Archive for May, 2008

About a boy

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Since most of the people who read this thing come here for scrapbook talk, not my incessant babbling about hiking, here are some layouts! Both of them are about JK and his, ehm, maturity level… ;)

This is from the dinosaur track discovery museum we stopped by in St. George, Utah on our way back from the Grand Canyon last year. JK was in heaven and it gave me an excuse to use these freakin’ adorable dinosaur products from BasicGrey:

Dino tracks

…and this one is from my SoY entry last year. JK bought an RC chopper and regressed into childhood for about a day or so until the chopper crashed and broke:

Like a boy

Let’s all hope he never stops being a boy (*aaaaaaaaaawww*)!

May

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Wow. May just totally flew by, didn’t it? Methinks a recap is in order.

May 17th, also known as Norwegian Constitution Day – I had hoped the parade in Ballard (the “Norwegian” part of Seattle and home to what is supposedly the biggest May 17th parade outside of Norway) would calm my homesickness, but alas – it just made it worse. The parade really doesn’t feel like the parades back home. Next year we should just climb some little mountain and plant the Norwegian flag on top ;)

May 17th

Speaking of mountains, we’ve been able to do some hiking this month. Mark, a flickr friend (I know, we’re such nerds), took us along on one of his dawn patrol outings up to Rattlesnake Ledge. Our goal was to watch the sunrise, and this entailed getting up at THREE IN THE MORNING. It was worth it though – even with a rather lacklustre sunrise – because I have never had a better start to my day.

Oh, and I confirmed once and for all that I am the slowest hiker on the planet. Not that it really matters, but it was just a wee bit embarrassing that Mark could run up the whole trail, leaving me wheezing in the dust. I am very grateful to JK for having the patience to walk at a snail’s pace with me.

Even though I am slow, I am finally starting to get in better shape – so we decided to finally hike Mount Si. I absolutely love this mountain. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous, but it was used in the opening credits for Twin Peaks (my all-time favorite show).

Twin Peaks

I had heard a lot of negative things about the trail up Mount Si (mainly that it’s crowded and boring), but I loved it. A lot of people use Si as a training hike for climbing mountains like Rainier, and it’s cool (if a bit intimidating) to watch them speeding past you with full packs and ice axes! Anyway, I had thought it would be really challenging for me, but I did surprisingly well (meaning that my lungs didn’t explode).

Mount Si

Si Trio

…and finally, for Memorial Day we headed over to Eastern Washington for some desert hiking! We ended up hiking around the Yakima Rim Skyline Trail for two days, surviving rain, hail, the blisters from hell (I got nine..bah!) and seemingly endless road walking, but it was all good fun and a great personal challenge.

Yakima Rim Skyline Trail

Bobby came along and after 19 miles on the trail, he finally proved to Tom and Amy that he is, in fact, a “real dog”. He is also the best sleeping bag heater ever.

Tent life

While everything is still snowed in here on the westside, the eastside is in full bloom:

Wild Iris

Stuart Mountain Range

I (and, heh, the people around me) have realized that I absolutely NEED those lovely exercise-induced endorphins to function as a human being – so JK and I joined a gym. I haven’t had a gym membership since I lived in Trondheim, so it was about time. The best part is that it is within walking distance of our house, which fits perfectly with my car-less existence.

I am loving it so far, thanks to a) a freaking awesome Zune playlist full of deliciously embarrassing workout music and b) the focus on sport-specific training (namely being physically able to hike to Camp Muir (Rainier “base camp” at 10,000 feet) this summer) instead of that ever-elusive goal of “getting skinny”. So there :)

Road Trip part two: Zion – Observation Point

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

When JK and I visited Zion National Park in September, we only had time to do a really short hike. This time we got permits for the Subway, supposedly one of the coolest hikes ever…unfortunately though, hiking the Subway requires walking through water almost the entire time, and the ranger we spoke to told us the water was 45 degrees – eeep! So we quickly abandoned that idea and decided to hike up to Observation Point instead.

The hike is 8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of over 2,100 feet, so needless to say it begins with a seemingly endless row of switchbacks out of the main canyon – luckily we got to do those in the shade, so we didn’t start dying just yet. The fun started once we were done with the switchbacks and entered the beautiful Echo Canyon:

Reflection

The sun started toasting us just as we hit the white slickrock area, so we decided a potassium break was in order (we had to make up for a lot of sweating…) before hitting the next set of ruthless switchbacks:

Banana break

We kept looking for rattlesnakes and other exotic wildlife our entire trip, but we had to make do with good, old-fashioned lizards. At least they’re really cute :)

Lizard doing pushups

I don’t know why I keep going to high places when I have such an insane fear of heights…or, ok, yes I do – it’s because you get views like this:

Observation Point

Me

We had lunch on the cliff, then turned around and hiked back.

Crossing a stream

Zion is such and amazing place, I’m sure this won’t be our last trip – after all, we have to go back and hike the Subway some day (when the water is muchmuchmuch warmer). Anyway, we drove on and reached Arizona just in time to enjoy the sunset on the Glen Canyon Dam by Lake Powell:

Glen Canyon Dam

Next stop: Page, Arizona.

If you’re interested in hiking in Zion, Joe’s Guide to Zion National Park is a fantastic resource – it has descriptions and photos of all the most popular trails in the park.

Lo and behold…

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

…I made a layout! You know that you haven’t scrapbooked in a while when your dad who lives on the other side of the world starts nagging you about it! :) So, to get back into things I made it easy for myself and scraplifted…myself. I made one of the cover options for the June issue of Creating Keepsakes:

CK June cover option

I ended up really liking it, so I wanted to make one for myself with the leftover scraps. It looks decidedly less cool without Maggie Holmes’ amazing photography, but at least it still has a handsome little devil on it… ;)

JK

Speaking of the June issue and great photography, have you seen the Nikon giveaway? Whether you’re a scrapbooker, a photo nerd or just someone who wants a new camera, you should head over to CK and enter your name to win a Nikon D60 kit!

Road Trip part one: Las Vegas & Valley of Fire

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Gaah, I still haven’t decided when I should go home…I miss our summer house so much and I want to be there in July, but I also want to get as much out of the (already way too short) hiking season here in Washington. Maybe the ridiculously late snow in the mountains here will push back the season a couple of weeks so I won’t feel like I’m missing out… :o)

Anyway – on to our road trip! We started by flying down to Las Vegas. JK and Julia decided to bring their cowboy hats (yup, they already owned cowboy hats…) since this trip would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to legitimately wear them. Julia’s hat would later save me from overheating on one of our hikes, so I can’t really poke too much fun at them.

Airplane cowboys

In my opinion, Las Vegas is the most disgusting city on earth (I really got enough of it last fall when we came back there after camping in the Grand Canyon – it gets even worse when you’ve just spent time in nature), but it made a lot of sense to use it as our starting-off point – oh, and we couldn’t drag Jules along on all those hikes without letting her explore Vegas as well. :)

JK = happy. Jules = notsomuch.

Our route:

Map

First stop, about an hour outside of Vegas: Valley of Fire State Park! We didn’t have time to go on any hikes here, so we just drove through and stopped to look at purdy things.

Valley of Fire

Is niiice, I like!

Field of gold

If you’re stuck in Vegas and unable to endure it in the daytime (ugh – everything looks even worse in daylight), I really recommend a trip to Valley of Fire. My favorite part was Elephant Rock:

Elephant Rock

After messing around in the park for a while, we had to drive on to our next stop – Zion National Park!

On the road again

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