The Great Yellowstone Adventure!

Maybe you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but like every American, you carry a deed to 635 million acres of public lands. That’s right. Even if you don’t own a house or the latest computer on the market, you own Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and many other natural treasures.
— John Garamendi

Sunday, 3:33pm

Lewis Lake, Site #41C

We took 14 from the east into Yellowstone. On the drive we saw a handful of open campgrounds and figured we could use Rex Hale or West Yellowstone as a back up if we couldn't find anything open in Yellowstone. As luck would have it, we rolled into the Lewis Lake campground around 5:30pm and had no problem snagging a spot. Ended up staying a couple of nights. 

Croc Life is the Best Life.

Ready to take a bath?

Monday 7:20am - Off To Adventure!


Bubba & Bearbait eating some breakfast in 45 degrees :)

Monday was a full day of adventuring. 12 full hours. We woke up to a cool 45 degrees and made our way over to Old Faithful. We had an hour to spare before it's eruption so we hiked around the geyser basin and checked out some of the smaller springs. 

Lu, Bubba & Bearbait

From Old Faithful we took off for the Biscuit Basin & Mystic Falls hike. The Little Firehole Loop I believe it is around 3.5miles, in total we hiked 4.2miles. Little legs and all. The trail starts near the back of the boardwalk just passed the last thermal pool. (FYI - Thermal pools running close to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't stick your finger in there!)

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Bear Spray: Check. GoPro: Check.

After finishing up the Mystic Falls hike, we strolled up Yellowstone and had lunch at the Madison information center. We decided to check out Artist's Point. We had a feeling the kid's legs were running on fumes and we were right. We saw Lower Falls but didn't make the full walk up to Ribbon Lake. Leaving Artist's Point we decided to stop at Sulphur Caldron. 

Dragon's Breath

I gotta say, and collectively, we all felt that Sulphur Caldron was our favorite stop in Yellowstone. I mean, where else do you get to see a Mud Volcano!? This is one of the most acidic springs in Yellowstone...acidic as a car battery! The Dragon's Mouth Hot Spring sounded exactly like that, a Dragon breathing. 

It was an incredible day. We were blessed with perfect weather, and really not too many people. We ended up back at camp around 8pm for a perfect night under the stars.


Tuesday 7:37am


Took us 15 minutes to break down camp and eat a snack before hitting the road north. Our plan was to drive up to Mammoth Hot Springs before heading south into the Tetons...change of plans. We stopped at Middle Geyser Basin. The craters, falls, springs were awesome however it was 45 degrees so steam filled the air with little visibility. The Grand Prismatic too, was covered in steam. So we decided to continue north, and we ended up stuck (about 8 cars back) in a Bison traffic jam. The %@#*&%@# first car refused to go around the two bison so we sat in about two hours of traffic before reaching Roaring Mountain. We stopped briefly and decided not to waste our day in the traffic heading north and figured we should head back to the Fairy Falls trailhead and check out the Grand Prismatic from above. 

View from Above. All the people....

1:11pm

West Thumb, Yellowstone Lake

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. This natural beauty-hunger is made manifest in the little window-sill gardens of the poor, though perhaps only a geranium slip in a broken cup, as well as in the carefully tended rose and lily gardens of the rich, the thousands of spacious city parks and botanical gardens, and in our magnificent National parks — the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia, etc. — Nature’s sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world.
— John Muir

Gibbon Falls


We stopped by the visor center and continued on our journey south towards the Tetons. Bridger-Teton National Forest was the destination with some high elevation camping! 

As Always, a huge thank you to the Rangers, Yellowstone staff and volunteers. It may be the most dangerous National Park in the US, but is defintely not one to be missed!


3 Days to Shred Bentonville #MTB

3 Days to Shred Bentonville #MTB

Cycling is possibly the greatest and most pleasurable form of transport ever invented. Its like walking only with one-tenth of the effort. Ride through a city and you can understand its geography in a way that no motorist, contained by one-way signs and traffic jams, will ever be able to. You can whiz from one side to the other in minutes. You can overtake $250,000 sports cars that are going nowhere fast. You can park pretty much anywhere. It truly is one of the greatest feelings of freedom once can have in a metropolitan environment. It’s amazing you can feel this free in a modern city.

