Monday, December 27, 2010


If you don't like the cold, I urge you to move along and not read this post because it's going to make you cold! We had planned on snowshoeing on Sunday, but Friday, as we drove through Ogden Valley on our way to my family's cabin for Christmas Eve festivities, we saw that Pineview Reservoir still had open water. It was right then and there that snowshoeing got put on the back burner, and our plan changed to kayaking.

The weather report called for possible rain/snow and 40˚ on the Wasatch Front, so we decided to go for it. A couple of years ago, we kayaked when it was right around 20˚so this was nothing. What we didn't expect was a full-on snowstorm up in the mountains. We were prepared though, with lots of layers, waterproof clothing, pogies to keep our hands warm and dry on the paddles, spray skirts, waterproof booties, and hot drinks back in the car. It snowed three inches while we were out on the water, making the drive home just as adventurous as the kayaking.

Our launch was unique. As we hauled our boats down the snow-covered beach to the water, I suggested to my husband to get in and just sled down the hill. He did, and plopped right into the water just like a penguin, then did it twice more just for fun. I followed suit, squealing all the way in, then we paddled around the small area of open water around us. On the edges, slush floated in the water, giving way to ice. It was, in a very, very trivial amount, a little Shackleton-esque, cracking through the ice and getting stuck here and there. The crackling ice noise was very disconcerting, and I can't imagine hearing that while not in a boat. It was creepy, to say the least. What follows are a few of our photos and a couple videos for our prosperity and hopefully your enjoyment (or astonishment at the two idiots kayaking in a snowstorm).

The Penguin Put-In

Crackling Ice Noise

That's me up there!

Monday, December 06, 2010


No words today, just some new photos and a hello.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The End

Zion Canyon
red road

The end of my second (traveling) season with the Forest Service couldn't have been more perfect. I had one last trip to make to Pine Valley Recreation Area in Dixie National Forest, so we made a long weekend out of it and stayed two nights in cozy Springdale, Utah right outside Zion National Park. We hiked, we soaked up the last of the late autumn sunshine, we ate good food, and we saw Zion like we'd never seen it before.

Usually when we venture down to the park, it's May, but this was our first time there in the fall, and I can say with 100% confidence that I never want to go again in May. Fall is the time to be in Zion. It was like seeing the place with new eyes. The autumn leaves were spectacular and I will happily trade summer wildflowers for buttery yellow cottonwood leaves any day.

We hiked to Scout Lookout together, and that's where I stop. My husband continued on to Angel's Landing for his fourth time on top, and as always, he says it was exhilarating. I sprawled out in the sunshine and wasted some film in my Great Wall and K1000 while I waited for him. I chatted with a few other hikers, shooed away about 20 chipmunks, and had a wonderful time just hanging out. There's always great people-watching at the lookout.

Taylor Creek Trail in the Kolob Canyons section of the park is on our must-hike list when we go to Zion, and hike it we did. The sun was out but it was windy and cold, but it couldn't have been nicer. There was snow on the ground here and there, and we saw lots of deer tracks and a few other critters. This trail, just like all others in Zion, is one where you can't help but trip all over yourself because you're constantly trying to look up at the canyon walls. The scenery is stunning, jaw-dropping. Just like the rest of Zion. A fitting end to another great season.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Hey, look who it is! I got new specs and got to cross #12 off my list. They pretty much look just like my old ones. Happy Friday!

Monday, November 08, 2010

I (Kind of) Really Heart Boise


I was at work last Thursday morning, you know - working, when I got an e-mail that made me really excited. I got the go-ahead to fly up to Boise, Idaho that very afternoon for a quick, end-of-the-season day in the field. I rushed home to book the flight and hotel, do laundry, pack, and have lunch with my husband, then off to Boise I went. This was the third trip there for me in four months, and I'm really starting to fall in love with the place. What? Boise? I know, but it's really cool!

I got into town Thursday at dinnertime and took a smokey cab to the hotel, where my only goal was to get myself caught up on perusing the 'Roid Week pool. I did that and was blown away by the quality of work I saw (I think this was the best 'Roid Week ever), then worked on some of my own Polaroids, readying them for posting. I talked to my husband for a while, then turned on the dreaded television. We watch a lot of stuff on Netflix and a couple shows on Hulu, but our actual TV is not even plugged in, so TV is like crack for me. I watched really horrible shows until 2 o'clock in the morning! I'm usually fast asleep by 10! But really, the first night away from home, I don't sleep anyway, so what better way to waste it than by watching trash on television? I knew you'd see my point.

