Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bring on Fall Semester!

After an unusually rainy August, Fall has arrived bringing with it some cold days and some hot days. Classes have started up again and this time I've committed to being a better sport about it all. Last semester, I struggled with the adjustment to class life- sitting in class was excruciating and doing tedious homework was torture especially after believing I'd put my school days behind me with my masters course work. Yep, this semester I'm working on having a better attitude and work ethic. This will be particularly important because I have plenty of research to do on the side. In the meantime, I have a few adventures to report on.

 Adventures in lab: I am writing a review chapter on antibody drug conjugates to be published in the AAPS journal. It's nothing special, but it has been a great opportunity for me to learn what's going on in my field. It's still in the editorial process but it was a huge amount of work and I am quite pleased with the results. The whole thing is longer than my masters thesis!

Speaking of papers, the paper with one of my projects from MIT got accepted to Nature Communications. The project has changed a lot since I handed it off last year and I really have to hand it to my buddy Molly for developing the project into what it is today. Yay science! I'll have a link once it gets published online.

Adventures outside: I managed to swing a few last minute adventures before things got crazy. The first was a hike up Mt. Timpanogos. What a gorgeous mountain. I mean holy crap. Gorgeous. My new hiking budy, Zhesen is from Malaysia and is a grad student in chemistry. He's pretty cool. We saw two bull moose and tons of mountain goats. The first bit of the hike was gloomy and beautiful. This hike is about 15 miles round trip (Even more after visiting emerald lake which hangs below the glacier in the left hand side of that first photo. It had snowed the day before and the scramble to the top was icy and cold. The altitude had me a little dizzy and it was a real fight to the shelter on top. Once we were up there, it was miserably cold and so we descended pretty quickly after filling out the visitors log.

Some pics.


Lupine!


Zhesen looking across to emerald lake over there on the shelf.


The next adventure was up to Lone Peak. Lone Peak is a real beast of a mountain. You really can't miss it when you're driving around in Draper. We decided to backpack up there, camp at the base and then summit in the morning. This was all well and good until we reached the steep part of the "Jacob's Ladder" trail. The ladder part is no joke because the trail just goes straight up!! This might have been alright too except we had to lug two gallons of water up there. I pretty much blocked the whole thing from my memory lest I never walk uphill again haha. After that bit, it's nothing but a granite wonderland and when we reached the cirque with its colorful moss and abundant wildflowers, I nearly wept because it was so beautiful and because I was so tired from the 5+ miles and 5000+ ft elevation gain. In the morning we set about the business of getting on top. The scramble was exhilarating and not as scary as I was expecting. We were the first to the top for the day, a smallish rock that maybe fits 5 people on it. Super fun! The hike back down was miserable though… even harder than hiking up because the trail is a slippery gritty steep mess exacerbated by the heavy pack. 

We camped literally at the base of this thing. It's so intimidating from down here.


razor edge!

That rock is the top rock. It is small and scary to stand on.


Ready to go. What a gorgeous place!

Last adventure! So I decided I want to be a canyoneer so I signed up for a canyoneering class so  I can be in the know about all the rope and rappel work. We camped outside of Hanksville and did two slot canyons in an area called the irish canyons. Overall it was a lot of fun! The highlights were a gorgeous rainstorm, seeing a flash flood for the first time! (from a safe spot thank god), and rappelling 90+ feet into a deep pothole. Canyoneering is definitely my kind of hiking- it's all about exploring, teamwork, and problem solving… oh and the desert! Anyway, until next time here are some photos.


Gorgeous!

We taught Shane how to take a selfie while we were all wedged 6 feet above the ground!

We first rapped 60 feet onto a ledge and then 96 feet into a pothole. 


Shane showing us how it's done







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