Lassen Peak Hike

IMG_3564

Since I moved here in April, I have wanted to hike Lassen Peak. Right now the peak hike is only open certain weekends because they are doing construction on the path. My friend Sam and I decided we were going to hike the peak the weekend in October that it was open.

IMG_3556

Suddenly the weekend was upon us and we were finally able to hike the peak! We arrived around 10am so we would have time to hike the whole thing slowly and hangout after. The hike to the peak is only about 2.5 miles long and it goes from 8,000 ft elevation to 10,500 ft elevation. So in 2.5 miles you hike 2,500 ft up. We didn’t realize how steep that would be until we were hiking.

IMG_3558

IMG_3559

This hike was a lot harder than we thought it was going to be. The elevation made it really hard on our lungs and the steepness made it really hard on our legs. I love hiking with Sam because we can both complain and be real when we are exhausted and wanting to die.

IMG_3565

Finally we made it to the peak. It was beautiful up there! We could see so far and there was snow at the top. We really enjoyed the hike and the reward of our packed lunches at the top.

IMG_3569

IMG_3570

IMG_3585

IMG_3576

IMG_3586

After our beautiful hike, we did a small walk to lake. At the lake we hung our hammocks and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

IMG_3596

IMG_3590

IMG_3597

It was such a perfect day! I can’t wait for the next day we can get out and enjoy the Lord’s beauty!

 

 

 

Lassen Hiking and Lava Caves

IMG_2757

I love where I live. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a pretty quick drive from home and I am able to go there pretty often. I love hiking and enjoying nature. Lassen is the perfect place to enjoy a day off work.

IMG_2755

IMG_2776

In August my friends Sam, Meredith, and I decided to go hike in Lassen. We decided to hike to Bumpass Hell. Bumpass Hell is the volcanic area where you can see hot pool and stuff.

IMG_2763

IMG_2761

IMG_2774

A Few weeks ago, my friend Mindy and I went to Lassen and the Subway cave. The Subway Cave is located near Lassen. It is a cave/tunnel that was formed by Lava flow. I had read about it and was excited to go explore.

IMG_3515

IMG_3488

We put our headlamps on and our jackets (it is 46 degrees in the cave) and headed for the cave. It was really cool! The Subway Cave is a cave/tunnel that was formed by Lava flow. I had read about it and was excited to go explore.

IMG_3469

IMG_3468

After the cave Mindy and I decided to stop at Lassen National Park to eat our lunches. We decided to hike Kings Creek Trail to the falls. Every hike in Lassen is beautiful! The whole hike is along this creek and ends at this beautiful waterfall. We enjoyed every piece of the hike. There is this little bridge across the water and we sat for our lunches there. After talking and eating we decided to head back. During lunch we took off our shoes. With our shoes off we decided to hike the trip back shoeless. Since I love being barefoot I enjoyed this experience and can’t wait to hike again barefoot.

IMG_3489

IMG_3492

IMG_3495

IMG_3501

IMG_3512

IMG_3514

Can’t wait till our next barefoot hike!

Ragnar Napa Valley (part 1)

IMG_3043

After the fun we had at Ragnar SoCal, Team Tough Chik decided we needed to do another Ragnar. At first I was hesitant to sign up. With the job I have now I wasn’t sure I was going to have the time to train and be able to take the time off work to go to San Francisco. For weeks our Mamma Chik kept posting that there were still spots left. After a few weeks I finally decided to commit to running in my second ever Ragnar.

IMG_3186

Signing up was the easy part. I wrote out a training plan, put on my running shoes, and started running laps around campus. Every run was like ripping my lungs out. I found out very quickly that running in altitude SUCKS!!! A few weeks into training I also broke my toe, jumping off a chair. I continued to tape my toe and put my shoes and run. Ragnar is all about overcoming obstacles and persevering through everything, after all.

10710501_10152463834874403_8336120071538975523_o

 

I was assigned the legs with the big hills. I don’t know if they purposely did this because they thought “she lives on a mountain, she can run hills.” Or if it was just my luck of the draw. My first leg was 5.5 miles with a massive hill. My second leg was 5.5 miles with a massive hill, and my third leg was thankfully 2.2 miles flat. I knew if I could just get through the first two legs I would be golden.