I woke up a mere three hours after I finally turned off the tube, and at 7, my swanky government fleet vehicle ride appeared and we headed out on Highway 55 to Boise National Forest so I could shoot a couple cabins and a guard station. There was fog, snow on the road, a pink outhouse, wolf tracks, frost, giant puddles, a mustard-colored couch, door locks that were smarter than us, outhouse portraits, a fire crew, slash piles a-flame, cinnamon pine cones, Ponderosa pine-sniffing, downtown U-turns, a car wash, hot-as-hell Flying Pie jalapeno pizza, ice cold beer, and really good company. Saturday afternoon I flew home, and here I am missing Boise and wishing for more field days there with cool people.

'Roid Week Rocks

As much as I hate to admit it, I think I've resigned to posting in this space once a month. Several times a week, I think "Hey, I should update my blog" but then I get busy with other things and forget. I've had a busy month, both with work and play. We've had a lot of family time, a lot of Netflix-watching in bed, and a lot of cooking going on. There's been a little pumpkin-carving with the neighbors and some concert-going too. It's been a lovely month really, just a little too busy for my taste.

The great thing about this past month is that just last week was 'Roid Week 2010! Five wonderful days of Polaroid. I shot quite a bit between two different photo outings with friends and my quick trip to Boise, and seeing all of my Polaroids (38 of them!) just makes me so happy for the future of instant film. Here are a few of my favorites from the week...

impossible to resist

Polaroid Padawan



And to stretch the Polaroid fun just a little longer, Words to Shoot By featured it this week. Go on over and check out some amazing work.

Monday, October 11, 2010



What a wonderful weekend it was. We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights with different friends, catching up, playing games, eating great food. I wanted nothing more than to spend time in the kitchen Saturday, so I made a to-die-for meatloaf (I hate that word!) and a big pan of herbed roasted veggies. For dessert, I made a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting all from scratch. (I'll post the recipes soon on Budding Foodie. And finally, we picked the last of our produce from the garden yesterday afternoon and had a lovely, lengthy chat over the fence with our neighbors. Perfection.

Switching gears, over on my lil' photo collaboration blog, Words to Shoot By, we've got an open call for entries this go-round. Head on over there and check it out.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

With tomorrow being the first day of fall, and the fact that I haven't posted practically all summer, I thought I'd let you in on what I did during my summer vacation. (Vacation?! Ha!)

our new space
relaxed on our awesome new deck

Hickman Bridge
road-tripped to Capitol Reef, this time with friends

the photographer
went on a nerdy photo outing with my favorite nerdy photo pal

shaved asparagus pizza
learned to love asparagus, thanks to this delish pizza

huckleberry sodas
remembered how much I love ice cream sodas, which then became a staple at Pie Sundays

sang and hippie-danced in the mountains at Targhee Fest

spent a week in Boise National Forest

snapped up my dad's extra season ticket at several Ogden Raptors games, thanks Dad!

spent a week in Yellowstone, the Tetons, and surrounding forests

juniperus scopulorum
hiked to Jardine Juniper, after much too long of a hiatus

finally developed a love for beer!

Bennett's Rock Rapid
got soaked on the Main Fork of the Payette on our first whitewater rafting trip

kayaked, camped, and lazed about for days at Payette Lake

cotton candy
trekked many a day into the field for the Forest Service

took our 3rd trip to Capitol Reef this year, and picked the most delicious apples

