4th of July Hiking: Maple Canyon

Near my parents’ home in Sanpete County, there is a canyon famous for excellent rock climbing sites.  The canyon walls are made of a conglomerate rock that I have never seen anywhere else.  Cobble rocks approximately the size of my fist are stuck together with mud to make hoodoos and even an arch.  The last time we visited this area was in the ice and snow.  Mom has been inviting us to hike the loop trail that exits the campground for years, but finally on the fourth of July we were forced by fires in the other areas we wanted to hike to visit this trail.  It was a great little trail.  (There has since been a fire in this canyon — I don’t know exactly what the damage has been.)

Starting from the campground, we took the middle fork and circled back on the right fork trail.  The trail climbs about a half mile, then branches off to visit an arch made from the conglomerate rock.

We continued up the trail about another mile, to where the arrow pointed to the right with a very steep climb to a “viewpoint” and then following the right fork down to the campground again.  The views were fabulous from the top.  We could see the whole valley spread out below us, and the buzzards were circling below us around the cliff tops.  We spent time looking for buzzard (the local name for turkey vultures) nests.  The research I had done said that they nest in caves, and we spotted several likely spots, and even heard the calls of baby birds, but nothing we could identify certainly as a nest.

The area below the viewpoint, as the trail dropped sharply down to the canyon bottom was the best for the kids.  The Forest Service has actually built stairs and installed a ladder to come down this steep incline.  It was beautiful and fun.

Round trip, mileage was about 4 miles for the loop with the arch detour.  At the bottom of the canyon, we were able to stop and watch some of the many climbers that were there taking advantage of their holiday to try out their ropes in the canyon.  Now we have a new goal — let the kids try rappelling.  We’ll have to find some good instructors!

How do you spend the extra holiday time during the summer?  Do you take time to visit trails that are close to home?  Please leave a comment below.


Fall in Love with the World Challenge — Day 7

And now for the last day in the challenge . . .

Challenge #7 — Do something outdoors you have never dared do before.

I admit, for me this one is simple — I haven’t been very brave before.  So trying a new trail, picking up a snake or being brave enough to watch a scorpion are all things that are new for me.

For you, this challenge could mean hang gliding, canyoneering or scuba diving.  Try something new!

Hope you are having a great day.  Join me here next week as I post some details about our hiking trip last week, and the plans we have for summer school.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Fall in Love with the World Challenge — Day 6

Are you finding this week challenging?  I am.  It’s challenging to take time every day to think about this beautiful earth and how much we should appreciate our lives upon it.  Our lives get busy and we forget how important it is to stop and be grateful.  I hope you are enjoying the lessons you are learning by taking this challenge with me.

Challenge #6 — Do something outdoors that you usually do indoors.

Take something outdoors that you normally use in the house — for us, that meant violin, computer and house toys.   For you it might mean something different.  Eden lamented that the piano couldn’t go outside!

If you’ve missed part of our falling in love with the world challenge, it’s not too late to start.  Look back here for more information, and check out these posts as well.  Please leave a comment and a link to let us share your experiences outdoors.  Join me here tomorrow for the last post in the challenge.  Have a wonderful day!

P.S.  Today is the “super moon.”  Wouldn’t it be a great time to do a full moon nature walk?  Hope I get to!

Fall in Love with the World Challenge — Day 5

Welcome to Day 5 of our challenge.  I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a little bit extra earth-love into your life.  Ready for today’s project?

Challenge #5– Visit a nursery.

Even if you don’t have a garden, and don’t want to buy any plants, visit a nursery and rejoice in the abundance of life available  for humans to enjoy.

Lulu says, “I love visiting a nursery.  For one thing, it smells wonderful.  It smells like a combination of dirt and plants, and there is no better smell in the world.”

Try it today!  Then leave me a comment and a link to show what you’ve been up to.  Join me here again tomorrow for Day 6 of the Falling in Love with the World Challenge.

Fall in Love with the World Challenge – Day 4

To see what we’ve been up to, please skip back here to the first day of our challenge.  I hope you will join with us as we Fall in Love with the World this week.

Challenge #4– Look at the clouds.

Stand up or lie down, lean in a chair or look out a window, but look closely at a cloud.

To continue, you could look up the type of cloud in a book or make a story out of the cloud shapes you see following each other across the sky.

Please leave me a comment and a link to show us what you’ve been doing with this week’s nature challenge.  Do you feel that a relationship between humans and the earth is important?  Keep building that relationship by appreciating the earth every day.  Join me tomorrow for Day Five of our Falling in Love with the World challenge.

Fall in Love with the World Challenge — Day 3

As long as this exists… by Anne Frank

“As long as this exists,” I thought, “and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts, I cannot be unhappy.” The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.

What a beautiful quote! I hope you are enjoying some alone time with the heavens, nature and God this week. It is a certain restorative. Here’s the challenge for Day 3.

Challenge #3– Walk in Water

Whether it’s a stream, a pond, the ocean or a puddle, find some water to walk in today.

Listen while you walk in the water — it is saying something very profound.

Don’t forget to leave me a comment and a link to show how you fell in love with the world today. Meet me back here for tomorrow for Day 4 in our challenge! Have a wonderful day!

Fall in Love with the World Challenge — Day 2

Are you enjoying our challenge?  If you didn’t make it to see our first challenge, please skip back over here to see what we are doing.  Hopefully, you will enjoy following along with us as we find new ways to fall in love with the world.

Challenge #2– Examine something tiny.

You could get out a microscope, or just pick up something really small from your yard.

Take time to really look over the details of creation.

If you are following this challenge, please post a comment and a link below so that we can all check out the tiny things you have observed today!  Stay tuned tomorrow for another way to fall in love with the world.

Fall in Love With the World Challenge

Sorry, I hope you don’t feel too abandoned.  I didn’t mean to abandon you, we just had our annual Escalante hiking trip, and were away from the Internet for five days!  As I sort through five days of hiking pictures to show you the best of the best in the coming weeks, I have an exciting challenge to share with you.

In honor of Earth Day (a little late), and in the spirit of this challenge about falling in love with the world, I am showing you just one way I challenge you to enjoy nature each day of this week.  As you try out the nature challenges through this week, please take pictures and post links in your comments, so that we can all enjoy this beautiful spring time together.

Challenge #1 –Sniff a tree.

Go ahead, inhale deeply.  Enjoy the wonderful smell of a tree.

This is a Ponderosa pine.  It has a wonderful vanilla/cinnamon smell.

But Lucy likes the smell of old wood better.

Please leave me a comment and a link below, and meet me back here tomorrow for the 2nd challenge for this week of falling in love with the world.