A Road Trip Honeymoon or an Excuse To Hit The Road!

In 2016, seven years later...we decided to go on a honeymoon. I mean, call it what you want, it was really an excuse to get my main squeeze to spend almost two weeks of uninterrupted time with me. Yeeehaw! Up until that point, the most time we had spent alone together was maybe five days. I was so stoked to hit the road and share this new experience together.  Looking back, I'm wondering what I really planned out other than mountain biking because we pretty much winged the entire trip. The unfortunate thing was that Jessica caught a cold right before we left. Thankfully she's a stubborn one, so it wasn't even a thing..... and we were off...!

We dropped the kids off early in the morning and started crusin' down 35E. Our first stop was Denver to see family and then onward to Salida, Colorado to ride the The Monarch Crest. If you enjoy ripping around on two wheels, this is a must-do and should be added to your bucket list. The drive to Denver was all gravy but by the time we were en route to Salida, the hours behind the wheel were starting to  wear just a little. If I remember correctly, we went to bed that night not speaking (perhaps due to my driving?). haha. 

We took the 8am High Valley Bike Shuttle in Poncha Springs up to Monarch Pass. The climbs weren’t too bad (short & punchy) and the views were, of course, unreal. The latter half of the ride is where the downhill fun starts. Silver Creek into Rainbow and out was a lot of fun. We rode roughly 40miles in total and reached 11,963ft. I don’t remember how much climbing we did, but I would guess around 3,000ft. The juice is worth the squeeze!

 

Monarch Crest - MTB Project: Link HERE

We wrapped up riding the Monarch and regrouped at the truck. Whatever we were bickering about the night before had long dissipated. There's room for nothing but happiness when you're in paradise. 

From Salida, we took off for Crested Butte. We stopped in Gunnison, CO for the night and checked in at Big Al's Bike shop early the next morning to have a couple of things fixed on the bike and to ask a couple of questions. The folks here were awesome and super helpful. Not wanting to waste daylight, we were out the door pretty quick to get up Gothic Road. 

10:10am

The 401 was an awesome rip for our first ride in Crested Butte (not including the grueling 6 mile climb up fire road.  Then again, maybe it was only tough for us considering we were coming off a 40-miler the DAY BEFORE). Had we known it was so amazing, we would have allotted more than a single day to ride there.  It's so beautiful it's almost tough to ride. You want to keep your head on that swivel while at the same time keeping those eyes on the single track before you. You can read the whole write up on the 401 at MTB Project, here.

It was a pretty short drive up to Fruita from Crested Butte, only 3-ish hours. The thing is, when you come from the midwest you are used to pretty flat driving. Once the rockies are in sight, I could drive all day, every day. I love it. 

5:55pm

It was July and it was scorching in the Fruita desert. Our initial plan was to camp down near 18 Road, thinking the temps would drop over night. But it didn't break below 85 degrees until 4 or 5am, so we opted for a hotel.  We knew we were going to spend two days riding in Fruita and we needed to let our bodies recover from the previous days' riding. The plan was to ride Horsethief and the Kokopelli trail loops. 

Horsethief Bench drop in :)

It was hot so we made sure to be down at the Rustler's Loop Trail Head at the crack of dawn. We rode for a few hours before making our way back to the truck for some lunch. Instead of riding the rest of the afternoon, we decided to head down to Moab and explore Arches National Park

1:11pm

Double Arch, Arches National Park 

"How far of a hike is it to the Arch?"
"Which one? There are over two thousand..."

We made our way winding through the park and stopping at a few different arches, such as the Double Arch, and then hiked up to the Delicate Arch. Our Utah obsession had only just begun, so we really had no idea what was waiting for us at the end of the trail.  It was hot and the sun was brutal but it was worth every step and drop of sweat.  The Delicate Arch is truly a sight to behold. 

The Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

The following morning, we were up at 18 Road as the sun was coming up. We spent the morning riding as much as we could. I have to say that riding Zippity Do-da was the highlight for me. The review on MTB Project was pretty spot on. Riding up on the spine of these huge rollers was better than any roller coaster I have been on. The hills were steep, but just sit back and roll. You won't stop smiling. 

18 Road

From Fruita, we decided to head up to Park City, UT. The next morning we planned on riding the Wasatch Crest from Park City.

5:55pm

The Fire Quean!

Our first day in Park City we ended up riding the Bike Park at Canyons Village. It was fun but not memorable.  We didn't ride too long as we wanted to make our way into the Wasatch National Forest to camp before dark. 

2:22pm

We were up bright and early as we  began our Wasatch Crest ride from Park City at 9 am. We found a  weird cab driver that took us up to Guardman Pass. He said that he has the patent for the North Shore Rack. After sharing some of his business plans he changed gears and moved into conspiracy theory. After a few close encounters we made it to Guardman Pass and ripped it from there. This is another one of those rides I feel you gotta add to your bucket list if you love rippin around on two wheels. It's a IMBA Epic ride and easily a top 10 ride. Puke hill wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I think we only made one stop to catch our breath. That elevation has a way of reminding you that you are nature’s bitch. I am not entirely sure, but I believe we were riding at around 10,000ft. Views were gorgeous and 360 for most of the ride. We met a lot of awesome people. 

The drive home was filled with surreal scenery almost the entire way. From Park City, we continued north into the Grand Teton's National Park.  "An ethereal mountain landscape where jagged peaks tower more than a mile above the Jackson Hole valley, Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming just south of Yellowstone National Park and just north of the town of Jackson.” No bears, but there was quite a bit of wildlife running around. We hiked around Jenny Lake. Jenny Lake seemed to be a starting point for a lot of overnight hike/campers. It was absolutely beautiful. I cannot wait to get back and spend more time there. 

11:11am

Lake Jenny 

From the Tetons we continued into Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, we hit the south east corner and bypassed Old Faithful among other beautiful sites. The drive was gorgeous. We stopped several times, but only briefly. 

3:33pm

The final stop on the way home was Badlands. I had no idea what to expect. It is not often we make the drive through South Dakota as we typically are heading up I-35 through Iowa. The stop was well worth it...we were both blown away. One minute we were driving through open prairies only to have the earth open up right in front of us. I can’t believe it was my first visit through the Badlands. I am pretty confident it will not be my one and only visit. We saw a few Bison, bighorn sheep, a lot of prairie dogs and one coyote. 

4:44pm

And before we knew, we rolling into Minnesota. It was an incredible trip filled with memories I will never forget! So thankful for the experience. I believe that every time you hit the road to travel you become a grander version of yourself. You continually learn in such an expedited way, while simultaneously...  completely inconsiderate of time. I've come to realize that home is not a four walls with a roof kind of a place. It is a feeling. Something about the mountains, the forest, the ocean, the giant canyons, water falls...that evoke such a feeling of home. Solitude is incredible and needed but sharing these experiences with someone that you are mentally, spiritually, physically connected to is an out of this world experience. The energy exchange is one of continual mutual benefit and growth rather than draining even in the slightest. Get comfortable with silence. It is beautiful. We aught to speak only when we feel what we have to say is more beautiful than the silence. Just a thought.

11:11am 


Live Fearless, Not Reckless


Dad +3 Spring Break Road Trip - A 2,000 mile Journey

If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.
— David Sobel

It was Sunday night. I probably should’ve had a lot more planned out at this point but it’s the way I’ve enjoyed road tripping. I plot out a few major points of interest, and then look for the most epic routes. This was a Dad +3 road trip packed into five days for Spring break. National Parks and water fall hunting was on the activity list. Mammoth Caves had been decided. However, you have to book tickets in advance for the guided tours. Waiting until Sunday night wasn’t a smart move, the tours were booked up until Friday, and we initially wanted to be in Kentucky by Tuesday. Change of plans…

Lu 9, Bubba 7, Stinky 4.

