Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This Ride's for you, K.C.

We carried the spirit of recently deceased 23 year old nephew K.C. with us on this ATV trip along the Paiute Trail in the mountains above Greenwich, Utah. He had a new red-mean-machine; how he loved to ATV. This ride's for you, K.C.
Purple is my least favorite color in the whole world, but the fields of Lavender that lined a section of I-15 towards our vacation destination were SO PURPLE---so beautiful as they sashayed in the summer breeze.
We stopped in Salina for the best sea burgers and fries in the State and were pleasantly entertained by two giggly sisters doing 'fist pumps' at the mineral truck drivers going past, who in turn pulled their blow-horns and waved at them. The scene brought a memory to my heart as I flashed back to my own silly childhood when my cousin Vickey and I did cartwheels on her front lawn and waved at drivers of the big quarry trucks that drove past about every 12 minutes, hoping that they would honk and wave; which they did.
Soon we were setting up camp in a grove of protective pines, and watching a glorious full moon come up when I noticed one of my favorite ATV-ride gold earrings was missing, then I noticed I forgot to pack the Miracle whip. Joe discovered, on our ride the next day that he'd forgotten his tackle box as we stopped along the trail to fly fish at Manning Meadow Reservoir; and of course the fish were jumping everywhere.
 Pine needles strummed their song in the wind as we rode on loop 44. The smell and sight of domestic cows along such a lovely trail was disruptive and irritating to the serene senses, but soothed by the sight of a hillside covered with my dainty dandelions.   
I picked wildflowers for our coke-vase that would adorn our dinner table.

Our morning alarm clock was the loud chirp of mountain birds.

I know K.C., like us, would hate to leave these trails and hit paved roads again where seat belts had to be fastened and windows rolled up, and Silver Helmets tucked away once more.
Upon our return home we learned that our grandson, Matthew had purchased K.C. mean-red-machine.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's late June and off we go into the Uinta National Forest for a day ride along a favorite trail in Current Creek area; Low Creek Pass.
As we ride we pat each other on the thigh and point out remembered camp sites, hiking trails, or lunch spots. Wind walks through the layers of pines, but our glorious aspen weren't even leafed out yet; the summit pass was covered with snow too deep to throttle our way through. So we did something way out of character...we went around on an off-the-trail-path outlined by other four-wheelers (we don't like to disturb mother nature). Even when we get to a spot and have to turn around, its back up go forward, back up go forward on the trail itself until we get turned around.
Spring like runoff spills from the hillsides into mountain gutter-like roadside streams. The air smells clean. Summer was late, not one dandelion was spotted along the way.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A snow squall greeted us as we climbed slippery quaint wooden steps to our cabin's green door...ever wondered what's behind the green door? Well, for us it was colorful quilt wall hangings, a huge lodge-pole king size bed, and a thermostat regulated gas fire-place-stove with blower that circulated warmth all around the room.
By morning we shook the snow off our Ruffus cover, watched the sun peek through the clouds, met up with the ATVing group and headed to the main lodge for breakfast. Salt and pepper shakers, sugers, creamers, and cheap vase of imitation carnations were all moved to the side so our trail map could be spread. There in the middle of pancakes and eggs was Christmas Meadow with all adjoining loops and lakes. Our destination chosen, our stomachs full,we were off.
Boulder and tree roots lined the Lily Lake ride, while the Ostler loop offered up mud, snow too deep to plow through, and a man-made-wooden-plank trail where earth had been washed away. On the north slope at the 8000 feet level, Bear Claw loop was lined with stately aspen that gifted us with miniature May leaves and speckled fawns.
I'll bet this is beautiful in the fall!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012



Bonnie Glee

On the return ride over the Main Canyon loop in Utah’s Wasatch National Forest, the only visible snow (compared to the earlier jaunt) was in the shadowed crevasses of Mount. Timpanogos.  The entire trail was marked “OPEN”. Smells from the early spring ride were now covered by a musty odor of fall leaves shriveling all over the forest floor.  My only sign of moisture was during a panoramic view from the peak of the dusty trail of Strawberry Reservoir on my left and Deer Creek Reservoir on my right.

I watched as a thunderhead lifted from an autumn colored valley below. I was at the controls while Joe eyed nature’s wondrous beauty.  As I maneuvered over trail of boulders, Joe tapped my left leg, pointed to the right where the dark cloud loomed close, too close; then he pointed quickly to a cluster of pines just off to our left which I lunged under just in the nick-of-time.

An umbrella of pine branches protected us from the heavenly cloudburst.  Mountain Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Robins and others chirped as they perched deep within the protection of evergreens, providing a melody to lunch by. I munched my ham sandwich, tasting the first couple of bites repeatedly; it needed Colby cheese really bad (I made a mental note for the next excursion). The squall dissipated but the thunder-head kept roaring as it rolled toward the next valley. We resumed our trek.

Were my city girl eyes deceiving me – was this trail lined with oodles and oodles of raspberries? Wild raspberries? I slowed down for a better look.  Sure enough the rain had washed off the layer of camouflage-dust. Their constant movement in the wind enticed me to pull over just short of the next horse-shoe bend.  I ate like a starving pioneer girl who had never tasted such delicious fruit. I kept blinking because they surrounded me and I just knew it couldn’t be true; that my eyes were deceiving me. The ride continued and so did the layered rows of berries until just before the loop was completed, where suddenly mounds of dandelions promenaded to greet us. Dandelions in the mountains are so beautiful, while in the city, a nuisance. 

