Ogden Twilight Series

 Ogden is entering its third year for the Twilight Series. Last year, I went to the concerts every Thursday night and I am working on doing just that again this year.  

What a great way to spend a warm June evening! Basking in the sun with a cold beer. 
Last week was my big 30th and Ok Go was the headliner.  I pretended as if it was my own private concert with you know… all of Ogden and possibly Salt Lake City. 

I have generally gone by myself and randomly ran into friends who I then end up hanging out with for the rest of the night.  I am always surprised of who’s hanging out enjoying local and big time artist. 


 I’m looking forward to seeing The Shins and Mike Snow in the coming weeks….. 


There are plenty of great ways to get to the amphitheater on 25th street:

1. Walking

2. Taking the front runner

3.  Buses 

4. A peddy cab

5. Biking- free VIP bike parking!!!

6. Driving- with plenty of free parking…. 
It’s $10 at the doors or you can buy online – http://www.ogdentwilight.com 

With love, 

Jess

What music festivals are you going to this summer? 

Canyonlands-Island in the Sky

For our second day down in Southern Utah we went into Canyonlands to explore and hike. 

Saturday night after pizza and ice cream we tried driving around seeing if we could find ourselves and empty campsite….. since we didn’t find one close enough we parked just a little outside the park at a pullout and decided to ask for forgiveness first if anyone decided to come knocking on the van. 


 We sat out for a bit under a canopy of stars until we could barely keep our eyelids open.  Early in the morning before the sun was up I awoke and peeked out my window watching as colors changed from night to day.  Peaches, oranges and purples lay against the red rock on the canyons ridges.  I listened to the birds as the chatted to one another and watched as the first of the park rangers came into work for the day.   I finally fell back asleep and woke when the sun was up and the fresh morning cool air was evaporating. 

 We finally got ourselves going and headed into the visitor center to fill up our water bottles, get information on trails and a little of a plan for the day. 

We drove the paved scenic route and stopped first at Mesa Arch.  It’s a well maintained trail, easy to climb with stones layer out for stairs.  

We then drove to Aztec Butte take the turn for Upheaval Dome at the fork. 


Aztec Butte is a moderate hike with some hiking up slick rock and a bit of a scramble at the top.  At the top of the Butte you can then walk the loop. 

The second half of the hike is another trail that goes to the canneries.  This is another scramble with slick rock and to get down to the two ancient canneries. 


We rested had our snacks and chatted a bit about the canneries and how they were possibly used, who might of lived there and for how long. 

Our last spot for the day was at the end of the road to Upheaval Dome.  It’s a geological mystery -two theories…. was it an ancient large meteor or an ancient sea bed? 

We hiked the first view point… it says it’s a mile but it only felt like a half mile to the first spot.  The hike is easy with easily maintained stone slabs for stairs. 


We sat looking out over the dome, admiring  the features that took place so long ago.  We discussed our own theories of how the dome was created also pondering how further generations will use the parks.  

We staggered our tired and burnt selves back to the van taking one last ride back into Moab for a last treat of ice cream before the long drive back home. 
-Jess

Dinosaur Land -Utah


A few weekends ago Jordan and I took a short weekend trip up around my old stompinng grounds to hit up Dinosaur National Monument.
many moons ago when i lived out in roosevelt i had heard about Dinosaur National Monument but for some odd reason I never drove the extra 45 minutes out to explore it.  I have to say this was a fun trip and has me missing the southern utah desert.
we drove out saturday taking highway 40 from Heber City, Utah. We got in late that night and parked at the Green River Campground.  As the name suggests it is right next to the Green River.  The smell of campfires and those roasting marshmellows made me a little sad that we didnt have the material for our own campfire for smores….in due time.  we sat out at the picnic table and were able to view all of the multitude of stars.  did you know that the park is now registered as a dark sky park?  nothing beats being able to look up at the night sky and wonder whats out there……


Sunday we got up semi early had our yogurt and granola and then made it down to the vistors center to check out what we could get in a day.  We picked up our map of the park that had numbered points along the way and an explanation of what you where seeing.  


 The Quarry Exhibit was amazing since it is still is holding all of the bones of the dinosaurs. The archeologist who first dug wanted to preserve that spot for visitors to be able to see and learn. 


After spending a good time at the Quarry reading all the material, looking at the pictures and admiring the wall of bones we took to the Club Creek Road heading towards Josie Morris Cabin. 
The first spot on the way was the Swelter Shelter…..


