Hike 8/52 – Bells Canyon Lower Falls

I’m a bit behind on my 52 Hike Challenge posts.  It seems weird to be writing a post for a snowy hike when it’s currently 98 degrees and July.  Haha!

Hike number 8 I did Bells Canyon Lower Falls.  I have done this hike a few times before but it had been quite awhile since the last time.  I had forgotten just how steep that sucker is!  This was my first actual Bold Betties event that I hosted so I was a ball of nerves as I hadn’t hiked in a couple weeks because of a gnarly cold and because… new people.  They are scary, what can I say?

We started early and met up at the trailhead around 7 AM.  It was cold with a bit of a wind chill so we didn’t hang out too long before getting going so we didn’t freeze.  I quickly realized that this hike was going to kick my trash.  Apparently, starting from the other trailhead, slightly up the canyon and not on Wasatch, is A LOT LESS STEEP to get to the reservoir.  So I essentially thought I was going to die in the first mile.  I had a really hard time dealing with the fact that I was hosting this hike for Bold Betties yet I was the slowest hiker in our group of 4.  The other gals would get up a ways and have to wait for me to catch up.  I kept reminding myself that we were there for the hike and the company and that it wasn’t a race.  Plus, Bold Betties isn’t about being the fastest or the best.  It’s about getting out there, having fun, trying new things and meeting people.  Once I worked through that, though, it was fun to get to know these new adventure women and enjoy my beautiful surroundings.  On the way up, we were able to see some mountain goats up on the cliffs!  So cool!20170304_08435520170304_093605

When we got to the waterfall it was frozen and beautiful.  While we were up there enjoying the view, someone came down the trail towards up saying “Hi ladies!! Sorry I’m late!”  I was SO confused as the RSVPs said there were only 4 women joining me on this hike.  Turns out, I counted the RSVPs wrong and included myself in the count.  Nat showed up a couple minutes late and trailed us the entire way to the waterfall. Ha!!  Such a trooper because I would have totally turned around and left had it been me.


We made it the the waterfall, I didn’t die, and Nat didn’t hold it against us that we headed up the trail before she got there.  The sun even came out for our hike down the trail so we could enjoy the warm and the beautiful, untouched, glittery snow.  Great success!

Hike 7/52 – The Living Room

I have heard about this trail nonstop since I moved to Salt Lake City 7 years ago.  FINALLY I decided to see what all the hype was about!  I think I’ll have to do it again to get the full experience: sunsets and seating (it was foggy, cold, and snowy when we went) but now I’ve got an idea of what it is!

The trail is usually only 2.6 miles round trip and the dogs were able to join us too, so that’s always a plus! I say USUALLY because Chris let me lead this hike and I of course got us all turned around and going in the wrong direction.  I was following Girl on a Hike’s blog about the hike when she did it and must have turned wrong somewhere because we got to a point that said that there’d be one single tree and I remember looking around thinking “WTF there are a ton of trees surrounding me?!”.  So needless to say, I made this hike MUCH longer than it actually is because we had to back track a bit, hike up the side of a hill, and then go across the ridge to reach our destination.  Yay for adventures!

The weather was very foggy and cloudy so we met  few people on the trail and we even had the Living Room to ourselves when we got there!  I hear this is pretty unusual and that it is normally packed. I enjoy sun and blue skies but there’s something eerily beautiful about awesomely dramatic clouds surrounding you while you hike to the top of a ridge.

The boys had a blast finding the best way to cross the ridge over the big rocks and boulders.  Jack even found the perfect stick and hiked with it the entire way.  He has this wonderful habit of finding a HUGE stick, carrying it for a bit, deciding to drop it until everyone hikes past it, and then going back to grab it and running past everyone on the trail hitting them in the backs of the knees with his stick as he goes.  That dog is so lucky he’s cute.


It was a fun hike and I enjoyed the fun space at the top to hang out and enjoy the view.  We found the correct way to get back down the trail so it didn’t take us very long to get back to the car.  I’m going to have to hike it someday after work to get the sunset experience.  Anyone want to join me?!



I’m always so excited when we find remnants of Lake Bonneville along BST!


Hike 6/52 – Rob’s Trail

Rob’s Trail has been one of my favorite hikes so far this challenge!  It was new, a decent length without being too strenuously steep, and it was beautiful.  It was 3.8 miles round trip and the dogs were able to go with us.  The hike was up in Park City and overlooks the Canyons ski resort, so needless to say, spikes were needed and if you stepped off the path at all towards the top, you sank down to your thighs in DEEP snow.  We were blessed with warm weather (for wintertime) and sun on the day we hiked it so the snow was glistening and just melting enough for the awesome forest smell to be all around you.  5534820170204_145656

It was a busy trail since it was such an amazing day outside so to make sure there was plenty of room on the trail, we’d play fetch with the dogs down the hill while the other folks passed us.  The dogs LOVED it and exhausted themselves pretty quickly by running through the deep snow.

