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. 

A short stop in Merietta, Ohio

On our way to Hendersonville, NC from my hometown of Ashland, Ohio, Jordan and I took a pit stop in Merietta, Ohio.  We had time to grab a bite to eat, grab coffee and stroll around for a bit. 


I mention Merietta, because one it’s an adorable cozy town situated at the edge of the Ohio River before you leave the state and enter into West Virginia.  The town has a lot to offer in local shops, local brews and restaurants. Secondly one of my cousins got married in the town in the Lafayette Hotel on the corner of Front and Ohio Street a little over three years ago. So it holds a special place in all of our hearts.  It’s that little reminder of where I was at in the time of my life. 
It meant a little extra strolling around the town with Jordan along the river as I did three years ago.  It was like this coming to of remembering of what I was thinking, wanting and holding onto and at the same time trying to let go of.  The town was romantic and the mere fact that my cousin was getting married set the tone.  I though about love, romance, relationships and what it would be like strolling along the streets with someone and not just anyone. Someone I wanted to spend my time with, someone I could let in and also being a stronger version of myself mentally and emotionally. I thought a lot about whether I should let go of my past and hope for some future I didn’t t know would happen or not.   It was a lot of trust and faith in something I couldn’t see and had a hard time believing in.

                                                Merietta is symbolic to me now. 

Who I was, who I am now, who I was with and who I am with now.  How quickly life has changed and at the time I felt as if I would never be able to have what I wanted. That it would take too long and I would miss out. 

And end sap……..

We stopped in at Merietta Brewing Company for beer and burgers.  The brewery itself had a good vibe. Live music on the weekends, brick walls, open, relaxing and it seems the brewery it in the local scene.  For my burger I had the Baja Black Bean and for beer I had the brewery’s Hop Smash. The burger tasted house made with a good flavor. 

After the bar we stopped in at Wit & Whimzy to look for a gift for Aspen, my goddaughter. The store caught my eye with its eclectic Ohioian art and fanfare.  I bought Aspen a bamboo matching block game made locally in Ohio.  She loves it and her mother loves it even more for being simplistic.  

The shop has only been open for a few months now and the owner is friendly and very inviting. The shop is clean and fun the stroll around in. I hope as well easy to find something to take home or to buy a gift for someone. 

We hit up Jeremiah’s Coffee House for something for the long drive out.  It was lively for Sunday, people were friendly with a very Christian vibe.  The coffee was pretty good as well. 

If your in Ohio and in the southern reaches I hope you see stop in Merietta. Take a stroll along the river and through the several blocks of downtown.  I wish we would of had more time to explore the area.  

If you have been what did you think? 

 It looks like a good outdoorsy town and easy to bike around if your so inclined. 


Thoughts and de-processing

We are back “home” or base or however we put it within the rv, van, full time travel routine.   It feels really good to be back somewhere that i know.  I know my bike routes, my coffee shops, grocery store and local eatery.  I also find comfort in seeing all the other locals.  It gives me some balance and a routine.

 We plan on heading farther west into California and wintering there.  When we go will depend on the weather systems coming through Utah and also through the sierras.  We did get Corniella all cleaned up inside and do a massive laundry night.  We also took a rest day. Walked around downtown, got breakfast at Moores family restaurant and got a hike in as well. 

I didn’t get to blog as much on the road as I would have liked so I will be getting all caught up on that. At the same time my mind is processing everything from the road, all I saw, felt and went through.  It was challenging, rewarding and exhausting all at the same time as well as exciting.  My expectations for this trip was met and wasn’t. I was able to see family I hadn’t in years, visit my best friend and nieces and meet some of Jordan’s family.  At the same time we spent a lot of time together and not at the same time.   I got to see a lot of the cities through the Midwest and parts of the east and Jordan spent a lot of time either driving or working. 

 We spent more time in the city and towns and little in nature.  My expectations where more on being in state parks, going to a national park, hiking, exploring nature and historical sites.  We did this but it was limited to the weekends and where we where at and with whom.  I spent a lot of time in cities I had never been to which led me to getting lost, balancing my fears of safety and comfort and trying to find things to do with in a specific time frame.  

 I was pushed and pulled out of my comfort daily.  I learned from it and in a way came out of it – hopefully stronger.  My worldview as well is slowly starting to reshape itself.  I don’t know how it wouldn’t. 

Anyways, I have a lot to organize and write and share. 

With love, 

jessicaraye