Sunday, September 25, 2011


Tracy and I have taken up hiking!
Okay, not exactly.

We did, however, take the following three steps toward becoming hikers:
1) We bought a map of the hiking trails along the Wasatch Front.
2) We looked at (but didn't buy) hiking shoes at REI.
3) We actually went on a hike. (not our first, but not too far from it)

It's probably also worth noting that if you live in Utah and don't hike, you'll be viewed dimly... not unlike the way you'll be viewed if you say you don't really like dogs... or kids. We don't have anything against hiking... except the incessant climbing part. As it turns out, if you live in a valley, and decide to go somewhere... anywhere you go will be uphill. Drastically so if you live in the valley we do.

We looked at the map and picked out a trail to follow in Big Cottonwood Canyon... the name escapes me. What didn't escape me was the listed distance, difficulty rating and elevation gain. .8 Miles, "Easy" and about 500 feet. This looked promising. We agreed that the key to our hiking success was to start slow and work our way up from there.

Like most, or maybe even all, of our plans... it began to unravel quickly. We couldn't find the trailhead we were looking for, so we took an alternate instead. Lake Blanche, the sign read. One way distance: three miles. Now I'm no good at math, but I was pretty sure 3.0 miles is longer than .80 miles. It was. The sign didn't really say much else. Whatever... We were here. Let's do this!

How did it go? I'll just cover the high points:
  • Tracy is in better shape than I am... as apparently is everyone else. As toddlers and old folks made the return trip down, she was patient and waited while I frequently pulled over for a breather on the way up. I did do better than she on the downhill portion of the hike... maybe she does need those shoes afterall.
  • We never quite made it to Lake Blanche... Dinner Plans and low blood sugar cut the hike short. We were probably only about halfway in... later research revealed the hike to be a roughly five hour endeavor. Three hours and a half hours up, and hour and a half back. The internet also revealed the elevation gain... 2500 feet. Yikes. If you're unimpressed, keep in mind that the starting elevation for this hike is over 7000 feet. Don't worry, I'll always provide more reasons to be unimpressed.
  • Even though we didn't make it all the way up this time around. It was so worthwhile. Time together, doing something difficult and new. It was also a nice reminder of a simple truth. We live in an amazing place with even more amazing places a short drive away.
Rest assured... endless uphill trail to Lake Blanche... We'll be back.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fly By

Visitors to the front yard a little while back... Yet another reason to love having a camera with a shoe-mounted flash. I can't find the exact name of the first one... almost the length of your hand. The second one feeding in the flowers (shot after dark) is called a White Lined Sphinx Moth. At first we thought it was a Hummingbird. Dorky? Yes... yes it is. Guest photography by Eden.


If you're going to buy a Svenhard's Danish Variety Pack (30 Count) from Costco... and I suggest you do. You should and (inevitably will) eat them in roughly this order. The Breakfast Claw is pretty much a guaranteed #1. It is nothing short of multi-textural cinnamon sandwich delight. Positions #2 (Cheese Horn) and #3 (Berry Horn) may vary by individual, depending on your level of fondness for faux fruit filling or simulated cream cheese. Actually, both fillings are probably legit... but I still like them just the same. Raisin-ette at the #4 spot may surprise you... I can't say I wasn't taken aback. If you detest raisins (some do), you'll agree to disagree. Unaffiliated others will, I think, find the Cinnamon Claw to be the lesser of the two. Hyphenation aside, the Raisin-ette is at least trying. To be honest, I think the Breakfast Claw might be to blame. When you see what can be done with cinnamon and frosting in the very same variety pack, it's just so hard to forgive.

Two additional notes... I'm not really sure why some of these are called claws and some are called horns. Maybe the shape? Sort off...? I could Google it, but honestly... it would probably take at least three clicks.

Also, as passionate as I am about anything you can buy in a 30-pack from Costco, this was mostly an excuse to mess around with my new studio lights. Thanks Amazon.