Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Colors of the Season

I find that I wear mostly grey, brown, white, blue and green. Not too adventurous. I wear a lot of colors that reflect my surroundings, I guess, and Utah isn't really THAT colorful of a place. Until now. Autumn in Utah is beautiful. The scrub oak and Aspens on the mountain sides are full of color. It really makes me want to look more like them:

Pinned Image

Monday, October 24, 2011

Climbing Indian Creek

Landon had his fall break after Woody's wedding. So I took a few days off of work and we headed into the desert.
Indian Creek is just outside of Moab, UT, and is a world-class climbing destination. We are fortunate to have the Creek just a few hours from Salt Lake City. The thought of spending 4 days in the desert was never very appealing to me. Landon went climbing at the Creek during his fall break last year and his stories and pictures convinced me that I would probably survive.

The thing that is so amazing about climbing Indian Creek is that the park is miles and miles of sandstone cliffs with huge cracks reaching up into the sky. "Crack Climbing" is a specialized type of climbing that I am very NOT accustomed to. It involves "jamming", which pretty much just means cramming your hands into the cracks until they get jammed and pulling yourself up on that jam while you cram your next hand into a jam. Because of his, every morning we taped the backs of our hands so that we wouldn't rip our skin off. Watch a bit of the video below to get an idea of what I mean.

Here's a video of Alex Honnold climbing in Indian Creek

We both left with rock-burns on our fingers and landon's entire fore-arm was raw and is still healing (although he's climbing the Wasatch as we speak). It is a more painful kind of climbing but also very fun and challenging. 4 days of climbing was too much for me - i couldn't even do easier climbs come Sunday morning - my body was absolutely fried. A lot of people spend several weeks  at a time climbing at the Creek. There are hundreds and hundreds of cracks. It never ends.

We camped next to a wonderful Swiss-German man that was traveling around the U.S. for 4 weeks looking to go climbing. So we climbed with him for a few days. Here's a glimpse of some more crack.

We tried to keep Duvick in the shade as much as possible. Even though it was Autumn, it was still in the 80's during the days, which was only magnified as the heat was radiated off of the rocks. Hot.

Dooney sorting our the gear. Notice the dirt - we were in the desert after all.

Sunset from our camp site.

Dooney and Adrian. There is a river that runs through the middle of the park that is a wellspring for Cottonwoods. Kind of beautiful.

Sorry no pics of Doons climbing - he is the real rock star. But when he climbs, he is not hooked into the anchors as I am, so I don't take a chance to take a shot of him. He took one whipper on his very first climb which made both of us a little more careful for the rest of the trip.

Thumbs up on my way down. Had just sent my first 5.11, which in climbing world, is nothing. But in Hannah world, it's epic.

We found a crack in a cave. It was awesome.

Eating lunch beside the stream.

 We arrived home Sunday with our beautiful car, all of our possessions, and our own bodies covered in a crust of red desert dust. Dirty and exhausted, we were happy to be home. Although, Landon was itchin to get back out there.  We both a a great time and Duvick slept for 2 days straight.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ushering in Autumn

I'm REALLY enjoying a relaxing Saturday.

I'm getting our Autumn up in here: Pumpkins, Halloween decor, McBrayer Caramels, and rotating my closet from summer clothes to winter clothes.

Two weekends ago we had a wonderful opportunity to watch Landon's childhood friend marry his beautiful bride. It was a wonderful occasion. Landon was honored and grateful to stand beside Woody as he married Caitlin. We both really were blessed to be surrounded by a group of loving Christians - I was overwhelmed with that feeling of spiritual unity - it has been awhile since we have been in a community like that.

We also got to see some of our long-lost friends that are very close to our heart despite our distance. They are our only friends that are really in our same season of life. We have a lot in common and we have a lot of history together. We were so blessed to spend a morning with them in Dallas. We love the Franzens!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Things I'm Loving Lately

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or for those of you less familiar - the final book in the 7 book series. I've loved reading Harry Potter.

And, I think that Emma Watson is so freakin adorable:

Fall is here.

Running. I'm still running about 3 miles at a time. But I've also been incorporating some extra leg-strengthening exercises to prepare myself for ski season.

