Sunday, July 25, 2010

Camping with Cattle

Thomas and I celebrated Pioneer Day with a nice little weekend camping trip in the woods of the Uinta National Forest just off the Nebo Loop. It was our first time camping together, and our first time visiting this area. We weren't really sure what to expect after doing some research online and deciding to go, but we were pleasantly surprised to actually end up in a forest after a relatively short drive.

We set out on Thursday after work. 

Thomas was only confused with Lawrence of Arabia once on our trip...  Really that thing did a great job keeping the sun off his neck!
A special thank you to Daniel & Sterling for loaning us their backpacks! We couldn't have had this much fun otherwise!
We hiked for a time, and not finding any suitable spots, decided to return to a meadowy-area close to the river, approximately half a mile from where we began. Unfortunately, at the beginning of our hike, we lost our trail a time or two and had to search out better-trod pathways. This meant that we were unable to find the original spot in the twilight. 

Fortunately, we decided that since we'd seen several cyclists along the way, the trail we were on must lead to the road at some point. We followed it until we reached the river again (at a different spot), and decided that because it was dusk and we didn't want to set up in the dark, the little area just off the trail with a semblance of a fire ring would do.

Although the ground wasn't as even as we had at first hoped, we ended up staying at this campsite for the rest of our trip.

Thomas is a lucky man: we thought we'd lost his sunglasses (the 4th? pair he's owned in about a year) but I found them in the grass!
We did find our original trail the next day, thanks to a random bone near a spring that we'd noticed the first time through. There were cattle grazing in the forest, and it seemed the bone could've been a bovine vertebra.

Bones were not the only things the cows left behind....
We spent our days improving our campsite, filtering water with our new Sawyer filtration system, reading James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small series, and exploring the various trails nearby. We packed easily prepared food, which you can see at our Bradshaw Bistro blog. 

This turned out to be our favorite reading spot.

We dressed this thing up quite a bit - even adding 2 fairly flat and level rocks to aid in campfire cooking!
View from our tent!
Proof that a watched pot DOES boil...

We saw some very beautiful sites this trip. We were very grateful to have a few days to relax and enjoy the beauty of this world together.

We saw quite a few cattle... 

...a couple deer, a beautiful red and yellow bird (maybe a Western Tanager?), a hummingbird that mistook my brightly-colored tie-dye a-la-Morgan for some flowers, a German Shepherd (the pet of one of several horse-back groups), and exactly two of these:

On our way home, we decided to drive the rest of the loop and see the sights. 

Looking out at Mt. Nebo

We stopped at Devils Kitchen to see the red-rock formations... 

The other side of Devils Kitchen
...and after completing the scenic loop, hopped onto the Interstate and headed back to our place.

One lonely cloud on the way back to Provo
It was surreal to be back in the neighborhood but we were glad to shower.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Another temple on our list!

Look what happened this week!

(there were blossoms on one of our tomato plants!)

Our weekend turned out to be busier than the rest of the past week. On Thursday night, however, we attended a neighborhood meeting to elect a neighborhood chair. The neighborhood chair will basically be the neighborhood's liaison with the city counsel. It was fun to see government in action! (but also a tiny bit scary...)

Saturday morning, I got up at the crack of 7 AM to go pick up our Bountiful Basket that I ordered earlier in the week. We're going to be eating A LOT of produce...

(4 mangoes, 5 lbs potatoes, lettuce, 2 butternut squashes, 8 bananas, cauliflower, grapes, white asparagus, cherry tomatoes, plums, limes, peaches!)

Later on, we went to the optometrist. We weren't really expecting it, but they dilated our eyes! It was my first time and man, that is rough! We'll be getting new glasses soon.

In the afternoon, we went to the Jordan River temple.

(Our eyes were still sensitive...)

We hope everyone's doing well! We wish there were a few more hours in the weekend to allow for extra sleeping time, but probably you do too. Be sure to check back next week for pictures of our upcoming camping trip!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Fourteenth of July!

If you thought the celebration was over, think again. This month there was an extended Fourth of July holiday, but today, for example, we have Bastille Day (think French Independence Day), and soon we'll enjoy Pioneer Day (the 24th, a state holiday in Utah).

