Wasatch Mountain State Park

I wanted to take my grandchildren camping so I made reservations for two campsites. I then invited the parents to go and before the day was out they were ready for the trip. So last weekend we went to Wasatch Mountain State Park. We camped overnight at Little Deer Creek Campground.

Here are a few of the photographs and videos taken by Steven, Jill, and Rick. Click on the images to enlarge. If you cannot see the videos, click here.

We unloaded and pitched the tents. We were only staying overnight but it seemed like we had food for a week. That’s Jill by the picnic table. The campsites were large, had running water, and some had shade. We had quite a view.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

I brought plenty of wood for a fire to cook our hot-dogs.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Aurora was ready to eat…

Wasatch Mountain State Park

…just about anything.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

After we ate Bryson and Aurora put to good use the local materials that were lying around. Aurora used her truck to level the ground.

Wasatch Mountain State Park



We had lots of adults to go around when the grandchildren needed to be held. Here is Sarah with Aurora.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Steven with Cassandra. Steven is the one on the right.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Derek with Bryson.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

And me.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

We retired to our tents while Jake slept out in the open.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

In the morning, before breakfast, Derek took Bryson for a walk.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Jake is a handy guy to have around when you are hungry for some ham.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Sarah appears to be enjoying her breakfast.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Any left for me?

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Before noon we broke camp and drove a few miles onto federal land to visit Cascade Springs in Uinta National Forest. The trail through Cascade Springs consists primarily of a raised boardwalk which crosses over a series of clear shallow pools. Calcite mineral deposits accumulated and formed terraces over which the water cascades.

Adelaide holds Cassandra, who didn’t really want to see running water just right now.

Cascade Springs

Jill loves the outdoors…

Cascade Springs

…while Cassandra has yet to make up her mind.

Cascade Springs

I do believe we will go camping again. There is no better way to spend the weekend than with family.

Cascade Springs

The water coming from the springs has made a long journey from limestone caverns deep within the earth. Forced through cracks and fissures, the water emerges here as “travertine”. The deposits have gradually accumulated to make the terraces for the pools at Cascade Springs. Approximately seven and one-half million gallons flow from the springs each day.


The Mueller Park Trail

Mueller Park Trail

Today we hiked The Mueller Park Trail in Bountiful. It is a great walk that is mostly shaded all the way up. Much of the trail is gently sloped. From various locations there are good views of the Great Salt Lake and the valley far below.

The Mueller Park Trail is 13 miles round trip. The route begins at the Mueller Park Picnic Grounds in the east Bountiful foothills and ends at a small grassy clearing called Rudy’s Flat. We chose to turn around at Big Rock, called “Elephant Rock” by the locals, to make it a 7 mile round trip.

Mueller Park Trail can be busy on weekends and holidays. Its multi-use designation means it’s open to hikers, mountain bikers, and motorcycles. Today we were passed by numerous bikers.

Click on the images to enlarge. In the video Jill explains what we are doing.

Mueller Park Trail

Jill at the trailhead


Mueller Park Trail

Susan, Shauna, Jill, and Mike begin the ascent

Mueller Park Trail

We are headed for Big Rock

Mueller Park Trail

Mueller Park Trail

Mueller Park Trail

Here we are just above Big Rock

Mueller Park Trail

Taking a break on the bench above Big Rock to admire the view

Mueller Park Trail

Mueller Park Trail

JIll says, "I'll race you down!"


Mueller Park Trail

Goodbye folks, I'm glad you could join us on the Mueller Park Trail. Photo by Susan Ward

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City Creek Canyon Trail

Yesterday found us walking along City Creek Canyon Trail. City Creek was the first water source used by the Mormon Pioneers settling the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. In the early years water flowed through ditches for irrigating gardens. Residents hand dipped water for their culinary and domestic needs. In 1866, City Creek was first diverted into a municipally-owned, piped water distribution system to provide fire protection and culinary water supply to city residents.

