Bucket List

Cruising to Alaska

Hello, friends! I have crossed off yet another bucket list item – and this is a big one! From May 30 –  June 6, my friend Sarah and I cruised from Seattle to Alaska and back.

Aren't we cute?

Aren’t we cute?

It was a 7-night cruise on the Royal Caribbean cruise line. The name of our ship was the Rhapsody of the Seas, so it had musically-themed rooms and decorations. Neither of us had ever been on a cruise before, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but we thought it was great! We forked out a little extra money to get an ocean view cabin (room), which gave us a window to the outside of the ship. It was actually a fairly decent-sized window, too, which was nice.

Our ocean view cabin

Our ocean view cabin

We spent Days 1-2 on the ship, cruising along the west coast of the continent. It was pretty rough water, so we were both using motion sickness medicines to get us through the day. We could really feel the motion of the ship. After that, we entered Alaska’s “Inside Passage,” where we were shielded from the rough ocean waves and had a nice, smooth ride. On those first two days, we enjoyed the entertainment on the ship, which included trivia games, a comedian show, sitting in a hot tub (and watching the water in the pool go crazy as the ship rocked back and forth), and making new friends at each of our meals. Our waiters, Joseph and Ian, were excellent. They were so fun and teased us, and we became pretty good friends with them by the end of the cruise. We also made friends with other travelers from all over the world! It was fun to run into them on the ship and on the shore excursions throughout our trip.

I found a Book of Mormon in the library on the ship!

I found a Book of Mormon in the library on the ship!

On the second day, we went into our cabin at about 7 p.m. and both fell asleep. We woke up three hours later, at 10 p.m., and it was still light outside! The sun set at 10:22 p.m. and rose at 4:15 a.m. the next morning. I imagine that within a couple of weeks, Alaska had full days with no sunset. On Day 3, we landed in Juneau, Alaska. We had been advised by my parents (who had done the trip before) to not book shore excursions through the cruise line because they charge a premium. So instead, we planned to book excursions through local groups that sell at little booths in Juneau. We paid $4 to ride a shuttle into Juneau. The driver, a young guy in his early twenties, announced that because it was Sunday, he was going to be playing some classical music on the bus. Lo and behold, the song that played was “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” a hymn specific to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (my church!). We were pretty surprised and excited 🙂 In Juneau, we ended up bargaining with a guy at a booth (sort of accidentally – we didn’t realize the prices were negotiable). We got two excursions in one for $90 each. The cruise ship was offering the same excursion combination for $172! Score! The first excursion, whale watching, was probably the #1 highlight of my whole trip. North Pacific Humpback Whales feed in circles, and we ended up right in the middle of a circle of about four whales. One of them breached (came out of the water) within about 40 feet of our whale watching boat.

Our whale watching boat is the one to the far right. The one on the left has a bald eagle sitting on top of the mast.

Our whale watching boat is the one to the far right. The one on the left has a bald eagle sitting on top of the mast.

I'm fairly certain that bald eagles think they're better than the rest of us...

I’m fairly certain that bald eagles think they’re better than the rest of us…

On the dock before boarding the whale watching boat (the guy behind Sarah is taking a picture of the eagle above them)

On the dock before boarding the whale watching boat (the guy behind Sarah is taking a picture of the eagle above them)

We spotted whales by looking for the spray of water that comes from their blowholes, and then they surface. Every once in a while, more than just their fins come out of the water (“breaching”), but I didn’t catch any good pictures of it. DSCN6179mod


Sarah and I were alone on the back of the boat at one point, and we spotted a sea lion playing in the water. He was jumping out of the water and doing flips, and he actually followed the boat for a little while. So so cute. After whale watching, we boarded another bus to visit Mendenhall Glacier. It was GORGEOUS. The blue color is really indescribable – and even pictures don’t do it justice. But here are a couple anyway 🙂




That night after dinner, we watched a performance on the cruise ship that was 70’s dancing. It was pretty fun, though not the  best performance of the trip.

Day 4, we arrived in Skagway, Alaska – the furthest north that we went on this cruise. We got off the ship, walked about 1/4 mile, realized I didn’t have my passport and went back to the ship, and then tried a second time to walk into town 🙂 Skagway is an old gold rush town. The population is about 800 now, though it was closer to 20,000 during the gold rush. It’s a really beautiful little place, nestled in the mountains.

