October 31, 2013

It All Started A Goal Part 1 of 5

This post is long over due and I know many people have been waiting to hear the story. For those who don't know, my family is very goal oriented and driven. From a young age we were taught how to set goals and achieve them. On occasion, we would have meetings with my father to discuss our progress. To this day I still set goals, strive to achieve them, and evaluate my progress.

As you drive through Utah Valley, one cannot help but notice Mt. Timpanogos standing off on the east side of the valley. Every time I would drive past the mountain, I would look up at in wonder and say to myself, "I am going to climb that mountain one day." At the beginning of the year I set many goals for myself, one of those goals as you may have guessed was to climb Mt. Timpanogos.

We planned to climb Mt. Timpanogos on August 24, 2013 but decided to push the trip back because of the potential for thunderstorms that day. The new date for our hike was scheduled for September 7, 2013.

That morning we woke up quite early, the sun had not yet risen. We packed up our gear, picked up our neighbor Diana, and headed up Provo Canyon to the trail head. We said a prayer and then started hiking, it was about 6:45 am and it was still dark outside.

The hike was beautiful, the weather was great, and the temperature outside was perfect. I started out hiking wearing long pants over my short and took them off shortly after our hike started. We took our time hiking and stopped to eat lunch at Emerald Lake sometime early in the afternoon. From the lake we could see both Park City and Heber, the view was stunning.

Andy & I.

A view from the trail. Park City is in the distance.

Me & Andy.

Andy & Diana taking a breather.

The view from Emerald Lake.

Another view from the lake.

After lunch we took a moment to look inside the old ranger station next to the lake. There was not much to the ranger station- 4 walls, a roof, 2 open windows (there was no glass in them), an open door, two benches and an old fire place. After inspecting the ranger station we headed out on the trail again.
A view of the lake from the ranger station.

Inside the ranger station.

We walked through some meadows before we came to a large rocky bowl. The trail through the bowl is not very distinct. You have to look for a rock with several smaller rocks stacked on top of it and navigate your way from one stack of rocks to the next. On the north side of the bowl is a steep cliff.

After making it though the bowl we climbed some steep trails. As we walked, we walked under cliff faces before reaching the Saddle.

Once we were on the Saddle we could see 360 degrees around us. The view from the Saddle was not as pleasant as the view we had at Emerald Lake. As we looked around we noticed dark clouds all the way around us except for directly above where we were standing. We spoke with some other hikers who had been sitting on the Saddle for awhile and they assured us that the clouds to the west were moving westward out over Utah Lake. The clouds to the south were moving east and hitting Spanish Fork Canyon. The clouds to the east were moving northeast and the clouds to the north were moving northward. The told us that we were about 30 minutes from the top and that we should be able to make it to the top without any problems.
The view from the Saddle looking out over Utah Lake.

The view from the Saddle looking southward toward Spanish Fork.

Another shot of Utah Lake from the Saddle.

And another shot of the lake.

The Saddle, the Chimney, and the summit. (The summit is the point that looks like a pyramid).

The rocky bowl is down below. The shot looks out toward Park City.

The view to the north.

Me on the Saddle.

Diana on the Saddle.

Another shot of Utah Lake.

The last photo we took of Utah Lake.

The three of us (Andy, Diana, and I) talked for a few minutes and decided what we wanted to do. Diana said she was going to turn back because she was tired and Andy and I decided we were going to climb to the top. Diana said she would wait for us at the ranger station and we gave her a time frame for when to expect us. We then headed our separate ways.

As we started hiking again, I quickly noticed that the air was thinner than it had been before. We took a lot of short breaks so I could catch my breath.

We took our time climbing the Chimney to make certain that our footing was sure. This part of the trail is quite scary looking, it looks a lot like shingles on a roof. You have to be careful because there are cliffs on all sides of you.

Shortly thereafter, we made it to the top of the mountain. At the top of the mountain there is a tin shack that is painted white. The shack has open windows and an open door. I signed our names in the registry book and we made a quick video of our accomplishment. I think I put the date down in the book as the 8th, I'm going to say it was because of the lack of oxygen getting to my brain.

