Thursday, September 29, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Notch Lake

Another beautiful weekend was spent in the Unitas. Truthfully, we were skiing in the Uintas all the way into June (they didn't even get to plowing the road until June), so we couldn't do any over-nighters in the local mountains until late summer because everything was still covered in snow up there until mid-July.

The mountains here are extremely accessible. We can drive for 45 minutes and be at a trail head off the Mirror Lake Highway that runs from Salt Lake to Wyoming right through the heart of the Uinta Mountains.

We have climbed/backpacked to Ruth Lake in the past and we love it - very beautiful area. So we decided to hike to one of the other many lakes that are in that similar area. Notch Lake was a very easy 1.5 mile hike slightly downhill (not kidding - more difficult to hike out than in!).

Notch Lake itself was beautiful and less crowded than Ruth Lake. And the rocks there actually are in the sun for a good amount of the day, so it's a much warmer climbing destination than Ruth Lake, which is in the shade year-around.

I took this picture immediately upon waking. I just can't believe that we have beautiful experiences like this all of the time right here near our home. I had someone message me this summer and ask about all of the "exotic" places that we are always visiting. She thought I had a gazillion vacation days (or was unemployed). I explained to her that all of these places are just weekend destinations within an hour or so from our house. She couldn't believe it. 

It never rained on us

They love each other

Duvick didn't sleep a wink the entire time. 

We put our tent right on the edge of the lake. 
I even went for a quick (and extremely cold) swim after an afternoon of rock climbing.

The tent was also right on the edge of the climbing cliffs. We could walk up and do a few climbs, swim in the lake, climb some more, eat lunch, climb, etc.... Can you imagine anything better? (besides, maybe, skiing?)

A lot of the climbing was steep and juggy so I had a more difficult time with it since i am a weakling, but i just love to watch dooney send these climbs - he's a really incredible climber. 

He thinks he's a mountain goat.
Duves slept for 2 days straight once we got home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

City of Rocks State Park

This summer was different than any others.

#1: we didn't move. This freed up a lot of time. 
#2 Husband taught a summer class 
#3 I continue to work 40 hours a week 

With this being the first time (ever - not kidding - EVER) that either of us have had a 40/week 9-5 job during the summer, we didn't make it to Georgia or Colorado for weeks like we usually hope to. Instead, we made some weekend escapes to some fun places nearer Salt Lake City.

We took a 3 day weekend to City of Rocks State Park, Idaho (3hr drive) for some amazing rock climbing. The rock there was beautiful. It was nice and cool. The climbing was extremely accessible (read - not much hiking) and the camping was spread out and secluded but in designated spots (read - not much hiking). Which made for a fun trip full of relaxation and enjoying being together.

Looks like a climbers paradise, eh? it was!

Seeing the snow up there made me wonder if we could bring our skis next time. Probably not. Very pretty though, huh?

As a novice birder, I do get excited to see birds that I am familiar with in the wild. We saw plenty of Turkey Vultures. They were lovely.

Doons setting up a rappel. Isn't the rock beautiful?

Of course, I had to get one of my boys being "loving", as we call it. Duvick LOOOOOVES being outside: camping, hiking, skiing, and rock climbing are his favorites. He's in the right family.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

and because i don't really like to leave the blog with 666 posts, here is 667 just to make me feel better. i'm not weird. 

Just a teaser for a post coming soon:

Putting food on the table

The husband is now back in the full swing of classes and homework and reading and paper writing and homework, and more, etc.... So his wife is back in the kitchen.

This means that I need your recipes. PLEASE. Dooney is amazing at choosing recipes and going to the grocery store - it'll take an entire hour out of his day. Just now I realized that I've been looking through recipes for 30 minutes and I only have a chicken salad picked out - gimme a break. I truly suck at this. So, I was thinking that if you could just leave a link to an online recipe that you enjoy, it would really help me out. Because I know I can count on you.

And to make this a fair trade, I am sharing our favorite recipe with you. This is our go-to meal. We started eating it every Sunday during ski season because it's quick and easy and we always have the ingredients in the kitchen. and after a weekend on the slopes, the last thing you want to do is pick your brain for tonight's menu, grocery shopping, and preparing a meal. So this is what we have. It's delicious, cheap, vegetarian, and easy and most of the ingredients come from your cabinet (not your refrigerator) so I always keep my pantry stocked with these things.

It comes from a childhood friend of mine's sister's blog. Ha! Who is an amazing homemaker with a large family. So this recipe makes enough for 3 meals for us and it's just as yummy as leftovers. (thanks, Kristen, you are a life saver!)

Here it is:

You should just click on the name of this recipe to go to her website. She does such a good job with her instructions. You know, Pioneer Woman style. Just trust me.
(her picture)