Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Room with a View!!

(WARNING...this is a LONG, detailed post because I wanted to do our hike justice and wanted to preserve the memory well of our hiking trip...So don't feel obligated to read all the way through this (that is unless you want to). Lots of great photos!! It should be enjoyable to read...I hope!
OH, and BTW...all of the photos are click-able and you can see MUCH more detail by making them larger!!)

If I could have my dreams come true,
this is what the view would look like from my "summer home"...
a base camp somewhere up in the high country
where we could spend a WEEK at a time
enjoying hiking trail after trail and summiting mountain peaks!!

(this is my dream) <---- click here

(The awesome view from our Mountain Hardware Shelter.. Alaska Basin 2009)

August 7th, 8th and 9th 2009
were 3 marvelous days spent in the high country with my family!! I can't tell you how much I LOVE and look forward to our backpacking adventures each year!
Even though we hike into similar places each year,
each year brings a different view, perspective and experience.
This year we had the sad reality that our kids are growing up and Jade ended up going on his Young Men's High Adventure activity instead of our yearly backpacking trip. (I think more than anything he was worried that his ankle would bother him from his accident he had this summer and he was wanting to play things safe and not risk being up in the high country and having something go wrong with his ankle)

Anywho, I loved every moment of our journey this year and it was a year unlike any we have ever had!
We prepared our breakfast before we left, which consisted of
Carnation Instant breakfast drink
which we cut open the packages
put in 1/8 cup of powdered milk powder
and 1/8 cup malted milk as well.
These we would pour into our Gatorade containers half full of water and it would be our breakfast energy each morning along with an Odwalla bar and jerky or nuts.

Ethan was just SO excited the night before that I had to snap this photo after he went to bed...he had set out all of his stuff. And the photo on the right is him dressed and all ready to go in the morning.
(Kids are SO cute and get SO excited).

This is showing all of the YUMMY things that we took to nourish our bodies on our trip. It may look yummy now, but after so many backpacking trips of eating these, I can tell you I don't crave any of this when we are NOT out hiking.

Now, to our adventure!!
Backpacks on and ready to hit the trail!
Front: Tracy, Ethan, Ty and Isaac
Back: Tom, Shae and Sheldon

What COOL kids Ethan and Ty were in their sunglasses and gotta love finding a log to climb up along the way as well!

The meadow and the blue sky were Gorgeous!

Wildflower beauty everywhere!!
Sheldon "tipping his hat" to the ladies at lunchtime.

Heading up the trail towards Devil Stairs!

Higher up we go!

The view of Tracy behind me and Shae in front of me.

And even higher...
this was one rugged trail.

Taking a rest and enjoying the view.
We're almost to the top!

I LOVED this rock...
it was FULL of little fossils!

Ethan, Ty, Tom and Isaac enjoying the view after getting to the top.
It is a 1,000 foot elevation gain in 1 mile of hiking to get to the top of Devil Stairs!
I was SO proud of those kids...
they are Awesome hikers for being only ages 7 and 9 and 13!

These 2 kids were the best buddies and every time I stopped to take a photo they would put their arms around each other! SO cute!
What an adorable couple Sheldon and Shae are!

Amazing view!!
I love this photo...probably one of my favorites!

Heading down the trail and as you as can see,
gorgeous wildflowers the WHOLE time hiking!
Shae looks SO pretty!

Isaac taking a rest as we stop for a snack!

Our favorite Teton mountains in the distance!
Ty and Ethan....Tracy and Kimmie

Such beautiful things we saw along the way!
The big rock reminds me of the Grand Teton!

More Gorgeous scenery!

More gorgeous flowers.
It' amazing that there are just fields of wildflowers with just a little trail running through them.
My favorite...Purple Fringe Flower

Self taken photo and the trail behind us that we just hiked.

Storm is rolling in!

It's getting pretty ominous.

Trying to make it off the mountain before lightning strikes come.

It started snowing!!
This is one amazing photo with the majority of the group in the background getting ready to head down the mountain!
Pretty ominous sight!

And more snow! We always stop and take a photo by this big crack, but everyone was just hustling off because it was cold, snowy and lightning was heard in the distance!

YAY! We stopped and enjoyed some shelter from the snow!
Loved this leaning tree and I couldn't resist snapping a a photo of Shae and Sheldon and Ethan! (even though my hands were SO cold I could barely push the camera button)

This means we're almost there...
crossing the stream and once we get to the other side we are almost to our camp spot!

Setting up camp!
My favorite mountain...
Battleship Mountain!

