Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crazy cool petroglyph panel #SundayFunDay

Amazing large petroglyph panel in the east fork of the Virgin River
Today we headed to the east fork of the Virgin River (accessed via Elephant Cove near the coral pink sand dunes state park). We heard about some very cool rock art very close to where we dropped down into the river. We loaded up with kids and dogs and friends.. and dogs of friends.. and headed down a long sandy road to the trail head.

Swags and Mona lead the way

Super Swags and Mackie are lovin' life.. check out that view!!

Taking a break on the trail (JJ and his "parachute")
I love hikes that involve water. Today is was so hot out and the Virgin River felt so great. The dogs were having the best day ever. And it wasn't long before we found out side canyon, worn trail, and the path leading to an impressive panel of petroglyphs.
I loved how much variety there was in this panel! swirls, bear tracks, people..

solo dude

We hiked further up stream but the weather forced us to turn around. But not before we were able to cool off and explore.

Nature: 1, JJ:0
We got out just in time, as a massive storm rolled in. We saw a lightening bolt right in front of us on the drive back! (Molly, did you catch that?) :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Slipping through the Pariah River to Slide Rock Arch

Ready to slot it up
It doesn't get much better than an entire day to explore without kids. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE hiking with my little nuggets, but after a couple of miles, the whining starts (from one particular munchkin who is 6 and who's name rhymes with K.K.), and you kinda just might want to go back home :) (I'm holding out high hopes this is a phase..... It is, right??)

So today while the boys played with their good buddy, Jayden, Steve and I got an entire DAY to pick a cool, long hike and just explore. We chose Slide Rock Arch which, recommended by our friends Lisa and Darren.

Super pretty views and very sticky clay and quicksand -- fun :)

pariah "windows"

Love this rock varnish. Beautiful!

To get to Slide Rock Arch, you have to walk (wade, slide, sink?) down the Pariah River. It was hovering around 100 degrees today and a lot of the hike was full sun and the "river" was filled with quicksand and slick clay. It was a workout! Nearly 14 miles round-trip. Fun stuff, to say the least. I love this sort of thing.

ahh! love this!!

cool triangle rocks just placed so neatly here. Mother Nature, You RULE.

I really am diggin' these shots that Steve took. Check out the striped walls. awesomeness!

river rocks, slots, and us!

Rock creature dude

Slide Rock Arch!! Massive! COOL!

Taking cover from the sun.
Even with four miles of slot canyon, the temps were brutal. Even the river was hot! The breeze was hot! Sheesh! I can see how people can get in trouble, fast, out here.

And really -- quicksand is no joke. We've lost 2 pairs of shoes to it (kid shoes, different occasions) and I was about THIS close today. I always thought, before moving to Utah, that quicksand was this made up thing from Super Mario Bros 3. Yeh, no.

Man, nothing beats this. NOTHING!

Slide Rock

Almost back -- hot, sticky, and thirsty. Ready for a nice cold beer.
Days like these -- brilliant blue skies (sorry other states, but Utah has you beat), red sand, orange rocks, a rainbow of river rocks, hawks soaring (we actually saw a falcon try to take down a bird about 10 feet in front of our faces), striped walls of deep burgundy, shimmering silver clay, the sound of wind blowing through the canyon, rippling springs.. ugh. Seriously, Utah. I heart you. xoxoxo

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Superman Cave

Superman pictograph near Kanab, UT
This morning we set out to find the illusive "superman cave"in the north fork of Hog Canyon, just north of Kanab. Last attempt it was getting dark and I didn't want to be burning daylight, especially with 2 kids (one of the whining variety).

Today was our day -- with super navigators Lisa and Darren along, we were destined to reach S-man's lair.
Harry doing his best superman pictograph impression :)

An impressive work of art in a very remote amphitheater north of Kanab
 Let's just say that the trip getting TO the cave was a little itchy and bleedy. Lots of bushwhacking, screaming (from JJ, so take that for what it's worth), scrambling.. but we made it -- and IT.WAS.AWESOME! I think this might be one of my favorite places now. Here's why -- it is seriously so remote. I couldn't even give directions if I tried. It's like... go here, look for this, bushwhack. The end.

Another cool looking pictograph in the cave
I call this one hotdog with bandana and cactus surrendering

creepy devil horned picto

I don't even know..

You can see the scale of the amphitheater. It was very large w/ a lot of pottery and corn cobs

That rock that Harry is looking at is actually a piece of mud w/ rock.. used in foundations of houses/structures

ancient finds (10000 year old corn cobs and stuff...)

Love this trio!
It was another successful day. We found a much better route back to our xterra that did not involve as much bushwhacking (yay!) or bleeding.

I love living here! It's always an adventure. Wow, we're lucky!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Running with Dogs

My training for the G2G Ultra is underway (in a big way!) and with only 45 days to go until the event, I've been focusing on the terrain which is going to be the hardest to conquer. Swags has been my pacer over the past couple of weeks. He's an amazing athlete! And I can't imagine running in these remote desert locations without him. (plus, he looks a little wolfy so I kinda feel like I have a furry bodyguard by my side)

Me and my one-wolf pack
I'm new to running with dogs. Flora is too "fluffy" and would prefer to sleep, and Mack is just plain lazy. But Swag has so much energy and endurance that we make a perfect team! I would love suggestions and comments from others who run with their dogs on how you guys fuel up before and during the run. Does your dog wear his own pack? Do you bring special doggy protein bones? :) Seriously though... I want to make sure he's getting the right fuel to keep him healthy.

Cuz I KNOW he's happy :) Check these out:

A giant sand box to get lost in

Pure happy

Taking a breather (with killer views)

Of course Swagger finds the steepest dunes to run up


Stay tuned for our next adventure :)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Birthdays Elevated

Harry turned 8 years old today. Just what do you get for the kid who doesn't really want anything more than a cool hike, a day where everyone is happy, or to sit around with an ipad and ask Siri questions like "how do I dig a tunnel to China?" Harry is a very unique brand of kid. He's patient, compassionate, shy, introverted, silly, sensitive and SMART. He wants to be a pilot (so he can go and see his grammy(s) whenever he wants. He loves all things aircraft (and minecraft.. but today we're talkin' flight).

We've driven by Zion Helicopter in Hurricane, UT a million times and I got this idea that maybe his birthday present would not be something he could hold in his hands, but rather an experience that he'll remember for a lifetime.

Maybe the very best present ever? :)

Ready for lift off
seriously, watch this! This is some fun stuff right here...

I have to admit, I was a little scared but the pilot and staff at Zion Helicopter were so wonderful at putting my fears at ease. They were so good with kids, too. Both kiddos were a wee bit nervous :) But the pilot went over all of the neat dials and steering stick, how to turn and maneuver the copter... Harry thought that was cool. We had weather issues when we first arrived but the staff was so accommodating to our schedule that we were able to fly later in the day when the storms had passed.

Oh man, so... we got to fly over a volcano (what!!?) and Snow Canyon State Park. We hovered over sand hollow reserve and waved to ATV people and hikers (pretty cool and I found some new trails to run!!)


Over Snow Canyon from my iphone

Pretty views of southern Utah

Pilot in training
JJ taking his job of co-pilot very seriously!!

St. George looking prettier than ever

I think Steve may have been the most excited :)
I gotta say, if Harry isn't talkin' about this one when he's 80 to his great grand kids I'm gonna be pretty bummed :) Overall awesome day and awesome ride. Check out Zion Helicopter next time you are looking to see Zion and the surrounding landscape from a different vantage point. xoxo