Caving - 2007

Second adventure for Fan vs. Wild.  This really isn’t an epic adventure, but I do have some pictures to show from it.

You might have heard that Nutty Putty Cave is now closed after a spelunking accident last fall.  While that incident was a tragic accident, I did have several exciting trips through the cave.  The first trip happened in the Summer of 2001 right after I graduated from high school and I went with Patrick Carron, Travis Oman and Derek Ginos.  It was fun and very memorable.  We kind of got lost finding the entrance so we basically only had time to go to the bottom and come back up.

Cave

Then in 2004 I went back with some roommates on a Saturday night.  There was a traffic jam getting into and out of the cave so we spent about an hour on top waiting for other groups to come out before we finally got in and got to do some exploring.  I don’t have any pictures from that trip.

In 2007 my brother Joseph organized (with some friends) another trip.  By this point the cave had been semi-closed down with a lock on the entrance and nobody was allowed in without getting permission from a state spelunking cave that was in charge of the cave.  After getting the right number of trained medical providers (a nurse and an EMT) and getting hard hats, about ten of us including Megan took a trip into the cave.  This time we went in the middle of winter (January) and we had to climb up the snow-clad hill before we got in.  We also had more time to go through so I was able to go down the birth canal – a tunnel about sixty feet long (maybe longer, but it’s hard to judge length) that is only large enough for you to wiggle down – if you put your left arm ahead and your right arm behind you can king of push yourself forward but you can’t switch places because the tunnel isn’t big enough for your radius to fit sideways to switch places.  Needless to say, it’s not somewhere you should go if you are claustrophobic.  All in all, it was a great trip and very memorable.  Here are some pictures.

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This isn’t the birth canal – it’s actually a pretty big tunnel as Megan was willing to go in a little way and take my picture.

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This is just a picture of me laying on my back eating Cheez-Its.  Not that it has anything to do with caving, but here’s a Dr. Suess-style poem about Cheez-Its.

Ode to Cheez-Its

I will eat them in the dark and I will eat them in a park., 

I will eat them in a cave and I would eat them at a rave*,

I would eat them on a chair, I will eat them everywhere

I would eat them with a clam, because I like them Sam-I-Am.

*Note - not that I would go to a rave, but if I were there, I would fill my time eating Cheez-Its

Squaw Peak - 2004

As many of you know, I like to have adventures.  When I heard that there is going to be a chance for fans to go out with Bear Grylls (from Man vs. Wild) and rough it for a few days in the Canadian Rockies with Fan vs. Wild, I knew I was pretty much the perfect person for the contest.  Part of the application process is to show links to three adventures, so I’m going to write about some of my adventures in a few blog posts so that the producers can come see what I do and what makes me tick.

Part One – Squaw Peak 2004

I’ve always liked to climb.  From before I could walk, I would climb up whatever I could reach.  Here’s a picture from when I was just a little tike.

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Shortly after my mission I convinced Adam Stoddard to climb up Squaw Peak that overlooks Provo.  Unfortunately, as is the case with many of my adventures, we didn’t take a camera (we were busy trying not to die), so I’ll recreate it as best I can.

Here Adam and I are.  I’m on the left, Adam is on the right, and we are both wearing some sweet flea market hats.

Flea Market hats

Here’s our goal (image from Mick’s Mountain Page):

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We drove up to the base of Rock Canyon and then took a hard left and started walking up the hill.  Here’s approximately our view, courtesy of Richard:

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Since we really hadn’t planned on anything other thank marching to the top, we just started walking up through the trees until we got to the base of the rocks (approximately at the bottom of the picture).  We had roughly planned out a route from the base, but since we didn’t have any maps or pictures and it’s kind of hard to get a good feel for where you are on the side of the mountain, we just kind of meandered our way up.  It took about three or four hours, but we made it pretty much to the top approximately following this route.  As a side note, the route is wrong.  I’m just drawing it based on my memory of the trip and we really didn’t know where we were, so the route is just to give you an idea, not to follow.

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The peak, from a distance, looks very sturdy, jagged (even romantic) and granite-like, but it’s not.  It’s actually in layers with sections of flaky rock and then more solid rock.  The area that we went across up at the top is where a flaky section had pealed away and so there was a kind of a ledge.  Keep in mind that we went on this climb kind of on a whim and definitely didn’t have any idea what the top was like, so we didn’t have ropes or any sort of climbing gear.  Thankfully, though, neither one of us has a fear of heights.  The ledge we were on was probably only about 25 feet from the next small ledge, but a fall would have most likely sent us tumbling at least a couple hundred feet until our blooded corpses would have bounced to a stop.  So, I was in the lead and Adam was right behind me as we inched our way around the edge of the peak.  See right where the line ends?  Imagine that point is kind of like a wall that juts out and separates the east and west sides of the peak – right when I stuck my head out around the wall I got plastered with some wind that was probably going 50mph and gusts were probably closer to 70.  Needless to say that without ropes and no idea what was even up further, we turned back and went the lame (aka safe) way to the top.

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When we got to the top we found a pretty large and flat area so we spent some time trying to fly with the wind (it didn’t work) before we headed to the Squaw Peak Overlook where Megan was going to meet us in a car to take us down.  Only problem is that the Squaw Peak overlook is nowhere near Squaw Peak. 

Adam and I decided to try and find the overlook so we headed North on a trail for a couple of miles.  The trail kind of fizzled out and we really had no idea where we were.  We did have intermittent cell coverage and we could see the valley when we walked west, so we weren’t ever “lost,” just kind of misplaced on the mountain.  We called people down below and had them look up and try to see us and give us directions, but that didn’t work.  Eventually, we just found a nameless canyon and headed downhill. 

