Snowbasin

Yesterday morning we headed to beautiful Snowbasin. The boys and I did this hike with Melly last year and we all loved it. Consequently, I was eager for us to do it again. To get there, we had to drive through the beautiful canyon. The drive through this canyon takes a bit longer as it’s one lane each way and there’s some road construction. Nevertheless, it was a spectacular ride.

Snowbasin was quite busy when we got there due to a Xterra trail race that was happening that morning. Additionally, they also had a Germanfest starting at noon. Surprisingly the top of the mountain was not crowded. The ride up the gondola was breathtaking with fall colors all around us. Fortunately or maybe unfortunately, we were all able to fit into one gondola car. Goalielocks and the Mayor in that close of quarters is never a good combination.

While we went to hike to the summit, my folks walked the area near the ski lodge. The trail up to the summit is fairly easy. Albeit it didn’t feel easy on the way up. The hike starts at 8,500 feet, so it’s only a gain of just over 500 feet. It, however, felt like I hiked an elevation gain of 1,000 feet. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful hike up to the summit of Mount Ogden.

We spent twenty minutes at the summit taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful views of the Great Salt Lake to the west and the valley and mountains to the east. As we sat, the boys started a game of seeing who could hit the sign with the most rocks. It was a funny moment and a great way to catch our breath before heading down the mountain.

After Snowbasin we headed back to the AirBnB to enjoy our leftovers from Hibachi. Post lunch Grandma, Jake, the Mayor and I headed to Walmart to pick up packing supplies and few additional items. I was anxious to get some chapstick as my lips were killing me. The air is so dry out here that I also had buy some hand lotion.

The rest of the day we chilled at home. For dinner, I made beef tacos. I cooked up three pounds of beef and we don’t have too much meat left. We’re trying to eat at the AirBnB as much as possible since it’s cheaper and healthier. After dinner, we played the game Hot Seat, which was a ton of fun.

If you go:

Snowbasin

Games:

Hot Seat

Left on the Mountain

Yep, you read that right I was left on the mountain. It all happened at the Farmington Creek Trail just south of Layton. I picked this trail for our Thursday hike because it features: a car cemetery, two waterfalls (including the one you could rappel down to), and a moderate degree of difficulty. Admittedly, I am not fast on my ascent up the trails. Due to the Graves disease, I’m mindful of my maintaining my heart rate and regulating my body temperature. This, of course, is not always easy when hiking. Consequently, my ascent was slow, measured, and littered with water breaks.

On the flip side, the hike for my boys was quite easy. Goalielocks soon pulled away from both the Mayor and me as he ran up the trail. I was jealous at the ease with which he tackled the mountain. In protest, the Mayor sped ahead on his own. Fortunately, when the Mayor got to the first waterfall, he waited for me. On the other hand, I couldn’t find Goalielocks. The challenge became the fork in the trail. Unfortunately, the park service hadn’t clearly marked the trail. Fortuantely, we were able to ask local hikes which way to go. Meanwhile, we had no idea which way Goalielocks had gone at the fork.

I decided to follow the trail to the second waterfall hoping we’d find Goalielocks on the trail. Undeniably, I was nervous that nobody had seen him. At this point, we were so deep into the canyon that we didn’t have cell service. As we continued the trail, the Mayor again took off down the path. Meanwhile, I vacillated between anger, frustration, and awe. As I rounded the bend, I saw a vintage car overtaken by the forest with bullet holes all over. It was quite picturesque. At this point, the Mayor came back to me expressed his discontent with the hike, and headed back to the car.

Now they really annoyed me. Yet, I was determined to see the waterfall. I continued down the path looking for the ropes that would take me down to the base of the waterfall. As I searched the area, I finally got a call from Goalielocks who was at the car waiting. Eventually, I found the ropes that could take me down to the waterfall. However, with unreliable cellphone service and nobody near me, I wasn’t willing to risk a fall or injury by rappelling down to the waterfall. Consequently, I started making my way back to the car where both boys were impatiently waiting for me.

Since I knew they were safe at the car, I was in no hurry to finish my hike. The canyon and trail provided beautiful vista after beautiful vista that I wanted to take it all in. Also, the ascent wore me out as it was a vigorous hike. When I made it back to the first waterfall, I took a seat on a large boulder near the side of the stream and relaxed for a bit. In this spot, the mountain stream and shade cooled the air. It was a magical spot to rest and recover before tackling the sunny part of the descent to the car.

