Monday, December 31, 2018

Snowy Lexington Arch Hike

There was snow in the mountains, but the valley was clear, so we decided on a lower elevation hike to Lexington Arch. We drove the very good Lexington Arch road and parked just before the yellow snag warning sign. Then we hiked on the 4WD high clearance road, with the kids throwing snow balls.

When we got to the end of that road, we could see Lexington Arch in the distance. Can you see it?

Here's some help, with a telephoto lens!

Desert Boy wasn't feeling that great so stopped there, but Desert Girl and I continued. We started on the trail and found it snowy going.

But it was easy to find.

Nevertheless, we soon got off the trail and just hiked uphill on the melted off hillside.

It was steep and soon got snowy. We met up with the trail again and forged ahead. I was ready to turn around, but figured I should set a good example for Desert Girl and get to our destination, even if we were postholing to mid-calf in the crusty snow.

Finally we got to the bench (which was overturned, I'm not sure why). The sun had changed position so the sunlight was no longer on the arch itself, but it was still beautiful. And it's not really an arch, but the remnant of an old cave. Water wore away the limestone, so it's technically a natural bridge.

Here's hoping for many more great hikes in 2019!
Thanks for following along with the blog. See you next year!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Up into the Snowy Mountains

 Jenny and I wanted to get Christmas trees up in the mountains, and we figured we could combine it with a sledding trip. We went up Lexington Canyon until we couldn't drive any farther, then we hiked up the road to the top of a nice hill.  Then it was time to launch.

We focused on making sledding trains.

The snow was falling as we played.

Sometimes the sledding didn't go quite as planned, resulting in some funny crashes.

It was so fun to be playing outside in the snow!

Then it was on to finding the perfect Christmas tree. We wanted a white fir, as they are not pokey like pinyon pines, and we found a selection. Desert Girl worked on cutting it down (and so did all the other kids!). 

We loaded the trees and then headed home for some fun times decorating. We're hoping for more snow for more winter adventures.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Growing a Giant Pumpkin

 In the spring I found a packet of giant pumpkin seeds at the store. 'How fun!' I thought.  But we certainly wouldn't want them all. So why not make a contest? Plus we had been listening to the story Sweet Home Alaska, where they had a giant pumpkin growing contest. I presented it at our local 4-H meeting, and several kids wanted to participate. They each got two seeds.

Desert Girl put hers in pots that she could bring indoors when it got cold. Apparently a bean seed was also in the soil!

She had to keep checking them to make sure they had enough water.

Eventually it was warm enough to plant the pumpkins out in the garden. Desert Girl dug a hole and put the plants in, with ag bag around to keep the weeds down.

We soon found that the insects were enjoying the pumpkin plants. We weren't sure they would survive.

Fortunately they seemed to grow. We watched with eager anticipation for the first blooms.

 The vines started creeping out, and we wondered if we had given them enough room.

And then we started seeing flowers!

And more flowers. And more flowers. But no little pumpkins. We tried some hand pollination.

It worked for one plant, which started producing a bunch of pumpkins. We pinched off extra blossoms so only four pumpkins would grow. But the other plant didn't produce any, so we eventually pulled it up to let the other one have more space.

The pumpkins grew and grew, and then they stopped growing. We thought they might grow more, but they seemed to just stop. We talked to others who were growing pumpkins, and they said theirs did the same thing. 

Finally it was time for the competition to end. Desert Girl took the largest one to the 4-H meeting and weighed it in. It was 51.8 pounds, the largest in the club! She won $10 from donations for the prize money and was quite excited by that.

 Now our chickens are enjoying the pumpkin and we'll save some seeds for next year!

Monday, December 3, 2018

More Cowbell Bike Trail near Hurricane, Utah

 Fall break in October involved a dentist visit and getting the SUV serviced, but we managed to mix some fun in. While Desert Boy ended up sick and staying home with dad, Desert Girl and I headed to sunny St. George. While the vehicle was being checked, we biked over to Thunder Junction All Abilities Park. This is a newer park and so much fun! First we had to take the train ride, which costs a whopping $1 per person. Desert Girl really wanted to sit in the back, and since we were there on a weekday, there were plenty of open spots.

Then it was on to playing in the water and almost getting eaten by a dinosaur.

The next day we were off to try some mountain biking. I had done some research and found an easy trail recommended: the More Cowbell Trail near Hurricane, Utah. It's in the Gooseberry Mesa-Hurricane Cliffs area, which is gaining more attention as a great mountain biking destination.

We started off and then I got confused by the trails, so we went back and I took a photo of the map at the trail head. We had to start off on the Dead Ringer trail and then we'd take the More Cowbell loop.

The loop was about 2.5 miles. Desert Girl was a bit hesitant, but I knew she could do it. We were closer to the edge than this near the beginning, but she made it through just fine.

Then we got into a nice groove. We had great views and could see part of the loop trail down below us.

We had one rocky section where we got off our bikes, but then we were back on. We took a couple breaks, including at this "bench."

It was such a beautiful day to be out!

Good times!

We kept riding the nice, flowing trail. We could see the highway for part of it, and long sweeping views in other directions.

Near the end of the loop there's a cowbell, and Desert Girl was delighted to ring it!

Then we followed the Dead Ringer trail back. Here's the trail junction where we originally took off for the More Cowbell trail.

I had Desert Girl lead so she could start learning how to read the terrain. We had one more section where we got off, but otherwise we rode the whole trail.

Desert Girl was so proud of herself for riding over her first rock. She really was quite a beginner, and this trail was great for her. We're hoping we can do some more mountain biking and increase her confidence. And enjoy more beautiful times outside!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates