What not to say to your self who’s been nursing a sick kid to health all week

From the draft folder, October 22, 2012. Some men never learn. 

Hadley has finally turned the corner from Strep and and fingers are crossed this particular plague has passed by without infecting the rest of us.

By Thursday, I was going out-of-my-mind with cabin fever, particularly since it was the last week before school and talk about a less-than-optimal way to spend it.

I blurted out to Jamie. “I am sooooo BORED!”

What men don’t understand is women need to vent and don’t necessarily need the problem fixed. Jamie offered a solution.

“You could try cleaning the house.”

Looking for rainbows

From the draft folder: May 8, 2015. I’m dedicating this to my Grandpa Wilde because it would have been his birthday today.

Denver lies within a semi-arid, continental climate zone so anytime it rains more than one day in a row, it feels like we’ve been plunked down in the middle of the Amazon. I’ve lost track of how many days it has rained, which has put a serious dent in Bode’s soccer season, not to mention my mountain adventures but I’ve been so busy I’m glad I haven’t been tempted to play.

On Thursday night, I was helping the kids with their homework when I happened to glance out the window and saw this:

It’s rained for week and this is the first rainbow I’ve noticed. Note to self: Look up more. Life happens when you slow down to enjoy it.

As much as I miss the sun, you won’t hear any complaints from me; after a dry winter, we desperately needs the moisture. Dear Colorado: It sure would have been nice to have Said Moisture in the form of snow during ski season. Please plan accordingly for 2015/16.

For Mother’s Day weekend, it’s supposed to rain, rain, rain with a possibility of snow.

We’re Moab-bound to the land of sun, desert, mountain biking, hiking and 65-degree temperatures–talk about the ultimate Mother’s Day gift. Have a great weekend!

The torture chamber of puss

I was cleaning out my drafts folder and came upon this beauty from October 27, 2015 that was never published. For obvious reasons. Poor Bode!


I’ll admit it: I have an affinity for popping pimples. It’s genetic, you know. Every time I go home, if anyone has any semblance of a zit, they’re immediately attacked. Many say you shouldn’t pop them and I don’t…unless they’re big, pussy and have a personal conversation with me, which happens a lot.

I had typical teenage acne but when you’re a zit-obsessed family, you go for the juggler. My mom submitted me to not one but two rounds of Acutane, which cleared out my face (and everything else) forever. I still get the occasional rogue breakout but rarely. Whenever I get a facial, the esthetician always cleans out my  blackheads, except they call it “extraction,” which I suppose is a more professional way to refer to popping zits. But the result is still the same: pure, unadulterated joy.

So, imagine my angst to have an entire playground of puss on my daughter’s face and she won’t let me go anywhere near it. For the most part, I’ve learned to look away except for those rare moments when I’m massaging her hair during church and a pimple literally jumps out at me from her hairline. What am I supposed to do? Attack or ignore it?  Definitely the former, and since we’re in a reverent, public place she can’t react like a banshee and I go back to massaging her hair and all is forgotten.

Last week was picture day at school, the one day of the year when I actually insist the kids look quasi-presentable. Fourth grader Bode came down decked out in a stylin’ outfit I bought from Nordstrom Rack and I almost sent him on his way until I saw it: his first zit. And it wasn’t just any pimple, but the grandmother of whiteheads square in the middle of his chin.

I’ll admit I squealed for joy and dragged him into the bathroom. He was unimpressed. “Bode, normally I wouldn’t care [oh, the lie] but it’s picture day and you can’t have this huge zit on your face. You can either have me pinch it or do it yourself.”

Here’s the thing about Bode: If there was a Richter scale for lack of pain tolerance, he would be a 10,000. It literally took us hours one night to pull a dangling tooth, and the only reason we were insistent was because we were doing a photo shoot the next day for The Broadmoo’s Ranch at Emerald Valley and we couldn’t have him looking like Billy Bob.

Bode wanted nothing to do with the zit popping but tentatively pinched. Nothing. “You have to go a bit harder,” I tenderly coaxed, like the Model Masochist Mother that I am. He tried again. Nada.

The bus was coming so I took over. It didn’t go well. Though I’m well-versed in the art of painless pimpling, this bugger was stubborn and it took me several attempts, by which time Bode was furious as the tears streamed down his face. “I’m so sorry, it’s not usually that difficult,” I consoled him. Even though I knew he was being melodramatic, I felt badly that he felt badly. He blew past me ignoring my attempts at our usual hug and a kiss and stormed to the bus.

I’m bracing  myself for the result of his pictures. Puffy eyes. A red sore on his chin. And a dagger-like glare “my mother made me do it.”

It’s all part of making memories.

Small Town Livin’ Updates

I’ve never lived in a small town. Sure, I went to college in Rexburg, ID and served as a missionary in several small villes in France and Switzerland but it’s just not the same. I find it rather humorous that when I was single, I was the PR rep for a popular musician who lives in the Heber Valley…and I remember thinking “why on earth would anyone ever live out there?”

Park City has many of the amenities of a big city (Home Depot, Walmart, numerous franchises) so it’s been interesting to adapt to our little hamlet with a population of just 4,000.

A few observations thus far:

  • The mountains, views and sunrises. When we sat on our front porch one evening before we moved in, it was complete stillness and peace under a blanket of stars. It took me exactly 20 seconds to get used to it.
  • Whenever I hear Salt Lake City’s traffic reports, I give a little chuckle of gratitude and am SO glad I don’t have to deal with that on a daily basis.
  • There are very few radio stations out here so KPCW public radio in Park City has become my go-to station in the mornings. I love all the evidences of small-town life including their lost and found reports.
  • There are a few private Facebook groups for the Heber Valley that crack me up on a daily basis as people sell, swap and ask any question under the sun. Takeaway: people in small towns are ready to help their neighbors. And sometimes get snippy with them, too.
  • The kids’ recreation guide included gems like “hunter safety, concealed weapons class and wilderness circuit rodeo finals.
  • Bode’s teacher “rodeos” and she was absent from class because her husband won the lottery…for a sought-after hunting permit.
  • Bode missed the competitive soccer tryouts and by fifth grade, most kids are playing competitive. We’ve found out why on his rec team this year. Some of these boys have never played before (which is fine) but our frustration is the league’s horrid policies on rules…as in they don’t enforce them. Offside? No problem. Let’s teach kids to cherry-pick. You’ve stepped three feet over the line for a throw-in? Throw away! I’m surprised how much it has bugged me. I don’t expect perfection but my gosh, can we please teach the kids how to play soccer?  The good news is not only was Bode the oldest but he was the superstar of the team–he scored more goals this season than he did the last few years combined in our city league. It’s been great for his confidence but not his skills. Better luck next season!


  • We were given a stipend from our builder for our front lawn so we immediately hired someone to do the sprinklers and sod. The problem was there was no grass to be found this late in the season so we are lucky enough to be the only house in the neighborhood who will have a mucky lawn all winter.
  • There are so many things we need to buy for this house in order to truly fit–cabinets for the laundry room and garage, an end table, lamp, rug and an addition to our too-small couch (that’s just the tip of the iceberg) but my top priority has been getting these kids skiing. We can’t afford season passes this year so are biting the bullet to do the skiing through our rec program. For just $350/kid, they get six weeks of half-day ski lessons and passes to Sundance Ski Resort and transportation up there. There goes our entire budget but really, all I want for Christmas is to get these kids of ours on the slopes.
  • Juggling my new job with Mosaico Travel along with all my other gigs has kicked my can. The good news is it’s been baptism by fire and I’ve been literally thrown into their busy Christmas travel season.
  • I look forward to life calming down a bit so I can actually get out and explore this glorious place we get to call home. Soon, right?