While I was sitting at the waterfall, the Mayor made his way back up the trail in search of water. I had brought my backpack, filled with water bottles and oranges to keep us nourished throughout and after the hike. However, since I was the only one willing to carry it, all of the supplies were with me. Consequently, when he got thirsty he had no choice, but to seek me out. Naturally, he received quite a tongue lashing from me once we met again on the mountain. Soon after we met up with Goalielocks, who had come up the trail looking for me out of concern it was taking too long. Of course, I had been almost four miles deep into the trail, so it wasn’t going to be a quick return.

Goalielocks took a left at the first waterfall, which took him on a significantly shorter trail. Eventually, both of the trails meet up near the second waterfall. However, his trail was overgrown as it approached the waterfall trail. Goalielocks headed back the way he came since he wasn’t sure where the trail led. The hillside where he hiked was filled with vintage cars, known as the car cemetery. On our descent, I learned that he had told his brother where he was going. Unfortunately, the Mayor neglected to tell me this. I was super annoyed with the Mayor at this point. I want to rappel down to the waterfall and I couldn’t because I was alone. Naturally, we spoke at length, on our way back to the Airbnb, about the importance of staying together during hikes.

Despite all the drama on the mountain, this was definitely one of my favorite hikes. The trail affords incredible views of the Great Salt Lake, the valley, the mountains and the canyon. Everywhere you looked, it was absolutely beautiful. Moreover, it was an incredibly peaceful hike as the trail was not crowded. I look forward to hiking this trail again with Jake and my hubby. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some fall colors on the hike and even have the chance to rappel down to the waterfall.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. This is an interesting book.

*Gentle Flow with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I went for a mile run. Yesterday, I ran two miles.

*BBG 2.0. week 10 day 5: Abs, cardio and yoga

*It’s tough to be a parent, especially in this environment. I am lamenting the start of a new virtual school year.

*We have two more weeks until we start virtual school.

*This morning we were in cone of uncertainty for TS Laura.

*Goalielocks has his first official practice this evening. The new season has started. Party on!

*This week I have run seven miles so far!

*Today I ordered my first Butcher Box.

*For dinner, we are cooking a HelloFresh meal. I can’t wait to taste it! We are loving HelloFresh.

*I was left on the mountain. I had no trouble surviving the ordeal!

*Recently, I’ve been collecting checks for our team fund.

*I learned a new word today soupcon. This word means a small amount.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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Replenished

After a wonderful two wonderful trips and a week to recover, I’m finally feeling replenished. Both of our July/August trips were soul-soothing and nurturing. Admittedly, I had a much harder time leaving Utah than I did leave the Keys. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to leaving my oldest son behind. Thus, in leaving Utah, I left a big piece of my heart there. My goal was to write every day, but I found myself, selfishly, wanting to savor every last minute with my airmen. And even once on the plane home, I found myself cherishing the visit and not wanting to share my feelings. Lest that feeling of deep internal happiness and peace be lost upon sharing my feelings.

My mom warned me halfway through the trip that I should probably take it easy because it was going to hit me like a truck when I got back to Florida. Naturally, she was right. However, there were so many trails to hike so many new vistas and waterfalls to explore, I couldn’t hold it back. After all, the Rockies weren’t going to climb themselves. Of course, this is probably why it took me over a week to feel replenished.

I planned our last two days out west to be action-packed. On Friday, we took it pretty easy comparatively and went back to the Hill Aerospace Museum. We had gone the day before, but Jake wanted to explore it with us. This quickly became one of our favorite spots. Unfortunately, they were assembling an F-117 stealth fighter, so the fighter wing was still closed. All the more reason to go back for another visit when we head back that way later this year. It was fun to take in the history of the Air Force with my man in uniform. It was even more fun to see kids react to him in uniform.

Afterward, we headed back on base to grab lunch at the BX and hang out at his dorm. The BX was nice because it offered variety at the perfect price point. Once we had our lunch, we enjoyed some vintage Simpsons episodes as we ate. The boys were itching to play COD against each other, so they spent the next hour or so playing Xbox. As a mom, I’ve never been so gratified to watch my boys play Xbox. Perhaps because they’ve been apart for so long or perhaps it was the big smiles on their faces. Either way, I was one happy mama. For dinner, we went back to our favorite Rovalis before heading back to the Airbnb. Sadly, I had to pack us up, so we were ready to leave the next day. The highlight of our Friday night was a dip in the hot tub.

