Monday, July 27, 2009

Exploring...

J and I have a dream of finding a larger piece of property to settle on sometime in the future. We are drawn to the atmosphere found up in Midway or Heber. We both love the mountains up there with all the aspens and pine trees. It's just so peaceful and beautiful. Unfortunately it's way out of our price range!! For now we just drive around, point and say, "that would be perfect" or "I would live there".

After golfing today we decided to drive up to Timber Lakes to take a look around. I heard there was property that was very reasonable up there. You can get an acre for $25-30,000. It is a gated community just east of Heber.

We even found a 5 acre lot for 120k. In order to get to that lot we took a road that wasn't quite finished. It was a very steep, dirt/rock road that was more of a 4-wheeling experience than anything. My Honda Accord did great getting up the hill...but I had to get out and help push because it kept stalling out in 1st gear trying to get over some large rocks.
We did get out and look around. Unfortunately the only shoes I had were my golf shoes and some flip flops. I made the best out of the situation and ended up protecting my feet like this...
I'm so glad I did because there were all sorts of pricklies and stinging nettle. Not to mention the various creatures crawling around...

We actually saw two bucks in somebody's yard! We drove by once and they looked like statues on the basketball court. I made J turn around because I thought it was silly to have statues of deer on a basketball court! The deer actually moved a little. I got pretty close before they took off...but I got a pretty good picture!
All in all...it was a great afternoon. We spent some time in the mountains but eventually decided Timber Lakes wasn't the place for us for a few main reasons: one-residents aren't allowed to use water outside which means no flowers or veggie gardens :( two-you can't have fires outside which means no s'mores and there are several other restrictions set in place by the homeowners association.

It was beautiful but not quite what we are looking for. We will find something perfect someday!!

Divot Anybody?

We went golfing at the best golf course in the world today: Wasatch Mountain. We love this course but don't get to play it often because it's a bit of a drive. J captured this awesome pic while we were playing...he got me swinging, the ball and the HUGE divot I took :) Oops!? At least my head is still down...

The views are spectacular and the temp is always 10-15 degrees cooler than it is in the valley...
We always see some interesting wildlife too... The deer didn't seem too scared of me. It was crazy!
The best part of the whole day was on a par 4. I hit a few bad shots and was about 15 feet from the green. I was chipping downhill to the other side of the green. I hit the ball and it rolled right into the hole for a 70 foot chip!!! That made my whole day :) It's no wonder I like that course so much!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Koda, Rattlesnakes & Deer....OH MY!


Our puppy is so curious. One of her favorite things to do last summer was to chase deer (see previous post about mountain goats!). Anyhow, a few nights ago I decided to take Koda for a walk because we hadn't been great at getting her out.

It was 9 pm so the sun was setting but there was still enough light to see where we were going. Koda prefers the cooler weather over the hot weather so 9 pm would be enjoyable for her. She darted out the front door in a frenzy to get outside. Her tail was going nuts and she was so excited that someone was taking her out.

We don't use a leash with her anymore to take her on walks. A while back we purchased a shock collar (best purchase we ever made!!) and she behaves fabulously now :) We rarely have to actually use the shock collar...but it's there just in case. She listens really well and is pretty good about staying close unless there are deer in the vicinity.

I decided to take Koda into the hills because she loves to run and explore. I walk on the trail and she runs many more miles because she has to sniff all the bushes and trees. She also loves to chase rocks so I throw rocks up and down the hills to keep her running and hopefully wear her out. She seems to have an endless supply of energy. The doggy books recommend tying a car tire to our dog while she runs to exercise her. That's crazy...

It was starting to get pretty dark and I was trying to make my way back down the mountain so we could start heading home. There was no moon out and I could only see outlines of objects. My eyes aren't great in the dark anyways...time for new contacts!!

Koda stuck her head in another bush and I heard a loud rattlesnake rattle! My heart jumped a beat or two, my feet jumped back about 5 feet and I screamed at Koda to "come"!!!!

She was at my side in an instant with her tail between her legs. I was terrified because we had to walk past the snake to get down the mountain or go back the way we came which would take a really long time. I couldn't see the snake on the road...but then again, I couldn't see the road really well. As far as I knew...the snake could be sitting in the middle of the road! More than likely the snake took off after we scared it....

I took a hold of Koda's collar, got the courage up and counted to three... On three we took off running past the spot where Koda discovered the rattlesnake... My adrenaline was pumping!!!

The rest of the walk was uneventful and it was very dark when we got home. Next time I will definitely take my head lamp so it's not so scary in the hills!

