Friday, October 17, 2014

Sand dunes and hot springs

Last Friday/Saturday Joel and the rest of the scouts in the ward headed out to the Little Sahara sand dunes--1 1/2 hours southwest of Springville. In all my years in Utah, I have never been to the dunes (perhaps because I perceived it primarily as a place only good for four wheeling), so when it became necessary for Joel to come home earlier than the others for a soccer game, Will and I volunteered to go out later on Friday (after a four hour rank and status committee meeting--yech) and join them. We got there just in time for a late dinner of fajitas. Next morning (above) we enjoyed omelets in a bag and bagels.

After dinner, all of the boys (including Will) headed back out to play night games on the dunes. They all wore glow sticks around their necks, arms and legs. A cool sight. They eventually ended up on this steep dune (where another troop was playing around the next morning) chewed up the night before by our boys where over and over they jumped and flipped down the steep slope.

I am continually amazed by the varied beauty of Utah. 

Happy campers. We left at 9:30 in time for Joel to get back for a game in Bountiful--He scored two goals and had two assists in a  8-1 win. Later that day Will scored two goals with one assist in a 4-0 win at their home field in Spanish Fork. Today, as they often do, the two Saturday games conflict so Marie went with Joel and I went with Will.

That night, Joel celebrated his 14th birthday (two days early) with 10 friends. They had pizza and sliced veggies, watched Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure while eating pop corn, had their fill of cake, banana splits and sundaes and then played night games.

Yesterday was the first day of fall break so we decided to go for a family hike. Will balked at first, but then ended up having a grand time. Originally I had hoped to climb Spanish Fork Peak, but on second thought it sounded too long and challenging for some of us so we opted for plan B--a hike up to Fifth Water Hot Springs. They are a 25 minute drive up Spanish Fork and Diamond Fork canyons. Last year Aunt Diane attempted a hike to the hot springs with the kids, but they took a wrong turn right off the bat and ended up hiking a considerable way up an adjacent dry canyon before realizing their mistake. They were too worn out to then attempt the hour long hike up to the hot springs. No wrong turns were made this time. Most of the fall colors had faded and dropped but there was still enough color to make it a most enjoyable hike and at just the right temperature.

The lower pools of the stream/spring with Marie and the kids in the distance under a tree eating lunch. I went on ahead to make sure everyone was properly clothed in the upper pools. Many years ago Aunt Diane took other young nieces and nephews on a hike up to the springs only to have them all happen upon some of the skinny dippers who like to frequent the place. No skinny dippers in sight. Perhaps all the young families on hikes scared them away.

Fifth Water stream drops cold water into the steaming hot springs. The various pools, depending upon the mix of hot and cold are either too hot or just right for soaking.

Ahhh--a great way to spend a day of hooky from work.

On the hike down, this random pillow became a place of destination. It led to some good exploring and some dam building. 

Will's dam from above.

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