Hiking in Grand Teton National Park

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Jenny Lake 

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The crowds really thinned out beyond the paved path, but it’s still a trail. 

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Jenny Lake adventurers

My cousins grew up in Wyoming so we grew up going to Jackson Hole. It was always cool, but now it’s very pricey. What you can do that won’t break the bank is go to the nearby National Park or watch an old West shootout.

 

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WATER WATER WATER…. H20

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One of the 50% off items.

I don’t use a lot of specialty products, but water is quite necessary for any activity. I am buying these today. REI is having a good sale on Hydro Flask water bottles. Selected ones are 50% off for a very limited time.  I like hot things hot and cold things cold. I am getting one for each of my hikers in her own color so I don’t have to have any more fights over our boring black family ones. It will also be a great product to send them off to summer camp with in a few weeks. Just say NO  to throwaway water bottles clogging up landfills. REI SALE

 

The last day of twenty 17.

It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m a big partier. I’ll be watching Stranger Things tonight. My teen begged and begged us to get Netflix. I don’t watch much on tv, but we’ve been catching up on it during the Christmas break. I’m kind of into it. We already had a big walk today and went to church. 2017 was an awesome year. We woke up in Utah for a snowy hike on the first day of the year. Hiking is something most everybody can do. I like to emphasize that it takes NO skill. Everybody seems to need to be the best at something and a mountain really doesn’t care how fast you go up it. The same with a walking trail. Every town on the planet has a place to walk. I’ve walked in some of the most urban places and some of the most remote. You can find enJOYment in walking. I also biked this year in Central Park for the first time. You can circle the whole park without breaking a sweat on a nice temperate May day.  I enjoy a leisurely bike ride whenever possible and renting a bike on a trip is extra fun. I’m not going to be racing anybody. I’m out for the fresh air and a bit of physical fitness. I will definitely be finding some new and old hiking destinations in 2018. I hope you will too. Happy New Year!!!!

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We had a white Christmas in Boise, Idaho. 

 

White Christmas 🎄 Hike

On Christmas Eve, we got snow. We got more fresh falling snow ❄️ on Christmas Day. After the gifts and the brunch, we got our snow gear on and went behind the house for some sledding. Then, it was time for a hike in the falling snow. I  ❤️ snow. It seems like it brings everyone out of their homes. In 8 years, we never much saw our neighbors in Oregon except when it snowed and it seems the same here in Idaho. Christmas snow ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ⛄️ ⛄️ ⛄️ ⛄️ is my favorite.

1st Thanksgiving

at home since 1998. We’ve been some fun places for turkey day, but also spent a lot of time

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slaving to prepare a feast. With a very busy summer though, we couldn’t make the trek home earlier. This was the day before Thanksgiving. As the weather was unseasonably nice, Zion National Park had a lot of visitors. We drove home a different way due to the crowds and we spotted a flock of turkeys. They are a common sight in the vicinity of Bryce Canyon so I suspected we would see some and we did.

camping

 

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IDAHO, USA

I just got back from camping. I could post a picture of what I looked like, but I won’t. It is a picture of me with my leg swung over a camping chair and napping. My friend sent it to me and I don’t know who took it, but it is funny. I’m not drooling. LUCKILY! Anyway, I will instead show you a picture of the incredibly beautiful place where I was camping. I had 2 minutes of internet for 4 days. Even when we travel internationally, I have not had 4 days of basically no internet in YEARS. Guess what? I really didn’t care much. It was outrageously hot though so that was tough. I took these pictures at six in the morning before my cooking shift started for 20 hungry campers. I left in flip flops and pajamas with a big stick. After I walked for about 15 minutes on a dirt road, I decided it was time to turn back cause I didn’t want to become breakfast. Flip flops aren’t the best getaway gear so I went back to camp and fried up some eggs and bacon. I took some young hikers on a short hike later in the day and they all did fine. There was one tween who was saying she wasn’t built for hiking. Do you have 2 legs? You can do this. AND SHE DID. Hiking is for practically anyone. There is no speed you need to get.

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Beautiful Idaho

 

Hiker death.

Today on my Facebook feed, there was a hiker who died in my Southern Utah hometown. While there could be other issues surrounding this than hiking; I’m going to speak about the hiking aspect only. 1. Tell someone your destination 2. Take H20 3. Wear proper shoes/attire 4. Bring some snacks (Low blood sugar isn’t pleasant for even non-diabetics.) 5. Don’t do crazy stuff particularly if you are alone. I have done a lot of the things I’m warning against and sometimes I regretted it.  At any rate, it was quite literally out my back door where this person was found dead. It is also a gigantic untapped wildland. In the olden days, we just played all the time and hiking was in my backyard.  In 1940, I had an uncle who died hiking. He was just an 8-year-old boy. My mother was only 1 so she never knew him. He was hiking with his brothers and a cousin. I never knew my grandmother, but I’m sure she never got over it. Also, one of my friend’s father, who wrote an early Zion park guide also lost his bff/co-author to a hiking accident in Zion. They were together. The destination for your hike has a lot to do with what you need to prepare. A hiking disappearance in Oregon looks a lot different than a Southern Utah hiking disappearance. In Oregon, you could potentially be lost and never found due to all the trees. In Southern Utah, you will likely be scorched to death in the summer or freeze in the winter. Be aware of your surroundings. In general, hiking is a really safe activity and most anyone can enjoy it.

Spring break hiking

Our spring break plan of getting in one last ski day and trying out Alta, Utah was ruined due to big snow. Some people revel in those conditions, but not all and you need to keep the comfort of all in mind. I didn’t want to torture my children so we didn’t ski. We got to the parking lot and left. The news reported 10 inches that day. When we got to Southern Utah, the rest of the week had to get planned around the weather. It can be awfully windy there and you can have summer and winter in the same day. We had a window on Wednesday.  It started out chilly, but it was 70 degrees at the end. Pretty close to perfect. It was incredibly busy. On our last day, we woke to 5 inches of fresh snow in the hometown. I grew up in the area and go frequently, but I still marvel at the majesty of Zion National Park. We packed a lot of provisions. Sandwiches, granola bars, and h20. You won’t last long in summer conditions without lots of water, but you need to pack smart on a cool day too.

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Heading down on Angels’ landing trail

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Walter’s Wiggles 

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The trailhead

4th graders get in free….

One of the best travel deals in the planet is to visit the national parks. I grew up in the heart of color country in Utah so I’m a huge fan. I lived and worked in Zion National Park when I turned 18 and I continue to go there every chance I get. A few years ago, President Obama created a program for fourth graders to get into the parks for free. As my youngest child is a 4th grader, we just printed off our pass that will expire on Aug. 31, 2017. I often purchase a year pass, but it all depends on how often I can put it into use. Senior citizens get an absolutely awesome lifetime pass for $10 when they hit 62 years of age. I doubt I have any other 4th graders that read my blog except maybe my own once a year, but in case you know any. https://www.everykidinapark.gov/ #optoutside