Friday, July 5, 2013


We really got lucky with the weather the last weekend our guests were in town: high 70s/low 80s.  Just brilliant and we took advantage of it.  We also took advantage of having a little more room to spread out, after five days together on a houseboat.  On Saturday, my brother, his wife and their daughter decided to check out downtown SLC, visiting the Natural History Museum and Temple Square; H went for a long road ride; and my folks and I hiked up to Lake Blanche.


H dropped us at the trailhead around 10 a.m. and the plan was for us to call him for a pick-up when we were done.  It was a little humid on the trail since we were surrounded by vegetation and alongside a creek, but not too bad.  My folks are avid hikers - they through-hiked Appalachian Trail back in 1998 and just last spring did a trek in Nepal - but they live at sea level so we took a slow and steady pace to combat the altitude.  Not fifteen minutes into our uphill, a trail-runner girl passed us going down.  She said hi, took one look at my mom (who has white hair) and smiled, "Good for you!"  My mom was furious until we decided that it wasn't condescension but approval: there were no other white-haired women out there.  By the time we reached the lakes, my mom had collected another "good for you" and three "you're awesome"s and my dad and I were laughing our butts off.

Good for us! We're awesome!

After some time (and some snacks) at the lakes, we headed back down.  The trail hadn't seemed that steep on the way up but it was deceptive as it seemed steeper on the descent.  When we got back to the road, we discovered that none of our phones had any reception whatsoever, so we cadged a ride to the bottom of the canyon with some nice young women and called H from the bar of the Porcupine, promising to buy him a beer if he'd come pick us up.  Needless to say, that wasn't an issue for him.

Girls just want to go hiking

That night we got takeout from the Lone Star Taqueria since my brother had been jonesing for good Mexican food since their plane had landed.  He went with me to pick it up and came back out, laden with a huge box of tacos and burritos, and shaking his head in amazement at how packed and busy the restaurant was.  We ended up with a ton of food: tacos de pork with green chile, machaca, carne adovada and carnitas, burritos de pork with green chile (smothered and not), carne adovada and a couple of tamales.  It all tasted really good and we ended up with at least a burrito's worth of leftovers for Sunday night.  The burritos are really big.

Dang, that scenery is great

On Sunday, we headed up Parleys Canyon to Park City, dropping my mom, sister-in-law and niece off to explore Park Silly, while the guys and I headed to Round Valley after renting fully suspended MTBs for my dad and brother.  We rode for a couple of hours, taking them on our usual route.  I have to admit that while I was able to climb better than he did, my 69-year-old dad totally schooled me on the downhills.  (In my defense, he was on a 29er which eats up the ground faster than my 26er.)  After a couple of post-ride beers, we met up with the girls in town at the Wasatch brewpub, then returned home via Guardsman's Pass.  And it was that drive home that made my sister-in-law's entire trip - because there was a young bull moose placidly eating greenery by the side of the road in Brighton, and she's been living in Maine for ten years without ever having seen a moose.  I'm thrilled that we were able to find one for her.

We dropped them all off at the airport Monday morning before heading back to work.  Not much was said - after ten days together you've all sort of said everything already! - but it was clear that we'd all had a good time together.  I'm not sure any of us is interested in doing Lake Powell again but I think all of us would agree that we were glad we'd done it this time.

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