Wednesday, July 20, 2011

January Sandstone

Over New Year's weekend earlier this year, my roomie, two other close friends, and I headed to Moab, UT, for the holiday weekend. We knew it would be cold, but the single-digit highs with wind chill froze us to the bone. The days were filled with lots of layering and warming up in the car and/or hotel room in between hikes.

It was a beautiful trip. There is nothing like the red rock peeking through the snow. We went on several hikes in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park as well as Arches National Park.

After checking into the hotel, we headed straight to Arches National Park for a sunset hike to Delicate Arch.

The following morning we waited for the sun to warm things up a little bit and headed to Canyonlands to check out Mesa Arch as well as Grand View Point Trail.


After exploring Canyonlands, we headed back to Arches to walk around the Windows area of the park. The sun was going down quickly, and it got cold fast, but it made for a beautiful evening.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chesler Park: Part I

In March of 2010, a friend of mine and I drove from Bluff, UT, to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, located in Southern Utah. The total hike is about 11 miles long, but we had limited time and the weather was looking threatening. The last place I wanted to be was stuck on a muddy road in the middle of nowhere in my little, non-high clearance, non-four-wheel-drive, car, so we decided to only do the first major part.

The first half of the trail to Chesler Park is extraordinarily scenic and exemplifies the reason this area was named the Needles District. Almost in a cliche kind of way.

Once you get to the top of the ridge, the trail opens up into a beautiful sagebrush meadow with red rocks all around. I wanted to keep exploring in this vast space, but the foreboding clouds were telling us to head back.

There was a river going down the main road to the trail head, so we had to park about a mile away and walk down the road before starting the hike. By the time we got back, my feet were killing me. Time for new shoes.


The rain started coming down, just as we were leaving. An excellent day that I will always remember!

All photographs taken by Mallory Platt

Friday, July 1, 2011


Degrees of Freedom was born out of the idea that I wanted to have a place to document my various weekend and after-work adventures. I have many interests, most of which you will find on this blog. Camping trips, road trips, rock climbing, biking, and cooking are all of the things that I enjoy after hours. And I can't wait for the snow to fly so I can go skiing. (Yep, I'm one of those kind of people. It's July.)

By day, I work for the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah. More about that later. The truth is, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But in the mean time, I try to have as much fun as I can doing the things I love. Most of these adventures will be documented by photographs, but I am sure some other media will sneak in as well.

Rather than tell my life story here, I will let you discover who I am and what I have to say as my stories progress. And, probably, most of you reading this blog already know me anyway. Questions? Leave me a comment, shoot me an email, I will get back to you.

Cheers and enjoy!