Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ogden Canyon, Utah

Canyon Layers - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Ogden Canyon is one of my favorite places we've discovered around Ogden, Utah. It is beautiful and full of surprises. Whether it's seeing a waterfall, driving a scenic route, visiting an historic lime kiln, grabbing lunch, staying in a cabin, or hiking, there's plenty to experience in this little slice of the Wasatch Mountains.

When you are sitting in the shade of a tree and watching the water flow by, the coined term "life elevated" comes to mind. It's on Utah's license plates, but it's also a state-of-mind. It's enjoying nature, enjoying the maintains.

Even though it's right outside of the city, you feel like you are away from the hustle and bustle when in Ogden Canyon. The pace you set is your own. Take your time. Enjoy the fresh air and the scent of pine. Let the worries of life disappear for a moment.

The beauty of this place is unquestionable. It has tall trees, mountain peaks, rocky outcroppings and flowing rivers and streams. You can find blossomed flowers in the spring and summer and even some autumn colors in the fall. It's a great place to explore.

The canyon opens up at the east end, dropping you off at the scenic Pineview Reservoir. Be sure to stop in Huntsville. Ogden Canyon is not just a destination, but a gateway to the Ogden Valley, which is an entirely different destination worth seeing.
Hills In Ogden Canyon - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Clouds Over The Mountain - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Wasatch Mountains In Ogden Canyon - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Last Light On The Rocky Peak - Ogden Canyon, Utah
The Ogden River - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Umbrella Abstract - Ogden Canyon, Utah
The Oaks - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Monochrome Plant - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Blossom By The River - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Lily By The River - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Big Leaves - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Big Leaf - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Delicate White Blossom - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Hanging - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Wood - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Green Plant Leaves - Ogden Canyon, Utah
The Tree With Purple - Ogden Canyon, Utah 
Ogden River Bend - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Sun Shades - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Born To Explore - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Thoughts As Tall As Mountains - Ogden Canyon, Utah

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Park Station - Farmington, Utah - Can Shopping Really Be Fun For The Kids?

Park Station Fountains - Farmington, Utah
My kids really dislike shopping, especially my six-year-old and two-year-old boys. They dread trips to the store. They'd rather do just about anything else. That is, until we discovered Station Park in Farmington, Utah.

Station Park is an outdoor mall with a large variety of shops (even a grocery store), several dining options, a movie theater and even a park with a playground. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with flowers. There are whimsical statues, and even a water fountain that's synced to music. It's a really cool place just to hang around at.

If you have to do some shopping and are not in a hurry, Station Park is a great place to go. Grab a coffee, maybe lunch, let the kids climb all over the playground, watch the fountains, maybe even catch a movie, and then stroll through the downtown-styled shopping district. You can even take the train, as the FrontRunner has a stop here. It's great! The kids ask to go shopping at Station Park.

The only downside is that it can be crowded at times. Nothing ruins family fun faster than too many people all over. However, the times that the mall is crowded can be easily predicted. So if you go, make sure that's it's not during peak hours. Otherwise, it's a fun place, and the kids will have a good time.
Pink Flower - Farmington, Utah
Joshua Climbing - Farmington, Utah
Coffee - Farmington, Utah
Plant Leaves In Monochrome - Farmington, Utah
Station Park Sky - Farmington, Utah

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Visiting Antelope Island State Park

The Vastness of The Lake - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
My brother and his family came into town a couple of weeks ago for a visit. One place that they wanted to see was Antelope Island State Park. We'd been there once, so we thought it would be great to go again.

Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. It's one of the best places to experience the massive lake. Because the lake is low, it can be a long trek to reach the shore from parking areas. But on a positive note the lake is shallow and is pretty safe for young kids (as far as large bodies of water go). Our kids love splashing in the salty water!

The bugs can be gross and overwhelming. Brine flies cover the shoreline by the millions. They don't bite but they sure are pesky! There are also lots of large spiders all over, especially in the bushes and on the sides of buildings. The north tip of the island seems to always smell bad.

There's a small museum that's a good starting point for an Antelope Island visit. It has a lot of interesting information on the history and biology of the place. There's also a gift shop inside.
Red Buffalo & The Great Salt Lake - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
The island is known for it's wide array of wildlife, especially birds and buffalo. We saw a lot of buffalo, but mostly they were at a long distance. Signs warn about buffalo being dangerous, so we didn't want to see them too close, anyway.

On the southeast side of the island there's the historic Fielding Garr Ranch, which has been around for about 150 years or so. You can take a self-guided tour. It was interesting enough that I would say it's worth the drive out to see it.

A week before our visit a large wildfire burned half of Antelope Island. It was very noticeable in spots and completely unnoticeable in other spots. It mostly burned the remote south side of the island. No structures were damaged and it didn't have any impact on our visit.

Antelope Island State Park is an unusual and fascinating place. I really like it, but really dislike some aspects of it, as well. It has a unique beauty, yet it can be disgusting. I will visit again, and I'll try to overlook the negative and enjoy the positive.
In The Great Salt Lake - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Girl & Boy In The Lake - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Salt Water Play - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Boys Playing In The Great Salt Lake #1 - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Boys Playing In The Great Salt Lake #2 - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Out In The Great Salt Lake - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Grain Storage - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Buffalo Hill - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Wild Buffalo - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Buffalo Herd - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Kids & Combine - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Industrial Green & Red - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
White Door Knob - Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hiking Wheeler Creek Trail - Ogden Canyon, Utah

Wheeler Creek Trail - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Someone suggested to us that the Wheeler Creek Trail in Ogden Canyon is a good hike, so we made an effort to get out to it. It's located near the Pineview Reservoir Dam right off of Highway 39. There is a small dirt parking area on the south side of the highway, plus a little more parking down a dirt drive. There is a sign along the highway to let you know you're at the right spot.

The trail is dirt. It's fairly wide, and slightly narrow in a couple of spots. There are some rough patches, but nothing a mountain bike or sports stroller couldn't handle. The trail slowly and constantly gains in elevation. It's a family-friendly hike.

The trail begins under the shade of trees. Not very far down the path the trees become a little less frequent and the view becomes more open. There are some cliffs and rock formations that add interest to the scenery.
Pineview Art - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Wheeler Creek sits down a somewhat steep hill to the east. There are some short trails here and there that take you to the water. We made our way to the creek at the base of a small waterfall. We sat on a fallen tree that rested in the creek bed, dipping our feet in the cold water. 

The trail goes a long ways up. There's a loop you can take, or you can eventually go all the way to the Snowbasin Ski Resort. We only went about a mile-and-a-half down. It was a hot day. Once the weather cools a little we'll try to make it further along. It's a popular trail, and there are lots of bicyclists.

The Wheeler Creek Trail offers good sights and a fairly easy trek. It's a good option for families since the trail isn't too difficult. You don't have to go to the end--hike as far as you want and then turn around. Three miles round trip was plenty or us on a hot July day. 
Wasatch Mountains In Ogden Canyon - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Fallen Tree Over Wheeler Creek - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Cliffs In Ogden Canyon - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Rocky Peaks In Ogden Canyon - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Brush & Rocky Cliff Wall - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Tree, Creekside - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Summer Vegetation In Ogden Canyon - Ogden Canyon, Utah
Red Bicycle Rider - Ogden Canyon, Utah