|morning hike w dogs on Roxie's Trail|
|Artie in the pink maples|
Wow, I put in some great miles this weekend for my birthday. What an awesome weekend it has been! It started out kind of cold and rainy on Friday and I have to admit, I was super-psyched to see the rain and have the cooler weather. This type of weather always reminds me of my birthdays growing up as a kid in Michigan ~ it always seemed to rain on my birthday, but it made staying inside with the fire crackling in the fireplace and the smell of birthday cake baking in the oven that much more special. I used to look out the kitchen window at the beautiful red maple leaves and watch the birds and squirrels in the bird feeders. One year I had friends over and after playing games inside, we all carved our own personal pumpkins on the front porch. Good times!
|me and my buddy, Frank|
|Artie & Frank posing at Roxie's rest spot|
This year for my birthday, I first slept in and enjoyed coffee on the couch with my favorite two pups. I heard the UPS truck outside make a stop about mid-morning, just as I was trying to motivate to change my clothes and take the dogs out for a hike. I wasn't expecting a package... yet there was one left on my front step! I called, "Thank you" after the UPS man as he jogged back to his truck, and took the surprise package inside to see what it was all about. Inside was my favorite thing ever ~ COOKIES! It took me a while to find the message to figure out who they were from, but as it turns out they were from my sister-in-law and brother in Idaho. Happy day!
|beautiful Fall colors|
I took the dogs for one of our favorite hikes up at Red Butte. It's a 4-mile loop that I like to call "Roxie's Loop" as it is named after my old yellow lab who did the loop countless times with me over the years. I swear, Roxie was deaf and half-blind towards the end, but she never missed a turn on that loop through the maples and over the ridges. Franklin, Artemis, and I took a few minutes to sit at Roxie's and my favorite sitting-spot and enjoy the views before cruising down to the creek for a splash and a drink (the dogs, not me).
|Vernon on the afternoon mountain bike ride|
I went home for a quick bite to eat, and then was met by G who loaded up the bikes into the truck and we went for a mountain bike ride up near Park City. It was kind of cold and dreary, but the ride up the hill warmed us up quickly and when we got near the top, the colors and views were absolutely spectacular. The ride down was a bit technical, but I'm proud to say that I made it around 90% of the switchbacks without putting my feet down to touch the ground and felt pretty good about my skills despite only riding a couple of times per year.
|Leaves of Gold ~ mtn biking in PC|
After getting cleaned up at home, my friend Mark picked me up a short while later and we went to dinner with a small group of friends at my favorite sushi restaurant. Yum! I am a bottomless pit when it comes to eating sushi. I got flowers and chocolates, and Mark even let me drive his rental car ~ one of the sweet, cute new little Fiats. We all told stories and laughed lots and I felt so fortunate to have such a great group of friends who were all from different backgrounds, yet hit it off so smashingly! Yeah, baby!
Now it's the day after my birthday and the fun never stops. My friend Ann and I went up to the Living Room (a group of rocks that are arranged in "chair" and "couch" formations) and Mt Wire (a peak above Salt Lake with some big radio reflector panels on it) with the dogs of course, and the weather and views were gorgeous! (Ann is my friend who a few weeks ago spent the night pacing me through the longest, coldest section of the Bear 100.)
|stormy skies over Snyderville|
I got home and it kind of hit me that a couple of years ago, I went up Mt Wire on my birthday and missed a call from my dad, who was in the hospital in Germany. It was pretty significant that he had called, because he never really remembered my birthday through the years and always had to be reminded (by myself, my mom, or my brother) that it was my birthday. I called him back that day and was able to have a short conversation with him. He died about a week and a half later, and my brother, sister-in-law and I all went over to Germany to deal with the funeral and stuff. I reflect on it now and think how important those seemingly little things are in life. How important a phone call can be, or just hearing someone's voice for a few minutes.
Lots of great little things this weekend added up to a super-fantastic series of events. I can honestly say that it has been one of my best birthdays ever. Here's to happy trails, great friends, and loyal dogs. Here's to 41 years! Cheers!