Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 39... Got up early which has been the trend for this stretch. It has also been easy to get up on time because dad wakes us up around 5:45 which is generous because he usually jumps out of his tent between 4:45 and 5:00. I made breakfast, we had oatmeal and bananas tea and coffee a la annie and went back to yellowstone to finish the drive. Saw more thermal features but the sulpher smell was a little harder to stomach this early in the morning. We saw another buffalo, beautiful waterfalls and the yellow stones for which the park was named for. Then it was back on the road for a 7Hr drive through amazing mountains which were the big horn mts. (Which was the range that the battle of little big horn was fought at) the drive was as beautiful as being in the park making it easier to put the hours of driving in. We made it to mt rushmore area around 11pm, set up camp and mom called and told us about a meteor shower best viewed in the north central usa... Right where we are, Thanks mom! We were right on time for the peak and stayed up for a few hours to watch the beautiful light show. Then to bed to get up early once again :-)
Day 38... Woke up early had free waffle breakfast in the lobby of our wonderful hotel. Any hotel that has running hot water and a shower has become wonderful. Amazing how your perspective changes after 5 weeks of camping! We drove 8 hours to yellowstone and set up camp. i made a wonderful lunch wraps with rice beans, corn and tuna. It was great but we ended up being a lunch buffet for some aggressive mosquitoes i ended up finishing mine in the car. we were in the park by 5 saw old faithful, which erupts every 90 mins or so and we hit it with 10 mins to go, we saw sulpher vents, mud pot, elk and a buffalo, bald eagles and ospres after sunset we drove back to camp and set up a camp fire and just relaxed so we could get up early and see some more of the park. It is amazing to see and be reminded how active and hot it is just inches under our feet. All dad can say is wow this is so cool i love this stuff. This stuff is so unbelievable it almost feels like im looking at the moon or some sci fi movie. Can't wait for tomorrow

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 37... Got up early to see rainier. We packed up camp and drove through the park taking selected short hikes at points of interest the mountain is a 14 thousand foot glacier that is covered in ice and snow... dad loved it and kept saying " ive never seen mountains like that before " we took a 5 mile hike with amazing views of rainier around noon and took in as much of that fragrent mountain air as we could. We had lunch at a restaurant on the river super yummie. Then we had a long drive to cour d alean, idaho. There was only one hotel room left in the town with two beds. But it was nice because we could get a shower and good nights sleep. We decided to do the old early to bed early to rise and get a move on in the am because we loose an hour between here and yellowstone.
Day 36... This morning was more sluggish than most. 2 days of drinking staying ur late and loud wonderful music takes a lot out of you . We Drove to bremerton washington to get some quick showers at pauls which was so wonderful and amazing. Them we beat feet to seattle to pick up dad. Our timing was wonderful as we pulled up and i jumped out found him he was getting his bag. I took the boys down town to have dinner at a pan african place that lori and i had gone to last year. Then we walked around pikes market, saw the puget sound and got gelatto then began our drive up to rainer. We ended up setting up camp in the dark but i guess if he learns in the dark it will be easy for him to do it with some light. It got cold quick but we stuck it out as long as we could to play cards but then it got to be too much we turned in and zipped ur into our sleeping bags. Thank god for mummy bags! Up early tomorrow to show dad the biggest mountain he's ever seen.
Day 35... Woke up to hot sun coming into my tent and other people moving around in the lot. We started the day w/ bloody marys and mamosas and took a walk around the Lot looking for someone selling breakfast food i had eaten before but matt and holly got pancakes. We did our best all day to stay out of the sun by making a shelter with the rainfly of the tents and a tarp. We played corn hole and ate and listened to music all day. Great day to recover and relax. At last nights i ran into a friend from college who had moved to northern california, it was a great surprise! The show was amazing the best Phish show i had seen this far purer fun and a great night. We all hung out at the venue a bit longer tonight to avoid the crazy crowd we fought through last night to get back to camp. We went down to shakedown to get some food but because we were late we got shut out so we ate a bit back at camp crackers and veggies tonight before bed.. Better for me but i like grease from time to time. Tomorrow we leave for seattle to get dad i can't wait!
Day 34 we drove to george, washington today to camp along the colombia river and catch 2 Phish shows at the gorge. This weekend still have our caravan of 10 and its wonderful to meet such great people and have an amazing week long adventure w/ them. Im also preping dad for his trip to seattle and to come home with us. we booked camp sites along our route excited for him to come out! We set up camp and pre gamed a bit before the show to avoid the 9 dollar (pbr) beers inside. the show was great we had a blast! This show and tomorrow nights show is at the gorge a natural venue totally open air with an amazing view of the river and hills around it . The music started at sunset and they played for about 3 hours. Steve and i got food from the lot after the show:-) jerry rolls, they are gigantic veggie eggrolls. With a head full of music and a belly of grease i climbed into my tent with dreams of doing it all over again tomorrow night.
