Monday, August 22, 2011

North Twin and Red Cone Peak Climb

At 6am, I met Dan and Tom (author of Idaho: A Climbing Guide) for the long drive to climb North Twin in the Lost River Range. We arrived in Arco at 9am and met Margo (who drove in from Pocatello) for the drive to the trailhead. The road up Elbow Canyon was pretty good and we were moving around 10am.

The route starts along an road/ATV trail, crosses a very nice meadow and enters a thick forest. The forest was a surprise and is very uncommon for a Lost River ascent, particularly on the west side. Down in the trees we made a slight navigational error but after a correction we made our way above treeline and into a gorgeous basin beneath the northwest face of North Twin. A short class 3 stretch got us into the upper reaches of the basin after which we soon were able to take a nice break at the flowery saddle between North Twin and nearby Red Cone Peak.

After our break, we made the final push to the top of North Twin. On our way up we saw some sheep who were just as interested in us as we were them. They probably aren't used to visitors on this seldom-climbed peak! After they scattered, we finished the climb on very solid terrain. Once on top, we enjoyed beautiful weather and the incredible panorama of the Lost River Range. Some clouds were looking questionable for awhile but once on the summit it was clear that they would not threaten our day.

We descended to the saddle and then all agreed to make the short climb up Red Cone Peak. We actually didn't know the name of this peak until we discovered Rick Baugher's register from 1993 - it appeared that we were the first visitors since then! After a brief time on the summit of Red Cone Peak, we descended the canyon to the northwest of Red Cone Peak. This was a very direct descent on mostly solid terrain, although it was a bit of a slog since it came at the end of a long day.

Once at the truck we all enjoyed a beer - thanks Margo! It hit the spot and after a few minutes we headed back to Arco. As we were leaving Elbow Canyon we saw a black bear which made some serious climbing moves up a cliff to get away. Impressive!! Before we parted ways, we had a nice dinner at Pickle's Place in Arco. This was memorable especially for the large group of French (Cajun?) speakers in there. Our drive home was long but uneventful and I didn't get home until 11:45pm. A long but great day in the mountains with a great group!

North Twin/Red Cone Peak Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report
Margo's Trip Report

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Peak 11087' Climb

Last Sunday Dan and I climbed Peak 11087' in the Boulder Mountains. We left Boise just after 6am and were hiking around 9am. Dan had an evening commitment so we were hoping to get back to Boise by 7pm.

The hike starts on a nice trail up the West Fork of the North Fork of the Big Wood River. After heading up the trail for roughly two and half miles, we left the trail and headed straight up toward the basin containing Lake 10062'. Once up in the basin below the lake, we started heading directly up the south slopes of the peak. Initially this was pretty easy but the terrain degenerated into steep, loose Boulder Mountain scree as we got above 10000'. Between that and my struggling with the elevation, it was a bit of a slog for awhile. Eventually we reached the reached the ridge top and the footing got much better. From there it was a direct class 2 ascent to the summit, which has an incredible view of the Boulders and surrounding mountains!

After enjoyed a well-earned break on the summit and taking in the great views, we headed down with the realization we weren't going to make our 7pm return time. After quickly descending the scree, Dan found us a more direct and enjoyable route back to the trail. Before hitting the trail we filtered some water from the West Fork and enjoyed some high quality H2O to help us finish the hike.

We ended up missing our return time by 45 minutes but it was still an outstanding day!

Peak 11087' Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report

Monday, August 15, 2011

Aprim Family Visit 2011!!

In the first weekend of August, we were lucky enough to have the Aprim family visit us from Vancouver! Ben, Megan, Emily & Matthew made the drive down (with no A/C, and almost 100*F weather in Boise), stopping overnight to camp & arriving on Friday night.
We spent Friday night hanging out & having dinner, and the kids enjoyed the free Water Park (aka our neighbors sprinklers!).
On Saturday, it was a scorcher of a day, so after a leisurely breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast & fruit, we headed out to Settler's Park. This park was pretty great - in addition to a water park, it also had a very cool Pirate Ship-themed playground, a rock-climbing area for kids, a fishing pond, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts & horseshoe pits! The kids had a wonderful time running around on the playground & getting drenched at the water park!
After hanging out at the water park for the afternoon, we headed back to the house for dinner & the kids ran around in our backyard sprinklers - yay for our at-home water park!
Sunday was another low-key day. Megan & I did some shopping and Ben & Zach took the kids on a little shopping excursion of their own, to Wal-Mart & Fred Meyer. The kids got remote-controlled trucks that Zach & Ben had fun doing "quality control" on :-) We had home-made pizza for dinner, and tried to call it an early night, since the Aprims had to head out the next morning, and Zach & I had to go back to work.
On Monday, Megan, Ben & the kids left for their next adventure, in Bend, OR. We were sad to see them go, but had SUCH a great visit!! We're so glad they were able to make it down here & hang out with us for a few days! Thanks guys!! :-)
There are a couple of pictures below for everyone's viewing pleasure.
(PS: I promise that Megan & I didn't wear matching shirts on purpose!!)

