Friday, February 1, 2013

Capitol Reef...The Final Frontier

I have spent part of my last 2 summers in Capitol Reef searching for Mexican spotted owls and studying their habitat characteristics. This past summer I spent an entire month hiking the backcounty to past and present spotted owl sites in order to measure vegetation associated with breeding habitat. My time in Capitol Reef (as with all of the other parks I hiked) was full of challenges, adventure, new experiences, fun, hate, and natural wonders....
Dry hike turned wet and muddy in Upper Spring Canyon.
Lower Muley Twist

Secret Canyon
Climbing out of a slick mud pit at night

Out of the three National Parks (Zion, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef) that I have worked in, Capitol Reef is above all my favorite and will always hold special memories for me. Unlike many other National Parks in Utah, Capitol Reef still offers solitude and true adventure.

Five Mile Canyon (view from the top)


HOLY CRAP! It has been a year since I have done anything with this blog. I blame it on a crazy life, lack of motivation, and rough times with my research project (which yes...I am still working on). I have set a new goal to keep up with this blog in order to have a future record of what I spend my time doing (or not doing). Here is a very quick re-cap of last year:

April: Earned my Black Belt in Kyu Shin Ryu (and yes...I am damn proud of myself)
May: Started my last field season for my research on Mexican spotted owls
June: Hiked Capitol Reef National Park
July: Hiked Zion National Park
August: Hiked Canyonlands National Park
September: Took a long and much needed break from hiking!
October: Established a new advisor (3rd time’s a charm!)
November: Freaked out about what I am supposed to be doing with my project.
December: Realized my data was not ‘working’ and dealing with vegetation really sucks...then freaked out some more!
January: Pulled my life back together and prepared a plan of attack with the help of an ‘un-official’ advisor.

There you have it...a short re-cap of what I have been up to. From this point on I will cover a random assortment of my daily (and past) adventures.