Cactus Of The Week: Engelmann Hedgehog

Engelmann HedgehogT

Engelmann Hedgehog
Echinocereus engelmannii

Engelmann Hedgehog

The Engelmann Hedgehog has cylindrical stems that grow in bunches of 3-60 stems. Most of the ones I’ve seen look like the above with 5-10 stems. They have wavy ribs and varied colors to their spines making them look “shaggy.”

Engelmann Hedgehog

Sunday Sermon

“Touch the earth, love the earth, honour the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places.”

Henry Beston








-Henry Beston

Friday Sprocket Flashback

I’ve been horrible about posting this week. It’s just been kinda busy and internet access hasn’t been super forthcoming for me. Anyway, it’s Friday for most of the world (I don’t ever know what day it is anymore) and since Sprocket mentioned his awesome 1st snow experience on his reverse bucket list last week I figured I’d share some of the cute.

(Forrest and I promise to finish editing his reverse bucket list and have it for you next week!)

Arch Canyon: A Secret Highway?

During our hike in Arch Canyon, we saw a ton of trash throughout an otherwise isolated and pristine area. Most of the trash happened to be ready to eat food with Spanish language labels and black jugs. It was an eye opening experience to be so aware of a very different way from yourself to experience a place.

Arch Canyon

A couple weekends ago, Forrest, Ezra, and I decided we were going to head up Arch Canyon in Organ Pipe National Monument. We were hoping that we’d be able to find a way up the steep canyon walls to reach the summit of Mt. Ajo and return via Bull Pasture.

Arch Canyon trailhead

Natural Arch

One of the things Forrest remarked upon as we hiked through the canyon was how much it reminded him of Utah (and also how incredibly green everything was!). The canyon was very tight in some places as we made our way up the wash—everything was simply stunning!

Arch Canyon

Arch Canyon

We weren’t able to make it onto Mt. Ajo’s summit ridge; we headed to the east as soon as we thought we could traverse the ridge and were foiled by some areas that looked too sketchy to do without ropes. In retrospect, it may be possible to summit if you stay in the wash proper as long as you can and head more directly for the summit. Despite not reaching the summit, we had an excellent day of hiking, scrambling, and even doing some light climbing.

Arch Canyon

Spring, Arch Canyon

Arch Canyon

Arch Canyon

Ezra climbing in Arch Canyon

View from Arch Canyon

Forrest climbing in Arch Canyon

The summit of Mt. Ajo is visible on the left: (SO CLOSE. Yet SO FAR.)

Mt. Ajo


Cardigan Peak

A couple weekends ago, Ezra, Sylvia, and I set out accompanied by Sprocket and Blue for the summit of Cardigan Peak (2,922′) near Ajo. The weather was cool and absolutely perfect for a hiking adventure. Together, we figured out a way to the summit, stopping to relax a few times along the way.

The summit was unexpectedly exciting! There was a nice pile of boulders on the summit. Blue, Sylvia’s dog, wasn’t interested in touching the tip top but since I was going, Sprocket was sure he needed to come too—even if it made me a little bit nervous!

It was so much fun to have friendly hiking partners to enjoy the outdoors (and the post hike ice cream) with!

Beth & Sprocket, summit of Cardigan Peak

Ezra and Sprocket, summit of Cardigan Peak

View from Cardigan Peak

Looking towards the summit of Cardigan Peak

Sunday Sermon

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book…or take a trip…and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure.

That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children.

And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song and it awakens them and saves them from death.

Some never awaken.”

Anais Nin B&W





-Anais Nin

Reverse Bucket List: Sprocket

I shared my reverse bucket list yesterday and today it’s Sprocket’s turn! He’s excited to share all of his awesomeness with you guys:


Dominated my first snow at age 10 weeks. My parents took me up to Mary’s Peak in Oregon and I was plowing through the snow!

Sprocket in the snow

I’ve visited 31 states. I’m only three. Mom & Dad say I should be able to hit up a few more this year too!

Sprocket's visited state map, February 2013Partied in New Iberia, LouisianaEven at a few months old, I knew how to bring the party.

Sleeping puppy

Climbed a 10,000′ foot mountain. My lifetime high point is actually Loveland Pass in Colorado (11,990′) but we drove to the top. I climbed Trapper Peak (10,157′) in Montana all by paw power.

Sprocket on Trapper Peak

Was the Best Dog at my parents wedding.


Gone backpacking. (Twice!) I love hiking but backpacking? I hike, I eat, I swim, and get to cuddle in the tent? WIN. I plan on doing more of this in the next few months.

