Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Father's Day Weekend

What better way to celebrate Father's Day than spend a 5 day trip to Yellowstone with my Dad?
Truth be told- It didn't dawn on me that Father's day was the same weekend 
of the Yellowstone Half until the week of.
Either way, me and Dad had an adventurous time!

Day 1: Thursday
We camped at Madison campground- it's the only campground I'm familiar with.
We were put in the wayyyyyyyy back and it was THE BEST!
You can't really complain when a herd of buffalo graze their way through your camp.
The camp host had us all get into our cars so he could flush them out of the way.
Good thing too because one bull looked like he was wanting to "engage" the tent.

We were planning on going to the Ranger talk but lightening and rain made the Ranger push us all out.
It's ok. It wasn't really that great in the first place.
It rained all night but it was a really warm night.

Day 2: Friday
It was SUPER windy.  You think it was windy down here in Utah, but oh, oh... this wind was just about
pushing me off of board walks!
Everyone looked at us like we were crazy too because we were in short sleeves and shorts.
It wasn't cold. Just windy.
We set off early- we had a map full of sites that needed to be visited!

We hit up EVERYTHING from Madison to Old Faithful.
At Old Faithful be hiked the back part of the basin including the Observation loop.
Picked up my stuff and splurged and got the little race necklaces, a beach hoodie, and stickers (had to get double stickers so I could send some to Max!)
It was pretty cool- they had people there from the wildlife centers and there was a bird demo.
We headed back into the park and went up towards Norris.
We did the Big Back loop of the geyser basin- that was kinda exhausting not goona lie.

Day 3: Saturday- RACE DAY!
It rained ALL NIGHT. So it was rather cold in the morning.
I tried looking for Josh & Jared but alas.. did not see them.
Miles 1-3: Flat, easy, a small loop on even ground. Nothing exciting.
Miles 3.5-5: Pot holes in the road made for uneven running.  Josh caught up to me at mile 4- took a few minutes to get his attention! Then he took off a half mile after that.
Mile 5- to the end: I DIED.  End of story lol
The trail we were on was an ATV trail which means it was super rutyyyyyyy!
I spent more time watching the ground than anything else.
And let's not forget that it was all UPHILL. If you've ever ran down Bobsled in Ogden, think about running up it, but with more pot holes and rocks.
The ONE part that was downhill I basically walk down so I wouldn't miss step
and have a re-peat of the Apple Ambush.
While I was out running my dad was riding his bike around town.  But he found a spot where he was able to watch me run past. He talked with some forest service guys who were sharing a story about how a guy died from a tree falling on him the other week. Creepy.
And a photographer told him that she saw a BLACK BEAR ON THE COURSE!!
Thankfully a mountain biker rode out ahead to try to scare them off and lots of people had bear bells on.
I was so glad to be done. My Garmin time was 2:22.47
I stop my time when I stop for water- I'm not talented to drink and run at the same time.
I did, however, master the Hydro Pouch :)
I found Josh in the tent afterwards and got a post-race photo.  It was really cold and after going back to the car I just wanted to get warm.
We got to Canyon just in time before the showers close.  Normally when I camp I could care less about showering, but after hiking and running- a shower was needed.
We visited the Education Center and then headed towards Tower-Roosevelt.
Chittenden Road was closed to the Mount Washburn Club hike was nixed for this year.
I'll get you next year...
Stopped at Tower Falls and then at Lamar Valley.
Then over to Mammoth! LONG drive and we only stopped at the Petrified Tree.
Did all the Terrace Loops- rather disappointing due to lack of water flow.
Heading back we did get to see 2 young grizzly bears playing with each other.  It was nifty!

Day 4: Sunday
We headed back to Old Faithful and finished the rest of the geyser basin.
Then headed out to West Thumb where we were able to get a lot of information from the Rangers.
Then up to Bridge Bay area then to Canyon again. Stopping at all the little spots along the way!

At Canyon we went down both rim drives.
Then back to Norris and then Madison.
It started raining after we were done eating
thankfully but my dad found it extremely
hilarious that when I was tipping water off of the canopy and some of it ran down my back.

Day 5: Monday
Luckily it stopped raining so we were able to take down camp without a down pour.
It was a great trip!
Dad shared stories of when the last time he was at the park as well as stories of
Grandpa Nelson when he was a surveyor in Cody, WY.
We kept a list of all the license plates we saw- we saw almost all 50 states except for Hawaii, Alabama, Maine, Delaware, and Rhode Island.  It was a fun game.
Dad also made up is own meaning for park signs.
This means "No Free Range Dogs"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What Came First... The Temple or Dinosaurs?

Our first trip out to Vernal. Brace yourselves for photos!
The drive went by rather quickly thanks to this question game that Kris had.
Pit stop at the gas station for road trip drinks! I splurged and got a soda.

Of course you gotta get your picture taken with the Welcome to Vernal Dino!
The Green T-Rex, well, that guy has some weird buggy eggs, and they light him up at night.  The next day he had a huge cowboy hat, bandanna about his heck, and a lasso. We're hoping that this is a common occurrence where the locals know that the freaky T-Rex gets dressed up, but they don't know who cuz that just adds to awesomeness of it all.
Yes our hotel bathroom had a phone in it. I tried to call Tyler using it. Didn't quite wanted to work. Sad face.

Since we got into town at 2:55 and the next Temple session was 3... we decided to hit up the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum.
Big let down.  At least it was covered in my Utah State Parks Pass.
Digging for bones.
We found this hilarious for some reason.
Tyler tried to touch the fossils. Rebel.
The Dinosaur garden! I can't help but think that with these two dinosaurs, it looks like the T-Rex is telling a really bad joke...

The Temple :)

The best thing that I loved the most about this temple is how simple it is.
Very plain. Very to the point. Perfect :)

 After the session we stopped and had dinner at a place called Country Grub Cafe.
Best decision ever! I would totally go back! Sooooooo good!
The next day, my friend Shawnee met up with us and we headed out to the Dinosaur National Monument.

Man I LOVE our Dinosaur shirts :)
Train ride up to the Quarry. We even got lil dinosaurs to be our mascots for our summer adventures.
Tyler and Kris have Ned, the allosaurus.  We have Patrick the stegosaurus.  Seemed fitting since those two dinosaurs were found all over the Vernal area.

Quarry Exhibit Hall.
Seriously.. this Hall is basically one mega wall filled with fossils! Like THOUSANDS!!! 

They even had some you could touch.  Yes REAL dino fossils you could touch.
We hiked the Fossil Discovery Trail.  It's pretty cool if you think clam shells are cool...
Derek is pointing out 1 of 2 Dinosaur fossils on the trail.
Here's the other one
Derek's a cutie :)
Tyler and Kris :)
Evidence of Shawnee and Kris breaking the rules and checking out the cave where the sign said "not a trail" lol Tyler has video evidence.
There were some questionable petroglyphs along the trail as well.. in the sense that we weren't sure if they were real or recently made by dumb people.
 We ate at Betty's Cafe before heading out.  Another very yummy place!
It was a great trip and was so awesome that we were able to make it out to the Vernal Temple.
Our Temple goal is coming along quite nicely and we're almost done with the family names my Aunt gave us a year ago! I'm mostly excited about that part :)

Next year we're going to go in May when the Dino half is.. and be out there for maybe 3 days so we can hit up Red Fleet State Park and Fantasy Canyon. Maybe McConkie Ranch and Ghost Town... river rafting... there's surprisingly a lot to do in Vernal that would justify a few days.