First Leg of Our Trip – June 8 – June 18

Days 1-4

We started our trip on June 8, by packing up the van and driving to Vail, Colorado.  Most ski towns, at least in Colorado, are strict about parking on their streets or parking overnight in parking lots, which meant we could sleep in town.

Luckily we found National Forest land about fifteen or twenty minutes away, meaning free camping.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning we spent exploring the GoPro Mountain Games.  It’s a giant outdoor sports festival where you can compete in amateur competitions and watch professionals compete in national or even international competition circuits.

Some of what we watched: highlining, tricklining, rafting, kayaking, climbing, fly fishing, one-wheeling, mountain biking, dock dogs, and enjoyed free concerts.


Highliner and kayakers at the GoPro Mountain Games (summer 2017)

While there, we were able to meet up with Kayla and Dillon, Tory’s sister and her husband.  who drove all the way from Sheridan, Wyoming.

Kayla and her dog Benelli were competing in a couple of Dock Dogs competitions.  Benelli ended up jumping over twenty feet.

Sunday, June 11, we left after catching Benelli’s first jumps of the day and headed out to Utah.

Seven hours of plains, wind, hills later brought us to our first climbing destinations of the trip, Maple Canyon.

Day 5 – 9

Maple Canyon is about an hour south of Salt Lake City.  It is made up of conglomerate cliffs, which look like river rocks held together by concrete.

It’s a little unnerving to climb on conglomerate at first because it looks like the whole mountain could come tumbling down at any second.  And at times, parts of the cliff do.


Never before have I been more eager to wear my helmet as pebbles and stones bounce down, having come loose from a foot or hand movement or the shifting of the rope.

We’ve removed some larger rocks so later climbers don’t accidentally knock them down on people below.  On one route, Tory took down two separate rocks, each about the size of serving platters.

On June 16 we left Maple Canyon and drove to Salt Lake City.


Conglomerate cliffs in Box Canyon, another canyon within Maple Canyon.

Day 9 – 11

In Salt Lake, my little sister Rory is completing a finance internship for the summer.  She made time in her busy schedule to hang out with us, and let us take showers and do laundry (thanks Rory!)

We hung out at her place and went to a Saturday morning farmer’s market – consequently that is where Tory and I both got the worst sunburn of our trip so far.

Saturday afternoon we headed out and went to Coalville, Utah to visit Tory’s aunt and uncle, Tammy and Randy.  It turned out we came on the day of Coalville’s summer BBQ, a big festival in the park.

We spent a great night with his cousins, their kids, and his aunt and uncle.

Sunday afternoon we will head out to Idaho for the second leg of our trip.


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