Our first Utah soiree

We had so many wonderful neighbors help unload our PODs that I wanted to thank them sooner than later…so concocted an informal caramel apple dipping soiree for FHE. It was fun, casual and oh-so delicious.

Now, when I say “informal,” I mean it. We had only been in the house for five days, had been hanging the insulation all morning (horrid) and our big farm table was camped in the garage because it was too big to fit through our front door. My mother-in-law was reupholstering our chairs (read: nothing to sit on), our accent chair wasn’t finished yet and we had a gazillion other projects. Bonus: We finally got the table into the kitchen at the last minute.


In Amber’s words: “MEEEEEEE!”

It was so fun to have the Seversons, Frisbys, Collettes and Noonans as our first official guests. I made five batches of caramel, which is a nice way of saying we’ll be eating caramel for weeks (a.k.a. winning).

Bode had a blast with his buddies Cole, Andrew, Charlie, Jonas and Eli while Hadley and Zoe?

I think they had more fun than any of us.

A shift in direction

I’ve felt a changing in the winds regarding my career for a while now. So much has evolved in the blogosphere from The Early Days. Blogging was about story- and truth-telling…about making real online connections. Now in the days of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. it’s not about great writing, it’s about a quick fix. The Instagram stars are the beautiful people who give a snapshot of their beautiful life with beautiful pictures.

When we decided to move to Utah, I knew I wanted to shift out of that space. My first love has always been writing about travel. My jobs after college were as a publicist for SkiUtah and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort as I worked with travel writers from across the country. I was the travel editor for a local magazine for a number of years and freelanced as a writer for a national travel publication distributed by the Utah Travel Council. I reconnected with both of these magazines upon moving here. The first was eager for me to contribute; the second was in the process of disbanding because the UTC had recently decided to dissolve their print publications, a huge mistake in my opinion. Much of the world has switched online but there is still a place for print.

While in Park City limbo, I was frustrated because I wanted to delve into my next path but didn’t have the time to pursue anything (driving kids 25+ hours/week will do that). It’s funny because life seems to happen when you least expect it.

Last February, we were at our Johnson Family Reunion at Estes Park when my sister-in-law Tammy casually mentioned I should connect her friend, Erynn, who ran a popular family travel blog, Tropic of Candycorn, and travel company. Erynn and I started following each other’s social media accounts and planned to meet when we moved to Utah early-summer. And then our move was delayed.  When we finally arrived here in August, Tammy invited us to her famous outdoor move night so I pinged Erynn to see if she’d be there…and we met. That woman makes me look like a homebody and has lived around the world with her husband and four kids.

Photo: Erynn’s Clan at Mashpi Eco Lodge

A couple of weeks later, she contacted me to see if I’d be interested in a part-time operations position with Mosaico Travel Services and I started this week! Essentially, I’ll be arranging custom travel for their high-end  (A-list and celebrity) clients to Central and South America and Antarctica. I’ll be doing operations and travel writing to start, with the hope of moving into sales once I learn the business and as they expand globally. And yes, travel will hopefully be involved.

I’ll be working from home, the hours are flexible so I’ll still be able to juggle Mile High Mamas and other freelance positions.

I’m super excited and the kids are, too; I caught Hadley googling “Five star hotels in South America.”  That girl is setting herself up for a lifetime of disappointments when reality hits but here’s to a fun new adventure!

A frightfully fun haunted hotel memory

I was doing a write-up last week on Denver’s haunted hotels and happened upon our fun frightmare at the Curtis Hotel back in 2013. Shamefully, I never blogged about it here so thought I’d republish. Enjoy!

After a while, Halloween memories start to blur together. Dress up, trick-or-treat, gorge on candy. Lather, rinse, repeat. But last weekend, my family experienced a Halloween event we will never forget. We attended the Nightmare on Curtis Street at the Curtis – A DoubleTree by Hilton. Each year during the month of October, the Curtis Hotel in downtown Denver, Colorado transforms its 13th floor into a haunted house for a most memorable Halloween.

