Archive for the ‘Nevada’ Category

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

Vacation album in the making

Road Trip part six: Goldstrike Hot Springs and the ER

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Finally, four months after the fact, here is the final installment of the road trip blog…

After making it back up to Hualapai Hilltop and driving back to Las Vegas, we had a quiet night to recover. The next day we woke up unsure of what to do. Our flight wasn’t until the following day, and none of us could stomach the thought of Las Vegas in the daytime (*shudder*). Solution? Why, go hiking again of course!

I had found some info on some hot springs by Hoover Dam on the intertubes, so off we went. I’ll just copy and paste my trip report from NWHikers because I’m too lazy to write something more interesting:

To get to the trailhead from Vegas, we drive towards the Hoover Dam for about an hour. 0.5 miles or so past the Hacienda Casino, turn right onto a road that passes under the new highway they’re building. When you reach a fork in the road, turn left and drive to the end where there is room for parking.

The new highway

The hike is about 4 miles roundtrip. At first you walk through the canyon looking at all the remnants of car crashes from the old highway above.

One of many old car wrecks along the trail

At around 1.5 miles, you start having to scramble over and around some huge boulders – it’s all good fun though, no really scary parts…even for a wuss like me. I did, however, fall flat on my face and had the pleasure of my bum being photographed with a wide-angle lens.

Big boulders

Jules manouvering down some steps cut into the rock Shuddup, it's a wide-angle lens! JK avec rope

After getting over all those boulders, you get to relax in the hot springs (heaven for our post-Havasu leg muscles). There are three separate pools, but we stayed in the first two since the third one (where, apparently, there is some sort of tunnel you can swim through to get to a little grotto) was full of them thar young’uns drinking beer.

The two upper pools

Lazing in the middle pool

Definitely a hike I would recommend if, like me, you’re allergic to the sight of Las Vegas in daylight and need something to do! :o)

After soaking in the pools for a while, we drove back to Vegas. Somehow, Julia convinced us to eat at the Hooters Hotel (why? whyyyyyy??). A couple hours later I suddenly started feeling weird, so I went to bed…only to wake up the next morning to an inferno of projectile vomiting and (how do I say this delicately), uhm, other excretions. After a couple of hours of this I was so exhausted and dehydrated that JK and Jules had to take me to the ER.

Two bags of IV fluids and several shots in the bum later, I was feeling better but still couldn’t really walk. Lame (literally). We ended up having to postpone our flight one day until I was able to fly back.

A really really bad ending to a very very good vacation. I would totally recommend our whole route and itinerary – but whatever you do, don’t eat at Hooters.

The Trio at Excalibur

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:


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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