Monday, September 21, 2009

Moab

Our adventure for this past weekend: 4-wheeling in Moab. We had some fabulous tour guides to show us around. Layne and Ilene have been to Moab several times. We asked them to show us some of the fun trails and they planned a perfect weekend. Here the dazzling duo is trying out the RZR. I think Layne might put that on his Christmas wish list this year.

Here we are just starting out for the day. Cory made this trail look like a cake-walk.

You can't really tell from this picture, but we are almost completely vertical. Ahg!!! As you can see, I was holding on for dear life.

We also took some time to visit Arches National Park, which is just outside of Moab. We hiked for a while to get to the Delicate Arch (this is the arch that is pictured on some of the Utah license plates). It was well worth the hike - the view was spectacular!


Layne and Ilene knew all of the fun detours so that we could play. Again, you can't really tell from this picture, but this hill is straight up. We went up and around and came down the hill (which was quite the rush) but then Layne challenged Cory to see how far he could make it up the hill in the RZR. Apparently no one ever makes it up the hill, but they have contests to see how far they can go. Here is Cory's attempt.

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There were several moments throughout the trip where I thought that Cory was going to fall off a cliff. I think this particular hill is called "The Escalato" or "The Escalator." Either way, Cory was determined to make it down. And he did. Barely! We thought that once he made it down the hill, we would be able to take a trail and go out and around and meet up with Layne and Ilene. Not so. The bottom is just one giant bowl, so you have to come up the other side, which is just as dangerous!!! I really thought Cory was going to tip over backwards, but he made it out just fine. Thank you, Layne, for the good guidance!

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This was such a fun weekend! We are grateful that we had the opportunity to go and can't express our appreciation enough to Layne and Ilene. Let's do it again next year!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bear Hunting

What did the Johnson's do for Labor Day weekend? Well y'all, we went bear hunting! Cory sold the idea to me as an opportunity to go camping in the wilderness. We went into the Frank Church Wilderness area, which is just outside of Challis, Idaho. To get back into the wilderness area, we had to drive on a road that was just wide enough for one vehicle at a time. It was just like in the movies - one false move and you fall off the edge of the mountain. Here Cory and Brady are assessing the steep drop below. And take note of that peak in the distance that has a white speck on top; we'll come back to that later.
Here I am getting strapped into my pack. I about fell over backwards when I first put it on.
Our campsite was about a three-mile hike from the truck. On the way, we took a small detour to go up to the look-out. Remember that white speck I mentioned earlier? Well, this is it. The view from the top was amazing! All you could see were mountain-tops for as far as the eye could see. This look-out is used to keep an eye out for fires during the summer.

Amazing view from the top of the look-out.

If you look carefully in this picture, you can see the road that we drove in on along the ridge of the mountain.

We came down from the look-out and got our packs strapped on and were ready to start hiking again. And then Cory saw a bear across the valley. Those boys dropped their packs like they were on fire. It totally reminded me of the "stop, drop and roll" technique. Brady got a shot off but they missed the bear.

So we continued our hike into the wilderness. And just in case it wasn't already crystal clear, the forest service put up this nice sign that informed us that we were officially entering the "primitive area."

We camped near this beautiful lake.

At 5:00 a.m., the boys were up and ready to go bear hunting. I would have loved to stay at camp and sleep in, but I didn't have a gun and there were wolves everywhere. So I went on the bear hunt too...mostly to pack the food and take pictures.

The excitement was high and the boys had tons of energy early in the morning. They kept a steady eye out for any sign of wildlife.

And about three hours into the day, this is what they looked like. Apparently hunting bear is quite exhausting. So while they napped, I sat in the sun and read my book. After about four hours, Cory announced that he was bored and we went back to camp and took a nap.

We did see another bear by the side of the road on our drive back to Challis, but it was long gone by the time we got out of the truck and went back to find it. Final score at the end of this hunting excursion = Johnson's: 0, Bears: 2. I'm sure there will be a next time, though!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

High Adventure Scout Trip

I've been delinquent in getting this post published. A few weeks ago, Cory went with the boy scouts on a high adventure trip. He is currently serving as the scout advisor for our ward (church). Cory planned a great adventure in the Frank Church Wilderness for the boys. Apparently the scouting program has been a little neglected for the past several years, so the boys were thrilled to have this trip planned for them.

I should note that it snowed on the boys, in August, almost the entire time they were there. But they kept themselves entertained by pushing down dead trees. Cory came home with a HUGE bruise on his shoulder from slamming into the tree. Boys will be boys (even when they are 30+ years old).
They did a little fishing, too. Take note of the awesome cut-off shorts that Cory is wearing. Apparently his pant legs got wet and he got tired of them so he cut off the legs. And then he threw them in the fire before he came home.



The day after Cory left, I received a package in the mail. Cory sent me a gift card for a hot rock massage. So I got to pamper myself at the spa while he was out trekking through the mud and snow. Thanks, babe!