This weekend and last weekend we attempted to make the best of what was left of winter. Parental duties, school duties, Scouting duties, and lack of snow made it difficult to enjoy this winter. A few months ago before everything melted we snowshoed. Last weekend we visited my home in the Tetons and went for a beautiful walk up Teton Canyon. It reminded me of my days at Treasure Mountain Scout Camp. I spent two summer camps and one winter camp there. It made me nostalgic looking at my favorite mountains in the entire world!
Earlier this week after the big storm hit we went sledding up Mill Creek Canyon. Yesterday we found an awesome place to do some “backcountry” snowboarding, that was away from the crowds. We drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the winter closure of the Guardsman Pass road. There was so much snow up there! I do not know why I never thought of it before. It was the perfect place to spend a few hours snowboarding down a patch of snow, then walking back up. Other people had the same idea, but were fancy and maybe a little obnoxious with their snowmobiles. A Boy Scout troop was even up there doing a winter camp. Nonetheless, the Guardsman Pass road seems like a great place to go adventuring!
Hope and I are trying to live frugally. It is hard to find fun adventurous things to do that do not cost a lot. Snowboarding definitely falls into the expensive category of adventure sports. We have been trying to find ways to reduce the cost while still having fun.
Since Hope is new to snowboarding we bought most of her gear for ridiculously low prices during the Sports Authority SNIAGRAB, which occurs every fall before the snow even flies.
The annual Warren Miller ski movie premiere usually offers vouchers to the Canyons ski resort for the price of a movie ticket. So we got two full day passes for about $40!
Last Monday, after the huge storm, we hiked up in the Foothills above our apartment and did a little backcountry in the front country. It was a workout for a married couple trying to stay fit, but we did it! The snow was nice and deep as well, otherwise I would not recommend it.
We will continue to look for cheap ways to snowboard, to save money while having fun, and to increase happiness.
The New Year found us freezing our faces off in Canyonlands. We found a sweet deal on lodging in Moab, Utah, and decided it would be an adventure. We had never been to Moab in winter and thought it was going to be warmer than winter anywhere else because, well, it was Moab. I usually am dying from heat in early spring or fall, so I was quite surprised to find that it was the coldest we have been all winter.
After arriving one late evening and early morning church the next day with some really friendly people, we started our adventure in the Needles District. We checked out a roadside ruin, a natural spring and a cowboy camp. Not too extreme, but it was beautiful to see red rock covered in snow and with no one around, it was just nature and us. The road led us to explore the Elephant Hill area. Hope was a little hesitant to take our car on a snowy dirt road but I assured her that our little Subaru would be fine.
New Year’s Eve found us exploring Island in the Sky. We were not as secluded as we were at Needles but it was not too bothersome to have others around. On the short but icy trail to Mesa Arch, I slipped like a classic feet-in-the-air cartoon and thought I broke a bone in my arm, judging by the sound it made when I hit the ground. Thankfully nothing was broken and we were able to enjoy the mystical view from the window of the arch. The mists were all around us as we continued to Grand View Point. It truly felt like heaven, an island floating in a sea of clouds. Every now and then we caught a glimpse of the Colorado River below, and it truly was a blessing.
Besides having an awesome wife who spoiled me for the past two days, (and really for the past 17 months), waking up and seeing about an inch of snow on the ground was the first best birthday present I received this year. In comparison with last month’s weather it was a miracle. We decided that we better not waste it, so we went snowboarding at Solitude. Hope made me some delicious scrambled eggs and waffles that had too much chocolate chips in them, not that I was complaining.
Because of the lack of snow recently, even this small layer caused me to dance in gratitude for a prayer answered.
We loaded up our car, Zooey, for adventure. Hope had an ‘amazing’ rental from the University’s ORP.
There were roughly two inches of fresh snow that did not completely offset the rough, icy snow, but we had fun nonetheless, and Hope is improving her snowboarding skills, despite having a sore body from all the falls.
I had another birthday surprise I was not expecting. We returned home, took showers and proceeded to finish making dinner. Hope received a text she claimed came from her friend Kara. Hope chuckled saying that her friend was ‘complaining about a teacher’. I thought that odd during Christmas Break and just shrugged my shoulders. Hope then suggested we light electric sparklers in the church parking lot next door; my slow brain began to do the math. I was convinced that there was at least one person waiting to surprise me, but I did not know who. I had a list of suspects but was utterly surprised when I saw the truck of my good friend from my freshman days at Utah State University, Jeff, and his wife Jess. I screamed like a girl at a Backstreet Boys concert and gave Jeff a big hug. I was never more excited to see them, and it made my birthday.
Yes, we acted out a Harry Potter wizard battle.
Yes, I am wearing not one, but two birthday cones on my head.
For my first day of being a 26-year-old, I never felt so young J