Hike 4/52 – Waterfall Canyon

Hike number four of this challenge was a special one. I decided that I wanted to try Waterfall Canyon in Ogden this time.  I had never done this hike before and Chris wasn’t going with me.  In the past, Jess and I have always hiked trails that we have previously done with our spouses so we’d feel comfortable, know the way, and not have to worry about getting lost.  Not this time.  This time we were ready to embark on our own adventure.  An adventure of the unknown, of epic proportions, and of massive butt workouts. Our cousin, Daniel decided to join us for a portion of the hike… it was the Berchtold trio, back together again!!

It was an absolutely perfect day for hiking – the sun was shining and it was warmer than it had been in awhile!  Giddy with excitement we packed our poles, put on our spikes and headed out!

The snow angels and easy conversation did not last long.  This trail got steep and fast.  And I thought I was going to die.  This is the first time I used my trekking poles while on a hike and I was so glad I had them.  I don’t know that I would have made it otherwise. Ha!  Jab it into the ground and pull myself up.  It was a crazy workout and not one of those graceful hikes.

As we hiked we had a couple ladies and their pup pass us.  Well, as we were getting further into the canyon, the girls were coming back down.  They asked us if we were going all the way to the top because they had tried to but their dog had heard something and wouldn’t go any farther.  Jess and I just looked at each other and shrugged, strapped my knife to my hip, and kept on.  We were already dying because of this hike.  No way in hell were we going to turn around and not see the damn waterfall.  So come at me, beasts!  I’ve got this!

We didn’t find any beasts but we did find the waterfall and it was worth the ass kicking.  20170128_130748

We did it! We braved our first hike on our own with no issues!  We were so proud of ourselves we went and celebrated with delicious fatty food.



52 Hike List

In my post about committing to the 52 Hike Challenge this year, I mentioned that I had created a list of 52 different hikes I’d like to do this year.  It’s not necessarily something I have to stick to but it definitely eliminates the possibility of using the excuse “I didn’t know where to go”.  My actual list of hikes will probably vary a bit given that I’ll be taking some awesome trips to Yosemite, the Redwoods, and the Caribbean this summer and will probably hike as much as possible while at each of them.

I created the list so that I could easily see what difficulty each trail is rated, the length of each trail, and if dogs are allowed.  This way, if I have free time after work to hit a hike, I can easily pick one out.  Without further ado, here is my hiking list:

