Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What's in Your Backyard?

Utah has been home now for thirteen years. I wasn’t able to travel much for the first nine years, because of work schedules. Since I left the working world behind and no longer spend sixty hours a week consumed with managing a business, my backyard has suddenly gotten bigger, and the vista outside my window more expansive.

By adopting a one-income lifestyle, we have made many sacrifices.  One of the advantages though of reduced income is that we spend more time hanging out in our own neighborhood. We spend a day or an afternoon exploring the beauties of surrounding areas.

About 45 minutes away from our house is a mountain majesty that erupts from the landscape, unembarrassed at having shamed its more diminutive neighbors. From late fall until early summer the sharp peak is snow-capped and foreboding. For those brief few months during which the snow has melted, drivers attempt the winding ascent and are rewarded with regal beauty. 

Last Sunday we ventured upward, despite the area being blanketed by smoke from nearby forest fires. Sometimes our greatest adventures truly do take place in our own back yards. We timed our visit as the trees began their autumnal changing of the color guard.

As we swerved around one of the curves ( give a man a winding mountain road and he will navigate it as if he were James Bond,) we saw a sign that said "Geologic Outcrop."  Curious, we slowed, stopped, and got out of the car. From the road we had not seen a paved path that led away from the small parking lot.  Weston and Hoolie immediately saw the path as an invitation to run ahead so the adults dutifully followed behind.

At the end of the path, we realized that the "Geologic Outcrop" sign was woefully understated. Instead, the sign should have portrayed a stick figure waving madly saying, "Oh man, you have got to see this. If you don't stop that car RIGHT NOW you will regret it, I promise."


Look! It's Bluto from Labyrinth!

Right there in our own back yard. Forty-five minutes away. Who knew.
And a little farther down the road...

Oh yes. That's my son. Running toward a cliff.  If I make it til he's eighteen...

So. What's in your backyard?


  1. I wish all of that beauty was in my backyard :) Gorgeous Randi! I really need to come visit you some time.

  2. That is definitely not IOWA! Thanks for the pictures of "my" mountains. I miss the fall and "my" backyard. Well, technically I can't claim the mountains, but they are my home.

    The phrase "What's in your backyard?" slightly resembles the overplayed commercials of the vikings saying "What's in your wallet?" :) Clever. Fortunately for you, the answer isn't capital one. ;)

  3. Hoolie looks really cute exploring and that does look like Bluto! I love Labyrinth.

  4. How do you expect us to follow that?

  5. Stunning photos. I love mountains.

    And you know what's in our immediate backyard. Gator Land.
    But 10 minutes away by car is the Gulf of Mexico. I admit I rarely go there. Now that fall is here, I will (I often say that).

  6. septembermom: Yes, you do need to come and visit!

    Jed: It's funny how I go to your blog for glimpses of Iowa and you come to mine for pictures of Utah. Your mountains miss you, Jed. :) Oh, and when I finished this post I almost wrote "I won't ask what's in your wallet" because I wondered if anyone would get it. :)

    Levizmom: Hoolie is ever the little explorer. I love Labyrinth too!

    Ken: By showing us a few much-needed pictures of England and France. :)

    Auntie M: After being a flatlander all my life, I have gotten used to mountains. Ha! Just kidding---it took me a total of about three seconds to get used to mountains. After my nose stopped bleeding, that is. You are a brave woman to have a gator-enhanced backyard. Oh, and how did the oil spill affect your area of the Gulf? I've been meaning to ask that.


You won't be paid for it, but at least you'll know that you have contributed intelligence to the universe...

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