Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BST: Parrish Creek to Barnard Creek


It was a glorious spring like day today so we decided to go for a quick hike.

I wanted something rather easy so I thought we would finally check out the Bonneville Shoreline Trail section between Parrish Creek and Barnard Creek.

To get here take i15 to exit 319 (Parrish Ln.) in Centerville. Take Parrish Ln all the way east until it ends. From there take a left and follow the thin road up around to a dirt parking lot. Park, and find the trailhead at the north end of the parking lot near a prominent sign. You can either follow that up and take the first trail split left, or you can continue down the ATV rd as that is what the trail eventually ends up being anyway.


Here is a view of the parking lot, and the valley below.


View of the mountain peak above. The Parrish Creek trail will take you to the top, but that was not our destination today.


View from the trail split. There a signs to help you find your way. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail goes both ways from here, but I wanted to check out Barnard Creek.


I heard and eventually saw this little manmade waterfall.


Parrish Creek.


Coming out of Parrish Canyon and around to the front of the mountain.


Before long we found another side trail called Parrish Sunset. Might have to check that out some time.


Not much further and the trail joins up with the ATV road I mentioned earlier.


And we made it to what I thought was Barnard Canyon. Looking back at the map I do not think this was in fact Barnard. There should be a creek. But there was a trail so we decided to explore a little bit.


There doesn’t appear to be much to this.


What’s this?



Oh lookie, I found a small cave/mine.


Not very deep at all, probably 5 – 8 feet, but I still didn’t want to crawl in.


Little bit of water makes a nice little mossy wall.

Okay that was fun, but there doesn’t seem to be any trail and Roxy was not acting very “into” the hiking today so we decided to head back.


View up the little canyon… gulch?


View of Antelope Island.


Interesting rock outcropping.


Parrish Canyon.


And back to the parking lot, with a shot of the shot up signs. People are really gun happy around here.

Meh, not much to it. Like I said I am certain I did not make it to Barnard Creek, so I am going to leave this unrated today.

As for difficulty, if you stay on the shoreline trail, I would mark it a DR3. There is a short UP section, but after that it is fairly flat and even.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Midway Ice Castles


I have been wanting to get up to Midway to see the Ice Castles for a while now. Then this amazing cover of Let It Go from Frozen featuring them went viral on YouTube.

So that kind of showcased just how awesome the castles are so now I REALLY wanted to go. Then we saw that the 17th was going to be the last day due to how un-seasonably warm it has been recently. So we decided we would definitely go this weekend. Of course, due to family stuff, the 17th was the only day we could do it.

They do not come every year, but when they do come they always seem to be located on 150 West 100 North in Midway, Utah. A really small town near Park City, Utah.


As you can see, we don’t really have much snow down here. (DBP album) i80 near the mouth of Parleys Canyon.


Jordanelle doesn’t appear to be frozen even. (DBP album)


Looking for a parking spot we passed the outside wall. Looks pretty cool!

All of the traffic, and people it was starting to remind me of Colorfest!


And the lines. This was after we waited for about 45 – 50 minutes and had rounded the corner. The line is much, much longer and was growing longer by the minute. I was glad we arrived when we did. Apparently, everybody within 50 miles had the same thought I did. Oh, cool video, OH CRAP, Last day?!?!? Lets go! From what I heard from other people in the line, normally there is not such a wait.


I couldn’t decide if I wanted to see them during the day or at night which was why I chose to arrive at 5:30, in hopes of seeing both.. however, it is starting to look like I am getting a night visit. (Which I am pretty happy with happening in hind sight).


Sword in the stone, and some princesses from Frozen.

Even before going inside this place is really neat!


The archway above the entrance.


Inside the main courtyard. The artists put LED’s inside the structures to make them glow and change color which I think give it an awesome effect at night.


The fountain in the center.


I eventually learned each archway took you to a new room.


All of the people were really disorienting me, but I saw a fountain through this archway and decided that is the room we would check out first.



What makes these ice castles more unique than any other I have seen is the artist builds them one icicle at a time, rather than make large ice blocks so you get a much more natural looking structure. Seriously, some of the structures look like stalactites from Timpanogos Cave or even some of the structures you see formed in Yellowstone.


The waterfall. I should have used a flash here as there wasn’t enough light to really see it.


Broken archway. Guess this is evidence of why tonight is the last night. We had already gotten dripped on a few times. It is definitely melting!


Another archway with Orion above.


Just another wall.


Ooh what’s going on here:




Excellent! If the ice castles were not enough, now we have a fire breather on the high wall! So awesome! And of course if you have an active imagination like I do, now the castle has dragons!


This one is to mostly try and show just how big the thing is. And you can see the fountain in the middle again.


Another feature. I went into the room to learn that it is apparently the exit for a feature called The Narrows. I want to see that!


So back through the courtyard, and past the fountain again. At least I got a better shot of it.



More flames.



The Narrows.


Just another wall.



The center fountain again. Yes I walked by it several times. I eventually realized that I had been doing the castle backwards. I started on the right, and should have started on the left (clockwise). As after the next room I learned that each room seems to start on the left, and exit on the right. Whoops. I don’t know if this will help you for next time as the castle is never the same, but perhaps they keep that theme going.


More wall detail.


I believe this is the entrance to the maze.

IMG_1491 IMG_1492

The maze actually seems tighter than the narrows and is probably the brightest room.



Leaving the maze. We got the most drips in this room.



Waiting to go inside the room inside the tower that the fire breather was on before. It didn’t appear to have a name, but I guess tower works best.


A look back out into the crowded courtyard.


And in we go! This one seems even more cramped than the maze at first.


And then it opens up and you realize it is an open tower.


Yea definitely tighter in here.


Another tower.


I don’t remember which room this is, I think it might be the entrance.



The center fountain again.



Heading towards the exit.


Another wall detail.


And outside. Wow! Just WOW! This was way more awesome than I thought it would be. I mean, I had a small idea of walking through an ice castle, but I had no idea! And honestly, pictures, even video do not do it justice it is definitely something that should be experienced first hand.

There were a lot of rooms we saw, The Narrows, The Maze, The room with the waterfall, and the tower, and there were a few crawl tunnels we did not do (too small) and there was even a slide we didn’t do (didn’t want a wet butt, again melty). And who knows what we may have missed. I also want to mention that am a pretty claustrophobic person and even with the crowds making it worse and not to mention, with all the dripping, the fear that it could collapse. There was only one spot that I got even slightly hesitant. But as soon as I entered the room I was actually fine.

The artist says this is the biggest and most elaborate one yet. It really is a shame the weather warmed up so much, but I understand it is becoming a liability. It is too late this year, but next year, add it to your must see list! I know I am going to return.

The only downfall was the crowd, but as I mentioned this is not the norm. Viral videos really have an impact sometimes. But even that, I would compare it to a haunted house on the weekend. It’s a long slow moving line through different rooms of awesomeness.

Definitely a perfect 10 as far as adventures go.

squirrels 10

As for difficulty, today was fine. Due to how warm it was the floor was all slushy. I only saw one person actually fall. But I understand when it is below freezing, it is icy and slippery so probably a DR4.