Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pine Creek

Pine Creek never disappoints. The physical barriers that keep people from being able to get up mountains are mostly removed when canyoneering. You can have an awesome day of adventure without training for months. I have been wanting to take Neena to Zion ever since we started dating. I'm not sure why it took 3 years...

We woke up in a field behind a trailer park. The long night of searching for a place to sleep ended with us pulling to the side of the road and sleeping out under the stars. We went out for a quality breakfast before heading back in to the park. After grabbing our permit and checking the weather we made our way to the trail head.

There were a few other groups ahead of us so we took our time getting through the canyon. Everyone was mildly hypothermic by the time we made it out, but the sun and the hike out eventually had us warmed back up. We had a fun group and Zion National Park, as always, delivered the goods.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Yellowstone National Park
It has been close to 20 years since I was in Yellowstone National Park. After going on this recent trip with Neena's family I realized that I have been blowing it. The five hour drive is definitely not enough to have kept me away for this long.

The only word that can adequately describe Yellowstone is wild. We watched the earth bubble and erupt. We saw waterfalls, lakes, and winding streams. We encountered 16+ different species during our short three days in the park. It was good for the soul to see the open expanses filled with wildlife roaming uninhibited. It made me wonder what Utah county would have looked like back before the we took control of God's unfinished sculpture. What would the Provo River look like? Would herds of elk be roaming freely? I am grateful for the men who had the vision to preserve Yellowstone.

We spent a lot of time in the park going from place to place, it seemed as if every bend brought some new amazing vista. My favorite time we spent in the park had to have been the last day. We entered the park to fish, picnic, and do one short hike. I am glad we spent the time to explore the park, but I think future trips will be more focused on specific areas. I hope to make this more of a routine trip.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Shooting the Membrane

Climbing American Fork Canyon
An early morning meet up allowed me to get a little bit of shooting done before work on Friday. I have been messing around a lot more lately with photography, thankfully Greg and Joe were willing to be the subjects of this morning's shoot. We hit two off the classic American Fork Canyon climbs. Hopefully this was a warm up for a few more ideas I hope to pull together in the coming months.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Angels Landing

After our time in Crawdad we hurried to Zion National Park to do the classic hike up Angels Landing. We were a little late but we made hit the trail with enough light to make the hike worth it. We talked as we went and took our time not realizing that I had misread the shuttle schedule... 

During the summer months the shuttle runs until 10 pm. Apparently the summer schedule was to start on Sunday, we were hiking on Saturday.  After being chased off the summit by a storm Dane and I ran down to catch the last shuttle and get the cars. The shuttle never came. Missing the shuttle resulted in my running a few miles to get back to the car. Luckily the some rangers picked me up before I got too tired. It was a fun night followed by a long search for a place to sleep.


Crawdad Canyon

Crawdad Canyon, a small climbing resort/swimming pool, has had me curious since I learned of it in the new southern Utah guide book. I was a little leery of paying to climb. St. George is surrounded by amazing climbing walls with no entry fees. Curiosity and our relatively inexperienced group bumped Crawdad to the top of our list.

Needless to say I was impressed. It is an amazing little canyon that will no doubt be a destination for future kid friendly vacations. The swimming pool and campgrounds were nice, the climbing was amazing, and the canyon stayed much cooler than the rest of the St. George area. All the climbs were labeled and well protected with sport chains at the top of the majority.

We spent the most of the day in the canyon and I found it hard to leave. If you get a chance, and can spare eight bucks, make sure you take the time to visit.