24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell!
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The 24HHH comp started last Friday, 10am to 10am Sat, and Jamie, Chris and Jodi were more than prepared.  The rest of our friends, Corey, Josh, Chris, Torey, Ryan, Melissa, and Ed, arrived from VA the Wednesday prior when all of us moved into a cabin for the weekend.  Everyone but myself would be competing in the 24HHH.  We spent Thursday walking around the Ranch since Ed was the only one from our group who had never been to AR and was new to the competition so we showed him around and he climbed a couple trad routes to get familiar with the area.

Thursday before the comp, scouting the area with Ed
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Thursday before the comp, scouting the area with Ed

Ed getting familiar with the climbing at the Ranch
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Ed getting familiar with the climbing at the Ranch

Ed getting his crank on with a trad route at HCR
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Ed getting his crank on with a trad route at HCR

Free haircuts for climbers from the Rogue Barber
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Free haircuts for climbers from the Rogue Barber

Another climber getting a free haircut, this guy actually won "Best Haircut"!
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Another climber getting a free haircut, this guy actually won “Best Haircut”!

Our friend Torey getting a piton shaved out of his hair
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Our friend Torey getting a piton shaved out of his hair

We all took it easy on Thursday night, hung out at the cabin and made a pre comp family dinner to fuel everybody up.

Family dinner at the cabin
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Family dinner at the cabin

The day had finally arrived and our 10 competitors were pumped up for a day they had been training for for so long.  We all got to the Ranch early in preparation and the place was buzzing with climbers and vendors, everyone enjoying the pre-comp activity.  Our friends, John and Lori from VA flew out to Little Rock for a long weekend to visit their relatives but came out to the Ranch all day Friday to witness 24HHH and support Jamie.

Team VA super fans, John and Lori
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Team VA super fans, John and Lori

Andy Chasteen is the founder and director of the event and he was making announcement and going over rules before the part we all look forward to, the Climbers Creed.

Andy going over rules prior to the start
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Andy going over rules prior to the start

Andy announcing every team name, 140 teams!
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Andy announcing every team name, 140 teams!

Ryan, Torey and Chris gearing up for the start
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Ryan, Torey and Chris gearing up for the start

Every year, one of the organizers, Jeremy, writes up the climbers creed and announces it moments before the start of the comp. Climbers have to repeat what he says and this year it was pretty good…

Partner, the day, has finally arrived
My colorful leather boots, quiver in morbid anticipation
My belay hand lie in wait for your divine ascents
You partner, are the scabbard
…I am the sword
Partner, I will now speak in a horrible fake accent
Thou must now wish to distract me from my fear and trembling
Partner, the wind is nide before lost and yet our knots are not yet knotted
It is better to check thy knot than not, lest the rock be forgotten
Partner, thou must not freakin’ drop me!
Today we climb for victory, with muscles well honed our torsos well toned, our crimping and clipping are bad to thy bone
Partner, thou must not freakin’ drop me, for if thou does, I will slight thee on a bed of poles, or a burning cross, or drag you behind a herd of goats, or worse, tell everyone on Facebook
Partner, I chose you not for thy skill, but for thy determination and will
We battle our own battle
We fight our own fight
When the sun rises upon tomorrow
We will rise like zombies from the battles of night
Partner, we are more than climbers, WE ARE WARRIORS!!
We are lions in a field of lions
PARTNER!! CLIMB WITH ME!!!
LET’S RIDE…… 

Check out the video of the Climbers Creed on YouTube! http://youtu.be/vcQzZPjrcuM

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Surprisingly, the first 14 hours flew by! I say 14 because John and Lori and I left at midnight to head back to the cabin to sleep.  We talked about feeling guilty since everyone would continue climbing until 10am Saturday but hey, it’s their choice to punish their bodes in such a way so we went to bed!! But we didn’t leave without getting some great shots throughout the day and night.
Jamie working one of the harder routes at Ren and Stimpy area, first thing Friday morning
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Jamie working one of the harder routes at Ren and Stimpy area, first thing Friday morning

Jamie working a roof at Ren and Stimpy
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Jamie working a roof at Ren and Stimpy

Chris, Ren and Stimpy area
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Chris at Ren and Stimpy area, banging out the hard routes early!

