There will be a lot of pictures, especially of Joser McGee so consider yourself warned! :)
Three weeks ago we took Josie, my Dad, a friend - Spencer, and the three dogs and set out on a journey. Josie's first backpacking trip. We wanted to go somewhere warm, lots of fun and hard, but not too hard so Josie could handle it as well. We decided to make a loop down through Goblin Valley, Utah, Hackberry Canyon near Bryce Canyon NP, and back up through Richfield and Manti.
We met my Dad in Tremonton, UT and stayed Friday night at Ty's parents house in Orem. The next day we drove to Goblin Valley. We had the option of hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon or playing on the hoodoos and Spencer chose the latter, as he had never been there. It was fun, as usual. (I think this is the most frequented State Park, Ty and I have ever been to, with the exception of Utah Lake State Park nearly daily in the summer of 2005!).
We camped outside the park that night and Sunday morning we searching for Summer for about an hour. Ty tied a "ball and chain", a.k.a. a long rope and the knot of leashes onto her, in hopes that she wouldn't run away, but all that did was slow her down a little...actually a lot. Especially when she got tangled up in this rock! Haha! I think this is the only time when she truly looked like she was sorry.
After finding her we took the scenic route/dirt road though the back of the park to Torrey. We saw the coolest dirt stuff that was awesome. The pictures don't do justice!
The road was called Muddy Creek Road...for a good reason. Contemplating the river crossing!
Crossing the river and finally making it through with minimal flood damage.
Just a few of Josie for her future modeling days!
We ate lunch in Capital Reef and headed south to just past Kodachrome Basin State Park. We asked for the trailhead directions for some "down home cowboys". We camped at the south end of Hackberry Canyon Sunday night. Monday morning we divided up all the gear and headed out!
It was a bit colder than the previous two days. When we stopped for lunch Josie got a little cold so we packed her in the front of my coat instead of on my back.
She quickly got warm and fell asleep.
We were walking up/next to a creek for a good part of the trail.
We hiked for about 10 miles before we found a nice overhang/cave and a higher shelf nearby to sleep. Of course, in keeping with Spring Break tradition, it started snowing. :) We set up our tents and built a fire under the overhang and dried out our socks and shoes.
As a group, we ended up toasting one sock, getting a small hole in a cloth diaper and shrinking a couple of insoles! Oops! Oh well it was nice and warm and relaxing.
Josie even munched on a little sand!
Ty, Josie and I went to bed in a 2 person tent with three large semi-wet dogs! Loads of fun! :)
Tuesday we woke up to about half an inch of snow on the ground!
We packed up and headed up stream. In just a few miles the trail was nearly completely dry. Although it was dry, it was soft sand so it wasn't the easiest of walking. It had warmed up quite a bit by late morning. These are Josie's sunbathing pictures for the week.
This is Summers' typical resting spot throughout the trip! Quite the nest!
We stopped in a small canyon for lunch. Ty got the job of slicing the cheese for Haloumi and Avocado Bagels and put a deep gash in his left thumb, in a effort to keep the cheese from falling into the sand. Nice! Good thing my dad remembered to bring a first aid kit. You can see the blood drippings on the sand. Haha!
Josie loved the hiking. She took several naps, spent a good chunk of time babbling, and learned to say Mama, although it sounded something like this Mumumumumum.
We took two detours that day, "Quick Canyon", which was a dead end and "False Hope Canyon", which ended in a chimney we would have to scale and would have been too hard to do with Josie, dogs, and all the packs.
By the time we got to the end of "False Hope Canyon" it was late, we had been hiking for ~15 miles and 9 hours and we thought it was the end of the trail. By the time we hiked back the two miles back to the main trail and campsite we were all exhausted. We had an awesome dinner and went to bed. That night Josie managed to wiggle her way out of her sleeping bag and her hands got cold. I stuck her in my bag and she fell right alseep. Ty's watch said it was in the high twenties that night. The next day we hiked the last 6 miles back to the road.
It was so nice! Nearly 70 degrees. My dad left his pack and started walking the ~33 miles back to the truck, in case we couldn't get a ride. Soon after that Ty hitched a ride with a nice guy named Mike from Wyoming. My dad turned around and headed back to wait with us. He taught me how to play the harmonica while we were waiting. (Who brings a harmonica on a 30+ mile backpacking trip?!)
Notice Josie is the only one with any energy to play!
By 2pm Ty was there to pick us up.
We drove to Grosvenor's Arch and cooked lunch and relaxed for a bit.
Then we drove the few miles to Ruby's Inn near Bryce Canyon. It was just a few bucks to camp, swim in the pool/hot tub and shower! SWEEEEET!! It was sooooo nice after a loooooong backpacking trip! Even Josie loved the soak.
That night it snowed a couple of inches, but this time we were in our tent trailer with two nice heaters. Since it had snowed and was foggy, you couldn't really see much in the Park so Thursday morning we slowly made our way via the paved scenic routes back to Orem.
A couple more pics of Josie for the runway!
Notice the nice piece of driftwood Josie had been carrying with her whole trip.
At Ty's parent's house we had our niece McKaela's birthday party and the trip slide show. Friday we drove the rest of the way back to our home in Twin Falls. We were so exhaused. We rented a movie and watched it at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was so nice to sleep in our very own beds again that night! Sooooo much fun, but sooo tiring too! Good thing Josie's a trooper! She loved it!