10409343_10152773114899116_4031466929870747699_n

As Ragnar approached, I started putting my outfits together and making a list to pack. I went back to my Ragnar SoCal blogs and looked at what I had wished I had brought. I was determined to make this Ragnar better than the last.

Finally Ragnar came and I drove down to San Francisco with Kiwi (my hedgehog) on my lap. I arrived at my Uncle’s house (where I was staying the night before the run) at around 1am. One of my teammates was planning to pick me up at 5:30am to get to the start line. I was so excited when she picked me up and so ready to begin this crazy 2 days.

IMG_3060

10628026_10152773115209116_6128268745844766826_n

We all met at the start line to see off our first runner and cheer her on. It was so fun to be a team and to meet everyone. After the first runner was off our van (Van 2) headed to the Golden gate bridge to take in some of the SF sights and see our runner in. The atmosphere at the bridge was so exciting! One reason I love Ragnar is the people. Everyone is so friendly and CRAZY! It’s always fun taking with the other teams.

IMG_3086Our Van

IMG_3082 IMG_3079

IMG_3065IMG_3068

ragnar napa

10494744_10152773115674116_5087820513085747148_n

10687005_10152773115634116_1367538568381419318_n

After pictures and hanging out we headed for some food and to get ready for our first legs. I was the Second runner in our van and knew I needed to be ready to go pretty quickly after Lauren started her leg. Part of me was excited for my leg and part dreading the HILL.

10153776_10152773116714116_6010688842671493680_n

leg 1Leg one Map

IMG_3105

My first leg was really hard. It was hot and the hill was crazy. It was like climbing a mountain. In total I climbed 569 FT in 2.7 miles. The hill was also completely stopped with construction. I was basically running on the white line of the shoulder with all these cars and construction. We even had to cross the road twice. I almost ran out of water going up. Thankfully right as I was drinking my last bit there was a water stop. After I finished my leg I was so hot and tired and so happy to be done with run 1.

IMG_3112

IMG_3119

After all our legs we got food and went to the hotel for some sleep. At the hotel we were able to go in the Jacuzzi and take showers before sleeping for a couple hours. The time went way too fast and before we knew it, we had to get up and head to the next meeting point.

 IMG_3120

Valerie and I after our first legs

Napa

The week of July 4 m parents and our good family friends (more like family) were staying in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is about a 4.5 hour drive from where I live so I decided I needed to spend my days off with them. I drove down on Sunday morning and met them at their time share. It was a beautiful drive.

IMG_2606    IMG_2607

When I got there they informed me we were going to eat at the Russian River Brewery. I was very excited about this because while I don’t like wine, I really like beer. My cousin Cameron loves The Pliny Elder at Russian River so I was excited to try it. When we go there Jay ordered the sampler which has a glass of each beer so you can try all of them. After trying a bunch of different ones we ordered our beers and some Pizza bites. The beer was good and the Pizza was really good as well.

IMG_2613

IMG_2614

The next few days were spent at Winery’s doing tastings.  The Napa Valley is a beautiful area and we enjoyed time outside. I really enjoyed relaxing and taking more time with family.

IMG_2611

IMG_2615

I was even able to meet up with my friend Grace and her adorable kids. They live in Santa Rosa and it was awesome getting to spend some time with her and meeting her kids. I definitely want to go back down there another time to see them.

IMG_2624

I even found a cemetery to walk around

It was a great few days that were over too quickly.

Quartz Hill Hike

It’s hard to believe I am so far behind on my posts. I have been so busy with my new job that I am too exhausted on my days off to write.
IMG_2388
A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to take my day off and go on a long hike. Fortunately before moving here, my mom bought me a book of day hikes in this area. I looked up a few hikes and decided on the Quartz Hill area and the Hornbeck Trail. It said that it was around 8 miles round trip. This was before it started getting really here.

IMG_2368

IMG_2365

IMG_2379

I set off around 10am and drove to the hike starting point. This hike was absolutely beautiful. It was all along and above the Sacramento River. I loved every part of it.

IMG_2372

IMG_2376

It was such a perfect day out and it was so nice to enjoy the Lord’s beautiful creation. I took a few detours down to the water and the lookout so my hike ended up around 9 miles. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t totally prepared physically for 9 miles hiking. I was so sore the rest of the day and the next couple of days. I even ended up with blisters on my feet because I chose to wear older shoes.