 (Lisa in pioneer clothing in 2007, a month before a stake pioneer trek)

Also in this summer month (which itself is National Hot Dog, Blueberry, Ice Cream, Baked Bean, and Picnic Month) you can plan on throwing parties for Canada Day (on the'd I miss that?), National Fried Chicken Day (the 6th), National Sugar Cookie Day (the 9th), National French Fries Day (the 13th, and yes, they still are called as such, tho' the French call them Belgian...), National Lasagna Day (the 29th, and we have a recipe just for that occasion), National Cheesecake Day (the 30th...perhaps we'll have to come up with something for this, too)...the list goes on.

Isn't it wonderful to be an American?

Only problem is that it makes our week look uneventful. We've been going on regular walks:

 (a sweet sight on BYU's campus: a bunch of young ducks under a bush with their mom)

We had a few highlights between work and our normal errands, though. This week we went up to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, which was enjoyable.


We also walked to the Provo Temple, which has been closed the last few weeks for its scheduled maintenance.

 (the early bird gets the worm, but sometimes the late one does too... this was in the afternoon!)

Probably the most labour-intensive were a few cooking projects, such as Pumpkin Pancakes and Tortellini Alfredo with Mozzarella Sticks. Check them out!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Patriotism is alive and well in Provo

Monday morning, we sat out by the road with our good friends the Poppletons and watched the America's Freedom Festival Grand Parade go by. If we counted correctly, there were 12 high school marching bands, plus 2 bagpipe groups and 2 groups (plus a couple pianists) that played music from floats. Here are some visual highlights! If you're interested, we have A LOT more pictures...

(Our neighbors wanted their time in the spotlight)

("This concludes the Pre-Parade... Stand by for the GRAND PARADE!")

(Old-time fire truck)

(John Curtis - Provo City Mayor)

(Gary Herbert - Utah Governor)

(There were a LOT of military personnel/family that were in the parade - I was so proud and impressed at the positive reception from the crowd! We saw veterans, family members of servicemen who were killed in action, ...)

(Orrin Hatch - Senator)

(Wells Fargo coach)

(Blue Angels fly-by)

("Classical 89: Fifty is the new forte" - local Classical radio station celebrating 50 years - PS, there are girls playing pianos on this float!!)

(Cosmo the Cougar - BYU mascot)

(When we saw the signs that said "Military vehicle courtesy of [private owner's name]" we imagined this thing just sitting in someone's garage... I mean... what else does that statement mean?!)

("Utah Old Time Fiddlers' Association" - brought back memories of when I was playing my fiddle on a float in a parade... Thomas said I should join with these guys! I think it'd be a blast!)

("Berg Undertaking" - a hearse pulled by horses)

("God Bless Our Troops!! Thank you for your sacrifice and service!")

(A cousin of Clifford?)

("Moon Light Serenaders Dance Band" - this is the one Thomas wants to join)

(Provo mission missionaries)

(Our stake's float - cool, huh?)

(a real balloon animal - check out this pig! Thomas says the balloons make it look like he's a series of sausages)

(this kid is riding one of about a dozen llamas that were in the parade)

("Family & Temple" - I loved this float! That looks exactly like the Provo temple)

(I can't remember... is it King George? Curious Kong? oh, that's right, Curious George...)

(no, no, it says "Bank of American FORK"....)

("God is Love, Jesus is Lord")

After the parade, we hit up the bazaar on Center Street:

(and so did EVERYONE else!)

(we decided to skip on these... what does this even MEAN?!)

(I impersonated Uncle Sam at the Democratic Party's table. They even let me take home a voter registration card.)

(We wrote letters to soldiers at a special booth.)

(I couldn't resist the Cinnamon Almonds & Pecans... so we brought some home. We'll be experimenting with recipes for them on our Bistro page soon!)

After a short rest at home, and some yummy Peruvian food for lunch, we headed over to Colonial Days. We began with a tour of the Crandall Historical Printing Museum, where we learned first-hand why the linotype machine is called that (it literally produces a Line-o'-type!), understood why we say "uppercase" and "lowercase," saw a working replica of the Gutenberg Press and the 2-volume Gutenberg Bible, and caught a glimpse of this thing:

(the beginning page of the first illuminated version of the Book of Mormon)

Outside, we saw Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, and some regular colonial people. There were some ladies spinning wool into yarn and this kid was trying on armor...

Before heading home, we sat and listened to this cute little family band, CrosStrung. They played and sang old folk songs. The lady who is second from the left is the mother of the other three band members. She mostly played guitar. The youngest, on the left, played the bass. The other girl (on the right) played fiddle (and made me want to play my fiddle). The son/brother is playing guitar in the picture, but played the banjo for most of their show.