Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Visit to Hickory, NC

My parents came and visited me at the beginning of October, which was amazingly wonderful! I loved having them here. In fact, I loved it so much I forgot to take pictures. Just know it was great. Towards the end of the month, I decided to visit some more family, so I made the drive down to Hickory, NC to visit Eric, Kayla, and Lexi Smith!
 Once again I didn't take a ton of photos, but I did remember to bring some on the hike we went on! We camped in Pisgah Natl Forest, and then hiked along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The colors were awesome!
 Lexi got a special view on Eric's back. Too cute :)
 We hiked up a ways and got a good look at a nice waterfall. It's hard to see in the photos, but there were several layers of the falls and it was beautiful with the fall colors.
 Love the sound of running water.
 Cute little family! Loved spending time with them :)
 The colors were so amazing I just can't get over them. I love how they reflect in the river.
A great visit to NC to visit some great people. Love my cousins and so glad that they are relatively "close" out here in the east. Can't wait to go visit again!

A Utah Bachelorette Party

For my friend Krista :) She's getting married in a few weeks now, but we decided back in Sept would be a better time to visit the mother country. Because, as Krista puts it, "when else will I visit Utah if not with my Mormon best friend?" 
 I started us off easy-or so I thought-with a short back country hike up Provo Canyon. We got a little rained on, and Krista started realizing what I meant by altitude difference, but I loved it :)
 The next day Krista was convinced I was trying to kill her off when I dragged her up the side of Mt Timpanogos to the caves. But the scenery was amazing!
 I got a high off of being back in my favorite part of the west- of course that feeling might also have been the lack of oxygen. I think I've gotten used to sea level :P
 But we finally made it to the top and touring the caves was totally worth it. Love nature!
 No rest for the weary as the next day we did a morning hike up to Stewart Falls. We grabbed Shelly and enjoyed her company up and down the trail.
 Krista's pleadings for a rest took us to an afternoon movie and dinner that night. But when we came out of the theater it was to a complete flooded parking lot! I'd forgotten just how much rain a mountain storm can drop :) It was up almost to our knees in some points.
 After a rest day Sunday spent with family, we made our way on Monday down to Bryce Canyon. I hadn't been since I was little and I wanted Krista to see the diversity of the canyonlands.
 The formations here are absolutely stunning. I love the colors and the way they contrast with mountain, trees, and sky.
 It looks almost as though it couldn't be real. So pretty!
 It was breezy, but we enjoyed wandering around the rim of the canyon and seeing the formations from different angles. We would have walked down into the canyon but there was a flashflood warning and so we did not.
 Me and the canyon. Ahh I do get so happy when I'm outside :)
 On our way back, we stopped by my favorite little hotspring. It's out in the middle of a farmfield away from everything. I love it.
 I'd never been there during the day to see all the different colors of the water. Beautiful! I love little volcanic intrusions into our world :)
The water was wonderful, though I couldn't convince Krista to join me so we only stayed a short while. All in all, it was a wonderful trip to see my favorite haunts throughout the state. I only wish I had more time! Someday soon I'll head back west and go exploring again :)