IMG_2385

IMG_2387

Next time I will be more prepared.

Ragnar Part 4- Last legs and Finish

0168_ML1_0248

IMG_1996When we arrived at the Glider port at the top of Torrey Pines we were met with once again a crazy amount of vans. It was chaos driving in.  Finally we found a place to park and settled in for a little while. I knew I needed to sleep a little so I stretched out in the front seat and closed my eyes. I was finally able to sleep about an hour off and on. After I got up I realized that I might be sick because of dehydration and started drinking a lot of water and Nuun. After a few bottles I was starting to feel a little better. We walked around the glider port and waited for our other van. Finally they said they were on our way. We were so excited for our final legs. We were also pretty jealous of all the people walking around already finished with their final legs. Being van 2 is hard because van 1 is finished and so excited and we were just starting on a few more hours of running.

0182_ML1_02760171_ML1_0251Holding up our third leg

After a lot of pictures and silliness, Helen was finally running in. There we so many people there and we all cheered her in and cheered Amy off on her final leg. Once Amy was running we got in our van and headed for the next exchange. We stopped to get gas along the way. While we were at the gas station, my mom and I ran across the street to a liquor store to pick up some beer for Amy as she finished her leg. She loves beer and kept talking about running for beer so we knew we had to get her some. We stopped at one point in her run to check and see if she needed anything as well. The place we stopped was a blind turn and we directed a lot of people to turn there as the sign was hard to see. We were worried that someone was going to miss the turn. As she finished her leg and handed the bracelet to my mom, she was so excited to be finished with her final leg. We surprised her with her beer and headed to the next exchange.

0174_ML1_0266Helen handing off to Amy

0187_ML1_0283

IMG_2006

At the next exchange my mom handed off to Kathy and I started to get nervous for my last run. My last run was 7.5 miles. Thankfully I was starting to feel better and was looking forward to getting my run over with. I also knew that my run was supposed to beautiful around Mission Bay. Finally we reached my exchanged at Mission Bay and I prepared to take the slap bracelet from Kathy. When she finally came in I took the bracelet and ran off. I only ran a few feet before I got stopped at a  stop light still in the exchange. Finally I was able to run and hit the Mission Bay board walk. It was a beautiful area, even though it was very crowded. I enjoyed watching the people and making myself keep running. Thankfully I wore my garmin this time so I knew my distances.

 

0190_ML1_0293

KathyKathy Ready to go

0194_ML1_0300Mom passing to Kathy

0199_ML1_0305Kathy coming in

0202_ML1_0308Kathy passing to me

0206_ML1_0312Me waiting at the light

At mile 2 my van met me with water and pictures. It was nice to finally be cheered on during a run. At mile 3 I turned a corner and was met with 31 stairs up. I thought I was going to die as I ran those stairs. I kept running and running and running. At one point there was a group of people standing on the side of the road cheering for all of the runner and holding beer yelling “this is what you’re running for.” It was a fun run but I was getting really hot and tired. My legs were starting to feel terrible. I knew if I stopped to walk for a little I wouldn’t be able to start running again. Finally after what seemed forever, I saw the one mile to go sign. After that I was hit with a lot of wind and smoke from camp fires. It made for a really long last mile. Finally I saw the exchange and all I could think of was jumping in the water. As I handed off the bracelet I took my shoes off and put my feet in the water. Such a good choice!

Jessy (3)

Ready to finish0214_ML1_0321waiting for me

IMG_2014So excited to see this sign!

0222_ML1_0331Finishing!

IMG_2015My moment of joy after finishing!!

We had planned to meet Casey at about 3 miles and Tina would take over for her there. Casey’s feet were really blistered and she was hurting. After that 3 mile mark there were some big hills on her leg. As we waited for Casey I changed, foam rolled, and stretched. I was feeling really stiff and sore but was so happy to finally be done with my legs.

As Tina took over we cheered for her and went to the hills to cheer for her there. She gave us the Finger as we drove by. These hills really were killer. Next we met Tina at the exchange to see how she was doing. Tina is so funny. She came into the exchange yelling, “what do I do, where do I go.” We just looked at her and laughed. She decided she was feeling good and kept running. We then started heading to the finish line. After getting a little  bit turned around in downtown San Diego we finally made it to the convention center and the finish line. We were so excited to realize we were finally finished with our legs! We waited and waited and waited for Tina to come. It seemed like her leg was taking forever and we were worried that maybe she got lost.