  1. Mount Olympus (H) – 6.6 miles, dog friendly
  2. Lake Blanche (H) – 6.9 miles
  3. Donut Falls (E) – 3.7 miles
  4. Dog Lake (M) – 5 miles, dog friendly
  5. Mt Aire (H) – 3.2 miles, dog friendly
  6. The Living Room (M) – 2.2 miles, dog friendly
  7. Grandeur Peak (H) – 4.8 miles, dog friendly
  8. Heughs Canyon (H) – 3.5 miles, dog friendly
  9. Red Pine Lake (H) – 6.9 miles
  10. Willow Heights (M) – 1.5 miles
  11. Bells Canyon (H) – 4.7 miles
  12. Lisa Falls (E) – 1.1 miles
  13. White Pine Lake (H) – 9.9 miles
  14. Cecret Lake (E) – 1.7 miles
  15. Rattlesnake Gulch (M) – 3.5 miles, dog friendly
  16. Desolation Trail (M) – 4.4 miles, dog friendly
  17. Gobblers Knob (H) – 4.1 miles
  18. Porter Fork (M) – 3.5 miles
  19. Little Water Trail (H) – 4.6 miles, dog friendly
  20. Temple Quarry Trail (E) – 5 miles
  21. Albion Meadows (E) – 3.7 miles
  22. Lake Mary (M) – 2 miles
  23. Twin Lakes (E) – 2.4 miles
  24. Brighton Lakes (M) – 6.9 miles
  25. Lackawaxen Lake (M) – 2.6 miles, dog friendly
  26. Devil’s Castle Loop (M) – 1.7 miles
  27. Silver Glance Lake (M) – 5.8 miles, dog friendly
  28. Mount Timpanogas (H) – 14.5 miles, dog friendly
  29. Scouts Falls (E) – 4.2 miles, dog friendly
  30. Parish Creek Petroglyphs (M) – 1.1 miles, dog friendly
  31. Burch Creek (H) – 2.7 miles, dog friendly
  32. Strongs Canyon Trail (H) – 3.7 miles, dog friendly
  33. Waterfall Canyon (M) – 3.3 miles, dog friendly
  34. Gibbs Trail (E) – 3.2 miles, dog friendly
  35. Malans Peak Trail (M) – 4.5 miles, dog friendly
  36. Taylor Canyon Trail (M) – 3.4 miles, dog friendly
  37. Hidden Valley Trail (M) – 5 miles, dog friendly
  38. Glenwild Loop (M) – 3 miles, dog friendly
  39. Wild Rose Trail (E) – 1.7 miles, dog friendly
  40. City Creek Canyon (E) – 6.3 miles, dog friendly
  41. Sessions Canyon (H) – 5.1 miles, dog friendly
  42. Red Butte Garden (M) – 2.6 miles, dog friendly
  43. Elephant Head Trail (M) – 9.3 miles, dog friendly
  44. Millcreek Pipeline Trail (E) – 13.7 miles, dog friendly
  45. Neffs Canyon (H) – 6.2 miles, dog friendly
  46. Buffalo Point Trail (M) – 1.6 miles, dog friendly
  47. Lakeside Trail (E) – 5.8 miles, dog friendly
  48. Frary Peak Trail (M) – 6.3 miles, dog friendly
  49. Mill Creek Trail, Moab (E) – 7.5 miles, dog friendly
  50. Lambs Canyon (M) – 3.8 miles
  51. Terraces – Elbow Fork Trail (M) – 2.2 miles, dog friendly
  52. Adams Canyon Trail (M) – 5.2, dog friendly

I am pretty excited to make my way through this list.  Most of the hikes will be new to me as I have only hiked Mt Olympus, Donut Falls (in the winter), Heughs Canyon, Bells Canyon, Cecret Lake, Brighton Lakes, and a portion of Neffs Canyon before!

Have you hiked any of these trails?  What were your favorites?  Do you have some suggested trails that I should add to my list?

Lastly, if you have done some hiking in Yosemite or the Redwoods, let me know what trails are a must!

Hike 3/52 – Random Loop

For hike number three I decided to brave taking the pups out on my own again.  The plan was to meet a gal from our Adventure Some Women group up behind the U to take our pups out after a week of staying mostly indoors due to sickness, bad air, and work.  Blah.  Funny enough, Abby was actually the person I was supposed to meet the first time I tried taking Jack out on my own.  The one I couldn’t find and then I ended up having to leave anyway because Jack was being an asswipe?  So here’s to hoping this time would go much better, my dogs would behave, and I’d actually be able to locate Abby.  I did make sure to give her my number, tell her my make, model, and color of my car, and tell her what kind of dogs I have.  With all of those details, we should be able to find each other.

We decided to meet behind the hospital up by the University of Utah.  She sent me a detailed map with a circle drawn around the parking area, since I hadn’t been over there much.  Even with all of that, I still couldn’t find it.  Go figure, I’ve been living in Salt Lake 5 years longer than she has!  I’m prone to getting lost…what can I say.  So I found a spot by some trails and texted her where I was so she could come and find me.  A short while later a silver vehicle pulled up next to me and a couple with some dogs got out.  Abby had told me she drove a silver something or other.  I didn’t really know what her car looked like but this one had a female and some dogs in it.  Thankfully I hesitated and she went off on her own, because I’m not sure what would have happened if I’d just joined up with some random lady, who had no idea who I was, insisting that I hike with her.

Eventually, I found Abby and her adorable pup, Harper.  The dogs got along great and to my surprise, Jack and Indy stayed close and there were no issues! Yay!  The hike was a lot of fun and we got some exercise in after being cooped up inside for the past week.  We didn’t have a set goal in mind so we just hiked around for a couple hours and called it good! Sometimes the most uneventful, random hikes are the best.  Met a great new friend, the pups had a good time, and I got to explore an area that was new to me!  Success!


