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