Archive for the ‘Utah’ Category
Sorry to disappear without a word, but Jo and I whisked Karen away to the Southwest on a surprise birthday trip! We managed to keep it a secret all summer, so I had to make sure I didn’t spill any sort of beans on my blog.
We hiked through freezing water and endured the traumatizing smell of wet rental neoprene booties…
…drove down an absolutely mental “road” of deep sand and sharp rocks to see some of the most beautiful rock formations in the world…
…slithered (some more gracefully than others) through muddy slot canyons…
…and backpacked in the desert with only one minor quicksand incident.
I’ll write an installment of trip reports when I get all my photos up, but for now I just want to thank mah ladeez for one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on.
I’m still smiling.
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:
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!
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.
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:
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!).
We avoided Vegas (ugh, Vegas) like the plague and chose slot canyons over 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!!):
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.
…and here’s a mushy closing page (for the time being) with a collection of some of our self-portraits.
Happy vacation, happy album, happy me! The full trip report is on nwhikers.net.
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:
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:
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 :)
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:
We had lunch on the cliff, then turned around and hiked back.
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:
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.
Time for another short recap!
After Memory Trends, JK and I got a rental car and drove to Utah to camp in Zion National Park. Since we’re us (ahem), we didn’t get out of Vegas until after 4 pm, so by the time we reached Zion it was already dark. We pitched the tent (aargh, I can’t even say those words now without them sounding dirty) by flashlight and just went to sleep, having no idea what the campground looked like. When we got up the next morning, the view literally left me speechless. The only thing I could do was sit and stare at the canyons and have one of those “I love this country”-moments.
JK making black bean burgers for breakfast, speech-stealing canyon in the background.
Zion really does deserves its name.
Since we only had a couple of hours before driving on (laaame), we chose a short hike to the three Emerald Pools. Very easy hike but also very hot for vikings like us. Phew!
I am in the process of talking JK into taking a long vacation to Utah and Arizona next year so we can go on some longer hikes and explore more of the National Parks in the area.
The tunnel out of Zion. We kept driving a few hours south until we hit the North Rim of Grand Canyon. Yes yes, more about that in the next entry.