Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bells Canyon, Wasatch Front

We have some big peaks planned for the end of the summer.  So we are trying to get into the mountains every chance we can get to try and get our hiking legs back after having the baby. Last weekend we tried a new trail up in Salt Lake near the entrance of Little Cottonwood canyon called Bells Canyon.  Bells canyon is a long, deep, beautiful canyon with cascading falls, lush vegetation, and a rocky cirque. The trail was steep, but the effort was well worth the scenery.

We were finally able to hike with our friends Brittan and Ben and Lyndee was there as well.  It worked out really well.  We hiked in about 1 mile to the first reservoir and we stopped so I could feed Tate while the men fished.  Then we continued up the trail to the lower falls.  It was a stair case of rock which never seemed to end. We tried to find the upper falls but ended up needing to stop to feed the little wigs again.  By the time she was done eating there were thunderstorms rolling in so we decided to get down from the mountain. We stopped again at the reservoir to fish but it started pounding rain and we didn't have anything to keep baby warm so we booked it back to the car. 

It has been so fun having Lyndee (aka Auntie Nunks, a nickname from Erik) here this summer.  She has been a huge help with Tate and she has been my new lifting partner.  I wish she would stay in Utah forever!

We kept with tradition and stopped for pizza at The Pie on our way home.  That is one reason why we love hiking the peaks in Salt Lake. If anyone in interested in doing this hike there is more info here.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Big Baldy, Wasatch Front

Friday we headed out on our first peak summit with Tate.  While we have had fun doing lots of little hikes we have yet to really jump back into hiking and do any significant peaks.  This was our first big one.  Big Baldy is a nice summit on the front side of Mt. Timpanogogs. It is the big green peak to the right of the G mountain.  While it looks like a little peak it is actually pretty significant at 8780 ft elevation.  The hike requires over 3,000 feet of vertical climbing.

 Tate knows that hydration is the key to success.

We realized that we are actually pretty out of shape on this hike.  I have been prego, and Erik's life had been crazy with track season since January.  It was hot, we didn't start till 11 and it was STEEP! It took 2.5 hours to the top, including a stop to feed Tate.  This same hake last year would have been cake.  We actually both kinda wanted to turn back a few times, but I had been up this trail earlier this year with my cousin Kiara and I knew that if I didn't summit this peak today I never would, so we gutted it out.  I am so glad we did. We got a second wind once the trail opened up on the saddle on the back side and we had some rewarding views.  It was amazing at the top

On the way down we stopped again to feed the little wiggles. We have the feeding while hiking system down.  We have a nice lightweight butterfly chair we can set up anywhere. I am practically Mother Earth out there! It was only a little awkward when a group of people on horseback went by! On the way down some nice clouds set in and it was nice and cool with sprinkles.  So refreshing on a hot day.  Great hike, it felt really good to do something very physically hard and challenging. I haven't really pushed myself since Tate was born and this felt like a big accomplishment.

Bryce Canyon Trip, Tate's First Campout!

This post is several weeks late, but I guess having a baby will do that to you!  I am so behind on my blog posting! I have done tons of little hikes this spring/summer while I was pregnant with Tate and while she was a little tiny tot.  Just short little hikes like the Y and rock canyon.  So I guess I will have to skip those little hikes and skip to the big adventures we have had recently.   Several weeks ago we took Tate on her first hiking/camping trip down to Southern Utah.  We chose Bryce Canyon because we wanted to enjoy the greatness of red rock but still be at a high elevation for a comfortably cool temperature camping experience.  Erik and I had only been to Bryce one time previously and that was in the winter when we had snow shoed all of the trails.

Auntie Lyndee, who is living in Utah for the summer, joined us.  On day one we set up camp and then did the Queens Garden/Navaho loop hike.  It was incredible! We got to try out our new baby carrier that we had bought for Tate. 

She loves the carrier and basically sleeps the entire time she is in it.  Our favorite part of the hike was a narrow canyon section called Wall Street.

After the hike we headed up to Bryce Point where we watched the sunset and saw a massive rattlesnake right off of the trail.

On day 2  some of the girls that I train from the tennis team came down to join us on a hike called Peekaboo Loop.  It was an amazing 6.5 miler.

Group Shot.  In the afternoon we parted ways with the tennis girls.  They wanted to see other parts of the park and we wanted to take Lyndee and Tate to their first slot canyon.  So we drove a short ways to Escalante NM to a canyon called Willis Creek.  It is an easy, non-technical canyon that is very family friendly so we felt okay taking the baby in there. 

We enjoyed some great camp food and loved our nice shaded cam ground. . . or at least we thought it was shaded! Tate had a bad sunburn and we know we covered her up head to toe whenever we were in the sun.  The only thing we can figure is that she was burned in camp when we were in the shade of trees.  I guess a lot more sun gets through than you realize. . . parents of the year award!

Poor little wiggles! At least she had Auntie Lyndee to take care of her. Nice camping trip and great way to celebrate Tate's one month birthday.