April 2nd, 2018

            We hit the road at 8:50am Monday morning en route for The Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore. The plan was to camp in their camp ground on our way to Cuyahoga National Park. The thing about road tripping is you have the ability to maneuver the weather, for the most part. There was no way around the rain the direction we were heading. We did, however, miss the snow storm in MN. By about 3:30pm we were passing Chicago and by 5pm we were nearing the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore. The weather was gloomy and rain was in the forecast. Not to mention it was maybe 45 degrees. Camp grounds were empty and we rolled into site D45. I don’t even think I had the truck in park before Bubba was jumping out, yelling, “I’ll be in the woods” as he takes off in between the trees. What a great start to the trip…

No Green leaves yet...

It's 38 degrees. 

Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.

The vibe was incredible. I really had no idea what to expect road tripping like this with three kids. I mean, we’ve definitely road tripped as a family before but this was new territory for me. I wanted them to love it as much as I do. But at the same time, I want them to love because they love to travel and adventure. Anyway, we had a fire going. Bubba and Stinky were off running around finding tons of fire wood while Lu was fixing their beds up in the bed of the truck. They must’ve had twenty blankets back there not including their sleeping bags and the two, 3 inch camping pads. They had it good…And they absolutely loved it. We destroyed the Ramen and Lemon chicken. With full stomachs, everyone’s eyes looked heavy. By 8:30 the fire was waning and everyone was fading fast.

April 3rd, 2018

            5:30am and we were up. Rain was drizzling. Luckily the clouds blessed us with an hour+ window to break down, eat, and get down to the Lakeshore to explore a bit before hitting the road again. By 7:30 we were heading to Cuyahoga to hike the Stanford Trail and see the Brandywine Falls. We stopped to grab some rain jackets en route and made it to Cuyahoga by 3pm. It was raining so hard that we decided not to stay in the park too long. We did hike to the falls but the wood walkways were super slick. We drove on through the park and made our way over to the Historic Covered Bridge and snapped some photos before figuring out if and where we were going to camp that night. Sadly the rain won us over and we stayed at Days Inn in Richfield. It was definitely convenient. We drug all our wet clothes and gear inside the room to dry out. Bubs cranked the heat up to 90. And let me tell you… after being soaked to the bone, that heat felt out of this world. Ha! In hind sight, all of us would’ve rather slummed it out of the truck somewhere instead but it was all good. Spent the night swimming and were out cold by 10pm.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

"Yeah, baby!"  -Stinky

April 4th, 2018

            We woke up Wednesday morning with a mission to explore Hocking Hills State Park in southern Ohio. We wanted to see Old Man’s Cave and check out Upper and Lower Falls. The drive was pretty wild. It was raining, and the wind must’ve been blowing 30-40mph+. The craziest thing was looking up and watching the clouds travel faster than we were driving. So surreal. We were on the road by 9:50am and at the trail head by 1:55pm. More rain. Although we had a lot of tree cover as we traversed along the creek to the falls. It was a blast. I feel like lot of people only check out their state’s state parks and miss a lot of beauty. The river rats had a blast and we stayed dry for the most part. We only stayed long to enough to explore for a couple of hours as we were driving south to camp in the Zilpo Recreation area, which is at the northern end of the Daniel Boone National Forrest.

To trace the history of a river or a raindrop, as John Muir would have done, is also to trace the history of the soul, the history of the mind descending and arising in the body. In both, we constantly seek and stumble on divinity…
— Gretel Ehrlich

Upper Falls, Hocking Hills State Park

            The kids were killing the drives. Device free…might I add. I was a tad worried. So.. I had warned them that this trip would be like driving to the cabin every day, and it was. Not once did I hear, “Are we there yet? Or “How much longer?” … etc etc. Everyone was all smiles. Singing, convo and photography filled a large amount of time driving. There are several Greek words for love unlike the English language. (My favorite is Agape) One word for love being.. storgē or familial love referring to the affection towards your children. You know when you’re a kid and your parents start to lecture you..blah blah blah…when you’re a parent you’re going to know how we feel.. Yeah yeah, well, ok I get it. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. These three little humans are my best friends!

