I love America. Living in Asia for so many years has turned me into a patriotic fool, one who will never miss an opportunity to sing the national anthem loudly and wave our flag with glee. So when I had the opportunity to fly out to Utah with my family for the 4th of July, I booked my ticket as soon as I returned from Europe. Don’t worry, Europe photos are coming soon!
Oh Utah, you are lovely. We always ski in Utah, but for the last few years we have also spent the summer enjoying the dry desert air and beautiful scenery. Here’s what we did the long holiday weekend:
1. Fly Fishing!
The morning after I arrived, we spent 4 hours fly fishing with a couple of guides. At first I was bored out my mind but eventually began to enjoy the steady flow of the river and the warm sun on my back. My family caught a lot of fish… and I caught none. But I took a picture holding a fish so it looked like I accomplished something.
2. Park City 4th of July Parade
You gotta love small town America parades. Park City has an adorable parade with plenty of small children waving flags and marching bands playing Top 40 chart toppers. I loved it all, especially stopping for a few beers at a local brewery after the parade. Yum.
Family photo opp!! Together at last :-).
3. 4th of July BBQ and Fireworks
After eating lots of food at our friend’s house, we went to the top of a mountain to watch several firework shows in the area. The dark and foreboding sky was lit up by small bursts of light in the distance. It was magical and definitely memorable. I was decked out for the occasion of course…
4. Mountain Biking
I absolutely love mountain biking (remember Cambodia?). It is so challenging but I love the adventure! Those uphill climbs suck but the downhill paths through the trees and across beautiful meadows make it worth the effort. This time I managed to run into a fence and slam my bike into my leg, giving me some pretty hardcore bruises, but it is all part of the thrill. I am itching to go again.. maybe in New Zealand?
Do you rodeo?? It is honestly the weirdest event ever. We sat around watching men risk their lives on enormous bucking animals and gasping when they were chucked off like rag dolls. So bizarre. But it was fun? At least the weather was beautiful.
We did some normal hiking which is an easy and relaxing trek through the trees. You enjoy the scenery and feel energized afterwards which is lovely.
7. “For Real” Hiking, also known as mountain climbing
Then there is “for real” hiking, also known as mountain climbing or “omg this is so difficult I am going to die” hiking. On our last day in Utah, we were feeling pretty ambitious and decided to find a more challenging hike. So we parked our car at the top of a mountain and then climbed straight uphill to the peak, gasping for breath in the thin air… and that was just the beginning! We looped around past several lakes, aka mosquito breeding grounds, that had us scrambling over boulders away from the evil swarms. I wrapped a shirt around my head to keep the bugs at bay and was more then ready to return to the car… 3 hours later. It was really tough but oddly satisfying and the views were spectacular. A win in my book, despite the bug bites.
8. Surprise summer concert with The Punch Brothers
By chance one of Morgan’s and my favorite bands were playing an outdoor concert down the street! Gahh!!! The night of the concert we packed an enormous picnic and arrived a couple hours early to claim our spot on the grass. The Punch Brothers were absolutely phenomenal and such a joy to watch live. I never thought I’d say this… but I love bluegrass music. It is actually a lot like Irish traditional music… which is awesome! Such a great night!
Overall it was a short but sweet trip to the mountains. Now it is time to prep for China once again. Oh dear…
Happy Independence Day everybody! Yay America!