 

many of the points of interest along the way were places that you could either pull over to get out and walk to or look as you drove by.  Since we only had the day we hit up the major areas and and read on each point as we came to it. 

One of our big stops was at the end of the road to the Josie Morris Cabin. 


She built and ranched until her death. Moving to the area after her divorce in her fourties.  

The harshness of the climate, the hard work of cattle herding and raising then being so secluded…. I’m not sure I would be able to do such a thing myself…. 

but ask me in ten years and maybe I might have changed my mind on it. 


From the cabin we took to the Hog Canyon trail hiking where Josie would corral her cattle in one of two canyons. 

It was a beautiful Canyon that looked as if it was still in use by ranchers who still thrive in the area.  


We hiked back into the canyon looking for signs of ancient civilization along the rock canyon walls. 

At the end of the trail we were able to climb up the boulders and rocks.  We sat taking in the views and cool canyon breeze while we snacked. 

After the hike we got back to the van heading back the way we came.  Looking at more spots we didn’t fully notice before.  The day was catching up to us so we opted for one more hike. 

We stopped at the trail of The Sound of Silence.  This is a 2 and a half hour rugged hike through slick rock, gulches, sand and wide open areas. 


This so far has been one of my favorite desert hikes.  It’s rough and your not fully aware of where your coming up to until your finally up above it all and looking out. 



The fauna and flora here was some of the best.  There is still a plant that we got a whiff of that lingers on our minds. 

We haven’t been able to figure it out. 

After the hike it was time for us to start heading back on the road for home.  We made one last stop in Vernal for ice cream and drove the three hours back home.












With love

Jess

Memorial Weekend…..

…. and just like that summer is here and the harsh spring has settled with warming temps, over flowing rivers and green mountains. 

I’m excited for the summer.  Music,  weekend day trips, evening hikes and bike rides.  Lots of dreaming and scheming. Summer nights get my creative nature flowing when the day temps drop just a few and while riding on my bike under the stars. 

This memorial weekend I took Saturday off for a wedding up in Duchesne.  We wound the evening in Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest just 30 minutes outside of Hanna, off of Highway 35. 

We were the only ones it seemed parking and camping up in the mountains this weekend.  The views and quiet solitude made it all worth it. 


Jordan made us a fire and then we sat out wrapped in our blankets looking up at the stars and getting the best view of the Northern Lights. 

The lights weren’t what I had expected.  I had never seen the Northern Lights before. Were we saw it, it was like light pollution from a large city.  Yet the glow wasn’t fully white and it danced across the sky.  It was wide and then it would go narrow…. shifting its position.  

Sunday morning Charlie and I explored the area a bit more in the light while Jordan made his coffee. When we were all ready we packed up and headed out looking for trails.  

Many of them were still snow packed. We did come upon a lot with trails that looked cleared enough for hiking.  We took one with a river running along it and plenty of fallen trees and a few spots with snow on the trails.  We stopped a few times for Charles to run and play along the river so he could chase bubbles. 


After our hike we headed into Kamas along our route for lunch.  

We stopped at Cuttingboard. Just in time before they closed for the day. (FYI-they have a veggie sandwich). 

We got back into Ogden in time for ice cream and an evening hike. 

 -Jess 

Arches National Park- Utah

This past weekend Jordan & I spent two days in Southern Utah with sun, wind and red dirt.  

 We drove the 5 hour drive Friday night getting into Moab right around 12 that night.  Moab is in full swing tourist season with perfect temps right around 80.  We didn’t really plan we’re we were going to camp out at so last minute we found a spot on the side of the road in town and called it a night. 

Even though I was tired from the drive and work I still found myself to excited to fall asleep and then wound myself up and was back awake early in the morning.  We were near a city park so I managed to let Jordan sleep a little longer while I took Charles for a walk around. 

When we were all ready to go we walked over to Moab Roasters for our morning coffee and then drove back up the main highway to Arches National Park.  We parked at the visitors center to get our park maps, take a tour around the exhibit and bought trinkets from the gift shop. 

We got the low down on the construction zone and that Devils Garden Hiking trails and campground are closed for the season. 

Even with Devils Garden being closed we still managed to get a full day of sightseeing and hiking in. 

We did the full in and out scenic drive stopping at Balanced Rock….

