Wednesday, August 27, 2014

She Said Yes!! August 24

Karla and I got engaged last weekend in Yellowstone! While I'll be going through 15GB worth of photos and videos for the next few days I wanted to get these pictures up right away.

On Sunday, August 24th we were riding a southern loop of Yellowstone with loads of stops and short hikes to see some of the park highlights. The weather was cold (51 as a high) and drizzly. Made everything very dramatic and kept the crowds to a minimum, our kind of day! After a few stops it was time for lunch, so we took our sandwich supplies out with us to Artist Point.

Found this little trail that no one seems to be using, leading away from the main viewing area along the south rim of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon

Now that's lunch with a view!

After we finished eating something caught our eye. A bonded pair of Osprey hawks were soaring in the canyon! Circling together, skirting the rock outcrops for several minutes. While we watched we talked about how much we enjoyed our adventures together, that we wanted to continue to live like this.

(web image)

I certainly hadn't planned anything past always having the ring with me over the next 48 hours... This was perfect! But how in the world am I gonna get down on one knee without falling off the damn cliff?!?! I'm trying to glance down and find a spot without being completely obvious or missing the hawks and while continuing a conversation... It wasn't going well!

Chipmunk to the rescue!

"Oh look how cute you are," Karla said, turning around and moving up away from the edge. As she oogled the attention mongering chipmunk I got to adjust slightly and figure out how the heck to do this... *whew

When Karla turned back towards the canyon I said something that I can't remember now (LOL) and knelt.

"Will you marry me?"

I'm not sure she expected it!

"Oooo shiny!"

Rocking the chain grease under the fingernails

and helmet hair

We were both so overwhelmed with emotion we couldn't help but grin like idiots and do our best to not stumble down the hill

Pick up the phone mom!! (I called my parents too, but no pic)

Back at Artist Point we had two more important calls to make... LOL Karla couldn't get anyone to answer the phone! She finally got a hold of her best friend Liz after calling her husband...

I called my sister

And that was it! We spent the rest of the day not calling or texting or Facebooking. Just enjoyed the rest of the park together.

Did you know Ospreys mate for life?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rollins Pass Camping, August 16-17

Last weekend Karla and I headed up above Rollinsville for an overnight camping trip. The traffic on 70 is so bad now even in the summers we're exploring new-to-us camping areas that avoid it altogether.

Here's about where we went:

The road from Rollinsville up to the east portal of the Muffat Tunnel is very well maintained


"We're going camping aren't we?!?!?"

"Woohoo camping!!"

Once you get to the tunnel you can go farther up Rollins Pass. This road is not maintained, and ridiculously bumpy/rocky! We aired the tires down which really helped. I was glad to have all terrain tires and steel rims, little chance of a puncture or bent rim. Plenty of other SUVs up here, we grimaced watching them bounce around violently on stock street tires at stock pressure. Didn't look like fun!

A view going up Rollins Pass, looking down on the maintained road we came in on:

Found ourselves a nice little spot just off the road, Karla marked it as ours:

Then she found some strawberries! Only a few, but tasty.

First thing's first...

Derby setup a squirrel perimeter

It's REALLY funny when she tries to keep herself from chasing them...

We're easily amused...

After lunch we set about collecting firewood. Love my Sven saw!

Highya!! (Karla's definitely better at splitting than I am)

Ok this won't do... What idiot made this ginormous (and useless) fire ring?!?!

Time for a remodel. Dang thing was PACKED with mud and ash.

Getting there... Anybody need some rocks??

Now that's properly done!

Derby supervised

Worth the effort

But we agreed it was time for a rest. Derby was awake and back on duty. "I can see better from up here!" (while she's standing on my bladder...)

Put Karla in a hammock and something is bound to be funny...

Nice fire for the evening. Ah yes. Stars were incredible later.

Up early Sunday morning, we had a hike to do! Back down Rollins Pass to the Moffat Tunnel trailhead.

We would be hiking up towards those mountains

See the Moffat Tunnel down there?

Crater Lakes were our destination for the day. 3 miles one way with a 1400' elevation gain. Most of that uphill was towards the end in some steep switchbacks. WHEW! A nice challenge seeing as the trail topped out at 10,050'.

Wildflowers, wildflowers, wildflowers!!

Well used and maintained trail, especially near the trailhead. Quite a few folks, but everyone was super friendly and following the leash law (Wilderness area) so it was nice.


Up, up, up!! After this I was too busy breathing to take pictures, LOL.

Burning legs and lungs and then...

Made our way around one of the crater lakes just enjoying the views and hunting a lunch spot.

Gave Derby a break from the leash, she stays close. She's seen something in the water!

Plenty of folks up here fishing and camping, but again everyone was pleasant and not loud. No screaming children either, woohoo!


Rocky Mountain Columbine, Colorado state flower

Can you see Karla taking pictures?

Found a nice spot for lunch, Derby did some sunbathing

Carrying a full size tripod is always worth the effort

Sent Karla off with the camera to take some flower pictures while I cleaned up lunch


Continued around the lake back to the trail. Can you see the big waterfall? It's coming from the upper lake, which we didn't hike up to.

Oh wait... (lol)

Time to make our way back down

Looking down at a few of the switchbacks

And up the other direction

Quite a few stairclimber type areas!

Looking back up

Back towards the trailhead

Borrowed this one from the internet

Good dog

Good Forester

Packed up and heading home

If you drive by the house this is what you'll see... No fun was had at all!!

Very nice short weekend trip. Great weather, good food, nice fire and a fantastic hike. Life is good.