Utah Staycation

0825161628-01

0829161609.jpg

With June being born and Reeve’s internship, we didn’t get around to a real vacation this summer.  Summer slipped by so fast and before we knew it, there were only 2 weeks left before school started! So, we decided the best we could do was a staycation.  Reeve told his work his last day was the Wednesday before school started, so we had Thursday, Friday, and the weekend.

We’re super blessed to have so many babysitters willing to help, so we were able to slip away and do a few fun things without June.

Thursday morning we went to the temple and ended up doing sealings because they needed more help there, and we were cutting it really close to the session.  Later that day, we went to Dick’s Sporting Goods.  There was a mountain bike Reeve’s been eyeing, and it was 60% off.  Still not a cheap purchase, but we had to consider it.  Then, after really thinking it through and putting the bike on hold, we picked it up the next morning.  It’s Reeve’s graduation present, 9 months early haha.

Friday we floated the Provo River with Brittany and Thomas.  It was Reeve’s first time and my second.  It was fun!  It was a little warmer than we expected, and there were more rapids, so that was fun!

Saturday we went mountain biking in Alpine (there are a ton of trails up there).  Reeve loves his new bike, and now I have his old one, and I’ve realized how bad my bike was haha.

We also wanted to go to Seven Peaks since Reeve hadn’t been yet this summer, but it was closed for private events.  So we just extended our summer a little bit, and after Reeve’s classes on Monday we went to Seven Peaks for the afternoon with Luke and my mom.  My mom watched June while we went on some rides.  It was perfect because everyone started schools, so the lines were all really short!

While we weren’t able to go on a typical vacation, I think we made the most of our circumstances and had a fun last hoorah to summer!

 

Spiral Jetty

So I’ve lived in Utah awhile, and I’ve seen pictures and heard about this Spiral Jetty.  It’s at the Salt Lake, and it’s this big spiral that goes out into the water (when there is water that far up).  I honestly don’t know the history behind it – some artist did it. But I’ve thought it would be cool to see.  So on a recent Saturday, Reeve and I decided to have an adventure.  We had to go north that night for a wedding, so we decided we would check out Spiral Jetty during the day and stop by the wedding on the way back.

Turns out Spiral Jetty is really far away, and really in the middle of nowhere! It was a lot farther than we originally thought, but we decided to go for it anyway. It was a little over 2 hours away from us.  We left that morning and stopped in Ogden for lunch.  One of our favorite things is trying local restaurants we’ve never been to, so we just did a google search of restaurants and found this one that looked pretty good: The Lucky Slice. 0521161234

You can get pizza by the slice (or order a whole one), and it was great! We’ll definitely eat there again if we’re up in Ogden for anything.

Well then we got back to driving. We missed the exit (my bad) and added an extra 15 minutes driving through random tiny towns because of it haha.  It’s way out in the middle of nowhere.  It’s by the Golden Spike, which I’m not sure gets too much traffic either because of the location haha.

When we got to the Spiral Jetty, there were a lot more cars there than we expected.  It also was a bit smaller than I thought it’d be, and the water wasn’t up to it.  I don’t mean to sound negative, it was just not what we expected at all. Here it is though:0521161459a.jpg

We walked out to it then decided to walk out to the water.  It just looked so weird – you just see a big line of foam walking up to it. I grabbed a handful of the foam – big mistake! – and my hands were disgusting until we found a bathroom and sink to wash off in.  The foam just disintegrated into salt and dried my hands out and made them really gritty. But it was pretty cool, unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  Also, because there’s so much salt, the water line is basically just a huge thing of salt. I broke off a piece and dared Luke to lick it – he did, classic 12 year old boys. We ended up not staying too long though, because we both really had to use the bathroom (pregnancy problems haha), but I don’t think we missed out on anything there.

Overall, I’m glad we went! It was a fun adventure. I’m not sure we’ll ever be back, unless we for some odd reason are nearby!