Ed and Jodi ticking off Pantry Moth Invasion, 10b
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Ed and Jodi ticking off Pantry Moth Invasion, 10b

Chris climbing in The Land Beyond area
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Chris climbing in The Land Beyond area

Jamie working the same move
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Jamie working the same move

Jamie and Chris running between routes to keep up their pace
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Jamie and Chris running between routes to keep up their pace

Tallying up the scores so far, this is about 2pm on Friday
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Tallying up the scores so far, this is about 2pm on Friday, first score cards will be due at 10pm so the guys need to keep up with their route count

Chris working the hardest line he'll climb at Kindergarten Boulder, Crab Louse, 12b
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Chris working the hardest line he’ll climb at the comp, Kindergarten Boulder, Crab Louse, 12b

A couple of volunteers and a few random spectators
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A couple of volunteers and a few random spectators

John, Lori and I had fun watching everyone climb but we were also up for a little fun of our own.  The Ranch installed a Zipline the summer prior which is 400 ft off the ground and half a mile long plus they were offering 50% off for all climbers and spectators so we took advantage of this.

At the top of the cliff, ready to take off on the Zipline
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At the top of the cliff, ready to take off on the Zipline

I was the first one to take off, it was awesome!
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I was the first one to take off, it was awesome!

Lori coming off her Zipline high
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Lori coming off her first Zipline high

After Zipline and leaving the Ranch for a little dinner we came back to watch the night climbing.

Jamie sportin' the head lamp belay
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Jamie sportin’ the head lamp belay

Corey and Josh climbing a 5.10 at night
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Corey and Josh climbing a 5.10 at night

Head lamps light up the North Forty
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Head lamps light up the North Forty

The next morning, we returned early enough to catch the last hour of the comp.  It was another beautiful day and the vibe was still strong but I think the climbers were ready for the finish line!

Chris working was of his final routes on Saturday morning
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Chris working one of his final routes on Saturday morning

Many people appreciated the couch brought up from the Trading Co. especially Chris, far right
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Many people appreciated the couch brought up from the Trading Co. especially Chris, far right

Torey, Ed and Jodi expressing their "I'm Done" face
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Torey, Ed and Jodi expressing their “I’m Done” face

Jamie still happy after 23 hours of climbing!
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Jamie still happy after 23 hours of climbing and belaying!

John and Jamie
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Super fan John and Jamie

Getting in the last minute routes before the final call
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Getting in the last minute routes before the final call to turn in score cards

Jamie and Chris tallying up their final numbers
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Jamie and Chris tallying up their final numbers

Jamie racing to the climber check in tent to submit score cards by 10:15am
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Jamie racing to the climber check in tent to submit score cards by 10:15am

With Chris following
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With Chris following

Turning in the final score cards, it's over!!
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Turning in the final score cards, it’s over!!

A couple of proud boys who smashed their prior year numbers
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A couple of proud boys who smashed their prior year numbers

Chris and Jamie's tortured hands
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Chris and Jamie’s tortured hands

Jamie and Chris chattin' with Dick and Nathalie, the only partners who have been competing together since the first comp 8 years ago
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Jamie and Chris chattin’ with Dick and Nathalie, the only partners who have been competing together since the first comp 8 years ago

Ryan and Melissa enjoying post comp free massages
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Ryan and Melissa enjoying post-comp free massages

From left; Lori, Ed, Jodi, John, Jamie, Chris, Torey
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From left; Lori, Ed, Jodi, John, Jamie, Chris, Torey, all happy to be done!

Our crew from VA and CO
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Our crew Team VA – CO

...and their beat up hands
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…and their beat up hands

We headed home for a few hours of shut eye before having to return to the Ranch for the free pasta dinner and after party.  Our group of 10 climbers cleaned up pretty good at the awards ceremony that night!!

Pasta dinner back at the ranch following naps by everyone
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Pasta dinner back at the ranch following naps by everyone

Chris, Ryan and Melissa enjoying the free pasta dinner Saturday evening
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Chris, Ryan and Melissa enjoying the free pasta dinner Saturday evening

The weather was awful so the outdoor awards ceremony was moved into the camping pavilion, it was tight!
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The weather was awful so the outdoor awards ceremony was moved into the camping pavilion, it was tight!

Corey and Josh placed in their Intermediate category for overall points
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Corey and Josh placed in their Intermediate category for overall points

Corey wins again but I forget what for!
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Corey wins again but I forget what for!

Ryan and Melissa win for most amount of 5.7's climbed in the Recreation category
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Ryan and Melissa win for most amount of 5.7′s climbed in the Recreation category

Jodi placed for female overall points in her category
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Jodi placed for female overall points in her category! Go Yolanda!!

Jodi, aka “Yolanda the Climbing Phenom”, would like to personally thank her climbing partner, Ed, aka “Bubba Shrimp from south of Macon Georgia north of Tallahassee Florida” for his 24 hours of support and non-stop southern spirit!!

Jamie and Chris crushed it with 170 routes each for a team total of 340 routes in 24 hours!! An amazing accomplishment!! Official results will be posted soon at:

http://www.twofourhell.com/24HHH/Home.html

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We hope everyone had a safe trip home and we thank John and Lori for coming out to support Team VA-CO.  Congratulations climbers!!!

~Cathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch
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Hey Everyone! We left Colorado Springs two Saturdays ago, and it took us two days to drive across country to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas. On the way over we stayed the night in Tulsa! We didn’t spend too much time there, except to really just stay the night. However, thanks to Cathy’s sister Tricia, we did visit the Center of the Universe….who knew it was in Tulsa!! ;-) Basically, there is this anomaly in the middle of the city where if you stand in this one exact spot, when you speak your voice sounds like it is echoing, but only to you, to everyone else it sound the same. It is really weird, because they can’t really explain it……so you feel like you are at the Center of the Universe!

Cathy standing in the Center of the Universe!
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Cathy standing in the Center of the Universe!

That afternoon we settled into our camp spot at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. For those who don’t know, the Ranch is a great place to climb, and it hosts a 24 hour climbing competition every year in September ( http://twofourhell.com/24HHH/Home.html ). I didn’t do it last year since we were overseas, but I did compete in 2010 and 2011, and my climbing partner Chris and I are doing it again this year. So we are here at the Ranch early to get some more endurance training in, and get some of the routes dialed down. Here are a couple of shots of life at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.

Arriving at the ranch
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Arriving at the ranch

Our campsite with some visitors
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Our campsite with some visitors

There friendly horses!!
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The friendly horses!!

They tend to be very curious....so you have to keep an eye on your stuff!
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They tend to be very curious….so you have to keep an eye on your stuff!

Chris and I are going for a new personal record for our team this year, so we have been working hard. As a man over 40 now :(  I know that if you work hard you need to also rest. Cathy and I have taken a couple of days off and done some exploring around the Ozark Mountains. On one day we did some scenic drives, and there was not a lot to see, but we did get a good shot towards the end of the drive.

Ozark Mountains
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Ozark Mountains

On the other day we had a good workout in the morning at a really nice park in the town of Jasper. It was right on the Buffalo River, which can make your workout a little nicer!

Cool river running through Jasper
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Buffalo River running through Jasper

We then headed to a classic Arkansas hike called Hawksbill Crag. A really nice hike through the woods with some really good views at the end.

Cathy at Hawksbill Crag
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Cathy at Hawksbill Crag

Cool B/W near Hawksbill Crag
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Cool B/W near Hawksbill Crag

Nice scenery from the Hawksbill Crag lookout
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Nice scenery from the Hawksbill Crag lookout

The past coupe of days we have spent climbing some more, and doing a little more exploring of some of the new crags at the Ranch. Cathy has really turned up her game, and has been leading a bunch of routes and lead her first 5.10b route today! Here are couple of pics from the past couple of days.

View of the ranch from the East side of the canyon
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View of the ranch from the East side of the canyon

Cathy climbing the route Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
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Cathy climbing the route Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, 5.11a

Jodi, Chris, and I climbing on the East side of the ranch
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Jodi, Chris, and I climbing on the East side of the ranch

Jamie pulling the crux moves of Mine, Mine, Mine
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Jamie pulling the crux moves of Mine, Mine, Mine, 5.11d

We are going to spend tomorrow doing a little climbing, then it will be rest time to make sure the body is in tip top shape for the comp. It starts this Friday at 10am, and we climb until 10am Saturday! Our team name this year is “He’s 40….I am not!”…..needless to say, I did not come up with that one! Wish us luck and we will post how we did after the comp.

- Jamie

 

 

 

Colorado Springs II
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Just a quick update as we start to move into our last parts of the trip. We have spent the past week and a half at our friend Chuck’s place in Colorado Springs. On our way to Colorado Springs we forgot to post up the following two pictures…..they kinda speak for themselves, and we were laughing when we saw them ;-)

Hmmmm....why not?
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This sign says…DON’T PICK UP HITCHHIKERS, Hmmmm….why not?

Ohhhhh......ok, no hitchikers!
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This next sign said…PRISON ESCAPE CARSON CITY AREA, ….Ohhhhh……ok, no hitchikers!

We have filled our time here with getting the groovy mobile serviced and cleaned, training at the local gym for the up coming 24HHH, and getting a little climbing in outside. We wanted to climb outside more, but the rain has been relentless here, so good thing Co Springs has an awesome climbing gym called City Rock. Luckily we did get one good day in out at Devil’s Head before the rain storms showed up.

Cathy ready to launch off a route at Devil's Head
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Cathy ready to launch off a route at Devil’s Head…..cool place.

Another thing we were able to get in just before the rain showed up was another crack at the Incline Hike. If you remember from our July 20 post we both gave it a shot, and for my first time I logged a time of 39 minutes. All the hiking over the summer at altitude has really paid off. Cathy shaved 25 minutes off her last time, and I logged a 32:33 time this go. Here is a pic from the summit with the fog looming below us.

