My last foray into the blogging world was so that I could have a depository for my graphic designs. When my webhoster wanted me to renew my subscription for a lot of money, I just cancelled it. Anyway, last night I came across a really cool project: the seeamericaproject.com . I wanted to buy a lot of things on there! Alas, I have to temper myself. However, I also have been intending on making my own products with a national park/nature theme of course. So, this gave me a place to display my stuff.
The return trek to Oregon from Southern Utah was split up to make the road trip more tolerable. We took a slight detour to Heber, Utah. When we couldn’t check into our hotel since we arrived too early, we took a drive. We ended up in the most awesome place after heading towards Kamas, Utah. Living in Utah for much of my life, I had never been to the Uintas. My husband was the chauffeur and said that he had taken the road last summer on his motorcycle so he knew it would be great.The weather was cool in the mountains with drizzling rain. After we reached a peak and got out for a stroll, we descended and found epic sights along the way, when we didn’t think it could get any better, we took a turn off to a pit stop to discover the Provo River Falls. It was an unexpected marvel.
This is a picture of my hometown of Cedar City. The information I have says: View looking south on Main Street winter of 1936. My mother received this in a Christmas card a few years ago and she gave it to me to have it enlarged for display. She was born in Cedar City, Utah 3 years after the photo was taken in 1939. In the 1980’s I probably walked across that street countless times on the way to and from the swimming pool, on the way to purchasing ice cream, going to the library, walking home from middle school, or getting candy from the drug store. I’m sure my banana bike made it up and down the Main Street more than a few times too, and it was definitely in a parade or two on that street, but mostly walking was my favorite way to get around. #vintage
Kolob Canyons is in Zion National Park. It is located just off I-15 about 20 miles south of Cedar City, Utah. The elevation is higher there than in the more visited area of Zion near Springdale, Utah. Summer temperatures are hot and in winter the canyons see a lot of snow. On this July day, we hiked the Taylor Creek hike. It is a family hike which requires a moderate level of fitness and about 3 hours round trip at a steady pace. You will likely experience total peace and solitude on any off season day. We were there on July 29, 2014 in peak season and there weren’t many people. On our trek, we encountered another young family who had minutes earlier come upon one of the few natural enemies to be found in the canyon; a rattlesnake. The family captured the snake in a photo and it left me rattled for the rest of our hike. Having grown up in the area, I had never actually seen a live rattler in the wild. Aside from that excitement, we were in one of God’s greatest wonders. The heat of the day also made the sand smell really great. I cannot describe it, but the scents really comes alive from the sunshine. There are 2 historic cabins on the hike. You will not regret stopping for this hike, but you might not want to leave.
This place is my sanctuary. Millions of visitors visit this place every year, but I grew up nearby. When we would go to the mountain, we would look down on Zion. When we were lucky enough, we were actually in Zion. My mom used to go to the swimming pool in Zion. They were a traveling family, they lived on Cedar mountain in the summer and town ( Cedar City, Utah ) during the school year. So, a trek to Zion to a swimming pool was a big deal. The swimming pool has never existed during my lifetime and now if you want to swim in a chlorinated pool, you can book a nice hotel in Springdale, Utah. There are many hotels which look desirable to me, but I’m not a tourist so I’ve got options/obligations. 🙂 In 1993, I was lucky enough to wake up every day in this place when I worked and lived inside the park. I was a fast food worker. I cashiered and cleaned tables all day, upon finishing my daily tasks, I, smelling of greasy fast food, would engage in any kind of hiking explorations I could think of. I encountered a really fun fit girl who later became my roommate and that made all the difference. We had a fun friendship that consisted of trying to wake up early every morning to enjoy the really nice hotel buffet breakfast available to employees free before a certain early hour each day or the standard room and board fare later in the morning. We managed to make it to the feast about once a week, but we tried daily. Then, we’d be off to work and we’d hook up again after our shifts for crazy hiking escapades together or with other employees. Since we were both Mormons, we stuck together and explored most of the time on our own wave length, which meant awesome awesome hikes. Before and since, I am a regular visitor to Zion. In fact, when I am not at Zion I am usually talking about Zion. These photos were taken on July 26, 2014. It was an overcast day and I even had goose bumps when we got going. Since there was a chance of rain, we had a slight change of plans and we went on the Emerald Pools trail instead of going into the Virgin river to enter the Narrows from below. Emerald Pools trail is a great option for most fitness levels. Probably the lower pool is even handicapped accessible, but the rest will require stairs and minor obstacles. Anyone mildly fit who visits Zion should go on this gorgeous trail at least once.