Curtis – A Doubletree Hotel

This family-friendly, pop-culture hotel is dedicated to all things quirky. Case in point: last summer’s pop-up, inflatable room that rose 22 feet in the air.

The hallway of each of the 16 floors boasts a different theme, like One-hit Wonders, Big Hair, and Dance. The playful lobby hosts impromptu hula hoop contests and offers board games for check-out as well as a small book-filled library.

The 13th floor’s theme is Horror. I’m not the ghost-hunting type and at ages 7 and 9, neither are my kids. I’d think twice about staying somewhere that claimed to be legitimately haunted but I took a gamble that my family would love Nightmare on Curtis Street.

Eerie elevator operator at the Curtis Hotel's Nightmare on Curtis Street

The 13th Floor

Upon check-in in the late afternoon, the 13th floor’s transformation was already underway. We walked through hallways dripping in cobwebs and filled with creepy decorations. A fidgeting fake rat was caught in trap while a macabre black cat plotted his next move. An unearthly motorized Carol Anne from Poltergeist alternately stared at us and a television. Redrum “murder” was scrawled on our bathroom mirror and our sink was teaming with plastic spiders. The kids were curious but not overly freaked out.

After dinner in the nearby Larimer Square, one of Denver’s hippest and most delicious areas, the sun had set and we were ready to continue our spooky staycation. At the Curtis we found a cadaverous woman guarding the lobby elevator. “This elevator is only going to the 13th floor,” she announced.

Nightmare on Curtis Street at the Curtis Hotel in Denver, Colorado

We timidly boarded. When the blood-lined elevator doors opened, the 13th floor had come to life; or had converted to the death zone. A sinister-looking lady was serving treats and shots…in the head. Ghoulish characters roamed the hallway but none were more unsettling than a perma-grin clown and two ghostly little girls. We interacted with them all and squealed as we dodged around the cobwebs, finding refuge in our hotel room.

“I’ll give each of you a dollar if you run to the end of the hall all by yourself,” my husband announced to the kids. My daughter, Hadley, was the courageous first, reluctantly followed by her little brother, Bode. They quickly realized it was all in great fun and this was the impetus to a hilarious night.

Our hotel neighbors got into the spirit of the event too. At one point, I heard a man recoil in fear as he screamed, “Someone is coming out of the room. It’s so hideous!”

It was cherubic-cheeked Bode.

Then, there was a knock on our hotel room door.

Creepy playdate at Nightmare on Curtis Street

Creepy play date at Nightmare on Curtis Street

When my daughter opened the door she found a strange character had stopped by, perhaps for a play date from hell.

When the kids returned from their haunted hallway adventure, Hadley cried, “Dad, why didn’t you open the door? Couldn’t you hear us screaming?”

My husband just grinned, relishing it all and said, “Yup.”

And then there was The Clown.

Creepy clown at the Curtis Hotel's haunted Halloween event

This won’t give him nightmares, right?

Murder Mystery Solved

To wind down, we headed to the lobby to check out Clue, the murder mystery deduction game. The kids had never played before and they loved trying to solve the mystery of who done it, with what, and where, as their game pieces moved from room to room in the board game’s mansion.

Our findings? It was the Clown. With the revolver. At the Curtis Hotel‘s Nightmare on Curtis Street.


Side note: The next day at church, Bode was coloring as usual. What wasn’t usual was when he later handed me his artwork…and it was all black squiggles with the repeated phrase “I’M NOT SAFE.”

The good news is he didn’t need therapy.

One Week Move-in-anniversary

I’m writing this blog post on Saturday, October 15, 2016. One week ago today we unloaded our PODs and officially moved into our house the following Tuesday. Life has been a whirlwind for 10 months but nothing (except for when we moved from Colorado) has been more exhausting than the last seven days. I injured my good knee running down the Mid-Mountain Trail so I’ve been hobbling around on two sore knees because the pace of unpacking and getting organized has been unrelenting. I’ve been too busy to be homesick for Denver and that is a good thing. In Utah’s mountains, September hits in glorious full force but by October, the fall colors are winding down and, though the temperatures are still mild in the 60s, winter is knocking on the door. October in Denver was my favorite month of the year and I’m trying not to think about it.

