Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rio Chama, NM

We made a weekend trip to the Chama River. We camped a couple of nights and rafted the mild river with Chase and Brittany Dudley, and of course, Trail and Zooey (their dogs).
The trip down the river was surrounded by mountains on either side.

This was my first chance to play with my new hammock Christine got me for Christmas.

Our riverside campsite

Ralph, with wife, brother, and neice brought another raft and camped with us too.

The lovely ladies
Getting some sun tan while using Trail dog as a pillow.

Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures of Chase falling out of the raft and losing a paddle at the only real rapid on the river.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Petrified Forest National Park

After conquering the Grand Canyon, we decided to stop and check another National Park off our list on our drive back to New Mexico. 

The largest petrified tree

Then we took a ride through the Painted Desert. Very cool colors during sunset.

 There was more to see and explore at this park, but we just hit the highlights while passing through the area. 

Grand Canyon National Park

March 9-10, 2012

Cousin Claire flew over to Albuquerque from Georgia during her Spring Break for another backpacking adventure. We drove approx. 7 hours to Grand Canyon National Park for a 2 day backpacking trip to the very bottom and back up again. 

Beginning of the hike
We made our descent via the South Kaibab Trail for a total of 7.1 miles. 

Mule passing going up while we were descending

Clay trying to make friends with a squirrel on the trail

I am the caboose in this caravan

Cousin Claire and I enjoying the amazing views on this trail

This was our first view of the Colorado River

If you look carefully, the green tree area on the right side is Bright Angel Campground--our destination. 

Cousin Claire excited to be crossing the Colorado

After about 5 hours of hiking downhill, we finally made it to a "flatter" part of the trail and closer to our campground. My knees and toenails were so excited!

Relieving our tired feet 

After setting up camp, we walked over to the lodge at Phantom Ranch which to our surprise served dinner, snack and drinks. We enjoyed a much deserved cerveza, mailed some postcards and listened to ghost stories told by a ranger. We decided to turn in early and get rested for our hike back out the next day. 

Master Chef Clay cooking our breakfast

Sunrise at Bright Angel Campground
Beginning our ascent
We took the Bright Angel Trail back to the South Rim 8.1 miles. 

Leaving the campground

We met a couple along the way that had left the South Rim at 5am that morning, hiked all the way down to Phantom Ranch, had a cup of coffee and were beginning their ascent on the Bright Angel Trail at the same time we were. 

We decided to take our time going up since we knew it was going to be tougher than the previous day. 

Love these shoes. RIP left big toenail. 

Redneck cooler we found with ice cold Natural Light. 

Explorers in their cave

View of a section of the Bright Angel Trail we had just completed. Whew!

 Just a little tired and hungry...

The last leg of the trail was covered in ice and snow. Most of it was safe to hike with our hiking shoes, however at one point the black ice on a curve required us to crawl on all fours to keep from slipping. 

FINISHED! We made it back to the top in 7.5 hours.

Putting out the vibe

Relaxing while waiting for sunset

Another backpacking adventure successfully completed!