Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Slot Canyons, Caves all inside a Cathedral, Definitely an Adventure Worth Taking!

It's been a while since I've kept up my favorite posts which are my Travel Tuesday posts. I've been on a lot of adventures this past year and it's time I start sharing them with you all.  This week I'm going to showcase my most recent travels which took me to Cathedral Gorge State Park in Eastern Nevada.


Funny story, I only learned about this park about a month ago. Came across a blog post about it and it only took one image and I knew I was going to go find it. When I realized how close it was to me, that just made it a done deal!



Let me tell you this is a very lesser known spot and a bit out of the way. Even on a Saturday, we had most slots, caves, tunnels, and hikes to ourselves.



It's a smaller state park but it makes up for it in what you are able to see.



We went through over 20 slot canyons, same types of rock but each had their own uniqueness to them and colors as well as surprises.



The tunnels and caves were pretty interesting to go through as well. Down on my belly a few times hoping my butt wasn't too big to fit through the tunnel cracks, LOL  Luckily it wasn't.



You can tell why they call it Cathedral, because of the texture and the height of the walls.



The best advice I can give if you are going to visit this park, get out and explore. The more you do on foot the more you will find.



In fact, we ran into a couple down there who had gone through the entire park and each stop and hadn't seen any of the slots or caves. The reason being they didn't get out and walk towards the cracks and crevices. They are everywhere, but you have to venture into them!



No technical skills required to see most!  There are a few rope areas, the ropes are provided, but mostly these slots and tunnels are for anyone who can walk and move through them.



How to get there? Well, they are about a 2.5-hour drive from Las Vegas. Or if you are from Cedar City or St. George Utah, you're looking at 1.5 hours.



I found the canyons to be creepy and hauntingly beautiful in the best ways. I would highly recommend this for anyone who is on a road trip in the area and wants to take a beautiful detour!



Summers are hot, we were hiking in around 103. But it's in mid-elevation (over 4,000 feet) so spring and fall are probably the best times to visit. Winters do get colder and likely some snow.



But no matter the temp, once you get back in the slots it is much cooler. I'd say 10-20 degree's cooler in spots, so they are a welcome experience to go through.


I do actually have a lot more pictures, but I'll save them for Instagram. If you don't already follow me on Instagram and you enjoy travel pictures, I have to say I post about travel about 99% of the time.



There are so many places in this country that are absolutely stunning, but I am just going to say it out west we have sights that are unbelievable and nothing like the rest of the country has! You have to travel here to see them, and if you know a local to give you tips it will make your adventures all the greater!!!



Well, I can't really say much more about this park, it's stunning and unique! The pictures say more than I can, but even they don't really do it justice!


If you go:

* Bring lots of water and snacks.
* There is currently a $7 car entrance fee.
* There is a campground, dump station, showers, and water.
* It can be seen in an afternoon or a day or two.
* There are also other nearby state parks worth seeing about 15-30 minute north.
* Be careful not to damage the rocks and canyons
* Hiking in the caves and slots, you will get dusty and dirty
* Do not hike into the slots when it is raining or if it looks like it may rain.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Summer Fun, Finally

Okay so great news, I finished my thesis project and paper. (Granted the race is still coming up, but all the work for the school project is done and finished.)

It was sooooo much more work than I thought, I am lucky I didn't have to take on a job during the summer because between setting up the event and everything which was required for the class and the research paper, I literally felt like I had no time on my hands.

In fact the last 3 weeks of the class I did virtually nothing but write and edit that paper over and over...
However, great news besides the happy dance of being done. The professor gave me an A.
On my paper portion, I was given 99 out of 100 points, which is pretty fantastic and so rare that I am still jaw-dropping awe!

I literally was only aiming for a passing grade, but this was beyond my expectations! Which also helps since I have returned to school I have so far successfully only earned A's....  Yeah, that's a pat on my own back LOL



Okay, so what does a girl do after she spends several weeks glued to her laptop, sacrificing all camping and hiking opportunities, becoming addicted to caffeine in the process of many long days and nights working on a paper?

She spends a two-week vacation with family. I went up to Bear Lake, which is basically Utah's little Carribean. This lake because of its unique two underground sea's that filter into it, and the white sands and clear waters produce amazing colors when the sun is out and literally, looks like the waters in the Carribean! (As you can see in the images.)

Depending on the sun and clouds the lake water is various shades of different colors, and pictures seriously cannot do this beauty justice! You can literally see visibility from the surface about 30 feet down to the bottom, possibly more but thats as far as I've tried.



I had so much fun paddle boarding, literally daily most of the day LOL
Then I taught my nieces and nephews to paddle board, I had the 4-year-olds up on it. I had my 6-year-old niece paddle me around while I just kicked back lay down and relaxed and let her do all the work.



I have also mastered the double standing (me and a kid) both standing and paddling. LOL
I didn't fall the entire trip until my nephew swam up under me and tipped me over when I wasn't paying attention, LOL Gotta love kids.



My sister can do hand stands on the boards, I am seriously amazed at it. She claims a yoga class she took which showed her correct technique to get into a hand stand helped.
I am not as coordinated, but I'm going to start practicing LOL (FYI it's a good thing my sister doesn't read my blog, she'd literally kill me for posting this image, LOL)



I even tried wakeboarding for my first time ever. I did get up the first time for a few seconds, but while my legs were super strong for it, my arm strength needs some work.
I thought it would be like waterskiing, which I can do even if I'm not great at it. But wakeboarding to get up takes loads of arm strength.



My nephew and my sister did pretty awesome though. Next time I go, I will be better for sure!!



We also took an afternoon and went over to an area called Tony Grove, hadn't been before it is a beautiful little mountain lake, we did the short hike around it for fun.


I started classes back up today, and I'm looking forward to another heavy semester. 16 credits this semester, but I think because I won't have to deal with the thesis that took me the past entire year I can hopefully enjoy it more and not have quite as much work (in theory LOL).