Escalante – Presidents’ Weekend

Over Presidents’ Weekend this year, Reeve and I took a kind of last minute trip to Escalante.  Neither of us had really been there, but we’d heard great things about it.  We knew it wasn’t their main tourist season and some things might be closed, but we didn’t quite expect what we found.  We stayed in an old little motel.  When we first got to Escalante, the guy at the gas station said we probably wouldn’t be able to really see anything this time of year – great start to the trip haha.  He said we probably couldn’t get very far down Hole in the Rock Road (a dirt road that takes you to most attractions) without a good 4WD car this time of year because the mud (we were in our VW Passat…not exactly 4WD).  We tried our luck though, and it was actually in a lot better condition than I think the gas station attendant thought.

We saw some pretty views, got blocked by cows for about 10 minutes, and really made our car look adventurous haha.

After we got back and got settled, we figured we’d get something to eat…they weren’t kidding when they said this isn’t their peak season. There ended up only being ONE place open to eat at after 6, and it was ridiculous! It was the motel’s diner – you know, we’re thinking a little small town cafe, those kinds of prices, etc. Nope! They were only open that night for a special Valentine’s Dinner thing, and each plate was over $20! We paid $50 for dry, burnt ribs and a decent prime rib.  It was an experience to say the least..

The next day was Sunday (Valentine’s Day) and we went to church, then went for a scenic drive.  It really is a beautiful area!

Oh! And we planned on picking up some food for Sunday after dinner, but because the town was pretty much shut down, we ended up resorting to the gas station.  We had microwave easy mac and hot pockets for our Valentine’s Day meals – romantic! Haha.

On Monday, we were planning on hiking Peekaboo and Spooky slot canyons, but weren’t actually sure we’d be able to make it that far down the road.  We got to the turnoff and there were some other people parked at the end.  They said “it’s just a mile walk to the trailhead and the road is really muddy, so you’ll probably just want to park and walk”. We thought that sounded fine, until it was like 2 miles to the trailhead ha! And then, because there was still snow on the ground, the trail wasn’t super marked.  We followed some rock cairns, which we soon realized clearly were not the real path.  We ended up basically climbing straight down a mountain to get down to the canyons.

We started with Peekaboo, and the two are supposed to be about a 3.5 mile loop.  This canyon was super cool! I’ve never been in one quite like it:

You start out by climbing up about 10 feet, then there’s tons of ducking under and climbing over cool stuff like this ^^

Our next struggle was getting from Peekaboo to Spooky.  We had printed off directions and everything, but this is a much less known national park with no marked trails and stuff.  Our directions literally said “follow rock cairns until you get to a big Joshua tree, and turn right”…there were so many Joshua trees out there! We wandered for so long and went so many wrong directions and did so much backtracking.  We were about to give up and just go back, when we FINALLY found the entrance to Spooky.

By this point, I was pretty annoyed at Reeve and the situation, and we were both not in great moods, but luckily the cool factor of the canyon made up for all that went wrong.  This canyon wasn’t so much climbing in and out of things. It just gets super narrow! There were times we were squeezing through and you’d be touching the wall on both sides, and you’d already taken your backpack off – I don’t know how some people get through it!

Overall, it was a super fun trip.  A lot of things didn’t go our way (when we finished the 3.5 mile loop and got back to our car, we had walked 9 miles according to the tracker on Reeve’s phone). Honestly I don’t know how we got so lost and had so much trouble with it all.  What was the worst was that every time we got lost, we had been following rock cairns (you know, the stacks of rocks), which are supposed to mark the trail!  We would get so excited to see one, thinking we were going the right way, only to end up in the middle of nowhere.  I guess we had somehow overlooked the ones at the trailhead and between canyons that led to the main trail.

I think the whole thing taught me some patience, and I definitely was relying on prayer a ton as I felt like we were so lost!  On our drive home, I’m glad we chose to laugh about how ridiculous everything had turned out instead of complain more (don’t get me wrong, we did our fair share of complaining also).  But in the end, it happened, so we might as well make the most and laugh about it.

Here’s a link to a little video of our adventure: Escalante (music: Walking Stick by The Painted Pianos)