Archive for May, 2009

Desert Scrapbook

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Alright, so I kept waiting for JK to be able to help me photograph this album, but the only days he came home early enough we were too busy – so here’s a lovely mish-mash of porch photos and scans of the pages I’ve made so far. The album is an 8×8 corduroy album from American Crafts in the most desert-like color I could find. The page protectors are from We R Memory Keepers, but unfortunately they didn’t fit the album – I had to punch two extra holes in each protector. Lame.

I wanted the album to really focus on the photos, so I chose white and grey cardstock as my base, no patterned paper (there’s so much color in the photos already!) and minimal embellishments – just those cute butterflies from Quickutz, cut out in different sizes with my Silhouette. This page is from our first hike of the trip, to Cable Mountain in Zion National Park:

Cable Mountain

I’m using the same fonts throughout the album: Century Gothic for journaling, CK Becky for the “handwritten” titles and Modern No. 20 for the rest of the titles.

If you live in St. George (or anywhere in Utah for that matter), you must visit Snow Canyon State Park. We ended up there as a backup when our backpacking trip in Zion got rained out, and we were so happy it happened!

Petrified Dunes

To go with the butterfly theme (ok, so it was just an excuse to finally use them…), I’m adding butterfly transparencies from Hambly between some of the pages. I love those things.

Petrified Dunes

To make the pages easy to put together (since I have yet to actually finish an album…), I’m using a bunch of divided 4×6 page protectors, and a lot of the designs are based on 4×6 or 5×7 photos – the 8×8 size is perfect for this!

This is from Bryce Canyon National Park where we hiked an excellent little loop:

Hiking Among Hoodoos

After Bryce we spent some time in Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. Again, everyone should visit this place! Lots of little hikes and areas to explore, and the best campground you’ll ever find (free showers!).

White Domes

We avoided Vegas (ugh, Vegas) like the plague and chose slot canyons over slot machines:

Slot Machines

Valley of Fire was where we saw our favorite animals of the trip (antelope ground squirrels and chuckwallas!) and our absolute least favorite animal (rattlesnake, eep!!):

Life in the Desert

I attached the butterflies to the outside of some of the page protectors because it looked more interesting – let’s see how long it takes before they fall off.

Ephemeral Arch

…and here’s a mushy closing page (for the time being) with a collection of some of our self-portraits.

I <3 You

Happy vacation, happy album, happy me! The full trip report is on nwhikers.net.

Vacation album in the making

Our first volcano

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

That’s right, we were lucky enough to get climbing permits for Mount St. Helens on Memorial Day! Not only would it be our first trip to the top of one of the Cascade volcanoes (luckily St. Helens is the lowest one, and the 1980 eruption knocked a good 1000 feet off our ascent, moahaha), but it would be my first time camping on snow. Except for the fact that my hiking boots are very non-waterproof, it was great. I actually do own a pair of very expensive waterproof mountaineering boots, but I haven’t been able to break them in yet. My feet are very weird, wide and wonky, much like the rest of me.

Anyway, back to camping. We hiked in a couple of miles and set up camp in the last flat area we could find, right below the tree line. Since it was already getting dark, we just had dinner, melted some snow for water for the next day, and some of us (cough) tried to dry our soggy feet and boots as the stars were coming out.

Cozy

Since it was a beautiful and oh so warm weekend, we decided to get an early start before the snow turned into a slushy mess – we started hiking up at 4:45 in the morning when the snow was still nice and firm. (If you decide to start this early it might be a good idea to bring some crampons for the icier parts.)

Gawking at the beautiful sunrise colors all around us made all the *up* seem a little less horrible.

Onward and upward

Finally the sun popped over the ridge where Mount Adams was watching over us from the east.

Sun rising over Mount Adams

After four hours we made it to the top – suddenly the crater rim was just there and we realized it would probably be a good idea to stop walking. The views were amazing; the steaming lava dome in the crater, Spirit and Coldwater Lakes in front of Mount Rainier to the north, Mount Hood to the south and Mount Adams to the east.

We made it!

We tried to capture the view of the crater in this less-than-stellar panorama shot (click to open it in flickr where you can see the big version), but you really have to be there to appreciate how impressive this thing really is.

Crater panorama

I was having some stomach issues (let’s just say it was the wrong time of the month to do anything more strenuous than pigging out on the couch in front of Gilmore Girls), so I stayed by the crater viewpoint as JK and Carlos hiked up another couple of feet to the true summit.

It's a beautiful day

Me with those smelly boys I keep hiking with:

Me with those smelly boys

By the time we decided to head down, the sun had already warmed the snow to a wet, heavy slush, which meant that even I had the cojones to try glissading.

It's faster going down

I have no words for how enjoyable it felt to slide down past those poor bastards who were slogging up, sometimes popping through the snow and ending up knee-deep in slush. Moahahaaa! Getting up early that day proved to be a very wise decision.

Hikers ascending

After yet another attempt at drying my soggy toes, we took down our tents, donned our heavy packs and headed back to the car. 11 miles, 5700 feet of elevation gain, and yet another excellent trip with these two boys:

Success!

Escaping to the land of sun and red rocks

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Remember how I was complaining about not being able to go on a vacation to the Utah area this spring? Well, we ended up getting a somewhat last minute chance to go, so our huzzahs were heard around the world. We dropped everything and headed off to Nevada and Utah for a week of canyons and general awesomeness.

I don’t have time to write much about the trip right now, but I did write a trip report with lots of photos on nwhikers.net if you want to take a look.

Vacation album in the making

(Butterflies from Quickutz, cut out with the Silhouette.)

In a display of uncharacteristic efficiency, I am already halfway done with my album for our trip. I wanted to share some pages from it today but the photos I took look like crap and I’ll have to wait until after the weekend when my lovely assistant JK can help me. I’ll see you on the other side of the three-day weekend!

Mount Persis

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I’m not even going to come up with an excuse for being behind on posts again since that seems to be the normal state of affairs around here, so instead I’ll just share hiking photos from this weekend:

Mount Persis Following in my footsteps

On Saturday JK and I took little Wellington to Mount Persis, the big peak in the first photo. This was his first real snow hike (albeit in very warm temperatures), so we were excited to see that he did really, really well. He got cold in the wind on the summit, but the snow didn’t really seem to bother him at all. Success!

ALW peaks

The hike itself was gorgeous, with all sorts of rugged peaks popping out everywhere and a fun climber’s trail. I tend to prefer going short and steep rather than walking on gentle forest roads for hours on end, so this was right up my alley. It was great to be out on the trail again and feeling great despite not seeing the inside of a gym for over a month – I lost my workout mojo once I stopped training for Mount Baker, so I need a new, concrete goal to work towards. Ponder ponder…

Mighty mountain men

Wellie is still masquerading as a real dog and spent most of his time on the summit chewing on a stick. I think I like him. ;)

Mountains as far as the eye can see...

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