Shepard's first backpacking trip

Shepard is 9 months old and the weather has warmed up enough that we decided on a short backpacking overnighter in Dinosaur National Monument. 

 

With our 75 liter backpack maxed out, and our Dueter kid comfort carrier all loaded up, we set out to spend a night next to a small creek.  

 

It was only a 2 mile hike in so it was pretty easy going and having water along the way allowed us to fill and treat it as we went. 

 

The fishing was good, we saw lots of wildlife, and had perfect weather. Other than Shepard struggling to stay asleep at night (which happens no matter where we are) it was a great time and we look forward to the next one!  

Lauren tenkara fishing.    

Lauren tenkara fishing.  

 

Dinner time  

Dinner time  

Drifting right along  

Drifting right along  

Trail to the trout  

Trail to the trout  

River locals

River locals

Chillin

Chillin

Caddis hatch  

Caddis hatch  

Car Camping in the Swell

Quick run down to San Rafael Swell for some camping and hiking around before we leave for a little family surf trip in Nicaragua. With the weather being as nice as it is right now, we just had to do it. 

We camped at one of our favorite car camping spots right outside of Goblin Valley State Park and got in a short hike up Little Wild Horse Canyon. It's a non technical slot canyon but when you're taking a 3 month old, it's actually a bit more difficult than you'd think. 

It always seems to be out of season when we hit popular spots, as it was with Goblin Valley. There was a big tour bus pulling out when we got there but we had almost the whole Goblin Valley all to ourselves. 

Shepard slept great in the truck, warm November night with a big moon, and fantastic scenery all shaped up a fun weekend. 

Shepard and Shark's Big Road Trip

Literally, almost every person we knew told us it was going to be very hard to venture out on a 2 week long road trip with a 6 week old baby... and a dog. But Lauren has the time off and I could work along the way so we went for it anyway.

For the most part everybody was right. But it was worth it in the end. We camped at some beautiful spots and saw a lot of pretty fall colors along the way. We didn't do any big adventures along the way but managed to get in some short hikes, long walks, and fun bike rides. The trip in it's entirety ended up being the big adventure for us. 

I don't think we could've picked a better time in the year to go through the Sawtooth mountains in Idaho then follow up with a quick trip through Glacier National Park. The leaves were in full autumn mode and the roads were pretty empty. 


Backpacking the Uintas on a holiday weekend

Every holiday or long weekend calls for a backpacking trip and the Uintas are always a good option when we want to stay close by... and on the 4th of July weekend we could still make it back Monday night for the festivities. 

Lauren is 32 weeks along so we didn't want to do something very steep and landed on West Fork Blacks Fork area which is about 20 miles round trip. The fishing along the way is incredibly scenic and fun for small brookies and cutthroats, which helps pass the time on a long hike. 

We spent two nights, the first being in a meadow about 6 miles in, the second night was at Deadhorse lake where we saw a pretty intense thunderstorm roll through for about an hour. 

Perfect weather (aside from a couple quick storms) and hardly anybody around, the Uintas are amazing especially if you're willing to hike at least a few miles to get away. 

Backpacking Box-Death Hollow

Getting away from the more popular creeks next to this one, rewarded us with beautiful views of glowing red walls mixed with tall pine trees. 

Hiking up Pine Creek was about 9 miles and we had it all to ourselves. We had to cross the cold creek at least 20 times and gave up pretty early keeping our feet dry. 

Shortly after passing the Deep Creek confluence we found a nice to place to camp, cook dinner, and sit around the fire drying our feet. 

We've been up here before and caught fish in this creek but didn't even attempt this time due to runoff that caused murky and fast moving water.

We stashed the Surly Cross Check at the Upper Box Access and had a fun 10.5 mile gravel ride down to get the truck. The Hell's Backbone scenic drive was a nice ender to the short weekend. 

Cathedral Valley loop on bike... the first attempt.

The Cathedral Valley loop is about a 60 mile dirt road in Capital Reef National Park that most people drive early Spring thru late Fall.

We however, chose to bike it in two days in February. After getting a late start Saturday morning we didn't actually begin the ride until around 2 pm, we were hoping to make it 25-30 miles before dark...

The bikes were loaded up and we got off to a good pace for a few miles before things got rough. We hit a quarter mile stretch of the most dense clay / mud that we could've imagined. Tires wouldn't roll, feet were slipping all over the place, it took more energy to get the bikes thru that stretch than the rest of the ride that day. 

The drive trains of all the bikes were in pretty poor conditions afterwards and one of the derailleurs eventually became mangled beyond repair. 

We decided to get the truck and pedal as far as we could until dark, and load up in the morning and call it. 

This loop will be great in a month or two when it's not so muddy and we look forward to trying it again. 

Winter weekend in Southern Utah

We've been covered in snow over the past couple months in Salt Lake City and it's been a lot of fun... but it was time for a change so we packed up and drove south. 

St. George can have great weather during the winter and there's plenty to do right outside of the city. We took our camping gear and mountain bikes for the weekend, but next time we'll bring climbing gear as well. 

We stopped on our way home and watched the sun set at Meadow hot springs, which we had all to ourselves thanks to it being Super Bowl Sunday. 



Fatbike ride to Diamond Fork Hot Springs

We've read about one group of people that have biked into the Diamond Fork Hot Springs during the Spring season so we thought we'd give it a go on New Years Eve. 

The difference for us is that we've had a good amount of snow come in over the last couple weeks and the temperatures in that region have been ranging pretty consistently in the single digits. 

We managed to bike about 85% of the 13 mile trip and the only times we had to hike a bike was on some of the quick climbs on skinny packed out single track. The pack was a bit tricky in some places but the downhill was by far the best part... even though it was completely dark and we were relying on bike lights and headlamps by then. 

La Sal Mountains and more

To celebrate our three year anniversary, we took a road trip down through parts of central and south eastern Utah. We started in the La Sal mountains where we hiked a loop across the Razor Fang over to Mt. Tukuhnikivatz. It was a very steep and rocky start but once we got up on the ridge, it mellowed out and the views were amazing in every direction. After the hike, we headed to do some fishing at some small mountain lakes and caught some really beautiful brookies. For the second night, we did a shorter hike to a lake to spend the night and camped amongst the cows. The next day the weather turned bad so we decided to drive south and check out some of the dessert landscapes. We drove down towards Mexican Hat, stopped at Goosenecks State Park, stopped by Hite to see where the Colorado River flows into Lake Powell and we ended up spending the night outside Goblin Valley in the pouring rain.