Friday was…well, it was pretty fabulous.
John was out and about all morning with meetings. I was working at my desk, sipping beloved coffee in my pajamas, when I realized that something was missing: the usual toy-centric nudge from Cholula’s nose every few minutes. As any parent (dog or human) knows, silence is not good. I checked her favorite nap locations- the front porch, under the bed- and finally found her in our bathroom, doing this:
She was frozen in place.
Upon further investigation, I discovered the source of her focus.
This chubby little ground squirrel was pretty brave. After a solid 40-minute staring contest with Cholula, he inched closer. My tortured dog just stared, crooked ears on point (well, one of them), and watched.
I felt sorry for my patient companion, so Cholula and I headed out the front door to embark on my first “loop” of the season. The Loop starts and ends at our house, and is part neighborhood stroll, part hiking trail workout. I paused to admire the plants in our yard that have exploded back to life. Dear springtime: I love you.
We headed down the street, Cholula leading the way. The weather in Park City has been STELLAR. The sky on Friday was a deep blue, with just a few fat clouds floating in it. The neighborhood golf course has greened up beautifully, and the creek that flows through it is full. The mountains in the distance still have a sprinkling of snow on their peaks. Gorgeous.
As we reached the end of the street, we made a hard right onto the trail that leads to a popular biking route called Flying Dog. The trail runs parallel to the road for a few minutes, then switch-backs up the hill. I love it because it’s a steady incline, all the way home.
Despite the bluebird day and the gathering of cars at the trailhead, we were only passed by one mountain biker. The trail was ours. The sun was unexpectedly hot, so I welcomed the chances to pause for photos of elk prints or wildflowers. A giant cloud blocked the sun’s heat for some of the hike.
The higher we climbed, the better the views got. A glance to my right showed off the snowy tops of of Mt. Eyre, Summit Park Peak, and Murdock Peak. Looking ahead, I spied the still-white ski runs of Deer Valley and Park City Resort.
The hillside was carpeted by fresh, new grasses and gray-green sage. Yellow and blue flowers dotted either side of the trail. I made a mental note to check my “Wildflowers of Utah” book when I got home.
I attempted another Mama-doggie photo shoot. I failed another Mama-doggie photo shoot.
Once the trail starts to even out, I know we’re almost home. Cholula was heading down the hill before I realized we were there.
Heading off-trail toward our house is harder than it looks- the top of the hill is pretty steep. But there’s a recognizable trail, left by the big herd of elk who frequent the hillside, so I zig-zagged my way down it.
The first Loop of the year: perfect.
Later, I spent a heavenly chunk of time on the front porch with a glass of wine and a book.
John was just finishing up his work day, and we decided to move happy hour to the backyard. I set up shop on the chaise, watching significant thunderclouds move in.
It was right about the time John opened the back door to join me that the fat raindrops splashed on my cheeks. Poor guy. We sat inside, watching the storm, before heading into SLC for a fun little date night.
Our first stop was the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, where a friend of mine from college was showing some of his photography. The UMOCA is cool. You can enjoy a local beer or a glass of wine before enjoying all kinds of interesting art. Jim’s photos were stunning (John’s in front of one of them), and we caught a hug from him before heading out to eat.
The early evening light was kind of magical. The sunset reflected off of the leftover storm clouds, casting a pinkish hue over the city- we even spied a mini-rainbow outside of Pallet.
The vibe in Pallet is cozy, urban, industrial– brick walls and exposed lightbulbs are juxtaposed by homey touches like a velvety couch and plenty of candlelight.
We thoroughly enjoyed a scrumptious meal and a delicious bottle of wine while the last bits of daylight disappeared outside. I love the time of year when the days are long and dinnertime is late.
After some kind of oatmeal walnut miracle, our check was delivered in a vintage book (1904!). We sipped our last gulps of wine and coffee before heading back up the hill.
I make a point of being grateful– for little things or big. But really– what a lovely day. Days like Friday make me feel extraordinarily lucky.
Life is good.