Anticipating ski season. We just traded in our first-never-born child for ski passes. I've been literally dreaming about the taste of snow. I know it sounds ridiculous, but i just love love love the snow and the fun it brings.

Pinterest. All of my brilliant friends have the greatest taste and best ideas. I'm loving receiving your DIY crafts, recipes, and fashion tips through an online pin-board of beautiful pictures. If you want an invitation, let me know. It's really fun to glean ideas from friends.

Eating tomatoes from my own "garden".We planted toms and herbs on the fence this year. I think the greatest harvest was probably the wealth of knowledge of how not to plant a garden, but we got some yummies out of it too.

Trying new hair styles. It really is fun to try new things - I don't get creative enough with my hair. My friends have posted a lot of neat style ideas on Pinterest, which had me wearing my hair in a different way each day last week (usually just do a french braid or pony tail). Even check out how I wore my hair climbing this weekend in the pic of me above.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Notch Lake

Another beautiful weekend was spent in the Unitas. Truthfully, we were skiing in the Uintas all the way into June (they didn't even get to plowing the road until June), so we couldn't do any over-nighters in the local mountains until late summer because everything was still covered in snow up there until mid-July.

The mountains here are extremely accessible. We can drive for 45 minutes and be at a trail head off the Mirror Lake Highway that runs from Salt Lake to Wyoming right through the heart of the Uinta Mountains.

We have climbed/backpacked to Ruth Lake in the past and we love it - very beautiful area. So we decided to hike to one of the other many lakes that are in that similar area. Notch Lake was a very easy 1.5 mile hike slightly downhill (not kidding - more difficult to hike out than in!).

Notch Lake itself was beautiful and less crowded than Ruth Lake. And the rocks there actually are in the sun for a good amount of the day, so it's a much warmer climbing destination than Ruth Lake, which is in the shade year-around.

I took this picture immediately upon waking. I just can't believe that we have beautiful experiences like this all of the time right here near our home. I had someone message me this summer and ask about all of the "exotic" places that we are always visiting. She thought I had a gazillion vacation days (or was unemployed). I explained to her that all of these places are just weekend destinations within an hour or so from our house. She couldn't believe it. 

It never rained on us

They love each other

Duvick didn't sleep a wink the entire time. 

We put our tent right on the edge of the lake. 
I even went for a quick (and extremely cold) swim after an afternoon of rock climbing.

The tent was also right on the edge of the climbing cliffs. We could walk up and do a few climbs, swim in the lake, climb some more, eat lunch, climb, etc.... Can you imagine anything better? (besides, maybe, skiing?)

A lot of the climbing was steep and juggy so I had a more difficult time with it since i am a weakling, but i just love to watch dooney send these climbs - he's a really incredible climber. 

He thinks he's a mountain goat.
Duves slept for 2 days straight once we got home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

City of Rocks State Park

This summer was different than any others.

#1: we didn't move. This freed up a lot of time. 
#2 Husband taught a summer class 
#3 I continue to work 40 hours a week 

With this being the first time (ever - not kidding - EVER) that either of us have had a 40/week 9-5 job during the summer, we didn't make it to Georgia or Colorado for weeks like we usually hope to. Instead, we made some weekend escapes to some fun places nearer Salt Lake City.

We took a 3 day weekend to City of Rocks State Park, Idaho (3hr drive) for some amazing rock climbing. The rock there was beautiful. It was nice and cool. The climbing was extremely accessible (read - not much hiking) and the camping was spread out and secluded but in designated spots (read - not much hiking). Which made for a fun trip full of relaxation and enjoying being together.

Looks like a climbers paradise, eh? it was!

Seeing the snow up there made me wonder if we could bring our skis next time. Probably not. Very pretty though, huh?

As a novice birder, I do get excited to see birds that I am familiar with in the wild. We saw plenty of Turkey Vultures. They were lovely.

Doons setting up a rappel. Isn't the rock beautiful?

Of course, I had to get one of my boys being "loving", as we call it. Duvick LOOOOOVES being outside: camping, hiking, skiing, and rock climbing are his favorites. He's in the right family.