There were other cruise lines following basically the same schedule as us. This is the harbor in Skagway.

There were other cruise lines following basically the same schedule as us. This is the harbor in Skagway.

The cliffs are painted with a bunch of flags from ships that have visited Skagway. Notice anything strange?

The cliffs are painted with a bunch of flags from ships that have visited Skagway. Notice anything strange?

Here's a closer look. How cool is that?

Here’s a closer look. How cool is that?


“Broadway” street in Skagway, Alaska

Scenic Skagway, Alaska

Scenic Skagway, Alaska

We visited a small museum in Skagway as well. It had some artifacts from the gold rush and talked about how hard life was for the prospectors. After facing the cold and the trek up the mountain, most of them never received any gold at all. They also had literally hundreds of horses die on the way up the mountain because most of them overestimated how much a horse can carry and underestimated how much it needs to eat. It was really fascinating stuff – a piece of history that I’ve never really learned. However, one thing made me laugh. This is part of the packing list that was required for one man (or woman) to travel up White Pass:

More bacon, anyone?

More bacon, anyone?

We took a 3-hour tour by mini bus up White Pass to the summit and back. Most people do this tour via train, but I think the mini bus was the way to go. Not only did we get to know our tour guide pretty well, but we also stopped at all the scenic overlooks and had the opportunity to get out and walk around. The mountains are very beautiful – and very different from the Rocky Mountains near my home. Our first stop was the old Skagway cemetery, where we learned about the crook who had 300 thieves working for him and essentially ran the town, though he was feared, not loved. When he died, only three people attended his funeral – the pastor, the gravedigger, and a woman who was wearing a black veil over her face. They still don’t know who she was. The stories were so fascinating. It sounded like it came straight out of an old western movie. Not only that, but the cemetery looks like it’s a painting in a picture book as well. Check it out!


Old Skagway Cemetery


Waterfall in White Pass


Selfie on the mini bus!


Scenic overlook in White Pass


At White Pass Summit. I think this means we were momentarily in Canada here?


The mini bus


Scenic overlook just outside of Skagway

We also found a fun sign in Skagway:

Sign on a store door in Skagway

Sign on a store door in Skagway

We really lucked out with weather in Skagway as well. It looked rainy in the morning, but it only lightly sprinkled on us and then cleared up. It was cold at the top of the summit, but there was also a lot of snow up there still. When we got back to our cabin on the cruise ship, we found our first towel animal! DSCN6223


After boarding the ship, we had some time to kill before dinner. So I introduced Sarah to virgin strawberry daiquiris. They were so good! And much cheaper than the alcoholic equivalent, of course 🙂 We also enjoyed the musical styling of the Rosario Duo, a guitarist and violinist who performed on the cruise ship every day. They were very talented, and the guitar/violin sound was a neat combination.

The daiquiris (virgin, of course) came with fancy straw wrappers too :)

The daiquiris (virgin, of course) came with fancy straw wrappers too 🙂

The amazing Rosario Duo performing in the "Centrum" - the main open area on the ship

The amazing Rosario Duo performing in the “Centrum” – the main open area on the ship

At dinner that night, we forgot to make a reservation ahead of time, so we ended up sitting at a table that was right next to our regular spot – just outside the area that Joseph and Ian, our usual servers, wait on. As soon as they noticed us, they made a huge deal out of it, as if we were traitors. It was all playful, of course – and so funny. I think we actually felt a little guilty, because we made sure to sit at one of their tables for the rest of the trip.

Day 5, we were at sea. In the morning, the captain announced that we were next to Dawes Glacier in Endicott Fjord, part of Tracy Arm Fjord, and that he would spin the ship all the way around at least one more time before leaving so that we could all get a good look at it. Sarah and I threw on some clothes and headed upstairs to the outside deck. It was really an incredible view.


Dawes Glacier


There were icebergs in the water


A view of Endicott Fjord (basically what you would see if if you were standing on Dawes Glacier looking out)


Dawes Glacier


The incredible scenery of Endicott Fjord


Me! Looking slightly tired and cold, but excited nonetheless 🙂


Sarah in front of Dawes Glacier


Another scenic view of Endicott Fjord. These mountains were SO beautiful

We never saw the glacier “calving” (chunks of ice falling off), but we did get to hear it from our spot in the fjord, and it sounded just like thunder.