saw Mono Lake's Tufa Towers through my own lens

Monday, September 20, 2010

100 Things I Love*

1. stationery
2. winter beanies
3. snowflakes
4. kitchen stores
5. old wooden canoes and oars
6. lake swimming
7. beaches
8. SmartWool socks
9. screen-printed tea towels
10. woodcut prints
11. internet shopping
12. rain
13. crunchy leaves
14. Pie Sundays
15. Polaroids
16. typography
17. white serving dishes
18. woodsmoke
19. outdoor concerts
20. the smell of sunblock
21. craftsman cottages
22. hemp
23. bookstores
24. Sunset
25. kayaking
26. Post-it notes
27. hockey games
28. corn on the cob
29. chile verde
30. rain chains
31. crushed red pepper
32. graphic design
33. long aimless drives
34. felted bowls
35. crisp new sheets
36. rocks
37. vintage Yellowstone postcards
38. coffee shops
39. owls
40. city skylines
41. jam bands
42. rainbow chip frosting
43. food magazines
44. colorful tents
45. bluegrass
46. jute
47. cartoons my husband draws
48. trail mix
49. towering sycamores
50. Rummy
51. Oregon
52. the Brooklyn Bridge
53. ferry rides
54. people-watching
55. flying
56. Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk
57. Ponderosa pines
58. whistle pigs
59. bulldogs
60. cooking
61. a candle burning inside a jack-o-lantern
62. down jackets
63. cilantro
64. maps
65. dill pickles
66. my grandma's laugh (oh, how I miss it)
67. swaying in a hammock
68. the Matterhorn
69. streusel
70. luggage
71. square photos
72. cinnamon rolls
73. the smell of darkroom chemicals
74. hurricane lanterns
75. vintage glass fishing floats
76. totem poles
77. onions in my eggs
78. pasta salad
79. old cameras
80. sea stacks
81. wide open landscapes
82. meandering rivers
83. yarn
84. the color orange
85. cupcakes
86. mason jars
87. apricot beer
88. homemade granola
89. mixed media
90. Western literature
91. Dole pineapple whips
92. onion bagels with scallion cream cheese
93. Airstream trailers
94. stargazing
95. greenhouses
96. misty harbor towns
97. cobblestone streets
98. trolleys
99. rosemary
100. strings of white lights

*inspired (of course) by the always amazing Andrea, and also by Juli, who reminded me that I wanted to compile this list.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Snake #2

I had been on the dirt, but decent, Stolle Meadows Road in Boise National Forest for only a half mile when I decided that I'd eat lunch on the beach at Warm Lake when I was done with my work, which consisted of driving five miles in to Stolle Meadows Cabin, photographing it, and driving back out. Easy enough, right? Uh huh.

About a mile past the cabin, the road is under construction, and since the spur road to the cabin was not signed, I missed it and headed right into the mess. If you've ever been on a dirt road that's under construction, you know it's not a pretty sight. Heavy, heavy machinery and dump trucks were running constantly, creating big ruts and dust so thick it was like a white-out when they'd rumble past. The dirt in the area was more like silt, or very, very fine sand. Several times I'd pull over to the side and wince as they'd cruise past me, and then I'd have to sit for a couple minutes and wait for the dust to clear so I could see again.

I knew I'd gone too far. As I was waiting for an earth-mover to do just that, I jumped out and went to ask a contractor for directions. After exchanging pleasantries, I asked "Where in the hell is Stolle Meadows Cabin?" He chuckled and was very kind when he pointed across the meadow and said I'd missed it. I thanked him, got back in the car and waited for the earth-moving, turned around and headed back. A half dozen double dump trucks had passed through in the 15 minutes I was there, and the ruts were enormous now. The largest was over a foot deep. I had to psych myself up to drive through it because I was about four inches short on clearance. When I got up the nerve (and saw a dump truck coming up behind me) I hit the gas and silt flew up over my hood just like in Subaru commercials when they drive through fresh deep powder. I made it through just fine, and to be honest, I felt kind of cool.

Long story short, I made it to the cabin after having to ask someone else for directions too, shot some photos, and headed back out. I reached Warm Lake over an hour after my "I'm eating lunch at Warm Lake" declaration, and was starved. Camera bag on one shoulder, peanut butter sandwich in one hand, water in the other, I walked down a trail to a quiet(ish) spot and as I went to step on a rock at water's edge, a giant black water snake slithered out of the grass. I screamed and jumped (of course I did), and quickly noticed I had many witnesses. I just shook my head, smiled to myself, and walked further down the trail to a dirt spot NOT surrounded by grass. I ate standing up just in case I had slithering visitors.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Good things come to those who wait. Better late than never. A journey of 1,000 miles (or 10.4) begins with one step. All of these quotes come to mind as I try to begin this happy post. I'm a year late making the journey to Jardine Juniper (#31 on last year's list), but we did it yesterday, all 10.4 miles of it, and I was elated. I practically skipped down the last quarter-mile of trail to the tree, and once we reached the trailhead after we were done, I ran to the car, arms outstretched zombie-like, chanting "Gatorade. Gatorade." Thank goodness we'd left a cooler of the fruity, ice cold electrolytes in the car.

