Thursday, April 29, 2010

Crazy Weather

We've been enjoying some beautiful, blue-sky, sunny, warm days with temperatures in the 70's and 80's for a few weeks now.
And then this morning I awoke to this in the backyard...

I have been assured that this will most likely be the last snow.  I sure hope so - I miss southern springs. It has snowed on and off all day.  
So, I lied in my last post - We're headed to the ski slopes for one more day tomorrow. They got 22 inches of snow in the mountains!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Last Ski Day

April brought us our last ski day this season.  Its funny that it was our last, because the snow was so great. Although it is warm down in the city - mostly 60's and 70's, when it rains here the mountains still get snow. It is strange to leave a blooming spring in Salt Lake and after only 20 minutes of driving find yourself in a winter wonderland.
On our last day, Canyons had several feet of new snow and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  As a new skier, powder terrified me.  But after a few runs (and falls) I've learned to love it.  It's wonderful because when you do fall it feels like you land in pillows or clouds - which makes falling delightful.

Gorgeous Blue Sky Day
From the Lift

Steaming down a Black Diamond
Had to take a break

David waiting on me to make it down

Goodbye Snow Skis -- We'll see you next year...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Southern Utah Vacation 4: Zion

Zion National Park may very well be the most beautiful place on earth.  Pictures and words can't describe it well enough.  You must visit in person to absorb the magnitude of beauty in this place.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, set up camp, and went out to dinner with friends.  The following morning we arose, had breakfast, and set out to hike the Subway.

Some of us braved the trail from the top down - through snow and swimming in frigid water. And some of us got to the Subway from the bottom up.  David and I didn't have the correct supplies to swim in the freezing waters so we went from the bottom up.

The pack and gear I brought compared to Suzanne's pack and gear...
Reason why we choose to go the other way.

David playing in the snow at the top

Dropping them off at the top

The brave ones minus Dmitri who took off before the others:
We took a before pic - just in case they didn't make it back...
These guys froze and questioned whether they would keep all of their toes along the way. They had wet suits for the swimming, but weren't in the sun often so they didn't warm up easily.

The not so brave...
Or maybe just the smart ones

Yep, we came down that

In the Subway

The water was freezing

But it was beautiful

Us in the Subway

After enduring the freezing water - we sun bathed on a rock for a while and ate lunch

One fit pregnant girl...
Happy they survived!  We meet up with the others half way.

Most of the hike was along this river. We crossed back and forth several times

The view at the end of the trip

The Whole Zion Crew

After the treacherous hike, we all had burgers at Oscar's, a delicious burger joint outside the park.  We camped again that night and drove back to Salt Lake City the next morning ending an amazing vacation.  

Friday, April 23, 2010

Southern Utah Vacation 3: Boulder

After a few days in Moab, we ventured on to Boulder - a small, quiet town with a population of only 180. Boulder is located between Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park.  Lets just say - in the middle of nowhere far from civilization. Our plans were to spend a night here on our way to meet friends in Zion National Park.
We stayed at Boulder Mountain Lodge -an eco-lodge named one of the top adventure lodges by Outside Traveler magazine and "Best Civilized Escape" by Salt Lake magazine. There was nothing typical of the accommodations. The entire place was truly incredible - just being there gave you a sense of complete relaxation. We all didn't want to leave.

The grounds of Boulder Mountain Lodge

Relaxing by the hot tub

Perhaps the best part of Boulder Mountain Lodge is the restaurant located on its grounds, Hell's Backbone Grill.  

"They serve organic, locally produced, regionally and seasonally appropriate cuisine, growing many of their own vegetables organically in the restaurant’s two gardens and on their six-acre farm. They feature dishes made with fruit from Boulder’s heirloom orchards and rely largely on local ranchers for the natural meat they serve."

We strive to eat organically or at least all natural foods whenever possible.  It is easy with groceries as we live 2 blocks from a Whole Foods and the Costco here in SLC has a huge selection of organic foods, but it is always difficult when out to eat. This restaurant was amazing. The ambience was perfect, the company delightful, and food was delicious. We definitely hope to visit many times while we are living in Utah. 

Dinner at Hell's Backbone

We enjoyed dinner so much, we went back for breakfast the next morning.  David and I even purchased their cookbook and look forward to making some of their recipes on our own.  

After a hearty breakfast we set out to hike Calf Creek Fall's trail.

Frog Rock

The boys tend to leave us...

The Waterfall...

Playing in the water

After our time in Boulder, we headed to Zion National Park where we met up with a group of friends to camp for the weekend.  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Southern Utah Vacation 2: Moab

In Moab we ventured on to a few hikes.  After a few hours in the backseat of the Jeep, Emily and I were anxious to explore by foot.

Me & David


James & Emily

Best picture ever...

Save me!

Yep, my pants ripped...

We spent that night on the Colorado River in a beautiful camp site

Setting up camp

The next day we arose to a beautiful sunrise and drove to town where we each had a Denny's grand slam breakfast before tackling another gorgeous hike in Moab called Negro Bill, named for a 20th century African American who grazed his cattle there.  

Here we are on Negro Bill

Along the hike

Rappelling along the trail

Desert Cacti

The Crew
David, Julie, James, Emily, and Baby Juan

More Vacation Posts to Come Soon