Monday, June 30, 2014

Our First Empty Nest Vacation

 I am committed  to keep up on this family blog of ours but this summer has been crazy!  It's the worst to get behind on something so I am slowly getting this in place!  It's is always easier to do a post while memories are fresh on on your mind!

One day Mark said, I want to take you to one of my most favorite places on the planet...
So our first trip as empty-nesters was born!


Although road construction prevented us from reaching his favorite spot, we certainly enjoyed a lovely afternoon fishing and sketching.  The clouds rolled in they were beautiful to watch.
I was sketching across the marsh from where Mark was fishing and between us were millions (I kid you not!!) of these spiders all over the marsh.  I would not be following him along the stream to photograph his fish. 

Our cabin for the night.  I just love these tiny little structures!  
We have enjoyed staying in places like this over the years as we travel around.  
Always such an adventure.

Fish Lake Lodge.  It certainly shows years of age and wear.  
Dinner was great.  The trout was amazing!!

Pando, a clonal quaking aspen stand, that, according to some sources, is the oldest (80,000 years) and largest (106 acres, 13 million pounds) organism on Earth, is located 1 mile southwest of Fish Lake on Utah route 25. As far as quaking aspen trees go,  I would describe them as very sturdy! Quite a site.

A cool B & B at this beautiful ranch house.  We stopped for a little tour.  
It is beautiful inside and out!! (I will find the name)
The host said it is absolutely dreamy to spend time there in the winter.  
You will need to save your peso's as it is a little pricey.

After a yummy breakfast at the Sunglow Cafe (which I will talk about later on here) We made a quick stop at a fly shop and were on our way.

The churches and houses in these little towns are so darn cute!

Capitol Reef is spectacular and not crowded at all compared to some of the other Canyonlands in Utah.  We really enjoyed our time here.  Especially the hike we took (which I will look up the name!)
The petroglyphs are pretty groovy to see!

The photos I will pose in for the love of my grand kiddos!  They would love this hike!

The skies threatened rain but never delivered.  They were striking to watch.

 After our hike we pulled out our Oatmeal Coconut Pie from the cooler.
Pie Perfection right there! Sharing one piece wouldn't be enough…

 ...we would swing by Sunglow Cafe for a bedtime snack!

I found a few photos online that give you a flavor of the Sunglow Motel and Cafe
Charming!  They had a big write up a few years ago in Sunset Magazine.

Capitol Reef

 The Gifford  House is in such a picturesque location. 
 (Like everything else is in the area of the state!)
We admired its charm.

 We camped at Thousand Lakes RV Park.  
It was clean, quiet and beautiful.  Our two man tent was cozy!
The little cabins looked like fun, but they were booked up.

After getting our tent all set up we ventured out for some more fishing and painting.

 My spot to perch and paint.

I did not perch here, just admired the beauty.

 The water was still a little murky, but Mark enjoyed enjoyed his time on the river.

 I love planning trips and researching out the best new eateries to try.  Cafe Diablo in Torrey
had some pretty decent reviews and a very interesting menu.  Such a beautiful setting, too!

We can now say we have tried Rattlesnake Cakes (with three special sauces!)  They were actually pretty bland themselves but the sauces made them a pretty spectacular appetizer!  (Blurry phone photo, but proof we had them!)

 Our review of the rest of the meal goes as follows:  the Spinach Mushroom Salad was amazing!!  Marinated mushrooms sauteed until they were warm and tender served over the salad all wrapped up in a beautiful crispy tortilla.  Our entrees were beautifully presented but it was almost as if they tried too hard to cram too many flavors onto one plate.

Beautiful setting and fun experience.  
We probably wouldn't spend the money to go back again 
but really enjoyed our evening there.


Not long after we moved to Logan I found a cookbook at a local bookstore called With A Measure of Grace.  I was intrigued with their story and enjoyed every page of it.  (And passed it on to my daughter-in-law who loves to read cookbooks as much I do!!) I promptly added Hell's Backbone Grill to my local bucket list! And we finally made it!  They are due out with a second book this winter :)

It was quite charming and the food was really amazing.  We went for breakfast and enjoyed blue corn pancakes with pure maple syrup with whipped cinnamon butter and the backbone breakfast with local farm eggs, smashed sage potato pancakes, oatmeal molasses toast with housemade apricot sausage patties. Oh my.  The flavors were wonderful.

It's a quaint little place with rooms to stay in and happy hippies milling around the grounds.
Can't wait for their new cookbook!

Everything seems to be slowed down here.  It was really refreshing.  
We didn't mind the wait for our hot breakfast at all. 

Stop by if you are ever in this neck of the woods!

Back on the road again we had to drive on Hell's Backbone Road.
It is truly like a backbone that rises up from the desolate land.

And now a few of our favorite views through Bryce...

We hiked down a bit into the Grand Amphitheater.  

And the following are some of the views on highway (I will be looking that one up too!)
On our way back north.

We spent the night in a little motel in Panguitch.  Home of Butch Cassidy. 
Sunday morning we were on our way home.
We certainly did at our best at squeezing every minute of our long weekend trip!

Next stop road trip will be Yellowstone to pick up Emily!