The trail was beautiful as ever and didn't seem nearly as long as I remembered. Maybe it was the excitement of seeing the tree after a four or five year hiatus, or it was the thought of crossing the most difficult item off my birthday list, or it was the simple fact that I was out on the trail with my husband, my best friend, and the most patient hiking companion I could ask for. Whatever the reason, it was one of the best days all summer, and a great way to begin August. After encountering only four hikers, five mountain bikers, and a handful of squirrels, chipmunks, and one little lizard, we reached the mighty 3,200-year old tree perched on the side of a cliff above Logan Canyon in Northern Utah. Peanut butter sandwiches, apples, grapes, and raw almonds were devoured as we basked in the sunshine on the deck. I was overjoyed, and I'm happy to report that with the photo below, #31 is officially crossed off.

Monday, July 12, 2010



Just stopping by to report that I am now five whole days into my 365-ish project and I haven't missed a day yet. Hip hip hooray. This one is from this morning, a beautiful place called Moon Lake in the Uintas in Eastern Utah. Before I headed out this morning, I came a cross a new iPhone app called Lo-Mob that I couldn't resist. $1.99 for fake Polaroids. Yep, that's right. This is a faux Polaroid. I wish it were real, but I don't even think I have any b/w peel apart left. Anyway, Moon Lake. It was my kind of campground. The road was paved all the way to and through the site. There were flush toilets. There was soap in the bathroom. There was a lake. There were more lodgepole pines than I could shake a stick at. This place had it all, and I've got to go back with my husband and my kayak.

Friday, July 09, 2010



Patchwork farmland gave way to junipers today, then scrub oaks, aspens, white pines, and finally above-treeline wildflowers. My evening gave way to homemade raspberry ice cream on the front porch.

(I'm already seeing a problem with this 365-ish thing. I have this freakish obsession with keeping my Flickr photostream completely organized in order of how I shoot things, and this project blows that all to hell. I will learn to deal with it, I will. I've got about 20 Polaroids to post from the past two weeks yet here I am posting a current one from just an hour ago. Oh well. The important thing is that here I am on Day 2... at least I haven't gotten behind already!)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Decision

a new adventure - july.8

Wow. Believe it or not, two posts in two days! I had a lot of time to ponder a new project for myself today, and I've come to a slightly hesitant but excited decision. I had a field day in beautiful Logan Canyon today, where the 8-hour/234-mile trip was punctuated by thirty glorious minutes in the sunshine at gorgeous Tony Grove Lake, where I realized how much I loved contributing to the very lovely habit and decided that if I were to do a 52 weeks project or even a (gulp) 365 days project, it would need to be loosely based upon habit's principles. When I participated there in May, it truly did become a "habit" for me to shoot one photo of any moment of my day, and write a short sentence or two about that particular time or the day as a whole. It was exciting and challenging and quite comfortable all at once, and I've missed it these past weeks. So, I think that's what I'm going to do for a while and I'm ready to commit. I'll still keep up on all the other stuff I do as well and yeah I know, like I really need another thing on my plate, but lately I feel like I need this. So here we go. This is Day 1 of what I'm unofficially calling "365-ish". Wish me luck. (Here's the set on Flickr where I'll be posting everything.)

Oh. And so my thought for the day:

I saw my first snake in the field today and screamed like a little girl and yes, several people heard me and saw me spaz out.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Track Record


Last year I had such a great track record for keeping this space updated but this year, I've completely dropped the ball. I can't believe it's almost been a month since I posted last. I've got to come up with a way to stay current! Maybe I need to do a 52 Weeks project or something. Hmm. I'll give that a thought.