Well, this day at sea, we had quite a bit of time to kill, so Sarah decided (almost on a whim) to have her naturally blonde hair dyed in the on-board spa! I accompanied her (for moral support, of course). The best part was that her hairdresser was from Scotland! Such a cool accent.

Saying goodbye to the blonde!

Saying goodbye to the blonde!

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Gotta love the flattering foil look 😉

That night, I tried lobster for the very first time! I’ll be honest – I didn’t love it. The taste wasn’t bad (in fact, the food on the ship was so good that I’m sure the lobster was cooked perfectly), but I couldn’t get past the texture. Nonetheless, I tried it! Sarah did, too. After dinner, we attended a show by pianist Craig Dahn. He was so, so good! By the end of the performance, I was ready to quit piano because I would never be that good, and Sarah was ready to start taking piano lessons. haha. I actually forked out the money to buy his CD after the show, and I haven’t regretted it. He is phenomenal. The only funny part was that he played “My Heart Will Go On”…which is the love theme from the movie The Titanic. Seems like a strange choice to play on a cruise ship, doesn’t it…?

Day 6, we were at sea again. I woke up in the morning and headed to the gym (and if you know me well, you’re thinking, She did what?!). I tried the elliptical machine for the first time – I felt like I needed to take advantage of the opportunity to try one without paying for a gym pass. It was a good workout! But next time, I’ll try it when I’m not on a rocking ship 🙂 At breakfast that morning, one of the crew members, a guy from India (?) named Shetty offered to make us a special omelette, and then he personally delivered it to our table. We’re pretty sure he had a crush on Sarah, because he gave her special attention the whole week. The omelette was just the icing on the cake 🙂

We watched The Proposal on a huge outdoor screen next to the pool during the day. We surprisingly had perfect weather for it. I also competed in a Sudoku challenge, which ended up being pretty hard. I did well, but there was a lady who finished like 20 minutes before the rest of us did, so I lost horribly. I tried venison for the first time (at least, I think I haven’t had it before) that day as well. But the real treat of this day happened when Sarah and I were just sitting in our cabin talking. She was looking out the window, and all of a sudden she exclaimed, “That whale just breached!” I didn’t believe her at first, but sure enough, there was a whale close to the ship who was full body breaching – coming all the way out of the water, spinning, and then going back under. It breached probably six times before it was out of view. So spectacular! We didn’t get any photos or video of it because we were afraid of missing the show while looking for cameras. I guess there are benefits to being on Deck 2 – we were close to the water 🙂

That night, they played some hilarious Battle of the Sexes games on-board the ship. One required popping balloons using various body parts. Another required squeezing a key chain between your cheeks (yes, the inappropriate ones) and walking to a cup that was sitting on the ground, and then trying to drop the key chain into the cup. I was laughing so hard I was almost in tears.

We also had our second towel animal visit our cabin!



On Day 7, we stopped in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada – on Vancouver Island. The weather was so perfect – although according to the locals, it usually is. We went on a city bus tour and stopped at Craigdarroch Castle, where we spent about an hour touring it. It was built by an oil baron as a mansion, though it wasn’t completed when he died. His wife and some of his children and grandchildren lived there, though.



Excuse the camera strap covering the right side of the picture…



This castle was full of gorgeous old pianos. I’m a little obsessed 🙂


Check out the fireplace!

Check out the fireplace!



The view from the castle tower


View of the castle from the other side


This, folks, is an 1879 Steinway piano in a castle…

After the castle tour, we spent some time wandering through Victoria. We ate in a pizza place that was one of those earth-loving, organic, hippie types of places. With really good, fresh pizza. Victoria is a beautiful place. Plus, the exchange rate is currently slightly in our favor, so the shopping was a little extra fun, too.



Victoria’s “5 Star Hotel” that will never actually be rated 5 stars because they can’t install air conditioning without damaging the historical structure. However, the weather is always mild, so they don’t actually need A/C.


A quaint alleyway in Victoria where locals sell their goods at booths


Victoria has a carillon! There are very few of these around anymore – and one of them happens to be at my alma mater, BYU.



Check out the planes taking off!


