Saturday, May 28, 2011

Before and After - blog challenge

2nd week blog challenge - Before and After Pictures

How the Lilies looked at Home Depot!
pansies from the front flower bed
front flower bed
Okay, so I know that I am a little behind on this blog challenge but things have been a little crazy lately. I can now say that spring has sprung in Idaho City. It has giving me the bug to plant flowers and do yard work. Last Saturday, Amanda and I were at home depot and picked up a couple of varities of flowers. A couple of years ago we had planted several colors of pansies in the front yard flower bed but only the purple/blue ones and one yellow one had come back up. So, we picked up some more yellow pansies. I also got some really pretty daisies which we planted in the planter in front of the shed. I planted impatunes under the large pine tree out back.  We have two planters on the deck which we usually fill with wave petunias but while at Home Depot I saw some really pretty peach colored lilies. I got one for each of the planters and then we got some purple wave petunias to go around them. They looked so good when we planted them! It really made it seem like spring was finally here to stay.

How the lilies look after the dogs got to them.
Impatuns under the pine tree

Then the dogs found them. It started out with the dogs just eating the petals off the blooms that were already out. But they quickly discovered the unopened buds too. Let's just say there are three dogs at my house who are being watched more closely when they go out to use the bathroom.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Has Sprung - Just Not In Idaho

Sharing a birthday with a sibling brings you closer together even when you live miles apart. Joyce and I take a birthday trip every year. We try to go someplace that we have never been before. Sometimes we take other family members with us but most of the time it is just us.

This year, Joyce wanted to go someplace warm that didn't have snow. She still had several feet of snow and there were still piles of snow in my yard too. We decided that St. George Utah was as good a place as any. It was close enough that we could drive and it was warm enough. Since we drove and we didn't have any place to be at any given time, it was also the perfect opportunity to indulge in our favorite new hobby: Letter Boxing!

We went online to and found that there are a lot of letterboxes to be found in Utah! Joyce printed out the clues for the ones that were along our traveling route (and some that weren't) and put them in folders by city.

We did a lot of hiking and saw some beautiful country during the week. While in Zion National Park we did the hike to Angel's Landing. Joyce made it all the way to the top! Unfortunately, I got a blister and it popped when I jumped down from a rock so I didn't go the last 1/2 mile up. Above is a picture of Joyce coming down the easiest part of the 1/2 mile that I didn't make it on. Notice the chain that they have to guide you up the trail? Joyce tells me that in places you had to use that chain to pull yourself up.

We were able to get some pretty pictures of the St. George Temple. It is amazing how white this temple is. There is so much reddish dust everywhere from the hills and mountains but this temple is extremely white. While visiting with Sister Yardley we asked her how they keep the temple so white and she said she had no idea but that it is always just perfectly white.

We found 58 letterboxes on our trip. My favorites were the ones on the Lagoon Trail (which I will not show you pictures of since we are taking Amanda and Ryder down there on Memorial Day to find them) and the ones that we found in Red Canyon. The ones in Red Canyon were not really spectacular stamps (although they are good). What made them so great was the time we spent together and the memories that we will have for years to come. We took one of Joyce's famous LONG-ADDS which are always a surprise. For those of you who don't know, a long add is supposed to be a short cut but instead ends up adding time or distance to your trip, hence the Long Add. This one added about 5 miles to our 2 mile hike. You may think that would have made this a bad hike but we really did have a good time and saw some spectacular views. We walked a ridge on a trail of red shell with gusts of winds trying to blow us over the edge. We would reach the top of a mountain, look down to try to find the road and realize that we were not where we thought we should be.  Below are a few pictures from our Long-add hike in Red Canyon.

This is me about 1/3 of the way through the hike. We found these trees to rest at and take pictures.

       Looking back up the stairs used to get off the ridge we walked along.

Looking back at the ridge we walked. If you look closely you can see where the stairs go down on the left. This picture was taken from the next ridge that we had to climb.

All in all we had a really enjoyable vacation. I am really glad we were able to go and enjoy such pretty places while it was not too hot.  Upon arriving back in Idaho City we found that all but one pile of snow had melted. That pile hung around for about another week but is now gone. Joyce, unlucky as she seems to be, still had a few feet of snow when she got back to Island Park. Well, I guess that is what she gets for living in "God's Country".

Note: Amanda - this serves as one of my posts for your challenge!