Canyonlands Trip Part 2

Last week I went on my first portion of my Canyonlands Trip.  I went with a group I met while living in Arizona – The Arizona Backpacker’s Club (ABC).  I met up with them on Sunday since it was raining/snowing on Saturday night so I just sat in my tent and waited for it to blow over.  As you can see in the pictures I woke up to a bit of snow in the morning to my surprise.  The snow melted very shortly hereafter though.  Then we went on a few day hikes around the area.  Most of them were just cool view points or short trails.

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Monday morning we set out for our first backpacking excursion.  We left the Squaw Flat Campground (B) and headed up Big Springs canyon then crossed over to Elephant Canyon.  We had to scramble up and down some slick rock, squeeze through cracks, and climb up and down a few ladders.  But, around every corner or turn we took we were treated to one after another amazingly beautiful view.  It was such a strange place to be and seemed almost alien.  I guess this is why several films of alien home planets are actually filmed in this area of Utah.  On one hike in particular we were going up a cool canyon with a bunch of mushroom top type rocks surrounding us.  We were heading up to Druid Arch.  I kept wondering when it was going to appear, especially when we headed up a box canyon.  But then I turned around and there was Druid Arch.  I hiked over to the base of the arch, and that was when I noticed that the view down valley (Where I had come from) was far more spectacular view than the arch itself.  Now don’t get me wrong, the Druid Arch is amazing in itself, but that view down valley has to be one of my favorites.  I wasn’t able to get the best picture since it was high noon and the colors are horrible.  But here is my best shot at it:

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After this we had to make our way up to Chesler Park, which was were we would spend the night.  Chesler Park was a beautiful valley with grasses covering the whole of it.  Surrounding it on all sides were needles and spires.  We camped at CP1 which had an amazing view for both sunset and sunrise the next morning.  Not only this but it was far from all other campsites.  We were at least a mile from another soul.  We woke up the next morning and after our coffee and breakfast, which gave us time to let our tents dry out, we headed back to the campground on a new trail.  On the hike we did we just looped around and didn’t have to hike any of the same trails, well, except for about a 1/4th of a mile we did have to hike on a same trail.  After we got back to the vehicles we headed to the Needles Outpost for a couple beers, diet coke, and some showers.

Chesler Park

Canyonlands Trip Part 1

It is officially the first day of my Canyonlands Adventure and I’m not off to the best start.  Luckily, I did get out here early enough to find a good campsite while it was still light and get my tent set up before it really started to rain.  The rain part isn’t what bothers me though.  Mostly jut the fact that I happened to hit my head 4-5 times .. can’t really remember how many since I was hitting my head…  A few times on trees and a few times on my jeep.  I don’t know what was wrong with me but I have felt a little off the past few days.  Maybe a good nights sleep will help reset myself.

I have had a couple of amazing days in Moab around Arches National park despite me feeling a little off kilter.  The first day I got here I went hiking with my Mom and her husband Richard up to Corona Arch.  Which I have to agree with my dad and think it’s a close second to the coolest arch (Delicate Arch).  Corona Arch isn’t part of Arches N.P..  Instead it sits just west of Moab and can be reached by a 3 mile round trip hike.

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After Delicate Arch we made our way East of Moab and hiked up Negro Bill canyon.  At the end of Negro Bill canyon there is a massive bridge which happens to be the 6th largest natural bridge in North America  After that we headed back into town and had pizza at Zax.  Luckily Zip got to join us on both of these hikes.  He sure had fun even though I loaded his pack with some rocks to slow him down.

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The next day after sleeping in a bit, having breakfast, dropping off Zip, and getting some new shoes for Mom, we headed out to Arches N.P. to do a guided hike of the Firey Furnace.  I’m not sure the stats on this hike.  But, I have to say if you ever make it down to Arches N.P. you really should try and get on this hike.  They only have two guided hikes and they fill up fast.  I wouldn’t recommend hiking this yourself since it’s easy to get lost.  Plus, you have to have a backcountry permit.  This is one hell of a cool hike.  You get to hike through a maze of rock fins, see several arches, go under natural bridge, crawl though the Crawl Through Arch (If you want to), and climb through some sketchy cracks.  It’s quite the fun hike and anyone can do it.  Even little kids.

So now I sit here in my tent listing to the rain fall on me and getting sleepy.

