Like I said the other day, it sure doesn't feel very much like fall around these parts. For the next couple days, I'm going to be posting some of my favorite pictures from our travels in the West, this summer. (Mostly for the benefit of our relatives who are in the pictures!)
It has become a tradition for the Bionic Man and I to drive across the country each summer to spend time with our extended families. Both of us grew up in Utah, and that is where the majority of our family members still live. Our strategy is to drive out and back together, but the Bionic Man flies home to work for a couple of weeks while I stay behind to chaperone our children as they get spoiled by grandparents and play with their cousins. (It's such a sacrifice for me, wink wink.)
While the Bionic Man is with us, we try to spend as much time in the mountains as possible. After the drive across Wyoming, we spent some time in Idaho at our first family reunion. We did some hiking there to get used to the altitude before going on the really big hike we had planned.
Mt. Timpanogos above American Fork, Utah. Hiking Timp was one of the Bionic Man's favorite things to do when he was growing up. We decided to leave Superkid safely behind with Grandmother for the day, but the Bionic Man was confident that Justone and Endeavor could make it.
We were joined in our ascent by the Bionic Father and Uncle Lance (who happens to be a seasoned mountaineer.) Our friends The Hendys, who now live in Las Vegas, Nevada, joined us for the first mile or so and then wished us bon voyage. They were so smart.
I huffed and puffed and regretted every single crumb of junk food I have ever had to eat in my entire life. But the scenery alone was worth every painful step.
After about five hours of steep, upward climbing, we reached this valley
flickriver.com so you can see. I think I was just too tired to hold up the camera, at that point.
The children and I hiked down on our own. Going downhill wasn't any easier than going uphill. And it was scarier. There were a few times when I wanted to click my ruby slippers and become one of these:
Yes, those are really mountain goats, which we really saw.
Thankfully, the children and I made it down safely. And it was good that we let the Bionic Menfolk get to the summit....because on their way down, another hiker slipped and fell off the trail a few yards ahead of them, sliding thirty feet down to the edge of a dangerous cliff. Uncle Lance had a rope and other special equipment, knew how to use them, and directed a rescue, assisted by the Bionic Man and his Bionic Father. They were able to provide first aid treatment and get the hiker and her group safely down the mountain. I still get chills when I think, "What if I had wimped out completely and made them climb down with the children and I?" If even one of them had come with us, a life would have been lost that day on Mt. Timpanogos. I'm also incredibly grateful that Endeavor, Justone, and I made it down without event.
If you would like to hike Mt. Timpanogos, don't let my scary story stop you. Take an experienced mountaineer with you, wear sunscreen, carry LOTS of water, get yourself in shape well beforehand, be prepared, and learn more about it here or here. I'll see you at the top next year!