Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pioneer day at Timpanogos

For the 24th we went with some of my family to hike Timpanogos. I really like hiking so I was excited! I have hiked up mountains before, but never such a gigantic one. We're talking the Timpooneke trail- over 15 miles total and gaining 5,000 ft in elevation. We made no time records, that's for sure. On the way up we kept a slow and steady pace w/ my nephews: (it only went downhill from there, literally and figuratively.)
After we had gone many miles we got to a point where you could see the tip- it was still high above us and looked impossible to get there. I never thought I'd make it to the top, I just concentrated on whatever hill happened to be in front of me at the time. About 1/2 way through the hike up my thighs were burning. We actually made it all the way and it was incredible! We could see from Draper to the South end of Utah County.
We had passed meadows of wild flowers and gorgeous views.
Although it felt pretty triumphant being on the tip, the idea that we had to go back down began to creep in. What goes up, must come down... How badly we desired a helicopter at this point, but we could think of no one we knew w/ a chopper.
I went through several phases on the way back down. The first couple miles were surprisingly easy and having gravity on our side felt fantastic. Slowly the adrenaline from getting to the top began to wear off and my legs stopped working. Brad continued to take large, fast steps down the hills. I tried to mimic but my legs weren't cooperative, they would only take slow, small steps. I probably did about 5 miles like that and ended up going down slower than we had gone up. We brought 9 water bottles which we thought was plenty, but we drank almost all of them going up. I was sunburned, exhausted, and dehydrated on the way down.
I went way past my physical limit getting to the top and getting all the way back was more than my body could handle. I told myself it was all mental, but my body wouldn't listen. We asked strangers if they had any extra water, they were not obliged to help. Small children walked right by us. I had a couple breakdowns. During one Brad found some snow and I got a couple sips of water, at that point I didn't really care about the possibility getting sick. Brad was fantastic and quite patient with me, I seriously felt like this little day trip stregthened our marriage.
We continued on our way and I knew I couldn't make it. I began mumbling incoherent prayers asking for help because I couldn't go on, or letting me get an injury just bad enough that we had to be rescued. Suddenly this wonderful lady came running by us. (Several people were running and looked like they got up every morning and ran to the top of timp and back, seriously people, who are you?) Brad asked if she had extra water, she said she used a camelback and also brings an extra bottle with her in case anyone needs it. She probably thought we were idiots as she poured us water and looked at my tear-filled eyes, I was dying.
Brad mentioned this was a fitting experience to have on pioneer day, he couldn't be more right. I come from pioneer stock, you know, the kind that travel from Europe and cross the plains blind, the kind that leave their luxurious southern mansions to pull a handcart across the country and live in a log cabin with a dirt floor. I wasn't made to be a pioneer. I guess they probably felt that way too though. I know being a pioneer was way worse than our hike, so they probably hated it way more sometimes, but they kept going.
Unlike the pioneers we went straight to Cafe Rio afterward. I hobbled in, limping, covered in mud and hunched over. I awkwardly walked up to take out and was informed it would be at least 20 min, I said that wouldn't work. He took a second glance at my pathetic appearance and said they could get the food right away.
I'm glad I accomplished the hike, but moral of the story is that I'm a wimp and I don't think I can do something that intense again. Unless of course I am in fantastic shape and it feels like a walk in the park, maybe then.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ticket to ride

I am soooooooooooooo excited for the Paul McCartney concert tonight. Brad surprised me with these tickets for no particular reason (except that he knows I love the Beatles) and I couldn't be more thrilled, I never thought I'd get to see one of the Beatles perform live. I've loved the Beatles my whole life thanks to my parent's fabulous music taste, I probably would have been just as excited for this at age 5. :) 20 years later, dream come true! Ahhh, can't wait. I have no doubt the performance will live up to my expectation.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Nights

We had fun taking my nephews to Lagoon this weekend! I'm actually kind of a downer to take to an amusement park because my mind automatically starts thinking of what could malfunction and go wrong causing tragedy from simply trying to be entertained. This time it was especially on the swings and the ferris wheel that I kept worrying how something could come unhinged and we'd plummit to the ground below.  Is that normal or do I have an anxiety problem? Either way, it was nice to spend at least one summer day the way they're intended to be spent. I almost don't remember having a normal summer, going straight through school & more school has been so brutal. Even though I'm in the thick of it I'm still taking trips to lagoon and doing 2 concerts this week....gotta maintain sanity, right?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Salmon Tacos

