Anderson Valley

This past weekend Andy, the Dogs, and I went for a short afternoon hike in New Harmony called Anderson Valley. Located in the foothills of the Pine Valley Mountains, New Harmony is a little town just south of Cedar City. 
The hike and town are across the freeway from Kolob Canyons, the northern, and mostly overlooked, part of Zion National Park. This led to some spectacular and unexpected views. The further you get from the freeway, the more awe-inspiring the view becomes. The Kolob Canyons are a hidden secret of Zion, all of the spectacular views without the three hour shuttle lines.

After driving through little New Harmony, we found the trailhead and started off.

We wove our way through the desert shrubs and up towards the mountain ridge, following fence lines and crossing over creeks. Glancing across the valley, the canyons of Zion opened like a book, allowing us to stand in our world of green shrubs and view the towering walls of pink and red.

As we climbed higher, the low-lying …

What to keep?

Here at SUU, I have become heavily involved in the outdoor recreation community on campus. This has introduced me to an extraordinary group of people. Rock climbers, ski bums and backpackers, mountaineers and canyoneers. Many of these people live out of vans, small apartments, crash on couches, and own very few possessions. We sacrifice the material objects to get to the far reaches of the desert and high peaks of the mountains. When beginning to minimize your possessions, the question you're told to ask yourself is “Does this bring me joy? Does it add to my life?” So with these pictures I wanted to explore why gear passed the test of what to keep. When condensing everything you own to fit into a single van, where was the line drawn? As I worked on this project, I began to see that these things were more than just things. They are tools, they open doors. Allow us to scale 100 foot walls of cliff, surf down a mountain, and survive for days in the wilderness.   I took these pictures t…

Walking with Wildflowers

This past summer I worked as an interpretation ranger intern at Cedar Breaks National Monument*. It was an inspiring adventure to work outdoors and introduce people to the monument. It is famous for it's natural amphitheater, which is home to a maze of rock structures called hoodoos. The amphitheater is over half a mile deep and is so steep that it is inaccessible from above.
Even though most visitors come to Cedar Breaks for the view (or by accident, we're a rather small park) those who visit in late June through mid-July are in for a pleasant surprise.

It's wildflower season!! Because Cedar Breaks is located at 10,000+ feet of elevation, the actual "breaks" or amphitheater is surrounded by a beautiful subalpine forest. This protected forested area combined with the precipitation makes for the perfect storm of wildflowers.  Every week seems to change which flower is most dominant, and there are even some flowers that are only found within the park. During the p…

Camping, Pine Valley, and a Wildfire.

This week was SUU's Fall Break, so we went car camping and hiking in Pine Valley with a few friends to make the most of the long weekend.
*Once again, click on the photos to view them as a slide show

This was our sweet kitchen set-up. Tony has built a removable bed that fits into the back of his Toyota, complete with a pull out table. It made dinner so much easier and cleaner.  

Our campsite at night. I am slowly figuring out how to take pictures in the dark, hopefully there will be more successful attempts to come. We watched a movie out of the back of Tony's truck once the sun set. I wasn't able to get a great picture of it, but it was a full moon and almost as light as day. When the moon rose, we couldn't even look directly at it because it was so bright.

Andy, the pups, and my home for the weekend. The new jeep has tons of room for sleeping in the back, and it was a comfortable night even with the two dogs sharing our 'bed'. 

We explored the Pine Valley Wi…