The winds were crazy that day…. everyone everywhere was getting pushed and pulled and half way blown away from the wind….. I have to say even with the high winds that day everyone was in good spirits.  

It’s fun to see what the outdoors do for us as individuals.  We relearn to play and scramble up rocks and then slide right back down again laughing and possibly crying just a little.  We are able to look out and admire the earth and the natural geological formations it takes and realize that it won’t stay this way forever.  It is in constant change, from wind, rain, movement, animal and human adaption. 

After almost getting blown away at Balanced Rock we went a little farther up to Double Arch



We went and hiked the interrupted trail for Windows

We also made our way into the little cove of Sand Dune Arch and then hike our way on the flat easy trail from Sand Dune to Broken Arch. 


Broken Arch…


Then lastly we had lunch at the parking lot of Delicate Arch and went for the hike up Sandstone Rock to see one of the most famous Arches of all of Utah….. 

We hiked Delicate Arch in I think rather good time.  I think possibly quicker than what I have done in the past…. although I realize it isn’t about how quickly you can get somewhere but rather what you take in from the journey… but I suppose for my own personal goals I am progressing and it’s getting easy for me to hike what used to be a difficult and challanging trail. 

After Delicate Arch and Devils Garden being closed we opted to go into Moab for ice cream and take a gander at the shops and for pizza and beer. 

And now pictures… ……

With love, 

Jess

Pictures take from both my IPhone and Jordan’s IPhone. 

New Years Eve recap. 


For New Years Eve Jordan and I took a trip down to Santa Cruz to visit Nisene Marks State Park and to then take a drive along the coast and stop at a couple beaches while heading up to Half Moon Bay. 

I have missed the beach with the sand, rocks and waves all under my feet.  There is something rejuvenating and releasing about the pureness of standing there listening to the waves crashing at the rocks. 

When my ex left all I wanted to do was to jump into a car and drive till I could go no farther. Where the road and ocean met, where I could get out stand there in the sand and wait for the ocean and sand to bury me in her depths.  At night I would lay imagining myself there as the cold ocean wrapped around my toes, ankles and legs and then sweeping back to the depths as if it was carrying with it all of my guilt, grief and heartbreak.  As if somehow the power of the ocean could make me whole again. 

So while Jordan and I walked along the beach and I watched the waves crashing in and out I took my shoes and socks off and stood there at the edge. Eyes closed, listening to the voice of the ocean thunderous yet calming, collect.  I felt the surge of the crash of the waves at my ankles and as the sand that wrapped and covered my toes.   I realized as I stood there that I was already whole, yet it felt good to have some symbolism for myself. A closing and an opening of new things to begin.  For a surge of energy to keep pushing forward, to always keep looking forward. 

Before we drove along highway 1 we drove into Aptos, California to take a hike into Nisene Marks State Park.  There is something about Redwood trees that makes you think if there are any sort of fairies or gnomes living in a forest they would be under the cover and foliage of the Redwoods.  

Some how forest make me think of how ancient and sacred the earth is.  I realize this is perhaps crazy talk but everything I walk into the woods, I quiet myself prepare myself as if I am walking into the temple.  Only I find the the coverage of the trees more sacred, more special than something man made.  We could never fully create the serenity and peace we can feel in the natural state of our earth than building a man made building.   I tend to find God more easily in the natural state of being than walking into a building that was built to be “home”. 


Jordan and I did a quick loop from the parking lot, we trekked down to the river taking our time to take pictures and to observe everything around us.   We were only there for an hour and half and I am hoping that we will be able to get back sometime soon to spend more time hiking the trails. 


After the quick hike we did a quick drive around Santa Cruz, along town and down by the amusement park and then we drove out to highway one. 


We stopped along the road at one beach and got out and walked along the edge of the ridge with Charles.  Watching as others walked down to the beach while we looked for tide pools from the top. 

Once we stopped at the next stop we got out and hiked down the narrow path to the beach.  The beach sprawled out on either direction so we walked along the edge climbing on a few rocks looking for tide pools and little sea creatures. 



We then drove the rest of the way to Half Moon Bay and stopped at a new local brewery called Sacrilege Brewing Company.  I had their La Ultima Crema with cod tacos and Jordan had their Oat Skool with their pork nachos.  Their beers where on point and their fish tacos by golly I could have ate ten of them. 
** Give the La Ultima Crema some time to warm up a little bit. There is a good vanilla body at the end wants it warms. Also super easy to drink. 

