Six Days In The Uintas

After tackling one of my major projects for the year at work, I took my family up into the Uintas for six days of camping, trail running, climbing, hiking, biking, and fishing. With no cell service or internet connection, we were able to unwind and reconnect as a family; we even tried some new activities.

By no means are any of us fishermen. Even with a son named Fisher, we had no clue what we were doing as we found ourselves huddled on the lake shore every morning and evening. At least I knew how to tie the hook onto the fishing-line.

Our basecamp was located on the south side of Butterfly lake which was a perfect place to watch the alpenglow appear each evening.

My boys are getting burned out by all the climbing and trail running trips that we take them on, So I promised them that I'd buy the fishing poles and we'd teach them to fish. Their attention spans didn't allow for them to sit long enough to let the bait and hook to do their jobs. All they wanted to do was cast and reel, by the end of the trip they were professional casters. I eventually caught a fish with one of the mini-poles. Since it was Fisher pole, he claims that he caught the fish. I even caught a fish with my bare hands that was trapped in some shallow water full of lillypads. Indy even reeled in a decent sized fish all by himself, unfortunately it unhooked itself right when it got to land and swam away. Indy was psyched either way.

The Uintas are full of some of Utah's highest mountains. So Jennilyn successfully took the challenge of running the three tallest all in one push. I decided to dust off my running shoes too and hit the trail two different times.

I was mostly looking forward to climbing a bunch during our trip, but only got to do a little. This cliff is called Stone Garden. A very popular route called Sessions in located on the overhanging section. I was able to climb to the top without falling on my second try.

The boys had a blast. They got to bike around a large lake, get their feet wet, and do all other kinds of things that little boys to outside. They are the coolest little boys. I am a proud father when I look at them.

I could never find my shoes during the trip because the boys were busy wearing them all of the time.

A fun camping trip is never finished until you hit up the local ice cream parlor for a cold treat.

Closing Out My Twenties

It would be kind of hard to remember everything that I did during my first or second decade of life, but I have a vivid recollection of all the awesome things that happened during my twenties. The last ten years of my life were riddled with life defining milestones.

The Resume of My Twenties

  • Lived in Brazil – My first year in my twenties was spent living a selfless life in Brazil where I spoke fluent Portuguese and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that would invite me into their home.
  • Summited the Grand Teton – When I was 21, I climbed to my highest point ever at 13,775 feet onto the peak of the Grand Teton. We did it from car to car in 14 hours.
  • Skydiving – I ticked off a big bucket list item when I was 21 by jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
  • Got Married – Four months after turning 22, I got married to a very attractive and awesome California girl.
  • Ran My First Marathon – With vary little preparation and not owning a pair of running shoes, I ran the Top of Utah marathon in just over 5 hours in my skateboarding shoes. 
  • Graduated College – At the age of 23, I graduated with a B.A. in Communications/Advertising from Brigham Young University—Idaho. 
  • Baby #1 – I was blessed with my first offspring, Indiana Laurence Eaton, when I was 23.
  • First Full Time Job – I was fortunate enough to have my internship at the City of Rexburg turn into my first full time job after graduating college as their graphic designer and events coordinator.
  • Bought My First House – Near the closing of my 23rd year of life, I bought—more like financed—my first house in Rexburg, ID where we lived for almost two years.
  • Elders Quorum Musical Chairs – I played what I like to call the “Elder’s Quorum Musical Chairs” during my 24th year where I pretty much sat in each seat of the presidency.
  • Baby #2 – Just seven days after turning 25, I was blessed with my second child, Fisher Jay Eaton.
  • Established myself as a Race Director – By the time I was 26, I had already been the race director of two marathons, two triathlons, two 5Ks, and two cyclocrosses…not to mention I landed a job being the race director of a major 200 mile relay race with Ragnar Events.
  • 4th Marathon – Right before I turned 27, I ran my fourth marathon.
  • The Climbing Trip of a Lifetime – At age 27, with a wife and two young boys, I embarked on a 2.5 month climbing trip where we were literally homeless and jobless—a status we proactively pursued.
  • The Colorado Curiosity – Most of my 28th year was spent experiencing what life is like in Colorado. (For some reason I always wanted to know what it would be like to live in Colorado, Washington, and Alaska.) During this time I worked one of my dream jobs at the prestigious rock climbing magazine, Rock and Ice.
  • First Big Wall Experience – In my 28th year, I was adopted by a recent acquaintance, now a life long climbing buddy that took me on my first big wall/aid-climbing trip where we climbed all nine pitches of the Moonlight Buttress in Zion National Park. We slept on a port-a-ledge for two nights…another major bucket list item of mine.
  • Trailer, White Rim, Dream Job, Festival, 2nd House – My 29th year was packed full a lot of highlights including: my experience living full-time in a 5th wheel trailer with my wife and two boys, ran the entire White Rim Trail in Canyonlands in three days with my wife and friends, getting hired on at a dream company to do a dream job (Working as the Communications Specialist at Liberty Mountain), kicking off the inaugural Idaho Mountain Festival that had almost 200 people in attendance, and purchasing my second house…having previously sold my first one.
  • Hardest Aid Climb My Second Go Around – To cap off my twenties, I headed up the steep and gently overhanging wall of Lunar Ecstasy in Zion National Park with my climbing buddy. For being my second aid route ever, this route was a bit above my limits, but still within my reach. There is something about sleeping on a port-a-ledge that doesn’t get old.