0229_ML1_0339running up what is now called whore hill

0235_ML1_0349

Tina running into the exchange through our toilet paper finish line

Finally we saw her as my mom and Kathy ran in with her. Once she was in the last hundred feet or so the rest of us met up with them and ran over the finish line together! We were all so excited to be finished and receive our medals. We took pictures and signed the Ragnar wall.

IMG_2021

0240_ML1_0362

0243_ML1_0366

0245_ML1_0369Our team at the finish!

IMG_2026

IMG_2028

IMG_2027

Van 1 had bought us all cupcakes so we celebrated together by eating cupcakes. After our cupcakes we headed back to the van and to find some food. We originally had planned to go to this Pizza place but it was too crowded (it was a Saturday night). Instead we decided to keep driving. I was driving and everyone else was sleeping in the back. I decided we should just stop at Chipotle closer to Shannon’s house.

IMG_2033

IMG_0536

IMG_0531

We ate our Chipotle and headed to Shannon’s house to unload and drive home. Finally by time I was home all I wanted was a nice warm shower and to go to bed!

IMG_2043

I loved the entire Ragnar experience! I was really proud of myself for running all of my legs without stopping and felt like I really accomplished something great! I am definitely look for my next Ragnar and may just be training for a half marathon in the near future.

10155742_784288582654_5815011531279413212_n

Ragnar Part 3- legs 13-24

When we left off we had just sent Tina on her First leg and were headed to Doheny State Beach.

Tina (2)

We arrived at Doheny state beach to wait for Tina to run in and hand off the slap bracelet  to van one. As we drove into the parking lot we were once again overwhelmed by the amount of vans that were in the parking lot. At this point we were starting to get really cold. We hoped out of the van in search for the other van and the Ragnaliens. As we walked through the parking lot we continued to “tag” other vans. (Tagging other vans consisted of writing TTC, Tough Chik, or stenciling our chik on their vans. Others put stickers of magnets on vans to show they had tagged it.)

970139_10152328533004116_3610276211546756520_n

We finally found the mass of people waiting for runners and searched for the rest of our team. We finally found them with someone in a chicken suit. All but my mom quickly realized it was Shannon dressed up as a chicken. Mom took a little convincing before she understood who was in the chicken.

As Tina ran in she didn’t even notice Lisa standing there waiting for her and ran right past all of us screaming her name. Finally she stopped and handed off the bracelet. Then we headed to our van in search of some food. Ragnar gets you on a weird eating schedule. You don’t have time to eat when your van is running so you have to wait until later. We ate breakfast and then ate dinner with little snacks in between. Peanut Butter pretzels saved me! We ended up eating at Wahoos. At that point our main criteria for eating was somewhere we could sit down, inside, with a real bathroom, and that was open.

IMG_1982

Sleeping on the beach

After a quick meal we drove to the next major exchange at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater in Oceanside, in hopes of a little sleep before our next set of legs. I had been texting with my dad and uncle Paul, so as soon as we found a parking spot my mom and I grabbed our sleep stuff and walked to the beach. The rest of the group stayed and slept in the van. My mom and I soon found my dad and Uncle Paul sleeping on a big silver tarp on the beach. We layed out our sleeping bags and cuddled in for some sleep. I didn’t sleep at all as I kept checking the time, and updated pace calculator so we would know when they were close. I was so worried we would be asleep when our runner came in.

10171240_10152309955879618_3543644766667778760_n

After a few hours we got up and headed to the van to get Amy ready for her first night run. We all walked down to the exchange point and waited for Helen to run in. Her leg was only about 2 miles so we knew she would get there soon. As she came in we cheered and cheered for her to slap the bracelet on Amy and cheered as Amy ran off. Van 1 wasn’t at the exchange yet so we guided Helen up to the top of the pier where we could meet the other van. After some pictures, the other van found us and we were off to the next exchange. On the way to our van it started to rain a little bit. All I could think was, “Amy is going to kill us if it rains.” Thankfully the rain was short-lived.

1503348_10152309966734618_4751995249872664574_n

The night exchanges were weird and went by in a blur. Most of the team stayed in the van while one person and the next runner went to the exchange point. The previous runner slapped the bracelet on the next one and the guide and runner went to the car to go to the next exchange.

