Monday, May 29, 2006


I went to the office today to drop off some things for the breakfast party tomorrow. The office park area that I work in has ponds and streams and ducks. Right now there are lots of ducks. And lots and lots and lots of baby ducks.

As I turn into the driveway I see a lone yellow teeny weenie baby duck. He's peeping to beat the band.

I do my tasks inside, call my daughter and ask if she really wants the duck she's been talking about for a month. Yes! I said if he was still out there by himself and I could catch him without a swim, I'd bring him home.

As I'm leaving and I still hear Mr. Squawker. I'm really starting to feel guilty about duck-napping. But...the being on one side of my shoulder says if it is still there and in distress then I'm doing the right thing. The other side of course is saying "no don't".

I get to the edge of the driveway and get out of my car. I'm still hearing peeping, but not so much. I make a chirping sound and the grass moves. I look and there he is wrapped up in the long grass. I reach for him and he struggles, but I can see that he's pretty stuck, kind of laying sideways. The grass is that sticky grass that just seems to grab fluffly clothes. So I figure he's fluffy, etc.

Well being superhero I wrap my hand around him and pull figuring I'd just rip the grass. Out he comes with some resistance and so does the %@#*$(!% SNAKE that is attached to him.


He was still alive when I "rescued" him. "Jack" died later in the evening.

So much for being a superhero today. I can hardly wait to see what that event does to my subconscious.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sylvan Lake Trail

Sylvan Lake Trail skirts the entire lake. I took this hike after work one day. It was an easy one and didn't require hiking poles and allowed me pretty much to zone out. I'd packed my dinner (hummus, wheat tortillas, blackberries), but there really wasn't a place to stop where I wouldn't be dinner to the newly hatched mosquitos. Nearing evening and being between the hills and the lake, I could hear limbs breaking up the hill. I'm sure it was about time for the deer to come down for their evening cocktails. I didn't wish to surprise or be surprised so I ended up eating in the Beast (the rental company gave me, ME, a Trail Blazer).

I loved this curvy tree. I'm sure there's an interesting story to tell as to how it grew that way.

Sylvan Lake is about 15 miles from Eagle. I enjoyed my stay in Eagle. It allowed me to get to work quickly (west) and have good access to Vail (east). I walked to/through town most mornings and evenings. I even managed to make an evening service at St. Mary's.

I grew up in Colorado. I'm in Utah now, a stone's throw from the hills. I love being here - but the mountains just aren't the same as Colorado's. John Denver captured it a it a long, long time ago.

The week in Vail was great. I managed to pull off three fabulous hikes. It felt more like vacation than work. Thank you Colorado!

Hanging Lake

The group I was working with this week decided we needed a little "team building" exercise and a hike to the "boardroom" was in order.

Hanging Lake was one of the most beautiful excursions I've taken. It's up there with the Washington Coast, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Timpanogos in its uniquess and beauty. Breathtaking.

The climb is had 1020 feet elevation gain in 1.2 miles. The trail "up" follows the stream's path downward. The stream was rushing hard as several people said it was the peak of the spring run off week. This borrowed picture shows the final few "steps" to reach the lake.

Sprouting rock is a bit further up the path and very much worth the extra few yards of climbing. The rock in this picture is well over 6' high.

You can find out more about the trail here:

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Booth Creek Trail

Working in Eagle County this coming week inspired me to come a day early to do some hiking. One of the Vail information booths told me about this hike (not many trails open yet). Sunday morning I hit the trail at 8:00AM. It was so beautiful.

I was the only person going up and only met a handful of people coming down. I didn't make it all the way to the falls. About 1/4 mile from the falls there was a snow field on the mountainside that covered the trail. It was too steep for me to take on my own. Where the trail might be there was ice. Where I stuck my poles to see if there was a trail - it was soft and the poles poked in but found no earth. If only I had thought to bring a shovel - LOL.

Here is a wrap-around view of the trail:

Here you can see the various versions of "spring" depending on the altitude. Where I was taking the picture the trees had started to leaf out. The trees at the next level were just barely starting to bud. The trail description boasted meadows abundant with wildflowers. The day I was hiking was very warm, but it was one of the first of the season. The flowers weren't ready to show themselves.

