Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Last of the Red Dirt

On the go...I head to Tahoe tomorrow for a long 3 week stint that includes our friends' Megan and Jesse's wedding this weekend and ends with our friend Liz's 30th birthday bash in San Francisco in mid-May. I love fun!

Big shout out to my bro, who turns 30 today!!! Happy b-day Marco!

Here is the wrap-up to our Zion trip...

On Trevor's birthday, which was the 24th, he decided he wanted to turn 31 while hiking out to the Kolab Arch, a day-long trek on the far side of the park, so that is what we did.

7.5 miles later, this is what we got...Kolab Arch, "possibly the largest free-standing arch in the world". It was awesome, although we were a little bummed that we couldn't get any closer than this. Trevor dressing like a tree and blending in to nature.

Aahhh...beauty all around us. Feeling pretty lucky to be another year older.

Back at the car and 15 miles later...a cold beverage awaited. Man, that tasted good and it was well-deserved I might add! We drove back into Springdale and sat in the sun and treated ourself to Mexican food that night too which sounded so much better than our campfire options...and it was! Happy birthday Trev!!!

Our last morning, before we left, we got up early to explore a couple more short hikes we hadn't gotten too earlier. Look at this awesomeness!

Waterfalls and phallic-looking rock spires in the foreground. (I have to admit, I didn't really notice that until now!)

Endless layers of red rock

Bye Zion! You were awesome and awe-inspiring and scary (Angel's Landing, I am talking to you!)...hopefully we will be back again, but either way it was still hard to say goodbye.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Southern Utah Continued

It always is such a treat every spring when Chels and I head down to Utah to explore down that way. The drastic change in topography from here in Jackson is mind boggling! If we lived any closer than a full day's drive, we would surely be down there all the time and invested in a sweet RV! We have now been to all 5 of the Utah national parks including; Zion, Capitol Reef, Bryce, Canyonlands, and Arches. We also went to Escalante one year too. I think next spring a Grand Canyon trip might be in order. I have never been there and Chels went there once and her car broke down, so, we definitely need to experience it!

Chels under one of the "Emerald Pools" in Zion.

We braved the crowds, and went for the most popular hike in Zion, "Angels Landing". This shot above is of the lower section of the trail winding it's way up to the first landing.

View from the top of Angels Landing. This hike was awesome! Both Chels and I couldn't believe in this day and age of lawsuits that the National Park Service would still have a hike like this open to the public. Angels Landing had 1,000 foot falls on either side of the knife edge ridge with nothing but some sporadically placed chains to keep the sanity! Great to know that the threat of lawsuits hasn't taken the fun out of everything just yet.

The aforementioned knife edge ridge! You scrambled up the middle of this hogsback.

Here you can see this guy very gingerly walking up the side reaching out for the chain. In the background you can see the trail leading out from the first landing that many people choose to call it good from and don't continue on. Can't say as I really blame them!

Chels with nothing but 1,000ft of void below her

Scared look. Given that Chels has sky-dived and bungee jumped countless times, it was pretty telling how quiet she was walking out to the end of Angels.

One little link of chain with a massive drop below.

Pay attention!

Beauty everywhere.

You can see a few people walking in one of the wider sections of the last half mile of the hike out to the end of Angels.

Chels negotiating one of the many switchbacks that lead to the first landing.

Happy to be back on "flat" ground.

One night we drove out to the east entrance of the park and caught these bighorn sheep chillin on some rocks.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


We just got home from an awesome amazing trip to Zion National Park for Trev's birthday (which was on Saturday). We left Wednesday afternoon, drove most of the way there, slept in a hotel and trucked the rest of the way arriving mid-day on Thursday. After setting up camp we decided to go on a quickie little hike and look what we found!

On our way up to Observation Point

Posing with my new Mystery Ranch backpack, can you see it?

Loving the rock stripes, it is so amazing here. Trev checking the depths.

Some little canyons I was obviously excited about!

Introducing another great view!

Sorry, I guess I just can't keep my hands down in pics anymore!

Almost to the top of Observation Point with an amazing view that looks all the way back down valley.

Sweet waterfalls were everywhere

At the top and with sun! The spine to the left of Trev is called Angel's Landing and I think is Zion's most famous hike. We ended up doing it the next day and I have to say, I don't know when the last time I have been that scared was.

Check it...the last 1/2 mile (an option that not everyone elects to do) takes you along this spine to the very tip on the left. The trail is 3 feet wide in places with 1000-foot drops on either side! Luckily, in some places they had chains to hold on to, but honestly, I couldn't even believe this was open to the public, we will post more pics of us hiking it tomorrow!

I think Observation Point gave us the best views of any hike we did in the Park.

This really freaked me out!

Loving this scenery.

We got a ton of weather on this hike, rain, snow and luckily a patch of sun at the top! But come on, we came to Southern Utah to get out of the rain and it proved to be pretty chilly most of the trip, a bit unusual for them this time of year.

Trev looking tough in our campsite.

Finishing the night with a fire and a book. Couldn't ask for more!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Valley of the Sun

Finally some pics of Sun Valley (courtesy of our new friend Michelle or "Miller Time" as the boys liked to call her)....ya, we didn't have a good time at all!

We are off to Zion right now, yippy!!! I love our lives! Have a great week everyone!

This is Chad. We met him at Jackson's closing weekend and he enjoyed our shenanigans (or my pink wig) so much he invited us to stay in this enormous amazing place that he caretakes in Sun Valley...ummm, OK!

Part of the property we stayed at, we all got to stay in our own cabins, well except Trev and I, of course.

View from the "party barn" looking down into the living room.

Yep, not bad at all...party barn on right, cabins on left. I think I could get used to this place.

This is Michelle and me.

At the bar, our immediate destination after we got into town on Friday night.

Our crew, well everyone except that drunk guy on the bottom left who kept throwing ice cubes at me. Such a fun group and weekend...Ted and Michelle up top, bottom from l to r: weirdo, Tyler, Trevor and Me!

Closing weekend in Sun Valley of course required dressing up and the shotski in the morning.

And this is me and Trev...ready to roll.

Not a ton of snow, but they are king of snowmaking, so there was still plenty of snow on their infamous mile-long groomers.

Chad, our superhero, and Michelle

Valley of the Sun indeed...it was gorgeous all weekend!

The Motley Crew...Chad, Trev, Chelsea, Tyler, Ted and Michelle

The best costume I saw...this woman was a brick house...I guess you can kind of see the rest.

Just chillin' like we own the place

I guess we kind of did...everyone wanted to take pics with us and be our friends, I think sometimes just saying we were "The Jackson Friends" made us " instant cool", haha, no complaints here.

Ted (or one of the Super Mario Brothers) and Chad rockin' out and enjoying cool beverages at the top of the mountain.

In fine form this weekend, well played, Luigi!

This was pee-your-pants funny stuff, you see Tyler attracts the older woman without a doubt, but this woman coming up to him and asking him for a kiss topped the cake!

It is hard to tell from these pics, but we were guessing she was a cool 73 years young...

And loving every minute of it...nice work Tyler!!! Is there a category older than a cougar?

Tiger on the left, cougar on the right and stud muffin Tyler in the middle, must have been his fringe.

Ted and I just cruising through back from the hill, what a weekend!!! Loved every minute!