Monday, July 16, 2012

Aurora Borealis Timelapse

I don't know if you all have heard, but a solar flare increased the power of the northern lights to show up farther south than usual on Saturday and Sunday this week. I was excited at the possibility of seeing them here in Wyoming, but alas: complete cloud cover on Saturday night! Sunday night wasn't looking much more promising.

But I decided to go with Josh and Leah to try and see them from atop a nearby butte. We didn't see anything. I decided to let my camera go with long exposures (30 seconds) at high sensitivity (ISO 3200) anyway, in a time-lapse fashion. When I looked at my camera's review screen I was amazed. I was actually capturing the purple and green glows from the northern lights!!! Even though our eyes couldn't see it, my camera at high sensitivity was pulling it in! I was excited. We were up there maybe 40 minutes or so, and decided to head back. I thought I had enough photos. Well... turns out I only got 64, which turned into a 2 second time-lapse video.

I'm really kicking myself now for two reasons:
1. I could have gone to a much better viewpoint with the Tetons.
2. I should have stayed out pretty much all night. :)

Oh well! Lessons learned!! Here is my short bitter-sweet video:

You can see a bit of the typical light "dancing" in a couple spots if you look hard. The video should be converted to HD soon so you can see it better.

God's creation is awesome isn't it!? I'll definitely be on the watch for more light shows! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Hike to Lake of the Crags

Josh, Steven and I had another hiking adventure last Friday. We decided to take on Lake of the Crags. It's an off-the-official-trail hike that branches off of the North Jenny Lake trail. We decided to head out a bit late, which almost caused Josh's downfall for getting to work on time that night.

We got to the trailhead at around 12:15pm, and started hiking the all-too-familiar trail from String Lake Trailhead. We got to the branch in the trail and started heading up the rugged and steep trail to the lake. The sun was at full blast beating down on us. Not the time of day we prefer hiking in, but we were just getting a warmup hike in before our coming adventure of hiking Middle Teton and South Teton peaks tomorrow.

It was a pretty difficult hike for just 3-3.5 miles. The trail goes straight up 2500 feet in about 2.5-3 miles. We were struggling a bit to keep up our pace. We finally got to the lake at about 2:15pm.

Josh and Steven filling up our waters with the filter.

Lake of the Crags

Pretty nice colors!
Looking up the cliffs beside the lake.

Snow-fed Lake of the Crags

Looking up at the surrounding peaks.

Here's a video I took at the top:

Notice I said in the video that we started at 12:15 and ended at 12:15... it was a mistake, we really didn't do the hike instantaneously. We're not quite that good yet. :)

We spent a bit too much time up there before heading down, and had to make up for it with a speedy pace. I wouldn't recommend doing it unless you have to. That steep of downhill at that pace = hurting legs. :) We were all sore for a few days (including a bit today).

Here are a few photos I took on the way down:

Closeup of fleabane daisy wildflower

There were lots of these fleabane daisies along the last part of the trail.

Looking down at the String Lake Trailhead (starts at that bridge).

We got to the car right before the rain started hitting at around 4:15. After a quick drive home we got Josh to work on time and just relaxed. :)

Definitely a cool hike!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rodeo Time! For me!!

Yep that's right... I was a contestant in the Jackson Hole Rodeo this Wednesday. Josh, Steven, and I joined forces to take on the "Grab the Bull by the Horns" event. Let me explain how it works.

There's a rope tied to a steer's (small bull) horns and a ribbon tied to its tail. The steers start in the respective team's gate, with the team members outside in their places.

There are 3 people to a team.
1. Anchor. This was me. The anchor has hold of the other end of the rope that's tied to the steer's horns.  He's supposed to pull the steer across the cones and then help the Mugger get the rope off its horns.
2. Mugger. This was Steven. He opens the gate then gets the rope off the horns, typically by doing a little wrestling work.
3. Runner. This was Josh. He starts at the opposite end of the arena and runs to take the ribbon off its tail.

We then all run with the rope and ribbon to our gate and close it. First to do so wins.

So without further explanation, here's the video of us doing it:

We made a couple mistakes... which we plan on fixing next time. :)

1. I didn't pull as hard as I could for getting it to the cones. For some reason I expected it to run that way automatically. Bad assumption. :)

2. We didn't direct it very well, and therefore it was a mad scramble which made it hard to get the rope off.

Oh well, lessons learned! We had a blast though!

By the way, here's the sunset that night:

Hike to Owl Canyon Mine


I've been keeping pretty busy around camp here, so I haven't been able to get to updating the blog. Sorry for the delay. I have gone on a couple hikes within the last week, and did something else exciting... so this is the first of a few blog posts today!

Sunday afternoon I decided to take up a hiking opportunity with an infamous guide who has requested to remain anonymous. :) So I've decided to not say his (clue! :)) name, but I wouldn't mind having people guess who it is! Leave a comment with your guess!

Ok, so I'll describe the hike in the format of phases.

#1. Canoeing across the north side of Jackson Lake. This was pretty fun... great views, calm waters, enjoyable time.

