Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer of Hiking

The Summer of Hiking

This summer I decided that it was high time that I saw some of the cool natural features surrounding the place I live. So I did a little research and found several dozen hikes to fun, cool, or interesting places and have decided to document my adventures on my blog. Hold on tight because here we go!
Grotto Falls
This hike is pretty short under a mile out and back. It is also a fairly easy and well maintained trail because we had no problem pulling the girlies up in the little red wagon. However, we did get some strange looks from some of the other hikers as we pulled little red by. You have to cross the stream several times via log bridges. The trail finally dead ends at the Grotto which is a large rock alcove with the water fall inside. Its about twenty five feet high and there is a shallow wading pool to play in. I would recommend that you wear flip flops or sandals on this hike so you can play round in the pool by the falls.

The trail is located up Payson Canyon about ten miles. To get to the canyon go to Payson and find 600 East and follow it up toward the mountain. It turns into Payson Canyon Road/Nebo Loop just outside of town. Follow that road for about ten miles until you see the sign for the Grotto. There is a small parking area on both sides of the road. Once finished you can drive the Nebo loop and take in the beautiful scenic loop! Battle Creek Falls
This is another short hike just over a mile out and back. We took the stroller out on this one so as you can guess its also pretty easy. It starts out on an old service road that goes along the south side of the creek bed. Don't get worried that the falls is dried up because there is no water in the creek bed because the water goes into a collector higher in the canyon but the falls is higher up still. When you get to the collector there is a large deep pool that you can swim in if you want to. Keep going up the trail and cross the bridge. The falls are about two hundred yards up from the bridge. These are impressive falls because of the volume of water coming off the seventy foot + cliff. It is very cool next to the fall because of the spray coming off the rocks at the bottom. Myla was terrified the whole time we next to the falls but Ava kept trying to jump in.
Battle Creek Falls is easy to find. If you are on I-15 get off on the Pleasant Grove exit just after 1600 N. in Orem and just before 5th east in American Fork. Go east toward the mountain and find 200 S. and follow that all the way up to where it dead ends at Battle Creek Park. Park in the parking lot and follow the trail on the south side of the park up into the canyon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Bear

So a few years back my father in law went to Russia and got a ten year old Inland Siberian Grizzly. This thing is eleven and a half feet tall when standing on its hind legs. It took the taxidermist a couple of weeks just to do the treatment on the hide. Now that it is finally finished we had to move it down into his lovely room of death or as my daughter calls it "The Zoo." I will take some pictures of the other things he has down there for another blog.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The New Gun

I got a new gun today! Its a single shot Rossi and comes with three different calibers. The above is a 20 guage shot gun.

This is a 243 rifle. Nice little deer caliber for this fall when I hopefully will draw out for something. It comes ready for the scope but also has the good ol buck horns as well.
Here is a nice little plinker 22. I already had one 22 but its already taken its bag limit of just about everything that moves. With ammo prices constantly going up 22 is about the only caliber that I can afford to shoot anymore.
Here it is all broken down. Its really easy to break down and put back together. It takes me less than a minute to change from one barrel to another. I took it out this afternoon and shot around and so far have no complaints.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mess'in Around in the West Desert

The other day I decided that I needed to unwind a little after a hard day of work. I loaded up the family and a couple of guns and headed for the desert. We found a nice quiet place and started shooting. The girls got in the back of the truck and decided to entertain themselves with whatever was available. Myla decided that she was a dancing star and the truck bed was her stage. She danced and danced and acted as if the gun blasts were the base in the music she was dancing to.

Ava was just happy to be outside after a long cold winter and was reveling in the sun. The wind was blowing and she loved to look straight into it and close her eyes. After she got done with that she decided that she was hungry and started eating anything she could find in the truck bed. The buffet included sticks, rocks, an old bottle, some rope, and dirt.

