Back Up The Mountain

“Back Up the Mountain” details the amazing true story of determined men and women sacrificing and risking all to establish the Branch Normal School (now Southern Utah University). Download a copy! This is the story of how the small town I grew up in got to have a university. It’s worth watching. My ancestors settled Southern Utah and moved to Cedar City for the school. The scenery is great as well as the story.

via Back Up The Mountain.

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EARTH DAY and other made up days…

Yesterday was “Earth Day” I saw it on virtual media. It seems to me that there is a day for just about everything these days. I like “donut day” as Krispy Kreme gives out free donuts and as a mom, free donut day provided 1. an activity and 2. a free donut. WIN! WIN!! When I lived in Russia, I got congratulated for being a woman on International Women’s day. I had never had anyone congratulate me for my womanhood before so I laughed at the “international” part. Now over 20 years later, it is catching on also thanks to social media, I think. However, I always think of my friends on that day and wonder whom they are giving flowers to. (ex-wives, mothers, daughters, wife……) On April Fool’s day, I had to deliver something to the band room at the middle school. Students ran out of the room telling me: DO NOT TO GO IN THERE… I told one boy I didn’t really have all day and continued on my way. I discovered a band room that had been toilet papered. I was impressed that students wanted to do that so badly that they came to school early to get it done. It was all I could do to get to school one minute late back in the day. I dropped off my thing and left. So…..when my church youth group told me the other day that I couldn’t go in the door, I was envisioning the same scenario from a few weeks earlier. To my surprise, they had made it LEADER DAY. They had made my partner/coworker and me cookies and posters telling us we were awesome. It was a bit better than a toilet papered room. Mormon youth are trained to do nice things so it wasn’t a total shock, but toilet papering a room wouldn’t be a shock sometimes either. Did you do any earthy stuff yesterday?

chauffeur with no cool hat….

Yesterday, I had to drive my middle school daughter and several others in a caravan to a jazz band competition. Our first stop was a lunch scheduled in the hipster Mississippi part of Portlandia. Quite frankly, I don’t even know what a hipster is, but Portland is their capital.  I hadn’t been to that part of town since shortly after we moved here so it had changed and was even hipper or else it was a whole different street than the one I’d seen before. At any rate, suburban band students invaded their neighborhood for an hour. It was fun. There was a really cute ice cream parlor that I need to go back to, but probably won’t. After eating, it was off to the competition. As it was my second time, I was already aware of the competition and they were fierce so no need to get too excited. After arriving, the band director decided to change the schedule and stay a bit longer for awards. Um…no…that didn’t jive with my schedule. I run a tight ship. I didn’t commit to this and then when I realized 4 p.m. traffic is just bad, I decided I’d stay as long as I could and leave.  Here is the thing, you have to make calculations for everywhere you want to go; then throw in some traffic and try to get back to suburbia. My daughter was in charge of the map. We entered the traffic abyss and miraculously made it to our 5 p.m. appointment with 5 minutes to spare.  Yes. I love living in suburbia. :0 I’d love to be a hipster and bike everywhere I go, but it takes 15 minutes by car to get anywhere, let alone where I need to go.

Tulips and stuff less awesome……

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                                 This was a few years ago at the local tulip festival. http://www.woodenshoe.com

Portland, Oregon is full bloom and glory right now. Tulips have always been one of my favorite flowers. They always grew in our yard and were free, but never lasted long enough. Prior to leaving on spring break, we got word that there was a chance for identity theft in our family due to one of the recent news making hacking scandals of 2015.  I have been going nuts trying to figure out what to do. On the bright side, I figure these issues are inevitable for everyone in this day and age and this propels me into figuring out how to deal with it and be vigilant instead of sleeping like Rip Van Winkle. Regardless, UUUUGHHH!!!!!

Pensées about the Boston marathon

Any terror attack is profoundly tragic, but the Boston marathon one affected me worse than others. I think it is because I ran way back when and I could conceive of the utter exhaustion that those people could have felt at the end of the race and then to have to flee in a moment of tragedy or triumph. I once competed in a cross country race all on red dirt at around 100 degrees. At the finish line, I was beyond exhausted and my body was breaking down. I’ve never come close to a marathon, but that day I was pushed to my limit so seeking refuge from chaos in that moment of the bombing would have been acutely challenging. The day of the bombing, I had a friend who had crossed the finish line several minutes earlier and my husband’s boss also had already finished before the bomb went off we learned later. Hopefully the victims can feel some peace in this time of “trial” in Boston.

