Veterans Day Celebrations

Veterans Day Celebrations

 

For some, there is confusion on what we are honoring on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day.  Armed Forces Day is observed on the 3rd Saturday of May to recognize men and women are serving in the Armed Forces in the present time.  Memorial Day, also known as “Decoration Day” is observed on the last Monday of May to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.  Veterans Day is observed on November 11th annually to honor all military veterans who have served during peace time or at time of war in the United States Armed Forces.

Veterans Day was initially called “Armistice Day” and was to honor veterans of World War I.  On November 11, 1918 at 11 AM, a temporary cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect.  A year later in 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

In 1938, Congress made Armistice Day a legal holiday to be celebrated on November 11th each year to honor the veterans of World War I.  The Act of 1938 was amended in 1954 by replacing the word “Veterans” for “Armistice” to honor all American veterans.

 

 

Veterans Day Celebrations

Needles, Canyonlands National Park

 

Veterans and non-veterans are able to take advantage Free Admission Day  at the National Parks on Veterans Day.

Additionally many restaurants and other businesses offer discounts or free Veterans Day deals.

 

 

Local events in Salt Lake County recognizing our servicemen and women include:

Draper City –  Veterans Day Ceremony Friday, November 9th 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Magna City –  Veterans Day Parade  Sunday, November 11th 11:00 AM Magna Elementary School, 3100 South 8500 West.

Utah PTA/National Guard Annual Veterans Day Concert at the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Saturday, November 10th  at 7:00 PM

University of Utah’s 21st Annual Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony Schedule of Events

West Valley City – Dinner and Veterans Day Program  Monday, November 12th 5:30 PM at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 West 3100 South  West Valley City

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  – John F. Kennedy

 


Posted on November 7, 2018 at 5:51 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Holidays | Tagged , , , ,

Things To Do Before Eating Your Thanksgiving Meal.

 

Things to do before eating your Thanksgiving Meal.

 

Are you looking for something different to do this Thanksgiving besides cooking all day and eating a big meal?  Whether you are a newcomer to Utah or a lifelong resident, spending the holiday alone or with house full of friends and family; here are some fun ways to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

 

Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary

The 20th Annual Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner and fundraiser for the animals at Ching Farm Rescue and Sanctuary will be held on Saturday, November 10th at the Wasatch Elementary School, 30 R Street from 5 to 9 pm.  Erika Tymrak, midfielder of the Utah Royals Soccer Team, will be the guest speaker.  Also there will be plenty of great items to bid on during the silent auction.  Buy tickets here 

 

Utah Food Bank

The Utah Food Bank distributed 39.2 million pounds of food to people facing hunger in Utah during 2017.  Each day, 392,000 Utahans (including many children) are at risk of missing a meal.  You can help support them by donating food, time and/or money.

Donating Food:  There is a virtual food drive on-line where you can fill up a grocery cart with the most needed items – with the added benefit of paying less for the items than you would at retail prices, as well as save on gas and time by doing it on-line.

Time:  Last year, volunteers worked 83,418 hours.  There are lots of opportunities to volunteer time as an individual, family or group at the warehouse.  All volunteers must sign up in advance.  Keep in mind, Thanksgiving is a popular time to volunteer, but volunteers are needed throughout the year.

Money: There are several ways to donate to the Utah Food Bank including cash, donating your used car, employers’ matching gifts, and gifts of stocks.  Check their link for further details.

