Castles, indeed. Right here in the heart of Utah. Last week we went out “adventuring” with Chris and Louise, to some place they had scouted out but were keeping secret from us. After driving north about 15 minutes, we got off the highway and Chris followed Louise’s carefully issued directions as we headed eastward and upward.
Just before the road ended at the trailhead entrance the National Forest, high above the valley floor, we rolled to a stop in front of this amazing castle! They’d stumbled across it while looking for a route (apparently non-existent) that would let us drive up and check out the huge radar station up this way and thought we might have fun checking it out. (Remember you can click on any of the pictures and get a larger view!)
It’s apparently simply a private home, albeit with some mystery and conflicting stories behind its history, but it was a fun little “destination” for a Sunday drive. After gawking appropriately for a bit, we drove a very short distance further on the road and stopped to walk the first 100 yards or so of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, a hiking/biking trail that follows the old shoreline of the ancient Lake Bonneville (of which the Great Salt Lake is the final remnant).
We continued on for a drive, meandering around through Ogden Canyon, around the Pineview Reservoir, winding our way eventually back to Ogden for a repeat meal at Uncle Lee’s. Other menu items looked intriguing, but I couldn’t stop myself from ordering another of the excellent bacon cheeseburgers with baked potato.
Aside from the nice drive, beautiful day, yummy lunch, time spent with good friends… one of the most exciting parts of the day was the discovery of the “hardy hibiscus” which actually not only grows in this part of the country, but produces these enormous dinner-plate sized blooms. (Notice in the photo the street curb, to give some perspective on size!) More research since then has turned up a nursery that carries them and they report they’re fine to plant at this time of the year and let them get “settled” before mulching them in for winter. So I’m very excited to bring a touch of the exotic to our gardens!
And other exciting news? Well, we set up a new “breakfast bar” out on our west deck where the mountains and then the house shelter the deck on that side from the sun until early afternoon, so we now have a delightful space for outdoor dining for breakfast—and lunch, too, if we eat before it’s too late. Avila, of course, was formally dressed in a ball gown for breakfast!
Oh, and the crocodiles? Well, I’ll admit—it was a bit of a stretch for alliteration’s sake. But it’s quite true that Avila is fascinated by the crocodiles in Costa Rica. She’s not entirely certain that we’re telling the truth that they don’t have crocodiles in Utah! And David was recently moving some books around and found my dad’s old copy of the Cajun Night Before Christmas, where Santa’s sleigh is pulled by alligators. We figure they’re close enough for a 3-year-old to crocodiles to amuse her!
And, although it feels like we’ve only just hit the full swing of summer, I know that Christmas will be here before we know it. I went “school shopping” for Avila today with her mom for a few new clothes as she starts Mandarin semi-immersion preschool in a few weeks. And Baby Scoopie is now about halfway to term, so he’ll certainly be the primary Christmas present for everyone this year.
Closing, as usual, with a few more pix and a plea for comments. Come on, tell me how your summer’s been going? What are you looking forward to this fall? How’s your grandchild(ren)? Show me some comment-love.
In any case, hope your July was magnificent and your August will be even better!