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. 

 

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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.

Disneyland at Halloween 🎃

 

We wanted to go to Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party, but it’s only on select days. AND our day was not the day! Having never been there during the Halloween season at all though, we loved the decor. The Haunted Mansion was particularly fun. I don’t wear a pedometer, but we walked a lot. We walked all the way to our hotel to crash at one a.m. Our weather was just perfect. We rode every ride we had to ride and some other fun ones too. At the end of the day, it was a success. What is your must ride Disney ride? I have to hit Pirates! every. single. time. ❤️

Spain or bust….

We had a busy summer, but we managed to get what we needed to be done: drivers ed, sports camps, swimming lessons, camping, and travel. In order to walk all over Spain, we needed a car. Travel by train in Europe is excellent, but it doesn’t take you off the beaten path. It is also not the most economical idea for a family. The biggest saving grace was that when we were hot and couldn’t take it anymore; the car kept us alive. Thank goodness for air conditioning. We visited a lot of good medieval destinations full of tourists and where we were alone to imagine the wondrous former glory of the place where we stood. Truly awesome. Deals abound in 2017 with new low-cost carriers and the regulars competing for your business so it’s a good time to go.

VIVA ESPAÑA

Once upon a time

I came to Madrid, Spain. I visited my brother who was serving a Mormon mission. I stayed with some friends he made for me and hosted me for a few days. They were Polish and Catalan. I stayed with the Polish people for a few nights. They had teenagers like me and we had a lot of fun together. Then, it was time to go on to meet the next people. They were a beautiful and proud family from the Barcelona area. I also stayed there for a few days, but they wanted to adopt me and take me home to Barcelona on a vacation. I didn’t have time nor did I know of their plans beforehand so things got awkward. I had a Eurorail pass with exactly the number of days I needed to get home. I had to leave. It was a weird situation. Usually house guests start to get on people’s nerves, but I was the house guest who had to leave. Anyway, that was January of 1994. There were flurries of snow when I came then. For the first time since, I made it back and it was a beautiful sunny day.

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.