Along the way we saw some beautiful pines, a little creek and an abandoned camp.  We like to think that it was a former hideout used by some escaped convict (or even better, someone who escaped from the criminally insane section of the state mental hospital which is just a few miles away), but it could have just been a hobo camp (for the Utah County hobos that like to climb two miles up the mountain to sleep each night).  Finally, the canyon leveled off into somebody’s back yard so we walked through across their lawn and found a street sign and Megan came and picked us up.  Here’s a rough map of where I think we might have gone (courtesy of Google Maps). 

Sqaw Peak - Hike

We basically walked all the way up to south Orem before we came down off the mountain.  Our little morning hike turned into a whole day, but it was fun.  Plus, we didn’t die, which means that the trip was a success.  Next time, though, we’re taking water.

Me Love a Get a Haircut

That is what Harry was saying before his haircut.  But soon, the true haircut feelings broke through:

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This boy has issues with the clippers.  After the last haircut I swore I would only do a buzz.  For a second I thought I might try to save a little length on top but it was literally just a second because the tears/flailing/wiggles/blood curdling screams began almost immediately!  (finishing the top with scissors takes way too long)  So Harry got his first buzz!

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He looks great in a buzz – it’s definitely just as cute as when he had some length on top!  His hair and scalp are SO PALE! 

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This is the best picture I have of him so far, but there will be more close-ups to come!

This boy loves to get dirty!

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The other day it was the sand.  I decided not to post the video of him eating the sand and then spitting up in the sandbox! 

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Then, this afternoon started out innocently - 

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And turned into this!!!

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You’re probably wondering if I watch anything my child is doing.

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The answer is yes.

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But, a boy’s gotta be a boy, right? 

He got so dirty because while Harry and I were watering our straw bales Wyatt cruised on over and ended up in a mud puddle next to the last bale!  He loved it.

Spring

Daffodils:

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Peach Blossoms:

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Eating Dirt:

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Sunshine:  (I love this picture, the evening light is nice.)

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Street Ball:

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These pretty trees:  They look so soft and light!

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Matching shorts and t-shirts:

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Bunnies:

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Swinging at the Park: (Harry learned to pump and it was Wyatt’s first time.  Wyatt was soooo smiley and happy -  surprised?  I love this boy)

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Strawberries:

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What a great time of year!

Pittsburgh

Even when we rolled into the city Harry kept saying “me want to go IN Pittsburgh” His way of saying Pittsburgh is hilarious.  We tried to give him a little lesson on what a city is.  We went to see our friend Wayne and to just explore new city.  It’s just 2 1/2 hours away from Columbus. 

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The “Cathedral of Learning” was awesome!  This is where Wayne’s office is, and where he has classes.  It is such a cool building – definitely an interesting design.  Next time, we want to see the Nationality Rooms – we only got to see one of the rooms, but from the look of that one they seem really cool!  Harry’s favorite part:  the elevators.  Wyatt’s favorite:  pretty much everything (or anyone that would smile at him)  My favorite: the view!

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Then it was on to the Duquesne Incline!  My first time on a Funicular (at least I think it was my first).  Harry was so stoked to go on the “train”

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But you wouldn’t be able to tell from this picture!  Maybe he was just in a daze from the action.

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Wayne and Anamaria (I’m not exactly sure of that spelling)  Wayne is a great, great friend who was one of David’s mission companions.  I loved getting to know Anamaria who is from Italy and I thought she was so fun and beautiful!

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Harry likes her too!  They are holding hands.

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Wyatt is smiling, again!  He is seriously almost always smiling.

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Pittsburgh is a beautiful city!!  It was much different then I thought it would be.  I pictured a very industrial city and was pleasantly surprised.  There is a huge park next to the university that has tons of “hiking” (I don’t consider it hiking unless there’s a mountain involved) and playgrounds.  So fun. 

Wayne and Anamaria were so awesome to take the day off with us and show us their city. 

There were a ton a things that I would have liked to do but just didn’t have time for. 

On our way home we snagged fast food for dinner (Subway and Wendy’s for Harry) and Harry insisted on calling it the “french fry store.” He still talks about it.  The workers there were so nice and gave him the whole bundle of balloons they had on display.  He was in heaven! 

Chicken Fried Steak and Other Adventures

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To kick off the week we went out to dinner on Friday at TeeJays, a down-home place that is famous in Columbus.  Wyatt had his first sucker and was sticky from head to (practically) foot.  He loved it – I mean what kid wouldn’t like sugar on a stick?  His hair was super crusty….I loved my chicken fried steak!

On Monday we went to Dayton and the best part (and the main reason we went) was to see the National Air Force Museum.  People, people – anyone who lives in Ohio  - GO TO THIS MUSEUM!  It is amazing.  Well, if you don’t like planes don’t go.  They probably have every plane the Air Force has ever used on display.  It is he-uge.  Talk about a boy’s dream!  Needless to say, Harry loved it (we ALL loved it!!) 

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We forgot our stroller but we were so lucky they had these cool strollers you could use for free!  Oh, the museum is free too, you can just make a donation if you want.  Wyatt was thrilled there was a bar to grab onto and to suck on.  Yum.  Ali, forgive me :)

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Harry thought this was some kind of megaphone and was pretty entertained.  Something had to tie him over until we reached “the planes you get in:”

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Okay, Harry look at the camera!

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Harry, say cheese!

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Harry….cheese!

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He looked up for one nanosecond and we actually caught it on film.  He was in heaven!

Then we checked out Young’s Jersey Dairy which is near Yellow Springs, and I’ve wanted to try it ever since we passed by.  Goooood ice cream!

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You wouldn’t know from the picture, but Wyatt devoured this ice cream and was so happy!

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It seems we all liked it.

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And, this has nothing to do with anything, but it’s so darn cute I had to show somebody.

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