Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Had a pretty dang good weekend

It was "24th of July" here in Utah, which is a celebrated state holiday in rememberance of the day the Mormon Pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake valley.

On Saturday, Alene and I got a lot of work done around the house consisting of weeding the garden and planters, mowing the lawn, filling the truck with all the branches I cut down from my neighbors yard, and packing our bags for an over-night camping trip later that day.

We rented two NICE backpacks fromt he U of U's recreation store (or something like that) for $12.50 (total!). They were very nice. We loaded them up and met Alene's sister and the rest of her family (husband, Bill, and son Lanik). We went up Provo Canyon to a road called South Fork. We then parked our cars at a lot, which had a trail that lead up to Big Springs. We hiked up about a mile with our loaded packs (Caiden even carried my camelpack, which had all of his clothes in it) and camped at a spot across the creek, which was very private and secluded.

I absolutly LOVE the outdoors and did a lot of camping when I was younger, but not a lot since I was around 16 or 17. I love camping with Bill because I learn a ton from him about the outdoors. The dude has a memory of an Elephant too! After we set up camp, I headed out with him with water bottles to fill up. He has a small water purifier he takes with him. As we were walking, we came by this big open field and he stopped and said, "There's a spring right over here". I had no idea what he was talking about because all I saw was this big open field. We walked about 20' to the left and rest asured, there was a 3'x3' sized spring coming up out of the ground, very fresh looking. We pumped some of the most delicious water I've ever had!

The one thing that was upsetting was that there was a fire restriction in place. That is one of the greater things about camping! I understand they want to prevent fires, especially since this season has been very lush and wet, but it was still upsetting. The area we stayed in, everything was still green. It was very beautiful and I doubt would just burn up quickly. Oh well. We still broke the rules and lit a small fire anyway, but just long enough to cook our food. We brought pre-made burrito's covered in tin foil and heated them up. Not too shabby!

The next day we packed most of our stuff up (except our tents) and did a little day hike another mile up or so, to Big Springs. It was amazing and the water was so cold. It felt refreshing to dip my head inside the water.

The area itself was so over-whelming to me. As we hiked up one trail, we saw many other trails break off, or keep going in directions up giant mountain ranges that surrounded us. I was dieing to know where they went and hike up them. It amazed me at how small of an area of utah this was (just a tiny dot on a map) yet I could likely spend weeks exploring just that one area (if I had the time). Oh well. I just know that I for sure want to go back there someday. It was fun because we carried everything in on our hike and carried everything out.

The next day I ordered two things for Alene and I: 1. A Katadyn Hiker water filter; and 2. A pair of compression covers for our sleeping bags. We also got this idea from Bill and April. We had a problem getting our sleeping bags inside our packs (Bill and April were able to fit BOTH of their sleeping bags into one pack) and Bill showed us these compression sacks they have (which I'm pretty sure are common around the camping regulars). I'm definitely going to love these sacks, which will allow us to likely shrink our bags down to half their size.

Here is a picture of the trail on the way in.

Here is a picture of our campsite:

Here is a picture of the creek next to our campsite (see our tent?)

Here is a picture of the makeshift bridge that Bill made (he also made a handy little fridge in the creek to keep our drinks cold)

Here is a picture of a fern patch on the hike up to Big Springs. There are these fern patches everywhere. I've never seen so many fern plants.

Here is me, Caiden, and Alene at a lower area of Big Springs

Here is a picture of Big Springs. It's beautiful.

Here is a picture of Caiden and I with our packs, on our way back to the trail head.

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