For all the night legs we were required to wear a forward facing light, a rear blinking light, and a safety vest while running. Anyone out of the van was required to wear a vest anytime they were out of the van. We had brought good running vests to run in but, also brought cheep construction vests that were nice to throw on when we were just out of the van.

My night leg came quickly and I was excited to get it done with. The Race Bible said my leg was 2.2 miles flat, so I knew I would do it quickly and without any issues. As I started my run I turned my first corner and all I saw was hill. Up the hill we ran, and then down a little, then back up, then down a little, then up some more. By the time I finally saw the “One Mile to Go” sign I couldn’t believe I was only half way. Thankfully after more up hill I finally saw the volunteer where we were to turn to go to the school with the exchange. As I was running to the corner I saw a Tennis ball in the gutter and almost stopped to pick it up for my pup. Finally we turned and ran up another hill to the school.

IMG_1986

I was so thankful my leg was done and was so tired after not sleeping and running those hills. I was also feeling really sick. I had started feeling sick after my first run. I think it was due to dehydration and the not  sleeping was just making it worse. Casey ran her leg, and Tina started hers. When Tina started her run we were looking at our clocks hoping that Tina would finish her run after the “night” hours. 6:30pm- 6:30am were night hours and we were required to wear our night gear. Lisa was estimated to have to run all of her legs in night gear and we really wanted her to have one run without it.

Amy (2)

0146_ML1_0218

It was so cold waiting for Tina

0147_ML1_0219Cheering for random runners

0152_ML1_0224Go Tina

We met Tina at her half way point as we cheered and made an arch for every person that ran by. We were still really cold. I had my blanket wrapped around my like a towel and my jacket on and then my lovely orange vest over it. Next time I definitely need to bring warmer clothes. After seeing Tina and taking her night gear as it was 6:30 we headed to the next exchange. Once at the exchange we  met up with the other van and got ready for Tina to come in. Finally she came in yelling for the bathroom and running off to the porta potty. Finally we were ready for some breakfast. We headed to Pipes Café in Encinitas and ate some delicious breakfast. I was still feeling really sick but was able to pick at some eggs, bacon, and fruit. After breakfast we headed to our final major exchange.

0154_ML1_0226Marking off our runs!

0155_ML1_0229Waiting for Tina

Final legs and Finish coming up Tomorrow!

 

 

 

Ragnar Relay Part 1-Prep

0001_ML1_0019
Well there is so much to say about our Ragnar Relay experience. I can’t believe Ragnar is over. I am definitely going through withdrawals! It was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so happy I got to do it with my family!

0144_ML1_0216
I am going to break up Ragnar into a few posts otherwise you would probably get bored before finishing the first scroll

As you know we have been training for months for Ragnar Relay. My mom and I were on Team Tough Chik. We couldn’t decide whether we were more excited to run Ragnar or meet the other chiks? Either way as the day approached we got more and more excited! We had created a face book group that was essential to our team. With people living all over the place and most of us never meeting before, Facebook was our main communication. Through facebook we were able to plan costumes, make sure only one person per van was bringing big items, and discuss logistics.

0002_ML1_0017   0006_ML1_0009
I felt like my running training was going well. I would have liked to get a few more back to back long runs in but, I was feeling good on the running side of things. Our Mojave trip was great training for long hours in a car, getting dirty, and going to the bathroom where ever you can. We felt pretty well prepared. Well as prepared as you can be for first timer.

IMG_1867
A few weeks before the race mom and I went to Target and stocked up on essentials for both vans: baby wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, hair ties, dryer sheets, trash bags, fabreeze, paper towels, sunscreen, tampons and whatever else we could find. We ordered cowbells and party supplies online, gathered reflective gear, and found anything else that could possibly help us through the race.

IMG_1610

Part of our Target Shopping trip

A few weeks before the race Shannon and I went to the team captains meeting in San Diego. This meeting was great to familiarize us with rules and course changes.

IMG_1796

The week of I made some stencils so we could draw our “chik” logo on the vans, and made binders for the vans. In the binders would go our “race bible” (all the rules and information about Ragnar), our cell phone list, and emergency contact information, legs maps, and our end of race shower information (more about that later). I made a few other decorations that would be able to go on the vans as well.