Utah Human Race 5K/10K

You may also want to participate in the 13th annual Utah Human Race on Thanksgiving morning (and burn some calories before your Thanksgiving meal) to support the Utah Food Bank.  Registration Details

 

Cottonwood Heights Thanksgiving Day 5K

Be part of the longest “running” Thanksgiving Day event.  Strollers and dogs on leashes are welcome.  Commemorative Medals awarded to participants who beat the Mayor to the finish line.  Registration Details

 

“Thankful 13” Half Marathon / 5K / Kid’s Race

Participate in the half marathon, 5k or kid’s race on the Jordan Parkway trail in Lehi.  Pumpkin pie, rolls and hot chocolate are available for participants at the end of the race. Registration Details 

 

Pilgrim 5K

The Pilgrim 5K at Thanksgiving Point is a pilgrim wear costume run which includes their iconic long-sleeved cotton T-shirt and a giant buckle hat or bonnet.  Pilgrim scenes can be found along the course, ending at Plymouth Rock where finishers can feast on pumpkin bars and drink apple cider.  Registration Details 

 

 

 


Posted on November 5, 2018 at 7:57 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Holidays | Tagged , , , , ,

Fall Foliage Makes the Wind Cave Trail a Colorful Hike

Wind-Cave-Trail-Fall-Foliage

Wind Cave Trail, Logan, Utah

 

Fall is the ideal time to hike the Wind Cave Trail to see the colorful foliage.  Driving approximately 5 miles up the Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway, you will find the Wind Cave trailhead across the road from the Guinavah-Malibu Campground.

The Wind Cave is composed of a group of natural limestone arches and hollows.  It was formed as water seeped through cracks in layers of underground limestone, creating caverns.  Downward cutting from the Logan River exposed the caves, and the arches were created by water continuing to erode the limestone.

The trail is rated moderate with an elevation gain of approximately 1000 feet.  It is 3.5 miles round trip.  The elevation gain does not appear as steep due to switchbacks.  The trail is well maintained and is clearly marked. If there is an unmarked trail that leads off, stick with the wider trail.

 

Wind-Cave-Trail-Fall-Foliage

 

There is shade for the first half of the trail; however the last half does not have shade. It is advisable to dress in layers, wear a hat and protection from the sun.  Be sure to bring plenty of water.

 

Wind-Cave-Trail-Fall-Foliage

 

The trail is heavily trafficked at times, particularly during the weekends.  If you prefer to hike when less people are on the trail, weekdays are a good option.  Dogs on leashes are permitted.

 

Wind-Cave-Trail-Fall-Foliage

 

Wind-Cave-Trail-Fall-Foliage

The Wind Cave Trail is extra colorful with the fall foliage

 

Wind-Cave-Trail-Fall-Foliage

 

The end of the trail leads to the top of the cave.  If you have children with you, be sure to watch them carefully as there are steep drop-offs.  You can climb down into the cave and explore the alcoves.  It is a great place to rest in the shade of the cave and take photos of the gorgeous views.

 

wind-cave-trail-fall-colors

 

Wind Cave-trail-Fall-foliage

The Wind Cave has two alcoves

 

wind-cave-trail-fall-foliage

 

wind-cave-trail-fall-foliage

 

wind-cave-trail-fall-foliage

 

 


Posted on September 30, 2018 at 8:27 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living, Places to visit | Tagged , , ,

Clean-up at Antelope Island

Debris-Antelope-Island

Over 1000 pounds of debris picked up on Antelope Island on International Coastal Clean-Up Day

 

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.

 

Volunteers-clean-up-Antelope-Island-State-Park

Volunteers at Antelope Island State Park

 

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.

 

Electronic-waste

 

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.

 

Ammunition-Antelope-Island

 

The use of ammunition containing lead is discouraged.  Accumulation of lead from ammunition on the lakebed will have a health impact on waterfowl.

 

carrying-bag-litter-Antelope-Island-Clean-Up

 

Collected litter was weighed. Metal and toxic debris were separated from the paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and aluminum cans for proper disposal.

 

weighing-bag-litter-Antelope-Island-Clean-Up

 

Within two hours, the combine efforts of hardworking volunteers were able to clear out 1000 pounds of litter.