We get a perfect view of this from our tent and camp site.

Kimmie is HAPPY with the view from her shelter!

Tracy refilling all of our water containers!
Up where we are there's no running water and it makes you appreciate SO much all of the "Simple pleasures" in life!

First night's meal...
Tracy is boiling water to make our potato soup. You can see the steam rising out of the pot! Boiling water means COMFORT!

Tracy "Bear Bagging" all of our food and toiletry items.

I LOVE our bright orange shelter because even when the weather's gloomy outside, it's bright and cheery inside our summer home!

Rise and Shine!
Early morning photos of Ethan. Such beauty!

The giant slabs of granite that surrounded our camp and the morning fog were beautiful!

Making our first breakfast!

Still pretty chilly outside...
another storm is about to come in!

All snuggled in our sleeping bags and Tracy reads to Ethan
("Through the Looking Glass") that he had loaded on his "iPhone" while we wait for the storm to pass.
Grateful we could commune with our sleeping bags!!

The view from inside our tent.
Mountain Hardware logo and the water on our little window!

We were SO excited there was finally a break in the bad weather and even though it was foggy, we were wanting SO badly to go on a hike somewhere.
So, we headed up the trail.

I was in AWE at the gorgeous fog! It was like nothing I had ever seen before!

Gorgeous water fall and "W" rock!

More rugged terrain with wildflowers as well!

And more beauty...

And even more Beauty!!

The fog didn't stop the flowers
from stunning us with their beauty!!

I LOVE my best friend and hiking buddy Tracy!
I enjoy SO much watching him head on down the trail!

Sunset Lake in the distance!
(We were wishing the weather would have behaved so we could have hiked down to it and then up Hurricane Pass to see the grand view of the Tetons. However, the weather did not permit that this trip.

More cute photos of Sheldon and Shae!

And the inevitable happened...
YES, it started snowing on us and so we eventually had to head on back to the tent. The poor kids could barely feel their fingers by the time we got back to camp.
They were THRILLED to be able to get out of their wet clothes, put on their PJ's and get all snuggly in their sleeping bags!!

By this point of the day, Tracy, (being the adventurous hubby that he is), was NOT happy to spend the afternoon locked in our tent and he really wanted to do some more hiking...snow and all.
SO, he left Ethan and I in the tent and headed out into the bad weather. He came across some snow fields that you couldn't even see the trail at all.
I'm SO grateful he arrived back unharmed.
Ethan said the SWEETEST prayer asking if our Daddy could come back safely and that he wouldn't get struck by lightning and that he wouldn't have "hypothermia".
It was a precious moment for me!

After Tracy arrived back, this is the FUN we had in our tent. Ethan helped him light the stove with our lighter and we made up potato soup and enjoyed talking about Tracy's adventures!

The first sun.....

and BLUE SKIES we had seen all day!!
Last night in camp!

Breaking camp and getting ready to head on out.
"Good bye Alaska Basin"!

Our Awesome hiker Ethan!!

Sheldon, Shae and Isaac...
Another great photo showing the awesome view from our campsite!

Dads and sons...
Tracy, Ethan, Ty, Isaac and Tom

Gorgeous high mountain lake Tracy discovered on his journey the day before.
We spent a little bit taking some photos. They were amazing with the FOG that lingered the majority of the morning.

Yes, every once in awhile Kimmie can actually be silly in a photo and have it turn out.
I LOVED being here with Ethan!!

Shae and Sheldon by this amazing lake and I LOVE the reflection photo of Shae on the right!

The Stunning BEAUTY
of the fog, mountains and amazing reflections!!

More lake photos and reflections!!

Ty and Isaac...
Ty was SO cute because he kept on saying: "I can't wait to see my photos on FACEBOOK when my mom puts them up there"!

Kimmie was a He-Woman for a few minutes.
With the help of Tracy she was able to lift Tracy's backpack on her back, long enough to take a photo. WOW! I don't think I could carry that thing too far down the trail!

Final photo before we headed out!!

I couldn't resist taking even MORE photos!

Tracy, Kimberly and Ethan.....Tom and Tracy
The fog lifted enough to reveal Battleship Mountain again!

Heading on out!

My one chance to get an "Ansel Adams" photo. This is the ONLY view we got to see of Buck Mountain. Glad I took this before it covered up again with fog.

Blue sky is finally starting to show through again.
I love this photo of Tracy looking at Battleship Mountain.

Another photo of Battleship Mountain!

