twenty18 is over

I’m not a new year’s resolutions kind of person. It’s a good time for gyms to make a lot of money, but I have no interest in paying for a gym pass and not using it. When I have had a gym pass, I used it regularly.  I don’t want to get ripped. I just want to be physically fit every day of my life. When I was on the track team in 1990, I was ripped. I didn’t know it at the time. All I knew was that all my friends were faster than me and I could not keep up. Do you want to get fit? You don’t need to do something extraordinary. You don’t have to win any races or beat anyone. You just need to move. Walking is a great form of low impact exercise. Hiking is also a great form of low impact exercise. Biking is too!!! If you have weight to lose, it will come off if you stick to it. If you don’t have weight to lose, it will still benefit you. Make 2019 AWESOME!!!!

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Utah hikes

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Emerald Pools in Winter. This hike is for most abilities and you won’t find a better one. Occasionally, I choose a different hike for a longer workout, but you cannot improve on this hike. It has a little water year round.  It is currently partially closed due to a rock slide. Hopefully it can be fixed by spring 2019.

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A few Zion locals

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Virgin River near the exit of the famous Narrows in Zion National Park

I’ve just spent a week at home in Utah, USA. I was there to visit my family, but I always manage to get in some nature hikes. I flew into Las Vegas and it was funny how small the skyline appeared in comparison to my Chinese city. I have been to Vegas innumerable times, but never really for any of the stuff it’s famous for. **usually just hitting the airport** Or… before internet shopping it was for actual shopping other than the small town stores’ slim pickings. Las Vegas is not just for losing money, it’s a great launching pad for awesome destinations. For me, it’s pretty much my airport of choice. It’s closer to my home and the famous Southern Utah parks than Salt Lake City.

And then what???

You quit your job to travel the world and then what? My blog is about a pretty mundane subject, but the years of blogging have come and gone. I know (in a way you know strangers on Instagram) some people who have “sold it all” and have zero sponsors after a long time. They quit their jobs. They sold their homes.  They cashed in on the equity in their house; their furniture, their clothes, their doodads, to travel. It sounds crazy! Cause it is!!!!! I feel like I’m watching a train wreck. Maybe they’ll get famous and it will all be made right.  Not likely!  It took us years to get where we are with our not so perfect furniture, but good career. I realized early on I couldn’t sustain any momentum to do what it takes. I’m not going to hike Kilimanjaro one day and follow it us with something better the next week. It’s too much. We had a trip to Chile planned for this summer, but our career sent us to China. I could have done both. Nobody was stopping me, but me. It’s no piece of cake to do what moving entails. Nope. I don’t want to throw a first trip to South America into the mix. I’ve been trying to go for 20 years. It will be or it will not be.  I tried a thousand times to use my funds from my Aeromexico flights that were going to go unused to no avail. I learned that I’m not going to book flights with them ever again because of the headache. My seats were empty, but they won’t get another dime from me.  Lesson learned!

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.

 

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.