May Madness

May is long gone, and yet it took me that long to get a chance to finish this. I can't be blamed though, because May was packed to the brim! I loved it. So many big & wonderful events happened! 
11th. My parents came up from San Diego, so we got to spend Mothers Day with my wonderful mom, eating lots of tri-tip and jelly belles. I don't know what I would do without her!
13th. My adorable little brother returned home from serving a 2 year LDS mission in Malta & Rome, Italy. We were so eager we got to the airport 2 hours early and had to wait. and wait. Finally around 11pm we saw him walking to baggage claim in his snazzy Hugo Boss suit & Giorgio Armani shoes. Italians have great style!

14th. The next day was filled with the best, hanging with the family (minus my amazing sister who was busy birthing my adorable nephew in AZ). We listened to my brother tell all about his mission experiences in his great little Italian accent.
15th. This was our last night in our old apartment at "the village". This was bitter-sweet. I couldn't wait to be out of our TINY, cinder block, student apartment - that had exactly 16 inches of counter space. I definitely wasn't going to miss trying to cook on a miniature stove, or tetris-ing all our stuff into one closet, that you would have to open very slowly and pray everything wouldn't come toppling out and bury you alive. But as much as I hated that dark little box we will always remember it, because it was still our first place together! 
We decided to string our hammocks between the goal posts & spend that last night camped out on the soccer field. We thought it would be a great idea because sleeping in hammocks is the best, plus our bed was already taken apart. Wrong, not a great idea. I kept slipping out and tipping over, while Michael was cozy and fell right asleep. Eventually I stayed still enough to drift off to sleep only to wake up to the sounds of footsteps in the grass, coming towards me. I laid there frozen (I guess no different than I had been all night, because if I moved I tipped over). But when the footsteps stopped I opened my eyes and sat straight up. There was an old Asian man right by my head staring at me! So I screamed to Michael to wake up, while the man ran away into the dark. That was enough for me so we packed up and instead spent our last night on the floor in our apartment.

16th. Moving day. I'm a weirdo and love moving because it means I can clean out junk and organize! I accidentally broke 2 glasses, a picture frame, and a crockpot (<my computer kept trying to autocorrect crockpot to crackpot, moving day wasn't that exciting), but this got me out of carrying anything breakable or heavy.

17th. Michael and I celebrated our first anniversary together! Yay for us! I cannot believe we have already been married a year, because I still don't feel like we are really married. ("is this real life?") When is the cut off of when you are no longer considered a newly wed? Because I like saying it too much and am not quite ready to give up our newly wed status. Maybe in another year or two or ten. SHh don't tell. We celebrated by going to the temple (a goal we set when we got married to attend every year on our anniversary), got some food and skateboarded, took a nap, then got dressed up for the Utah Symphony. After, Michael surprised me with probably the best present ever.

18th. We got to hear my brothers home-coming talk and visit with friends and family after at a 'welcome-home' BBQ.
19th. Michael killed it at his softball game. Guys this catch he did was crazy sauce. The guy behind me in the stands even said, "boy thats some tin', that should be on ESPN right there". Talk about proud wifey. Plus his butt looks real good in baseball pants.
23rd. Michael had a little graduation party with some friends  When we were setting up we accidentally let go of the balloons and they got stuck on the roof of the pavilion. So Michael stacks the cooler ontop of a garbage can and then the garbage can ontop of the picnic table & climbs to the top so he could reach them. I swear sometimes I think that boy should be in the circus.  

24th. I got to watch Michael walk in his cute little cap and gown at the University of Utah Medical School Commencement Ceremony. I am so proud of him! He received his BS in Medical Laboratory Science. He's got some smart little brain lobes let me tell you. Much more schooling still to come. After his graduation we rushed over to set up for the bridal shower I was throwing for his sister Maddie.

25th. My dad's birthday! He is the coolest dad there ever was. So fun, and its thanks to him I have such a love of the outdoors and adventures.
26th. Memorial day, so of course we went rock climbing and of course it was super great.

29th. Michael was a little bummed we wouldn't get to do anything for his birthday since is sister was getting married that day so I surprised him and took him to Ruths Chris Steak House. It was DELICIOUS. But the service was even better. They decorated our table with blue confetti and had a happy birthday sign for him and everything. We tried to be on our best behavior so we could blend in better with all the fancy people. When we got back to our house we had cake and ice cream with his family.

30th. We went to a family BBQ to celebrate the marriage of Maddie & Stan. So glad I have such fun in-laws. When we left instead of going home I made Michael close his eyes and we went to the Chateaux Deer Valley in Park City. Can you tell I like surprises? Loved this resort, such a fun get away. They even had the cutest miniature bottles of ketchup and jars of jelly so we took them, haha I just love tiny things!

31st. After sleeping in, opening his presents, and relaxing by the pool we went out to lunch with some of Michaels friends to celebrate his birthday some more. (I know, I know, I went a little overboard this year). Then the wedding festivities began! It was my first time attending a sealing (besides my own) and it was so beautiful! I am so happy for Maddie & Stan! They make such a great couple and always make us laugh.