About this time we noticed that the clouds were starting to change direction and thought it would be best to start heading back. We said a quick prayer and started down the mountain.

We walked down the trail about five minutes or so before we ran into three BYU students. They asked us how far they were from the top and we told them about ten minutes (it takes longer to get up than it does to get down). They asked us what we thought of the weather and if it was safe to continue hiking. We told them that they clouds were starting to move and told them to use their best judgement.

October 24, 2013

The Desert Star

One of my favorite places to go for a good time is the Desert Star in Murray, UT. On September 6th we went to see the Hungry Games with Andy's family. It was a spoof off of the Hunger Games and had characters like: Katnip Neverclean (aka Katniss Everdeen), Grimrose Neverclean (aka Primrose Everdeen), Pizza Malarky (aka Peta Mellark), and Donald MacRonald (aka Ronald McDonald).

The show was good and I would recommend seeing it! I would suggest eating something before you go to the Desert Star though because the food there is not very good.

October 23, 2013

A Trip To Washington Part 2

Friday we spent the day in Seattle with my brother Jake. Our first stop was Pike's Place Market. I absolutely love going to the market, there is so much cultural diversity there that you just don't get in Utah. Andy was very sweet and bought we a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers. Jake showed us the gum wall, for some reason I had never seen the gum wall before. The gum wall is really gross but in a strange way it is kind of pretty. On our way to the gum wall we passed a barefooted hippie playing the accordion, you never know what you will see when you visit the market.

Andy & I.


The Face.

Our next stop was Dick's Drive-In. Dick's is kind of like the In 'N Out of Seattle, only a less healthy version. When I was a kid anytime we would drive home after visiting family in Spokane, my siblings would chant "Dicks, Dicks, eat at Dicks." They would chant this to the point that my Dad would get annoyed and consent to stopping at Dick's (there is also a Dick's in Spokane). I have fond memories of eating at Dick's and make a point of stopping there when I get the chance.

Then we made our way to the Ballard Locks. We all enjoyed watching the ships and boats pass through the locks, it is pretty neat experience. I loved standing on the dock and taking in the beauty around me from the tall evergreen trees to the smell of the salt water and moist cool air on my face. I really do miss Washington, it will always be the place I consider home.
A ship passing through the locks.

Andy & I.

We also watched the salmon run up the fish ladders. I think those may have been the largest live fish Andy has ever seen before.
A Salmon going up the fish ladder.

We spent Saturday with my Mom, Jake and Sadie. That morning we went to the Puyallup Farmer's Market. Andy found himself a box of peaches, he is very particular when it comes to peaches and had not found any peaches previously this summer that met his standard. I'm so glad he was able to find himself a healthy treat. I found my self a big ripe tomato and ate it like an apple, I think that may have grossed Andy out.

I also grabbed a bunch of beets. When I grabbed the beets my Mom looked at my strangely and asked what I was going to do with them. I told her that I was going to make popsicles. She gave me a disgusted look and said "That's nasty!" Little did she know that the next morning she would discover that she liked them. I know they sound kind of revolting but they are really good and they taste like fudgesicles, but they are healthy. Andy swears by them.

Then we went to lunch at Casa Mia. I think I ate at Casa Mia as a kid once, for some reason I don't remember it being as good as it is. Casa Mia is sooo good! If you ever find yourself in Washington, you have stop and eat there. We ordered a pizza with potato on it, I know it sounds weird but that was probably the best pizza I have ever eaten!

Our next stop was a local fruit stand. Sadie and I both scored a box of mangos for $1.00. Normal a box of mangos this size would cost close to $20.00. I cut up all of my mangos and frozen them so I could bring them back to Utah. They have been and will continue to be used in smoothie, I'm a smoothie addict and can't pass up a good deal on produce.

Next we went stopped at some yard sales and thrift stores. Andy and I found a few treasures to bring back with us.

That night was spent playing Ticket to Ride with my siblings. It was good time!
Sadie & I.


Me & Andy.

Sadie, Me, & Andy.

The Face.

Me & Mom.

Sadie being a creature.

