This winter has taken a little toll on our adventuring. We have been dying to get out and do some hiking but it has just been too dang cold and snowy. This past weekend, the weather was looking pretty warm so we planned a little Valentines getaway. We chose Horseshoe Canyon; this hike has been on our list for quite some time because it has a very impressive rock art panel.
Over the break, we had been talking to some of our friends, Aubrey and Logan, about going on a short weekend getaway. The only weekend that worked with all of our schedules was New Year’s weekend, which was great because we didn’t have any plans. We hit the road early New Year’s Eve morning and didn’t look back. Neither Blake or I had been to Snow Canyon so we thought that would be a fun activity that afternoon. It was very pretty with some fun short hikes. Unfortunately it was super windy and we were all pretty cold so we didn’t spend too much time there. We’d like to spend more time exploring this area in the future.
Thanksgiving is seriously one of my favorite holidays. Spending time with family and being able to eat some delicious food, makes it one of the greatest days of the year. This year, we headed down to Manti to eat with my family. We ate all my favorite foods and best of all raspberry PIE and spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching movies. It was so nice to have nothing to do.
After Monument Valley, there were a few sites that we wanted to see. The Southeast corner of Utah is very spread out, so getting from one site to the next is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Our first stop was Goosenecks State Park. This state park reminded me of Dead Horse Point and Horseshoe Bend except that it has an added bend to it. We spent about a half hour here taking photos and enjoying the scenery. Our next stop would be Natural Bridges National Monument. The road to Natural Bridges is pretty rad; there is a section of the road called the Moki Dugway that switchbacks up the side of a cliff. We stopped at a lookout point to look back at the road. It was a little nerve-wracking to see that we had just driven up a giant cliff. Looking off the cliff you can see the skeletons of wrecked cars that had lost their way, which made it even more reassuring….
One place that I have dying to go is Monument Valley. We decided a couple months ago that we would finally head to the Southeast corner of Utah for fall break. Our plans weren’t quite definite and it seemed like things kept coming up. The week of our planned trip we weren’t even sure that we would be able to go because it would be such a long drive for not enough time. Luckily things fell into place and we were able to leave Saturday night after a friend’s wedding. We left Salt Lake around 9:00 PM and drove as far as we could. We made it to right outside of Moab until we were just too tired so we pulled off the road a couple miles and set up our camp. Sunday morning we woke up and kept going. We wanted to make it to Monticello to go to church; unfortunately we just weren’t going to make it in time. I was looking up sacrament times and we found a small branch in LaSal. It is a very tiny town just south of Moab. There were only about 50 people in the branch. It was a fun experience to go to a branch in Utah!
In July, we backpacked in Big Cottonwood Canyon to Lake Blanche. This trail was steep and very challenging. After this trip, I wasn’t really sold on the whole backpacking thing. Blake told me that backpacking in the High Uintas doesn’t have much elevation gain. After doing some research, we agreed that Naturalist Basin would be our destination on the Highline Trail. This is located right by Mirror Lake. This is rated as a great beginning backpacking trail, so that really helped ease my worry about carrying an extra 20 pounds on my back.
Back in March I thought I would try my hand at the lottery system for The Wave. We talked to someone who had been putting in for years with no luck. We didn’t think we had any chance at drawing out but I just wanted to see how the system worked. Somehow we got very lucky and drew out. I put in for four spots so that my parents could come along. A few years ago, my parents and I were in Kanab watching Seth play baseball and saw a photo of The Wave on the wall in one of the local stores and we talked about how we HAD to go there.
A couple weekends ago, Blake and I tried our hand at backpacking. I had really been wanting to hike Lake Blanche so we chose this for our backpacking trip. This hike is pretty hard; it says it is about 6 miles round trip (I swear it is longer!). Those three miles to the lake are all uphill and actually pretty steep; about 2000 feet incline. While getting up was hard, it was well worth it to wake up to the beautiful Sundial Peak.
We celebrated our first anniversary a few weekends ago in Las Vegas. It was such a fun weekend spending some quality time just the two of us. We ate some good food, relaxed by the pool, and did a little exploring. Initially we had planned on spending some time in Red Rock Canyon, unfortunately it was just too hot to do any climbing or hiking. It is only about a twenty minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, since it is so close we decided to drive out one night to take a look. There is a short scenic drive with a few great lookouts, the drive is really pretty with some very interesting rock formation and colors. We definitely would like to return and explore a few hikes and do some climbing.