I’ve never been to this part of the country. The drive was absolutely beautiful. For whatever reason waterfalls and abandoned structures are my two favorite things to photograph…as a result Bubba’s too. We stopped everywhere to take pictures. I don’t know how put into words what I was feeling as we were driving, but what I can say is that it seemed as if I was feeling history. Now that I think of it, I feel this way in the mountains too. The difference here was that it was completely new territory. Weird, I know.

By 8pm we were pulling into spot #32 in The Zilpo Rec campground. Our spot was on a peninsula surrounded by Cave Run Lake. From the rain, everything was wet. We were tired. No dry wood so we fixed up mac and cheese and the beds fast. This was the only part of the trip I was getting legitimacy frustrated with the kids. I might have cursed a couple of times… MIGHT have.. Black bears have been spotted in the area again after years of none. And I was finding snack food everywhere. Granola bar under the truck, noodles in the fire pit. Listen….. You guys are in the bed of the truck, I am in a tent….Daddy does NOT want to get eaten. I cleaned up everything I could. I was so tired I slept well anyway. Haha.

April 5th, 2018

We somewhat took our time waking up and were up and heading south by about 10am. Then the wildest thing happened. Each one of us seemed to capture a different perspective of this damn deer running into the side of the truck and flipping over the windshield. I was easily going 30mph, and slowing down so that Bubba could snap a picture of this barn and out nowhere this ****** runs right into me. He smashes my driver’s side mirror into the window, scratches the hell out of it and leaves a dent in my rear driver’s side door. I stop. None of us know what just happened. I literally just saw a giant brown blob fly across my front windshield. He even left a nice chunk of hair in the roof rack over the topper. What the heckkkkk just happened!? What the heck man. Hopefully he was okay because he was nowhere to be seen when we all go out to look. Wheeeeeeeeew! (Let me just say, it is so utterly exhausting driving without a driver’s side mirror and I apologize to anyone whom I may have cut off. I normally love driving. But with no mirror, it felt as if my equilibrium was off the entire time.)

Dog Slaughter Falls

By 2:30pm we were rolling by the trail head to Dog Slaughter Falls which is at the southern end of the Daniel Boone National Forrest. What an awesome trail! It’s located near Cumberland Falls in Daniel Boone National Forest, Whitley County, Kentucky. What we saw was that it was 2.2 out and back. My garmin clocked just shy of 4 miles, so I’m not really sure on the length.

As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unselfconsciously to the soughing of the trees.
— Valerie Andrews, A Passion for this Earth

The kids absolutely tore through the trail on the way to Dog Slaughter. Once we arrived at the falls, Bubs and Lu took off to explore the falls. There was a narrow walk way behind the falls so let me remind you, its maybe fifty degrees and now they are soaked from head to toe. As the sun dipped behind the clouds, they got cold so we didn’t stick around for too long.  Stinky’s (she is four) legs were getting tired, so I ended up carrying her on some of the steeper climbs. This was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip for me. Bubba made up a game on the walk out imagining fairy prisons in certain trees. The Fairy Queen (Stinky) and her two companions Lu & Bubba had to rescue them all. Now…thankfully due to this game, Stinky was off running up and down the trail instead of asking me to carry her…even though her legs were tired.  What win for my arms! It was awe-inspiring to see Bubs as an older brother really showing Stinky the way in such a loving way. Spend a few minutes with him and you will immediately realize what warm soul he has. He is the light.

The falls were incredible and it was blast exploring the area. The entire trail was absolutely beautiful, really. The greens from oak and hickory trees illuminated the trails.  I didn’t find it too challenging although there is some exposure so kids should be kept in sight.

We were back on the road and en route to Horse Cave to camp before our last day. We had tickets for the 8:30am Domes and Dripstones guided tour. These tours have to be planned in advance and sell out quickly, especially the routes that are shorter and easier for families and groups.

We opted to slum it in the Horse Cave KOA as it was close and made for a quick easy drive in the morning. We wanted to be early just to be safe. By 9:11, Thursday night, we were out cold. Crazy how fast the time flew; our day closing in on us quickly.

