Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Attempt at Timp

A few weeks back we made our first attempt to summit Mt. Timpanogas this year. I say first, because we were unsuccessful in reaching the top and so now, we'll have to hike it again so we can summit later in the season. Anyhow, we took along with us several kids from YHA, which is the youth program Tiffani works at part time. We also invited my little brothers to come along, but since Sterling was busy with a soccer tournament, just Steve came along.While Tiffani has experienced the beauty of Timp many times, this was the maiden voyage for the rest of the group. And, even though we went in mid-summer, there was still lots of snow and plenty of run-off water that we had to get across. It was a trade-off, however. For although the snow made the going difficult at times, it also created a breathtaking cascade of streamlets that flowed down the canyon, forming an enchanted natural marvel.
We had several surprises on our adventure. We had to cross several different glaciers, navigate narrow trails, walk behind a waterfall, bushwhack through some areas when the trail was lost under the snow, and even scramble up a small cliff. We also encountered a mountain goat coming down the trail toward us. We definitely weren't expecting that.
But we were even more surprised when we got to the storm shelter near the saddle to discover several herds of mountain goats grazing on the alpine slopes. They even let us get close enough to snap some good pictures. And of course everyone thought the little baby goats were adorable.

The view at the saddle made the trip worth it though. To the north, you take in the majesty of the Wasatch Mountains and the backside of Lone Peak (which we plan on climbing in the next few weeks as well)
To the east, you could look out over Deer Creek Reservoir and the Heber Valley, as well as take in the beauty of the mountain below.
Unfortunately, the snow at the base of those cliffs is where the trail goes, which made it too dangerous for us to continue to the top without the proper equipment.
But, the snow also provided us with some fun on the way down. In fact, we used it was our way down from the saddle. We either slid down on our butts, or crouched in skiing position to make our way down the snowy hill.
Our last surprise came our descent, when out of nowhere, a large rock fell onto the trail below and cut open Jeremy's (one of the youth in our groups) head. By the time we got to him, his head and hands were covered in blood. We followed the Scout motto to "be prepared" however, an quickly cleaned and bandaged him up. He later had to get 8 staples put in his head to help mend the nasty wound.
After that though, the climb down was uneventful, but made for a wonderful day hike and a time to enjoy the splendor of God's handiwork.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Positive Reinforcement

Please let us know we actually have an audience and comment occassionally on our posts if you enjoy them. Will is doubting his writing skills and ability to entertain people through the written word. Shout out to Elise, our most faithful blog commenter.

Friday, July 17, 2009

4th of July in Alton, UT

Over the Fourth of July, we headed down south to Alton, UT, a tiny, rural farming town of 150 people, nestled between the Utah Dixie's metropolises of Panguitch and Kanab. Every year my family gets together for family reunions and a patriotic Fourth of July in Alton. We turn Granny and Grandpa Andersen's home there into a lively family bed and breakfast.

The first night we got there, siblings and cousins were anxious to play. They taught us a new game called Kubb, an old viking pastime, in which you must use large, wooden dowels to knock over the small wooden blocks of the opposing team. The first team to knock down all of the oppositions blocks, wins.

We spent the whole first night playing all sorts of games with all the cousins.

The next day was our day for adventures. We all piled in Uncle Lance's 12 passenger van and headed for the Arizona border. An hour and a half later, we piled out and started a hike down Wire Pass Canyon, a small, easy-to-hike, slot canyon. At the end of the 1 1/2 mile canyon, we all posed for a family picture.

While half of group turned back and hiked out Wire Pass Canyon, Tif and I were extra curious about an adjoining canyon that met up with another trailhead a little ways up the road. So we took a few of the cousins with us, and hiked 6 miles up Buckskin Gulch. Unfortunately, Buckskin Gulch turned out to not be much of a canyon. Instead, we hike 5 miles through a wash in the hot sun. Blah! Amazingly though, we still beat the rest of our group out and were waiting for them along the road when they came along to pick us up.

The next day was the actual 4th of July, which is a big deal in Alton. Tif started the day by running the 4 mile fun run. She's still trying to convince me that fun run isn't a paradox. After a quick shower, we ran out to watch the town parade. The greatest part about a small town parade is that there are more people in the parade then there are watching.

After the parade, the town program started, which consisted of patriotic tributes and lively music. The biggest crowd pleaser was a family of fiddlers that played some bluegrass tunes. The greatest part was that they gave all of the kids in the family fake fiddles to play along with the adults, and one little boy took it very seriously.

The afternoon provided a little more downtime, with a town lunch, games, and then a classic rural dinner of roast beef and mutton. I think Alton is the only place I've ever had mutton. Maybe that's why I like it.

And I almost forgot... We all took a ride in Grandpa Andersen's famous train! Using his first name as an acronym, Grandpa single handedly created A.R.T'S. (Alton Railess Transit System).

Grandpa built his lawn tractor powered train by putting seats in barrels that he cut in half. He also built a few large cars to accommodate bigger people. When running the train, he sets up an entire train station, including a loading platform and a train engineer uniform. Oh Grandpa... living the dream.

After dinner, we headed over to the town hall for some boot-slapping country dancing. Too bad Tif and I are dancing retarded. Luckily for us, there were a few slow dances too, which allowed us to slowly spin in circles together.

When the time came to leave, we crammed five adults into our little '92 Dodge Shadow named Franc, and with the air conditioning belt screaming, slowly made our way back home.