Tuesday, March 26, 2013

For Posterity: Christmas 2011 - Snow Canyon Hike

Continuing on with Christmas 2011, my grandpa, who has led hikes in Southern Utah for as long as I can remember, took our family on a short hike in Snow Canyon State Park. Todd said he especially enjoyed it because, although he has been on a lot of hikes in Southern Utah, he has never had a guide with him to talk about the rock formations and native wildlife.

 Here is Daniel, at the top of the world:
 Me, Dan, Uncle Jeff:

 Here, Angie joins Grandpa in telling us about the birdlife:
At some point, and for some reason I can't remember right now, our family was split into two groups and we met up mid-hike. Here we are, reuniting and stopping for a food break:
And dumping excessive amounts of sand out of our shoes...oh, right, that was just me:
 This is a cool juxtaposition of the sandstone on one side of the trail and the lava rock on the other:
 The following photos show that my brothers like to climb things...and pose:

Here is the whole group just underneath some pioneer names written on the rock:

 And these are just some fun little peepholes nearby:

Sorry, for the bad storytelling. (At this rate, I may as well go back to showing pictures of the different rooms in our apartment) I'll try to ramp up the humor in the next post...and not write two in a row.

For Posterity: Christmas 2011 - The Crack

Dear readers: Posts labeled "For Posterity" are going to be back posts - things that happened before the blog began, but are worth posting so we'll have a record of them, and so if family wants to get these pictures from us, they can. So, you don't have to feel obligated to read these posts, but you can, but don't be confused...cause they're not now...
Todd and I officially started dating in December of 2011. We had seen each other and been on various dates since August or September, but nothing official until December. It's kind of crazy that this Christmas trip happened, but when we realized that Todd was going to be in Idaho and I was going to be in Utah for Christmas break, we decided we could find a way to hang out over the break. So, Todd took a bus to Salt Lake City, I drove up 5 hours to pick him up, and then we drove back to St. George together. Eventually, Todd drove back up to SLC with my cousin and I flew out of Las Vegas to go back to DC.
While we were in St. George, I got to take Todd to some of my family's favorite St. George spots, including what we affectionately call "The Crack". Other people call it the narrows, but people, that's in Zion National Park - not the same. Todd was a really great sport on this trip, and not just because he drove all the way down to see me. He also tackled "The Crack" despite being mildly claustrophobic. You can see from the pictures, he has a legitimate reason for that.

 The two pictures below are taken from the top of "The Crack":

This is a little offshoot in "The Crack" that you can climb in and out of:
There is also a great view of St. George from the Pioneer Park area. You can climb up the back of Dixie rock, the old Sugar Loaf (I believe), and look out at the temple and other cool sights. 
 (I love the colors in this one of Dave looking at the Dixie sign)

Todd was also a good sport on this trip because he inadvertently met a bunch of my extended family, which included a rather wild game of reverse charades, and was in town for Grandpa Robertson's 85th birthday celebration dinner. My grandpa definitely told me he was a keeper, and this was only the first few weeks of Todd and I officially dating.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rock Climbing

Warning: There are no pictures in this post. I know that can be hard to deal with sometimes as a blog reader. Maybe I'll pull some random ones from the internet to amplify the post. Anyway, something that Todd and I have enjoyed doing together since we were dating is rock climbing. And, miraculously, despite my tightwad-like nature, Todd even convinced me that we needed to have a membership to a rock climbing gym. This is our gym:

As a result, we try to go rock climbing a couple of times a week. The reason it's hard to get pictures is because there are only two of us, so one of us is on the wall and the other is on the ground belaying. Not a great system for someone to be taking pictures. But I'll supply you with some that are a fair representation of our skill level.

This is Todd:
This is me:
Okay, perhaps this is a slight misrepresentation :) But only because the girl in the picture is lead climbing, meaning that she isn't hanging from a top rope. She is pulling the rope up from the ground as the first one up the climb.

Todd had this great idea that we should take a lead climbing class. Well, it is a good idea because when we go visit family in Southern Utah, or when we just want to climb outside on our own, one of us can lead climb and then family or friends could benefit from a top rope on the same route.

The unfortunate part of the class is that you are supposed to be comfortable climbing 5.8s with no problems. The difficulty of a climb is measured no a scale from 5.0-5.15 or something. I'm comfortable with a 5.7. 5.8-5.9s are a little tricky for me. Todd is doing 5.10s, so he'll be fine. The other unfortunate thing about the class is that part of the "curriculum" is that you have to practice falling while lead climbing. This is scary because you fall a lot farther than when you are top rope climbing. If you slip while top roping and you have a good belayer, you hardly fall at all. If you slip while lead climbing, you can fall by an amount of feet!!!

Our class isn't until April, so I have a little while to get prepared. Speaking of April, my old roommate April is coming rock climbing with us at our gym this Friday, so maybe we'll get some pictures of all of us!