Love this statue 🙂


My new Canadian war veteran friend 🙂


On a bag in a gift shop


They happened to be watering this as I was taking the picture…


This seriously fits people in it. Children, I’m assuming…

That night, on-board the ship, we saw a comedian named Jeff Nease. He was SO funny. I’m always a little cautious of comedians because their jokes can be so dirty, but he was hilarious and (mostly) clean. It was a great end to a great cruise 🙂

After the show, we played a “Majority Rules” game show. Not very many people showed up to play, but it was still fun. The memorable part, though, was that I was offered my first bottle of wine. haha. A couple that we had met several days earlier, Brian and LuAnn from Florida, told us that they had two bottles of wine in their cabin and asked if we would like to have one. It was so nice of them to offer! Of course, we said no because we don’t drink, but it was very flattering nonetheless. I seriously loved making friends with all these different people – even if we will probably never see them again.

Sarah and I actually spent another day and a half in Seattle before flying back home. We were able to tour the EMP (Experience Music Project) museum and see the Space Needle. We didn’t go into the Space Needle because it was a very expensive ticket for an elevator ride, but fun to see anyway. We also visited Pike’s Place Market.

EMP Museum from outside

EMP Museum from outside

The Space Needle!

The Space Needle!

My first monorail ride :)

My first monorail ride 🙂

Pike's Place Market

Pike’s Place Market

Then I arrived home to a nice surprise from my sweet man:

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2014-06-07 12.16.11

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Lilies are my favorite 🙂

I’m rocking and rolling with the bucket list items this year. Stay tuned for more posts on the way!

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That’ll Leave a Mark

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, I learned to snowboard! Well…at least, my feet were attached to a snowboard. This snowboard.


Snowboard, courtesy of my sister, and boots, courtesy of an awesome sale at Sports Authority.

As I prepared for this adventure, friends and family members kept telling me horror stories of things that had happened to them on snowboards. One friend ran into a tree and broke several ribs. Another told of people who land wrong and break their wrists. He suggested landing on my fists instead. I’m not particularly accident prone, but I felt pretty nervous. Nonetheless, six of us headed up to Brighton Ski Resort (coincidentally the same resort where I learned to ski when I was 12), and my roommate stayed with me the whole night to teach me.

On my first trip down the bunny hill (which took a ridiculously long hour, by the way), I discovered that I have no idea how to stand up on a snowboard. Once I was up, I could stay up on the snowboard for a decent amount of time, but I couldn’t figure out how to get up in the first place. So I invented my own way of standing up, which involved getting on my knees first and then pushing myself backward off the snow in front of me. It looks (and feels) very awkward, but hey – at least I got up. Unfortunately, this is what my knees looked like the next day because of it:


Those aren’t shadows – they’re bruises.

Sometimes I forgot the broken wrists caution and caught myself on my wrists instead of my fists when I fell. This was the result from that disastrous plan:

Bruised wrists from landing

Bruised wrists from landing

I wore a wrist brace to play my trombone at orchestra rehearsal the next night, but it healed pretty quickly after that.

After two trips down the bunny hill, I decided I was ready for a bigger lift, and my ever-patient roommate accompanied me.


Waiting for the lift called Majestic


Distracted by cute male snowboarders, maybe?

When we got to the top of the Majestic lift, it was 7:50 p.m. The lifts would stop running at 9:00 p.m. and then they clear the mountain before closing the resort. We chose the easiest route down the mountain, but to my horror, I discovered that I had absolutely no control over which direction (left or right) I was snowboarding. With a small cliff on the right side, the run sloped to the right, so I would slowly snowboard toward the cliff, sit on my bum, and scoot to the left all the way across the path. Then I’d stand up and do it all over again. It took FOREVER. After we passed the cliff on the right, there was a closed run on the left, so the path sloped to the left, and I repeated my pattern going the opposite direction. My friend spent a good deal of time sitting on her bum in the snow, waiting for me to inch my way down the slope. I probably owe her for that one 🙂

We saw the lifts stop running at 9:00, and we were still halfway up the mountain. Two of our friends showed up, telling us that the ski patrol had ushered them along so that the resort could close. By then I was literally crying tears of frustration. I was cold and sore, and my snow pants kept snapping open, so all of my bottom layers were soaked through from sitting in the snow.

Moments later, two of the ski patrol guys found us and asked if I wanted a snowmobile to take me the rest of the way down. I hesitated, knowing I would eventually make it to the bottom on my own (though it would’ve taken another hour or so). But they pointed out that none of the employees can go home until we do…so I accepted the offer. It was about 9:45 p.m. by then. It had taken nearly two hours to get halfway down a green (easy) run.

