Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Perfect Day with Mr. Smith!

July 24, 2010

The older I get,
the more and more I BELIEVE with all of my heart the following quote:

"Be bold and courageous.
When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you
didn't do more than the ones you did"!!

Tracy and I love to head to the mountains
when our kids head to my parents for a weekend in July. (here)
I am SO glad this year that we decided to go hike into and explore the
Darby Canyon Wind Cave.

It was amazing and something we knew our kids would just LOVE to do. Between family obligations and church calling activities, we haven't been able to get up there, but we were SO excited to go and take our kids there over Labor Day weekend.

It looks like we are a few days too late in taking our kids, because of some "Bat Fungus" that has come from back east, they are closing all of the caves and mind shafts in the state of Wyoming. What's really sad is the trail head to the Darby Cave is less than 10 miles from the Wyoming/Idaho border.

Hoping that sometime in the future they will reopen the caves to the public, but until then
I will just hold onto and treasure the photos and the memories from Tracy's and my hiking trip!!

Call us crazy,
but one criteria for deciding where we will go and hike, is it has to have one of these signs posted.
Getting away to the mountains means not having to hear or deal with the sound of motorized vehicles.
While Tracy grew up on motorcycles and loves to ride them, when we go hiking, we go to the mountains to enjoy PEACE and serenity!

Such a gorgeous afternoon for a hike
with the Love of my Life!

We love hiking in the Jedidiah Smith Wilderness Area and the beautiful green cast from the forest trees was unique in this photo!

No Cell Phone Service...
I think it's SO cool that Tracy has these cool APP's for his iPhone, compass and GPS.
Technology is truly amazing,
especially since when we got married over 20 years ago, cell phones didn't exist and there was no "world wide web" either. Now, they are so thin and small and can do everything from getting online and checking emails to taking photos, downloading music, playing games and just about every other thing you could possibly imagine they would do.
(I'm sure glad his work pays for it though!)


Quick photo
as we took a snack and water break.

Nature is absolutely amazing,
how a crack in a rock, can have a tree, or flower or other living species growing out of it. This flower was just gorgeous and Tracy was snapping a photo of it as well with his "iPhone".

Classic hiking trail!
(the crack in the mountain you see on the right is the Wind Cave)

We've hiked a good ways up the mountain.

The gorgeous flowers we enjoyed along the way!!
The hot pink flower shown in the middle greeted us right below the cave entrance!

I just love the art of nature!

Tracy standing by a sad monument honoring woman who were youth leaders taking young girls to hike into the cave.

In 1951,
5 people died after being struck by lightning below the entrance to Wind Cave. The victims were 4 young girls from a nearby LDS camp and one of their adult leaders. Some of the victims were thrown as far as 100 feet by the bolt that blasted the spot where they'd gathered to seek refuge from a summer storm.
A monument
now marks the spot where the victims died, just below the entrance to the cave.

Giant Trees!

Gorgeous Waterfall!

My handsome hubby
looking like a Scout Master
in his green!

Kimmie loves the waterfall.

Heading up and UP...
it's a pretty steep climb that last little bit

The photos don't do justice of how massive and ominous this cave entrance was.

All geared up with jackets and gloves
and heading across the water to the other side.

Last little bit of steep...
and we're there!

Mossy rock with water gushing over it!

Spectacular view!!

The view from inside the cave!

having a WONDERFUL time!!

Another great view
from inside the cave!

Excited to see
what the rest of the cave has to offer!

Heading to the next room...

Looks like it didn't stay tall for long...
we had to pull off our back packs and push them through to be able to make it through that little slit in the wall.

Now back to a tall room again.

can't believe we crawled through that small space on the right.

Now, to another tight squeeze
and hiking down into a big ravine.

Some cavers that were coming the opposite way.
They had been hiking in the cave (came from the ice cave to the wind cave) for over 3 miles and had to climb and repel over thick ice and wade in freezing cold water.

