Monday, July 7, 2014

Great Basin National Park

On Thursday, June 12th, we headed down to Great Basin National Park to spend a couple days in the area with my family. We got there in time to go walk around the nature trail at the visitor's center and go on the hour long Lehman Cave tour. It was interesting to learn how people went through the cave soon after its discovery in the 1880s with only a candle to guide them. Getting decent pictures inside the cave was difficult without a tripod and while on a tour that didn't spend lots of time in any given spot.

We stayed in a hotel in Ely. There aren't many reliable hotels closer to the park. Unfortunately, that meant an hour drive to and from the park, so we didn't have time for much else on Thursday. Friday morning we returned to the park, and my brother Ben, Nate, and I headed out on a 5.5 mile loop hike going up Timber Creek Trail and heading down the South Fork Baker Creek Trail. This was a very pleasant mostly shady trail that followed the creeks along much of the way.

Here we are with Pyramid Peak behind us.

Here is Ben with Pyramid Peak behind him.

There were also a lot of wildflowers along this trail, including shooting stars, columbines, blue bells, and lupines among others. The flowers obviously attracted a lot of butterflies, which frequented flower patches and often fluttered past us.

Meanwhile, Austin headed out with my parents and two aunts on a shorter loop trail along the Baker Creek Trail. We all finished our respective hikes close to the same time, and then headed to a picnic area for lunch.

After lunch, Austin, Ben, Nate, and I drove up towards Wheeler Peak and hiked the Bristlecone Trail. This trail lead us past a glacial till and a view of the aptly named Brown Lake before taking us to a grove of ancient Bristlecone Pine trees.

Glacial Till

View of Wheeler Peak from the ancient Bristlecone Pine Grove

Unfortunately, we didn't have time after the Bristlecone Trail to take the Alpine Lakes Loop Trail that I had really wanted to do. However, we did still drop by Teresa Lake briefly before heading back.

Teresa Lake

Saturday we drove to Garnet Hill in Ely. It isn't at all difficult to find garnets there, though we didn't find any large ones. We didn't stay to long, but we had fun chipping away and filling bags with garnet filled stones. After that, we headed home.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Memorial Day Hike

On Memorial Day, we hiked up Grandeur Peak starting from Mill Creek Canyon. We meant to hike up with my brothers, but since they were running behind, we ended up hiking there separately, meeting at the top, and then hiking down together. Unfortunately, our GPS died so after we started, and our backup batteries were also dead, so we weren't able to route the trail as I had hoped. I still thought it was worth posting some pictures of here though.

Unfortunately, I twisted my ankle soon after we started down, and it remained sore for the next couple weeks following our hike. Other than that though, we enjoyed ourselves. It was a pretty easy peak to summit compared to most peak hikes.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mother's Day and Father's Day

Our Mother's Day celebrations were a bit spread out this year. We ended up having a nice Mother's Day dinner the week beforehand with my family, but because the dinner was moved up early, we didn't have our gifts ready. Therefore, we gave out gifts when we met up with my family again the week after Mother's Day. This year I decided to cut out little vases for my mom, mother-in-law, grandmothers, and aunts. I then cut flowers out of dowels and painted everything. They were fun to make and I think they turned out pretty well.

On Mother's Day itself, we stayed home and Austin and Nate gave me a replacement pocketknife for the one we accidentally lost to airport security plus some more flowers to plant in our front yard.

We met with my family again for Father's Day. I made Nate, my dad, my grandpa, and my father-in law toolboxes out of cardstock and wooden turtle shaped massagers. Now Austin can give Nate massages by "driving" the turtle on his back.

We also gave Nate a new axe. Now we can chop our large stack of logs into smaller pieces of firewood.