Friday, August 31, 2012

Wyoming

The long weekend is upon us and I think we're just about ready to go! We have been packing and prepping all week for our big Labor Day trip (a bit exhausting after just getting back from our 14er hike, but I'm sure it'll be worth it!). Needless to say, our food dehydrator saw quite a bit of action this week. See exhibit A:

Exhibit A
Going from top left to bottom right, we have mango, peaches (from our next door neighbor's trees! Have I mentioned how generous our neighbors are?), strawberries, and banana. Can you believe a whole 2lb container of strawberries reduces down to just two little packets? It's crazy. And now you know why dried fruit costs so much. We've got fruit rolls & dried apple too, but I was just too lazy to get them in the shot. So yeah, our dehydrator was basically running non-stop all week. The whole process may have improved my peeling/slicing skills. We'll see.

We are first stopping in Ten Sleep, WY where we will be climbing with some friends over the long weekend and then Monday we part ways and head out to Yellowstone & Grand Teton to relax for the rest of the week. Well, as much as a person can relax while camping in bear country. I am a bit (that might be an understatement) paranoid about being eaten by a bear, but we're taking our van so that offers a bit of solace.

There's still the day time to worry about, but maybe we'll make new friends and go on hikes in a larger group and I will be in the fittest half of the group that can escape a bear attack. These are the things that I think about. It's awful, I know.

On another note, we're bringing our bikes with us as well so that we will be able to try out the semi-new multi-use pathway in Grand Teton. We are planning on just relaxing, which is so rare for us when we go outdoors, so I'm hoping that will mean we have time to play with our camera. =)

And thennnn... if you aren't exhausted from reading about our plans yet, on our way home we will also be stopping in Lander, WY for some more climbing and then hopefully we make it the rest of the way home in one piece! It's a bit of a drive, but I think we're making the most of it.

If you don't hear from me in a week, then my worst fear probably came true and I got eaten by a bear.  And with that, I hope you have a bear-free weekend! Unless you're going to the zoo, in which case I hope you see lots of cool bears.

xoxo

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fourteeners

Last year Ian, R., S, & I hiked up Grey's peak, which was Ian's & my first fourteener. This year R invited us to join him on the 4 fourteener hike, taking us from Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron (an unofficial 14er), Mt. Lincoln, & Mt. Bross. Er, I mean, we didn't hike Bross because that would be illegal. Right. So why is Cameron an unofficial 14er: it is above 14k feet but because there is less than a 300ft elevation difference between neighboring peaks it isn't considered an official peak, but whatever... for our purposes, we'll count it as a 14er. And no, we did not do this hike because it is an election year: that was just a happy coincidence =) Kind of like how last year we hiked Grey's on 9/11, which was the 10th anniversary of 9/11.


Anyway, I digress. We drove out Friday afternoon to Kite Lake, which is where the trail starts/ends for the loop of 14ers. We camped out and watched the stars & started our hike around 7:30am the next day. I guess we started our hike at a good time since we hardly ran into any crowds on the trail.


(The red dot you see in the bottom left is a headlamp belonging to one of the few guys who decided to start the hike late at night.)

So how was it, you ask? Well, it was probably the most grueling hike I will ever do. It was only 7.25miles but we climbed about 3700ft and we started at 12000ft so our hike was all above 12000ft, where there is 65% of the oxygen available at sea level. Despite a night of acclimatizing and being as fit as I am (or at least as I think I am), this hike definitely kicked my butt. To give you a frame of reference, the Half Dome hike in Yosemite climbs 4800ft but over ~16miles and starts at a base elevation of 4000ft. Thus I would argue Half Dome is easier on the body in that respect.


The descent was probably the worst descent I've ever done. It was steep and covered in loose rock. There were times I just crouched down and paddled my way down. I get tired just thinking back to it! But we did it. We survived. The only positive thing I could make the descent out to be was that it was good training for the snow season ;)


The views were stunning, though. On the trail a ways up you could see why Kite Lake was named as such. It was perfect.


I was swapping layers on and off all day because the wind is fickle like that, but overall it was perfect weather. No rain clouds in sight! We really lucked out with our trip in that respect. I don't think we could have done any better =) For more photos from our hike, check out my album.

Hope you had a relaxing weekend!

xoxo

Friday, August 24, 2012

Outside the lines

I was going through some old photos and stumbled across this one.

Ian gifted me this set of water color paints and some other art supplies at the beginning of our relationship. Those words he wrote on the wrapping continue to inspire me to this day.
"Don't be afraid to go outside the lines."
On another note, we are planning on hiking a few fourteeners this weekend. (I think we're on track to making this a tradition =)) It's not a very long hike, but it's going to be a steep climb! Still watching the weather for this though. The rain has been iffy. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and do something fun =)

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