The view from the top was AMAZING.  Canyons Resort on one side, close enough to watch the skiers and snowboarders zooming down the trails and on the other side, mountains and Park City, I think.  20170204_16053820170204_16051120170204_15155320170204_150120

I can’t wait to go back now that it’s spring time so that all of the Aspens have their leaves and maybe there will be a bunch of wildflowers blooming!  20170204_16035820170204_15162420170204_15155720170204_15090920170204_14595220170204_14594055347

Hike 5/52 – Pipeline Trail

While I enjoy a good butt kicker for a hike, I also enjoy a leisurely walk/hike occasionally.  Especially if it’s the day after a butt kicker like Waterfall Canyon. Uggggh.  The entire Pipeline Trail is on my “to hike” list but today we just did the middle section.  At around 4 miles and the steepest part being the walk to the trail head (which for an out of shape lady like myself was DEATH) it was the perfect little hike to end the weekend with.  Here in Utah, we have this issue of INVERSION that we have to deal with every winter.  It’s gross and it wreaks havoc on you moods and your health.  It’s not a good thing so I do my best to get out of it as much as possible.  Unfortunately, since it’s winter time, even when up out of the smog you still don’t get to see blue skies and sun very often.  It gets to be depressing after a bit and you start to feel like you live in a snow globe.  Thankfully,  today was NOT one of those days and the sky was a beautiful bright blue and the sun felt so good!  We didn’t want the hike to end!


All the trees!! ❤



Ha. Just having a sit!



Look at that blue sky!! (and lower is the smog. yuck!)


As most of you know, last year was my year of YES.  I only have one chance at this life so why not try as many things as I can, travel to as many places as I can, and enjoy life as much as possible?  Why let a little thing like fear hold me back from that?  So I jumped in with both feet and had the best year of my life.  Saying YES led me to try rock climbing, mountain biking, and paddle boarding.  I met so many amazing people, some of which have become great friends.  I’ve developed a confidence I didn’t know I had and attained a level of happiness and freedom I didn’t think was possible.  You can read all about my best year ever HERE.  I decided to continue my year of YES and keep living my life to the fullest extent possible.

So of course when someone posted about a group called Bold Betties on Facebook, I had to check it out.  They are a company based out of Colorado with the motto #DiscoverYourBold.  I don’t even have to know what they do and I am already loving them!  Turns out, though, that they are company with the goal to take the intimidation out of adventure and help women be able to experience epic things in life: hiking, climbing, camping, rafting, etc. with a group of other like minded women.  It’s about having fun, developing lasting relationships and friendships, trying new things, stepping out of your comfort zone, and of course discovering your bold.  How rad is that?  Not only is this company about encouraging women to be their badass selves, they encourage ALL women to give adventuring a try.  It doesn’t matter your age, size, skill level, background, life story, etc.  They wanted EVERYONE to be involved.  Every woman deserves the chance to take that magical step out of her comfort zone to discover herself and see herself in an all new amazing light.

I could not even contain my excitement.  With a squeal and little dance (seriously, I am not making this up…those of you who know me will know this to be true) I hurried over to Meetup.com to join the local group.  Aaaaand to my disappointment, there wasn’t one.  So I moped around for a bit and then after some heavy consideration and arguments with myself (thankfully none of them out loud) I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and contacted Bold Betties about becoming a Chapter Leader for SLC.  I had not the slightest idea of what it would entail, if would cost money, or what kind of commitment I was getting myself into but after talking to Sommer, I was so excited about this random opportunity that essentially came out of nowhere.  I signed the paperwork and there was no turning back!

I’m not going to lie, afterwards I questioned myself wondering if I jumped the gun or if this was right for me.  I am not really good at anything but rather have just tried a few things and enjoyed them enough to keep doing them.  What if I didn’t have good ideas or ran out of things for the women to do and try?  What if I was too weird and people didn’t like me?  Because, that’s a real concern…I am VERY weird. Haha!  BUT I swallowed my fears and jumped into planning some events.  Turns out, I LOVE planning events and organizing get togethers.  I hadn’t even met any women yet and I was having a BLAST!  I FINALLY FOUND MY CALLING IN LIFE! Quickly after announcing the launch of the SLC chapter, membership requests starting flooding in.  I was amazed at how many women wanted to try new things and meet new people.  The amazement quickly turned to absolute fear as I saw the RSVP count for the Meet and Greet jump to 50.  HOLY SHIT. Thankfully, I have a great support system and they were there for me in case I got the urge to run out the door, start crying, or ended up puking on the floor in front everyone.  Sadly, none of those things happened.  This story isn’t quite as excited as you had hoped.  I did have the shakes and thought I was going to pee my pants.  At first, it felt like I was in school again giving a presentation with 33 sets of eyes staring at me and waiting to hear what I had to say.  Surprisingly, though, after that first “Umm…Hi … Hello…” I was in my zone.  It was so incredibly inspiring to see this group of women who had taken this first step in saying YES and committing to give adventure and fun a try.  Most of them didn’t know each other and none of them knew me and they all gave me a chance to tell them my story and let them know how my life has been changed and how I’d love to help them change theirs.

After introducing myself and welcoming them, I got the chance to make my way around and talk to each and every one of them.  Asking where they came from, what their story was, and what they wanted to do or try.  It was really neat to be able to get to know them on a personal level and connect with them in one way or another.  They were all so different and so amazing!  Some of them were novices, like me, and had only tried a handful of things.  Others were certified instructors and adventurers and ALL of them had ideas of things they wanted to do or try.  That makes my job easy!  Now I just have to plan it and set it up!

I’ve been on the Bold Betties team for about a month now and I have loved every minute of it.  I love coming up with ideas for events and activities and doing the research to figure out how to make it a reality.  I love meeting new women every time we go out to do something and connecting with each of them, creating friendships I would have otherwise never had.  I love being able to help empower and instill confidence in others who question their abilities.  Being able to tell these women that they CAN do it and I will be there every step of the way to support them and help them is truly amazing and I am so glad I have an opportunity to do so.

Saying YES changed my life and discovering my bold has made life more exciting than I ever thought possible, what could be next?!



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