The last two days has felt like an episode of Anakin vs. critters. Yesterday he had a run-in with a very large red ant pile. Fortunately, we were able to brush and wash the ants of quickly because it could have been so much worse. Nonetheless, his left paws and lower legs were littered with ant bites. We’ve been treating them with calamine lotion and Benadryl. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be bothering him.
Episode two of Anakin vs. critters happened tonight. When we take Anakin out, he’s immediately on the hunt for any critter he can catch. Whenever he’s outside, no matter what the reason, he’s ready to hunt. Tonight was no exception. Unfortunately, his hunt was successful and he captured a toad. The problem was the toad he caught was venomous. Immediately, the Hubby brought him to the front of the house to wash out his mouth with the hose. Thankfully, he’s a big dog and it was a small toad. These toads can get gigantic and are definitely a threat to dogs’ lives.
Surprisingly, this was the first time he caught a toad. Usually, he catches a gecko of large basilisk. He loves to bring his catches to me, which I dread. I usually have to get Goalielocks or the Mayor to get the lizard out of his mouth. Anakin also enjoys trying to catch butterflies, dragon flies, birds and flies. Most of the time Anakin comes out on top in the Anakin vs. critters game.
Here’s a list of our day’s activities:
*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.
*I absolutely slayed my day at work!
*I did no exercise today. I woke up with the intention to run, but my neck was stiff and I just didn’t feel up for it.
*The family and I are back to watching Thirty Rock.
*I spent my day with the puppies. This evening I worked with Anakin on some training skills. He did a great job. Of course, I rewarded him with kielbasa, which is his favorite. We’ve now gone through two kielbasa’s this week.
*My favorite surprise on the underwater cams, I watch during work, is seeing an octopus. Today I watched the safari cam, which never disappoints.
*There were big thunderstorms today all afternoon. Thankfully, the tropics remain quiet. Certainly, it wasn’t a good afternoon for those reliant on solar energy. Albeit, the rest of the day was sunny.
*Today’s word of the day is magnanimous. I’m not quite sure what it means.
*I took my puppies including sweetAnakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos? Thankfully, the fly traps arrived today. Emphatically, I’m absolutely sick of those little buggers.
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.
Flam is a picturesque hamlet at the end of the Aurlandsfjord. Surrounded by mountains and the beautiful fjord, you couldn’t imagine a more beautiful, serene or more Norwegian place. On the surroundings hills and mountains, the farmers let their sheep and goats roam freely to find the best grass. It was even more beautiful that I had imagined.
Our first night in Flam, we met our family at Flamstova for dinner. Our dinner was incredible, but the kids had grown weary from sitting at the table. My cousin Jessica and her husband Jeff volunteered to take them out to see the sheep in the pasture. With the kids gone, we could enjoy the remainder of our dinner in relative silence.
Meanwhile the kids were in seventh heaven as they fed the sheep that ventured near the fence. Colin had his first run in with the prickle of a stinging nettle he had picked to feed the sheep. He learned his lesson and was more careful when he picked the grass. The kids loved the animals we would see grazing freely throughout our Norwegian travels, but the opportunity to be up close and feed them was even better.
Cousins enjoying the Aurlandsfjord in Flam
We made several more visits to the sheep before leaving Flam including a walk behind the fence to find some good fishing spots. The boys, particularly the younger two, had to visit their sheep named Jeffry. All of the kids enjoyed feeding and interacting with the sheep. They loved to watch their silly antics as they ran down the mountain or assaulted their mother for milk. It certainly isn’t something our kids are accustom to seeing.
It was awesome to see the how freely the sheep and goats were to gallivant about the mountains finding the best grass. Each morning the farmers would let their herds out and then each night the farmers would bring them back home. How they got them to come down the mountain, I don’t know, but each and every night they’d return home from their pastures.
We took a trip to the Glades this evening so I could test out my camera before our big trip. If you’ve never been to the Everglades before, it is hard to imagine what it looks like. It doesn’t look like a swamp. It’s a peaceful, beautiful, slow moving river teaming with wildlife.
The most savage beast of the glades is the American Alligator. Fishing here comes with the added challenge of having to reel in the fish before the gators can steal it. The big gators will often sit below the fishing dock waiting for someone to reel one in and then they’ll pounce. Tonight we saw several large alligators in the water, which was great. Additionally, we also saw several baby gators hanging close to shore in the weeds hiding from the larger gators and other predators.
The Mayor had a lot of luck fishing for blue gill and tilapia with worms. Goalielocks was fishing for bass, but the bass were not biting. He had a near miss with a gator and gar. Gars are a pain in the butt to catch as they’ve got very sharp teeth (and a lot of them) and they’re hard to get off the line. The gnats were out in full force, so we only stayed out for about an hour and I got plenty of practice with the new camera.