Monday, July 24, 2017

The Land where colors are more vivid.

This is Island Park.  
The enchantment of this land of vivid colors always surprises me.  You think you can remember the way the colors jump out at you but you can't.  And luckily we got some pictures that I feel almost do it justice.  They call this area Big Sky country.  And I don't know what it is but there is no question you feel like the sky is bigger around here.  
Brad and I didn't get to participate in a lot of the activities that make this area so great, but we definitely are not complaining.  This trip was awesome.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  We'll back up.  

My parents rented a cabin next to Island Park Reservior for us to stay in.  Jason has a very important test a week after this trip so he didn't get to come but we made the best of it without Daddy. 

We loved to take walks through the pine tree lined dirt roads that led down to the lake.

Grandma joined us on one of our walks.  

I love this picture.  My dad, Nick, Nate and his boys went on the Grand Yellowstone Canyon fishing adventure that I went on two years ago.  Of course with Brad that wasn't an option but I love this picture because my dad was exhausted beyond belief but he was happy to sit on the couch and share his potato chips with Brad.

Here are all the younger cousins watching a movie while the older cousins and adults went to float my favorite river float of all time Below Mesa Falls.

 Some more lounging around the cabin.  And of course Brad did a great job winning over the hearts of any person who would let him.  Here he is snuggling with Aunt Jeanine.

I love this picture because it is so uncharacteristic.  If you know my brother Nick, he falls asleep anywhere.  Here is Jeanine who had fallen asleep watching the little kids.  

Brad and the boys.

Winning over Aunt Kim

I went for a run both mornings we were in Island Park.  It wasn't until I saw that the elevation of Island Park is over 2,200 feet higher than I am used to in South Jordan that I felt okay with how hard the runs were.  Luckily Nick ran with me both mornings to push me, protect me from possible bear run ins(very unlikely), and to distract me with how hard the runs were.  
Here are some views of the lake on our run.

The one Brad friendly activity of the trip was going to wade in the river at Mack's Inn.  The water is super shallow so Brad had a blast.  Here are all 13 cousins, only missing Max, at the River.  

 And as luck would have it, Erica and her family were visiting Island Park that very same weekend!  

I title this picture, "Educators in the Summer."  Happy, tan, and probably exerciserestic.

 Tuckered right out from playing at the river.

The last night we were there my mom and I went for a drive up to West Yellowstone to remember the good ol' days.  We walked around the streets and ate ice cream at the one, the only Arrowleaf.  

Sunday it was just us and my parents.  I knew church was going to be an experience when there were traffic jams at every intersection with mini vans with BYU stickers on the back.  They said over 4,000 people were in attendance.  Since both churches were completely full so they had speakers outside for people to hear.  They even brought the Sacrament outside for everyone!  

Best church meeting ever.

 I know, I know I always talk about how much I love this area of the world.  But this truly is something just absolutely magical about it.  And once again I am so grateful for my parents and their huge effort to make this trip so wonderful for all of us!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Boating - at least sometimes there is perfect lighting.

We'll for better and for worse, like I said, we've become boat people.  Boats are always drama and our trip after the "perfect" storm was no exception.  After a brutal day of school and studying Jason wanted to take the boat out just for an hour or so to relax.  Although Brad and I were a little hesitant after our last boating experience, we agreed to come along.  As soon as Jason put the boat into the water he tried to start the engine.  It wouldn't start.  So for the next hour mechanic Jason tried to fix the boat, while I did everything I could to entertain Brad.  

As you can tell he was clearly amused.  I also had a great time chatting with Bridget.  And eventually of course mechanic Jason got the boat running.  So of course we went out on the lake!  Nick did some wake boating but shortly after the boat died again.... So here is Nick and Jason working on the boat again.  This time in the middle of the lake.

Eventually they got the boat running again and off we went.  (Yes the boat died multiple more times during this trip.  And yes I was a nervous wreck the whole time wondering how in the world we were going to get off the lake if Jason couldn't get the engine going again.)  But for records sake I'll just show you the pictures. ;)

PG put up a huge flag in Grove Creek Canyon that I was shocked we could see from the lake!  (If you look at the picture and find the G on the mountain, look in the canyon to the left and you'll see the flag!)

My boat loving, wake board pro, mechanic of a husband.

At least the lighting was perfect.

But of course my nervous self..... my favorite part of the trip?  When we made it back to the harbor before the engine died again.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Trail Runs

If someone was to ask me what my favorite form of exercise is, the answer would be easy.  Ok.  That is a lie.  It is not easy at all.  There is something so satisfying about road biking to the top of a canyon and the wind blowing on your face as you go zipping down the road.  There is also something so unique about the unifying force of being in a a group fitness class.  As I have also talked about a million times before, there is no better, more enjoyable way to explore a new city than to run it.

But that being said.... trail running still might be my very favorite.  Taking on the different elements.  Jumping over rocks and dodging branches.  Seeing all of the beauty of a hike in a fraction of the time.  I absolutely love it.  I like trail running better than road running because it is way more exciting.  It is a lot softer on your body (most of the time) because you are running on dirt rather than pavement.  Another benefit is speed isn't as important because you are getting more of a workout from going up hills, jumping over things, and using your core muscles to keep you balanced.

I have finally convinced some of my favorite workout friends to join me on some trail runs.  There are 3 different runs I have done recently.

The first is closest for me, Corner Canyon.  The day before I had my surgery I did an awesome 10 mile run in Corner Canyon.

Provo Canyon will always be my favorite.  I have an awesome 10 mile loop that even includes 3 drinking fountains!

Because of the huge flag PG put up for the 4th of July, Heather and I decided we needed to run Clear Creek Canyon.  Heather heard we could run over to Battle Creek canyon and down.  Although the up and downs of the canyons were insanely steep and not conducive to running the middle part of the run was absolutely beautiful!

Why did I write this post today?  Because... sometimes I wake up at 4:00 am and I still have a hard time motivating myself to get out the door!  Time to hit the trail!


Jason has been having a difficult time sleeping with the stress of an insanely difficult test coming up so I decided to take Brad on my run so Jason could sleep in.  This was the view when we ran down to the river.
I had to smile.  This view right here is why I love it.  I love that running makes me get outside and enjoy a beautiful sunrise!  Just in case you are curious.... Brad and I ran 10 miles using our regular stroller.  (Our Bob running stroller keeps getting flats!)  Running that far with a stroller is not for the faint of heart!  Luckily my hands are tough so no blisters but still.  I should mention Brad love loves seeing all the birds, ducks, and doggies along the path.  He barks at them all.  And I did let him out at mile 8 for a 20 minute play time at the slides.  I got to stretch and drink water while he ran wild.  Those last time miles were probably more difficult though because my muscles had started to cool down and of course it doesn't help that they are pretty much straight up hill the whole way home.  But we did it.