April 6th, 2018

I was up by 5:30am and sauntered over to take a thirty minute hot shower. The kids were up by 6:30am.We fixed up breakfast and arrived at the Mammoth Caves Visitor Center by 7:30am. We chose the Dome’s and Dripstone’s tour.

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By 8:30 were on the shuttle that took us four miles to the entrance of Mammoth Cave. I have to say our guide was awesome...full of knowledge and absolutely hysterical. I wish I remembered his name! From entrance you descend about 300ish stairs down into the cave. (Note: It takes a single drop of water 45 minutes to descend from the entrance to the cave floor.) It was incredible. To someone put this into perspective, it takes nearly 100 years for a stalactite to lengthen by 1 single inch. The walk wasn’t too long, only ¾ of a mile, but still took the group two hours to make it through. The hike concluded right after Frozen Niagara, which was so breathe taking, largely due to how long it takes these things to form!

 And lastly, Sadly, a disease that has spread from Europe to the US called White-Nose Syndrome is killing the bats that inhabit the caves in Kentucky by the millions. Step on the mat, save a bat. After the cave tour, each person is asked to walk across a bio mat with a mixture that helps prevent the spread of spores.

The Mammoth Caves national Park wrapped our road trip. And what an ending it was. Absolutely, undeniably unforgettable ;)

 By noon we were back on the road. What should have been a twelve hour drive turned into a fourteen hour drive because of a two hour accident delay in Indiana. (I’m sorry to say this, but Indiana takes the cake for the state with the absolute worst drivers in North America.) We all missed Mom and the dog so we decided to high tail it home. I wanted to drive a lot at night so that I could sit in the passing lane and move over when I saw someone coming up behind me. I could only see out of the passenger side mirror. It was exhausting but didn’t ruin the trip or the vibe so whateva! Not much to note on the route home other than a whole hell of a lot of tolls! Hot damn man, the roads weren’t even nice! I paid a twelve dollar toll somewhere; I will have to make sure I prepay one of those quick passes next trip east. You pay fifty percent and don’t have to make the stops. Lesson Learned!

April 7th, 2018

Anddddd…. by 2:22am we were pulling into the garage.

I’d like to take a moment so say thank you for the hospitality. We met a lot of kind and incredible people along the way. And to the workers and protectors of our incredible State and National Parks, a sincere THANK YOU. And lastly, to my children, thank you for an absolute unforgettable memory. You three light my soul on fire. And especially to you, Lu. This trip couldn't have happened without you and your help.  Stay young, smile and I am forever proud of you. Don't Worry, Be Happy.

Bubs found this near the visitor center at Mammoth Caves. He plans on hiding it at his favorite State Park here in Minnesota. Stay Tuned!


Live Fearless, Not Reckless


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Mileage: 95,728-97,845

Road trip song of choice. 

SW Road Trip - People of the Blue/Green Water - Days 3-5

March 11th, 2018

We rolled into parking lot of the Hualapai Hilltop at 8:57pm. We were shooting for a 4am start on the trail. The hilltop is a giant parking lot, some toilets and a helicopter pad. After, cramming in the bed of the truck, we over slept a bit but were on the trail descending into the canyon by 5:47am. 

We didn't let the rain get us down. And besides, it was barely enough to bead on our rain jackets. Weather was warm enough that I still rocked my board shorts, no underwear, crocs, a Patagonia R1 and my rain jacket. It was perfect. And in the end, we realized that this light misting the universe blessed us with, kept the dust down and the ground little more packed. Woo hoo!

5:47am - Let's Keep That Powder Dry!

From the Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead, you descend about 2,000-2,500 ft down the side of a Grand Canyon Wall and into the canyon. From the trail head its about 10-12 miles to the Supai Village, which is the capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation. From Supai, it's about 2-5 miles to the campground which lines Havasu Creek. According to my Garmin, we hiked 13.63 miles to our camp site. 

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 The clouds hung low in the canyons and at times, it almost felt like we were walking in them.  

The rain really brought out a lot of colors in the canyon. All the rock looked glossy and there were water falls everywhere only visible when it rains. I heard about seeing water falls like this from a friend but missed them when I was in Moab, Utah last year about this time. SO AWESOME to see while were here!