What I want to remember about this week:

Last Saturday.

We unloaded the PODs. We were so grateful to have several men from the Elder’s Quorum at church come help as well as friends and family. We took about two hours to unload and thanks to my friend Sarah and Jamie’s mom Linda, we were able to unpack the kitchen that afternoon. Having a mostly functional kitchen is my first step in feeling at home; Jamie’s is apparently hooking up the TVs because that’s how he spent most of his time. #Priorities.

Friends Lori and Robert come to help that afternoon and drive with Jamie to Park City to pickup our large farm table, only to realize it doesn’t fit through our front door. Yay. Need to either take off the door or remove the legs so it has been housed in our garage.

Bode has been missing our Denver life like crazy. We flew Hadley to Utah for Girl’s Camp last summer so she had an instant network of friends but Bode has been slower to make connections. My heart was so full to see neighborhood boys flock to our house to hang out…and they’ve continued to knock on our door every day to invite him to play.

Early evening, we drove back to Park City to sleep in the townhome for the next few nights. Bode and I hot-tubbed under the stars, a memorable wind-down to a memorable two months.


Drove back to Midway for church, enjoyed meeting a lot of new people at our ward’s “Linger Longer” after church with root beer floats and super friendly people. I looooove how inclusive our new ward is and we’re already making a lot of friends.

Day II of Operation Declutter the House. Our goal was to dig out the beds and find the sheets. Mostly successful but the amount of boxes everywhere was still overwhelming. Bunked in Park City. Hot-tubbed to soak our sore muscles, relishing every last drop.


After driving to Midway and dropping off the kids for school, I spent the day unpacking our bedrooms, working with the Dish Network guy (who was from my mom’s hometown Raymond) and a gazillion other miscellaneous projects. Tried not to have a sore attitude about the Master Bedroom, the room I hate the most in the house (it’s so small we can’t fit both dressers and the closet is such a joke I have nowhere to put my shoes or laundry basket). Master plan once we finish the basement is for Bode and Hadley to move downstairs and we’ll knock out the closet into Bode’s current room to give us more space. My only consolation of the Master bedroom? This view.

We’d planned to move in by Wednesday but I announced to Jamie the house might be functional enough to sleep in by Tuesday night.


Jamie drove the kids to school while I stayed at the townhome in Park City to finish packing and cleaning. What I thought would take a couple of hours took six and I was so exhausted by the end of it, that I rewarded myself with my mushroom bisque obsession from Cafe Zupas. And then unloaded and unpacked everything once I arrived at our house. Moving sucks!

I’ve missed the majority of Bode’s soccer season due to the insane amount of driving I’ve been doing but was delighted to take in his final game where his team won and he scored a hat trick. The advantage of missing competitive try-outs and being the oldest on your rec league team: superstar! 

That night before bed, we stood out on the deck marveling at the stars and the twilight outline of the mountains. We were home!


Got the kids out the door on time fed and mostly clothed. Hailed that glorious thing called THE NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL bus after surviving 160+ hours shuttling the kids back and forth from Park City. The house is total chaos with the landscaping crew digging out our front yard’s sprinkler system and the basement under construction. Our house has three very small bedrooms upstairs so we hired a great local contractor, Jordan, to finish two rooms in the basement: Hadley’s bedroom and Jamie’s den. By Wednesday, he already had the two rooms framed. Progress!

Finished unpacking the majority of the main level and cleaned up all the clutter so the house looked almost presentable! My friend Lori came to help setup Bode’s bed and tackle the disastrous basement by setting up shelves. I worked long into the night and posted this on Facebook:

“Our neighbors unloaded their PODs on the same day as us and I spotted the sweet wife yesterday. She: 1) Parked her car in the garage (where is all their crap?) 2) Already has her house decorated for Halloween and 3) Took a shower. #AreTheseUtahnsForReal?”  I didn’t post that to criticize; I was merely in awe.

