Thursday, June 26, 2008

Upcoming Newcomer Events

June Meet and Greet
Picnic in the Park
Saturday, June 28th, 5:00-8:00pm
Willow Park, 500 West 700 South
Potluck, BBQ, Zoo, Fish Pond, Playground, Volleyball

Card Canyon Hike
6.5 mi, moderate difficulty
Meet at the Ranger Station, 1500 East Highway 89, Logan,
Sunday, June 29th, 9:00 am

July Book Club
Date: TBD
Book: We Need to Talk About Kevin

July Meet and Greet
Saturday, July 26th, 5:30pm
White Owl, 36 West Center St, Logan
On the deck upstairs
Come celebrate the Newcomers One Year Anniversary!We hosted our first event at the White Owl one year ago

For more information about Logan Newcomers see

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Birds

About a week ago a blackbird buzzed me out of no where. I thought it was a rather freakish, fluke fly-by. But then it came back at me. But who ever heard of a bird doing anything by flying away from people. I crossed the road to get out of it's way, but it followed me. It flew right at me, missed me, turned around and flew right back at me.

Luckily, I was out for a jog and had my water bottle. So I started running away from it, then turned around and squirted it with water so it wouldn't actually peck/claw me. Jog, turn, spray, jog turn spray. It was so freaky, I logged all of .26 mi on the run, and retreated to the safety of my apartment.

I thought I might be a rare victim of Hitchcock like birds. But today there's an article in the Chicago Tribune posted on the Drudge Report about these vicious birds terrorizing the citizens of Chicago.

Loganites, be careful on 400 E from about 1600N to 1700N. The nest is in the powerlines on the canal side of the road. If you have to walk down this road, I recommed a squirt bottle. You might just want to keep one on you where ever you go -- just in case.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cooking with Lavendar

I ran into this recipe for lavendar scones in a Sunset magazine earlier this year. Then, when I was roaming around the Whole Foods at Kimble Junction (Park City), I ran into culinary lavendar. Score!

I've never made scones or cooked with lavendar before. The first time I made them, I was worried that the dough was too dry. I added some extra liquid, thinking that would help it hold together better. Even after adding more liquid and butter, this is what it looked like when I turned it out to knead:
I was afraid it wouldn't come together, but actually the scone part of the recipe turned out fine. The lavendar flavor was really weak. I wondered if there was a misprint in the recipe and there should have been a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon of lavendar.

So I decided to make them again with more lavendar. I also saved the lavendar after I separated it form the milk and kneaded it back into the dough. Also, I didn't add as much liquid, just followed the recipe for that. The dough turned out better and the flavor is great. Here's a picture of the final product:

Bedtime snack with herbal tea.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Temple Fork Sawmill Trail

I returned to Temple Fork, figuring it would be a lot dryer than a month ago. The Logan Ranger Station report is saying that it’s muddy in the shade, but there were only two muddy spots, just enough for Mudpuppy to feel like he was living up to his name.

Look for the sign on the right side of Hwy 89, between Right Hand Fork and Tony Grove. The gate is still closed on Temple Fork Road, so you have to take a gravel road on foot or bike about 2.5-3 miles to the trail head. I would think that the boredom of the road would deter hikers, but there was still some foot traffic. Follow the sign to Spawn Creek Trail Head and look for the Temple Fork Sawmill trail head.

On the gravel road, I noticed a rainbow just hanging in the sky. I noticed something similar on the juniper trail yesterday, but it was so faint when I took my sunglasses off, I couldn't see it. This one was also a lot more distinct with my sun glasses on, but it was visible to the naked eye. I did enhance the picture a little to make it stand out a bit more.

It’s a single track. Right away you can choose between a right and left single track option. The left one is a little more difficult. It's also the one to choose if you're worried about mud. It was dry on May 3rd when the right option was a mix of mud and snow. They meet up pretty quickly. It’s a gorgeous ride along the stream with wildflowers and aspens.

The trail isn’t steep, so I think it would be a pretty mild hike. About two thirds of the way it turned into a bit more technical bike ride. Mudpuppy and I had our most impressive fall to date. Even though it wasn’t too steep, I walked the bike a bit.

At the end, there’s a little sight commemorating the sawmill with a historical marker. Overall, it was a great ride, the perfect amount of difficulty for where I am. Mudpuppy got a bath in the car wash when we were done, so he’s had a pretty good day.

Jardine Juniper Trail

What a difference in the snow pack from May 3rd. The Jardine Juniper Trail is almost entirely dry now. I hiked it yesterday, keeping an eye out for the trail's mountain bike potential. There were at least half a dozen tougher bikers on the trail. Still, I think it’s well beyond my current ability. The scariest part is a wobbly log bridge over some quick water. We saw some bikers just grab their bikes and carry them over it. Yikes! I had to shuffle across real slowly and I still nearly fell. Later in the season, it should be easy to just ride through the water a little down stream of the bridge. Still, even without snow and a wobbly bridge, I won’t be biking up to the Jardine Juniper anytime soon.

It’s 5.2 miles from the trail head to the tree. It’s a pretty steady climb the whole way. It gains over 2000”. The hike isn’t too difficult, but I won’t be taking any lowlander guests. Throw in an elevation factor and it would be dang tough. There are great views all the way up. My friend was playing shutter bug, so I don’t have too many pictures to share.

The word on the trail was to avoid the shady route and take the scenic route (a well marked option near the top) because of mud and snow pack. The scenic route definitely lives up to it's name. There was snow pack on the shady route, but definitely passable on foot (not bike). You can take one heading to the tree and the other going back. They split at the Jardine Juniper sign on the return.

I was quite obsessed with the wild flowers. I had noticed these flowers in Smithfield Canyon last week and then a vendor at the Gardner’s Market who sells local pictures has a picture of one and told me they are glacier lilies. There were plenty of those, mountain bluebells and yellow fritillaria.

That gave me this idea that I should get a field guide for wildflowers and carry it with me. Maybe I could try to see how many I could check off. I went to the Borders today to do that. There were a couple of guides that looked promising, focusing on Utah or the Rockies , but I decided that my test for a book would be whether or not I could find this plant I’m calling snoofpoof (because it looks like it would be in a Dr. Seuss book). No luck. Poor snoofpoof. It looks like the flower elitists don’t value you enough. So I couldn't bring myself to buy one.

The eponymous flora is an old juniper tree growing out of a rock. There seems to be some debate about the age. There is a painted over sign that claims that it is 3200. Reports on the Internet put it between 1500-3200 (can we get a dendrochronologist here?).It’s being touted as the oldest tree in the Rockies.

Update: Snoofpoofs are actually called Waterleaf. I saw one on the Birch Canyon Trail on 6.07 and it was purple instead of white. The Wasatch Bloomers website has a nice index of local wildflowers by color. Unfortunately, it appears that it hasn't been updated in years.