8:24am

First sighting of the blue green water. 

 We passed through the village quickly as we wanted to get our campsite picked out and set up and move on down to Beaver Falls. We only had a one night, two day permit, so we had to make the most of our time. Daylight was burning and when your're out adventuring (for the most part) you try to live by daylight hours. 

It means no worries
For the rest of your days
It's our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!

Cue the emotionally charged tunes now...

You traverse down the orange sand around Havasu falls on the way to the campground. As with the village, we only paused momentarily to breathe in the Falls. It absolutely lit us up with energy. So beautiful. You know, if you haven't been there, you wonder if it will look the same as it does in photos.  Nothing compares to standing at the foot of the falls, hearing the sound of the roaring water and feeling the soft mist on your face, but other than that, I suppose the photos do come close.

36.2552° N, 112.6979° W

 

Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon National Park 36.2552° N, 112.6979° W


 

10:47am! Camp site right along Havasu Creek

In total, it took us about 5 hours to get to our site- moving time of 4:24. The body is going to feel this in a couple of days, haha! What a hike just to get here. Something out of a dream really. 

Mooney Falls isn't too far from the camp ground. But the hiking gets a lot more fun! Now here is what got me. Ha! Jess momentarily freaked out at Angel's landing, yet scaling down a rock wall holding wet chains, step by step down wet rocks and slick wood ladders seemed like it didn't phase her. I peered over the edge from the second landing outside of the rock tunnel and thought****. Haha! Totally worth it....

12:30pm - IT WAS EPIC

View from above and below Mooney Falls

Mooney Falls

The turquoise is the result of dissolved calcium carbonate and magneseum. 

I was disappointed with what I've seen shared on the web. I mean, all of the major falls are incredible and they deserve every bit of glory, but the hikes to, from and in-between the major falls were my favorite part of this Havasupai experience. It was just an all around good time. There was plenty of shade cover and hiking up and around rock cliffs was awesome. 

We live in the midwest. Nowhere near me, can I experience the blue green water, and traversing terrain hiking like this. Its so much fun walking in and over the creek. Back and forth wandering, making your way down to Beaver Falls. 

 
 

73° F


I'm pretty sure my garmin recorded the distance wrong, but I believe the Beaver Hike is between 8 and 9 miles. It took us about 2.5 to 3 hours to get down to Beaver Falls. 

The trails are winding and there are tons of off shoots. Plenty of different routes and places to get lost. And again, the the falls within the creek are mesmerizing. It's tough do anything but smile. We saw a few different people swimming in the less popular spots which was also our preference.

 

The crowds seem to steer clear of the longer hikes no matter where you go and it really didn't seem like this was any exception. We did see people, but really no more than I could count on two hands. 

1:30pm - I love Beaver ;)

2:07pm - Tent City, Here We Come!

 
Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and end of all things on earth.
— Heinrich Zimme

7:30pm

We packed a good amount of food. PB&Js, freeze dried fruit, granola bars, and dehydrated camp food. There is a well in the campground so clean drinking water wasn't an issue. I feel like at this point in the day, I would've eaten anything. We really hadn't eaten much throughout the day because we were on the move! My beef pho was so damn good, demolished a few PB&Js as an appetizer and had freeze dried blue berries for dessert!  

Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.
— Walt Whitman

Havasu Creek, 3ft. from our tent :)

March 12th, 2018

6am - 7:51am - Up & At It!

We were up  and at it early. And this morning, we actually ate breakfast. Broke down camp and packed our bags. Another note people, please pack out your trash! It was disgusting to see what inconsiderate  people leave behind and it's extremely frustrating!  

Since we only had a one-night camping permit, we planned on stopping at Havasu Falls and 50ft falls on our way out and then it was a hike right back up the Grand Canyon where the truck was parked. 

7:52am - Thank you for the hospitality!

 

The forever changing Havasu creek. 