Lake Blanche

adventure date : July 27, 2014

Lake Blanche

distance: apprx 7 miles round trip
elevation gain: 2700ft
difficulty: moderate (fairly steep)
exposure: mostly shaded until you reach the lake, then partial shade
tip: make sure you have plenty of water (especially if hiking in the summer!) or bring a water filter.& Don't forget the bug repellent.
getting there: Big Cottonwood Canyon. Park at the bottom of S-Curve. (Mill B Trailhead.)Continue paved path till trailhead marker on right (before you reach the bridge).

For our 'Summit Sunday' we decided to give Lake Blanche another go. We attempted to hike it last fall but didn't reach the top, but not for lack of trying! It started raining just a few minutes after we started hiking but since we had come prepared with waterproof shells we decided to keep trekin'. I took this picture right after we started hiking:

Everyone turning back to heading back down looked at us like we were crazy, since we were the only hikers still trying to make our way up the steep muddy path. Soon the rain turned to slush, and then the slush turned to snow. We were wet and freezing, but determined! So we slowly continued making our way up the mountain. We reached a tree line (same spot as in the picture from our 2nd attempt below), & got excited thinking Lake Blanche lay just on the other side of the Aspens. In reality we were only about halfway. By this point we couldn't see very far ahead because of the snow and mist, so when a man (the only person we'd seen on the trail since we started) came sprinting down the snow covered trail in flipflops with bloody feet it made me jump. He informed us a moose had been chasing him and we needed to run, as soon as he explained this he took off running again towards the bottom. Michael and I sat there for a second, the only hikers on the trail, listening to the silence around us and watching the snowflakes blanket everything in white. We decided we weren't going to let a mad moose stop us so we started hiking again, but this time much slower so we could listened for this angry furry fellow. We had only made it to a clearing on the other side of the Aspens, when we heard a noise and decided it was best not to stick around to meet whatever made it. We were completely drenched by the time we got back to the car, with numb fingers and faces.

Being cold was our last concern as we hike the Lake Blanche trail for our second time. It was HOT and summer made all the vegetation look so green and lush. It was beautiful! The trail winds its way up, to the mountain top lake. Lake may not be the correct word, pond is more accurate. Even though Lake Blanche was more along the lines of a large pond it had absolutely awesome views. I loved watching the wildlife too. I wish I could have a pet squirlle, they are probably the cutest fur ball ever.

there is a reason you never wear that other pair of trail running shoes…and this is it. rubbed raw and bloody heels.and yes we were filthy

If you're in the SLC area you should definitely check this hike out if you haven't already. It is a popular trail and sees a good amount of traffic, so if you like more of the seclusion I recommend hiking it late in the day after most people have finished (just don't forget to bring head lamps for the way down!)

Joes Valley and then some...

adventure date: June 13-15th, 2014

B-No matter how old I get I will always love the zoo! It literally takes all my will power not to free all the animals. Although, Hoogle made for a mighty fine date night we like our weekends filled to the brim, so we left straight room the zoo and took a road trip to good ol' Joes Valley.

Joe's valley! Located just outside of Orangeville, UT. This is one of the "must go" destinations for U.S.A bouldering. Joe's valley is home to a vast array of world class boulders that can support the talents of professional climbers to the newbs. Brighton and I visit there often, and every time we find something new and exciting to climb. 

We spent the few days there climbing near the river and hiking around to hidden gems scattered about the valley floor. On an unrelated note, we even managed to make some delicious pesto chicken flatbread sandwiches.(flatbread + pesto + tomato slices + mozzarella cheese +grilled chicken = super easy & delicious. Cook the chicken before you trip then throw it all on the flatbread and grill over the fire/camping stove).

For those of you who have not yet had the good fortunate to have dipped your feet into the magnificent waters of the climbing world, I would urge you to take a few days off from your busy lives and visit this amazing place. Even if you don't consider yourself a climbing, or if you find the idea of climbing to be physically repulsive, you can at least take in the beautiful surroundings: Joe's valley reservoir, the river, and the Manti Lasals all provide an excellent get away.

Sunday after we packed up camp we explored the Manti Lasal mountains and discovered this beautiful lake. We relaxed by it for about 60 seconds before we were half eaten to death by giant prehistoric mosquitoes, forcing us to retreat and head home.

As we were driving home we decided we hadn't gotten enough of the outdoors, so we made a pit stop in Alpine to do one of my favorite hikes : Horse Tails Falls. You ascend 2 miles during the 4 mile hike to a view of waterfalls and the city down below, plus it'll give you buns of steel.

Wyoming was Wonderful

adventure date: June 26-29th, 2014

When searching for a near by climbing spot that, at the same time, was still far enough away that it would feel like an adventure, we found the great little town of Lander, WY. Cutest little town lays about 5 hours from SLC. Old shops, stores, and restaurants line the main drag. It's also home of NOLS-I'm a Nols Alumni and love the awesome programs they have. 