I woke up Saturday morning to my alarm followed by a text that Jake had made it to our AirBnB. Fortunately, for me big brother was willing to risk life and limb to wake up Goalielocks. Truly, it was nice not to have to face that epic task. Once everybody was up and ready to go, we packed our cars and headed south to Big Cottonwood Canyon. Jake wasn’t able to hike with us to Donut Falls, so I wanted to be sure he saw the Canyon before we left. This time we chose a hike up the Willow Lake Trail, which was just a few miles west of Donut Falls. As expected, Jake was blown away by the natural beauty of the canyon.

Jake and I stayed together for much of the hike. Goalielocks quickly sprinted ahead, while the Mayor not so quietly complained ahead of us. On this hike, we gained about 1,600 feet. The hike started at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. My calves hated the beginning of this hike. Jake and I stopped multiple times to stretch our calves. Admittedly, I also needed to take a moment to let my heart rate drop a bit. This hike was through a beautiful birch and conifer forest with views of the surrounding peaks everywhere you looked. When we got near the top, it opened up into a meadow of wildflowers with a backdrop of the forest and mountains. As I told Jake, the view did not suck.

We finally made it up to the lake where Goalielocks had made friends with a mama duck and her ducklings. It was incredibly peaceful at the lake. The trail was never crowded. Since we were now up over 8,500 feet, the temperature was cool and the gentle breeze felt wonderful. After making the effort to climb to the lake, we hung out for awhile taking in the scenery. Next time I’ll bring a blanket and some snacks as there are plenty of spots near the lake to enjoy a picnic lunch. Naturally, the hike back down the mountain was much easier and enjoyed it together. Hiking Utah and enjoying nature with my boys and Melody was my favorite part of the trip.

I booked a red-eye flight, so we could spend all Saturday exploring the area with Jake. As a hockey family, we made the obligatory pilgrimage to Pure Hockey and the local rink in Murray. I found an awesome brewery just south of Pure Hockey for us to try for lunch. We had an amazing meal! I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed supporting the locally-owned restaurants and stores. Anyway back to lunch, I ate the best BBQ wings I’ve ever had. We finished off our day, with a tour of downtown Salt Lake City including Temple Square, the Capitol building, and the mall. By the time, we headed to the airport, we had seen and done a lot for one day.

As the time of our departure drew nearer, my heart grew heavier. I couldn’t help lamenting that this incredible trip was about to be over. Honestly, I drew it out as long as I could by hanging out at the cell phone lot for as long as we could. When it was time to say goodbye, my heart was full of joy and pride, but also a little broken. I don’t suppose it will ever get easier to leave one behind, but I am blessed that he is in a great place. He’s got a wonderful job, boss, and community of support surrounding him every day. Reluctantly, I boarded that plane back to Florida and then spent all of last week recovering. Thankfully, I’m back to my regular routine.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

*Vinyasa yoga with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I went for a two mile run. Yesterday, I ran a mile.

*BBG 2.0. week 10 day 2: Cardio and yoga

*It’s tough to be a parent, especially in this environment. I am lamenting the start of a new virtual school year.

*Goalielocks has his first official practice this evening. The new season has started. Party on!

*Have you ever seen a proboscis?

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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Another Day, Another Adventure

Another day, another adventure. Such has been our trip here in Utah. I love it here. Every day we spend time exploring the surrounding national forests, canyons, and mountains. Each trail gives us a special gift. Whether its a realization about life, a pretty view, or shared memories. Regardless of the adventure, everyone has taught me something or given me something in return. For example, our first hike here taught me that you should save the hard hikes for after your body acclimates to the altitude. Meanwhile, the hike to Donut Falls showed me the beauty and vastness of God’s creation.

Yesterday was no exception. We got a late start to the morning, which was fine because the temperatures have cooled down a bit since the 100s over the weekend. Also I knew the trial we were headed to had a lot of shaded areas. Lastly, we all needed to get some rest as Tuesday was a very busy day. My day started with an early trip into Salt Lake City to drop Melody at the airport. Fortunately, the drive was super easy and I got another hour of sleep once back to our AirBnB. Yesterday’s adventures included the Green Pond Trail near Snow Basin and the Hill Aerospace Museum. Both of these stops on our adventure tour were well worth the time and effort.

