Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Steelhead Fishing Trip

All the anticipation was worth it as nine of us traveled to Riggins, Idaho for the fishing trip of a lifetime. We left early Wednesday morning and headed up north. We stopped in McCall, Idaho to get fishing licenses and also to grab some pizza. Afterwards we carried on to Riggings. Upon arriving we set up camp and poles for the next day. After a good night's rest we awoke early to find a beautiful day. We ate some oatmeal and loaded up the boats for a long day of fishing. Steelhead fishing can be very tricky at times- nine of us fished the first day and we only caught two fish. However, we had more luck the following day, as we caught five more fish. There was a little frustration building up with those who hadn’t caught anything but all in all the day was great. The last day was hard as nobody caught a fish and the wind blew all day. The last day we packed up and headed for home with a few fish in the cooler and tired bodies all the way around. Tough though the fishing was, smiles were upon every ones faces for a fun trip. Pictures below.

Debbie used her skills to catch the biggest fish all week

Dave, on the other hand, only managed this one

Our catch

Check out this fish Vern reeled in

And a closer look

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Teton National Park

Common Ground recently went to Teton National Park- one of the most beautiful national parks around. While there, we were able to swim in Jackson Lake at the base of the the Teton mountain range, which is known for its lack of foothills and its high jagged peaks. The water was spectacular and the views were very impressive. We were able to enjoy the views even more by rafting a section of the Snake River the next day, which runs along the base of the mountains. With the Tetons and the bald eagles above our heads and elk and pronghorn along the shore, the rafting was the highlight of the trip. We spent the evenings roasting marshmallows around a nice toasty campfire, watching the sunset fall over the knife-like peaks of the Teton Mnt. Range. The memories of this trip will stay firm in our hearts for years to come.

(click on pictures to enlarge)
Roasting some hot dogs for dinner

A bald eagle!

This is why they call it the "scenic" section of the Snake

Cooling off a bit in the water

Spectacular views

Learning about the region's amazing terrain

We had some great views right from out tents

Having fun!

Pounding some stakes in

Spending time with friends

And making new friends!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

South Fork River Rafting Trip

On June 10th, Common Ground loaded up the camping gear and set out for southeatern Idaho. Our destination was the beautiful South Fork of the Snake River, near the Idaho and Wyoming border. Our campground was located on a gently floating stretch of the Snake River. After arriving in camp and setting up, the group bunkered down as a batch of showers moved through. Despite a wet start, the skies cleared for the rest of the evening and the next day. The group enjoyed card games, exploring the river banks, and telling scary stories around the campfire. Tim was even able to catch some impressive cutthroat and brown trout right from shore. The trip was a relaxing and fun time spent with a great group of people.

Check Out the Pictures!

Thanks to our canopies, we were able to stay dry outside (mostly)

Every camping trip needs a campfire, even if its raining

Tim trying to place the lure right where he wants it

Even though we couldn't raft, we were able to find fun activities to do

No shortage of smiles on this trip

In the end, we all had fun, despite the disappointing weather

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Great Basin Destination Trip

Common Ground's first-ever trip to Great Basin National Park kicked off Thursday morning, as we excitedly loaded the bus and headed off! Upon arriving at our destination, we checked out the park's two Visitor Centers to learn all about the history, geology, and wildlife of Great Basin National Park. The rest of the evening was spent cooking and eating gigantic camp burritos, stargazing, and relaxing by the campfire. The next morning, we woke up bright and early, excited to explore the park! We started the day with a hike along the Osceola Ditch trail, a historic gold-mining location. Next we took the scenic drive up to Wheeler Peak. Along the way we stopped at the various overlook points to take pictures and appreciate the stark contrast between the Snake Mountains above us and the deserts of the Great Basin in the distance below us. After eating lunch in view of the still snow-capped peaks, we set off back down the mountain to experience one of the park's most famous features, the historic Lehman Caves!

