Saturday, November 29, 2014

The "Annual" After Turkey Dinner Backpack trip

Annual is in quotation marks because I didn't go for a few years...  I've decided to try and breath some life into what once was a tradition for me and go on the annual trek again.
So, like in years past, I invite my kids. Two are willing to indulge me, Will and Theron. Theron brings two of his brothers-in-law, Cade 16, and Kelton 14.
(The map only shows our route from I-15, the total miles were around 300 each way)

We are going to hike to a natural arch in Escalante Grand Staircase. The trail head is on Utah SR 12. 
Will has a motorcycle accident about 8 years ago on this corner, so we stop to reminisce and tease him about it. He received some heavy duty bruising and was sore for a good while. But whether it was good luck or blessings from on high, a few inches either way and it could have been so much worse.
And even more luck or blessings, his bike incurred only minor damage.
 Then on to the trail head where we 'ruck-up'.
Pictures along the way. The trail crosses the Escalante River numerous times. We are not hiking the whole trail so we only have to cross 4 or 5 times...I can't remember exactly.

Along the trail the river is never higher than four feet or so, during the winter it is only up to our knees, but the water is COLD!

 The Arch. I love this place.
 You have to cross the river here to get to the arch.
 Looking up from underneath the arch.
 When we get to our campsite I hang my shoes upside down so the water can run out. But it gets cold fast when the sun goes down and the shoes, laces, and everything else in camp soon freezes. It was a cold night, but once the sun came back up all was .....well, sunny again!
It was a fun trip but I don't know if next years destination will be the same place. Maybe I'll just rent a cabin with a LARGE fireplace, and a driveway that ends two feet from the front door...  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ride, shoot, ride. II

Son Jacob, his wife Tiffany and my nephew Joshua are going south to Front Sight in Pahrump, Nevada for some firearms training.
The other three will drive down, I grab the opportunity to go for a ride and leave a day early. I stop and see Kolob Canyon, an extension of Zion National Park.

Day one
 Day two

Some pix in Kolob canyon;

 Next stop is St George, Utah where I'll spend the night. This is a picture of the St George LDS Temple.
 Next morning on my way to China Ranch, I see these two beauties on the road.

The road into China Ranch.

 China Ranch is a date farm, to which they've added some things to make it a cool destination. I don't stay long, but do I have a date shake with bananas and walnuts....delicious!
More pix of China Ranch;

Then I'm on my way to the house we've rented for the four days we'll be in the course at Front Sight.
Our temporary digs, I park Gen and she sits for the next four days;

The Koi pond in the back yard.
 The next morning we are off to Front Sight...
 ...where we have a ball shooting, loading, shooting...shooting, loading, shooting.. You get the point..
(we also did do a lot of skill building, and safety exercises)

 Joshua does extremely well for his first time through.
Tiffany pretends to pout at her score....which was better than any of the rest of us.
 After we finish day four we reward ourselves with a dinner at Mom's diner in Pahrump. The chicken fried steak was EXCELLENT!
 On the way home the next day I have biscuits N gravy with eggs at Jewels' in New Harmony..... very nice!

1100 miles and 650 rounds of fun! I really enjoyed spending time with Jacob, Tiffany and Joshua. 
I can't wait for the next course....