Today I printed out a map and drove off to a not so faraway place that hosted 4 girls who needed a ride from me back to civilization. My vehicle, not being equipped with the latest and greatest technology, wasn’t the best wagon of the year 2014. As we continued like pioneers into the great unknown following printed directions, we finally arrived early at our “destination” and had a little lunch so we wouldn’t be hungry on the return trek. To our surprise, it was still a bit of a trek into the woods after that and more uncertainty. When we finally arrived and had an encounter with the huge Uhaul driver in an impassable spot, we knew we’d arrived when we heard a lot of loud screaming girls. This was the place. This was the sight we saw upon arrival.
My friend brought me a huge zucchini on Sunday that she couldn’t use as her kitchen is in remodel status. Yes! I love zucchini and I’ve been very unsuccessful growing it. I know it is supposed to be so easy, but I’ve had very little success with it. I also love zucchini bread so since I had no immediate plans for this huge zucchini, I shredded it and put it in the freezer for when I’m ready to make one of my favorite harvest treats. At the same time, I had some frozen strawberries that needed to be consumed and some heavy whip cream. That means it was time for making strawberry ice cream since I had put my ice cream maker in the freezer a few days before. So while I was shredding zucchini, ice cream was being made. At the same time, I was pre-cooking some chicken for chicken fettucine alfredo which is on the menu tonight. The reason for buying the heavy whip cream at Costco was finally going to be fulfilled. Tonight’s dinner should be awesome.
Just returned from a 14 and 1/2 day journey. I picked up my daughter who was a 1st season farmer in Idaho with her cousins from Alabama and Tennessee at her grandparents’ home. She was initiated with important tasks like weeding and other stuff nobody would understand, but she was able to enjoy some cliff diving into the Snake River on her down time. Not too bad for a 12 year old girl. 🙂 We spent 24 hours in Salt Lake City shopping and swimming at our lifelong favorite family destination. The Little America
Then we headed South to my childhood home in Southern Utah. We spent the week with cousins and hiking in the canyon in grandma’s backyard. There you can find prime hiking territory unknown to even locals who don’t venture anywhere on foot. I spent my first pioneer holiday in Utah in several years on a horse drawn wagon and no pioneer day is successful without the requisite trip to the mountains. We visited briefly with way old family friends at Brianhead, Utah and then stopped by Cedar Breaks National Monument. We were able to get the Utah cousins involved in the Junior ranger program and the kids earned their badges from Cedar Breaks. The next day, my husband flew down to commence the next phase of our trip, visiting Zion National Park. We had a fun filled day hiking the Emerald Pools hike, eating at Oscar’s in Springdale, and then going swimming in a lesser known natural swimming hole paradise within the park boundaries. 2 days later, we hiked the Taylor Creek family hike at Kolob Canyons in Zion National Park. We were lucky enough to not encounter a rattlesnake which had been discovered by the family in front of us just a mere 5 minutes before us. However, I did not relax quite so easily for the rest of the hike. Having grown up there, I had yet to see a rattlesnake in the wild and was hoping to keep it that way. We had a long ride on 4-wheelers on the last day before we headed to Heber, Utah for an overnight trek. We were able to visit the Mirror Lake area in the Uinta National Forest for the first time. AWESOME PLACE! The next day, we headed back through Idaho to enjoy a lunch with my in-laws and continue on to Boise for the night. Finally, we were able to visit Roaring Springs water park in Boise after driving past it many times before. The temperatures were hot enough and we happened to be staying in Boise for the night before heading on to PDX. The kids had a grand time and now I predict we will not be able to drive by as easily as in the past. The final drive home was shortened as we started in Boise, but when we got home we were all very happy to be there, but we will be spending the next few days folding laundry and putting away suitcases.