YES, SNOW in August! (in the high country)

Crossing the stream...
Another AWESOME reflection photo. I love how Ethan looks in the photo on the right. He was such a trooper!!

Final stream crossing and heading down the trail again!

SO sad...
we wanted to take the trail on the right and head up Hurricane Pass, but we had to take the one on the left to head back down Teton Canyon to our car awaiting us!

This was a happy little site not too far from the trail turn off.
I thought this was SO cool because the way the roots are coming out of the ground from the trees, it looks like they are "Holding hands"
YES, even in the woods, nature finds "Romance"! (Wink)

More Amazing flowers...
Tracy and I enjoyed the entire hike out. It seemed that everyone was in a hurry to get to the car, but not us. We didn't want the day to end and so we "Enjoyed the Journey" out and never were in too big of a hurry to stop and take photos of the beauty we experienced!

My awesome hubby Tracy!
I love his Lichen colored backpack and blue shirt!

Stopping and savoring the view!

More streams to cross...

A perfect spot to enjoy lunch!

More amazing granite slabs, blue sky and clouds!

The last view and final view of Battleship Mountain!

Nature is just amazing to me....
how a tree can take root and grow out a tiny hole in a big rock!!

Another amazing water fall!

Ethan looks SO cute posed by this post.

More streams and amazing trails!

It doesn't get more precious than this...
Kids out enjoying the beauty of nature and this little stream and waterfall were spectacular!
Love Ethan's side profile. He is just plain adorable!

Filling up water
and Tracy decided to cool off and dunk his head in the water!

Enjoying the moment and relaxing a bit...
and then heading on down the trail again.

One of our favorite spots for kids along the way...
The PAC MAN rock!
You have to use your imagination a little bit, but the big rock is a circle that looks like it is opening it's mouth and then there is a rock inside the mouth that looks similar to how PAC MAN looks when he is eating in the video game.

The gorgeous flowers we saw on the last 2 miles of the hike!

Sweet photos and the one in the middle is priceless.
Ethan picked me a sunflower to have!

Stopping to "Smell the flowers"
and enjoy the last little bit of beauty!

The excitement of finding some Huckleberries along the trail!

And the last of the breathtaking beauty!!

We made it back to the start of the trailhead!
The bottom right photo of Ethan is hilarious. He was hugging our car!

3 days of trail food and backpacking and we had built up quite an appetite!
We were thrilled to enjoy burgers at Burger King as that is the only place there was to eat!

Sad to be home...
but looking forward with excitement to our next adventure!!


Cherie said...

Read my comment about this post on your next post - I think I got the pre-post version (wink wink)!

Connie said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Your pictures are stunning and make me want to go there! I'm impressed that you hike as much as you do. You rock!

Ann Marie said...

For real.. you are like a dream woman for most men. Seriously!
Your a great cook.. and a great camper! I think I'm good.. but I'm really too posh. I like trailers..

I had some tramatic experiences in my day with girls camp that have made me not want anything to do with rough camping anymore. I saw your pictures with the weather.. and I was having a mini-anxiety attack! LOL!
Every bit of the scenery is breathtaking. I love the mountains sooooo soooo much as long as I have the comfort of a cabin.. or a trailer.. :)

One day.. you guys need to come to Utah.. and we'll camp. I would love to hang out in the mountains with ya! :)

I am exited.. less than a week.. and I get to meet ya! Whoo-hoo!

Sondra said...

Can I say... Brrrrrr ... Snow??

Seriously the pictures are awesome. I love going along on your trips at the comfort and warmth of my computer.. he he..

It is always a bunch of fun to tag along!

Camille said...

Wow! Amazing! Your pictures are absolutely beautiful. Looked like a fun getaway. (I'll bet it felt good to get home and take a shower?)

The Garden of Egan said...

Looks like you had a ton of fun. How great to get your guys all to yourselves without interruptions.
I could have done without the snow part though. Ick. I'm not ready to see that stuff coming.

Great pictures! Great post.

wileyfamilyof5 said...

How exciting. Oh how I miss going on the over night hikes. We use to bring homemade granola with powdered milk in ziplock bags, we would just add water and have yummy granola with milk for breakfast. The wildflowers are so beautiful. We always did our hikes in southern utah so alot of hiking through sand. I hate hiking through sand. It was always nice to find a rock to step on. The great thing about backpacking is that there is no one else around.

Take Care.

Britt said...

Your post makes me wish for more summer instead of winter. A great hike sounds so nice right now - so peaceful! Your pictures are beautiful! I so hope that we can go next year! :)