IMG_1672

A few days before, I started packing my bag. I learned from a lot of different blogs how to pack for a Ragnar event. Most people said to pack each outfit in a separate Ziplock and make sure all your night gear is together. That is exactly what I did. I had a bag for leg 1, 2, and 3. I had a bag for my night gear (headlight, taillight, vest), a bag for my after clothes, and I made a bag for just in case. My “just in case” bag had an extra pair of pants, extra socks, my number belt, and a pair of gloves. My number belt was in this bag because my mom and I were using magnets to hold our number on.

IMG_1840

IMG_1839

IMG_1803

IMG_1841

IMG_1837

I also packed a second pair of shoes. I wasn’t sure I should bring them but was really glad I was able to change them out when my toe started to get a blister. The hardest part of packing was deciding what bag to bring. I didn’t want something too big and take up room in the van or too small that I couldn’t fit everything. The other essentials that I packed were things to sleep with. I packed my hammock (sadly didn’t get to use), a sleeping bag, small blanket, and my travel pillow.

IMG_1879

IMG_1875IMG_1873
Thursday night before the race our team all met up at Shannon’s house to decorate the vans and eat dinner. It was so much fun decorating and meeting everyone. We had a great group of girls and were excited for the following days.

0011_ML1_00130009_ML1_0012

IMG_1892Our team All ready for tomorrow!!

Julie, my mom, and I drove one van home as we were planning to meet everyone at the start line the next morning. There was no reason for us to drive from Huntington Beach to Lake Forest and back to Huntington Beach for the start. On the way home we lost almost all of our fringe, and the magnets. We learned very quickly which decorations would not work on the freeway.

A Couple of Tips for packing:
-include a dryer sheet in each bag (cuts down on dampness and stink)
-night gear: spend money on a running vest
I bought a light that attached to the end of my visor it was so much better than a band around my head
-test out your clothes and night gear before the day of

Thing I should have packed:
-a warm comfy sweatshirt (my running jacket wasn’t enough)
-my sweats (my running pants just weren’t warm enough for sleeping on the beach

0152_ML1_0224we were so cold we wrapped our blankets around us. We did get a few great complements on our fashionable outfits! 🙂

IMG_1801Leg 1 Flat Jessy

IMG_1799Leg 2 Flat Jessy

IMG_1870Leg 3 Flat Jessy

 

My Packing List:

Running Gear

3 sports bras

3 bottoms

3 running tops

3 running socks

Visor

Headband

Sunglasses

Jacket for night

Neon vest

Head lamp and blinking tail light

Sweats/ sweatshirt (should have brought)

First aid kit

Pillow

Headphones

Purple Nail Polish

Random:

Ziplocs

Trash bag

Sharpie

Towel

Blanket

Hammock

Paper towels

Cell phone charger

Toiletries:

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Painkillers

Sunscreen

Baby wipes

Shewee

Hand sanitizer

Hair ties

Shampoo/conditioner

Deodorant

Facewash wipes

Chapstick

Dry Shampoo

Van time:

Rainbows

Regular comfy clothes(after)

Video camera

Phone

Window paint

Compression socks

White board

Dryer sheets

Eye mask and ear plugs

Foam roller

Van Decorations

 

Mojave Trail

This weekend we took an adventure like no other. My parents had been planning this trip for a long time and we were finally able to take it.

DSC_0347

In the Mojave Desert there is a Road that used to be used as an old “road” that used to be traveled by American Indians to get across the desert. It was also used as a mail route for a few years in the 1800s. Today this road can be traveled by 4-wheel drive vehicles over the course of a few days.

DSC_0432

Thursday night we packed up the Jeep with survival gear, extra fuel, and extra water to prepare for our weekend adventure. Friday morning we left the house to meet our friends Scott and Jeri and their twin 5 year olds Tyler and Josh. We wanted to be on the dirt road for a few hours before sun down to find a place to camp for the night. You can camp almost anywhere along the road and we planned to camp Friday night and Saturday night.

10168077_10202474957333198_943972076_n

Friday we drove over a lot of Rocks. As we had never taken the jeep on this kind of off roading before we were excited to play around and see what it could do. After a couple hours on the trail we reached Fort Piute and decided it would be a good place for camp. We set up camp and went exploring a little. Scott, Jeri and the Boys were going to be sleeping in their tent, my parents planned to sleep inside the jeep and I positioned the jeeps 15 feet apart so I could string my hammock between them. I was excited as this was my first night using my new hammock.