That’s right, folks – the resort closed, we were still halfway up the mountain, and a snowmobile rescued me and took me the rest of the way down. Admittedly, not my finest hour.

Since riding a snowmobile is also on my bucket list, I sort of accidentally killed two birds with one stone. But I still want to go snowmobiling for real sometime 🙂

All in all, not my best bucket list item. But I won’t give up! I have the equipment, and I have seven ski resorts within an hour’s drive of my house, so I will try again before the season ends. But maybe I’ll stick to the bunny hill next time 🙂

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A Fair to Remember

Another bucket list item crossed off! This one? “Enter something into a state fair.”

About a year ago, I decided photography would be a good choice because (1) it doesn’t require a lot of time or fancy equipment, and (2) I was about to spend three months in Africa, which was a rare opportunity for some quality pics. During my time in Ghana, I took a lot of pretty good photos, and a few exceptional ones. I had beautiful subjects to work with 🙂 I was also using a cheap point-and-shoot type of camera: an 8.0 megapixel Nikon CoolPix. I think that makes the photo quality the same as an iPhone 5.

After returning to the States, I selected 25 of my favorite photos and polled my friends to see which they liked best. Then I narrowed it to 10 and polled them again – this time using fancy online survey software (a special thanks to everyone who voted, by the way. It was very helpful). Using their feedback, I selected three photos to enter, all in the Amateur category. I did some basic PhotoShop editing (totally legal), had them printed and mounted on foam core board, and then sent them with my friend Bridgette, who entered the contest with three photos of her own!

Here are the three photos I chose, with their titles in the photo captions.

Entered into Amateur photography in the Scenic – Including Hand of Man (meaning man-made items are in the photo) category:

Fisherman's Craft, Ghana

Fisherman’s Craft, Ghana

Entered into Amateur photography in the Action category:

Simple Play, Ghana Orphanage

Simple Play, Ghana Orphanage

Entered into Amateur photography in the Human Interest category:

Footsteps to Nzulezo

Footsteps to Nzulezo

Pretty cool, eh? The third one, “Footsteps to Nzulezo,” is one that I chose purely because my friends and family ranked it high among their favorites. I don’t think I ever would’ve put it in my own top three picks. Now, remember – the point of entering these photos into the State Fair was not to win; it was to have the experience of entering something.

Our tickets for the Utah State Fair!

Our tickets for the Utah State Fair!

So yesterday, a group of friends joined me to visit the Utah State Fair. We started, of course, with the photography exhibit. As we worked our way through the photos, we spotted the photos that Bridgette and I had entered. It was so fun to see my photos on the boards with my name! Having never been very involved in art or photography, I guess I underestimated the satisfaction of seeing my work on display. It was also really neat to see everybody else’s photos – lots of talent!

The results (drumroll, please)!

Fisherman's Craft, Ghana - on display at the fair!

Fisherman’s Craft, Ghana – on display at the fair!

Simply Play, Ghana Orphanage - with a Fourth Place ribbon! I was so excited!

Simply Play, Ghana Orphanage – with a Fourth Place ribbon! I was so excited!

Looky! Fourth place!

Looky! Fourth place!

And finally…

That's right, folks - a BLUE ribbon for Footsteps to Nzulezo!

That’s right, folks – a BLUE ribbon for Footsteps to Nzulezo!

SO SO SO excited!!!

SO SO SO excited!!!

Here it is! I think there is prize money with this, too, but I honestly didn't even look it up because I didn't think I had any chance of winning :)

Here it is! I think there is prize money with this, too, but I honestly didn’t even look it up because I didn’t think I had any chance of winning 🙂

And look! Bridgette won a ribbon too!

Bridgette with "Pool"

Bridgette with “Pool”

I seriously love this picture. And this friend - for jumping on my bandwagon and entering with me :)

I seriously love this picture. And this friend – for jumping on my bandwagon and entering with me 🙂

Of all my bucket list items, crossing this one off has been one of the most exciting, rewarding, positive experiences I’ve had. Who would’ve thought that I’d win two ribbons on my very first attempt at entering a photography contest? Or a state fair, for that matter? I seriously would’ve been satisfied and excited just to see my photos on display – for the experience of it. But I’m certainly not going to turn down a blue ribbon 🙂 Plus, we had an awesome evening at the state fair!


