Archive for May, 2010

Hiking to Lake 22

May 27th, 2010

Oh wow, this happened a while ago.  In fact, I think it was the last time I’ve hiked…hmm.  We must remedy this.  Soon.  But it’s been raining, and there’ve been progress reports, and…and…   Anyways, we went up the Mountain Loop Highway with B, E and little baby S a few weeks ago. The trail was snow free until the last 1/2 mile or so.  We brought the snowshoes anyways though, because Tom’s training to climb Mt. Baker in a few weeks, and “needed the weight”.  Ah, my husband the pack mule.  The trail up was pleasant with several nice waterfalls along the way and some big, fuzzy trees; a Northwest speciality.

   

  

When we got to the lake, it was still mostly frozen and the ice was making these beautiful swirly patterns where it was starting to melt.  Lake 22 sits in a basin right behind Mt. Pilchuck, and the view of the mountain was quite stunning.  It was also VERY bright at the lake, and I found it very difficult to be without my sunglasses for even long enough to take photos.  Tom, however, forgot his sunglasses, so he took more photos.  And they turned out better.  Here’s one!

Lake 22 was my first adventure on the Mountain Loop Highway, and we will definitly be back soon!

Capitol Reef National Park

May 6th, 2010

The last park that we visited on our trip to Utah was Capitol Reef National Park.  Neither Tom or I had heard of it before, so we did a bit of research before hand, and made sure to talk to the rangers when we arrived.  We stayed in the park for two nights, and really were able to get a feel for the place.  The park is known for to very different things. The first is that it is geogologically interesting.   The “reef” has nothing to do with oceans or fish, but is actually what is known as the “Waterpocket Fold”, which used to be part of the Colorado plateau. Some very difficult to understand things happened to do with faults and erosion, caused the Waterpocket Fold to be exposed after millions of years, and the result is a beautiful monocline which seems to jut out of the earth.  The entirety of the Waterpocket Fold has been protected in Capitol Reef National Park.  The creation of the fold is described in way more accurate detail on the Capitol Reef National Park website.

The park also exists to preserve the historical heritage of the area.  It was the original home of the Fremont Indians, who left petroglyphs in the sandstone cliffs.  Later it was settled by Morman pioneers, who created the town of Fruita.  They planted fruit orchards, thus giving the town it’s name.  The Fremont River flows through the valley that lies below the upthrust of rock, and this river is what allowed the settlers to survive in the otherwise arid surrounding dessert.  More details about the settlement of Fruita can be found here.    One of the homes of the settlers has been preserved as a museum dedicated to showing what pioneer life would have been like for the first settlers of Fruita.  Happily, the Gifford House museum also sells homemade pie and locally produced salsas and jams.  Yum!

We arrived in the park in the afternoon our first day, and spent some time setting up camp, and eating our first of several pies of the visit.  We checked out some of the historic buildings which have been preserved by the park service, including the one room school house.  As a teacher, I could not imagine having to teach 20 students of all ages in one room, and have all the respect and admiration in the word for those women who did.  ::shudder::

That evening, we watched the sunset paint the dessert red and orange.  I had lots of fun photographing this tree.  It was so photogenic!

On our second day in the park, we hiked the Rim Overlook Trail, which wound its way up to the top of the monocline feature.  We started early in the morning and had cool temperatures and beautiful light.   We passed through several different layers of rock as we climbed, even encountering large, black, pitted boulders which were deposited by an ancient volcanic eruption!

As the day progressed though, it got much hotter and the trail wants for shade.  It is almost completely exposed the entire way.  When we reached the top, we were rewarded with expansive views of the entire valley, the mountains beyond and the historic town of Fruita, with its orchards, a few thousand feet below.It probably didn’t get hotter than around 80 degrees F that day, but that’s quite warm for us Seattlelites who haven’t seen 80 degrees since last August!  We were hiding under every overhanging rock and scrubby tree we could find when we stopped for water on our way down.

Captiol Reef is a beautiful and interesting park, and I am suprised that it is not better known.  I would recommend it to anyone making a trip through Utah’s parks to check it out, it is definitely worth the trip!

The Woe of the Left Sock!

May 2nd, 2010

My knitting has stalled.  Motivation is fleeting.  Guilt has descended.  Yes, I’m suffering from Left Sock Syndrome.  No, it was not stolen by dryer nymphs, (yes, they DO exist).  It has yet to be knitted!  You see, like many knitters who have come before me, I love knitting the first sock!  I get really jazzed about re-learning how to turn the heal, and enjoy looking up kitchener stitch for the 8 gazillionth time, and I rejoice and feel all proud of myself when the sock is done!  ….and then it sits in the bag for a month.  Or two. Snuggled right next to my teeny tiny sock needles and yarn.  Now, if I was more disciplined, or listened to the millions of knitters out there who are wiser and more experienced than I, I would have cast on the  stitches for the second sock as soon as I finished the first one!  And I tried, I really did, but it was late, and I got a knot in my yarn and I had to rip out the cast on stitches….and so there is no left sock.  I plan on starting it today, at least getting the stitches cast on, so that I can finish the silly things and move on to other patterns.  ::sigh::