Smokey skies from the wildfires did not discourage the volunteers who came out to clean up Antelope Island State Park on a very hot, windy day. A second group of volunteers met at the Great Salt Lake Marina State Park as part of the International Coastal Clean-Up Day.
For thirty-three years, the Ocean Conservancy has been organizing volunteers to clean up litter along their coastline. Volunteers throughout the U.S. and more than 100 countries join efforts to clean up beaches, waterways and oceans. In 2017, over 20 million pounds of trash (majority of it plastic) was picked up during the International Coastal Clean-Up Day.
Friends of Great Salt Lake organized Utah volunteers at two locations along the Great Salt Lake. Five million migrating birds representing 257 species will stop at the Great Salt Lake every year. Migratory birds are not only aesthetically beneficial to humans but have a vital role in the biodiversity for all ecosystems. They help pollinate, disperse seeds and regulate pests.
The effects from littering can have detrimental affects on birds. Discarded and rotting food can attract predators. Rats and feral cats attracted by food waste may also prey on the birds and/or their nests. Litter may lead to habitat loss, with fewer resources for nesting, feeding and shelter. Glass, plastic, fishing line and kite string can cause injuries to birds’ wings, legs, feet, or throats if entangled in them. Birds may mistake pieces of litter as food, and can suffer from digestive blockage or poisoning. Also, oil or grease could cause plumage disruption which would affect their ability to maintain proper insulation and easy flight.
Some people may believe that cleaning up the litter is an endless battle and that their effort really wouldn’t make a difference. However, just as every piece of litter that is carelessly discarded matters, the same goes for every piece of litter that is eliminated.
The Antelope Island clean-up focused on an area where shooters have been using discarded toys and electronic devices for target practice. Most electronics contain toxic materials including lead, nickel, zinc, and chromium. When released into the environment it can cause health problems to humans. Toxic materials can also seep into the groundwater affecting animals on land and in water.
The use of ammunition containing lead is discouraged. Accumulation of lead from ammunition on the lakebed will have a health impact on waterfowl.
Collected litter was weighed. Metal and toxic debris were separated from the paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and aluminum cans for proper disposal.
Within two hours, the combine efforts of hardworking volunteers were able to clear out 1000 pounds of litter.
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are an entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi
Festivities to educate, explore, restore, and enjoy the Jordan River and Jordan River Parkway are scheduled throughout the month of September during the annual “Get into the River Festival”. The Jordan River flows for fifty miles through sixteen cities in three counties.
Cities along the river are hosting events such as a Pancake Breakfast/ Puncturevines Pull, canoe and kayak float, riding the river trail with the Mayor, and a Children’s Beatles Tribute Choir. Although some of these activities have already taken place, there are many more fun events still to come. Check the schedule for information on activities.
There are additional opportunities scheduled for later this month to learn about the flora and fauna; plant trees and seeds, bird watch, listen to live music, play lawn games, mud volley ball, Ducky Derby Dash or enjoy a root beer float.
Each month, approximately 15,000 people utilize the Jordan River Parkway each month for walking, running, skating, cycling and horseback riding.
Although the festival events are scheduled only during September, the Jordan River and trails are enjoyable year round.
If volunteering as an individual or with a group to help with planting, weed pulling, or picking up trash to help maintain the Jordan River is of interest to you, (typically needed between April and October) check with Jordan River Commission for upcoming opportunities.
Salt Lake City offers a diversity of vegan restaurants. If you ever wondered what a vegan eats, the SLC VegFest would give you some ideas. The 3rd annual SLC VegFest organized by the Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC) was held at Salt Lake City Main Library Plaza on Saturday, September 8. The event offered a kids’ area, live music, beer garden, cooking demonstration, a film showing, and expert speakers.
Vegan Panini’s, gyros, crepes, ice cream, pastries and much more was available to purchase from food trucks, bakeries and local restaurants. It was a great opportunity to try many different options all in one place.
The event is attended by thousands of people each year, and continues to grow. Many people are interested in learning more about vegan diets, whether for ethical reasons, environmental concerns, or for improving one’s health.