Tracy and I decided that we would head back out
as we had to crawl on our bellies for quite awhile and we were really worried that we would run into more people coming the opposite way and there isn't any way to really "back up" when you are on your belly in such a tight squeeze.
SO, we enjoyed what we did and climbed out of the ravine we were down in and headed out.

Some nice man saw us taking photos of each other and offered to snap our photo together.
There are SO many nice people in this world!

Sad to say good-bye!
The cave was cold (SO glad we grabbed jackets and gloves)
but, I could have stayed there another hour, I loved it SO much!

We found some flat rocks to sit on
and enjoyed chips, bean dip and apple slices for lunch.

Tracy filled up our water before we left!
(no need to purify this water...
it was a spring coming right out of the ground.)

The inside of the cave is HUGE!
The main entrance is several hundred feet tall and is as big as a football field. When you enter in you can't imagine that it will go to such a small opening that you can barely squeeze through.

What a handsome man I'm married to!

More hiking down and back across!

Back to where we started and now
time to start heading back down.
I LOVE when tree roots are exposed on the trail.
It adds such character!

View of Fossil Mountain!

One last glance up at where we had just been!

Kimmie in front of the Sushi Rock!

You have to use your imagination,
but this giant black rock, with the white stripes, looks like a giant piece of sushi that has been rolled up!

The nice man that offered to take our photo in the cave came upon us again and offered one more time to take our photo!
I could explore the mountains all day, if time permitted!

Back to the car...
we walked by a Subaru Forester on our way to our car and for a moment had a twinge of "I wish that were our car", but that feeling didn't last long, as we think of our life in becoming more and more debt free and even though our car is not the most gorgeous car, or newest car,
it's comfy,
has an awesome stereo that we can enjoy listening to our favorite music while we're driving and most important...
it gets us safely from "A to B"!

I love and cherish each and every moment
that I get to spend with the love of my life
Tracy..."Mr. Smith"!

SO happy
that even though life gets hectic with keeping up with the chaos of life, work, church and family, that I get
DATE NIGHT each and every week AND I get to enjoy some "getaways" to the mountains as well!

I could spend every moment of every day with Mr. Smith and never get sick of him!!


Garden of Egan said...

I'm embarassed to say that I've never been there. I may have to remedy that next summer.

It looks like you had such a great time. Awesome that you enjoy doing so many things like this together.

You know how they say that the longer you spend with someone, the more you look like each other. Uh, you two look like twins.

Great looking pictures! So gorgeous.
I think we are truly blessed to live in this little corner of the planet.

Higgs Happenin's said...

that looks wicked fun! I love hiking and caving. I wish I were more into it. Maybe I will be. haha.

And yes I think an old car that's paid off is way better than any new car with a payment. Me likey no debt!

Can't wait to see you again and hang out a little more. Should be a very good time!

Ann Marie said...

So happy that you had a perfect day with Mr. Smith!

To be honest.. the pictures inside the cave made me clausterphobic (sp?) I was DYING thinking of you crawling through...

Soooo sad about the girls and Leader that were killed there. Stuff like that is hauntingly sad to me...

When I saw the picture of you and Tracy and it said " Seeing what more the cave had to offer " I thought.. Yep.. I bet you did! *wink* if you know what I mean... ha-ha..

Hope you get to go on a fun hike this weekend... See ya soon!!

Connie said...

It's so refreshing to read your postivie comments about your handsome hubby! You two are a perfect match and it's so good that you spend time together.

What absolutely beautiful pictures! I have to admit that I'm very claustrophobic and would probably not enjoy crawling on my belly through a cave. But everything else looked like a place I would completely enjoy!

So gald you posted. It's nice that there were some pictures of the two of you together. People really can be nice!
Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Britt said...

Your trip sounds so awesome and looks like you guys had so much fun! There is something about nature that is just so rejuvenating. I almost felt rejuvenated just looking at your awesome photos and reading about your trip. I know I shouldn't be envious - but I am. haha.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories and delicious recipes.

M-Cat said...

Those photos are fun and it looks like a gorgeous place.

And I love that you LOVE your husband so much!

Candace said...

Looks fun! I had never even heard of this place!