The maximum recorded flow in City Creek during the floods of 1983 was 322 cubic feet per second, which resulted in considerable debris flows, flooding and damage through downtown Salt Lake City as State Street was converted into a temporary “river” after debris clogged the city’s storm drain pipes.

We walked up the road 2.5 miles and back again. So not many photographs (click to enlarge). The first two shots about sum it up:

City Creek Canyon Trail

Going up. Shauna, Jill, Susan, and Mike.

City Creek Canyon Trail

Coming down. Susan, Shauna, and Jill.

Mike carried on when we turned back. However, we did find a concrete staircase built in the middle of the wilderness by a lost civilization.

City Creek Canyon Trail

City Creek Canyon Trail

We stopped for lunch.

City Creek Canyon Trail

We sent Shauna out over a rotting log to find the trail but there was none.

City Creek Canyon Trail

The girls found a geocache by a big tree stump.

City Creek Canyon Trail

I love it when the directions say, "You will find it by the tree down by the river"

City Creek Canyon Trail

Mike went on to Area 26, about a 10 mile round trip.


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The View From The Living Room

View From The Living Room

View From The Living Room

On Monday, for a view of the Salt Lake Valley, we hiked to The Living Room. We relaxed in sandstone chairs with armrests. There were even coffee tables we parked our feet on.

The hike takes about two hours (it took us longer). It is considered easy (it isn’t). Trail length is 2.3 miles (seemed like 5 miles).

Here are some photographs of our hike. Click on the images to enlarge.

My nieces Shauna and Connie on the trail

My nieces Shauna and Connie on the trail

Mark photographing the view

Mark photographing the view

My brother Mike works his way to the top

My brother Mike works his way to the top

Mark, Connie, and Shauna ahead of us across the canyon.

Mark, Connie, and Shauna ahead of us across the canyon.

Susan and Jill behind us

Susan and Jill behind us

The Living Room Hike

Shauna in the living room

Mike captures the living room view

Mike captures the living room view

Mark and Connie eat a snack in the kitchen

Mark and Connie eat a snack in the kitchen

Jill wonders what happened to the television

Jill wonders what happened to the television

A beautiful view

A beautiful view

Susan and Shauna did some geocaching

Susan and Shauna did some geocaching

The mandatory group photograph

The mandatory group photograph

Left to right: Jill, Rick, Kent, Connie, Mark, Susan, Melissa, and Shauna.

Jill on her way down

Jill on her way down

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Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge 2010

My guest writer today is my wife Jill. In the last year she has lost 29 pounds.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Jill, on lap 2, is enjoying the race

Weight Watchers issued a Walk-It Challenge two months ago. Everyone was encouraged by our inspiring leader Lois to do something challenging even if that meant walking to the mail box and adding some more steps each day.

We decided to run and found the on-line training guide that started with walk 5 minutes, run for 2 minutes and then walk again. Four days a week the time running was gradually increased until we could actually run up to 20 minutes twice with a 1 minute walk in between. We all added MP3 music to make the running more enjoyable. I borrowed my niece’s player — sorry about washing your MP3 player, Shauna.

Weight Watchers Walk-It ChallengeEach week there were reasons why we couldn’t go but there was always one of the four of us that wanted to meet the goal and encouraged the others. Mostly Shauna who is not a Weight Watchers member. We found it easiest to run when it was cool even if it rained. Some of the places we found to run were the Legacy Parkway Trail, the Lagoon Trail, Davis High School track, West Bountiful and Kaysville trails and Utah Botanical Center. We liked the paths with no hills the best.

The objective was for each Weight Watchers member to earn a charm by participating in a 5K. We were excited and ordered the T-Shirt and put the URL of our web site on the back.

