Wednesday, July 28, 2010

more blogs

I've cleaned off half of my desk. The rest of my office is still disorganized, but that's ok. I can probably get some work done finally. This summer has been flying by so quickly, it is hard to catch a second or two to check some things off the list.

I found an old hardcover sketchbook that I've had (and been too afraid to use) for many many years. I'm going to start sketching away and make sure to include it in my usual bag of tricks. Things I'm interested in drawing: architecture, landscapes, and people. It will be ugly, but I'll probably scan in some results later on my Angry Peasants blog. I plan on updating it more frequently. I'm still working on ideas for the webcomic. Everything up to this point has been kind of experimental.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

the long blog

My brother and I attempted to climb Flat Top Mountain again last Thursday. Our last attempt ended in failure after I had read the map incorrectly and took a wrong turn, which placed us on the wrong side of a ridge. With more determination this time, we left early and made our way to the trail head. The rutted mining road required some 4x4 expertise. After navigating the rocky road, we hit the trail, but like the previous hike, we ran into some problems.

right off the bat we found ourselves mixed up in a maze of elk and cattle paths that criss crossed all over the mountainside, creating a maze of waist high bushes. Each turn seemed to point in the right direction, even though we were probably close enough to the trail. After twenty minutes of bushwhacking and trail hunting, we gained some elevation and found the real path. I yelled at my brother because it seemed like we were just hiking parallel to it for some time.

Finding the real path helped us cover some good distance pretty quickly, despite the tough incline and sudden increase in elevation. Coming around the first ridge, we could look back at our tiny car, and see the peak we climbed a few days earlier. The sun was rising fast and the heat and bugs were starting to get to us. After a rest, we continued forward and the trail soon took us through a thicket of aspen trees and tall bushes. By the time we had emerged from the trees, we had lost some elevation and the trail again. We were at the mercy of deer trails and the maze. Using the map we knew where we should push ahead, but the scraggy bushes just clawed at us making the climb twice as difficult. By this time the sun was in full force destroying our will to go forward. Looking up at the side of the ridge, I saw an outcropping of rocks and we used that as a bearing to wade through the brush.

From that outcropping we could look down and see the telltale signs of a solid path, even though it was overgrown. Taking that trail we had to make a steep ascent to the saddle. By this time, I think we were probably at the halfway point. We found a small campsite with shade and some logs to sit on so we rested. Looking up we could see the main ridge and the summit of Flat Top. Summit fever overtook our senses and we pushed ahead. Again we lost the real trail, though I was later glad that we did.

We found a worn deer trail through the forest we had to cross in order to climb up the ridge. For the most part, we were in the shade and only had to climb a few fallen logs here and there. My feet had started to hurt, but I ignored it. After coming through the forest, we faced another scratchy climb through thick brush to reach the ridge. Once we did, we could see for miles and miles. The view from that ridge was worth all the cuts and scrapes. We looked down into utah county and could see most of Tooele county. I could see my house from there! ha.

After coming so close, we both decided that it would be too hard to keep going. We were honestly a few hundred feet from the summit. Being extremely tired, and not fond of scrambling over sharp rocks, we backed off the mountain cautiously. The combination of the steep hike, physical exertion, and lack of a real trail really made things hard for us. On the hike back down we managed to stick to the main trail even though it was overgrown most of the time. Coming off the ridge was tricky, steep, and put us against the edge of a very steep cliff. I'm glad we didn't climb up that way. Even though we were able to climb down quickly, just being physically exhausted slowed down our descent. We reached the campsite again, and agreed that we could make it back to the car by 4:30 and out of the canyon by 5 p.m.

The remainder of the hike was really steep. My knees began to buckle, and as time went on the sun beat down on us. I had enough water for the trip down, but the lack of food kept me from keeping my energy up. After trudging along the trail, it became clear that I had the initial signs of heat exhaustion. I was overheating, my stomach started cramping up, and I thought I was going to fall asleep walking. It was a death march back to the car.

Hard hike for sure. Not something I'd try again soon. Given the lack of use, I'm sure the trail will fade away in a few years to the overgrowth. I underestimated the elevation and time it would take to go there and back, but oh well. I'm scratched up and sunburned. Yay for adventure.

I've posted a new picture to Angry Peasants. I'm planning to post some more pictures soon. Just need to get around to it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Haven't bloggered in a long time. Been busy, let's be honest here.

My son was born on june 30th. He came early, but there were no complications. He's growing up fast and makes us laugh all day long. My dog seems to think he is either a human baby or a toy that can move. She'll figure it out someday. I'm a happy dad, and can't wait to pass down all my secret geek knowledge to him one day. So now I'm at home taking care of my family this summer. I wouldn't say that I'm bored because before I know it, the day is already over. Crazy. I've taken this time from work to look for other jobs and to get things done around the house that I haven't been able to get to.

Yesterday my brother Ryan and I went on a hike that kinda failed. I misread the map and took a wrong turn, and we ended up forging a path up a mountain, which sucked. I got all scratched up and then we found out that we were completely in the wrong place. So much for that. We did find the entrance to an old mine, and a teetering cabin. I got to test out my four wheel drive on a crazy mining road. Looks like we'll have to go back and try again.

Other than that.... I guess I'm here.