Summer Bucket List 2015: After

A few months ago I wrote a bucket list of things I wanted to do during my last summer in Salt Lake City. Here are my results with links and pictures and all the evidence necessary to somehow convince you that my summer was excellent.*

Montana Elkhorn St John Catholic Church_feistyharriet_July 2014

Summer Bucket List: 2015

  1. No tan lines or sun burns
    • Accomplished! A+ for Harriet! I have tubes of SPF 385 sunscreen in every possible location (medicine cabinet, car, purse, day pack, other purse, camera bag) and was really careful to apply liberally and without mercy on the regular.
  2. Say “yes” to adventure!
  3. Sleep under the stars
    • I spent two wonderful nights under the glorious sky in eastern Nevada, one of the darkest places on earth (i.e. least light pollution). Without a telescope or anything I could see jillions of stars, the Milky Way, the Perseid meteor shower, and even caught the International Space Station as it made it’s way around the world. I need more stars in my life.
  4. Hike to the top of a mountain, a big one
  5. Summer kick off bonfire
    • Yess! Friends! Campfire! S’Mores!
  6. Go to a rodeo
    • Yep, the longest-running rodeo in Arizona, in fact.
  7. Run a 10k
    • Kind of. Did I run 6.2 miles in one morning or evening? Yes, twice. But not in an official 10k. I’m counting this half-done.
  8. Go to the farmer’s market, make meal with purchases
    • Done and done!
  9. Make homemade ice cream
    • ….fail. Absolute fail. Recipes for huckelberry ice cream and basil ice cream are both waiting for me to procure said berries and herbs….sigh.
  10. Outdoor movie (either at the drive in, or in someone’s back yard)
    • That’s a negative. I was double booked on outdoor movie night, and a good friend in town from Oregon/Canada and her new baby won over Casino Royale in the backyard. I have only a few tiny regrets (because missing larger-than-life Daniel Craig always has attached regrets).
  11. Attend the wild flower festival
    • I was out of town for the actual festival, but I went up the week before and took a million pictures of all the gorgeous flowers on the ski slopes.
  12. Dust off my big camera, take more pictures
    • Dear Canon: Why do I forget how much I love you?!
  13. Spend as much time as possible in the mountains: hiking on school nights, camping on weekends, dinner in the canyon with friends
    • Yes, even though there are not terabytes of photographic evidence, I feel like I spent more time in the mountains this summer than I have in several summers…and it always calmed my heart and fed my soul. Also? My friends are delightfully awesome.

How was your summer? Did you fill it to the brim with adventures and friends and BBQs? Or did you hunker down and wait for it to be over?

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*For the record, my summer was fan-freaking-tastic! And yes, I do have trouble sometimes with self-imposed publishing deadlines, and yes I know it’s October and no, in fact, I do not care.

Weekends are for adventures

Utah Hwy 95_feistyharriet

I am halfway through a run of back-to-back weekends that I am off adventuring, gallivanting, traveling, and otherwise having a great time. This summer has been fantastic! For the last three weekends I’ve been exploring in Arizona, Montana, and California, and in the coming weeks I’ll head back to Arizona (twice) and also do some hiking in Great Basin National Park (Nevada). I am not complaining, I feel incredibly lucky that I have the time, funds, and friends to make these adventures happen. The idea of spending a week at work and jetting off on Friday afternoon to someplace fabulous to spend time with dear friends or my sweetheart is so…intoxicating. In many ways it fulfills the requirements for my Dream Life. (Of course, in my Dream Life I might have funds and ability to include places like Paris or Peru or New Zealand in my travels instead of, you know, the middle-of-nowhere Nevada.) I have loved having a half-packed suitcase in the corner of my bedroom, filling it through the week with the freshly laundered underwear and necessary wardrobe pieces for the next adventure. I have loved the insanely low grocery budget because 4 days at home requires so much less food than 7 days at home. I have truly loved and been nourished by spending time with the humans I care about the most in the world.

But do you want to know something else?

I’m also tired. I feel like I could use a 3-hour nap any given Tuesday (and Thursday) (and Wednesday). I day-dream about a lazy Saturday morning to sleep in and it is not completely unheard of for me to crawl into bed before 8pm, read for 30 minutes, and go to sleep. I’m sure my body will eventually get the better of my wander-lusting heart and demand I take a few days to recover…but it’s not today. As we speak I’m planning my suitcase for two separate trips, one this weekend and one the weekend after. And, despite the dark circles under my eyes and the incessant bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper at my desk, I think I prefer it this way. I’ll sleep when I’m dead and I’ll stop exploring when they pry my Road Trip app from my cold dead fingers.

So, basically, there will need to be a lot of dying before I’ll truly stop seeking the beautiful places. I’ll slow down, eventually, but not quite yet.

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Photo: Utah’s Highway 95, somewhere north-west of Blanding and not quite to Capitol Reef National Park.