Monday, December 15, 2008

salt lake city fire department fun

for work i spent a day riding with the fire department. it was super fun getting to put the head set on and ride around down town with the lights and sirens on (with reason of course). people do some really dumb things when an emergency vehicle puts on lights and sirens. just pull right people. we had people making their left hand turns through the intersection right in front of us instead of pulling over or just waiting. i'm suprised more engines and ambulances don't hit more cars. at the end of the day they needed to test their truck after maintenance so i got to ride to the top of the basket's reach- 10 stories! it was a fun day and the firemen were great. no serious emergency calls though.

i'm way up there in the basket. we were 10 stories high at the basket's max.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Merry christmas!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kiddos and Dinos

Miranda, Darin, Adrian, Elliot, and Esther came for a visit! We spent saturday in the 'world's largest dinosaur museum' down at Thanksgiving Point, and Darin and Eric went to a Coldplay concert that night. Miranda and I made the 'world's best apple pie' and a fantastic pizza for dinner. They are the first family to come and stay at our house with us, and it was great! Eric was impressed at the amount of energy that is required for young kids. He'll warm up to it one of these days..or years. :)Here are some pics from the dinosaur musuem.

Never tell a climber not to climb the rocks...

Shenanigans with my great brother in law, Darin.

Elliot. What a cutie.

The great hands on part of the museum- the water erosion table!

Can't tell if he's having a good time or not..

Adrian LOVES dinosaurs!

Last Weekend in the Desert

Liz and I went down to Castle Valley outside of Moab in November and climbed a couple desert towers. My camp stove stopped working, the rappel off the tower got a bit mixed up, we hiked down in the dark with no head lamps, and we met a not very nice female climbing guide, but other than that the trip was really great. Liz is one of my favorite people to road trip and climb with.

Liz and I on top of Owl Rock in Arches National Park

at the second pitch belay ledge with Castleton Tower in the background

I'm scoping out the route

the awesome approach. we climbed the face in the sun of the tower directly behind Liz. the route is called Fine Jade, 5.11 on the Rectory (that's the name of the tower. there's also the Nuns and The Priest-two other small towers behind the rectory)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Rest of the Story

At the beginning of the month, Eric's parents came out for a brief weekend visit. Unfortunately, it was raining the whole weekend! but that didn't stop us from getting out on a rainy, cold, and snowy hike. During the weekend we planned a progressive dinner on bikes with a bunch of friends. we all live relatively close to each other so we had the bright idea of having appetizers at one house, salad at another, entree at another house, and finally desert at another house. since we live so close we all biked between houses. it was a blast!

Finally, towards the end of october a whole crew of us went down to the desert yet again. and as always, the desert was best enjoyed with the company of many. eric got in a few good pictures too. enjoy.

yellow marks the trail

Cary and I hunkering down in the rain

Mike, Cary, and I

The whole gang at our house during the progressive bike ride dinner

Biking between houses

This is where I spend all my time...the impressive Indian Creek Valley

A few of Eric's handy work pictures. me on Excuse Station, 5. 11

Monday, November 03, 2008

Desert Trip 1

In the middle of october I went on a stellar girls trip to the desert. My friend Jamie from work and Jen and I went down to moab specifically to mountain bike and climb. Jen is our resident expert female mountain biker so she chose two mountain biking trails to take us on. Jamie and I are not so expert mountain bikers, but we gave it a lot of effort! The views were incredibly beautiful from the trails, even if i did have to walk parts of them! we spent two days mountain biking in Moab and two days rock climbing in Indian Creek (just south of Moab). This was the girls first time to go crack climbing, and they gave it a lot of effort. I was pretty worked after this trip though- it felt like 4 days of a jane fonda total body work out! but it was great time spent in my favorite ecosystem(the desert) with even better friendships and conversations enjoyed.

At the end of the trip we all demonstrated our climbing ability. except Jamie who had a bad attitude about how painful crack climbing can be...

Jamie and I were psyched that our wag bag was attached to the outside of the car... Wag bags are basically ziplocked bags that you must use to pooh in when camping in the desert. As you can imagine, they don't smell very good. But they are helping protect the fragile desert environment, one pooh at a time. :)

The girls at the base of Coyne Crack in Indian Creek. Jodi (on the left) was our token canadian that we met while climbing the crack (indian creek is such a popular place that we almost always meet foreigners climbing there. Jodi was great- she was on a trip with a couple of guys and was so happy to climb a bit with girls. she said she had forgotten how great it was to climb with just girls!) Next is Jamie, then Jen, then I.

This is me climbing Coyne Crack, 5.11. I remember struggling on this climb just 1 year ago, and this time around it was just simple, pure FUN!

This our explosion of mountain biking gear in the parking lot after riding the classic slick rock trail in Moab.

Jamie and I on the slick rock trail.

Jen and I goofing around during the lunch break on the slick rock. you can just see the snow covered La Sal Mountain range in the back ground.

Shadow Fun!

Jen and I jumping for joy at the top of Amasa Back, another classic Moab mountain bike trail.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whirlwind October

October has been a very busy month for me! It started with Baby Esther- she arrived in Boise, Idaho September 26. I arrived 1 week later to support the troups. My mom flew in as well to help my sister with all the chores and visit with her grand babies. I was impressed with the amount of energy children require to bring up! This is my sister's third child, and she was so precious. I also enjoyed getting to play with my two nephews, adrian and elliot. they are such great kids, and my sister and brother in law have put their heart and soul into raising them as loving as can be.

This is the first adventure of the month. More to come!