Our Walk-It was held in Centerville at noon and consisted of going around the outskirts of the park 3 ½ times until the 3.1 miles was achieved. There was a good turnout even though it was hot. We were very excited to have Kent and Rick along as photographers and to write the captions. And check out the videos at the end of this post.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

The participants met at the Ward's home before travelling to the race.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

The athletes looked relaxed just prior to the start. No anxiety here.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Weight Watchers leader Lois instructs the runners for the start.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

An unconventional confetti start sees Susan take an early lead just ten yards out.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Shauna has already moved ahead but Susan still leads the main pack.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

"We have been running 4 times a week and the consistency pays off in weight loss and health benefits."

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Shauna increases her lead.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Susan: "I was hoping to run the entire time but it was hot."

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Susan: "I got a side ache the 2nd lap so I slowed down but it didn’t go away. I ended walking to get rid of it."

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

"Four laps around the park finishing the fourth lap down the middle through the trees."

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

"Today was more of a struggle than I had hoped for as I drank too much water before the run."

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Melissa keeps up the pressure. She is going to give Jill the run of her life.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Shauna along the finishing stretch.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Shauna 33:29

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Susan is next to enter the last tenth of a mile.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Susan 39:58

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Melissa and Jill are urged on to the finish by Shauna.

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Melissa 41:18 - Jill 41:21

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Melissa: "Our times were a little slower than Monday’s 5K, but the temperature was a lot hotter so we’re all happy with what we got."

Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge

Good work, wife.

Videos

If you cannot see the videos click here.



Waterfall Canyon Trail

To access Waterfall Canyon, begin at the 29th Street trail head and take the trail to the left at the shelter and follow the sign. This is a moderately difficult trail with some scrambling for hikers and bikers.

Hardly anyone works on a Friday, including me, so yesterday I went on the Waterfall Canyon hike with family. Left to right below is Connie (niece), Jill (wife), Adelaide (daughter-in-law), Steven (son), Aurora (granddaughter), Susan (sister-in-law), Shauna (niece), and Rick (myself). Click on a person’s head and a photograph from the hike will appear. I had no suitable photos of Susan so hers is from a recent Parrish Canyon hike.

Beginning…

Watch the expression on the face of Steven (the one carrying the baby). If you ever get a decent photograph of him you should win a prize.



Adelaide secures Aurora for Steven to carry.


Now you know why your water tastes icky.


These hikers can tackle anything.

Midway…

The rocks were not nearly so bad as it seems from this video.



A bridge over the raging torrent below.


We didn’t take the shortcut. Maybe next time.

At The Top…

It wasn’t a long hike, just under an hour. The day was not too hot so the walking was pleasant.



Aurora and Adelaide at the waterfall.


Aurora and Jill at the waterfall.


The top of the waterfall.


The waterfall at mid-stream.


View from the base of the waterfall.


A hardy group of explorers.

Photo Credits

Adelaide, Jill, Rick, and Steven.
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Antelope Island Balloon and Kite Stampede

Last Saturday morning Jill and I drove the 21 miles to attend the Antelope Island Balloon and Kite Stampede. However, uncooperative winds dictated that no hot air balloons would launch that day. Balloons launched the day before but that didn’t help me get the pictures I wanted. We left but returned in the evening with Steven and his family. Driving over the causeway always reminds me of the flooding that destroyed the original road to the island. More about that later. On the island there was still no balloon launches so we made do with kites, food, music, and test burns.

The Causeway

The Davis County Causeway is a 7.25 mile earthen dike and roadway leading from the mainland to Antelope Island. The original causeway, constructed in 1969 by the State of Utah, was washed out frequently by heavy wave action in the early 70’s but was raised slightly and reopened each time. By 1985 the causeway was completely under water due to the relentless rise of the lake.

As the lake began to recede in the late 80’s the causeway reemerged. It was in poor condition and needed extensive work. Davis County officials together with State Parks personnel lobbied the Utah State Legislature in 1990 for funding to rebuild the causeway so that Antelope Island State Park could again be opened to the public. Eventually the legislature agreed to give the causeway to Davis County along with $4 million for rebuilding and repairs. Another $500,000 was appropriated in 1992 and the County rebuilt the causeway in 1993 for a total cost of $5 million. Davis County charges a $2 per vehicle toll (included in your entrance fee) on the causeway to help pay for ongoing maintenance costs and to set aside a fund to deal with possible future damage should the lake rise again.