You can view my bucket list here. To see my blog posts about other bucket list items I’ve crossed off, click Bucket List in the menu in the top right corner.

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I Can Go the Distance

I roped my friend Bryce into joining me on my newest Bucket List adventure: Biking 25 miles!

Saturday morning (June 29), I woke up at 5:30 a.m., hauled my bicycle into my parents’ SUV, and drove to Bryce’s house. And then we took off at the crack of dawn!


About 3 miles into our ride, I stopped to take a picture of the gorgeous sunrise

Our first 5 miles were almost entirely uphill, and I think my body went into a bit of shock at being woken up so early and then pushed so hard. But after mile 5, my legs finally worked into a rhythm, and the rest of the ride was great! As we rode down the Mountain View Corridor (just a small portion of our ride), we saw our first fellow bikers! There were bikers and runners all over the place in the early morning because the temperature was supposed to reach 104 degrees that day.

The biker in black is Bryce, biking very slowly while I stopped to take a drink and a couple pictures

The biker in black is Bryce, biking very slowly while I stopped to take a drink and a couple pictures

It was great to have a “hard core” cyclist with me on my ride because he kept pushing me. Starting at about mile 11, Bryce challenged me to maintain a 12 mph pace. Doesn’t sound impressive, I know – but my usual average is about 9 mph. I haven’t really paid attention to my pace or keeping it steady, but I was glad for the challenge. And I did it! I only dropped below 12 mph a handful of times during the rest of the ride.

Ta da! Total distance: 25.680 miles.


My cyclometer at the end of the trip. Side note: my good friend Elyse bought this little computer for me about a year ago, and I love having it!

Here we are, at the end of the ride! It took 2 hours and 20 minutes. I asked Bryce how long it would’ve taken him to do it alone, and he said he would have finished it in about half the time. haha. So I’m extra grateful for his early morning sacrifice and keeping me company. Also, please excuse the crazy hair. It’s one disadvantage to having my hair short – it looks ridiculous in a bicycle helmet…

Bryce and me

Bryce and me

I did it!!!

I did it!!!

You can see the whole bucket list here. As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions! Happy biking!

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The First 15 Miles

I’ve chosen several items from my bucket list that I want to cross off by the end of 2013. Perhaps the most challenging of those is riding my bicycle 25 miles. For serious cyclists, 25 miles is nothing. Maybe one day I’ll be part of that crowd, too. But for now, I’m going to take baby steps until I can do it!

I’m young and in fairly good shape, though I don’t ride as much as I should. My typical ride around a nearby lake is about 7.5 miles. Yesterday, I rode a quick 5 miles through neighborhoods without breaking a sweat, which was pretty exciting. Then I made an intermediate goal to do 15 miles today – significantly farther than I’ve ever gone in my life, and double the distance of my usual ride.

I called my friend Michelle – who is very active and could probably do 15 miles without blinking when she’s at her peak. Conveniently (for me, who doesn’t bike particularly fast), this was her first ride of the season. We won’t mention the 1/2 marathon she ran last Saturday… haha. Anyway, she was excited to join me, so we packed up our bikes and headed to Jordan River Parkway. It’s a paved trail that runs alongside a river, and it’s pretty flat, which is great for my first 15-miler. Most of it looks about like this:

Jordan River Parkway Sign


For those of you who know the area, we rode from 12300 S. to 7800 S. and back. Unfortunately, around 9000 S., there are four blocks that are unfinished, so we had to go up to the road and ride alongside cars for a little while. On our way back, near mile 10 and during the time that we were on the road instead of the parkway, Michelle’s back tire went flat!

We decided that I should go on alone to finish my 15 miles. I took her car keys (just in case she couldn’t get someone to pick her up), and in the meantime, she called her brother. I finished the last 5 miles at a faster pace than I’d been going the whole time! It felt SO good! Michelle’s brother picked up her car, drove to get her and her bike, and then came back to the park where we had started. I beat them there and waited for a bit.

My cyclometer read 15.29 miles!!!

2013-4-27 Bike Ride

I can’t quite cross off my bucket list item yet, but I’m well on my way! I’m a bit saddle sore, and I’ll probably really be feeling it tomorrow, but it was totally worth it. Will I make it to 25 miles before the end of the summer? You betcha!

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Doin’ the Snowshoe Shuffle

My first bucket list post!