A Vegan Kids Panel featuring children ranging in age from 5 to 17 responded to questions about being vegan and how they handle different situations when eating at school, attending birthday parties, social events, and while traveling. They also shared their experiences when celebrating holidays, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. They offered tips about prepping food for the week, and easy food to take on the go. One of the panelists stated that a friend asked her if she just ate grass. Although none of the children ate grass, they did share what their favorite foods were, and several stated that they enjoyed preparing food at home themselves.
Whether you prefer American classics, Italian, Mexican, or Asian dishes, Salt Lake City has many vegan options for dining out. UARC has a free SLC Veg Dining Guide which can be found at many local businesses, or can be downloaded from their website. Their Dining Guide identifies restaurants that are entirely vegan, vegetarian and those are who UARC partners (providing special offers or discounts to UARC members).
From boats, trains, races, mazes and more there are lots of options for celebrating fall and Halloween. It isn’t too early to purchase tickets or to schedule these events in your calendar.
Listen to the captain tell a scary story as you ride a riverboat down the Provo River as you pass over a hundred hand-carved jack-o-lanterns. Boat ride is approximately 20 minutes long.
Take a 40 minute ride on the pumpkin train and be entertained by costumed characters.
Always wanted to run in a race, but don’t like to run? West Haven has a 0.5 K lazy man’s race on October 13, 2018. Dress in costume to enter for a prize.
A Headless Horseman begins the race at Sugarhouse Park to Emigration Canyon for a 13.13 mile challenge on October 20, 2018. There will be a costume contest as well.
Dozens of giant pumpkins weighing in at hundreds, or even a thousand pounds will set sail for a race on the North Shore of Oquirrh Lake in South Jordan on October 20, 2018. Family activities and food trucks will be available.
Visit the Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch Hayrides, Nightmare Acres and Farmers Market in Syracuse. Season opens on September 21, 2018.
Take a moonlit hayride through the haunted 156 year old barnyard in Pleasant Grove. Halloween attraction is available on Monday, Friday and Saturdays during October.
There are several maze options available. The Greatest Maze on Earth is a circus-theme maze through 8 acres of pathways. Interactive games are placed throughout the maze to challenge you. Ride a grain train through the Candy Corn Acres Maze and see scarecrow and jack-o-lantern scenes along the way. The Kiddie Maze offers the youngest maze explorers a 5 minute challenge to conquer. The Haunted Insanity Point Maze has animatronics, live spooks and surprises lurking in the corn. Be prepared to be scared.
Attractions include Corn Maze, Scarecrow Walk, Haunted River Trail, Giant Straw Fort, and Spooky Barn Ride.
Explore the Pumpkin Pirate Cove, Maravilla Lane, Pumpkin Reef, Spider Alley, Forbidden Pumpkin City, Great Pumpkin Hall, Monster Mash and Pumpkin Passage and see over 3,000 hand-carved pumpkins at the Utah State Fairpark. Be entertained by pumpkin artists, performers, and fire dancers.
Animal and magician show, haunted house, crafts, games, and Trick or Treat Street. October 27, 2018.
A 45-day celebration of witches including Breakfast with a witch, a Witches 5K Run/Walk, Six Hags Witches Adventure, Witch in the Kitchen cooking and much more. See link for schedule of events.
Lighted displays at the zoo, take a train ride at night, explore a labyrinth-themed maze with puppets, and see ‘Spiderella’.
Wear your Halloween costumes to This Is the Place Heritage Park to go trick-or-treating, visit the story telling witch, take a train ride, pony ride and make take-home crafts. (October 13, 18, 19, 20 & 27th).
Light displays, games and crafts. (October 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27th)
The performances include Thriller, The Curse of the Mummy, Dem Bones, Frankenstein, Jason Jam, Salem’s Mass, The Lost Boys, The River of Blood Dance and more.
Cascade Springs, accessed from the Alpine Scenic Loop drive, offers an easy stroll alongside of cascading springs through limestone terraces. The lower trail at Cascade Springs is wheel chair accessible; the paved paths, wooden bridges and raised boardwalks make it easy to navigate with strollers, young children or anyone with limited abilities. The higher trail does include stairs which may hinder access to some. There are three interconnected trail loops; each would take approximately 15 minutes to walk.
It is a beautiful nature walk with a diverse ecosystem and interpretive signs identify some of the species of plants, trees and wildlife in the area. Take a seat on one of the benches and take in the sound of the water flowing. Over seven million gallons of water flow through the springs each day. The pools contain trout and you may see them swimming among the reeds, but fishing is not permitted. A variety of birds and mammals may be spotted, including songbirds, hawks, wild turkeys, beavers, deer and moose.
To see an abundance of flowers it is best to visit Cascade Springs between June and September. Fall colors from Aspen, Oak and Maple trees are best seen during September and October. The road to the trail will be closed during winter months due to snow.
How to get there:
Take the Highland/Alpine exit (Exit 284) from I-15. Travel east on State Route 92 to the Forest Service entrance station (approximately 8 miles). Cascade Springs is part of the Uinta National Forest and a fee is required to park in the American Fork Canyon. At the present time, a three day pass is $6. Weekly or annual passes are also available. They also accept the America the Beautiful Interagency Parks Pass.
Continue up American Fork Canyon on SR-92 (Alpine Loop Scenic Byway) for approximately 17 miles until you reach the Cascade Scenic Drive. The road to Cascade Springs goes left after you reach the summit. The Alpine Scenic Loop road is very narrow with switch backs that are very tight. Parking is available at the upper and lower trailheads.
Restrooms and drinking water is available. Dogs on leashes are permitted.
The Living Room Hiking Trail offers a short, but challenging hike for beautiful views overlooking Salt Lake City. The trail is approximately 2.5 miles roundtrip. The elevation at the start of the trailhead is 5,000 feet with an elevation gain of 967 feet. Dogs are permitted on this trail.
How to get there
From Foothill Drive, turn right onto Wakara Way and then right on to Colorow Road. The trailhead is on the east side of the street. Parking is available on both sides of the street.
Trailhead coordinates: 40.759301, – 111.8211300
Living Room coordinates: 40.763196, – 111.811905
The start of the trail offers some shade, but most of the trail does not. Be prepared to bring a hat, protection from the sun and plenty of water. I also recommend using hiking poles, not only because it is easier on your joints when you are walking; but they can also be used as a splint or crutches in an emergency.
There are multiple hiking and biking trails that split off which can be confusing for some people who are looking for the Living Room Trail. When you see the pipeline marker 174, you are heading towards George’s Hollow be sure to continue east (towards the mountain). When you reach the wooden post (photo is taken facing west) you will see two paths. Take the path on the right and continue heading east.
The trail varies from dirt, gravel to rocky areas.
The Living Room is a great spot to relax, eat a snack and take in the view of the city.
At this point, most people make the return trip back. However, if you would like a longer adventure there are many other trails to explore.
You may want to consider beginning your hike an hour before sunset for a stunning view. Be sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight if you will be hiking down after sunset. You may want to hike the trail during different seasons for a great display of wildflowers or fall colors.
White Pine, Red Pine Lake and the Maybird Gulch Trail each start at the same trailhead. The Maybird Gulch Trail is the path that is least travelled, but offers solitude along with stunning scenery. No fees or permits are required. It is a watershed area and no dogs are permitted. The hike is best during the summer and fall, as snow will be in the higher elevation into mid-June.
The trail is a dirt path with rocks and has an elevation gain of approximately 2,000 ft. It is excellent hike for birding, photography, wildflowers, wildlife and to see fall colors. Aspen and evergreen trees offers some shade, but be sure to bring plenty of water and wear clothing that will offer protection from the sun. There are three small lakes, but no wading or swimming is permitted in the watershed lakes.
How to get there
Drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon for 5 ½ miles. The turnoff is on the south side of the road right after the “White Pine Slide Area” sign. There is a restroom at the beginning of the trailhead. A quaint footbridge gets you across the Little Cottonwood Creek. The trail gradually climbs to follow an old four wheel drive road, which is now closed to motorized vehicles. The old road is now a wide trail and after about a half-hour from Cottonwood Creek the trail splits and takes a sharp left to the White Pine drainage. Take the right trail west toward the Red Pine drainage, as the trail climbs a bit south before crossing the wood bridge over the stream.