Happy to be at the top of the Incline
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Happy to be at the top of the Incline

Anyone who comes to Colorado Springs should give it a go…..it is a great challenge!

We spent our last day getting all our stuff back into our clean groovy mobile, and getting ready to blast off for Arkansas tomorrow. On a side note, I was coming and going from Chuck’s front door to the truck when all of a sudden I started hearing this buzzing sound. I looked around and just outside Chuck’s front door is a pile of rocks, and there was one huge bumble bee stuck in a web….and he was about to become lunch….check it out!

Yikes!!! I don't much about spiders but I know a black widow when I see one....sorry Mr. Bumble Bee
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Yikes!!! I don’t know much about spiders but I know a Black Widow when I see one….sorry Mr. Bumble Bee

We are off to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas tomorrow. It should take us a couple of days to get there, but this will be our first stop on our way back to the East Coast. Hopefully we are going to get plenty of climbing/training in over the next two weeks! ;-)

- Jamie

 

Bryce Canyon to Colorado Springs
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The drive north on 89 toward Bryce Canyon gave us a lot of opportunities to pull over and get some good shots.

Scenic pull off along 89
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Scenic pull off along 89

Hoodoos on Highway 89
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Hoodoos on Highway 89

Jamie messing around with a large boulder hoodoo
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Jamie messing around with a large boulder hoodoo

Arch bridge were about to drive through
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Arch bridge were about to drive through

Bryce Canyon is a small national park when compared to the other parks we have visited. There is one main road in and out of the park with scenic stops along the north side of the road. It only took us about 2 hours in and out, it was a nice day even though a storm brewing in the distance. We captured a few good shots of the “hoodoos” around the park.

A good introduction to what Bryce Canyon is all about
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A good introduction to what Bryce Canyon is all about

Rainbow Point, Bryce Canyon
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Rainbow Point, Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon
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Bryce Canyon

Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon
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Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon

More hoodoos of Bryce
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More hoodoos of Bryce

Bryce Canyon
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Bryce Canyon

Following Bryce we were making our way east across southern Utah which naturally took us through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  The grand staircase part of the name comes from the formation of the sharp rocks in layers looking like a staircase, although we never found this particular section of the park it is what we learned about it.  We didn’t explore this are too much so there are no pictures!

We spent the night at cool little campground outside Escalante.  We met a really nice Danish couple who pulled in next to us, so we had great neighbors on top of a great view!

Our camp spot outside Escalante
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Our camp spot outside Escalante

The view from our camp spot
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The view from our camp spot

The next day we made our way north toward Salt Lake City with intentions to climb at Maple Canyon.  The weather was way too hot so we canned that idea and instead spent a couple days doing the city thing.  We never actually went into SLC, we stayed south near Sandy, UT, camped free at a Wal Mart, indoor climbed at Monument Rock Climbing gym and took a couple excursions into the Provo Canyon.  We stopped off at Bridal Veil Falls which is a 607-foot-tall double cataract waterfall viewable from the highway.

Bridal Veil Falls
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Bridal Veil Falls

Our second stop was Sundance Resort which is owned by Robert Redford and is where the Sundance Film Festival originated.  It became so popular they had to move it to Park City where it is now held every January.  The Sundance Resort is very small but very quaint and rustic, a really cool place tucked away in the Canyons.

Soon after, we arrived in Moab, UT where we would spend the next 3 days relaxing and exploring our last 2 national parks, at least for now, these are the last! Once again way too hot to climb, temps were in the upper 90′s so instead we spent the day in the truck exploring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, both in one day.  We learned quickly that 2 parks in one day is a bit much.  First we drove through Arches.

First scenic pullout as you enter Arches NP
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First scenic pullout as you enter Arches NP

Park Avenue Viewpoint, Arches NP
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Park Avenue Viewpoint, Arches NP

Balance Rock
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Balance Rock

Turret Arch, Arches NP
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Turret Arch, Arches NP

North and South Windows, Arches NP
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North and South Windows, Arches NP

North and South Arch
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North and South Arch

Straight after leaving Arches we made our way to Canyonlands NP and explored the park by driving the White Rim Road.  Canyonlands is 337,000 acres of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries.  While much different than the incredible arches of Arches NP, Canyonlands provides its own drastic beauty.

Canyonlands
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Canyonlands

Our first view of the Canyonlands from Shafer Point
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Our first view of the Canyonlands from Shafer Point

Shafer Canyon Overlook, Canyonlands
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Shafer Canyon Overlook, Canyonlands

Canyonlands
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Canyonlands

We wrapped up our time in Moab and began the journey back toward Colorado Springs where we’ll spend some time at Chuck’s house again and recharge our batteries for the last leg of the Western tour! Arkansas and then back toward the east coast!

~Cathy