We don’t have a table, chairs, washer or dryer hooked up and a million other things…but you can rest easily knowing the pumpkin patch/greenhouse was being prepped.


Electrician finished up on the two rooms in the basement. $#&*$# builder didn’t install an electrical panel big enough to support any other outlets so we had to replace the whole thing (another unbudgeted $1,000 down the tubes). Worked my arse off to finish organizing the basement into five areas: cold storage, regular storage room, great room storage, den/Hadley’s crafting space and home theater room. It will be a while until we can afford to finish the entire basement but we want to make it as functional as possible. Once Hadley and Jamie are moved in downstairs (hopefully within the next few wees), we’ll make the adjacent Great Room Bode’s play area (mostly because he can’t fit his toys in his bedroom).


Organized the garage (oh, the horror with all of Jamie’s pumpkin C-R-A-P). Priority after finishing the basement: Build a shed. Needed Jamie’s help to build all the metal shelves in the basement and garage so temporarily organized our three-car garage into two general areas: Jamie’s stuff and recreational equipment. Wading through it all put me in a worse mood than the basement, primarily because we have a ton more space downstairs. The good news is we’ll now be able to park our cars and trailer in the garage once the snow flies. We likely won’t have time to setup shelves and truly organize the garage until spring and I’m totally OK with that.

Went to the Heber Valley dumping station (nicest “dump” I’ve ever seen) and rewarded ourselves with pumpkin cheesecake shakes from Dairy Keen. Oh, how our Friday nights have changed.

That night as Jamie prayed at dinner, he said he was thankful for the “food upon this table” to which I irreverently interjected, “we don’t have a table.”  Vowed to get that blasted table inside by the end of the weekend.


Slept in until 7 p.m. After my manic week of 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. wake-ups, this felt like a dream! Jamie left the house early to unload compost for the yard while I had my first leisurely morning in months. Worked from bed (looked at our view every few seconds), made fresh strawberry syrup  from scratch for our pancakes and it felt wonderful to finally spend some time in the kitchen!

The afternoon, we organized Bode’s room and cleaned the house. That evening while Hadley babysat Bode and our friends Ben and Sarah’s kids, we went on a double-date to dinner and the evening session of Stake Conference. The perfect end to one crazy week.


Thus ends our first full week in the Heber Valley!

My first impressions of our home? I love it overall. Everything is crisp, new and beautiful. We have granite countertops, white cabinets and hardwood floor, which we never had in our old house. I especially love the larger kitchen and pantry! But we’ve downsized. Significantly. And until we finish the basement (especially those two rooms), we have essentially crammed two levels from our old house into just one and it’s causing a lot of headaches. Hadley is temporarily bunking down in my office and since my closet only has shelves, she has split her wardrobe between Bode’s and my closet. Bode’s toys are still in in boxes because there’s nowhere to unpack them and Jamie’s office is crammed into the bay window of our very small Master bedroom.

And somehow with all the headaches, stress and sore bodies, this gorgeous little plot already feels like home.

Top 15 Park City Adventures in the Fall

I’ve long skied Park City in the winter, cruised down the alpine coaster in the summer but have never been there in the off-season.  Park City’s fall has unfolded like a gorgeous wave, starting with the crimsons and burnt oranges of the oaks and maples, and ending with the pure liquid aspen gold.

Though I’ve wanted to adventure daily, I’ve been limited on time between chauffeuring kids, household chores and work but I’ve made a point to get out at least a few times a week. Near the end of our stay, I stopped in to White Pine Touring for a map of area trails and was pleased to discover I’d managed to hit all the major hubs. Not bad for a rookie!

Here’s a recap of my Park City adventures:

1) Biking around the base of Park City Canyons Village did not suck. Their $21 hamburgers did. 