The trail then gradually climbs as it traverses west and you enter the Lone Peak Wilderness area, offering some marvelous vistas of the Salt Lake valley to the west. The trail then steepens and finally reaches the Maybird Gulch turnoff to the right where the trail converges with the Red Pine stream, and you there’s a small bridge to the right which takes you to the Maybird Gulch trail. If you happen to miss the bridge and get to the mine tailings just above the junction, just head back a few minutes and you’ll find the bridge.
You will enjoy the solitude of the Maybird Gulch trail, it’s easy to follow as it winds its way to the west and south into the Maybird Gulch drainage. You will start to hear the birds and notice the abundance of wildflowers. When you get to the lakes, you will have stunning views of the Pfeifferhorn, which is the fifth highest peak in the Wasatch Range at 11,325 feet.
The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail offers 27.7 miles of recreational fun for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and cross-country skiing. The majority of the trail is gravel. There is a 3 mile section in Park City, and a half mile section in Wanship that is paved asphalt.
Over 100 years ago, the Echo-Park City Railway transported coal and silver ore. In 1989, the Union Pacific abandoned the railroad line. The railroad line was transformed into the first non-motorized rail trail in Utah. The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park was opened to the public in 1992.
The trail begins at an approximate elevation of 6,900 feet in Park City and gradually descends to 5,280 feet. If you are biking, be sure to bring an extra tube and a tire repair kit with you. Having a fully charged cell phone is not just for photos but also is important in case of emergencies. Be sure to use sunscreen and wear clothing to protect you from the sun, and bring plenty of water with you. There are several vault toilets along the trail.
Portions of the trail are adjacent to private property and you will encounter gates to open and shut to keep animals contained. Be sure to remain on the trail and be respectful of their property.
The landscape transitions from volcanic canyon to wetlands and farms. Some of the wildlife you may encounter includes, fox, bald eagles, moose, deer, rabbits, and beavers. You may want to bring binoculars with you.
Echo Reservoir has recreational boating and fishing and is the perfect place to rest for a picnic and swim before making your return trip back to Park City. If making the roundtrip loop is more than you would like to do, an alternative would be to have someone drop off the trail users and to meet them at Echo Reservoir. See the map for entry points to the trail for additional options.
Holding a garage sale before placing your home on the market is a great way to declutter. Whether moving long distance, downsizing, or even upsizing, it is a great time to re-evaluate both what you want to bring with you to your new home, and what items is it time to let go of. Whether you are moving, or not, a garage sale is an excellent way to earn some money from what you no longer need nor want.
If you have flexibility in scheduling when to hold a garage sale, the most popular seasons for garage sales are Spring and Summer. Since many people are paid on the 1st and 15th of the month, it is also beneficial if you can schedule your garage sale as close to those dates as possible. Saturday mornings is the most popular time, but Friday afternoons can also be a good time for catching buyers who prefer getting an early start to shopping for deals.
Grouping Garage Sales
Bargain hunters prefer larger garage sales than stopping for a small one, especially if it is held in an out of the way location. Consider asking neighbors, friends or family to combine garage sales to make it more attractive to buyers.
Most items sold at garage sales are priced at 10-20% of the retail price, based on condition. If you are struggling to come up with a price, check similar items at a thrift store and price your item lower. Use individual price stickers for each item, rather than have a sign for pricing multiple items. It may be difficult later to determine where the item was picked up, or if it had been set down in a different area by another customer. If you are combing items for a group garage sale, be sure to put the initials on the price tag to track the sales for each individual. Keep a pad nearby, to document the sales for each seller.
If you are selling large items, such as furniture or appliances, and a person wants you to hold the item for them while they retrieve more money, or to get a vehicle to transport it, be sure to request a non-refundable deposit of $20. Place a sold sign on the item, and remove it to an out of the way location to prevent reselling the item to a new buyer.
If a buyer offers a lower price than what you are willing to accept for an item, you may want to take their name and contact information to call back, if the item does not sell after the garage sale is over, and you are willing to accept their price.
Take advantage of free ads on Craigslist, local on-line sites and on social media sites. Be sure to mention big ticket items, or general categories, such as dressers, sporting goods, tools, or baby items. Be sure to check with your local ordinances about posting signs, so that they are in compliance of local laws and regulations. . Make the signs easy to read, with large, dark letters and as few words as necessary, in order to provide essential information, such as date, time and location.
