Monday, September 26, 2011

Elite '11

I am now an Elite '11 Yelper! I started using Yelp in December at that time mostly to read reviews and get suggestions of new places to try, especially while Clay was living in Atlanta. My usage later developed into writing more reviews so I could help some other soul out there looking for somewhere delicious to eat. On the trip to Utah I got an invitation to join the Elite squad, AWESOME! I just heard back this morning and I am in. I am looking forward to attending some of the Elite events and checking out some great new (to me and Clay) places!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who is this Girl??

After my suitcase epiphany that I had a week or 2 ago I went back and was looking at old photos. These photos are not proudly placed around my house and there is a reason why. I was not happy with these photos, I was not happy with myself. These photos represent a time that I often avoided doing things because I was so uncomfortable with myself. I had let myself go, I gave up on the inner adventurer and fun lover and I was so embarrassed that I could let me down like that.

Mortified there was a photo like this, but now glad to have it to remind me how far I have come and that I never want to go back!

Still room for improvement, don't ever believe that you have achieved it all because then the only place to go is down. 1st race ever, climbing over a pile of old cars, covered in mud, and HAPPY!

I look so foreign to myself in this photo, this is when I just finished nursing school and started my job. I would not recognize this girl if I passed her on the street, and she is me.

Please let me be outdoors and moving!

This was about at my heaviest, not sure because I avoided the scale like it was the plague.

Amazing how losing about 25% of your body weight will lighten your load, both in your physique and most of all, in spirit. I love taking goofy photos now and I don't feel like everyone is staring at me.

A great hairdo and a dress can only go so far to make you feel pretty.

I look so tired and worn out at my heaviest, and now I look like I have tons of energy (sometimes that is true, sometimes it is not.)

Promise to self...Never again!!

Tribute to the many more races in the future (next is November), not having to hide photos anymore, and to feeling great and experiencing everything I can that this life has to offer. Bring it on!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Smoke Alarm

Thank goodness this hotel does not have a state of the art fire alarm system! Last night our smoking candle set off our in-room smoke detector and we scrambled to fan it and ran onto the balcony with the candle.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grubbin on some fro~yo

Cheers to the frozen yogurt. I mixed it up with vanilla, blueberry acai, strawberry banana, and pomegranate. I topped mine with the typical berries and kiwi and lots of granola. There were these strange balls that looked like caviar. They were similar to the boba in bubble tea but they burst and had flavored liquid inside. I had the passion fruit ones and they were tasty! I also had the honeydew mochi, yummy! Refueling accomplished.

Day 6 - Provo River Parkway hotel to Lake Utah

I headed out to the right from the hotel on the Provo River Parkway. The trail wound in and out of residential and commercial areas for about 1.5 miles then I ran into a detour.

This detour took me along a busy road in a bike path even under the busy interstate 15. It was an interesting experience but since I am not used to it I was a little apprehensive and I was very glad to get back into some residential communities. There were markings every 1/2 mile or so along the way to let you know that you were still on track.

I was hiking toward the lake and away from downtown Provo so I didn't notice the nasty rain clouds coming in from the mountains until I stopped to take the picture of some goats on the side of the road. At this point I figured I would keep going since I would definitely get soaked if I headed back the way I came.

It was the first day that I listened to my headphones while out and it sure made the time fly by. If you notice I do have the earbud out of the ear facing traffic, and my volume was very low.

This is where the detour ended and I was actually back on the Parkway.

It kept looking more and more ominous back toward the hotel. I just knew that I was going to end up soaked to the bone. It was about 5.5 miles out to the Lake which is the end, or beginning, of the trail depending on how you start. I was worried that at least 3 miles of the return trip would be in torrential rain.

Apparently it took me long enough to get to the lake and head back that they rains moved off in the distance. I caught maybe 50 rain drops on the way back but got to see 2 beautiful rainbows the whole return trip.

Then I went with Clay and stuffed myself silly on Mexican food and then frozen yogurt.

Day 5- Great Western and Lake Bonneville Shoreline Trails

I started this hike from South Fork Park outside Provo, UT. There were no signs but I think that I hopped on the Great Western Trail. It was a very remote trail and the path has areas that were barely perceptible. It was true exploration although I was a little nervous about running into a snake because the underbrush was so thick. Their grasshoppers here are very loud and sound some like a rattler when they are getting ready to fly so I was always checking my feet and hoping for the best.

Looking down on the park, you can just barely make out the white Yukon parked down there. It was a quick incline up the mountain and I was out of breath.

This part of the trail had caught back up with the river and was running almost parallel with it. The types of plants growing down here were a lot different. This thicket was low to the ground and I had to crouch down to get through it.

This is my new favorite plant. I am not sure what it is, I am guessing that it is some kind of thistle.

Warning: This next picture is gross but for the sake of science and curiosity I had to take a picture of it. I agree with Clay now that I should have used something to reference this dung's size, but all I had with me was my hands so I will estimate. This pile o' dung was approximately 10 inches long by 6 inches wide. What they heck poops like this???

It is amazing to see all these different shades of green in one place.

I was coming out of the trees into a clearing and saw the back of a sign (the first sign I had seen since entering the park.) I walked around it and to my surprise I had been trespassing all afternoon,YIKES! I am not a rule-breaker and I have to admit I was kinda freaked out, needless to say I headed back a ways where I had seen an access to the main road where I had driven into the park and hopped onto the main road to head back. No voluntary trespassing for me!

I did not let my worry over trespassing ruin my hiking lunch. I plopped down by the stream to enjoy a GIANT gingersnap cookie from Great Harvest. If you are not jealous, you should be because this was an awesome moment.

You see these lines of rock coming down all the mountains here. I got a closer look from the road. The larger formations at the top break of into smaller bits and just fall down the mountain leaving these lines. It sounds beautiful if you are standing there because this type of rock makes a "tink tink" sound almost like a wind chime as they bump into each other.

This is the view from the other side of the park, partially up the mountain looking down at the very green South Fork Park.

When I got back into the car from South Fork Park I traveled back to Nun's park and hit the Provo River Parkway again heading toward Bridal Veil Falls in search of the Bonneville Shoreline trail. I FOUND it!

This trail had a lot more elevation and climbed quickly. I couldn't wait to see the views after getting above the treeline!

Clay and I had seen this formation from the road but it looks so much more amazing up close.

There are a lot of trees hanging off the side of the mountains here that look like these. The dirt has been eroded and exposed the roots clinging onto the rock that was left behind.

Down below is the parking lot where our Yukon is parked. The road heading into the distance goes to Provo.

You can see how thin the trail is here. There are some crazy/brave mountain bikers that were tearing up the trail. I ran down the trail after getting lost at the top and I was worried that I wouldn't make it down before dark. I came around a corner and heard a biker coming up so I jumped off the trail to get out of the way and right into a tree, I hugged it while they passed then hopped back on the trail.

Back to my ride in Provo Canyon Glen Park just in time for sunset!