Monday, April 21, 2008

Fiery Furnace - Again

Daniel and me hanging out at camp Friday night.

A sweet dutch oven dinner in the works.

Hanging out in the cafeteria.

Posing between fins of the furnace.

I don't honestly know how many times I've explored the Fiery Furnace. Two answers come to mind: a lot and not enough. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places in southern Utah. In my opinion it is the best part of Arches National Park.

As I was starting to get ready to take the teachers quorum down this past Friday, I couldn't stand the thought of not bringing Daniel along. He loves the Fiery Furnace, camping, and hanging with dad and I love the Fiery Furnace, camping, and hanging with Daniel. I asked him if he wanted to go and he was packed and ready before I was.

I think it has been two years since the last time I took him through. He sure has grown. He was climbing everywhere the older young men were. In fact, he went places some of them didn't. I had to tell him he could only go places if he could get there on his own. I thought that would slow him down. I also thought it unwise to get us both stuck somewhere. He was absolutely amazing. I showed him some tricks for pressure climbing and getting up cracks and he was off.

One of our favorite adventures was climbing through a boulder pile in the first slot canyon to the left after you pass by skull arch. You climb up and over the first part of the boulder pile and then we went down under the boulders for about 200 feet. It is quite an experience to squeeze between giant rocks with thirty or forty feet of boulders above you. We crawled in between the huge rocks, sliding on our bellies, positioning our shoulders just right so we could squeeze through. Then we emerged out the other side of the boulder pile that blocks the canyon and continued on a bit further.

Can't wait to do it again.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Snowshoeing to the saddle

The group I run trails with may seem hard core at times. I guess what I mean is we run the same trails throughout the year. One of our favorite trails (up Dry Canyon to the Big Baldy saddle) gets quite a bit of snow during the winter. We try to keep running up it to keep the trail open but after a while the snow gets quite deep and it becomes an exercise in post-holing your way up the mountain. This year we decided to strap snowshoes on our backs, run as far as we could and then put on the snowshoes and keep going. I now have a new addiction - winter trail running/shoeing. Here's why.



On the Saddle SW



365 Gratitude version 2.0

For some time I've wanted to do a more general blog. I have several blogs that are very niche. The problem with that is I often have things I'd like to blog about that don't fit the niche. So I've decided to upgrade my 365 Gratitude blog to be the place where I write about whatever seems blog-worthy and use labels to categorize topics. So, welcome to 365 Gratitude version 2.0.