I brought along the old model 94 30-30 just to have some fun. Its an old gun but its still one of my favorites.
This time I even got Cami to shoot it. It took a lot of talking and calling her a pansy but eventually she gave in and shot it. After she shot it she quickly handed the gun back to me and kept saying "never again, never again, never again." I just kept laughing. She was a great sport and did get close to what she was aiming at. Maybe in a year or two she will forget how much it kicks and try it again.
After we were done shooting we drove around the west desert for a while looking for some cool places. We came across a natural arch on a rock out cropping. It wasn't a huge arch but still fun to find way out there in the west desert.
I think I will name it Dragon Fang Arch after the one pointy rock sticking down off the top.
On our way back in we stopped and took a couple of pictures of Timp from across the lake. Later on this summer I will be taking some pictures from Timp back across the lake at this spot.
I took this picture just to show you how high we were up. I was zoomed in as much as the camera would go on this truck and it still looks like a bug.
This was a picture of the drive on the way up. As you can see it gets a little steep. Cami was freaking out that it was too steep but the girls just kept giggling.
Here is a picture of the way back down across the lake pointed down toward Payson.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Glory Days

Since I just got into blogging I decided that I would post a couple of pictures of the glory days. From the summer of 99 to the fall of 01 I was a wild land fire fighter. I had a lot of fun and got into some dangerous situations. The picture below is a NASA photo of the Clear Creek fire. This fire was well over 100,000 acres of heavy timber. As you can see the smoke column was visible from space!This is a photo of our approach to the fire. The smoke column was nearly blackening the sky!

As we got closer the roads were closed to the public for obvious reasons. The fire was spreading faster than anyone had anticipated and shortly after this picture they had to move the road blocks back.Here is a photo of the most dangerous job in all of fire fighting. More pilots get killed every year than all other fire fighting jobs combined! More than once I was in the drop path of one of these beasts and ended up covered in purple slurry!
This is a photo of a supply delivery gone wrong. A helicopter was delivering some supplies to us and got caught in an updraft and nearly crashed on our heads. He ended up losing the load which narrowly missed us and some how killed a pine hen.
This is a photo that I found on the Internet. It is the top side of Panther Creek Canyon. This is where fire officials said we would stop the fire. We worked for three days in this canyon preparing it to stop the fire. We cleared fuels, cut line, and removed trees. We even set up several pumps through the canyon with sprinklers to create a wet zone. The day the fire got to the canyon we were in there trying to hold the line. A cold front was moving in that day and was pushing thirty mile an hour winds. As you can see from the picture the fire blew right over our lines while we were in the canyon. We were trapped in the canyon and had to use the pumps to knock the fire down enough to get out.
Here is a photo of one of our favorite sites. Most of the time we hadn't had a shower in days and this was a great opportunity to get clean!

This is a picture of another fire that started out as a controlled burn but ended up blowing by the fire breaks and blacking over fifty thousand acres.
Oops! How did this get in here! Oh well, that guy in the grey is hot!!
Here is an old, old picture of my first deer. It is also my biggest deer to date.
Here is my best attempt to be the Croc Hunter. I know its not a big snake but hey it has small pointy teeth that could almost break my skin!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This is Myla. She is a wild child and has already had a broken arm. She loves Tinker Bell, Cars, Dancing, and running around outside. Myla is also a very energetic singer and I place her skill level just above Mylee Cyrus.

This is Ava. She is trouble in a small, very cute package. Don't let her fool you! She can single handedly destroy our house in less than five minutes.

Here is my beautiful wife Cami. She has the strenuous duty of putting up with me for the last eight years. As you can see she is where the kids get all their good looks from.

This is the cat possessed by the devil. I am placing an image of her here for your safety. If you see her walk backwards, don't run! She is attracked by sudden movements.

Here I am in my natural environment. This was taken in my childhood backyard of Fish Lake. It doesn't take much for me to decide to go fishing for the day.

Sometimes I can even get Cami to touch a fish. She likes fishing but still struggles with touching them after she has landed them.

The pictures from this point on are of trips we have taken over the last year or so. There will be more to come this year from other trips we have planned!