We ended the evening early going back home and watching New Year’s Eve on the tube while I tried not to fall asleep….okay I really tried to fall asleep early. 

With love, 

Jessica 

Expectations and Reality 

Draft    

I’ve been having a difficult time trying to write anything down, I have been finding more ways to distract myself claiming that I have been opening myself up for creative thought processing. There is only so much hiking and exploration in the name of creativity till you realize that nothing is getting written down.  

So this is an attempt, an attempt to steady my self in practice to write…. Something.

Back in September when Jordan and I started dating we realized how much we had in common and one of those the biggest was the fact that I was working on, trying to figure out how to buy an rv and than live in it full time and Jordan was already doing that.  He had bought his van a year and half previously and living in it full time while working in town.  We discussed a lot about travel, where we had been and where we wanted to go, some of our dreams and how to align those together.   So we took some weekend trips in September and by the end of the month we had started talking about taking a long trip back east and moving myself and Charlie into the van. 

It was nerve wracking trying to go through what I had left, what I needed and what I didn’t and then moving what I have into Jordan’s storage unit and organizing space in the van for my clothes. Though really, that’s not the hardest part, I sort of enjoy the thrill of organizing and throwing things out.   Moving in with someone is a learning curve, though I don’t know if it is any easier if it’s after only a month or a year.  Especially when you are moving into someone else’s space, in a van and then jet setting out on the road for two months. 

I enjoyed for the most part for myself, getting to visit my family and best friend and seeing what we could on the road.  There was a lot of learning opportunities, personal growth and learning about one another.   The east coast trip was revealing on expectations and the realities of our own situation.   We wondered and talked in length how full timers are able to financially cover all their expenses and be able to have some sort of livelihood. 

 For Jordan it was a lot of being stuck in the van with little space to spread out for work and not getting outside to hike, explore, ride and sightsee as I was able to.  There was a lot of balancing drive time and his working hours to get us from one place to the next, so while we were on the road Jordan was exhausted and frustrated with not being able to exercise. He was also frustrated with finances and making sure we got back to Ogden before any major storms or chilly tempatures.

For myself I was constantly being pushed out of my comfort, getting lost and not feeling as confident in myself as I usually do.  I was constantly on the go without being able to have some down time to just rest my body and mind from everything and a space to do that in.  I felt guilty for Jordan having to work while I was out exploring and playing and then felt guilty on days when I didn’t want to go out exploring because Jordan was working and not wanting to miss every opportunity to be out.   The trip took a bit out of my self esteem with trusting my own judgements, intimidation of being on the road and being in a new relationship.  

Perhaps there is always a little intimadation within a relationship, for me its dating someone who is more independent than myself, who has taken solo biking trips and who has had a little more life lessons than myself.  So there is a part of me that wants to impress him, that if he can do it so can I-and do it without any complaints.  The intimadation also kept me from opening up and voicing my frustrations, which is where my own independence kicks in as well.   When you are so used to going through everything yourself it becomes tricky to allow someone in to experience it with you, to. Allow someone to be your confidante and voice of reason when you are so used to being that for yourself. 

And here living in a van and relationships collide for me.  To me being single is much easier, I know what I like, what I want to do and where I want to go.  I don’t have to answer to anyone and I can keep to myself. Relationships take work, are frustrating and can be drama filled at times.  Yet at the same time I realize that it’s rewarding working along side someone with the same goal as you, who cares for you and wants the best for you and you for them.  Someone who pushes you to do more, to think outside the box and to better yourself.   Learning to trust someone new and letting them into your life when things get sticky when you’d rather run instead. So we learn to find a way to push through the crappy parts so we can savor those sweet moments.

It’s been nice the last month to spread out a little bit and to find some daily life balance while still taking weekend trips together.  I find myself being able to calm and steady myself, getting back to myself again slowly even while being somewhere different and without my friends. What I do realize and what you can really only do is to keep working on what you feel is worth working on. 

I don’t fully believe that life is supposed to always be easy and happy go lucky sometimes we just need to be pushed and be in uncomfortable situations to teach us something, I do believe that those moments can bring us joy and fulfillment at the end of the day. We can also be pushed into a different path than what we ever imagined for ourselves that will move us closer to our dreams. 

 Sometimes it’s just about our outlook, you can still have a good cry -frustrated with yourself and yet glad you are doing what you are doing. 

With love, 

Jess