The Green Pond Trail is an easy to moderate trail near at the base of Mount Ogden. You do gain about 400 ft in altitude throughout the path, but it is a gradual ascent. The trail itself starts at an elevation near 6,000 feet. Honestly, this probably would have been the best trail for our first hike. Indeed, it is an excellent trail for mountain biking and for kids just starting to hike. Throughout the trek, the meadows and forest surround you. You can see the mountains through the canopy of the trees throughout, which makes for a beautiful vista. Overall, the hike took about an hour and burned nearly 600 calories.

Afterward we headed to the Hug-Hes Cafe in north Ogden. Since we’ve been here, I’ve been trying to take them to local spots. This one reminded me of Perkins as it had a bakery and a simliar lunch and dinner menu. Overall, the food was very tasty and inexpensive. This restaurant is also famous for its giant sugar cookies, so naturally I picked up three for the boys. Post lunch, we headed to Target to pick up some more snacks and a lot of water. We’ve already gone through more than 40 bottles of water throughout our hikes. Thankfully, they recycle here. I wish they had refill stations at or near the hikes as that would be much more efficient.

Once we had our supplies in hand, we headed to the Hill Aerospace Museum. It was awesome! We got there later in the day, so we didn’t have enough time to take in all of the exhibits. Consequently, I’m hoping to go back there today or tomorrow. Also the fighter wing was closed and the boys really want to peruse that exhibit. One thing that I loved about the museum is that it is staffed by retirees, who served in the Air Force and really have a passion for the history of aviation. Naturally, we also stopped in to the gift shop where I bought a rosewood model B-24 that will be displayed in our family room. They did have some wonderful sketches of the planes, but none featuring the B-24 on which my grandfather was a flight engineer.

As for our evening, we went back to the dealership to finish up the paperwork for Jake’s new car. That took way longer than it needed to, but this is always the case. For dinner, we headed back to In-N-Out burger so Jake could try it at last. After enjoying their burgers two nights in a row, we have all decided they need to come to Florida. Their burgers are phenomenal! We spent the rest of the night chilling at the AirBnB and were all in bed early. Today promises to bring more great adventures in the great outdoors.

Places we visited yesterday:

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read North & South by Elisabeth Gaskells.

*We are going back to visit the Hill Aerospace Museum.

*Another day, another adventure is in the cards.

*We are off to hike more magical places.

*There are some homeless folks here, but they seem to have shelters and programs in place for them. You see very little panhandling here.

*We’ll be grabbing dinner with Jake.

*The Mayor continues to be this trips Jester.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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Snow Basin Resort

Yesterday our adventures took us to the Snow Basin Resort, which is on Mt. Ogden. After a busy day Saturday, we all overslept. Consequently, we got a reasonably late start to our day. I was a bit worried that the heat and altitude would again be too much for us. Fortunately, I was wrong. We took the gondola up to the ski lodge, where the hiking trail to the summit of Mt. Ogden begins. Technically, you could hike up the entire mountain, but we were not about that life yesterday.

The scenery on the way up Mount Ogden was beautiful with mountains, valleys, and even a lake in the distance. It was a bit hot on the way up as the gondolas are fully enclosed. Once we reached the top of the ride, however, the temperature was significantly cooler, and there was a gentle breeze. The ski lodge was beautiful, with beautiful amenities and A/C. We took a brief respite in the lodge before heading up to the summit. Admittedly, I was quite nervous that this hike would be as challenging as Saturday’s. I think we were all pretty nervous.

Thankfully, this hike got off to a much better and more leisurely start. It wasn’t until the mid-point of our ascent to the summit that it became challenging. First of all, there were a lot of loose rocks on the trail, which makes it hard to find your footing sometimes. This was particularly true on the fringes of the path. Second of all, we were at an elevation of about 8,000 feet, which is a challenging environment for people not accustomed to the altitude. Nevertheless, I still felt much better throughout this hike than our first hike Saturday. The scenery throughout the entire hike was impressive. Moreover, while there were plenty of people and dogs on the hike, it remained quiet and serene. There was an incredible sense of peace on the mountain.

This time we all made it to the end of the hike. The summit of Mount Ogden did not disappoint. As you looked east, you saw the Great Salt Lake and Ogden. We even saw where we had hiked the day before. As we looked to the West, we saw the lake, national forest and several mountains. A top the summit, it was breezy and comfortable. Goalielocks found the perfect place to soak in the majesty of the mountain, while we finished the hike. Naturally, we all felt a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in completing the hike. While this hike had some difficult points, it was well worth the views afforded at the top of the summit. We will be going back.

