Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Moab: October 2010

Ever since I was a little girl, I've always insisted that a big deal be made of my Birthday. When I was younger, my Mom would throw me big Halloween themed parties. All of my friends would come dressed in their Halloween costumes and we would bob for apples, break open a pinata, and play that game where you try to eat a doughnut off of a string without using your hands.

Admittedly, as I'm getting older the novelty of being a year older is certainly wearing off. That being said, my birthday is in October and October is also an excellent time to visit Southern Utah, so why not celebrate in Southern Utah.

In years past we've spent my Birthday in Zion, in fact it was on my Birthday that Mr. 1313 proposed to me while we were hiking in Zion (that in and of itself is a funny story). This year I wanted to switch things up and when Hoodoo's puppysitter bailed on us, we decided that we would head down to Moab, which is a far more dog friendly place.

I was a little apprehensive initially because I haven't exactly had the best of luck when camping or hiking this year but, we couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. The highs were in the 70's and the lows were in the 40's.
We set up camp in the Sand Flats Recreation Area near the Fins n' Things trail head.

Hoodoo was on cloud nine
, he was tearing around the camp spot and the surrounding sandstone relishing in all of the new sites and smells.

Sunday was spent hiking Negro Bill Canyon. There are a number of stream crossings on that hike, someone wasn't to pleased about that fact.

He's a bit of a Diva and doesn't enjoy getting wet.

At the end of the canyon you reach Morning Glory Arch, which is the 6th largest natural bridge in the U.S. according to the BLM. We all sat and rested in the cool sand below the arch and Hoodoo proved just how incredibly patient he truly is.

I know, I know, we're terrible but he was actually lying on his side and once we gave him the release command he was able to easily able to free himself.

We had a great time on our hike. When I get a chance, I'll write a post about our adventures in "off-roading" aka exploring dirt roads.

My Boys

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Photo Journalistic Account of My Attempt to Hike Mount Timpanogos

On Monday, October 4 , Mr. 1313, my cousin Amy, and I decided to hike Mount Timpanogos. Unfortunately, Monday was also the first day that the streak of record breaking warm temperatures and beautiful sunny skies came to an abrupt halt.

We reached the trail head at about 8:00 a.m. and began our hike. At this point the weather was actually quite nice, a bit brisk, but otherwise exactly what you'd expect an overcast Fall morning to feel like. It wasn't long before the act of hiking had warmed us up enough to want to lose our jackets.

We continued on, enjoying the beautiful Fall colors and stopping for the occasional photo.

We joked that we were a bunch of pretentious yuppies with our high end outdoor clothing and gear. We might as well have stepped out of an REI catalog. It began to rain, and suddenly our catalog perfect image was replaced with something a bit...weirder.

You have to admit, I look pretty fierce with no makeup and a trash bag vest.

Eventually the rain, which turned into hail at one point, subsided and we ditched our creative rain gear.

It was about this point that the weather took a turn for the strange. Ghostlike whisps of clouds began to appear.
Still undeterred, we continue on hiking above the treeline and entering the large basin below the saddle. The summit, which is usually visible at this point was shrouded in clouds.

It was 12:00 and we figured that this was an excellent place to sit down and eat our lunch. As we sat and ate our sandwiches the temperature began to drop. In spite of my synthetic down jacket, I was shivering.

The wind began to pick up and clouds rapidly filled the basin.

It didn't look good.

Thunder cracked over head followed by a bolt of lightening and then came the hail. This wasn't like the hail before, this was the kind of hail that blows sideways and stings your face. We quickly retreated for the treeline. It was so frustrating to turn around without having made the summit, let alone the saddle, but we weren't stupid.

The return of the trash bags.
We made it back to the car a little after 3:00 p.m. Once we left the canyon we were surprised to discover that the whole face of Timpanogos was covered in snow!

While I am, admittedly, disappointed that we didn't make the summit, we had a great time and it was quite the adventure. We've already planned on hiking Timpanogos again next year but probably in the Summer when the weather isn't so extreme.