There's a small airport in Eagle. The commercial planes are all prop jobs. I learned on this hike that as the planes come near the valley, the sound they make is similar to the low growl of a large cat. Fortunately there were some frolicking Partridges that helped check my overactive imagination.

Two hikes in two weekends YES!

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Scariest Thing

I was driving home tonight, at dusk, on one of our main residential streets. Going the opposite direction, on the sidewalk was a toddler. On the sidewalk, in the street, on the sidewalk, in the street. As I'm watching him in my side mirror, I'm starting to get very cold. I pulled over and asked a guy who was just getting out of his car and chasing his dog who is running towards me (big dog, top down, little car, thank you) if he knew where the little boy lived. He didn't.

With that, I flipped the car around. I was trying to follow the little guy and not scare him, but not let him back in the street. I start talking to him and he came towards the car. I was frantically waving at the people's house I'm parked in front of and still trying to keep up with the kidlet. Finally they opened the door. They didn't know him either. Then he was on a dead run into the street. I doubled my speed so if the car that I thought was coming would see me first. False alarm.

All of a sudden he turns around, runs back to me, arms in the air and lets me pick him up. My legs turn to rubber and it took everything I had not to drop like a rock. I was debating with myself about calling the police when a lady a couple of houses up the street started to frantically call a child's name.

I called out that I had him. I put the baby into Mom's arms. She was pretty much speechless and was probably more rubber legged than I was. She was trying to tell me how he must have opened the door and slipped out.

(May 30th update. A couple of days later I realized it was the grandma I had handed the baby to. Driving home tonight I recognized the woman who was walking up the stame the street using a white cane. Now, her speechlessness makes a whole lot more sense. Her grandson had wandered outside and there was no way for her to SEE where he had gone. Thank you Lord for making me STOP!)

I know honey, my grandson was and is still the master escape artist. Earlier this year he rode his bike past her house to the mall (nearly 2 miles) and we didn't know he was gone. He's called 911 twice now - the most recent call was to complain to the dispatcher that my daughter told him he couldn't go outside to play.

Yes, ma'am, your child is probably nearing the age of two.....that hug I gave you, wasn't just for today - it was for all the excitement yet to come.MM

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Every Sunday

I go to Church on Sunday - but the blog isn't about that.

Every Sunday I log in to Post Secret. I love this site. Some of the posts are funny, some heartbreaking. Sometimes there are things stated that I do/have done/have said/have thought and get a good belly laugh that there's someone (or two, or three) out there just like me :-)

I still haven't seen my secret and I'm trying to figure out how to portray it. One of these days I'll send it in but I won't tell you which one it is....that's a secret!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Wine Club

Tonight was Wine Club night. Now for anyone reading this outside of Utah - you're thinking "so what"? Well, here in Happy Valley, the fermented fruit if the vine is not the beverage of choice on a Saturday evening.

The group is really for/from a housing area where some friends/co-workers of mine live. Even though I'm a Valley Northerner, I've been included. We have a great time tasting different wines, (in our club - tasting means "let's see how a half a glass of that tastes"), talking about their local government's politics, living in Utah, and just whatever.

It's really nice to have some new friends "on the vine".

Opening Day

Today was 2006's Opening Day for the Timpanogos Cave. I've done the hike each year, usually in the fall, but I don't always tour the caves. I made it to the top in an hour - this means I'm in shape and ready for the hiking season :)

This year I did the cave tour. Creepy thing though. We follow the ranger through the caves and every now and again, along the walls you'll find a ranger or two crouching. As you pass, they get up and continue on their way in the opposite direction. I know they're there to make sure everyone keeps going and doesn't decide to do their own cave exploration - but it just creeps me out.

And for me, how could there not be adventure? I got stung by a bee after I'd come off the mountain. I'd gone across the road to nosh on some nachos by the raging river. Coming back across the foot bridge there was that familiar "ouch". I did the bee hop and tried to disrobe in front of a dozen people trying to get the bee out of my shorts. I went into the Ranger's station in search of a pair of tweezers (Lenny told me I was supposed to ALWAYS carry a frist aid kit - did I listen - NOOOO). I was dubbed the first "accident victim" of the season. GREEEAAATT!