Rattlesnakes make me so nervous because they could kill our dog. I don't like snakes and I dislike rattlesnakes even more. They are so slimy and yucky!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baby Birdies


We have been doing a ton of yard work lately...mostly sprinklers this month. We found a robins nest in my ground covers and tried to leave it alone. It was difficult to leave it undisturbed because it was a few feet from the trench we were digging. When we weren't looking Koda decided to investigate the anomaly herself. When we realized what she was doing it was too late because she had already chewed an egg and scared the mommy bird away. There were still 9 eggs in the nest but the momma bird never returned. The nest still sits there (weeks later) with unhatched eggs. I was pretty sad that these birds never hatched!!

To make matters worse, I found a brand new baby bird on my lawn. My first thought was that one of the eggs Koda took from the nest actually hatched! I thought for a second about how impossible that would be. The next possibility was that it fell from the tree. I looked up and didn't see anything at first. I heard a ton of little chirps and looked harder. I saw a nest about 25 feet high in the tree. It was so sad to think that the little chick fell from that height! There was no way to put the bird back in the nest. I didn't want to scare another momma bird away. I made a bed of grass for the bird and put it in the shade so it didn't bake in the sun. The bird didn't look so great...it was starting to grow feathers on its back but its belly was really bloated. My guess is that it was swollen from the impact of hitting the ground :(

I left it outside overnight and when I checked on it the next morning its eyes started to open and its beak was opening and closing!! J and I found some worms, crushed them up and put them in the beak of the bird. It was so cool because the bird actually swallowed the worms! It gave me a little hope that we could save the bird. Unfortunately it ended up dying later that afternoon.

Sorry if you thought this story was going to have a happy ending! It's not everyday you get to see a baby bird like this.

Monday, July 6, 2009

2nd Anniversary....part DOS :)

Well, it was my turn to plan our anniversary. I decided it would be fun to take J mountain biking in Moab. Apparently I forgot that our anniversary happens to fall in the middle of the summer and Moab is HOT with a capital HOT!!! We had fun despite biking on what felt like the surface of the sun.

The first night we arrived pretty late. We thought it would be fun to hike to Delicate Arch under the full moon. I had been there twice before...both in the daytime. We got pretty lost and I was so nervous of walking off a cliff. There are some pretty big drop offs in the area. We finally found the arch after a little guidance from another group with headlamps on. We were able to see the light and follow it. So glad those people were on the straight and narrow that evening to be a beacon for us :) We were the only people at the arch when we arrived. It was pretty cool to see the arch's silhouette under a full moon. Unfortunately I didn't have a tripod...so this is the best pic I could get.

We stayed at a very cute B&B called Castle Valley Inn. It was 17 miles from Moab but beggars can't be choosers on the 4th of July weekend! I would definitely stay there again. The hosts very fabulous, the breakfast was great and the rooms very comfy. They even had a hot tub that we might have thought about using if we were there in November or December!




The first day there we rode a trail called Amasa Back. It was described as an out and back ride... it should have been called the UP and back down ride! The "out" was a long, uphill climb. We took several breaks and even had to walk up some of the areas. The view was amazing and it was nice to be out on our bikes :) For some reason we always find ourselves on top of mountains!! I guess we just like feeling like we're on top of the world. The ride down was awesome. We were in a bit of a hurry because we saw some storm clouds & lightning moving in and we didn't want our trail to turn into slippery mud. We hightailed it down the trail as fast as we could and made it back to the car just before the clouds were overhead.

The next day I planned to ride Slick Rock. You can't go to Moab and not go to the most famous mountain biking trail in the world. We got out there a little later than planned and were surprised to be one of two cars in the parking lot. We thought that was VERY odd considering it was the 4th of July weekend. We found the heat to be quite unbearable and decided everyone else in the world knew to come early or wait until winter time. We know for next time I suppose!!

This trail was much longer than I remembered and much more difficult! There are some very steep climbs and some very steep downhill. I was a little intimidated in some sections...especially because I haven't had a ton of mtb experience. By the end of the ride I started to feel a lot more comfortable on my bike and would love to do the ride again in January.

The slick rock is amazing! You can truly defy gravity because the bike tires seem to stick to the rocks! You can do steeper sections on the slick rock than anywhere else in the world because there is so much friction.

We used all of our water and were very happy to see the parking lot when we returned. We did see four or five other groups that were as crazy as we were to be baking on the rocks in 114 degree temps!

On the last few miles of the ride J and I started planning our anniversary for next year...and it doesn't include temps over 85 F or mountain biking. We decided that something relaxing is in order. We always seem to come home more worn out than before we left.

All in all...a successful trip. We made it through two years of marriage...and had a good time celebrating it. Next up...3 years!