Havasu Falls

Havasu Creek starts out above the canyon wall as a small trickle of snow run-off and rain water. This water meanders on the plains above the canyon for about 50 miles (80 km) until it enters Cataract Canyon (also known as Havasu Canyon). It then reaches Havasu Springs, where an underground source feeds the creek. (excerpt from wikipedia) Its just crazy to think a small run off turns into this. Incredible. 

Navajo Falls, which is right below Fifty Foot Falls

2:15pm The hike out from the camp site took about 6 hours with stopping to take pictures and eat. We had a total of 5 hours of moving time. We gained a total of 2,600ft of elevation gain on the hike out. Man, that hike out is a tough one but we lucked out again with the weather at sunny and 67 degrees. 

From here we're off to The Valley of Fire
                                       ....In the next post. 

Thanks for reading please contact with us on: Instagram, Twitter & Pintrest
 

LIVE FEARLESS, NOT RECKLESS

It Started...

2012

I had replaced my Dad's stolen mountain bike and began riding again since he wasn't putting it to use. We are blessed with a lot of awesome single track here in the Twin Cities. And we have amazing riding with in a few hours in Duluth, Marquette, and Copper Harbor to name a few. 

My brother was spending the summer working at Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellow Stone.  You know... one of those summers is paradise helping you find the meaning of life. It didn't take much convincing and before you knew of it, three of us packed my Honda Element with three bikes and all of our gear.

Last minute, we took off for a six day road trip. Three days of driving and three days to adventure. From the Twin Cities to Bozeman, Montana and Back. 

Day 1 we spent riding Grassy Mountain just outside of Bozeman, Montana.

We unload the bikes and start on this fire road climb. Mind you, it was only 4 miles if I remember correctly, but it felt like 1000. Ill never forget the decent. It couldn't have been ten to fifteen minutes of catching our breath that we run into a Grizzly. We made it out, but man it got the adrenaline going.

Day 2 we spent trying to ride DH at Big Sky, Montana

You know those Jerry of the Day videos? Yeah, that was us. XC bikes trying to take on some of the most difficult terrain we'd ridden up to that point. Our friend, Sunshine... yes, that's his nickname. If you knew him, it would make a little more sense. Anyway, at one point he was bucked from his bike. While he was running through the air his bike just tomahawked down the side of him. I don't even remember how either of them came to a stop. 

Day 3 we spent hiking and fly fishing in Yellow Stone National Park

This wasn't planned too well. We had got on our hike pretty late in the day and continued down river with our giving much thought to how far we had traveled. We hiked out, in pitch dark. I think only one of us had a head lamp. And only one can of bear spray. Its these kinds of random things that really make these adventures memorable. It doesn't really matter what happens - we will find a way to make it work. 

 

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One of the best and most memorable parts of this trip. I was working on my road rage. I found that listening to calm music really helped. Driver controls the music so.......  here were are road tripping across the United States jamming out to Flight of Fantasy. You are so welcome, Sunshine!

HELLO AND WELCOME

Hi everybody. Nick here, and the idea behind this blog is pretty simple. I just want to document my adventures in an amateur and raw sort of way. Hopefully I am able to inspire others to take care of their bodies and enjoy the outdoors more frequently.

I have been moderately successful at self-employment since about 2008. It has blessed me with handful of unique opportunities. Kicking it off,  I was able to work from home while watching our kids until they were old enough to go school. No daycare! My wife works full time, semi-normal hours. If I did have to work more it was typically in the evenings. Evenings, for me, became the alone time in the gym or working. Now that my kids are in school, my free time exploded and has been filled with the gym and working, ha!

Last year, was a year of firsts for me. First short mtb enduro race, first mtb DH race and my first marathon. I say first, because I no doubly plan on continuing! I was absolutely hooked. The highs of finishing alone, are out of this world.

I love to mountain bike, hike, camping and road tripping. Pretty much all around adventuring. I love my alone time, family time and time with friends. I have truly come to believe that memories and experiences with those I care the most about is what paramount to just about anything else.

I hope to keep this updated from here on out with adventures. And I will continually update with past adventures. I would love to start recording interviews with people that are out there doing truly epic things, feel free to reach out!

Love 11:11