Hiking in Hetch Hetchy Valley

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Location: Hetch Hetchy Valley, Yosemite National Park, CA
Destination: Wapama Falls
Date: May 2011
While going through photos for our 2011 photo album I found these gems.  More than any others these remind me of what it is like to hike with a two year old.  In the first photo Mountain Dad is wearing the hiking pack that we assumed Big E would ride in.  Big E vociferously refused complete with weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth.  Once we actually got on the trail Big E would run full speed toward the 15 foot cliff that ended in the lake so one of us was constantly sprinting after him.  
When Big E wasn’t trying out for the Olympics in the 50 meter sprint he was examining plants, rocks, flowers and bugs with an enviable intensity.  Unfortunately for our forward progress he wanted to examine every plant, every rock, every flower and every bug we came across.  Our two speeds were full steam ahead or full stop.

You know the hike is in trouble when one of the members of the party sprawls on the ground and refuses to move forward at all.  This is where we decided to turn around.  We had been on the trail for an hour and gotten 500 feet or so.  My expectations had to be severely altered, even though I had gone into the hike not expecting much.  Looking back it was a fun experience but in the moment it was frustrating.  You know it’s bad when you feel like yelling at your toddler on a day that is supposed to just be fun.

Little g with mommy

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Most of the photos of little g on this blog don’t show her face.  Although she’s not happy in this photo it is fairly representative of what we look like on our adventures.  Me with a baby grizzly strapped to my belly, chasing after Big E…at least until she falls asleep which is what happened soon after this photo was taken.

Winter X Games

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I’m sure all of you sat glued to your TV last weekend to see the Winter X games hosted in Aspen, CO.  Whenever I see the X Games I am inspired and exited once more about my true winter love, snowboarding.  Shaun White once again made history, this time by achieving a perfect 100 score (and taking his 5th gold) in the Super Pipe competition.  I was impressed to watch this athlete who got higher, spun more, and landed cleaner than all the rest.  Similarly Bobby Brown in the Big Air Skiing competition just looked more professional than the other professional athletes.  What made their performances so much better? I can only assume more thorough practice.


On the women’s side, which I care more about, Jamie Anderson won Snowboarding Slope style with the following lineup of tricks quoted from this ESPN website: http://espn.go.com/action/xgames/winter/2012/story/_/id/7499189/jamie-anderson-wins-winter-x-2012-women-snowboard-slopestyle:


Anderson was the only competitor who put down not one, but two strong, stomped runs, complete with a Cab 720 tailgrab, switch backside 540, backside 540, and switch backside 180 in the four-jump line.


Then men’s field was throwing down tricks twice that size.  When I watched the men’s slope style I was impressed and overwhelmed.  When I watched the women’s I thought, “That doesn’t look too hard.  I could totally do that.”  I don’t want to diminish the hard work these women put in but I can already do a switch backside 180, one of the tricks in Jamie’s lineup, albeit not on such a huge jump.  Even my husband said, “Babe, you should go pro.” 


Why is it that women’s snowboarding is not pushing the limits of the sport in the same way men’s does?  Is it just that women have a healthy desire for self preservation that teenage boys suspend in honor of thrill?  I know in my own snowboarding experience the real key to progression is to conquer your fear.  The fear is the same when you’re learning how to turn, looking down your first blue run, riding switch or hitting a box for the first time.  Maybe it’s easier for men to conquer their fears but I for one am willing to try.  That’s what makes snowboarding exciting anyway.   

Big Springs Hike

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Destination: Big Springs
Location: South Fork Provo Canyon
Time: 1:30 pm
Temp: 46 degrees

To Get Here: Take Hwy 189 (Provo Canyon Road) headed north.  Drive approx 4 miles until Vivian Park, turn Right.  Drive approximately 5 miles, almost to the end of the road.  Park is on the Right, look for the above sign.
Big Springs Hike is fairly easy with little elevation gain.  What I like about it is that you walk along a river which provides no end of entertainment for my now three year old Big E.  The weather was so warm when we went I was tempted to not put him in snow pants but I’m glad I did.  The sun was melting everything so bare spots became mud and the trail was still icy.  The full hike is 1.8 miles to the Big Spring, the source of the flowing river you walk by.  We just stayed on the bottom part of the trail since it stuck by the water.   Big E loved throwing rocks into the water and trying to break the ice.  Little g loved sleeping in the moby wrap.  I loved being outside.