Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Coyote Gulch GSENM

It's been a while, do to the wonderful adventure of being a new father, among all the other chaos of my personal life.  I may share more of my adventures in fatherhood later.

I just returned from a four day trip to Coyote Gulch in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  It was a quite the adventure, crossing the many different micro climates of the trail.  We went from slick rock, to sand dunes, to small willow and cottonwood forests on the canyon floor.  I was with a group of five backpackers, led by Garth Tino, a faculty member at Utah Valley University.

I had a great time, but made some mistakes.  Everyone forgets something on a trip, and I forgot two things.  One was an inconvenience  my camp shoes, but the other was a huge embarrassment, my hand sanitizer.  I felt so awkward every time I had to ask someone for theirs.  Lesson learned.  Time to make a poop bag.  (It's not what it sounds like)

We found a spring, flowing water right from the rock, and the water was pretty tasty.  I feel that my choice of grub was good, and remember, you can eat good in the back country and not need a full stove or fridge.  We had a great view of the stars, and if the moon wasn't full, I might have slept under the stars.

One thing that we discussed as a class was the difference between personal and professional responsibility.  By yourself or a group of friends, there are some risks that you might be willing to take, that if you professionally were to do would be quite foolish or reckless.  You might even stray into the legal area of endangerment.

Some parts of the trail can be difficult to find and follow, so if you desire to follow in my footsteps, do your research, and get the right maps.  Due to the many interconnected waterways, side and slot canyons, it can be easy to get lost.  Talk to people who have been there, and better yet, talk to the BLM rangers who oversee the NM to really know before you go.

For the full picture experience of the trip, and some videos, go to Coyote Gulch Pics

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring Road Trip: Capitol Reef and Grand Canyon Nat'l Parks

With the rise of Spring, the call of Adventure was roaring in my ears.  My wife, the Hobbit, and I journeyed south to the land of colored rock, bright green vegetation in bloom, and a touch of the unknown.  First stop, Capitol Reef National Park, my favorite national park thus far.  The oasis of bright green in the Fruita Historical District was a reprieve and contrast from the desert colors of tan and red.  A quick stop in the Visitor Center to orient ourselves to the unique geological history of the area, as well as a glimpse into what life was like for past settlers, both of the native and the Pioneer variety. 

A storm was rolling in, its dark clouds threatening our encampment and a wonderful dinner.  Foolishly, I had not planned to reserve a camping spot at the park campground, which was crammed full of visitors.  A wonderful park employee who sold us the most amazing and life-changing peach pie, gave us a few alternate locations to pitch our tent, in the literal sense.  The clouds grow thicker as we searched for a place to lay our heads and fill our bellies, and rain followed by snow pounded our adventure vehicle ("Sally" the '93 Saturn SL).  Consulting our atlas, we searched for alternate locations for food and lodging.  We decided to continue on our course, leaving Capitol Reef Nat'l Park, heading south and toward our next destination while investigating other options to set up camp on the way.  A few state parks were situated along our route, however the ones we passed lay upon the shores of Utah's lakes and reservoirs, and as the storm rolled along, the wind amongst the shores was approaching not only uncomfortable but perhaps unbearable levels.  Certainly not levels one typically wants to camp in with a woman who is five months pregnant (and who does not generally enjoy camping, even in good weather).

As we ventured further south to our next destination, we passed in and out of the storm, and into the night.  We faced a few harrowing mountain passes, slick with fresh winter precipitation, and thick with fear in the deep of the night.  However, cool minds and strong courage prevailed and we reached the Southern Utah town of Kanab where we found affordable lodging for the night.  Within the dry, semi-comfort of the cheap motel room, we enjoyed sandwiches, chips, drinks, and the remainder of the life changing peach pie from our first destination while being entertained by the cable television afforded to us by our 49$ a night fee.

As not much occurred during the night except for our light slumber, I will not go into much more detail about our stay in Kanab.  In the morning we departed for our next destination, and the next part of our adventure in the land of Red Rock and desert.

Stay tuned for Part 2: The Grand Canyon.  See all the pictures of my trip by clicking the link below.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Back in Action

As you can tell from the title, I am back!  I apologize for the delay, but things have been crazy here lately at Ranger HQ, with the baby on the way and all sorts of other things.  Stay tuned for my latest adventure!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Down for Maintenance

My apologizes for not posting in over a week but I need to take the blog Down for Maintenance for the next couple of weeks.  We should be up by St. Patties Day.  Keep in touch.  Go have an adventure.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New News and Shared Article

I recently found out some great news, I am going to be a Father!  Personally I am very excited, and the Hobbit is working on it.  The morning sickness is throwing her off a bit.  But a short while after we found out, I found this article on (Great site by the way) about how to take your kids camping.  Seems like kids are on the mind of lots of people, or my eyes have just been peeled for these kind of things.  They get full credit, I just want to share it.  Hope you enjoy it.