On Sunday we packed up our bags and started our trip back to Utah. We drove through Chinook Pass on the way back instead of Snoqualmie Pass. Chinook Pass was so beautiful, it was like driving through a forest. We stopped to take a few pictures but our photos are nothing compared to the beauty that surrounded us.
Mt. Rainier is in the background.

As we were driving through Oregon, we got pulled over by a State Patrol Officer. He told us that one of our high beam lights was out and said that we should stop in the next town for the night, so we did.

The next day we finished our drive back to Utah. As we drove we listened to Seven Habits of Highly Effective People on tape. It was such a good listen, I recommend it!

I can't believe that we drove through five states (Utah, Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Oregon) in a week. For me, the time went by too fast but I'm so grateful we were able to make the trip.

October 22, 2013

A Trip To Washington Part 1

 Due to some changes that came about in life, Andy and I were able to squeeze a trip to Washington in to our busy schedules. I was really glad that we were able to make the trip, it had been two years since I been home.

We left on Sunday August 25th after church and stopped at my Dad's to sleep. The next day we drove from Rexburg, Idaho to Spokane, Washington--that is a long drive. Most of that stretch of the drive was through Montana and it rained a good portion of the way. We decided to stop for lunch in Dillon, Montana and found ourselves at Sparky's Garage. Andy and I consider ourselves to be food snobs and we both have to say that the food was so good! Those were seriously the best pulled pork sandwiches either of us have ever eaten.
While we were at Dad's, Russell asked us to take his picture with his friends.
We stopped to take a picture at the Continental Divide.

We now understand why Montana is known as the "Big Sky" state.

Andy at Sparky's.

While we were driving we noticed that the air had become really smokey. As came around a bend in the road, we saw a helicopter scoop water out of the river to dump on a nearby fire. It was a neat thing to watch.

Andy has wanted a bonsai tree for a really long time (once he even tried to grow his own). When we stopped in Missoula, Montana to get gas he noticed that someone was selling bonsai trees on the side of the road and he couldn't help but stop. Andy is now the proud owner of a bonsai tree.

That night we stayed with my Grandma and Grandpa. The next day Andy and Grandpa went golfing and Grandma and I went shopping. We all had a really good time and enjoyed being able to spend the with one another.

Andy wants everyone to know that he had his first Dilly Bar while we were at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was a life changing event for him.

Before we left Grandma and Grandpa's house we were able to see my Aunt Michelle and Uncle Joe. I can't remember the last time I saw either of them, it was good to catch up.
Grandma and I.

Uncle Joe and Grandma-- He doesn't like to have his picture taken.

Tuesday night we had a slumber party with Nana and my cousin Casey. We taught Casey how to play Ticket to Ride Marklin, it is one of our favorite games. Casey enjoyed playing it so much that he wanted to play again. We enjoyed being able to visit with Nana and Casey. Before we left Nana's Uncle Aaron stopped by to say hi-- he is such a goof!
Andy, Me & Nana.

Us again.

Uncle Aaron's selfie.

Me, Nana, and Uncle Aaron. When I'm really happy my eyes almost close.

Me, Nana, Uncle Aaron & Casey. I'm not sure what Uncle Aaron was trying to do...

Me, Casey, Uncle Aaron & Nana.

Wednesday was spent driving from Spokane to Seattle. It was a really pretty drive. That night we crashed at my brother's house.

Thursday we wanted to go to the zoo and ride the camel and go kayaking with one of my friends. Unfortunately, it was raining so we not able to do any of that. Instead we found ourselves at the thrift store. We both love thrifting and had a great time. Later we met up with my friend Taylor and we went to eat at the Amerawcan Bistro in Tacoma. I really like to eat healthy food and there are not a lot a healthy restaurants in Utah, so we thought it would be fun to try something new. Andy's food was really good he ordered crepes. I ordered jicama tacos, they were okay but not my favorite. We also ordered some cheesecake, it was really good! It nice to try something new but I'm not sure I would eat there again, it was kind of expensive for the small serving sizes.

