Hail the Conquering Hikers!

A few weekends ago, Cole's brother and his wife invited us to hike up to Timpanogos Cave with them. Since it had been years since either of us had done it, we thought it was a cool idea.

Then we realized how out of shape we are...and how hard it is to carry a toddler on your shoulders up a mountain.

It's only a mile and a half up to the caves, but the trail is a bunch of steep, narrow switchbacks cut from the side of the mountain (you'd think I would remember something like that). All those pictures with us smiling? Yeah, we took those at the beginning of the hike.

Once we got into the cave, though, the hike was totally worth it. It's so amazing to see the beautiful things one can find in nature. Our tour guide was awesome! He pointed out so many cool features of the cave. Oddly enough, most of them were somehow food-related. There were the "ramen noodles" on the roof of the cave, thick slabs of "bacon" running along the walls, "salt and pepper shakers," and even a huge "caramel ice cream sundae." All of it made us pretty hungry...well, except for the caramel sundae. It resembled the "Jabba the Hutt" fixture that we also saw WAY too much for my taste. I doubt I'll be putting caramel syrup on my ice cream very much now.
We got to see a little bit of wildlife, too. Just outside the entrance to the cave, we saw what looked like a chipmunk to our untrained eyes. Apparently it was really a squirrel wearing a chipmunk mask. The park ranger told us it was something like a "golden squirrel", and got rather put out when people continued to refer to it as "the chipmunk sitting on that rock, eating goldfish crackers." And yet, he didn't even bat an eye at the people feeding the little rodent goldfish crackers and bits of granola bars (a BIG no no--there are signs all up and down the trail forbidding the feeding of small animals). Meh.

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