2) Biking the Millennium Trail from the townhome to Gorgoza Park. This paved trail system provides connectivity throughout the Snyderville Basin and Park City and goes for miles.

3) Willow Creek Trail. This was a fun one to unearth. I was planning to explore the trail that winds down to Historic Main Street when I discovered the Willow Creek trail system that winds around 66 acres of undeveloped open space under a conservation easement with Utah Open Lands. Willow Creek Park is one of the best in Park City.

4) No worries, I took the trail to downtown Park City another day and was not disappointed.

5) Nighttime strolls up to the base of Canyons Village and fun photo filters. This was taken literally right outside our door.

6) Shoe Tree Park. This one was a delight to uncover during my bike ride along the McCleod Trail/ Willow Creek/Hwy 224 Connector  that extends from Kimball Junction to Downtown Park City. You know a town is cool when it has a funky park with shoes, cowboy boots and even ski boots in the trees.

And strange red moss nearby.

7) Deer Valley is a splurge but for girl’s night, we had a glorious time exploring the trails adjacent to the St. Regis. Luxury ain’t free but these fall colors were.

8) If you’re going to do just one exploration in Park City, I highly recommend following the paved trail to the picturesque white barn known as the “McPolin Farm.” Heaped in history, this 100-year-old barn received national status as an Historic Landmark.

Launching kids in the air en route: highly recommended.

9) Most of my mountain biking expeditions had been on paved or easy trails but this was my foray into singletrack and it might be my favorite fall ride ever! Skid Row: I highly recommend it. #ThingsINeverWould HaveSaidBeforeMovingtoParkCity

10) One of my longtime bloggers connected me with her sister Sheri who moved to Park City last year. You’ll never find me in her hot yoga class but a friendship was borne as we climbed Ecker Hill.

11) Trailside Park. I took a different route home from dropping off the kids and stumbled upon an irresistible network of trails and bike park. When I got out of the car to explore in the rain (without the proper gear, of course), the song “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder” played on the radio. No chance of that with wonders around every corner in Park City.

12) My friend Kristen lives in my dream home in Jeremy Ranch. Literally right at her fingertips is the Glenwild Area’s expansive network of trails. She, Lexi and I had so much fun exploring one day…

…that I had to return a few days later to explore the Flying Dog Trail. 

13) Guardsman Pass Scenic Byway connects Heber to Park City to Salt Lake City. I have only three words for this view of the Heber Valley: Oh. My. Gosh.

14) Round Valley wasn’t particularly scenic (unless you like sage brush and scrub oak) but for the novice mountain biker, it’s a pretty amazing place. I tackled a couple of different trailheads: hiked from The Cove (and got a bit lost before meeting Jamie for lunch) and mountain biked Silver Quinn–the paved trail from Quinn’s Junction–to City Park and then hopped on the adjacent singletrack for a wild ride on Rambler. 

14) The Rail Trail is a highly-touted abandoned railroad corridor-turned-non-motorized path that travels 28 miles out of town. I biked 6 miles from the White Pine Touring trailhead to Prospector and it was so underwhelming (unless you like cows that run in front of you) that I did a big loop by biking along the Old Highway 40, crossing to the other side, following Silver Quinn through City Park and then reconnecting with the Rail Trail. At least the ride back was considerably more scenic. Sorry, bovines. You needed to MOOOOVE over.

15) Mid-Mountain. My friend Dave has been raving about his love for mountain biking the famed Mid-Mountain trail at Park City resort for years. An intimate and spectacular trail that sits at about 8,000 feet, it spans 28 miles. There are many options for places to start, one of the most popular being Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley. Since we lived at the “finish line” a.k.a. Canyons Village, I planned to do it backwards…but didn’t realize it’s quite a trek just to reach mid-mountain. And so I did a couple of mini-treks that started right in our Sun Peak neighborhood at Rob’s Trail. The problem: I was always short on time so could only hike a couple of miles. 