A couple generations there... Mom, Miranda, Me and Esther

the Proud Aunt Polly with Baby Esther

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Labor Day and Such

Over Labor Day a crew from Salt Lake went up to City of Rocks, Idaho. This is a national recreation area that is formed of a bunch of blobby granite rocks. they aren't more than 100-maybe 200 feet tall, but the climbing is stellar. there is also a lot of hiking around too. it's this oasis in the middle of farm land and desert. you are driving a long and then suddenly bam! a bunch of rocks! it's a fun place. Eric and i and our friends Sam and Heidi went up there and met a couple other friends from salt lake for a hopeful weekend of climbing. unfortunately the weather moved in saturday night/sunday morning and we only got to climb 1 day. we bailed and drove the 2.5 hours back to salt lake and enjoyed the rainy weekend from the warmth and comfort of our homes.

This past weekend my good friend Tracy got married in Livingston, Montana. Our whole salt lake friend group made the trek up there and celebrated with she and scott. it was a great outdoor wedding, with the weather holding off just long enough for scott and tracy to get hitched. it was a long drive of those times where you are actually in the car longer than you are there... but weddings are worth it.

Me on Thin Slice, 5.10a City of Rocks

I can't remember the name of this climb was some 5.8 that eric and sam climbed first and then eric took some pics. Heidi is belaying me.

City of Rocks, Idaho. The weather is moving in!

Katie and I at Tracy's Wedding in Montana. This is what i call "plastic smile". it happens when i say, "hey eric, take our picture" and we immediately strike a cute pose and smile. but he has to change and fiddle a few things on the camera first before the picture will be right. so by the time he takes the photot we have 'plastic smile'.

The Salt Lake City girls at Tracy's wedding. from L to R: Alyssa, Katie, Tracy, Me, Jen

Eric and I at the wedding

Jen and I at the wedding with a narrowly avoided plastic smile....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hooray for Gardens!

Flowers from my lawn

Russian Sage with a bee. The Sage literally buzzes with insects during the day.


My little green pepper plant. apparently, green bell peppers are difficult to grow here in utah. mine never really took off. so what you see here is actually about 2 feet tall growing miniture bell peppers. bummer! i love fresh garden peppers.

My new fall addition to gardening: mums.

eric took all these photos, developing his new favorite hobby: photography. thanks e!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Rocky Mountain National Park and what we did there

Eric and I recently went to Rocky Mountain National Park outside of Estes park, Colorado. it was really to celebrate our third anniversary, although we came home before the actual date (i had to work). we had a spectacular time! we met up with eric's brother jesse for a couple days and attempted to climb a hunk of rock called Spearhead at the end of Glacier Gorge. we put forth a good effort, hiked all our stuff in and slept in a rocky bivy cave, but the weather did not cooperate the next morning. when you start climbing above 10,000 feet you just have things like that happen. mountain rain/lightening storms can be very serious, and it's not something to tempt. so when we all awoke to a very cloudy sky and a few omnious rain drops we called the whole climb off. we were very disappointed as jesse had come up from winter park and this was going to be his first alpine climb, but there will be another time. it was still a beautiful environment to have spent the night.

After the hike out, i got to meet up with my dear friend Linsday Porter from Denver. as always it was refreshing to spend a few precious hours with such a dear soul.

the next day eric and i hiked in a different canyon up to sky pond and lake of glass. our goal was to climb the petit grepon, one of the 50 north american classic rock climbs. the climb is 8 pitches long, and about 900 feet tall. it was a similar hike to before, we slept in a wonderful bivy cave, and awoke to a blue bird day and...two other parties on the route. everything went perfectly all day however, and even though we waited a total of over 3 hours at different belay ledges waiting for the slower party ahead of us we still had a great time. it was the first alpine route eric and i have done together, so it was a fun and learning experience for us. the pictures are out of order but enjoy.

we ended the trip with a couple days in cabins along the river out of estes park. i think rock y mountain national park may be one of my favorites. and estes park is certainly one of my favorite mountain towns. it was refreshing, relaxing, and a perfect vacation.

me peeking out from the chimney on the petit grepon

eric and i on a belay ledge far above the canyon below

the summit! it was about 30 feet long and 6 feet wide- very narrow and exposed. great 360 views though!

Rappelling the route- that's a long way down!

the actual climb. we climbed to the top of the pointy mountain in the middle of the grame. it's called the Petit Grepon and is rated 5.8. it was first climbed and rated a long time ago and it proved a challenging climb for both eric and i. however, the entire experience: hiking in, bivying in a cave, waking up before dawn, and getting to the very pointy top was an incredible experience and we had a great time!

The Bivy Cave by Lake of Glass under the Petit Grepon

After the first pitch on the Petit.

Eric and I somewhere on the Petit.

Looking up the route!

The Bivy Cave with ERric and Jesse. You are not allowed to put up tents in these canyons b/c they are not technically part of the backpacking circuit. So to keep the hikers jealousy in check, they ask the climbers to not put up tents and attract attention to the camping area. instead, the many climbers who have passed that way before us have laid smooth stones down under a big boulder like this one. it actually is quite cozy!

Eric and I on the morning of our climb. Look at the sky! We did not end up climbing this day b/c of the weather.

Hiking in to Sky Pond to climb the Petit Grepon.

Hiking in by Mill's Lake with Jesse

Looking up at our climb, Spearhead at the end of the Mill's Lake (Glacier Gorge) Canyon

spending quality time in my sleeping bag at the end of the hike in.

Keeping the mosquitos off with my jacket and watching the storm blow in