It's all about salmon ever since the trip. I can be picky with fish since I grew up on fresh alaskan salmon and halibut, you could say I'm a fish snob.
I've been thinking about making salmon tacos for the past 3 days, except I come home so exhausted from school/clinical that I collapse on the couch and ask Brad to get us pizza. Yesterday I couldn't make them because I worked 7-7 and would've had to make a grocery store run for cabbage and lime. Today I worked 5-5. Off early enough to make dinner so my stomach would take no more excuses, time for a good homemade meal. Yesterday I had another nursing school breakdown, I needed this today.
1 fillet salmon, sliced in thin strips
equal amounts lemon pepper seasoning/taco seasoning
olive oil
thin sliced cabbage
sour cream, mixed with a little lemon pepper/taco seasoning (I also grate in chipotle pepper that I freeze)
cojita cheese (optional)
corn tortillas (I make the easiest homemade ones Brad's Guatemalan grandma, Mami Oli, taught me. I can't share until I post the video of her doing it...in the meantime await anxiously.)
Toss salmon with lemon pepper and taco seasoning (you can add a little flour if it's too moist) Heat oil in a frying pan and cook salmon a few minutes until cooked through. Serve in warm tortillas and top with sour cream, cabbage, avacado, and cheese.
After Brad and I got engaged in NYC we ate at this fabulous little place called cafe havana. They are famous for their amazing grilled corn. I tried to copy it, after looking at this picure I'm realizing they must mix the cheese with some sour cream or butter so that it sticks to the corn. hmm...maybe next time.
corn on the cob
a couple tsp olive oil
chili powder
lime juice
cojita cheese
Spread oil onto the corn, grill until tender. In the last couple minutes sprinkle with chili powder and salt. Sprinkle with lime juice and cheese before serving.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ketchikan, AK

Being up in Alaska with my family is too fun! My dad fills up the whole lodge with friends and family- siblings, nephews, cousins, in-laws- everyone. You're all invited, btw. :) I loved sharing the Alaskan fishing adventure with Brad and the Hagens this year. A couple of days were very rainy, but make no mistake, that did not deter our fishing. Even though Brad and his parents had never even caught a fish before, it took Brad all of 5 minutes to determine he loved it. I'll admit his parents took a little longer to warm up to it... but by the end of the week we were all having a blast and enjoying the thrill of catching salmon in a very do-it-yourself kind of way. You can't understand how cool and satisfying it is until you do it.

My nephew preston caught the biggest King Salmon of the week, 40 lbs! Brad's 1st fish was still respectable, even if it was 1/4 the size. :)
The lodge is on it's own little island, so we get there via float plane:
Zinch's Ketchikan office: (Brad had to take a couple breaks from fishing to make some work calls)
Hiking the Naha is a must when you're up there- I walk along the path and feel like ewoks will pop out from the bushes at any moment. Its also kinda avatarish, costa rican-like, and when you push your way through the bushes it makes me feel like I'm on a safari. :) Pretty cool place.

Perfect atmosphere for seeing eclipse in small town Ketchikan, almost eerily so. We kept people watching and deciding whether people were vampires or from wolf packs, it was pretty obvious. And that deer standing right outside our room at the lodge, is that not straight from the beginning of the new moon movie?

Cruela Davil in a 25,000 outfit:
Blurry animals of Alaska: we saw whales, seals, dahl porpuses, bears, eagles, all that good stuff. It's amazing to see in the wild, too bad I couldn't get some better pics- the humpback whates coming up out of the water close to our boat then spouting up water was a highlight for me.
Ketchikan is a perfect place to spend the fouth of July- fireworks off a barge in the ocean. Cotton candy, fry bread and the likes from booths at the end of a unique little parade.
We started wondering what we would do with all the fish when we got home, we overlooked the fact we didn't own a freezer. So we checked ksl on our layover home in Seattle, and do you know what? We found a mighty fine ice box and the owner happened to live 4 houses away from us! They had a dolly so we rolled it over and loaded up the fish, couldn't have been more convenient.
And guess what we had for dinner last night?
yummy salmon, caught 2 days eariler! :)


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