Monday, September 13, 2010

Utah - The First Week

We broke the drive to Maple Canyon, Utah into three parts: a short evening to Seattle, a full-day drive to Twin Falls, Idaho and then a short day drive to the climbing area. Although we were in the car for three days, it felt much less rushed. All the driving was done during daylight hours and it went without incident. Elise was pretty patient, although there was a noticeable increase in "are we there yet" queries. Eventually we just turned on the iPod, slapped on her headphones and all was quiet.

The night spent camping in Seattle was fairly uneventful (we slept near Snoqualmie Pass). The next night we arranged a motel in Twin Falls. We made sure it had a pool so we could tempt Elise with this "carrot" during the drive. Turns out, the weather in Twin Falls was MUCH cooler than normal. When we arrived mid-evening, it was downright crisp. Undeterred, Elsie declared she wanted to swim in the outdoor pool so we all braved it. That was the coldest swim of the year for me (lake dips around Squamish included). The other motel patrons must have thought we were nuts (or Canadian)!

Photo: Maple Canyon from our campsite.

I picked up a bit of a stomach bug along the way to Maple Canyon which made the first night and first day spent climbing rather unpleasant. I climbed terribly, Pam was tired from the drive, and Elise was thoroughly energized, excited and ready to explore. I ended up falling asleep in the dirt while Elise caught dragonflies, collected bird feathers and built stone structures. We ended the day by taking Elise to a small canyon where she could do a couple of climbs - which she scampered up quite well. It was a vast improvement over her skill from the year before.

Photos: Elise climbing at Maple. She dubbed this climb "Jewel".

The weather is very nice so far, although the evenings and mornings are crisp in the narrow, shaded canyon. Our campsite is very peaceful since we are at the very top of the road, far from the concentration of other campers. As always, Elise enjoys the camping and makes full use of the campsite. Her favourite pastime is playing in the tent, particularly with one of us - the rougher the better! She also recently purchased a bag full of rubber snakes and has been thoroughly enjoying placing them around the campsite and bringing them into the tent at night. We have joked that "Grandma Plumb", with her horrible phobia of snakes, would never be caught dead sleeping in our tent with its eclectic collection of exotic (fake) snakes.

Photo: Snake Charmer!

Photo: Now that's what I call camping!

We spent an evening fishing at a small reservoir near the Mt. Nebo scenic byway. We saw a lot of fish, but didn't manage to catch anything, despite a friendly fisherman loaning us a few nightcrawlers. Regardless, the weather was gorgeous and we just enjoyed hanging out by the water. We did spot a muskrat sliding through the pond, which was interesting for Elise.

While we are fishing, Elise often asks my why the fish won't bite our hook? I say, "because they are smarter than you think honey".

Photo: Quiet! You'll scare the fish.

Photo: Fishing is "number one".

The weather is very nice lately. The coldest nights have passed and we are into warm days in the upper 60s and cool nights in the low 40s. If it stays this way, we'll be very comfortable.

Photo: Climber at The Compound.

Grandpa Bourdon arrives today. We hope to do some sightseeing with him while he is here and I'll post some pictures. Elise is very excited to camp with him. It should be fun!


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