23 August 2014

Utah: The Amazing Logan Canyon Scenic Byway: Pt. I

Now you may be asking yourself,
 just how did Aimee get to that beautiful turquoise colored lake?
Well, this post (actually the next two posts) should answer that question and also introduce you to a destination in itself :)

Let's start with a map to help orient you to the area we'll be traveling through.
Here is a great one:
Besides being a great little drive,
 this area is known for its hiking
(part of our family went hiking up there the day before our trip to Bear Lake),
fishing, camping and much more!
During winter you can also pursue skiing and other winter activities there too.
But back to our journey...
Are you ready to leave the beautiful Cache Valley?
This is one of my favorite areas in Utah.
I believe we have reached the mouth of Logan Canyon now.
Shall we explore it?

Nice rock...
Utah and Colorado both have great rock and rock formations!

Pretty rugged here.
Lots of evergreen trees and a nice river beside us.

Very, very green in areas.
Hum. Wonder if I shot this at an angle...
does it look funny to you?

OK. I am ready to cry now.
If I am correct, these are some of my beloved aspen.
I want to get out of our SUV right now and give them all a BIG hug.
I want to touch their beautiful white bark.
I want to admire their gorgeous leaves.
I want to take a zillion photos of them.
Most of all, I want to be HERE come autumn when they turn gold!
The Logan Canyon Scenic Byway is filled with all different kinds of landscapes...
the canyon, meadows, caves high above the road, forests, etc.
Some places reminded me of Colorado--
another place that can make me cry.
It's been 7 years since my last trip there.  
It's another place I'd like to see in the autumn!

Surprise, surprise!
Yep, we were all surprised at finding these sheep grazing peacefully in a meadow.
LOVE this scenic byway!
I can't believe it took me so LONG to agree to taking this trip.
I can't believe I am here in the midst of mountain meadows, aspens, evergreens and more.
This is paradise to me--
and yet, I know, heaven will be even better!
Next: More Logan Canyon
Logan Canyon and more
Logan Canyon Hiking
(I believe it was the Wind Cave that my son and company hiked to).  

21 August 2014

Utah: Beautiful Bear Lake

At this point, since we've reached Utah,
I don't feel the need to post anymore in chronological order.
Instead I will be posting by attraction/highlight.
Also, because some posts are pretty photo heavy
(because I didn't want to make two posts),
I will try to keep my commentary shorter than usual.
Our initial attraction will be beautiful Bear Lake located in NE Utah
and also in SE Idaho.
We've gone through AMAZING Logan Canyon and we've reached the summit.
Now we need to make our descent down to the lake.
To do that we'll be going from about 7500 feet in elevation down to 5924 feet.
Are you ready?
There's a viewpoint at the top where you can stop and take photos at,
but we'll save that for next time
(and there WILL be a next time for me -- I hope).
Viewer warning: some of these photos will be a bit blurry.

Down, down, down we go.
Did I say it's a long way down?
Down, down, down we go some more.

Oh, we're here.
I can open my eyes now--
just kidding!
Actually, the descent wasn't THAT bad.
Of course, I just so happened (luckily) to be on the 'right' side of the vehicle-
literally the right side:)
The road up was a totally different matter though
(note to self: right side during the descent;
 left side during the ascent AND never, ever sit in the front seat of the vehicle...)
but the point is--
and it was SO worth it!

One of many views from the road by the lake.
Can you tell these are shot through tinted windows?
You do what you have to.

This reminded me a bit of our Oregon coast.
Wonder what the inside looks like?
Wonder how they decorated it?
After an unsuccessful attempt to rent something we could use on the lake
(note to self: you MUST call ahead to make reservations for such things),
 a quick trip over the border to the lovely state of Idaho,
a hunt for just the right beach
(yea, found a great free one!),
we settled in to enjoy this incredible lake.
Can you see the famous turquoise color in the photo above?
Pretty, huh? 
Yes, there are shells here!
And some rocks too.

And, yes, the water of the lake is so clear it's easy to find them!
I should also add the water is the PERFECT temperature for water fun
and that the lake,
at least where we were,
stays shallow for a loooooong time.
I know because I walked out into it.
Finally I should add,
that you sunburn quickly here--
really quickly.
I know because I did,
 and I was actually out from under the shade of the gazebo
we brought along for just a short while.
I guess it's that lovely combo of high elevation, reflective water and sand.
Well at least always pale Aimee wasn't so pale for the remainder of her trip:)

Another important fact about Bear Lake...
 Small One learned how to float here--
but we'll save that photo for later.
Here she is learning how to kick with her dad.
Ah, Bear Lake-
so many GOOD memories were made on your shoreline!
Next: a trip through one of Utah's amazing canyons
An excellent pdf file on the history, geology, etc. of Bear Lake
(loved this info!)
This area is also famous for their raspberries and raspberry shakes and
we just happened to be there during their annual Raspberry Days Festival.
Garden City was SO crowded and the wait to get food long!
The beach seemed fine though--I never felt it was overly crowded and loved our time there! 
Here's another site with info on events, activities, etc. in this area

19 August 2014

Utah: Welcome!

As I have said,
way before we were ACTUALLY in Utah,
 I was convinced we were already there...
totally convinced!
But FINALLY we really were there and
 things looked MUCH more like I remembered:)
Near the exit to Hansel Valley...
My first thought?
Where's the exit for Gretel?
My second thought?
Hum, wonder what a Hansel valley looks like?
(If you are wondering the same thing, see the links below.
Yep I am one BIG Pandora --
always curious)
My thoughts?
Let's pass on THIS Pass! 
Still a very dry area here...
Old barn by the road.
Another summer favorite--
hay bales in the field.
I prefer the ones that are rolled to the square/rectangular/block ones.
Your preference?
My beloved mountains.
I'm BACK!!
The Beehive State...
It's been a LONG trip,
but we're finally here.
Time to spend time with family---
and my mountains:)
Next: No bear's seen while there, but lots of beautiful water.
Links for the curious among you:
Hansel Valley
and more history of the big earthquake there
Yes, I admit to looking for information on Rattlesnake Pass too:)

18 August 2014

Idaho: More Than Just Yummy Potatoes, Pt II

So we're made it through the Columbia River Gorge
and up the infamous (but beautiful) Cabbage Hill.
And through the gorgeous Blues and Baker City area,
past Lime,
over the Snake River
and now we're part way through Idaho.
Yes, I still love wind turbines and besides a tour of Idaho
would not be complete without a photo of some:)
As usual no trip anywhere would be complete also without the inclusion of some patterns--
this time those found in farm fields.
Another reason I like summer and LOVE farms:)
More of the agricultural areas to be found in Idaho.
Over the Snake -- again!
One of my favorite views of the river.
And then, not too long after the turn off towards Ogden and Salt Lake City....
I LOVE the golds you see during this time of the year---
LOVED this view too--
(except for the possible reflection).
 No dust storm today
(though I think my car is in GREAT need of a bath at this point).
 Almost there!!
(to be honest though, I thought we had already crossed the border to Utah long, long ago and was wondering why things didn't look the way I remembered them from past trips---LOL. My son thought it was quite funny when we -- much later -- finally saw the Welcome to Utah sign. I don't think he realized just how MUCH this mom wanted to be at our first destination!)
Next: northern Utah
Another attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon? Looks like it:)
Site with LOTS of info on Idaho
(and more temptations for future Aimee trips)


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