Red Butte Quarry House


The boys taking in the view

I FINALLY learned how to change my own tire!

Like every other kid, I grew up riding bikes… but I was also one of those kids that took my bike to my dad every time the chain fell off or my tire went flat. Kind of funny that I decided to start mountain biking in the summer and still have NO idea how to maintain my bike.  Thankfully I’ve ridden with some awesome folks who all know what they’re doing because otherwise I’d be screwed!

Last week I was able to attend a clinic for bike maintenance hosted by Bingham Cyclery and WomenMTB.  WomenMTB is a Facebook group started by the fantastic, Raeshell Sutherland.  It is based here in Utah and is a community of women riders who want to meet up and ride with other women, promote biking to get other females into the sport, and all around be a big support group.  I found it on a fluke right after I got my bike and it has been a great resource for knowledge, friends, and fun.

The clinic was focusing on basic on the trail maintenance.  Christine Dern, a pro downhill racer, was there to help teach us some of those skills and I just have to say, she has got to be the cutest gal ever and she’s a total bad ass.  I’m obsessed.  Not in a creepy way though.  Well, maybe… ok fine, I’m a creep.  Moving on!  Rae and Christine went over pack necessities, tire changing, and braking and shifting issues.  This was great because like I said before, I am clueless when it comes to doing anything but riding my bike.  We broke up into groups and were able to get some hands on work with the bikes as well, so now it’s something I will likely remember!  Although, I don’t suggest depending on me while out riding.  I couldn’t fix the broken chain because I am a weak ass bish aaaand it took three different people to help me change one tire.  For the record, I got the HARDEST tire to change.  Or at least that’s what they were telling me… I’ve considered that this was to make me feel better but I’m just gonna go with it.

Here are some of the suggested items for carrying in your pack.  Some of these are obvious and others were great ideas that I hadn’t thought of!

  • First aid kit
  • Old ID with your name on it and your emergency contact information written on the back
  • Tire irons
  • Sunscreen
  • Liquid Benadryl
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Tire pump/C02 cartridges
  • Tampons (great for stopping bloody noses or starting fires!)
  • Extra tube
  • Patch kit
  • Multi tool
  • Chapstick (I cannot survive without this!  My chapstick fell out of the tube when biking in Moab and I just about cried.  And then of course, I licked my lips every 5 seconds after that and made them terribly chapped. It was horrible.)
  • Zip ties
  • Electrical tape
  • Protection (knife, taser, etc.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Powerlink and chain tool

I really enjoyed this clinic.   I met some awesome ladies, snacks were provided which is always a win in my book, and they had a raffle at the end.  I won a patch kit and a water bottle…which I then left sitting there because I am a tool.  Aaaand I got to rush into the house and wake Chris up to tell him I changed a tire.  He was thrilled.

Do you have any other suggested items to carry in your pack, whether it be for hiking or biking?  Let me know in the comments!


Hike 2/52 – Stealth Loop

I’m gonna be honest…sometimes hiking ISN’T fun.  Don’t get me wrong, you can still enjoy the fact that you are outside or the people you are with… but deep down, you just kind of wish it was over and you could go home.  Welcome to hike #2 of the year.

We decided to head back up to the Glenwild trails for our second hike and take a different route!  We invited my sister in law, Bre, and her boyfriend James to join us.  They brought their two pups along and we were off!  It started off great, lightly snowing and relatively warm.  There was twice as much snow up there as there was last weekend and I kind of wished I had my snow shoes.  I had my spikes on, but the snow was so powdery that it just bunched up in the spikes and made it feel like I was walking in heels.  No thank you.  The dogs were absolutely loving it.  They would run off and jump after something, sinking all the way to their stomachs!  After about the first mile, we saw a heard of elk up on the hill!