DSC_0342

DSC_0378

Penny Cans (Toll Road)

After eating a delicious dinner we lit the camp fire and sat around it just hanging out. I love camping and camp fires may be my favorite part. We made brown bears, listened to owls, and stared at the stars. That night I slept in my hammock. Soon after going to bed the wind stared to pick up. If you have ever camped in the desert you know that the wind can be really strong out there. I soon found out that my hammock was great in the wind. My bug net blew around a lot and with a huge gust I would rock a bit but for the most part my hammock just hung still. The only thing I worried about was animals coming to sniff me in the middle of the night. The strong wind also made it a little colder. I had prepared for the cold by layering a wool blanket and yoga mat beneath me. (a big problem with hammocks in cold butt syndrome.) With only my sleeping bag on top of me the wind made my toes cold. Next time I will remember another blanket for the top. One amazing part about sleeping in a hammock is that you have a full view of the stars all night long. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the stars and being able to see them from bed.

CIMG1956

Making Brown Bears

 IMG_1737Sunrise

 

The Sunrise that morning was amazing! Sunrise is definitely my favorite part of any day. I have been known to get up early just to watch the sunrise. There is something even more magically about watching the sun rise over the desert, especially when you are laying in a hammock so close to it. After everyone was up, my dad started the grill to make breakfast burritos. Camping with my parents we always eat well! After breakfast we packed up camp and headed out for more adventures on the trail.

IMG_1687

 

CIMG1949

 

DSC_0399

 

DSC_0357

Saturday took us over some rough road. I was able to drive a little bit and most of my parts were filled with off camber driving and being tilted at 15-20 degrees. One part driving down this really rough patch I did switch and make my dad drive. I would have been able to drive it but in all honesty I didn’t want to be talked about as the girl that scratched, dented, rolled… the jeep. I figured if someone was going to do it, it needed to be him. He did end up scrapping the running boards pretty bad and there were a few moments where we were worried about making it through. Thankfully Scott was driving in front and we knew if he made it through we could too.

CIMG1961

CIMG1960

IMG_1705 IMG_1704

We passed the old school bus and car, and the mail box. Saturday night we made camp in a new location. At camp we did some shooting, both with guns and archery. Soon after shooting the wind started to pick up as usual in the desert. We ate dinner as the wind continued to pick up strength. As we ate we started to get worried about how strong the wind was getting. Scott and Jeri realized that the tent was not going to hold if the wind was any stronger. We started working on solutions for the night. After contemplating driving home in the dark we decided to move the jeeps in front of the tent and tie the tent to the jeep. With the jeeps positioned to block the tent I was unable to have my hammock up and ended up sleeping in the back seat Scott and Jeri’s jeep.

 

IMG_1693

DSC_0365

IMG_1710

The Mail Box

IMG_1717 IMG_1714 IMG_1719

IMG_1723

IMG_1731

My hammock hung before we had to move the jeeps for the wind

CIMG1997

It was nice having kids to chase my arrows for me 🙂

CIMG2000

Teaching the boys how to shoot the bow!

 

    CIMG2007The kids shooting the BB gun with their dad

10155857_10202495795534140_1200975316_n

The tent hooked to the Jeep

10172631_10202495794454113_1086520244_n

The Rock Pile

IMG_1763

IMG_1743 IMG_1741

IMG_1762

IMG_1754 IMG_1751

Water Crossings

After Surviving 40 MPH winds, the sun finally rose. Sunday was the last day on the trail. We drove to the rock pile to drop off our rocks, drove through some strong wind in the dunes that made it difficult to see, and drove through deep water. Finally we reached the highway and made our way to Peggy Sue’s Diner for lunch. I have always wanted to stop there!

IMG_1792 IMG_1789 IMG_1787 IMG_1786 IMG_1784 IMG_1783

This trip was a really fun experience and I’m glad I was able to experience it. I felt so dirty and ready for a shower when we got home. All the dirt, sleeping in weird places, and the peeing in the desert definitely felt like Ragnar training. So while we didn’t get our training runs in we still got some training! Ragnar is next weekend and now I am in total Ragnar mode!