What to eat while hiking???

The most important advice when hiking is DO NOT forget your h20!!!! Trust me, I have shared mine with random strangers before, but I always accompany my charity with a light scolding. Lately, when we drag our kids on hikes/walks they seem to want to drink the water for no reason. Ummm…. noo!! You have to be smart about your water intake cause it has to get you to and fro. This is especially critical in the desert.  Mom and dad can’t carry enough water for your whims; water is heavy! I also hate CamelBaks cause the water comes out tasting like plastic. NASTY! Beyond the h20, it is always fun to have some treats and vital to keep energized. Since we were only going on a morning hike of a couple hours, we grabbed some girl scout cookies and threw them in the backpack. We also found some beef jerky in my dad’s truck that we took. It was likely stale, but it was fun to chew on while we hiked. The food preferences for just a day trek for me is stuff that doesn’t need to be kept cold/warm. Granola, PB&J, trail mix, I have no problem with candy in moderation, etc….. Besides the hiking and the family visits when I go home, I have a few restaurants I ABSOLUTELY must frequent. For some reason, fast food restaurants are just better in Utah. It’s a homegrown thing. I have yet to find fast food that excites out of the home state. According to facebook friends, it is a theme……. We all have hit the hometown greasy food spots. On this hiking day, it was the local pizzeria for the first must stop. So….we had to keep moving so we could get home and showered in time for lunch.

Eat what you want, but it's wise to have something.

Eat what you want, but it’s wise to have something.

In the high mountain desert, the temperatures are extreme. This poor cactus has likely endured temps of 20 degrees below zero to 105 degrees. Be careful as my shoes got a needle at one point and it felt like I got stabbed with no trace on entry.

In the high mountain desert, the temperatures are extreme. This poor cactus has likely endured temps of 20 degrees below zero to 105 degrees. Be careful as my shoes took in a needle at one point and it felt like I got stabbed with no trace on entry.

Hiking in Southern Utah…Not the usual tourist destination.

For the record, I love the national parks and the tourists. It’s a pretty rare trek to Utah that I don’t make a trip to Zion as it is my FAVORITE. I posted these pictures the other day, but I’m super inept with iphone and wordpress. So…I’m going to update and redo this. We arrived at the folks’ house at 10:00 pm after a 4ish hour drive South from Salt Lake City International. I hadn’t flown in there since 2003 cause we usually fly to Utah through Lost Wages #Nevada. It was remarkably unchanged as an airport which was super weird cause that airport has a lot of history pre 9/11 with mega farewells and reunions as Mormon missionaries start their trek. With all of the security, it’s a little bit less awesome of a place, but I guess they’re going to remodel it finally so I’m glad I got one last look. Upon waking up to clear skies, I arranged for my dad to drive us to the trail head for an epic hike in my old backyard. My parents moved across town in 2007 so they have another canyon for a backyard, but we’d need a ride to get started. I used to be the only one who’d ever be out there besides the occasional motorized vehicle, but about 20 years ago while I was sun bathing on a rock, the college cross country team ran by way below me so they used to train there too.

"new sign to me" This is where there is a turn around on HWY 14 in Cedar City, Utah Many people have unfortunately discovered the place and created an awful shoe tree.

“new sign to me” This is where there is a turn around/parking spot on HWY 14 in Cedar City, Utah Many people have unfortunately discovered the place and created an awful shoe tree.

Starting out with a coat, sweatshirt, and t-shirt.

Starting out with a coat, sweatshirt, and t-shirt.

pick a hole. It was too cold for rattle snakes so a good time to jump in for a photo op.

pick a hole. It was too cold for rattle snakes so a good time to jump in for a photo op.

Trail marker

Trail marker

sportin' my UTAH gear since my team just made the "sweet 16" 2 nights earlier.

sportin’ my UTAH gear since my team just made the “sweet 16” 2 nights earlier.

Getting my "zen" on.

Getting my “zen” on.

The end or the beginning depending on where I start. This is 10 minutes walk from the home I grew up in.

The end or the beginning depending on where I start. This is 10 minutes walk from the home I grew up in.