We eventually made our way into the narrow, beautiful Sink's canyon just a few miles outside of the town of Lander. It is filled with sandstone, limestone, and granite cliffs. The place is truly a climbing mecca. We spent our two days there exploring/climbing the limestone cliffs. That is some top quality, grade A, pocket pulling - with one of the funnest lay-back cracks we've ever climbed. I recommend any of you climbers to head out there and get a taste of the local Lander community and visit Sink's for a great outdoor adventure. We even saw a faun nursing!

The main walls at Sinks can take quite the beating from the sun so on the last day of the trip we headed to Wild Iris. At about 9,000 feet, this is a prime destination for climbing on those hot summer days. Nothing beats the beautiful vista from the cliffs of Wild Iris. You are immediately surrounded by groves of aspen trees and, of course, Wild Iris. This is an amazing destination, windy and bear ridden as it may be.  There is so much climbing there we only made a dent, so we will definitely need to make another trip out there.

Ragnar Trails - Zion

adventure date: April 25-26th, 2014

Ragnar Trails was quite the experience. In every way imaginable.
A few years ago I discovered I enjoyed running, then I discovered I LOVED trail running. I've been addicted ever since. I'd been wanting to do Ragnar for awhile and when I heard about Ragnar Trails the decision was made
^^^How I Trained:
-Four times a week I would run about 4 miles
-Long run once a week(started at 7 miles and worked my way up to 11)
-Strength training three times a week
-Yoga three to four times a week
-One to two recovery days
-I also ate as much protien as I could and cut back on my sugar.
^^^How Michael Trained:
-He didn't.

Soon as we rolled into camp we headed to check out the finish line that we would cross after each of our three loops. The green loop was a quick 3.1 miles down a rocky ravine, then back up the steep slope. The yellow loop was 4.6 miles of up and down and up winding through hills. The red loop totaled 8.2 miles and worked it's way to the ridge line summit, and then made its way back down and out the same raveine from the green loop. Sounds great right?

 I started with the red loop and it was long, sweaty, and awesome. I ended up getting an awesome time and personal best for me and was stoked. I woke up at about 2:30am for my second run, the yellow loop, the one I was least looking forward too because of all the hills. I climb out of our tent to the chilly scene below. Rain/snowing and so cold! By 3am I was on the trail and miserable. Worst run I have ever had. The trail was up hill and so muddy it was a fight to keep from sliding down. About every couple minutes I would have to stop and try to scrape off some of the 4 inch thick mud that was coating my shoes, making them feel like cinder blocks on my feet. I was freezing and completely exhausted. Half way through, the slush turned to snow and I couldn't feel my face, or extremities. The whole time I was so sad for Michael because I knew he had to run the longest loop when I got back. I finally finished and climbed into my sleeping bag where I laid soaking wet, shivering, and trying to get warm (which didn't happen until a few hours into our drive home).

The blizzard ended up dumping about 4 inches of snow. (The picture below shows our campsite) They ended up shutting the race down early so people could leave before the roads became snowed in. No one on our team got to finish their last leg, which was a huge bummer, because all I had left was the easy one. Just 3 miles! Oh well.. until next year!

Despite the unexpected and not-so-great weather conditions we had an absolute blast. If you're trying to decide whether or not to do Ragnar, do Ragnar TRAILS! Not to sound biased but it is way funner than the regular. Why? First, trail running beats road running anyday (no monotony). Second, you get to camp!(and not in a school gym or where ever else you throw your sleeping bag during traditional ragnar). Third, while you are waiting to run your leg you can hang out at camp, rather than cramped in the back of a van with a bunch of your smelly teammates for hours on end. Plus at camp they have free massages, yoga, movies, and tons of fun activities. Convinced? You should be.  


adventure date: March 7-9th

Going to Ibex is like traveling to another planet. Located in Utah's west desert Ibex is a unique climbing area that features sport, trad, and bouldering on the outskirts of a dried up lake bed. Driving across the lake bed at night, in the pitch black, is kind of eerie. It looks like you are driving off into space. You have no land marks to orientate you, just flat dirt as far as you can see. Neither of us had been there before so luckily we reached the quartzite cliffs on the other side.
We didn't have a guide book so we had a somewhat hard time finding sport routes, but the ones we did find I wasn't a huge fan of. Super chaussy and sketchy. The bouldering was awesome though and that's where we ended up spending most of our time. When are fingers needed a break we played frisbee and had foot races across the lake bed. If you're a Utah climber and have never been it is definately worth the trip. (but be warned it's probably one of the windiest places ever)
This trip was also the debut of our new subby! Wahoo! We picked up our new outback from the dealership, loaded it up with our climbing gear and headed out to break

(sorry the pictures stink-they were all taken on my phone)