On our guided tour of the caves, we learned about the discovery and development of the caves and were amazed at the difficult route the cave's original discoverer had to travel (with only a single candle for light!) to explore the cave. We also learned about the origins of the various "cave decorations," including stalactites, stalagmites, and shields, and the incredible lengths of time they took to form. The ranger told us that caves like Lehman are extremely fragile, sensitive environments that can be easily disturbed by careless human behavior. As such, we were careful not to touch any of the rock formations in the cave, because we had learned that the oils in our skin could prevent these rocks from continuing to grow! Perhaps most amazing of all, we learned that Lehman Caves are home to a number of life forms not found anywhere else in the world! We emerged from the caves thoroughly impressed with the beauty and complexity of the underground environment.

Having worked up quite a hunger during our cave explorations, we returned to camp to cook and eat a feast of spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad, then hurried to finish washing the dishes so we could arrive on time for the evening's ranger presentation, where we learned about many of the bird species that call Great Basin their home. The ranger taught us how to mimic the calls and songs of several of the park's bird species, and we had a lot of fun practicing these calls! As the sun began to set, we built another big campfire and made s'mores, enjoying our last night at Great Basin. In the morning we ate a hearty breakfast of French toast and sausage, then packed up camp and headed home, having been very impressed with our first visit to Great Basin!
Check out the pictures!
Thanks to our generous volunteers, everything went very smoothly

Roasting some marshmellows for smores

Resting on a bench

Enjoying the fantastic weather

In the amazing caves that we visited

Stalactites and stalagmites: truly an impressive sight

Group picture in the park

Group picture near the bus

Tim was impressed by the unique trees in the park

Mary enjoying the beautiful scenery

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Arches Pics

Arches rock formations

More beautiful Arches scenery

Taking a break to enjoy the view with friends

On the trail

Pretty amazing

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Landscape Arch!

Awesome volunteers!

Beautiful scenery at Arches NP

The whole crew

Cooking dinner, including the infamous block of hamburgers!

Arches trip 2009!

Despite the cold, windy weather in Green River, everyone who participated in the Common Ground trip to Arches had an AMAZING time. Everyone enjoyed the first night we spent huddled around the fire for warmth. Talking and telling jokes, we all got to know each other better. After a few bumps in the road during the wee hours of that first night, we were off enjoying some of the most beautiful scenery on the country! We visited Balancing Rock and also went on a three-mile hike to Landscape Arch. The path was bumpy, going up and down hills, but everyone supported each other and everyone made it to the base of that 306-foot-long arch! That night we built up the fire and everyone enjoyed roasting marshmallows. Saturday was the nicest day we had, and the weather put everyone in an even better mood! When it was time to go, most everybody wanted to stay longer, but unfortunately we had to head home!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ski 2009 Photos

Merlin got his ski picture from last season on his new debit card. That's dedication to your sport!

The entire Rigby family poses with Spencer - a ski bum in the making!

Kristen and Annie with a Beav at Beaver Mountain!

2009 Adaptive Ski Season a HUGE Success!

Thank you and congratulations to everyone involved in the 2009 adaptive ski program! Once again, we had our most successful adaptive ski season ever! We taught 115 adaptive lessons, including 30 youth on school ski days, and we could not have done it without the support of our skiers, volunteers, and community. We were thrilled to see some of our skiers skiing with their families for the first time ever! For others, the snow will have to melt away before they stop dreaming of "just one more day" on the mountain. A huge thank you also goes out to The Gibney Family Foundation who provided the generous grant to help our ski program really get off the ground the past couple of seasons. Thanks also to the wonderful folks at Beaver Mountain for all of your support and to Powder Mountain and Snowbasin for your generosity. Common Ground is looking forward to having another incredible adaptive ski season next year, so keep up that enthusiasm for the 2009-10 season!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter in Utah!

Winter is a way of life in Utah. Skiing is a part of our culture, and Common Ground is excited to share stories of our adaptive adventures in the snow. This winter we will be snowshoeing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, climbing (indoors), doing arts & crafts, ice skating, dog sledding and so much more.

To hear more about our winter stories and adventures keep tuning into to our new blog.

To see a calendar of events, please visit our website at http://www.cgadventures.org/

Happy Trails,
The Common Ground Staff