I am certain that I am leaving a lot of stuff out. These are just the milestones of my twenties. I have been blessed with a wonderful set of parents, amazing siblings, a fantastic wife, the coolest children, the most supportive friends, and some marvelous employers. Including God and Jesus Christ, I credit everyone in my life for providing me with the most memorable experiences in my life.

One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain that says, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do." Well, as I look back on my last thirty years, I can honestly say that I am not disappointed in how I lived my life.

I now look forward, into my thirties, with rabid tenacity. My age is only a number and that number does not have the power to tell me what I can or cannot do. In fact, to start off my thirties, I will embark on a solo backpacking trip along the entire John Muir Trail where I plan to fast pack all 200+ miles in no more than 10 days. Future posts regarding that trip coming soon.

Snow Cave

Childhood winters were spent digging snow caves. I didn't make that many snowmen, but I sure made a whole lot of caves and tunnels. The best caves I made were in the ditch across the street from our house in Rexburg, ID. My bothers and I would wait until the ditch filled in with snow, after which we would dig a hole down and then start our cave. The fact that the cave was practically underground made it even more cool to us.

My boys are now at the ages--6 and 4--where I can now teach them all the fun things that life has to offer them. In my opinion, snow caves are one of those things. Today was a milestone with my boys. I introduced them both to the snow-cave-concept for the first time. They loved the idea. Although they didn't understand the engineering of how to make it, they definitely watched, helped, and took mental notes. I wouldn't be surprised if I catch them making mini-caves by themselves now. The seed has now been planted.

Looking Back: Cross Country Skiing With Toddlers - 1st Time

Two Years ago on this very day, Jennilyn and I took advantage of the free admission day at Harriman State Park in Idaho. Our oldest boy was 2.5 years old and our youngest was 9 months old. We borrowed two pair of cross-country skis from my work, grabbed a two-person plastic sled at the Cal-Ranch Store, and took along our

Kelty Kid Carrier


It was a cold day. Luckily we were able to dress ourselves and the boys in our warm clothes in the back of our Toyota Sienna with the back seats laid down. Fisher was awake, so we started him out in the kid carrier first while Indy was sitting in the sled with a blanket wrapped around him. Jennilyn and I took turns wearing the backpack or pulling the sled. At one point I was handling both the backpack and the sled so that Jennilyn could zoom ahead and feel the winter breeze run through her winter cap before it ran through her hair.

We had a lot of fun just staying on the Road Trial that is 1.2 miles one way. We started at the parking lot of the main lodge and skied into the Becker Warming Hut. We were able to make ourselves warm, eat lunch and let Fisher fall asleep.

On the way back, Indy was in the backpack while Fisher laid asleep in the sled covered with the blanket as it snowed ever so lightly on us.

We had so much fun on that trip, that we decided that we'd try to gear ourselves up with the proper equipment to be able to do that more often. We have yet to buy our own set of cross country skis and all, but we did buy a

Nordic Cab

that converts into a bike trailer, jogger stroller, or a ski chariot. This nifty contraption allows us to run, bike, snowshoe, or cross country ski with our boys and it keeps them dry and warm.

Where there's a will...there's a way.