Sprocket North Fork Bull River Trail

Perfected the perfect mad-dog water jump:

Sprocket, mud jumping

Reverse Bucket List: Beth

I don’t usually get into the internet blogging trends. But in the last week or so there’s been a bunch of “Reverse Bucket List” posts coming across my Google reader and Facebook and Twitter feeds and they’re really uplifting. (Some of which have come from Heather, Heidi, Katie, Becca, and Sarah). So here’s mine. Sprocket’s is coming your way tomorrow. Also, if you’ve written a reverse bucket list and you even occasionally read 3Up Adventures, send me the link, I’ll post ’em all at the bottom of this post for even more inspiration!


Moved myself to college in Maine, all by myself. I picked out my school and went for it. While there, I made some awesome friends, explored New England, and got a great education.

Played college softball for three wonderful years. I wasn’t a star (not even close) but I made it to the top of the “pyramid” my dad always talked about (Olympics aside).

Backpacked by myself. Sure, I took the dog with me, but I spent three days out in the woods alone. It was awesome and healing.

Snowshoe Lake

Married my lovely husband. We had some awesome adventures in our first four years together and married in a wonderful adventure of it’s own.

Wedding portrait

Ran a half marathon. I ran my first half marathon in just over two hours. I’ve also run a handful of other races. I’m not a super runner and I don’t always like it but I love knowing my body can do it.

Adopted the coolest dog. Sprocket is adorable, loving, and pretty much the best thing ever.

Puppy Sprocket

Drove across the country. We circled it once on our USA Roadtrip in 2010 and crossed it again speedy style when we purchased the van.

Traveled to Europe. In 2007, I visited Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. I’ll never forget hanging out in Brussels with some of my chemistry pals, drinking wine in Germany, and hiking in Switzerland with two wonderful friends.


Became a firefighter and EMT. I may have cried when I was asked about being a firefighter but ultimately I embraced it and really enjoyed being a volunteer in Oregon. Living in Idaho, I finally had a chance to become an EMT. I’m looking forward to being able to do both for a fire department again.

Beth, firefighting

Bought a house. Completely gutted it then paid it off. We also bought 75 acres and a cabin and paid that off too.

Embraced uncertainty and quit my job. I quit a job in uncertain economic times and decided to travel while we refigured out our dreams.

Saw lava flow into the ocean. It felt pretty awesome to see new earth being formed. Not to mention that we did the hike over the lava twice in one day.

Did scientific research at sea. And got a masters degree while I was at it.

Beth on Wacoma


Superstitions Backpacking

Sprocket and Kiva in the jeep

Sprocket I had the opportunity to go backpacking with Maryanne and her dog Kiva (her husband Seth even joined us for some of the fun). We headed up the the Superstition Mountains and hiked throughout La Barge Canyon, Boulder Canyon, and out the Second Water Trail. It was a wonderfully relaxing trip: there was tons of talking, some hiking, a touch of swimming (well, a lot on Sprocket’s part), and even some whiskey drinking.

Beth backpacking

The area had been pretty drenched in rain the weekend prior which meant that there was lots of water in the creeks and in waterholes along the trail. Sprocket, of course, was delighted.

Sprocket and Kiva

Beth, Sprocket backpacking

Our first campsite was in La Barge Canyon between Geronimo Head and Battleship. It was a beautiful location but by far the best part was getting to catch up with Maryanne (a close second was watching the dogs play). The sunset light on the rocks went really well with the comfort of conversation with an old friend, a sipper of Jameson, and some dog cuddles.

La Barge Canyon

Sprocket and Kiva

The next morning, we awoke to frost on the ground. Rather than wait for the sun to reach us in the bottom of the canyon, we scrambled up to the base of some rocks to bask in the sun. Once we walked into camp, Seth was there waiting to start our adventures for the day.


We hiked over into Boulder Canyon, set up camp, and prepared day packs for a hike into a box canyon. It was a lovely hike on a way trail that skirted the southern base of Battleship and then descended into the mouth of the box. When we reached the large pool, we all took turns jumping into the water. It was freezing but totally worth it.

Descending into upper La Barge Canyon

La Barge Box canyon

Beth and dogs

La Barge box canyon

Back at camp, we started a fire, cooked dinner, and relaxed under the stars. Just after midnight, some clouds rolled in to keep us much warmer than we’d been the night before so in the morning we just were not in any hurry to move. We restarted the fire, ate our breakfast, and started back to First Water Trailhead at about 11 so that we could make it back to Maryanne and Seth’s for pizza, beer, and Superbowl!

Maryanne, Beth and dogs

We’ve come a long way from biology class twelve years ago:

Maryanne, Beth and dogs