Go have an adventure, and take your kids with you.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Every Day Adventure Essentials

Every good adventurer has to have some quality gear, whether for every day adventures in town or in the back country.  While I could go into the nitty gritty details of each brand of the pieces that I will cover, or what I personally feel is the best, I will share my opinions.  But they are simply my opinions and I want each of you to go find your own opinion.  So here we go, every day essentials.

1. Wallet and all included!  Yes, you need to have your wallet.  In my wallet I have proper local ID, a credit/debit card, family pictures, a little bit of cash in small bills, and assorted other cards IE: School ID, library card, Sam's/Costco/BJ's.  Each of these things are increasingly important to have in our modern world.  Even in the back country, a wallet has many uses.  Some are first aid, body ID if you die (Sad but true), old receipts can be used for fire starting.  Figure out what multi-use functions your wallet can provide you for your activities. 

2. A knife.  A good quality pocket or neck knife is a wonderful tool to have that, once you get used to it, you will use every day.  I personally use mine while working on hobby project or at work.  Much of the time you will use it for opening boxes and the like, it is great to have when you need it.  Do your own research on good knifes, for a good resource visit nutnfancy on YouTube, take a look at his playlists, he is subscribed on my YouTube page.  Be prepared to spend a bit of money, but if you by quality, you will only by once.  Unless you lose it, like I have for a few of my knifes.  I use a Spyderco Tenacious

3. A small flashlight in AA or AAA.  Trust me, it is another every day tool that you don't realize how handy it is until you have it with you every day.  I was in a room with no windows when the power went out, and my small quality light lit the room UP!  Just some circumstances that I personally have used my small flashlight in power outages, dark basements, under desks looking for dropped items, unlocking my car, and looking for something in a room without turning on the lights (Someone was sleeping and I didn't want to bother them.)  Like the knifes, see nutnfancy, pay a bit, have it last much longer.  I use a Streamlight Stylus Pro.

4. A handkerchief.  Yay! Something cheep!  Yes, you can use it to wipe your nose, wipe your tears, as a napkin, etc.  Great, cheep, you can get a pack for a few dollars at any megamart or big box.  I use cotton bandanas.

5. Your brain.  You can do SO MUCH when you just use your head.  Using your head, you can see what kind of things you personally need to add to your individual gear.  Be MacGyver, or if that is too old a referance for you, be Micheal Weston.  If you don't get either, use a search engine and put netflix or Hulu to work.

Go have an adventure.

PS: Just got word, and wanted to share.  I ham going to be a father!  A whole new, much anticipated adventure.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Quick Update

Hello Ranger fans, this week, things have been a bit slow at Ranger HQ and the biggest adventure I have had was my batch of projects for Bushclass.  But fret not!  Ranger's Adventures has a Facebook page and a Youtube channel.  They are in their infancy still, but they will be growing.  I am working on a Winter Overnight adventure and will be posting all about it, as well as trying to get a camera with video so I can begin posting things on youtube.  But in the wait, go ahead and take a visit and see some channels I have subscribed to.  Links are below for your internet surfing pleasure, thanks everyone for your support.  We also added the Adventures tab, which provides information to allow you to come on an adventure with me!  This way, we can add more content that you are interested in as viewers.  I look forward to your response.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bushcraft USA Review

This is a first for the Ranger's Adventures Project, a web site review.  I found this site a while back called Bushcraft USA and and have enjoyed the information that is available. The members of the forum are generally friendly and open to other forms of outdoor adventure.  They even have a class called Bush Class USA that is taught by actual bushcraft teachers from across the country and around the web.  I am currently taking the class and am about halfway though the basic portion. 

If you don't know about bushcraft, it is a style of outdoorsmanship that focuses on minimum gear, maximum knowledge.  Practitioners learn skills and build the majority of their gear in the field.  Hardcore bushcrafters, bushcraftmen? People that do bushcraft that are more into it even carve their own dishes and silverware.  Many will take the minimum amount of food, and hunt, trap and gather a good amount of their food in the wild.  Basically it is voluntary wilderness survival, but definitely an adventure.   If this peaks your interest, swing by

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Memories of My Grandfather

I got a call today that I have been expecting for a while, but wasn't looking forward to.  I learned that my Grandfather, Lee M. 'Ranger' had passed away.  Looking back at the memories that I had of him, I thought I'd share some of them, as well as have them recorded for my own children one day.  Thinking about the times that we had together, I can certainly say that we had adventures, and I believe that I learned much of my adventure spirit from him. 

One of my earliest memories of him is going fishing with him and my father when I was just a little guy when we journeyed to Utah for a visit.  Latter, I remember him taking my father and I with him and my great grandfather to the same lake.  In retrospect, I wish I knew what an opportunity that was as a boy, to be able to enjoy four generations of my family together, doing something that we enjoyed together.  He always took care of his garden and put away food into storage, filling a basement room with jars of food.  He put away extra fish and deer meat from the hunt into freezer storage.  I believe that I learned my preparedness mentality from his example.