Causalities of Having Fun

Most of my family and friends already know about this.  But, I thought I should put it down on my blog anyways….

Last November I was snowboarding with a friend at Keystone in Colorado.  It was a very icy day and they had just opened up the back side of the mountain.  I tried getting around a slow skier and my board lost hold on the ice and sent me sliding down the mountainside.  I tried digging in with my board and that caused me to flip backwards pretty hard.  I guess i landed on my wrist because it started hurting.  I thought I had just sprained it.  This is the mentality I took all the way through till mid February when I decided I should get it checked out since it was still hurting and if it was broke I wanted it fixed before mountain biking season started (My real passion)

After going and having it X-Rayed by the Orthopedic surgeon here in Summit County I found out it was definitely broke.  Not only was it broke but it had never healed.  Also since it had never healed I had a cyst that grew in the break.  Therefore they were going to have to operate on me.  They ended up doing a bone graph and screwing the bone back together.  Luckily i live in summit county and had it done here since they have good orthopedic surgeons that deal with this a lot due to all the ski areas around here.

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I am now in a cast for the next 10+ weeks and they are going to try to get me approved for a bone stimulator.  I won’t be biking till June/July so that really sucks.  But, I am able to board, hike, backpack, snowshoe, and other things like that.  Basically anything that doesn’t put too much pressure on my wrist.

I’ll actually be going on a week long backpacking trip in a week down at Canyonlands N.P.  So that should be fun and will also probably be my next post on here.

Snow Sculptures and Snowshoeing

This past weekend My dad and step mom came up to Breckenridge Friday night to take a look at the snow sculpture contest they were having here.  We went out Friday afternoon and looked at the statues.  The people were still working on them but some of them were looking pretty cool.  The next day we came back around 10:30 or so.  And boy, were things different.  It’s amazing how much they transformed in just a day or so.  Some of the sculptures I didn’t really look twice at turned out to be quite amazing.

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After they left to head back to Rifle I took Zip and Makers up for a snowshoe hike in Mayflower Gulch.  It is quite the beautiful hike and has some reminisces of a mine at the base of the mountain.  If you look at the full size pic of the mountains you can barely see two tents in the bottom right hand corner of the picture.  That will give you some scale on the photo.  Crazy people sleeping out there in the middle of the winter…. Makes me want to go make a winter trip myself 😉

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Playing in what little snow we have

The past few weeks I’ve been trying to get outside as much as I possibly can.  First I went back country snowboarding with my friends Jerimiah and Lance.  Then, I spent a few days up on the slopes at Keystone and Breckenridge.  I need to limit the trails I go on until we get some decent snow.  The last time I went up with friends to Breckenridge they took me up the T-Bar to close to the top of Peak 8 at Breckenridge.  It was a nice view up there, but, the way down sort of tore up my board 😦  I think I have at least 3-4 new scratches on the board.  I guess I should have taken the older board up instead.

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Through the week Karma, Craig, and I went to a few of the UllrFest activities Ullr is thought as the god of snow/skiing.  Tuesday they had a bonfire and then Thursday they had the ullrympics where Craig and Nate were on the team that won 3rd place.  They got some beer and some Ullr (a Nordic libation with cinnamon and peppermint schnapps).

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Then last weekend I went with my friend Dan XC Skiing for my first time.  Not only was it my first time XC Skiing, but, it was also my first time on ski’s period.  It sure was a good time though.  I have a bit of a learning curve to get over and I’m sure I’ll end up wrecking a few times more and hurting myself a bit more.  But hopefully not too much more.

Then yesterday I took Zip out snowshoeing up a canyon.  I left around 4 and didn’t end up doing the whole trail because I was running out of time.  Good thing though since I had taken a wrong turn and would have ended up in Keystone rather than the loop I was going to do.  I know where I took the wrong turn and I had made the mistake of going with the flow of traffic (more footsteps).   But now I have the Topo’s loaded on the GPS and ready to go for next time.