Be sure to move your cars away from your home to provide space for shoppers to park. You may want to park your car where it can be used to provide notice for your garage sale with a sign on the front and/or back windows.
Keep in mind that many people will look as they are driving by. Be sure to display the items to draw people in. Take the time to organize similar items together. If selling clothes, hang them up for a better display. If you do not have a portable clothes rack, you could improvise by using other items that may be used to hang items, for example, a chin-up bar, a pole hung between two ladders, etc. Tables and bookcases are great for showcasing items, but if necessary, even upside down boxes can be used as a table top. If there is not enough table space, spread clean sheets or blankets to display items on the ground.
If you are selling an item in the original box, consider removing the contents to assure the buyer of the condition it is in. Many people will not take the time to open the box to examine the contents. If you are selling electrical items, have an extension cord available for buyers to test the item before buying.
It may be helpful to increase sales you have the ability to use a square credit card reader on your cell phone or tablet; if not, stick with cash only sales. Be sure to start with plenty of change, with lots of quarters. One, five and ten dollar bills are essential to have on hand, as many buyers will not have the exact change. Always have someone monitoring the cash box, or consider keeping the money in a fanny pack around your waist. If you are accumulating large sums of money as the day goes on, be sure to periodically remove the larger bills from your money box and store inside your house.
Be sure to have plenty of newspaper (for wrapping fragile items), plastic bags and cardboard boxes for buyers to carry their purchases. Other helpful supplies to have on hand include, note pads, pens, markers, masking tape and a measuring tape.
Having music playing in the background can make the time go faster, and helps create an inviting environment. Try to select music with a wide appeal.
From flag raisings, breakfasts, races, parades, games, entertainment and fireworks there are plenty of activities to celebrate from dawn through dark on the 4th of July in and around Salt Lake County. Here are some of them. If you know of any others, please add them in the comment section.
Jordan Park – 1060 South 900 West, Salt Lake City. Fireworks beginning at 10:00 pm at the North end of the park.
Magna Copper Park – 8950 W 2600 S, Magna, UT, Flag Ceremony at 7:00 am, Lions Club Breakfast from 7:00 am–11:00 am. 5K Fun Run at 7:30 am. Watch the parade at noon on Main Street and return to Magna Copper Park for games and inflatables from 2:30 to 10:00 pm. Music from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and fireworks beginning at 10:00 pm.
Riverton – 12830 South 1700 West, Riverton, Utah. July 4, Bike and running races, 10K, 5K, 1-Mile, and the Tour De Riverton bike race. Chuck Wagon Breakfast from 7 am to 10 am. Games, food and activities at the Riverton City Park throughout the day. Fireworks begin at 10:00 pm.
Sandy City Hall – 10000 S. Centennial Parkway, Sandy. Flag Raising and National Anthem at 6:50 am followed by a 5K. Games, inflatables, crafts, food, and entertainment from 10 am to 10 pm. Fireworks Sky Concert at 10:00 pm.
South Salt Lake Freedom Festival –Wednesday, July 4, the day kicks off with the 5K/Fun Run at 8 am. At 9:30 am the Parade will make its way to Fitts Park, 3050 South 500 East, South Salt Lake; where the Freedom Festival will run from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Thanksgiving Point’s Electric Park, Wednesday, July 4 from 4:00 pm to Midnight at 3003 Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, Utah. Music, games, prizes, concessions and vendors. Fireworks start at 10:00 pm.
West Jordan – 8000 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan, Utah. Watch the Grand Parade as it makes its way from City Hall to 7000 South from 10:30 am to noon. Carnival and park activities including entertainment stage at the Veterans Memorial Park at 8030 S 1825 W from noon to 11:00 pm. Fireworks start at 10:15 pm.
If you have pets – it is best to plan to leave your pet at home. Fireworks can be very frightening to animals and cause them to run away. Be sure that their micro chip has been updated with current contact information in the event they do become lost. Be sure to check your yard and other areas where they walk or play for leftover fireworks debris, which can be dangerous if your pet plays or tries to eat it.