He worked hard, and was one of the strongest people I know.  As I grew, I had the opportunity to work beside him as my family built our house, and latter as we worked on an addition to his.  I gained a lot of work skills from him, and I am not sure I thanked him properly.

One of my favorite memories of him was how he was one tough SOB.  On a country drive, my cousin and I were with him, he saw the train tracks ahead and instead of slowing down, he floored it.  The car caught air and I hit my head on the roof of the car.  Nice moxie for a gent in his 60's at the time.  While working on his house, we were taking a break and turned on the TV to end up watching a WWII movie.  Some Japanese officers were drinking Sake, he leaned back in his chair and said, "Ahh, Sake, good stuff."   I asked him, "You're not speaking from experience, are you?" in a lighthearted tone.  He replyed, "Shut up."

He could cuss like a sailor, and I knew every colorful word in the book by the time I was 10, mostly thanks to him.  My younger brother has always been a clean living kind of guy, and was shocked when he heard my grandpa cuss when a driver cut us off on the freeway.  In response to my brothers shocked expression, he looked at me in the passenger seat, "Dammit 'Ranger', why didn't you tell your brother I swear?" 

I know that my grandfather is in a better place and that I will see him again, because families on earth can be together forever.  Despite my grandfathers colorful language, he is a good man, and God needs colorful people.  He was too ornery to go willingly, so he needed to be put under for a surgery and have things happen the way they did. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shooting with Friends and Wife

Last Saturday I had the chance to go shooting on the west side of Utah Lake with some of my friends and my wonderful wife, the Hobbit.  After setting up the shoot while enjoying some wings earlier in the week, we headed out Saturday afternoon to enjoy some high powered firearms action.  My wife has been interested in learning how to shoot the rifle that we have, so I brought her along.  We had a wonderful time, despite some other shooters who were not being safe in their gun handling.  Toward the end of our time as the weather turned cold, the unsafe shooters, lets call them morons, were approached by a BLM ranger and ID-ed.  He was joined by many local county sheriff deputies.  Many of the shooters there, along with ourselves were glad to see them busted.  It was a great experience to work with the Hobbit, teaching her to shoot my little .22 caliber rifle.  It also was entertaining the see her try to shoot a 12 Gauge pump action shotgun and a .45 handgun.  One of my friends, Blackhawk, let me shoot his 12 gauge that was loaded with a Magnum Slug, and it gave me a dead arm and left me with a stiff shoulder for the rest of the day.  I will include pictures when I get them uploaded.  Keep having adventures.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Job, New Adventure

My posting lately has been thrown off because I started a new job, which has lead to many adventures.  I am one of the night clerks at a local gas station convenience store, and it has certainly been an adventure of a different sort.  Because it is winter, and I am awake mostly at night, my outdoor adventures have been few and far between.  I have plenty of adventures in my duties at night, cleaning the gas station, dealing with people who want to buy beer when it is not legal, others who want to buy cigarettes without ID.  Things really get fun when stoned or drunk people come in and change things up.  I will be working to get out more, as a bit of a gut is forming on me. (If you ask the Hobbit, it was always there)  More adventures will be held shortly as I get out more.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kelty Redtail 1600 Daypack Review

This is the review that has been years in the making.  I bought my rugged and reliable Kelty Redtail Daypack because I needed a hydration capable daypack for a summer camp that I worked at in 2005.  The same year I left on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I took my trusty bag with me.  That bag went from Ft. Lauderdale to the Florida Keys, and all over Miami with me.  It survived rain, sun, sweat and all sorts of conditions, including some great mountain biking. (Yes, it does exist in Florida).  Coming back to my wonderful mountains, it went with me for three more summers of Boy Scout Camp, a year as my school bag, mountain biking in Utah and Colorado, and is still my go to daypack for local day hikes.  Many of my adventures, it has been there with me.

It has a decent sternum strap that does the job without any bells and whistles, and just enough pockets to hold what you need.  It is hydration capable and has two water bottle pockets that are handy for your bottle or any sort of quick stash of small parts.  Two straps on the side aid in compressing the pack to a nice small size when needed, or for lashing a jacket, or other things, to the outside of your pack.  A handy daisy chain is sturdy sewn on, as are two lash points on the bottom.  I havn't had a problem with the stitching anywhere on the pack.

After almost eight years of use, you can expect some wear and tear in a pack, and my pack is showing some, but is still good to go.  One of the shoulder straps was beginning to frey, but a quick hit with a lighter fixed that.  The elastic on the water bottle pockets gave up the ghost about two years ago, but are still very sturdy, just stuff won't stay in them.

Overall, I love this tough little pack and recommend it to anyone needing a good daypack for school, work, a get home bag for your car or any sort of adventure needs.

Pictures to follow.