Bonnie Glee Thomas
3570 Summer Hill Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
801-733-0429 – Home
801-541-5353 – Cell
801-523-0100 – Work

377 words

Friday, July 20, 2012

Eyes of a City Girl
Bonnie Glee

Ruffus, our 4 wheeler stands idle as I climb onto a sitting rock that faces Little Lyman Lake, high in Utah’s Uintah Mountains. Here I get a glimpse of another world being unwrapped that is so foreign to city life. A gift of bumpy dirt roads lined with real boulders; nothing like the kind hauled in by landscape artists for domestic rock gardens. In the far distance (seen closer through my camouflage-colored binoculars) is King’s Peak, the highest in Utah, some 1300 feet, and in contrast to it, Flat Mountain; both still covered by winter snow on this late day in June.

Mountain wind sweeps ripples over the lake as weekend campers abandon their ATVs to fish from favorite outlined spots along the banks. I catch sight of campsites secluded in splendid shades of wild-grass-green, sage-green, and pine-green; all sprinkled beneath with blue, purple and white flowering ground cover. A mama duck guards her young from a pontoon fly-fisherman, gently guiding it toward the marshy shore.

ATV trails escape from the main road to bluff campgrounds where circles of rocks await fires for hot dogs. Wood lays about to be gathered and splintered over a stout stump to fit within the ash filled pits. Real squirrels dart from sagebrush, to tree, to cover of logs, (not like placid plastic decoys placed in manicured front yards), then scamper into cover of nearest spruce tree as branches dance in the lazy afternoon breeze.

Behind me, smooth and still, is Big Lyman Lake surrounded by a walking path just inside its shoreline. I imagine how foreign these hiking boots and blister proof socks would feel on my pedicured feet if I tried to jump steams along that path, or how thankful they would be if I paused beside the gurgling spring over in the far south-west corner to splash the coolness between my toes.; like the deer and elk did as they left their prints all around it Live ones, not those with holiday lights on them that are found in the city.

As twilight ascends my space, thunder claps its applause to this mountain-art-festival. A yearling strolls past over clumps of dandelions; but dandelions in the mountains are beautiful; and in the city, a nuisance.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Eyes of a City Girl

Bonnie Glee

Who would have thought at the young age of 60 I would swap my Saturday shopping sandals for laced-up hiking boots, and my Victoria Secret camisole for thermals with multi layers of old T-shirts on top!  I reluctantly left off the career-day makeup, put on an old baseball hat with my Miss Clairol darkened ponytail hanging out, packed a tuna sandwich lunch, and off my husband and I went.
The city’s spring sun was shinning and the yard was blossoming with crocus and daffodils as we loaded Ruffus, our new previously owned ATV, onto our recently purchased BUBBA trailer.  I was keyed up about this maiden ride in Main Canyon, a few miles south of Heber, Utah.  A frown of disgust furrowed my excited eyes when I noticed, as we pulled away, dandelions popping through the grass.

Daniel’s Canyon delighted us with snowcapped mountains and dry asphalt (my perfect traveling conditions) as we drove to our destination.  The sun filtered through the windows, I peeled off some heavy layers.  Wondered if we had been too cautious, but was soon lost in conversation about the wonders of budding nature that passed by. It wasn’t until we stopped at a convenience store to get a travel-traditional Salted Nut Roll; that I knew from the blast of brisk air that all of my clothes were truly needed. We picked up an ATV Trail map at the Ranger Station next door, pulled all of the straps tight, that steadied Ruffus, and continued on our way. 

The calm of travel suddenly became an adventure while trying to find a flat spot in the ‘parking zone’ to unload Ruffus.  Once that was accomplished and all was securely locked up, it was a gloved high-five, pull on the helmet, and climb aboard.  My trepidation of riding double soon waned when I was able to snuggle and hear joyful comments or get a pat on the leg with a pointing finger that talked many words.

This City girl was enthralled with the small rivers of water that thawed beneath the snow lined trail.  Our helmets clinked as I twisted my head quickly from side to side so not to miss a single view.  As the trial climbed steeper and steeper the side hills did too, exposing now and then waterfalls from melting snow.  A deep breath brought to my nostrils the true smells of spring.

Purple tipped ground cover lay at the base of wind wisped trees, and newly born aspen leaves flapped together like magical cymbals.  Other flowers of yellow and white made a flowing carpet for the forest floor.  Then the trail abruptly ended with a crusted mound of solid snow.  We couldn’t complete the loop.

My euphoria stayed as high as the trail had climbed while we traveled down and planned our return ride.  Then I spied a dandelion at the edge of the trail, and immediately knew that dandelions in the mountains are beautiful, but in the city, a nuisance.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Just hoping to learn how to add photos of our 'Silver Helmet' rides and talk about the wonders that we see.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dandelion Girl

It's that time of year again to start up Ruffus our ATV and go exploring the Utah trails. What has interested me from the very first ride is dandelions. I thought they belonged on front yards only to annoy, but in the mountains they are a wonder.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

This is the blog my son created for me. I will post my writings, thoughts, pictures, and musings here. This is me taking a picture: