Thursday, July 08, 2010

Gail's Visit: 4th of July: Snowbird

I can't resist using blueberries, strawberries and whipping cream together as part of a 4th of July breakfast. Plus I just plain old love making waffles!
While Gail and I ate breakfast, the birds outside the window conspired to add to the color theme of the day.
(One of the baby blue jays that are hanging around. We call them "The Blues Brothers: On a Mission from God". They are totally crazy birds and remind us of the movie characters with their antics!)
Next up: UP to the mountains, at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon.
A ski resort called Snowbird allows hiking around their grounds that are well known for having a lot of wildflowers in their Albion Basin.
It was a tad early for a full array of wildflowers to be on display but a few were up and ready for our visit.

Meadows of blue and sprinkles of yellow flowers were to be seen.
The big treat: Shooting Stars!
Gail was so excited as she had never seen them before.
Having only seen them in photographs, she though they were like three inches long or something.
They actually are about baby fingernail sized, and you need to look along water sides to see them.
Don't they look like shooting stars to you?
We alternated looking down to see flowers and looking up to see the mountain views.
And sometimes managed to get both in one glance!

Yellow flowers bloomed aside the predominate blue flowers.

I thought of our Swedish friend Janitha. She would have declared it a most patriotic mix.

(I kidded Gail that she was expecting shooting stars the size of our San Diego bird-of-paradise blooms. If only they were!)

The bird song going on all around us was enchanting as well. I haven't looked up this bird's name or I would have included a link so you could hear his beautiful elaborate song.
A few other hikers came by and we happily swapped photo taking duties.

When we came across a cluster of people staring into the woods at the bottom of the trail we knew there had to be something interesting to see.
The moose's antlers were still in velvet. He stayed and chomped tender greens for quite awhile before finally lumbering off into the forest.

Little streams and waterfalls from the snow melt allowed us to practice our daring and leaping skills. It was cold enough that a slip and fall would have not have been deemed refreshing!
After having explored the lower basin for awhile, it was time to the next level.
We could have hiked, but getting a great view from the tram was a more appealing option.
11,000 feet up: the air is a bit thinner and definitely colder!
We laughed to remember that two days ago it was a sweltering 97 degrees; and here we were now in cold weather gear!

A few other critters were enjoying the scenery too.

Of course we kept sang as we walked about: From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam...God bless America, our home sweet home!

I think this was the most amazing view of the day. That slope was nearly at a 90 degree angle.

I would have loved to have watched as skiers left those tracks behind!

People from Europe often comment that Snowbird reminds them a lot of Switzerland. I totally agree!

Not only are the outlines of the mountains beautiful, the color variations within the mountainsides are amazing too.
PIck a color and start looking, you will probably see it somewhere. This picture show the ski resort where we began our day's adventures.
Bernie is up here all the time during ski season, when it is usually covered with about 200 inches of snow.
Some of that snow still remains...
We were almost above the tree line, but this one wildflower was staking a claim for the whole place. It was blooming everywhere!
The snow melt was causing some erosion and mud sliding. The wild flowers just road along on the slipping soil and continued to bloom!
How deep was the snow? This will give you an idea. We also enjoyed seeing the layering from each snow fall. Bernie could practically tell you what day each layer formed as he had hit the slopes with each major snowfall.
Slipping soil...

Pretty little things aren't they? They are about an inch across, just so you don't mistakenly think they are huge!

We opted to take the chair life down from a spot called Peruvian Basin. Oh wow was it ever cold! My eyes were watering and my glove less hands turned blue.

After that we drove back down the canyon to home (a less than 30 minute ride) and grabbed a few items for a barbecue at Jeff's new house. We sat outside in his back yard in the warm sunshine and let Jeff and Gail get caught up a bit, and let Jeff show off his new house.

One of the joys of long time friendships: Holding your friend's new born babies, and then visiting those babies later when they are all grown up. Her "baby boy" is now in medical school, our daughters have (or are working on) Master's degrees. Sometime we look at each other and marvel at what our funny toddlers wound up being as grown ups.

I think we napped...then it was fireworks time! We sat in chairs on our front lawn and watched three firework displays going off in the valley below us, and really enjoyed the curb side fireworks that we and our neighbors put on.

Actually...the one at curbside were the most fun of all!

God's display wasn't too shabby either. It didn't get totally dark until 9:30 pm.

I missed getting the sunset at the peak but Gail did. The shimmering Great Salt Lake, twinkling city lights, clouds gleaming with every changing color...the camera doesn't do it justice.

In fact...I think our memories far exceed anything that I have shown you on this post. Cameras can only catch a shadow of what a day like that day was like.

I think the day was like a glimpse of heaven.


Sara said...

What a marvelous way to spend the day celebrating our Independence! From waffles to buttercups (those little yellow flowers)...all of it glorious. The mountain area looks so different this time of year; I remember it blanketed all in white.

Love the shot of you and Gail standing high up above the valley!

Lovella ♥ said...

Such a wonderful holiday. I couldn't believe how much your mountains look like our mountains. It could easily be our alpine meadows up at Manning. . or at Whistler.
Very beautiful photos.

ellen b. said...

It really seems like an amazing day filled with so much glory and wonder! How fun to capture so much in photos. My mouth is watering over those red, white, and blue waffles!!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

That sounds like a fabulous day! I feel like heading to the hills right about now...and cooling off a wee bit.

Great photos!

Anonymous said...

My dear friend Jill,
What joy I feel when I look through your blog at the wonderful time we had! With a week gone by it feels like a dream. So much fun packed into such a little bit of time. Yes, I expect heaven will hold some these wonders! ;-} Thank you so much for every detail! You are a marvelous woman and I extremely blessed to call you friend! Gail

Marg said...

I liked this post, even though it was long, you hit many good themes.
July 4th, I loved your mountain experiences, Bernie looks fantastic in Red...that's why I keep my red golf shirt...chatting it about your grown kids doing Master's Isn't that fun? I loved all your flower blooms. And the waffles....I could eat them right now.
A day packed full of memories. I would love to ski that at winter...Wow!