That night we went to the Rainiers game. As we were walking up to the box office to purchase our tickets this woman starting talking to me and said something about going to a nearby table for tickets and food and she handed me a piece of paper. Andy and I walked over to the table and these two women took the paper and asked what part of the stadium we wanted to sit in. I couldn't believe it, we chose seats that were behind home plate (this is Andy's favorite place to sit) and thirteen rows up. They also gave up passes for free hot dogs, chips, and drinks. I asked these two women if I could purchase two more tickets for my Dad (he was in town for work) and Taylor and they just gave me two more tickets and vouchers for food. Talk about the royal treatment, Andy and I felt so blessed.
Me & Andy. All of the people sitting behind us had already left.

During the game it started to rain, lucky for us our seats were covered. It was fun to watch the Rainiers played the Salt Lake Bees. I was hoping that the Rainiers would win, but they didn't pull through. Andy was kind of excited that the Bees won (they are his home team).

October 21, 2013

A Wedding, Bear World, & Spelunking

On August 17, 2013 my cousin Ben married his beautiful wife Jessica, in the Idaho Falls Temple. We are so happy for them and glad to have Jessica as a part of our family! We were fortunate enough to be able to go to Idaho to take part in the festivities with them.

During the time we had between the wedding and the reception, we decided to stop and visit my cousin Kelly. I don't remember the last time I saw Kelly, it was really good to catch up.

Later that day, we took Russell and Nathan to Bear World. Neither of the boys had been to Bear World before. We all had a blast! We enjoyed driving through the park so much, we did it twice. We saw more bears at Bear World than we have ever seen before.

After we drove through the park we went to the petting farm and the boys pet pigs, deer, goats, etc. The cherry on top for the boys was that they could ride as many rides as they wanted (it was included in the cost of their admission). On the way back to the house Nathan said, "This is the best day of my life!" I'm glad we were able to make Nathan's day.
More bears.

Nathan enjoying the roller coaster.

Nathan petting Andy.

Andy and Russell petting Andy the mule deer.

Me and Andy.

Miss Piggy, yes that is really her name.

That night we went to Ben and Jessica's wedding reception. The reception was out side at Jessica's home. I love how simple and elegant her receptions was.

During the reception people we were able to dance. We told Russell that he should ask this girl who looked to be somewhere between 6-8 years old to dance. He promptly walked up to her and asked her to dance. It appeared that she said yes because next thing we knew, they were holding hands and running up the hill to hide behind a tree to dance. It was really funny to try to watch them. Anytime they thought someone was watching them they would run. It was quite entertaining.

While we were at the reception, we were able to visit with Auntie Joanne- I just love her. She is so kind and sweet, every time we get to see her it is a treat.

On Sunday we decided to spelunking with my family at the Civil Defense Caves. We piled into the truck and Julie and the boys rode in the back. If you decide to go visit the caves it is best to not drive a car or a van because the road that goes out to the cave is very rocky and bumpy and you can ruin the bottom of your car. As we arrived at the entrance of the cave, there were bees everywhere. For those who don't know, I am terrified of bees-- they are my number one fear. There were all difference kinds of bees swarming, these were the biggest bees I had ever seen. Somehow despite my fear, I made it into the cave.
Andy & I.

The entrance of the cave.
Dad, Wes, Kaylee, Russell, Me and Andy.

Dad, Julie, Wes, Kaylee, Russell and Andy.

  It was a lot of fun exploring the cave, we went all the way to the end and back. If you ever find yourself in Southeastern Idaho, I recommend visiting the cave. Make sure to take a flashlight and a jacket as there is ice in the cave.

As we walked back to the truck, the bees were still swarming. We later found out that some hornets had built a nest in the back of the truck and they had a bumpy ride out to the cave-- they were really unhappy by the time the we stopped the truck. Moral of the story, check you truck for bees nests before you visit the cave. Lucky for us, nobody was stung.

Before we left Megan opened her time capsule and look what she found--her blanket. No, it was not chewed by rats. She loved her blanket so much that it ended up with a lot of holes in it. Over the years many people attempted to give her new blankets but she would not give this one up. To prevent her blanket from permanently being destroyed she put it in her time capsule five years ago.

Megan and her blanket.

Another photo with the coveted blanket.