The gang at Settler's Park

Playing with Legos on the patio

Also, as a teaser: We'll be finishing up the nursery soon & will post some pictures for everyone to see...and maybe I'll sneak in a picture of me looking (barely) pregnant (even with only 1 month to go!).
Have a great week, everyone!
Katie & Zach

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seven Year Anniversary!

Katie and I celebrated our seven year anniversary today! Mostly it was spent at work but in the evening we went to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and watched their production of Cabaret (not a Shakespeare play, but that's how they roll). After a quick dinner at the cafe (which provides pretty good food and Table Rock beer) we settled in for the show in our lawn seats. It was a very memorable evening as it was the first time we've ever been to a play together! We both enjoyed the production and the outdoor theater by the river is outstanding. It makes me definitely want to go again and see another play!

Yay for seven years of marriage!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Texas Trip 2011

My parents arranged a trip to visit family in Texas so I decided to tag along. Katie didn't go because she is in the third trimester of baking Baby Vickery!

We coordinated our flights and I arrived on Friday the 29th and quickly met my parents at the airport. Pretty soon we had our car rented and were off to the hotel, the Comfort Suites in Grand Prairie. This hotel was memorable mainly for the softball tournament and baby shower it hosted while we were there. Oh, and the bed was really comfortable.

After meeting Teresa and Charles (and their new dog Rosie), we headed to Babe's Chicken in Arlington for a great family style dinner. The place was super popular as we had to wait close to an hour for our large group to be seated. Attending were myself, my parents, Aunt Teresa, Uncle Charles, my cousin Becky, her husband Kenny, their two children Brayden and Grace, my cousin Matt and his fiancee Kasey, Charles' parents Clint and Barbara, Grand-Aunt Joyce, cousin once removed Letitia and her husband Chip, cousin once removed Loretta and her husband Charlie. Suffice to say it was a big group but the restaurant was designed to handle it! The only sad part was that I didn't take any pictures...

A constant theme of the trip was Texas' epic heat wave and drought. As we arrived the Dallas area had experienced high temperatures above 100° for over 30 straight days! Combined with the fact that there had been no significant rain in two months, everything was super dry and brown looking. I'm trying my best rain dances to help but sadly they appear ineffective...

On Saturday we (myself, my parents, Teresa, and Charles) went to visit my Nana in Palestine. Before we got too far down the road we had a breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in Desoto. Along the way to Palestine we stopped at Teresa and Charles' lot where they plan to build a retirement home. It was in a very nice area along a reservoir with a nice clubhouse - sadly, my camera ate the pictures. After the stop, we continued to Palestine where my Nana is in the care of the Alzheimer's unit of the Cartmell Home. She is doing pretty well physically but Alzheimer's has definitely taken a toll on her mind - I think she only had a vague idea about who my parents were and I'm not sure she knew who I was at all. It was great to see Nana but of course very hard to see how much Alzheimer's had affected her. The facility was very nice and the staff in the Alzheimer's unit were impressive - that is one tough job! After we left the Cartmell Home, we had a late lunch at El Toro (yay for their green sauce) before making stops at Pilgrim Cemetery near Elkhart and Crawford Cemetery near Slocum. These two cemeteries are where many of my Vickery and Seymour relatives are buried, including my Papa Vickery. From there we headed home, getting back to the hotel late in the evening.

On Sunday my Mom and Teresa decided we should go to a giant flea market in Canton, which is a little ways east of the Dallas area. This flea market was massive, I would estimate a square mile in area, with countless open-air buildings, parking areas, and even one air-conditioned building. Upon getting there we proceeded to walk around the flea market in the triple digit heat. Both Dad and myself surrendered to the heat after awhile and just sat there drinking water. Teresa, Charles, and Mom did a better job staying at it but the heat eventually got to Mom. Of particular note were the eating establishments at this flea market, highlighted by the fried food emporium. I am proud to say I ate no food at the flea market! On the way back home we ate lunch at the Ranchero (a decent buffet) and stopped at an improbably placed bead store along I-20.

On Monday we went to Frisco to meet my Mom's former co-worker Kathy and her husband Lloyd at La Hacienda Ranch in Frisco. It was Kathy and Lloyd's anniversary so we all had a nice lunch to celebrate! The restaurant was really good and I really enjoyed my enchilada with chili on it. The restaurant was founded by the inventor of the frozen margarita machine which is an interesting bit of trivia. Afterwards Kathy, Mom, and Teresa wanted to go shopping at Sam Moon's and T.J. Maxx. I decided I would rather walk around the giant mall nearby so I did that. I was blown away when I saw that the mall had an ice rink in it. Combined with the Barnes & Noble and Chick-Fil-A, this was a pretty solid place to hang out.

On Tuesday we headed home. Once again we coordinated flights with both of us departing around 10:30am. For once our flights were in the same terminal so we were able to hang out at the gate until our flights were almost ready to board. We said our goodbyes with the memories of a great trip together!

Texas Trip 2011 Pictures!
Mom's Texas Pictures!