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Jake Skydives in Ogden

My son Jake called us today from the Ogden Skydiving Center. He said come quickly to watch him skydive. We arrived as his plane was taking off. Here is his account.


Jake tandem skydiving over Ogden

Jake tandem skydiving over Ogden

Invitation To Skydive

Matt Hall invited me earlier this week to go skydiving, it is one of those things I have always wanted to do in my life so I answered “Yes” without hesitation. After thinking I added, “If my grades are good enough to keep my scholarship.” Matt picked me up and we arrived and we signed up with the group. In order to fly I had to sign a liability contract, initialing every paragraph and also writing a statement saying I understood that I might be seriously injured or even die. The instructor gave the first time jumpers a few tips: crouch by the door and don’t hold on to anything; put your head slightly back and let the instructor jump; after leaving the plane make sure you arch by pushing your hips forward and bending your legs back; when landing hold your legs out in front so you can glide to a stop.

Why Am I Doing This?

Skydive Ogden plane.

Matt and I got assigned to the last of four plane rides, so I was able to see a few jumps before I went up. My jump buddy suited me up and we were the first into the plane. The plane took off and circled along the mountains climbing to about 11,500 feet. When over the airport once again, they opened the plane and the first few people dived out of the plane. That is probably the only time I thought, “I am crazy, why am I doing this?” But it quickly passed.

The other jumpers jumped rather quickly and without incident. When my time came I did as I was instructed and we did three flips out of the plane and then stabilized. My jump buddy showed my how to steer as we were free falling, and steering around I enjoyed the view and the feeling. It was just about the same as flying in a plane except there is no plane and the ground gets big really fast.

It Was A Blast

The instructor pulled the ripcord and we quickly jerked to a slow fall. After a few seconds he gave me the ropes and showed me how to control the chute. It was a blast going left then right and diving — I could even feel some G’s as I make the chute turn as tight as possible. Once we got closer to the ground the instructor took the ropes and glided us in close. There were already two people on the landing grass, so my instructor yelled, “Look out!” and glided us between the two. We quickly vacated the grass so people behind could land.

Flying around thousands of feet in the air is a blast! I hope to be able to do it again soon.


Paul, Jake's brother, waiting by the hangar.

Paul, Jake’s brother, waiting by the hangar.

Jake's skydiving plane takes off.

Jake and Matt’s skydiving plane takes off.

Skydiving photographer comes in first to land.

One of the skydiving photographers comes in first to land.

Jake near the end of his first skydive.

Jake near the end of his first skydive.

Jake lands from his skydive.

Jake lands from his skydive.

Matt and Jake receive skydiving certificates.

Matt and Jake receive skydiving certificates.

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Willard Bay Wakeboarding

On Friday, my brother Scott took some extended family members boating at Willard Bay. Willard Bay State Park rests atop the Great Salt Lake flood plain in northern Utah. Its 9,900 acres of fresh water provide boating, water-skiing and year-round fishing for crappie, walleye, wiper and catfish. Camping also is popular at the park. An earth filled dike and natural shoreline make up the 20-mile enclosures.

The water was cold but several brave cousins gave wakeboarding a try, including Steven. Aurora had her first boat ride ever and almost fell asleep she was so comfortable in the life vest. She also enjoyed the cotton trees in the breeze that made a giant mobile. We enjoyed premade sandwiches from Costco on a nice man-made beach. Tons of sand was hauled in from Brigham City during a recent renovation. Connor likes to fish and caught a large catfish that he wanted his uncle to cook for him. Anyone care to join in the feast?


Adelaide, Aurora, and Jill on Willard Bay

Adelaide, Aurora, and Jill on Willard Bay