About a 1/4 way through the hike I was quickly realizing that I was going to end up being miserable.  Unfortunately, I wore skinny jeans with my hiking boots which was a bad idea with all the snow that was up there.  Snow continuously went up and over my boots and down into my shoes, soaking my feet.  On top of that, my hiking boots are AMAZING but sadly, they give me blisters.  I’ve found a work around and generally I can avoid them by taping my heels up before the hike.  With all the wet snow getting into my shoes, the tape let go and I could feel blisters forming on both heels.  The light snow that we started with eventually turned to a heavier, wet snow.  Which, I am totally fine hiking in, but I was not prepared for it in my down coat.  I quickly absorbed all the snow and was wearing a saturated jacket of wetness.  Not so fun.

We hiked 4.93 miles in about 2 and a half hours.  It was a great workout, fun to be with friends, and the dogs had a blast.  Definitely not the time of my life but I’ll just try again next week.  Now I know to check the weather beforehand so I can make sure I’m prepared!  Lesson learned!fb_img_1485709355119


XO, Pipsqueak

Choosing A New Car

Great article written about the benefits of keep that old beater rather than upgrading to the shiny and new toys! Mr. Franklin, the original Pipsqueak adventure wagon, makes an appearance! Woo!

White Mountain Woman

vw-camper-336606_1920Are you looking for a new car? Maybe a new adventure wagon, something sweet that you can use to get to the ski slopes, pull your boat, get you to the trailhead, take on your next vacation? Let me give you some advice on choosing your new vehicle!

Don’t do it. That’s my advice. Okay, that was a trick, wasn’t it? But so often we discard our older vehicles in favor of some shiny new piece of metal that has all of the bells and whistles that we just can’t live without when the one we have still has a lot of life in it. There is a common train of thought that when a vehicle gets more than 100,000 miles it is just about worn out.These ideas are not only outdated, but can be very expensive.

How many miles can you get on a vehicle? Probably a lot more…

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Let’s Get Dirty!

It was January when I committed to doing the Dirty Dash with my sister in law.  Come June, I was trying to figure out what the hell I had gotten myself into.  I rarely ever stepped out of my comfort zone, I wasn’t in fantastical shape, I had no idea what to expect…I was terrified.  Little did I know, it would be one of the most fun experiences I’d ever had.

**Note:  This is going to be a picture heavy post.  So sit back, enjoy, and get inspired to do something as ridiculously fun as a mud run!


The first mud pit in and I was hooked.  I am a redneck country girl at heart.  Wheeling, mudding, and getting dirty are some of my favorite past times…this was no different.  I was having a riot!


Some of the obstacles were hard and I wasn’t able to do them, others I pushed myself through.  All of them, though, were fun!  Everyone around, whether you knew them or not, was willing to help out, lend a hand, and was just there to have a blast!  You could run the entire thing, you could be a beast on all of the obstacles, you could walk, you could do the 5k or the 10k…it didn’t matter!



One of my favorite moments of the race was when my sister, cousin and I came to an obstacle that you had to jump over.  We decided that we should do it Mission Impossible style.  We all backed up, got a running start and in the most action packed and stealthy way, we all three jumped over.  Unfortunately, and to our surprise, there was not a mud pit on the other side…just hard, flat, dry ground.  We all landed in a heap and laid there groaning about our injuries.  On top of running and jumping onto a hard surface, I had kicked my sister and cousin while jumping and gotten mud in my eye.  I am a very graceful person, let me tell ya. Sadly, this all happened while no one was around to see or take pictures.  It would have been a great moment to document.

We decided to the 10k and I am so glad we did.  More fun to be had, more obstacles to try, and more memories made!

If you do one thing outside of your comfort zone this year, I recommend this.  You look like a badass, you feel like a badass, you’ll have a ridiculous amount of bruises, you’ll need to shower like 7 times, but you will laugh like a little school girl and smile until your face hurts.  Soo worth it.11406427_1095742563775580_3786033771895098556_n11392892_1127355377280358_7537989194381080022_n11390250_1095742780442225_2380836607648641513_n11062353_1095742753775561_7567649157917236189_n10985567_1095742723775564_1904330646004120632_n

XO, Pipsqueak