Chugga chugga blue spruce was Goalielocks’ rally cry every time he saw a blue spruce during our first trip to Utah. Blue spruces had somehow become his favorite tree, so naturally, he felt the need to call our attention to every tree he spotted in the Wasatch mountains. Consequently, when I saw spruce was the word of the day it brought back great memories.
It’s funny how a word can usher in a tide of memories. Our first trip to Utah was so much. We were a motley crew hiking the Wasatch Front for the first time and making a few mistakes. I’ll never forget hiking the wrong trail in triple-digit heat with minimal shade and a big altitude gain. I tapped out before the summit. Obviously, we learned our lesson the hard way. Thou shall start with an easy hike when first hiking at over 5,000 feet above sea level in the summer heat.
After that first brutal, yet beautiful, hike each trek got successively easier. To be clear, there weren’t any really easy hikes outside of Donut Falls. The Donut Falls hike would have been a perfect first hike. Every hike was an adventure that trip and it led to a love of hiking. I found myself being at home on the dusty trails of the Wasatch mountains. I loved being immersed in the national forest deep in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
It’s funny how memories work, but I’ll take it. The word prompt spruce took me back to the Utah trips with my boys, Melly, and my folks. That first trip, in particular, will always be special to me. It was our first adventure in the mountains and the greater Salt Lake Area. It’s the trip where my boys and I discovered our love of hiking, lavender lemonade, and Goalielock’s love of blue spruce. I am hopeful the boys and I will get at least one more trip out West before Jake moves again.