 

bags-litter-Antelope-Island-Clean-Up

 

“You are not a drop in the ocean.  You are an entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi

 

 

Additional Information:

Antelope Island State Park

Great Salt Lake State Park – Marina

 

 

 


Posted on September 16, 2018 at 6:20 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living, Places to visit | Tagged , , , ,

A Month of Festivities along the Jordan River Corridor

Month-Festivities-Jordan-River

“Get into the River Festival”

 

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.

 

man-with-horse-goats-eating-weeds

Goats eating weeds along the Jordan River trail

 

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.

 


Posted on September 11, 2018 at 9:58 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living, Places to visit | Tagged , , , ,

A Diversity of Vegan Dining in Salt Lake City

 

Diversity-Vegan-Dining-Salt-Lake-City

 

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.

 

Diversity-Vegan-Dining-Salt-Lake-City

 

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).

 

 


Posted on September 8, 2018 at 9:14 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Food, Salt Lake City | Tagged , ,

Fall Fun & Halloween Haunts

 

Fall-Fun-Halloween-Haunts-Salt-Lake-City

 

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.

Halloween Cruise

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.

Pumpkin Train – Heber Valley

Take a 40 minute ride on the pumpkin train and be entertained by costumed characters.

Scary Lazy Race

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.

Haunted Half Marathon

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.

 

Pumpkin-Regatta

Pumpkin Regatta

 

Ginormous Pumpkin Regatta

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.

Black Island Farms

Visit the Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch Hayrides, Nightmare Acres and Farmers Market in Syracuse.  Season opens on September 21, 2018.

Haunted Hayride – Hee Haw Farms

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.

Corn Maze – Cornbelly’s

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.

Little Bear Bottoms Corn Maze

Attractions include Corn Maze, Scarecrow Walk, Haunted River Trail, Giant Straw Fort, and Spooky Barn Ride.

Pumpkin Nights

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.

Halloween Carnival – Provo

Animal and magician show, haunted house, crafts, games, and Trick or Treat Street.  October 27, 2018.

Witch Fest – Gardner Village

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.

Boo Lights at Hogle Zoo

Lighted displays at the zoo, take a train ride at night, explore a labyrinth-themed maze with puppets, and see ‘Spiderella’.

Little Haunts – This Is The Place

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).

Garden After Dark – Red Butte Garden

Light displays, games and crafts. (October 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27th)

Thriller – Odyssey Dance Theater

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.

 


Posted on September 3, 2018 at 10:39 pm
John Hamilton | Posted in Holidays, Places to visit | Tagged , , ,

Cascade Springs – Accessible Nature Walk

Cascade-Springs-

 

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.

 

wooden-bridge-over-Cascade-Springs

 

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.

 

Cascade-Springs-Nature-Walk

 

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.

 


Posted on August 27, 2018 at 10:48 am
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living, Places to visit | Tagged , , , , ,

Take a Seat on the Living Room Hiking Trail

Sandstone slabs made into furniture

Sandstone Furniture on the Living Room Trail makes a comfortable seat to relax and enjoy the panoramic views of Salt Lake City.

 

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

 

take-a-seat-living-room-hiking-trail-john-hamilton-homes

 

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.

 

Take-a-Seat-on the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

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.

 

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

The trail varies from dirt, gravel to rocky areas.

 

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

The Living Room is a great spot to relax, eat a snack and take in the view of the city.

 

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

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.

 

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

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.

 

 


Posted on August 13, 2018 at 2:50 am
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living, Places to visit, Salt Lake City |

The Maybird Gulch Trail – A Trail Less Travelled

Maybird Gulch Trail - A Trail Less Traveled

John Hamilton crossing the bridge leading to the Maybird Gulch Trail from the Red Pine Trail

 

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.

 

Maybird Gulch Trail - A Trail Less Traveled

Wildflowers on the Maybird Gulch Trail

 

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.

 

Maybird Gulch Trail - A Trail Less Traveled

 

Maybird Gulch Trail - A Trail Less Traveled

 


Posted on July 16, 2018 at 9:42 am
John Hamilton | Posted in Outdoor Living | Tagged , , , , ,