Monthly Archives: June 2010

Garden Update

Here are a few pictures of our garden as of Friday, June 25. We’ve been harvesting a good bit of lettuce and spinach, along with herbs when we need them. I spent quite a while Friday morning destroying more than a dozen cabbage worms and probably thousands of their larvae. They are what has been eating holes in many of the plants leaves, especially the broccoli. Hopefully it’s better now!

This is the main bed and a smaller one. The potato is the center front, and it is exploding! I just hope there is actually a potato under all those leaves.

Our zucchini plant is getting massive as well.

Finally, this is the little bed in the back. Hopefully the two butternut squashes on the left will give us a bountiful harvest like last year. The back one was quite droopy Friday morning, but was looking good after I watered.

Surprise surprise

Pesticides are bad. Are we surprised? Carrie posted a link to this article on her blog. The Pediatrics journal has done a study that linked exposure to pesticides to to kids having ADHD. I think people think I’m crazy if I say I suspect plastics and chemicals are what’s causing a lot of our disease and cancer, but maybe it’s true after all.,8599,1989564,00.html

Memorial Day with a View

Lauren’s grandmother might have made a mistake getting me “Colorado Scrambles: Climbs Beyond the Beaten Path” this past Christmas. I’ve been staring at it since then, picking out lots of great climbs for us to do.

Pick # 1 – Torreys Peak via Kelso Ridge

Lauren and I left Denver Sunday afternoon and made the quick drive to the Grays Peak trailhead (1.5 hours from Denver). According to, the trailhead had been free of snow for only a few days. The dirt road to the trailhead is pretty rough, but we saw all sorts of vehicles up there.

At the trailhead, there are two or three great dispersed camping spots. Lauren and I were pretty sure we claimed the best one (it’s about 50 yards up the hill from the parking lot and bathroom). Since it was late May, it was still pretty chilly (30 – 40 at night). For whatever reason, maybe the altitude, we both had a terrible night’s sleep. At 5 A.M. when we woke up to start hiking, I think it crossed our minds to load up the car and drive home.

Around 6:00 A.M, we got on the trail. Most people head up the standard Grays Peak – East Slopes route, summit Grays Peak, then head over to Torreys. To escape the crowds, and to enjoy a challenge, Lauren and I opted to take Kelso Ridge to the top of Torreys Peak.

So, around 12,000 ft. we exited the main trail and got on Kelso Ridge. The route finding was pretty straightforward, and thankfully the wind was reasonable. We were on solid rock and patchy snow until we got 500 – 600 ft from the summit. We used ice axes for protection on the final stretch.

This picture is stolen from another site (see PPS), but it does a good job showing most of the ridge.

It took us about five hours to summit (plenty of breaks), and only two hours to get down thanks to a glissade that allowed us to drop 1,000+ ft in a matter of minutes. It was a beautiful day and a really fun climb…thankfully we didn’t skip out on this one.

PS – If you don’t have any rock climbing experience, this might be a bit uncomfortable for you.
PPS – Our camera didn’t want to work on the way up. :-(

Grand Canyon, part 3

I’m getting a little behind here, but what we woke up to at the North Rim was…snow! Surprise!

We packed up quickly and headed out of there! The drive between the rims boasts some great sites. The Navajo Bridge has spectacular views over the Colorado River and surrounding cliffs.

In the background of the photo above and in the photo below are the beautiful Vermillion Cliffs.

Despite the wind and snow, we had a great trip. It was a lot of driving, but seeing such amazing sites is totally worth it. I can say that because Joel drove the whole way.

Grand Canyon, part 2

We slept alright considering the outrageous winds, but we wanted to get an early start. We headed out towards the east entrance of the canyon, making a couple of stops along the way. We hit Grandview Point:

and Lipan Point, which was the worst wind we encountered. I’d say we were out of the car for approximately one minute.

This was our final view of the South Rim. Although the canyon is only about 10 miles across, it is over 200 miles driving from rim to rim. So we began our 4+ hour journey to the North Rim. We weren’t hiking to the bottom of the canyon on such a short trip, but we wanted to hike down a little ways. We decided on the North Kaibab Trail, which is similar to Bright Angel Trail on the South Rim if you’re familiar with it. Here’s Joel (slightly distorted) at the Coconino Overlook on the trail.

We then headed to Bright Angel Point for a classic North Rim view…and some more wind.

During this trip, we decided to take full advantage of the phrase “car camping” by spending copious amounts of time in our car rather than utilizing the picnic tables at our campsites. Why, you may ask? I’ll give you one guess. Did you guess wind? Good job. We resorted to eating cold smores in the car, because the first night we attempted a campfire, but it was fairly disastrous. In addition to campfires in extreme wind, cold smores are also not recommended.

Stay tuned for the next morning’s surprise. Or you can find out by looking at our pictures here.

Grand Canyon, part 1

First, if you are interested in doing a trip like this, be prepared to drive. A lot. I knew this was the case, so I signed Joel up for it. He’s a champ at distance driving.

When we arrived in the park, after 3+ hours of driving from Phoenix, I am proud to announce that Joel was in awe. I had hoped the Grand Canyon wouldn’t be built up too much for him, and thankfully it wasn’t. We stopped at the first viewpoint and took a picture of him.

Next, we hiked (walked) out to Shoshone Point, where there was a wedding about to begin. I hated that it was so windy for them, but I guess they knew it was a possibility.

We then set up camp. Joel is a dear for always blowing up my camping pad. I get light-headed at sea level when I blow things up, so I can’t imagine doing it at high altitude! (product advertisement: Big Agnes pads are great for side-sleepers)

We finally headed to Hopi Point for sunset.

I’ll make two more posts on this trip, but you can see all the pictures here.