Day 33... drove to massoula montana through a crazy mountain storm. The main part of it was off in the distance however we were close enough to get crazy winds and a good amount of rain the lightning was over the mountains and it was beautiful. We dropped off sara at the airport it was so small we dropped her right at the terminal and she was through to the plane in 10mins or so. We got a tip from matts friend about the kettle house brewery so we went for a visit and tasting at their newest pour room. We decided that we would make this our stopping point for the night and drive to the gorge tomorrow. We got some info from the bartenders about things to do and see and a cheap place to stay. We spent the night in the Bel aire hotel which was clean but by no means a hilton! I didn't have to clean the bathroom so i was happy. Steve matt and i walked around the town and went to their thursday night river fest to hear music and eat some food. Then once the fair ended around 9 we bar hopped until our other 7 stopped into town and we all had some drinks and played pool together. Went back to the hotel got a good nights sleep with plans to hit the road early.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 32... it was really cold this morning but we are at 9500 ft and our camp Hr by a patch of snow so its not too surprising. The weather has been in the 80's during the day and in the low 40's high 30's at night we cooked some oatmeal and a marmet stole some beef jerky in a bag while we weren't looking ...i tried yelling at it and chasing it but he just didn't care! We hiked 2 passes numerous steep snow fields and 5 of us did static peak but not me i was exhausted. we completed 13 miles in 7 hours. most of our miles were down hill but we still had our fair share of up as well. As we approached the end at the death canyon trail head our other 3 who had hiked out on day 2, were there waiting for us with cold beers and they had reserved hotel rooms for us in jackson hole :-) love my friends! An amazing Shower, and food at the the snake river brewery 4 pitchers and a ton of food in a private room made it feel like a family dinner. This trip made us a family.
Day 31...we woke up w/ an amazing view of the mountains which took away some of the muscle soreness and gave us the push to get going again. We have another pass to do today. We lost 3 hikers in our party they were just not about to do 2 more days of this but they did great! The 7 of us continued over hurricane pass at 10700 ft elevation to down to mirror lake. This wasn't in a campsite we were in a national forest not the park anymore so we had an area of a few miles that we could camp in. We set ur our camp, had dinner, and then before bed we had to hang all the stuff we put in bear boxes last night in bags and hang them from the trees 10foot from the ground and 4 foot off the tree. We had crazy storms pass over us with whipping winds, thunder and lighting. It got really cold and i didn't sleep all that great but we went to bed really early so i rested enough. This trip is amazing! Can't wait to send photos i can't do it justice just look up some of these places or Ill show you pictures when i get back.
Day 30... This morning we woke up to a heard buffalo it was amazing! They are huge majestic animals. We also saw a golden eagle it was beautiful. We parked the car threw on our packs and headed into the woods with 9 friends to cover 9 miles 4500 ft in elevation crossing snow fields to hike paint brush canyon and over paint brush divide we went down 2000 feet to campe just passed lake solitude it was beautiful! We had to eat 200 feet from our camp to prevent bears from bothering us. We also had to put all our food and anything that was sented in the bear boxes. Just as we were getting ready for bed a storm in the distance was passing and the sun was setting and created the perfect lighting situation which made the teton mountains glow a bright red. It looked like they were on fire an amazing way to end an equally amazing day!
Day 29...this morning we got up early and started driving up to wyoming w/ matt and sara. Total, we have a caravan of 10 people meeting up in teton national park. We have people from massachusetts, new jersey, pennsylvania, delaware, and virginia. As we drove in to the tetons we saw prong horn, buffalo, and elk and a beautiful view of the teton mountains. We set up camp and got to bed early the night before we set out on our 3 day back packing trip . Im so excited!
Day 28... Show day! I got up early to get my tb test checked. I drove 20 mins to downtown denver across from where the colorado rockies play. The city was extremely clean and the people were really friendly! Steve and i Went out to breakfast at a cafe/ yoga studio kinda weird but the food was great! We picked up matt and sara and headed to the largest REI store to get supplies ready for backpacking. The store had a climbing wall and a river through it so crazy! We went back to the hotel got our packs ready for our trip to make tomorrow easier. We opened our window to hear the pre show band pool side. Then we all met up out side to tailgate before the show. We met up with vidal and his crew from san francisco And the east coast crew that we are backpacking with. We all piled on the bus to get to the show at red rocks. What a great show and an amazing venue! It is in a natural theater between two giant rocks holding almost 10 thousand people. It was a great night!
Day 27... This morning we woke up and steve told me that a half hour after i fell sleep a bear came through our campsite thank god for ear plugs! We started driving to colorado to stay w/ matt and sara in denver. We are getting excited for our red rocks show tomorrow. We unpacked the car went for a swim, got a shower and napped so we could get up at 1am for the after show late night concert at the hotel. We had a blast and got a great nights sleep!
Day... 26 this morning we started driving to arches national park. We drove through the city surrounded by mountains, then through more desert like areas as we drove south. We ran into a thunder storm with heavy rain with the cray lightning but we didn't hear the crackling thunder because there wasn't anything for the sound to bounce off of. That was neat! Once we made it to arches we drove through the park and stopped at balance rock, took the primitive trail to the north and south window arches and explored a few others while we were in the area. These arches were created by the wind water and ice in the sandstone. It was truly amazing to see these structures defy gravity. We hiked 2 miles to see landscape arch which had a 180 ton chunk fall off of the arch 20 years ago. We hiked 4 miles to catch sunset at delicate arch which is the most photographed arch in the park. We hiked back to the car in the dark with our head lamps to light the way. We stopped back at balance rock to take photos of the stars they came out great! Our campsite was 27 miles away, what the internet didn't tell us was that it was up a mountain 27 miles up dirt and gravel roads. We got to our campsite around midnight super scary almost slept in the car. But we set up camp and turned in for a good nights sleep.