On another day, I set out to walk around the Sun Peak neighborhood when I discovered a higher access point for Rob’s trail so did a big loop but was frustrated not to have time to reach Mid-Mountain. I came home and ranted to Jamie [without taking a breath]: “I started to take a neighbor walk but then discovered even more trails and I had to take them even though I didn’t have any time, water or supplies and there are even more trails I have to go back and explore because I couldn’t hike them all today and I’ll NEVER be able to hike them all and…curse you, Park City!”

Jamie [without flinching]: “I don’t know if you’re lying to me or you’re lying to yourself.”#TheEntireDynamicOfOurMarriageSummedUp

A week later, I set out to hike that higher access point for Rob’s Trail off Bear Hollow Drive. I was pressed for time: we had our house’s walk-through that afternoon so I needed to make it quick. From the very beginning, it was absolutely my favorite hike in Park City.

I was having a grand ol’ time minding my own business when, for the first time, I saw the turnoff for Mid-Mountain. Could the Holy Grail of Park City backcountry be near? I checked my watch; I was running out of time. I was determined to get as far as I could and, if needs be, turn around. I ran into two women who’d just returned from Mid-Mountain and I breathlessly asked how much farther. They checked their altimeter. “You have about 1 mile to go.” I kicked it into high-gear with a faster hiking pace and nothing, NOTHING could have prepared me for what awaited me when I turned the last bend to see the very cradle of the mountain in a pathway of golds and greens.

Mid-Mountain was everything I’d dreamed of…and so much more. I could have explored for hours but I was on deadline. For the first time in over a year, I ran. At first, I was tentative to spare my knee but after a few minutes, the familiar rhythm returned to me and I blissfully raced down the mountain, rejoicing how much I missed this freedom of flight and I NEEDED to get back into it.

Until I woke up the next morning and realized I had twisted my uninjured knee and it took me a full week to recover. But you’d better believe Mid-Mountain was worth it.

A Life in Limbo

FRUSTRATION. I typed up an awesome blog post about all the things we’ve loved about living in Park City and it has completely disappeared from WordPress. Such is life when living in limbo! Sure, I’ve spent 20+ hours a week chauffeuring kids around but my gosh, how blessed are we to live in such an amazing place!

So, I’ll make a feeble tempt to recreate all the things we’ve loved about living in Park City.

1) 45 days of sunrises. The kids and I leave the townhome every morning at 7 a.m. to drive to the Heber Valley and every day is like unwrapping a gift. The morning we were greeted with a rainbow-sunrise directly behind our condo was something I’ll never forget but we’ve seen it all: fog, rain, cotton-candy clouds and the evolution of summer to fall. The kids and I have fallen in love with this area through its sunrises.

2) So many amazing adventures. I’ve long loved Park City in winter and summer but fall is somethin’ else. Details forthcoming.

3) My favorite drive is Old Ranch Road past $million$ mansions, expansive farmlands and a gorgeous mountain backdrop.

4) Crack bread. ‘Nuff said.

5) New friendships with the Mosses, Severesons, Lexi and Sheri while celebrating the old by hosting Kristen, the Taylors, Waddells, Porters and my in-laws.

6) The best of both worlds. Park City has grown from the cowtown of yesteryear to a place that has still maintained its small-town feel with incredible recreation while also boasting great amenities.

7) Farmer’s markets on Wednesdays just down the street and my pluot addiction with Smith’s Orchards.

8) Riding the funicular at the St. Regis and the “S’mores Sommelier.”

9) This luxury townhome. Truly, my friend Kristen has been a huge blessing to let us rent and there are so many things I’ll miss: *The  (count ‘em) FOUR fireplaces (one in each bedroom), hot tubbing under the stars, swimming in the expansive pool, watching movies on a rainy night with homemade chicken noodle soup, s’mores in the outdoor firepit, each bedroom’s huge closet, private balcony and bathroom, fun parties, snuggling up to the fireplace with Bode, the gourmet kitchen and a truly magical place to live in limbo.

We couldn’t be more grateful.