Monday, December 17, 2012

Polar Express Nevada Northern December 14, 2012

                                   Quintin looking like a Gingerbread Man

Location and General Information: The Nevada Northern is a tourist railroad in Ely, Nevada. Ely is located 115 miles to the south of West Wendover, Nevada. Historically, the railroad transported copper ore and settlers from mines in and around Ely to Cobre, Nevada. For more historical information on the Nevada Northern please consult my December 17, 2010 post. Today the railroad survives as a living replica of a bygone era. Most of the excursions cost from 25-35 dollars depending on length and whether dinner is served. This particular trip is more for kids because of the trip to the "North Pole" to see Santa so it was fun to get Quintin involved in the experience.

                   Me feeding Quintin; now with his Santa suit on

                                 Quintin with Santa

                         The train in front of the Nevada Northern station

                           Decorations in the railroad car

                                         Tara feeding Quintin on the train

                                                "North Pole" Looks better with snow

                                          Another pic of the North Pole in Ely

                                           Decorations in the train car

Christmas Lights of Downtown Salt Lake and Temple Square December 8, 2012

                                      Lights in the front with an illuminated Temple

Every year Salt Lake City has incredible light displays downtown during the holiday season. The main draw is Temple Square where the lights are phenomenol and attract visitors from across the United States.  There are also lights at the Energy Solutions Arena and the new City Center. Temple Square is also where I proposed to Tara two years ago. Here are some of my favorite photos from the visit.

                                  Pretty blue lights in Temple Square

                             One of my favorite photos from Temple Square

                                             Lights near Energy Solutions Arena

                                            Lights at Temple Square

                                                   Lights at Temple Square

                     Tara and I  with the snow and lights around us

                             Lights at City Center
                                                Another one of my favorites of the Temple

Christmas Tree Hunting Dolly Varden Mountains December 2, 2012

                             Tara and Denin family in Dolly Varden Mountains

In early December Tara and I went Christmas tree hunting in the Dolly Varden Mountains of Nevada with the Denin family. The Dolly Varden Mountains are an isolated mountain range in eastern Nevada off of US 93 Alt. This range has many perspective Christmas trees large and small. It was also Quintin's first Christmas tree hunt.

Location: Drive south of West Wendover, Nevada, on US 93 Alt approximately 25 miles until a dirt road exits to the north with a small sign with Dolly Varden on it. Continue on this dirt road in the valley until another dirt road branches off to the south directly into the mountain range. There are many dirt roads in this area so a map or GPS is advised.

                              Scenery in Dolly Vardens

                 High desert scenery looking south towards Goshutes
                       Pretty pic of Denin's and mountain scenery

                              Quintin, Tara and I with our small apartment Christmas tree

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wendover Airshow September 22, 2012

                                                  Pretty sure it is a T-33 in flight

On September 22, 2012, Wendover, Utah, held its annual Airshow at the historic Wendover Airfield. Through the years the show has expanded and now it has an impressive number of aircraft and demonstrations for a small airshow. This year some of the highlights of the included a P-40 and P-51, Navy Corshair, the wing walkers, T-33, and the West Coast Ravens. Included are some of my favorite pictures from the day.

                                 US Army P-51

                                                Front of the P-51

                                  Navy Corshair

                                                       The Wing walkers


                                  West Coast Ravens in formation

                           West Coast Ravens in formation

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Goshute Mountains Observatory September 16, 2012

                            Looking north toward Pilot Peak

On September 16 I decided to spend my day hiking to one of my favorite destinations in eastern Nevada: the Goshute Raptor Observation Area. This spot gives a splendid 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains as well as hawks and falcons during the fall. To get to the location travel south from Wendover, Utah, on US 93A for 15 miles until a Nevada Department of Transportation site. Turn onto dirt road. (For more detailed instructions please see my June 8, 2011 post). From August until late October Hawk Watch International conducts surveys for flying raptors. They do a good job teaching visitors about the raptors and their migration.

               Cliffs in the Goshutes

                           Nevada chilling under a shrub

           Looking south along the spine of the Goshute Mountains

                    Interesting picture looking east

Monday, September 24, 2012

Little Superior Wasatch Mountains August 9, 2012

                                   Looking toward Mount Superior

I am sorry for the lack of updates on this blog. My wife and I are very busy with work and preparing for the arrival of our first child in October.

Location: The location of today's hike is the town of Alta, Utah, approximately 8.5 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Today's hike will take me up to Cardiff Pass and then hopefully Mount Superior. It is advisable to park in front of the Alta church. (No signs tell visitors not to park in the area). There are numerous other hikes to enjoy in the area including at the Alta Ski Resort and trails to Big Cottonwood Canyon.

The hike: I am hiking up Cardiff pass and then following the ridge line to the top of Mount Superior. It is approximately two miles to the top of Cardiff Pass with an elevation gain of 1,360 feet. From Cardiff Pass it is another 3-4 miles (distances not exact) and 2,000 feet of vertical climbing. From the church take a paved road that bends to the right. Follow it. The first 3/4 mile is on private property so be respectful.  After 3/4 of a mile you will come to a junction. Follow the trail in front of you up to the pass. If you get turned around the pass is a notch in the ridge with a power line going through it. From Cardiff Pass a trail branches off to the left following the ridge line. This trail is not on any map but plenty of people do take it. This trail will take you over Little Superior onto Superior itself. From here the trail peters out and it is Class two or three scrambling to the top. I did some of the scrambling but chose to turn around because I was by myself. If you hike off trail it is easy to get stuck in a precarious position requiring rescue. Remember in the Wasatch YOU pay for your own rescue. I certainly advise going with another hiker.


                     Purple flower

                                      Along the route to Mount Superior

                                      Looking back toward the town of Alta

                                Looking down toward Snowbird; thousands of feet up

                              Cool shot of tree with sky and rocks

                                    The trail up passed Little Superior


Whitepine Lake Wasatch Mountains August 10, 2012

                 Looking toward White pine lake and the north side of Little Cottonwood Canyon

Location: The hike up to White pine lake is located 5.5 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon at the Red pine Trailhead. This is a very popular trailhead so it is not advisable to hike this route on the weekend. Other possible hikes from this trailhead include Red pine lake and Maybird lake.

 The hike: This hike is 4.5 miles one-way nine miles round trip. It has an elevation gain of approximately 2,500 ft. The hike is on an easy to follow two-track so it requires no route finding skills. However, it is advisable not to try this hike if you are out of shape or not used to the elevation.  The first mile of the hike follows the Red pine lake trail before it cuts off to the left. The trail passes through high elevation conifer and pine forests on its way to the lake. I advise hiking this trail in late July because of the abundance of  wildflowers in the area. Snow conditions may exist well into late July. Please inquire if you are hiking this area in May or June.

                                         White pine lake: showing how dry it has been this summer



                                       Little Cottonwood Canyon; Utah