The Mentor (part 1)

Sunrise in Escalante

I awoke early, before the sun had risen to greet us.  I gathered my camera and decided to take a short hike to the cliffs edge.  Sat down and waited for the sunrise… I’ve been told the sunrise in the desert is amazing, and as you can see, it did not disappoint.  It’s an awesome feeling, watching the sunrise alone, like rebirth.  A time to recollect on life, and become part of your surrounding.  In the moment, if your lucky, you can experience a realization.

Lower Calf Creek Falls

I kept the sunrise for myself, though back at camp, we talked about the terrible nights sleep we all had.  The wind was blowing so hard, we must have gotten at least an inch of sand in every tent.  Not to mention the slapping noise of the tents shaking in the wind all night. Though the camping is free down Spencer Flat Road, I highly recommend a trailer.  You will receive a much better nights sleep, and no sand inside everything.  We decided to hike the upper and lower calf creek falls the first afternoon.  And thought the lower falls are much more majestic, they are also waaaay more crowded and the hike is longer.  The upper falls is an easy approach to the falls, all down hill, and they have the sweetest swimming hole above the falls with a 15′ drop into the pool.  These were the first real hikes I had ever taken my two boys on with me.  While the two of them did well, my friend Jeremy struggled to make it back out of the deep canyon wash that is the upper falls slick rock.  But give the kid some credit, he was in the process of quitting smoking… And was successful.

My boys & I swimming below Lower Falls

The water in pool below the falls is as clear as glass, but as cold as a deep freeze beer cooler.  If you can make the swim out under the falls, with the temps, its refreshing. Never the less, it’s an absolute must to at least take a dip… After all, you my never be there again.

Caelan conquered a Mini Arch in Devil’s Garden… YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!

A fun adventure for the kids is Devil’s Garden.  It’s a picnic area, filled with natural spires, arches, hoo doos, and domes.  It covers only about 200 acres of ground, but definitely a fun adventure for kids.  It’s right off Hole-in-the-Rock road.  And if you continue down Hole-in-the Rock, it will take you to a passage in the rock, which you can pass over to Lake Powell.

It’s half a peace sign

After our first visit to Escalante, we decided to finish the trip by viewing Bryce canyon.  It may be the single most unique place you will ever see. Thousands of Spires rise up from the ground forming giants sandstone people created by nature.  Millions of years of formation, this entire area of Utah is a constant reminder of our states greatness.  I can’t think of anyone better than my two boys to share this with.

Bryce Canyon Overlook from Rainbow Point

Although we didn’t hike in Bryce Canyon, I will return to make the entire hike the Under the Rim trail.  As with many of the places I’ve seen in my short time, I found myself wondering, “How does something like this happen?”  Only one of the millions of creations upon this great planet, I also realize, there is still so much left to see and do.  And if it takes everyday for the rest of my life, I will experience via imagination.

Escalante Wild Flower

Growing up, I never thought I’d be a father.  And truthfully, I didn’t really ever want kids.  I couldn’t imagine bring a child into this world, and I could barely take care of myself.  But now, having been a father for over 14 years, having met and loved my children, I would never change anything I have done.  They are my soul mates, my real adventure partners, truly my hero’s…  And they are the two beings that I love sharing my passion I’ve found for life with them.  It was through their eyes that I created that passion.

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A weekend in the Emerald City

Last weekend I spent a few days in the Emerald City…  Seattle.  I went up there to see a University of Utah football game, hang out with friends and see family, eat some good food, drink beer and coffee.  For the most part, the weekend was a complete success.  I made it to almost every site I wanted to see, and every event I was in town for.  I was even able to meet up with my friend Jacalyn Gross for some plastic pulling at the Seattle Bouldering Project.

As you can see, I did make it to the see the Space Needle, from the base anyways. While all my friends I came to Seattle with went to see the glass exhibit, and take a trip up to the deck of the Space Needle, I was bouldering at the SBP.

Although I didn’t climb as well as I would have hoped, I did come close to sending a few V6 problems, and did send some V5.  Jacalyn and I were only at the climbing gym for about an hour and a half, but it was totally worth the trip just to see how gyms outside the state of Utah stack up… And I must say, the SBP does not disappoint.  With over 20,000 square feet of bouldering walls, 16″ thick pads to crash on, and boulder problems for all levels.  This gym definitely rivals any other bouldering gym I’ve climbed.

