Monday, March 26, 2018

Signs of Spring

 The snow is slowly melting...and then we get another snow flurry! Nevertheless, there are clear signs that spring is on its way.

Here are two of the first wildflowers of the year, both closely related. One is Nevada Parsley. I'm not sure on the other.

For St. Patrick's Day, Desert Girl made a Leprechaun spotter, inspired by her cousin George who we had chatted with on Facetime. I don't think she found any pots of gold. But she got a little more gold for a second front tooth that fell out. Now she's singing, "All I want for Easter are my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth..."

Desert Boy discovered using a magnifying glass to burn letters and designs into wood. He spent a couple hours doing it and has some grander plans in mind.

 The spring storms are so pretty, with very interesting clouds.

The heifers and their calves are near our house. We've been trying to keep our new gate closed more (they jump right over the cattle guard), and that's been helping us keep them out of the yard.

 One morning we awoke to very low clouds. It was so cool, as this is a rarity here.

What signs of spring are you seeing?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Playing in Snow

 So back in February we got a good snowstorm. We headed up to Too Tall Tony hill to go sledding with friends.

It's a short but steep hill.

Then we decided to go up to Upper Lehman Campground to see what sledding would be like there. The huge ponderosa pines were so beautiful!

This sledding hill is down the road. It's slower going but they can have some long runs.

I wandered off for a walk and crossed the creek.

The campfire ring at the amphitheater looks cool. Literally!

And sometime I would just like to spend a day looking up at big, beautiful trees.

What the kids enjoyed most was digging. They found the pile left by the snow plow and started shoveling. Eventually they made a tunnel through it!

Even Jenny gave it a try!

We had so much fun that we went back with some other friends and dug some more.

I took a short walk up the Scenic Drive, where I could see the snow really blowing on the peak.
 It's mid-March now, and I have a feeling that winter will soon be coming to an end. I really love the snow, and we had so little of it this winter that I'm craving more. Right now we're back in a cool snap, which is good, as the apricot trees aren't blooming yet. I had a reminder on my Facebook feed that they were last year. And maybe we're going to get a little more snow over the next few days. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Snowy Ski Trip to Eagle Point

I was keeping an eye on the forecast, and it was promising lots of snow Saturday night. Maybe we could finally go downhill skiing? We decided to go ahead and do it and drove to Beaver, Utah. We ate dinner at a restaurant and then checked into the hotel. The kids couldn't wait to go swimming!

The next morning we woke up to new snow. I did a happy little dance! We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel, the kids swam again, and then we headed up the canyon. We were expecting it to be plowed, but the plow turned around at the start of the canyon. We followed the tracks up the road, usually just one lane wide. But occasionally a vehicle came down, and then there was a bit of panic. Would one of us slide off the road? I was so happy for the guard rails, but we really couldn't believe that the road hadn't been plowed at nine in the morning. The snow got deeper and deeper, about a foot at the top.

We signed up Desert Boy for his first snowboard lesson and took off with Desert Girl. She remembered how to ski right away.

It was kind of blustery in the morning, with periods of wind and snow that made it very cold. But then the sun would peak out.

The powder was amazing. I didn't really have experience skiing in powder, nor did Desert Girl. We liked it a lot.

We ate lunch with friends at the lodge, then headed up the big mountain. Desert Girl and I did a couple blue (intermediate) runs, while my husband did a black diamond (advanced) run. I had a hard time keeping up with Desert Girl. I am a bit wimpy when it comes to skiing, I don't like to feel out of control! For our last run on that side, we all went down a black diamond run. We didn't tell Desert Girl until she had finished, and she was so happy.

We went over to pick up Desert Boy from his lesson. He had had a great day. It was just him and one other student with the instructor. He showed us some of his moves, and he was looking good. He's still on the green (easy) slopes, but is ready to go again and learn more.

Desert Girl kept on going, I couldn't believe her stamina. She fell asleep as soon as we started driving down the canyon. Which was now plowed, but in quite a few places the plow driver hadn't bothered to plow a full two lanes. Fortunately there wasn't much traffic.
We're watching the weather again, it looks like there is more snow in the forecast. Perhaps we'll get to go skiing another time this season? It is so nice to spend the day outside!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 Wild Goose Chase

 One of our favorite winter races is the Wild Goose Chase, held in Delta, Utah the third Saturday of February. It's part of the Snow Goose Festival, which people flock to in order to see the numerous snow geese.

Except this year it was cold, really cold. All the water was frozen over. It was about 10 degrees F on the starting line. But that didn't stop the biggest group of runners yet from gathering.

We all--my husband, Desert Boy, Desert Girl, and I--ran the 5k race. I took my phone with me but only got one photo, of Desert Boy heading out on the dike. He stayed ahead of me for the first 1.5 miles, but then I finally overtook him. One of these races (and probably not too far into the future), I won't be able to pass him!

I was happy with my finish in 28 minutes and something, then walked back just in time to get Desert Boy finishing in 30 minutes and something. That was a personal best for him.

I had left extra layers at the starting point, so I was walking there when I found Desert Girl and my husband. They had warmed up and taken off their winter coats.

Desert Girl's face was all red. She said she walked a little more than half the race, but finished in forty minutes, which I thought was pretty good. Definitely better than what I would have done at her age!

In fact, it earned her third in her age group.

Our contingent from Snake Valley did really well: second in men's overall, third in women's overall, three age group firsts, Desert Girl's age group third, and Desert Boy's personal best.

We went in search of snow geese, but the only ones we saw were flying, so we went to the Delta Community Center for the craft fair and saw a lot of interesting booths. Desert Boy couldn't resist spending his gift certificate from the race plus some of his own money on a cross bow.

We ate lunch and then went to the skateboard park. The kids were delighted to give it a try.

They favored the scooter and bike...

...which left me to try the Ripstick. I eventually managed to ride about 30 feet on it!

The kids have also been big into parkour, so they had fun doing some stunts, mainly running up inclines and then sliding back down.

We did a little shopping and in Ace I admired this lovely poster of chicken breeds. 4-H is making me look at the world in a different way!

One of our favorite places to go after the Wild Goose Chase is the Delta swimming pool. They have a high dive, which the kids find to be a fun challenge. Here's Desert Girl conquering her fears!
This is a fun event that we hope to be returning to! If you've never been, we recommend it. Here are posts from 20152014, 2013, and 2011. And you can even see some snow geese in them!
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