#2. Landing and leaving our canoe in the wrong spot causing us to "hike" (if you can call it that... it was more like weed whacking) through willows taller than us through an extremely wet marshy area trying to find the trail. I didn't know what I was in for on the hike, so unfortunately I was wearing shorts which caused many scratches. We were also munched on by mosquitos and always ready to run right into a moose. Definitely not my idea of a fun hike, but it was a unique experience for sure and we had a good time.

#3. Finding the trail. We finally got out of the willows and marched our way through the woods looking for the trail. We found it, and headed down it with great joy. Only to stop and turn around because we weren't on the right trail! :) At least my guide knows when to admit he was wrong and goes about fixing it as soon as possible. He did quite well at correcting our mistake, we cut across a couple hills and found the trail we wanted.

#4. Eaten alive by mosquitos. We decided that we'd had enough of the mosquitos, and put our rain jackets on for protection. I also put on my hat. It was much warmer, but at least we weren't bothered by the bugs.

#5. My guide almost getting a heart attack by running into other people on the trail. Haha. It was pretty funny to see his face. We had been on guard for running into bear or moose when he finally hiked around a corner, looked up, and saw hikers right in front of him. I had seen them a bit earlier and wondered if he hadn't. I was right. :) Wish I had it on video.

Stream running down the canyon into Jackson Lake.

Same as above - also the mine is right below us on the side of the cliff.

#6. Exploring the mine. We finally reached the mine after about 2.5 miles of hiking. It was of course pitch black through the whole thing so we both had our headlamps and started exploring to the back of the mine. See video at the end, but not before guessing who my guide was! It gives it away. :)

#7. Returning to the canoe. On the way back it started to rain on us. Lightning was also striking nearby, so we ran a bit over some of the more open sections of trail. We went by a ranger cabin and chatted a bit, and finally came to the lake where we saw a gorgeous double rainbow.

Rainbow over Jackson Lake.

I was wading in the water to get protection from mosquitos biting my legs, so I decided I might as well make the best of it.  :)

#8. Canoeing the fierce waters of Jackson Lake. Ok, it wasn't necessarily fierce. But we were in a canoe, had precious gear on board, and are not professionals at canoeing. :) The waves were getting a bit too large for our small craft, so we had to wait a while for them to die down. But we finally made it to the other shore in about an hour and a half.

#9. The end.

Here's the video! I give away who my guide is! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

6/27 Hike to Delta, Amphitheater, Bradley Lakes and Rodeo

The Trekking-Trio was at it again on Friday. God blessed us with another opportunity to do some hiking in some favorite, and even new territories all in the same day. We started off the day at Lupine Meadows trailhead, hiking almost nonstop to Delta Lake (I think we did it faster than ever before). Once we got there we ate and rested for about an hour, enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Steven with Delta Lake and the Tetons in the background. Pretty sweet profile pic if you ask me.

Delta Lake from the rock we were resting on.

A little hiking character thrown in. :)

Closeup of Mount Owen.

Closeup of the slot between the Grand and Owen.

Closeup of the little peak next to the Grand.

And an entertaining-as-always video:

So our next destination on the hike was Amphitheater Lake. None of us had ever been up there, so we decided it was about time. It was a bit hard going up the rest of those switchbacks after our trek to Delta Lake, but as Stafford says "Hiking is 90% mental and 10% physical." With the "just-keep-going" mentality, we made it up there just fine and honestly we weren't as impressed with Amphitheater - when compared to Delta. But don't take my written words for it - here's a video and more photos!

Amphitheater Lake, with some ice left! The Grand is "peaking" (pun intended) above the ridge there.

Stafford and Steven filling up our waters with the filter.

A marmot just chilling.

View of the lake from another angle. Mount Owen is on the right.

Another shot, just for photography's sake. :)

The hike down was a refreshing change from the constant uphill we'd been doing. We booked it down to the first fork in the trail, and decided to head down the trail to Bradley Lake instead of going back to the parking lot. I thought Lupine Meadows was actually on the trail somewhere, so I thought we should try down that way to look for them. I was wrong, but again - let the video do the talking. :)

Bradley Lake, looking up at the Tetons (Grand, Owen, Teewinot left to right).

Pretty nice view of the lake with I believe Avalanche Canyon in the background.

So finally we had to head back up the trail we came down and then head down to the Lupine Meadows parking lot. We were glad to be finished. We were originally planning on going through Lupine Meadows for a couple specific fans of mine who have requested photos from there, but alas not that day! Sometime soon I promise! :)

Then to top off the day, we went to the Rodeo for a specific fun event called "grab the bull by the horns." Sounds awesome, eh? Don't worry, we didn't do it. But we had fun watching the Campus Crusade group (who had been staying at camp here for a month) try it out! There were 5 guys from the group that decided to do it. 3 on a team, 2 on another team with one of our Rocky Mountain Lodge staff members. It was quite the show, and I got it on video for ya'll! (here you go Cole! :)

And here's the group of them that did it! They did pretty well for first time!

And that's all for the day! Thanks for stopping by!

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from You shall perish; You put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to You. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works."
-Psalm 73:26-28