Afterward we headed back to the AirBnB to change, so we could head to the mall and grab some lunch. Comparatively speaking, the mall was rather lackluster to our malls in South Florida. Nonetheless, it provided a good indoor activity when the heat of the day was at its peak. We also explored several cool stores and boutiques that we’ve never seen before, which was fun. For dinner, we headed East to Taggerts, which has been an institution in the Morgan Canyon for over a century. The service was quick, my soup was delicious and the burger didn’t disappoint.

We ended our day by dropping Jake back off at base, so he could be ready for work today. Our night ended comparatively early last night because we were all utterly exhausted. In fact, two of the three kids traveling with me are still sleeping. It’s almost 11:00 am here, so I’ll probably wake them up in a few minutes. However, after all of our activities over the last two days, I’m glad they’re sleeping in and catching up on some rest.

Places we visited yesterday

*Snow Basin Resort

*Taggart’s Grill

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I finished The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather last night. Tonight I’m starting North & South by Elisabeth Gaskells.

*We are headed to Pineview Reservoir for some new adventures

*I’m going with Jake to buy a car tonight.

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*The truth is I’m looking forward to another day of adventure.

*We’re heading back to 25th Street for dinner at a cool burger place.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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Day of Adventure

Yesterday was a day of adventure from the very beginning to the end. We started the day visiting Jake’s dorm and getting his laundry out of the dryer. As he finished his washing, we watched the fighter jets in complete awe of their magnificence. The mighty roar of their engines reverberating off of the mountains never gets old. Honestly, we could have sat and watched them all day. We also stopped by the BX to get some Air Force merch and supplies. As a mom, it gave me great satisfaction to see that where he is living is beautiful, neat, and safe.

Afterward, we headed back to the Airbnb to get ready for hiking. We decided to hike Waterfall Canyon. Unfortunately, our GPS couldn’t find it without taking us the wrong way. Consequently, we started our hike to the waterfall from the 29th Street trailhead. Admittedly, it was a grueling hike between the heat and the altitude. Goalielocks and Jake had no problem making it to the top, but the rest of us struggled. The weather was oppressive, but thankfully there was a mountain brook with cold water. We used the stones from the creek bottom to cool us off. This little hiking hack worked remarkably well, and we felt better, almost instantaneously.

We were on the trail for nearly two hours over the course of which I burned 800 calories. Hiking here is a great workout with an added bonus of incredible scenery. The rest of the afternoon took us back to the AirBnB to eat leftover and get ready for dinner. Our plan was to eat on 25th Street, which the Ogden equivalent to Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue. For dinner, we opted to try a highly rated Italian place called Rovalis. It did not disappoint! Everyone that worked there from the owner to our server was so nice and professional. Importantly, the food was even better than the service. I was so excited to see that they had several gluten free pasta options. Our meal at Rovalis definitely hit the mark after a day of arduous hiking

After dinner, we headed to Antelope Island State Park to watch the sunset and see some bison. What an incredible place! If you are ever in Utah, this is a must-see. It is incredibly beautiful and serene. Excitedly, we did see several wild bison on our drive up to the Buffalo Point trailhead. We hiked the trailhead to get the best views of the sunset. It was much more comfortable than our daytime hike, although we were still in our dinner attire.

Nevertheless, it was well worth the walk and the views did not disappoint. Honestly, they left us utterly breathless. Consequently, this place is an absolute must on any trip to Utah. It is well worth the $15 price of admission for the day. Hopefully, we can go back and rent bicycles so that we can explore the island more in-depth.

We ended our evening with a beautiful treat. Our friends, the Seefeldts, happen to be driving through Utah on their way back home from Vegas. We were able to meet up for a while and get caught up, which was an absolute treat. Truly, yesterday was an action pack day with so much beauty, happiness, and love. I’m looking forward to where our adventures will take us today. Naturally, we all slept in this morning after a hectic day. This morning, we’ll be heading to Snow Basin Mountain to ride gondola and hike to the top. It should be another fantastic day!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

*We are having scrambled eggs and toast in our AirBnB for breakfast

*We are headed to Snow Basin Mountain for a hike and gondola ride

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*I’m looking forward to another day of adventure.

*We’re heading back to 25th Street for lunch at a cool burger place.

*We’re going to stop at the mall and do some shopping.

*Today I wonder if anyone ever watched the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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