Friday, April 29, 2011

Birthday Bike Ride, Provo River Trail

My idea of a fun birthday does not involve sitting around eating cake and ice cream.  To celebrate my birthday this year I chose to do the complete opposite by having a fun bike ride with friends. In honor of turning 25 years old we rode 25 miles up Provo Canyon and South Fork. 

The few and the proud in the group included (from left to right) Kyle G and daughter Makayla, Josh M, McKeisha N, Erik, myself, and Tyler B.  It was a gorgeous 65 degrees (warmest day we have had in a long time) and just a little overcast.  We enjoyed the ride along the river with a few miles of serious climbing at the end up South Fork Road. 


I couldn't have asked for a better birthday celebration or a more scenic ride to kick off the Spring riding season.  There is truly no greater feeling in the world than flying downhill after a strenuous climb to the top.  Can't wait to ride this route again in a few weeks when everything is Spring green!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

John Muir Day

Tomorrow (April 21st) is official John Muir Day.  You should celebrate by going on a hike, or at least get outside and go for a nice walk.  Here are some favorite John Muirisms:

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like falling leaves."

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. "

"The mountains are calling and I must go. "

Photo taken atop Cascade Peak, looking down on Squaw Peak, Rock Canyon, Provo, and Utah Lake. July 2010

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

West Rim Trail and Angels Landing, Zion National Park

I got an invite from good friends Brandon and Trisha Johnson this weekend to go down to Zion National Park for some camping and hiking.  Since Erik was going to be gone with the track team to USC, I gratefully accepted the invitation to be the 3rd wheel.  Who would turn down any opportunity to visit their favorite place in the entire world? 

We camped Friday night and woke up for an early start on Saturday morning.  Our plan that day was to hike up the West Rim trail up to Angles Landing, and then continue up the West Rim trail to Cabin Spring.  If anyone is interested, the following site gives a great trail description:

We shared the trail with only a few other people and had fun asking everyone where they were from along the way.

Brandon and Trish proved to be excellent hiking buddies.  Trisha is a geologist and taught us about rock formations in the canyon as we hiked.

After Switch-backing up the main canyon the trail turns into Refrigerator Canyon.  It was a nice oppurtunity to cool down as we explored some of the rock features along the way.

Brandon Traversing the Walter Wiggles switchbacks

View from Scouts Lookout where we caught our breath one last time before the final quad burning thrill up the treacherous spine to the top of angels landing.

 At the highest point atop Angels Landing.  Absolutely gorgeous views worth every step of the 2 1/5 miles to get there.

The hike up angels landing energized us enough to get us excited enough to continue up the West Rim Trail.  There were hardly any people on this portion of the hike, we maybe saw 8 people the rest of the day.  It was an excellent way to leave the crowds at Angels Landing behind to enjoy the solitude of the park.  Along the way we enjoyed views looking back down on Angels landing, looking down into the narrows, Telephone canyon, and Little Siberia.  

We planned to hike all the way to Cabin Springs at the top of the rim making the hike 11 miles total, but when we were about 1 mile short the snow became impassable and a little scary.  Brandon and Trish were in Teva and Keene sandals and their feet were freezing, and one slippery step sent you falling off a cliff.  So we had to turn back early.

It was a totally different hike coming back into the main canyon because the afternoon light was so unique.  Absolutely gorgeous day with Sunny 70 degree weather and a thrilling 9 1/2 mile hike.  

Emerald Pools, Zion National Park

Sunday Morning before we headed back to the snow covered mountains of Provo, we felt the need to enjoy the sunny weather just a bit more.  So we did a quick "nature walk" up to the Emerald Pools in Zion Canyon.  It was a little chilly in the morning and the sun was just peaking its face into the canyon.  Beautiful little 2 mile hike to stretch the legs out before the car ride home that day. 

The lower pools waterfalls

The upper pools waterfall

We sat by the pools a bit enjoying the sun and did a little Sunday meditation.  It was amazing watching the clouds fly by that bright blue sky.  After enjoying the views and feeling such gratitude for the beautiful Earth that we live on, we headed back down the trail, and remorsefully left my favorite place in the whole world.