Sunday, June 12, 2011

Timpanogos Cave

Yesterday we went up in the canyon so we could hike up to Timpanogos Cave. This is something I've wanted to do for a very long time. Going in I knew in order to get to the cave we had to walk 1 1/2 miles on a paved trail, gaining over 1,100 feet in elevation. It's paved. How bad can it be? I didn't think it would be a problem. Holy crap it was hard. My pansy California sea level lungs could barely handle walking up a steep trail at that altitude. I really had a hard time breathing. We had an hour and a half to go the 1.5 miles. Piece of cake...

We knew it was going to be hard but beautiful. It wasn't long before we could look down on where we had started. It honestly didn't take long to get to this point since it was so steep but I still thought, "I've got this." 

"Cool tree. Want to STOP for a picture. Sounds like a great idea to me!" 

"You too Emma. Sure thing. I'm happy to STOP for a minute for pictures." 

"Hey look, a sign, we better STOP again."

It was hairpin turns like this the whole way up. Some were steeper than others. It doesn't look bad does it. Looks can be deceiving.

Can you see the road below? We were getting higher and higher. It seemed like a good time to STOP for a picture.

"Hey kids! I think it's time to STOP for a couple more pictures."

"Hey look. We've made it a quarter of the way. Let's STOP for just a sec. to take a picture. See, that first quarter wasn't too terrible." Little did I know the worst was still to come. 

Each time you see a picture just know I was asking to STOP. 

Hard. It was hard I tell you. Can you tell how steep it is?

We saw cool trees precariously growing out of rocks.

Incredible views across the whole valley. 

1/2 way! Wahoo. We're doing this! This is where it got really hard. Like I couldn't catch my breath, I just may die, hard. 

Wet slimy stuff that dripped on us. After this I put away my camera. I didn't care anymore. We were running out of time. We couldn't miss the tour, not after all of our hard work, I had to dig deep. I wanted to sit and rest every chance I could but there wasn't time. I was sweating everywhere and it wasn't even that hot of a day. It was actually the perfect day for this. Perfect and yet I still wanted to die. I don't think humans should have to breath air that thin. It's just not right. Emma took my backpack and that helped a lot. Finally we made it. 


We were at 6730 feet above sea level. Holy heck that is high. 

We didn't even get a chance to rest. Our tour started right away. Once inside it was around 40 degrees. It felt so good. Today I heard that they pump oxygen into the cave. Bless their hearts. I thank them. I could breath. Finally!

I can't even remember what half the stuff in the cave is called but it was cool. Inside there were tight pathways to maneuver. Drippy things dropping drips on us. Wet, muddy, slippery floors and stairs! It was cool to ee but way different than I had imagined. If you're claustrophobic this probably isn't the place for you.   

This is a story I want to forget and yet don't want to forget so I better write it down. There were 20 people on the tour. Amongst our group were some "alternative lifestyle" type of kids. Well one, or a few had very strong body odor. Andrew came up to me at one point in the cave tour when we are all gathered in a group. He said a in a hushed voice, however I don't think hushed enough, "mom you smell like BO." I know he was telling me because he saw me sweating and so he figured it was me, but it wasn't. It was the sort of stink you get after several days, not one hike. I whispered "SHUT! UP!" while trying to scoot him away for these kids. I said, "it's NOT me!" but he insisted he smelled BO. Well yes he did but IT WASN'T ME! Finally I got him on the other side of the open area and explained it was the other guys and that he really needs to keep his mouth shut. I think we were both really embarrassed. When do kids get their filters? Not soon enough.

At one point in the tour they turned off all the light and it looks just like this. They ask you to be super quite while it's dark. One of the alternative kids decided this would be the perfect time to rip a massive fart. They thought it was hilarious, as did my kids, but the tour guide just picked right up with her commentary. She didn't miss a beat. Way to go Katie. 

Just for the record we had to wear our backpacks backwards.

After I saw this I wanted ice cream with a lot of caramel from Leatherby's, really bad. This was at the end of our tour. We were ready to head down. 

It was much better going down. Much better. 

We stopped at one point for some snacks. Andrew and I doing our victory pose. We had made it and we were proud! I was worried about Andrew having a hard time but he did great. I was really proud of him. I was the biggest whiner of the group but hey I couldn't breath.

At the bottom of the trail. One more victory pose! 

Emma the stud. She never complains. She doesn't get tired. She rescues her momma by taking the backpack and comes out looking like she hasn't even exerted any effort. She's pretty much amazing. 

This is the path we took. I am sore today, let. me. tell. you! Ouch. I am so glad we did it but I doubt I will ever do it again. Did I mention it was hard and I couldn't breath? 


Jeanette said...

LMBO I have a post almost just like this, but it was of Minnetonka.

We had hiked the Limber Pine trail that morning, which dang near killed me off, then we went to Minnetonka Cave and I thought "How bad can it be, you can drive right up to the entrance, unlike Timp where you have to climb a mountain first!"

Well, I already had Jelly legs from our morning hike, then I had to climb all the stairs inside the cave. So yeah, I get it =0)

Shawna Moake said...

Oh I wanted to do this but I think I will use the stair stepper for another couple of weeks before I try this!! :) The pictures are awesome!!