Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mermaid Parade 2008

I was in NYC last weekend visiting friends and attending a bachelorette party and it just happened to overlap with the Mermaid Parade. The Mermaid Parade is wonderful. It takes place every year in Coney Island and different groups dress up like sea creatures in attempts to win Queen Mermaid and King Neptune (like kind and queen of a prom). It is a crouded event, but Jonathan, Lisa, and I made our way through the crowd and found a pretty good viewing area. Here is what we saw:

Some choreographed mermaids dancing to Michael Jackson's "Bad."

Rediculous Superheroes (notice woman's best friend)

Some sort of crazy machine.


Obama supporters.

Metrocard Mermaids. Yes, all of that was made out of metrocards. And they were throwing metrocard bracelets and necklaces to the audience.

LolKat Mermaids

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"New" Computer

For the past two weeks I had been without my computer. Ever since I bought my computer last August it has been doing this weird freezing thing every now and then after I close the lid of my laptop. Realizing that my warranty was expiring, I have been calling HP trying to get it fixed and finally they realized that my hard drive was crap and they had to replace it. Of course this meant sending my computer away.

So, after two long weeks and a few long days of trying to figure out how to put my backup back onto my computer, everything is back in working order!
During that two week computer break, I had a lot of time to work on my Walking Miles column and go on other adventures. I am currently working on another Walking Miles, so I can't show that to you, but I can show you my incredible Zion Adventure!

While at the Fifth Water Hot Springs, Craig and I met another couple who loved adventures and home brewing as much as we do. We exchanged numbers and after many weeks of declining their invitations for adventures, we finally agreed to go with them to canyoneer three canyons in Zion National Park. Well, we didn't know it would be three canyons when we agreed to go. We were told that it would be a beginning canyoneering adventure with a bunch of other first timers.

So we left Salt Lake at 7PM to head down to Hurricane, UT. We met up with our friends an hour south at Springville. They were at a party, so we hung out for a little bit and then everyone headed down finally around 10PM. Another four hours later, and a few gas stops and meal stops later, we reached our campsite at 2AM.

We were woken up at 6:15AM and had to break camp. We found out that if you enter Zion before 7AM, you don't have to pay to enter the park. (Sweet, saved $25.) We entered, waited on line for our licence to go on the hike, ate breakfast, crammed into our friend's pickup and drove 10 miles to the trail head.

We started down the trail, sliding along the loose dirt until we reached our first repel. For my first ever self-repel, I had to go down a cliff with no foot holds. And with water falling on me. Scary, yes. But a ton of fun.

We then proceeded to go down about 10 other cliffs ranging from about 15 feet high to 100 feet high. This was by far my favorite part. I got really good at repelling myself down the face of a cliff.

On the way we saw some beautiful canyons with walls of red and black rocks.

After we left this first canyon, we entered Orderville Canyon (named after a Communist Utopian society in Utah named Orderville). This was mostly just walking through the canyon enjoying the scenery until we reached our first hint that there may be a lot of water coming up: a ton of snow.

Little did we know that there would be a lot of swimming up ahead. Not just wading up to our waists, full on swimming to reach land. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of this because I was afraid of getting my camera wet and ruining another one. The only hint I have at this is in the beginning. Doesn't Craig look happy?

It was after our third swim when I found out that this hike was 10 miles long and would take at least 10-12 hours to complete. I was freezing (the water was around 60 degrees) and we hadn't even reached our third canyon! However, there were a few more good photo ops.

After two more miles of swimming and hiking, we finally reached the Narrows, our third and final canyon. Because of the harsh winter and the high water levels, the Narrows was full of water. And fast moving water at that. And it was getting dark. We hiked the two miles of the Narrows in water mostly up to our waists (its normally up to the knee area). By the time we got to the end of the canyon, it was completely dark and we still had another mile to go to get out of the canyon. Luckily, this was all paved and we had head lamps to see our way. We reached the end, had to wait 30 minutes for the bus to take us back to our car where we could finally eat dinner and change into dry clothing. This was 11PM. We still had to wait for our friends to get their cars from the top of the hike and meet us back at the parking lot. Over an hour later, we were on our way to our campsite. Finally, around 1AM we were set up and ready to go to bed.

All in all, it was an amazing adventure, I just wished that they had told us to be prepared for a 12 hour hike!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Job

With school winding down (half of a day left! Woot woot!), I need a summer job. Luckily, Craig's newspaper just started a website about outdoor adventures in Utah. They were looking for someone to write about having a dog in Utah. And lo and behold, I have a dog! So I have begun to write a column about hiking with my dog, or as I call it: Walking Miles. Come read my first article!