pool with a dead creature with of undetermined species
Getting caught in quicksand
Seeing Stephen get so excited about canyoneering
The Powell Expedition commemorative plaque
Class 3 scramble to get out of Parunuweap
Not seeing anyone all day (We did see 3 backpackers at the very end)
Arriving at the car after 9 intense hours on our feet
Downing a Costa burrito in Cedar City on our drive home

Pretty amazing day, Erik probably said "This is a BLAST!" or "That canyon was a BLAST!" ten times throughout the day, and that makes me very happy!

Here's a map of our route:

And here is the elevation profile:

Cascade Falls & The Ice Cave, Dixie National Forest

It was absolutely necessary that we spent our final days before school starts down in Southern Utah somewhere. So we camped down at Duck Creek with the Grossarths in the Dixie National Forest. It was a great campground just a few miles away from Brianhead Ski Resort and Cedar Breaks. Being high in elevation, it was close to the great recreation of Southern Utah without the blistering heat in camp. Erik's nephew, Stephen, had just moved to Provo for his freshman year at the Y so he ditched freshman orientation and joined us for the fun. On Friday we had a pretty chill day relaxing in camp most of the day. In the afternoon though we did venture out to do a short hike and explore a cave.

We hiked to Cascade Falls, where an underground river spits out of the pink cliffs, cascades down hundreds of feet from the rim, and eventually meets up with the Virgin River and flows into the Narrows. It was a gorgeous hike with a lot or reward for only being 1 mile long. Off of the rim we could see all the way into Zion Nat'l Park on the horizon.

After the falls, we went to the Ice Cave. This was a childhood favorites of Kyle's that was apparently a little bit of a disappointment to him when he returned as an adult. But because he talked it down so much before we got there it turned out to be a lot cooler that we had expected. We took the opportunity to teach the group how to rappel and how to use their climbing gear we were going to be using the next day canyoneering in Zion.