Timpooneke Trail

Here is a tribute to the first time I hiked the Timpooneke Trail with friends.  We celebrated Pioneer Day in 2003 (the day after) by hiking this trail with a phenomenal view of Utah Valley below.  The trail will take you to the triangulation station at the very peak of Mount Timpanogas located at 11,749 feet.  In the photo above, you can see the north face with a 1,500+ face.  (As always, click the photos to get a closer look)

Brad Hales, Marianne Hales, and Mark Morris and I started hiking around 6 A.M.  We made our way slowly through the day to the top.  We ended up taking about 7 hours to get to the very top.  It was quite the trail upward.  Other websites indicate the trail is 14 miles round trip and you gain 4,389 before descending.

The mountain is quite a fascinating climb if you like geology.  I had just completed my Geology class at BYU the year before and learned the appreciate the mountains near the Y.  By the time of this photo, I had repented of my ways and returned to USU, but still appreciated the geologic history so easily viewable on the way up (and down).

Here is a look back across the valley as you ascend the hill.  You start on the back side of the mountain and this is looking back (just like Lot’s wife).  You do not see Utah County until you are nearing the peak.

Here is a shot of Marianne, me, and Brad with Provo and Orem and Lake Utah in the background.  I was so exhausted at the top that I took a 30 minute kip in addition to lunch at the peak.

Here is a shot looking down at Emerald Lake below the peak.  We would ride our bags down the “glacier” that goes into the lake.  I have to admit, sitting at the top of the “glacier” looking down and the incline scared me to death.  Something about dropping a couple of thousand feet within a minute or two and the incline that scared me.

Here is a picture of me sliding on my bottom, probably around 3/4 of the way down.

If anyone needs a good trail to hike, I recommend this one.  Great views, good effort, and bring good company.  Do not forget a roll of TP in your backpack as the restrooms did not have any.

Addressing Gettysburg

As the title seems to denote, there has been a visit to Gettysburg.  It turned out to be a good experience and things really cannot have gone better.  There are a couple of pictures added to the Virginia Living Album.  As usual, I don’t know if you can take a good picture of me.  Well, at least as long as the sun seems to be attempting to burn your eyes out of your head.  I take on a scary brow which raises the cheeks and I don’t think I resemble myself or a really a human for that matter.  Enjoy the pictures of the scenery and a beautiful wife.
We met with Matt and Sarah Harris over dinner on Friday to plan our trip.  We were to meet at their house at 6:15 AM and we would begin the drive to Pennsylvania.  Sarah and Amanda decided they would listen to Harry Potter all the way up and back.  I instantly knew my ears would be hurting and I would be sleeping on the way up.  Amanda and Sarah did the driving duty up.  Matt and I passed out in the backseat and did not wake much until we passed into Pennsylvania hours later.
We drove to the visitors center and got a bit of a grasp of what was happening for the day.  We walked to the Cyclorama and watched two films.  Once definitely with the flowery language of the 60’s with the grainy picture to match.  The second film was a History Channel special that was much more up to date and easier to pay attention to.
We wound our way to the back patio of the Cyclorama and caught a tour of Cemetery Ridge.  It was interesting to have a park ranger give the history lesson.  We walked clear out to the Copse of Trees and the Angle and listend to what took place there.  It really was a tragic story on the part of the Confederates.  Everything that could go wrong did that day.  It was interesting to listen to Matt afterwards and how he was taught at BYU the Union was meant to win and heaven’s power was on their side.  I am not so sure if I agree with that especially since my understanding of history is that the Saints were praying for the South more than they were for the North.  Funny our take on history now paints that the North was the one we were praying for.  Times change right and so does our interpretation of history.
Perhaps I should qualify that statement.  Not stepping into the racism issue but purely from a Constitutional standpoint.  If a group of people wanted to live their life their own way, especially according to the dictates of their religion it should be granted to them.  The Saints had fled the country and wholeheartedly believed it was their choice to leave their country in order to openly practice their religion.  They were against slavery, despite what others might say against the church for the race issue, as Joseph Smith proved by making it a core tenet of his running for the Presidency.
Anyhow, back on the subject.  We enjoyed the tour of Cemetery Ridge and also enjoyed a ranger giving us history at Little Round Top.  We went and visited all the large monuments the various states have put up.  You can see the pictures of the largest ones that we visited.  A couple of them like Pennsylvania are huge compared to others.
On a side note as we were driving through Gettysburg we turned down Reynolds St rather than Reynolds Ave.  Trying to figure out what was going on and getting back on the right track, grabbing myself a handful of Cheez-ums, and trying to pay attention to three others in the car I accidentally ran a stop sign.  Of all the luck in the world, there was a police car waiting at the intersection who clearly saw my inattentative driving.  Of course she pulled me over and issued a citation.  Yep, what would have been a $30 trip to Pennsylvania increased $107.  By the time our visit with Officer Powers ended we were laughing and having a good time.  Glad I could help with public funds in Gettysburg.  Not that I am stingy, I just don’t hope to be making more of those donations in the future.  Good thing I just secured the insurance rate on the car for the next year!
In closing, I will remark there are some Harry Potter photos in the album I just uploaded as well.  They are pictures from our attending the Harry Potter release.  We went with the Nathaniel and Robin Givens and Madison McLean met us there.  It was a good occasion.  I settled down in the biography aisle and read about half of a biography on Richard Nixon.  They finally found me and I was not able to finish before the official release.  Oh well.  Amanda finished the book by Saturday evening and I read it piecemeal until I finished in Wednesday evening.