30 April 2007

Julia's 5th Birthday Party

Julia's a big girl now. She's been talking about her party for weeks now. Finally it happened. Luckily, the weather held for a treasure hunt, pinyata beating and a grill out. Everyone had fun.

New pink dress courtesy of Grandma & Grandpa Mestdagh. Thanks!

The full set of pics are here!

20 April 2007

Julia paints her Papa's toenails

I never thought I'd see the day that I'd get my toenails painted - only 5 of them but still ..

Here's a closeup of the master, Julia, at work.

19 April 2007

A week in Western Deserts

The goal was a climbing trip to Joshua Tree National Park, California. I hadn't been to JT since spring 1986 when Chris Haaland, Steve Vanderburgh, Doug Frost and I found some $60 RT tickets to San Diego. Our rental car was not available so they gave us a Lincoln. What a trip that was!

This trip started out great. We camped at the Fremont Indian State Park, west of Richfield, UT. We woke up and found they were just about to have an Easter egg hunt. Perfect timing for Julia.

Later, we drove thru the Mojave National Preserve, in (drumroll...) the Mojave desert, California. The restored train depot/ museum at Kelso (sat map) was really cool. I'd like to spend more time poking around the old mining towns.

We had 4 beautiful days of climbing and enjoying Joshua Tree before the sandstorm hit. Even then we squeezed in two climbs the day it started snowing. Well, the 2nd climb wasn't totally snow free .. It was really strange. One minute the sky was blue, the next minute it was cloudy, then it was tan from the sand. It really wasn't even windy until some time later. Then it started snowing. Back at camp, we decided to pack it in and head to the Las Vegas area.

A day climbing at Red Rocks NCA (official cheesy BLM site, Supertopo climbing site) on Friday was a good way to break up the drive on the way back. We had to stop at the Bonnie Springs Ranch (sat map, pic) to see the old mining town and petting zoo. This isn't an ordinary petting zoo. We were suprised to see a Canadian Lynx and 2 Wolfs. They looked too healthy to pet though.

A beautiful primitive camp and a hike in Arches National Park finished off the trip.

Trip pictures here.

05 April 2007

New foot - the good, the bad and the naked

Actually a new foot shell. My old foot was trashed. The knife demonstrates the depth of a rip in the heel. The pine needles show where the big toe is almost ripped off.
My naked carbon fiber / kevlar / titanium prosthesis is in the background. (As usual, click image for a better view.)

04 April 2007

Cheesebox Canyon - BoyZrUs Canyoneering Trip

The West Fork of Cheesebox wasn't a gruntfest of slotness (Hmm, that doesn't sound so great. Oh well.) like some of our recent trips but it was a winner in variety and beauty. The water was cold though and we used many tricks to stay out of it. We still got wet. Real wet. Don't let the pics fool you you. Both Bob Wood & Charlie King wore wetsuits under their clothes and were happy about it. Luckily there was only one real swimming section. Of course, when Charlie or Bob went first, they'd say - Only chest deep, no problem. This translates to nose deep for me!

There's a lot to exploring to do around here. Without trying we bumped into an Anasazi ruin and Charlie found a nice arrowhead point.

After the canyon, we continued driving on Cheesebox Road. It became much rougher and turned into 4WD before we hit a decent dirt road. Another half hour of wondering where we were driving and we found a good camp. Here's a great view from close to camp. Wooden Shoe Canyon is in the distance. There's roads all over the place around here and they ALL go to cool places that need exploring. It's a definite problem! Since I strained my foot in one of the pools and Charlie hurt his knee, we decided to explore by vehicle. Gorgeous country ... Saw turkeys too.

Here's part of the route we took. Red is road. Blue is our canyoneering route. At our most northern point, the snow got too deep so we backtracked for 1/2 hour until we could travel East to Blanding (not marked).

All the trip pics are here!