The area I chose to spend pretty much every morning I was in Seattle, was Pike Place market.  With some of the best restaurants I visited.  Fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, the most amazing souvenirs and an array of unique people to meet and fraternize with.  Pikes is also home to the Gumwall Alley, and the famous fish toss.

On Veterans Day, I met a really cool vet named Bruce, he was playing his guitar in front of the world’s first Starbucks.  I listened to an awesome anti-war song that Bruce played, then I introduced myself, Gave him $5 and bought one of his cd’s.

  And I also met this amazing artist Graham in the market center. He is holding the piece of Black light art I purchased. I hate to put a price on anyones art, but some deals are too good to pass up.

Although the game didn’t turn out as good as we hoped, it was still fun spending time with friends, and seeing family.  And I was actually one of the most well-behaved during the game. Though I did have to step between my dad and a Washington fan.  And the beer was gooooood!!

I didn’t make it to the Experience Music Project, (my one regret).  But all together it was a pretty solid trip.  Filled with amazing seafood, a constant buzz and I even got in a little climbing.  Seattle is one of the only other places I could live, other than SLC.  And I have already decided, I will be revisiting the Emerald City next summer, as well as Glacier national Park and Olympic National Park….  As always, thanks for reading

“Vote for Pedro”… Or, whomever

This is a Democratic Nation, one where we all have the right to vote (if you are atleast 18 years of age that is).  I wouldn’t normally post a political blog, but seeing how its the week of the Presidential elections, I feel its important for everyone to exercise their right to vote. We all suffer, or gain from the decisions made by our government, so its our responsibilty to be active with our rights.

Most people are probably ready for the election to be over… And even I must admit, I would like the voting to just be on with, and lets start building towards a brighter future.  Well, election day is Tuesday November 6th, so the end is near. Hopefully just for the election, and not our country, our planet, and our species.. A bit dramatic?

Ultimately, the major issues in most elections are the economy, jobs, the environment, taxes, foreign policy, foreign wars, and pretty much ‘what can you do for me?’  So I encourage EVERYONE to do some research, find a candidate that represents your needs and desires, what’s important to you, and vote. For your right…

So what does this post have to do with outdoors, adventure? Or does it have anything to do with it at all? Of course the election has something to do with those things. Think about it, some parties want to open drilling in our National Parks, National Monuments, and the sacred places in our country, that have since been OFF limits to energy companies. The energy companies and private industry will always put profit ahead of human lives… The fact is BIG oil companies have a strangle hold on Washington. And the only weapon the people have to combat this, is your voice.

Remember, what creates jobs is a HEALTHY middle class that has spending power. There is NOT 2 sides to fact, employers don’t hire people they don’t need to. Jobs are created when a companies volume is up and they need a larger work force to keep up with supply and demand.

Global Climate change is clear, it is real. And the only way to slow it, is start now. Stop being so dependant on Carbon Fossil Fuels, find new energy sources that are RENEWABLE. If you don’t think its real, explain the super storms the world has seen in just the past decade alone? The 2004 Earthquake/Tsunami in Thailand (Indian Ocean), Hurricane Katrina in 2005, European Heat wave in 2006, the 2008 Earthquake in China, the Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan in 2011, 2011 Tornado in Alabama, and now Hurricane Sandy in 2012…

It’s thought that around 90% of the suns energy is reflected by the ice/glaciers in the Northern & Southern Hemisphere. As the ice retreats, more and more every year, the Earth’s temperatures continue to rise. Two years ago, in SLC we had record snow fall (great for snowboarding/skiing), but last year was record high temps and low snow fall. Glacier National Park use to have 150 glaciers, now it has just 26…

And then there’s the issue of war, or foreign wars… I suppose you have to make your own decisions on what America should or shouldn’t do on this issue. No matter where you stand on these issues, or other issues our country faces.  Please exercise your right to vote and raise your voice to let the politicians know what the people want..  It’s your right, your privilege, ultimately, it’s your RESPONSIBILITY!

Here are a few links to some climate issues, and enviromental issue, as this is actually an outdoor/adventure blog:

http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/09/17/national-parks-risk-due-oil-and-gas-company-land-grabbing?cmpid=tp-ptnr-hufpo

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/arches_fracking/?rc=fb_share1

As always, thanks for reading