I’ve been talking about snowshoeing every winter for years. Last year, a group of my friends went, but I was out of town for the weekend and missed it. I also have lived around snow (during the winter months, of course) my whole life, so it’s a little amazing that it took this long to cross this one off the bucket list.

Late Friday night, a good friend sent me a text to see if I wanted to go snowshoeing the next morning. I dropped everything to take advantage of this chance. Saturday morning, after some trial and error trying to borrow snowshoes, I ended up renting them from Sports Authority. In case you are worried that rental fees are a barrier to entry with this winter sport–don’t be. It was only $10 for the day! I think depending on the rental place, it varies from about $7-15. You can buy snowshoes for $100-200 if you fall in love with it 🙂

We met up with some friends, and up the canyons we went! After some struggles getting the snowshoes on (apparently I have issues with straps), we took pictures.


Working on Justin’s snowshoe straps (I had finally gotten mine strapped on by then)


Ready to go!


Snowshoeing is more fun when you leave the trail 🙂 It’s also considerably harder…

So there you have it! I have been invited to go snowshoeing again in a couple of days. I may have a new winter sport addiction 🙂

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The Bucket List

Original Draft 11 July 2005 (Note: Some of the most personal goals have been omitted from this list)

Check markSee a rodeo (7/23/08 Days of ’47 Rodeo)
See a Broadway show
Check markSee a monster truck rally (1/4/08)
Go hang gliding
Check markLearn to snowboard (1/15/14 at Brighton Ski Resort with Elyse, Dan, Ron, Kari, and Danny)
Check markAttend a big concert (5/24/11 U2 in Rice Eccles stadium)
Ride in a hot air balloon
Go bungee jumping
See a horse race
Check markSee a Major League Baseball (MLB) game (7/2/05 San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants in San Diego)
Ride in a helicopter
Visit the Coliseum
Visit the Eiffel Tower
Make a quilt (started Sept. 2012)
Check markPlay in a marching band (2006-2009 BYU Cougar Marching Band)
Make a formal dress
Write a song
Visit Mount Rushmore
Check markDrive a bus (10/13/10 in a parking lot)
Swim with dolphins
Check markLearn to golf (7/4/11 with extended family)
Check markGo on a cruise (5/30/14-6/6/14 from Seattle, WA to Alaska)
Check markAttend Brigham Young University (graduated Apr. 2010)
Check markServe an LDS (Mormon) Mission (summer 2009 in Nauvoo, IL)
Check markVolunteer in a homeless shelter (8/18/12)
Check markHike Mt. Timpanogos (7/3/06 to the cave, 6/29/07 to the top to watch the sunrise :))
Check markRide the Catapult (9/5/11 This is a ride, at a nearby amusement park, like a giant vertical slingshot)
Check markVisit Disney World (4/26/08 Epcot Center. Still need to see the rest of it :))
Check markGo on a blind date (1/2/08)
Check markRide a motorcycle (9/29/07)
Check markRide on a train (11/11/11 from Joliet, IL to Chicago, IL)
Go parasailing
Play (or sing) in Carnegie Hall
Go on a carriage ride
Learn to unicycle (work in progress)
Go kayaking
Check markPlay a bell tower (carillon) (12/19/09 BYU)
Check markGo snowshoeing (1/5/13 Big Cottonwood Canyon, Dog Lake)
Check markMeet a penguin (6/23/12 at a local aquarium)
See the northern lights
Go snowmobiling (partially completed – see That’ll Leave a Mark)
Learn to wakeboard
Check markBe a camp counselor (Summer 2012 Especially for Youth)
Learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube
Check markBike 25 (or more) miles in one day (6/29/13)
Ride an elephant
Sit in a dunk tank
Check markEnter something into a state fair (9/10/13)
Make pumpkin pie from scratch
Smash a watermelon with a sledgehammer
Join a book club
Ride in a limousine
Go sailing
Learn to hula hoop
Touch all of the world’s oceans (have touched Atlantic and Pacific so far)
Make fortune cookies
Be in a studio audience for a television show
Go paintballing
Learn calligraphy
Ride a tandem bicycle
Ride a camel
Be in a musical theatre production (on stage instead of in the pit orchestra)
Change the oil on a car
Tip a waiter or waitress 200% (e.g., a $15 meal plus a $30 tip)

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