Friday, May 25, 2012

Camping with Muppets

"Do you want us to take a picture of you little muppets?" I'm not sure if that was her exact phrasing but it did strike me as funny that I was just called a muppet. Me, a thirty-year-old woman, was just called a muppet. My camping buddy, also a woman and also my age, and I often acquire strange looks and comments from people out in the outdoors. 

I was always thought it was because we were two girls camping alone until this woman's comment. It isn't our sex, it's our size. I'm 5'3" and my buddy just a little shorter. We also don't look our age. People I meet always ask me what I'm studying. When I say I'm done with school, they reply, but what about college?

I may have the smallest bike at the triathlons (my tires don't hit the ground when it hangs on the rack), my best friend is a step ladder, and I almost hug my steering wheel to be able to touch my pedals. But on the positive side my skis are so short, it's easier to flip backwards when teaching; my bike fits in my car without a rack, and I fit into cracks in the rocks others can't. When I'm told I'm short, I say I'm just the right size for me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eat My Grandma's Dust

While visiting my grandma this Mother's Day, I asked her if she'd ever been to Canyonlands. (I'm camping there soon.) She said her and my grandpa used to go down there four-wheeling when it was still allowed.

People used to try to block them on the main road by driving down the middle. She'd wait until there was gap and speed past dusting them.

The picture was taking a few years ago when at eighty, she still went for a several hour family ride.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Biking from Farmington to Bluffdale (and how to avoid hitting a dog)

Good news! The Legacy running/biking trail is connected to the Jordan River Parkway trail. No more hitting dirt or construction signs. Thirty miles of not having to worry about getting hit by a car is well worth driving to. 

If you're starting on the Legacy side be sure to go to the bathroom before biking as there are very few places to have a pit stop (although it does make you go faster). If you're on the Salt Lake side, you will have to cross the occasional road but there will be crossing lights.

Do watch out for the occasional moron with a dog on a leash who feels the need to take up both lanes. And when you call out "on your right" they jump — not off the trail — but across the trail dragging their dog and leash in front of you. Next time I'm not crashing my bike to avoid your dog since that leaves road rash — I'm just taking you out.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Massacre of Bugs at Antelope Island

I am on a quest to visit all the state parks in Utah. Antelope Island proved to be a fun surprise. No, it didn't smell; yes, it was full of bugs. It's also a great day trip that makes you feel a little like you're at the ocean.

Antelope Island is easy to access by taking the Antelope Drive exit in Layton and heading west until you run out of road. There's a marina, a campsite, a historic ranch, a visitor's center with restaurant, and lots of buffalo (maybe even a few antelope but I didn't see any).

We parked the car at the marina and biked to the ranch. The roads are a bit rough but traffic is scarce. The bugs weren't bad on the actual island and the sunset over the water was beautiful. We were able to get up close to buffalo without the tourist lines of Yellowstone.

After my successful jaunt to the ranch, I decided to bike across the causeway. I killed so many bugs with my chest that I had their blood smeared across my shirt. Mouth closed and head down was they way to go.

It wasn't until we drove back across the causeway that I massacred an entire species of mosquitos. I had to stop at the gas station on the other side to squeegee — not just my windshield — but my headlights. The light couldn't shine through.

This was June and apparently the best time to visit Antelope Island is April through early May — before the heat and the bugs set in and while everything is green. Fall is also a nice time to visit.