Catching up... It's July 7 and I'm wondering how that happened. I've been working like mad, cooking up a storm, enjoying the new deck, playing any chance I get, hanging out with the neighbors, and relaxing a fair amount too. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it, but my contract with the Forest Service was extended this season, so I've been on the road quite a bit since May, photographing campgrounds, cabins and guard stations for again. I've already been on 11 trips so far and I've shot over 300 new images for the website just this season. And as usual when out on the road, I take a few other cameras with me so I've made a lot of Polaroids (including the one up top made in Pine Valley, Utah) and shot two rolls in my K1000. I've kind of put on the brakes with my remaining Polaroid stash and I flip flop almost weekly from using it slowly to burning straight through it. I've got enough to last me about another year if I use it at the same rate I have been, but I've definitely got more space in my fridge lately. I just hope the still-in-development color stuff from The Impossible Project will knock my socks off!

I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen lately, and I just love it. I've been trying to cull new recipes for my food blog, Budding Foodie. I've got a list of eight new recipes to share there, so I hope you'll click over. It's been a fun blog to maintain, and a very exciting project for me. When I first got married, I really hated cooking, but something changed about five years ago and ever since then, I've gotten so much more comfortable in the kitchen, and just this past weekend, I considered buying an apron. That ought to tell you how often I'm cooking. We've spent a lot of wonderful recent evenings on the deck and the front porch with plates or bowls of fresh vegetables, pastas, salads, and desserts in front of us.

Oh! And as I'm writing, I realize I can cross #3 and #15 off my birthday list. This past weekend, my husband taught me the workings of the grill and I made chipotle peach chicken and potatoes one night, and pizza the next. All on the grill! And as of mid-June, our garden is elevated and planted with pumpkins, tomatillos, tomatoes, jalapenos, zucchini, and strawberries. Inside, I've got cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, chives, and rosemary growing in pots. It's a green, growing summer!

I hope you've all had a lovely summer so far and a very happy Fourth. I hope I've still got readers after all this time away. I hope to be back very soon with some sort of a posting schedule. Lately if it's not on my calendar, it won't happen. Here's to sandals, sunblock, homemade ice cream, fresh berries, and beach towels.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our New Space

Last summer, we talked about stripping and re-staining our little deck off the back of the house. This past February, we dreamed a little bigger and had my cousin come tear it down instead. After a snowstorm or two, I met with the most amazing deck builders ever, Mike and Larry Beeson, a father-son team and friends of my dad's and experts at their craft. In late March, they staked out the project, dug a few holes, poured some cement, and it snowed again. Another few weeks passed, and in between snow and rainy days, the deck began to take shape. Week by week, the redwood pergola was stained, the electricity wired, the sprinklers reworked, the fans installed, and finally the Trex was nailed into place. We finally had a deck! That first night, with no furniture yet, I sat on the deck with my Polaroid SLR 680 and some ice cream. The following Monday, my patio furniture arrived and I assembled it all the next day, and the dining table and chairs the day after that. I worked the entire next day out on the love seat, laptop on the table, a stack of papers weighed down under my phone. It was glorious. We had our first breakfast out there last Sunday, and had the neighbors over for Pie Sunday that night. I couldn't stop smiling. The Roman shades were installed Monday, as well as strings of small clear globe lights. Tuesday night I cooked dinner for a friend and we sat outside for a couple hours, delightfully shaded from the warm evening sun in our beautiful new outdoor room. A few finishing touches remain on my part, things like installing a new screen door and potting some decorative grasses and foliage here and there, and moving my herbs outside finally. They've been holed up on the kitchen table since March. All in all, it's ridiculously exciting and beautiful, and I can't stop admiring our new space.

I came home Wednesday evening from work to find the boys hard at work elevating my garden and doing some last minute sprinkler work. They are truly amazing, these men. My backyard and my dad's front, back, and side yards are a testament to their craftsmanship and hard work. Mike called Thursday to let me know that my garden was ready for planting and they'd be back Monday to finish the rest of the project. I finally have the backyard I've been dreaming about for over a year, despite thinking all I needed was to re-stain my tiny former deck. Tomorrow, I'm heading to the nursery for plants, then flexing my green thumb in my lovely new elevated garden. I've got some pretty Evening Sun sunflowers to plant as well, and then I'll turn on the sprinklers and look around smiling. I think we'll have dinner out there every night next week. Fresh salads and pasta, and maybe even some ice cream.

And with all of this gushing about how cool my new backyard is, I am now crossing #5 off my list, with #15 soon to follow. Yay! I'm sure I'll have many more photos to share of the space as the weather warms and the finishing touches are completed.