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Tearing up Silverton

Last week I went down to southern Colorado (Well further south and a bit west of us here).  The first night a group of around 12 of us stopped at Orvis hot springs for a clothing optional dip.  It is one of my favorite places out there to go and relax.  And relaxing it was this time 🙂  This place has 4 or 5 pools outside including one big pool and a lobster tank (It runs around 110 degrees).   Afterwards we headed up to Ouray to spend the night.  Then in the morning most of the group headed out early to Silverton Mountain for their snowboarding.  Because Lance and my own skill levels were not up to taking on Silverton Mountain we ended up heading over to Purgatory to do our own riding.  It was fun there even though there wasn’t any new snow and the snow they had there was pretty packed down.  I would Love to go back to that place after it had had some fresh snow fall.  Their rolling hills are so much fun. 

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After around 3:30 things started getting too cold and icy at Purgatory so we decided to head back up to Silverton Mountain to have some drinks with the rest of the gang.  Now Silverton Mountain is an experience unlike any other I know of.  It is basically the exact opposite of what you would get going skiing at Vail or Aspen.  Instead of the big expensive resorts with the high end shops lining the base area, you have a simple plastic tent (yurt).  In there it is furnished with old used furniture that looks as if it was picked up off the side of the road.  Instead of super chairs you have a rickety two seat lift that looks questionable to sit on.  Instead of groomed runs full of little ski bunnies and bro brah’s, you have nothing but back country (Most of which  you have to hike to)  Even their logo says a lot for the experience on their mountain.

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After hanging out there we went back to our comfy little cabins that we had rented for the night at Red Mountain Motel, Cabins, and RV Park and relaxed for a while.  Then we headed out on the town for the night to tear things up.  And boy did our group ever.  We ended up getting asked to leave (Very politely) the restaurant because a couple of us were getting too loud.  Then we headed over to the only bar open in town.  The bar tender assured us she could handle anything we threw at her.  But things got pretty crazy there too (It was Jerimiah’s birthday after all).  After a few times up on the bar with quite a bit of nudity and falling off the bar, a couple of our group members were asked to leave the bar before she called the cops.  Then I guess after I left she pretty much made our whole group leave.  Whoops.  Oh well,  We had fun on the town and I’m sure Silverton won’t be forgetting us any time soon.

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The next day we headed back to Summit County in a long drawn out fashion.  We even took an hour detour to go to Crested Butte to go grab pizza at an awesome restaurant The Secret Stash

Quite the amazing trip I must say.  And quite the group of friends I think I’ve found up here. 🙂

Xmas in Vernal

Well, I’m finally able to lay down and relax after a long but great Christmas day.  I got up around 8 AM and headed to my Brother’s to say hi to his kids, then over to my sisters to spend some time with hers.  Then took my grandma back to my brothers.  Then back up to my mom’s place.  Pretty much did this all day.  I did go down to the golf course and did a little sledding with my nieces and sister.  I’ll post the pics my dad took of us.  After that we headed up to my Mom’s place for dinner and stuff ourselves so full our bellies were hurting.  Now it’s time to slip into a food Coma……

Living the high life (9,600 Feet)

I guess I need to update my blog since it’s bee a little while and soo much has changed.

As most of you know by now I’ve moved up to Breckenridge, CO which sits at 9,600 feet elevation.  So far I am completely in Love with the place.  It has all that I like to have in a place to live. 

The outdoors are amazing.  I did some hiking up here this summer before the move and it is a great area for that.  Next summer I can start climbing some of the 14ers.  It also has a lot of mountain biking which I love so much.  The mountain biking varies from local trails to going to one of the many ski resorts around here that offer lifts up for an exhilarating downhill ride.  There is also plenty of XC Biking to go around.  Since I moved up here in the winter I went right to participating in the winter sports out here.  I’ve now been up snowboarding 11 times so far this year between Keystone or Breckenridge.  I still need to get over to A-Basin, Vail, and Beaver Creek which are all on my Pass.  Which is another amazing part of here.  You can get unlimited season passes to all five resorts for a mere $649.  I’d like to see someone in Utah get that good of a deal!  I also plan on doing some XC skiing, snowshoeing, and back country snowboarding this year when we get some more snow.

The Social life is also good up here.  I moved in with an awesome roommate who happens to know quite a few of the gay guys here in Summit County.  Between her, Connexion.org and Erik’s Gay happy hour down at River Mountain Lodge GayBreck.com, I have met quite a few good friends already. 

All in All I can say that living up here is a hell of a lot better than living in Hell (Phoenix) ever was.  Plus Zip seems to love it here too 🙂  Especially when Makers comes over to Visit (Makers is a huge irish wolf hound).

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