Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peek-a-Boo and Spooky slot canyons

Fall break weekend fun. We trucked it down to Slot Canyon's Inn in Escalante and had a little fun on Saturday hiking Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Gulch slot canyons about 25 miles down the Hole-in-the-Rock road just outside of Escalante. The fall weather was just perfect for hiking in the desert with a load of kids.

A short hike (about a mile or so) from the parking area is the entrance to Spooky Gulch. It may not look like much- enticing to some, frightening to others...

Just step inside for some twists and turns, tight spots and amazing beauty.

Fabulous for kids and folks who don't claim claustrophobia. If you are slightly frightened of tight spots but you still want to give it a go- throw in a piece of minty chewing gum in your mouth, it helps.

If you were just accepted to be a contestant on the next season of Biggest Loser, you might want to stay behind and count the clouds and sage brush flowers- and try to stay out of the trail mix.

At the end of Spooky Gulch we took a left and followed the fairly well traveled trail (follow the cairns) to the top of neighboring Peek-a-Boo slot canyon, probably about a half mile apart.

Peek-a-Boo is quite a bit wider than Spooky in most spots- you're not likely to get stuck, not if you've made it this far from your car on foot. There and lots of places to hide and scamper about... especially at the entrance.

A small arch you can pass through or around.

A few more arches as you work your way along- absolutely magically beautiful.

The beginning or end (depending on where you start) of Peek-a-Boo is steep and takes a bit of teamwork and spiderish manuves.
My mom (a local) said she just met the two ladies (now little old ladies) who named the canyons in their youth. After finding the canyons as kids in the 1930's they were so excited about the discovery that one of them decided to have their birthday party there. All the kids climbing and playing around gave the canyons the names they are known by today, Peek-a Boo and Spooky.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July

The 4th was fantastic, our first in Midway, it was cozy and low key. The day started with a mountain bike ride on the Interlaken and Dutch Hollow trails (I still can't believe there is such delightful single track so close to home). A few lazy hours in the afternoon at Deer Creek, lounging in the sun with friends and paddling kayaks around. The holiday finished with a barbeque/block party (fish tacos... yum) with the neighbors and friends and watching the fireworks on Memorial Hill from the cul-de-sac (and under umbrellas). A perfect holiday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

late afternoon sun in Midway

Looking south out over Midway Utah, Deer Creek reservoir and the Wasatch mountain range in the distance.
A late afternoon thunderstorm brought this breathtaking double rainbow, probably the brightest rainbow I've ever seen.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Adventure is in the air as the chilly summer of 2011 commences. Here's to hoping the weather warms up soon, and more adventure- without jackets and long pants- is right around the corner. This past weekend we took a drive out to Hole-in-the Rock, just outside of Escalante. That's 65 miles of dirt road driving. About 50 miles into the drive you come to Dance Hall Rock (the rock formation behind the cactus) where the mormon pioneers used the natural amphitheater to take a break and dance as they crossed the  Utah desert.

Here it is folks- Hole-in-the-Rock, where the mormon pioneers bravely lowered their wagons and supplies on ropes down this canyon and crossed the Colorado River (now Lake Powell) on their way to the San Juan Valley. 
The dirt road out to Hole-in-the-Rock has always been rough and four wheel drive vehicle has always been a requirement. Recently, Garfield county has been working hard to make the road passable to two wheel drive vehicles and have done a really good job. The road is in great shape, there are a few sandy and steep spots where high clearance is still a good thing to have, but otherwise fine with two wheel drive. 

Of course we hiked down to the enticing waters of Lake Powell, the kids couldn't get there fast enough; partly to get out of the relentlessly howling wind and partly because we'd all been sitting in the car for 2 dusty, bumpy hours and needed to get moving.
I'm not going to lie... the water was cold and white capping in the wind. My eldest Q, her father's daughter for sure, dove right in, not caring about anything but getting wet. The rest of us hung our toes in and decided it was a good idea we postpone the Lake Powell boat trip a few more weeks.

Looking back up the Hole-in-the-Rock pass and imagining the pioneers with their loaded wagons, ropes and improper footwear can really make one ponder one's own hardships. 

M, making her way back up the trail.

A visit to Hole-in-the-Rock would not be complete without some staged pioneer pictures. Thank goodness we remembered to bring the bonnet and apron, and that we are so easily entertained.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ski between the lines

All the late storms this last week have dumped loads of snow in the Wasatch mountains. Here's what Bishop's Bowl at Sundance looked like when the storm cleared for a minute and the sun came out.
See all the squiggly lines? A lot of those tracks are mine- and my gal Q- who had the day off of school- we were doing our best to fill in the gaps, until our legs could no longer hold us up. It's about time I got a powder day in, or, I should say... it's about time I got myself out onto the ski hill to enjoy a powder day.

PS- This is Sundance's last week of skiing, and there is a super deal going on... check it out on Facebook- day skiing is only $20, night skiing is $15 through April 3rd.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

San Juan Capistrano Mission

Like it states on the plaque: The San Juan Capistrano Mission, Orange County California's only Mission, was founded in 1776 by Padre Junipero Serra, the seventh in a chain of 21 missions established in Alta California to christianize and civilize the Indians. The stone church was destroyed in the 1812 earthquake. The mission was expropriated during Mexican rule then returned to the Catholic church in 1865  by proclamation of the president, Abraham Lincoln.

Here are the original walls of the stone church- what still stands after the earthquake of 1812,  200 years ago.

The United States is young in it's architectural history- comparative to the European and other countries in the world. So, to see such a magnificent and imposing structure more than 200 years old and in California-  it is truly a sight to behold.

There are 10 acres within the mission, available to wander and learn as much or as little history as you'd like,  a self-guided audio tour is included with the admission fee.
Courtyards, gardens and fountains are all surround by Spanish style adobe architecture all beautifully preserved and maintained.

Check their website for daily activities, summer programs,special events and re-enactments.

The Mission heart, or spiritual center, is located in the Serra Chapel, which dates back to the 1780s. Generations and generations of Catholics have celebrated mass, attended weddings, baptisms, and funerals in this chapel.
The Serra chapel within the Mission still holds services M-F at 7 am, For the mass schedule at the Basilica, the San Juan Capistrano Parish's main house of worship, please click here.  
So much history and beauty in one place is astounding. Plan a visit to If you have at least a few hours and you're in southern, coastal Orange County, I would recommend a visit to the darling town of San Juan Capistrano and it's historical Mission.
To view more photos of the Mission, look here.


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