Thursday, December 24, 2009

Early Christmas, On Time Birthday

Tonight is Christmas Eve.  I'm here at the house in Salt Lake City, alone, blogging.  Poor me?  No, not at all because: 
  1. Drew and I just spent 20 days together (minus one for an overnighter to the West Desert) and celebrated both an early Christmas last weekend in Moab and Drew's birthday on the very day of,
  2. Many friends and family members sent us delightful packages and holiday cards to let us know they care,
  3. Three neighbors just tonight* brought gifts of goodies and fresh eggs laid by the chickens that live across the street, and one neighbor invited me over for food and drink**,
  4. I have friends to eat with tomorrow that will appreciate my pies, and
  5. My life is full and happy!

* in addition to the other fabulous gifts we received earlier from neighbors.  We live on a good street!
**plus, Rhandy invited me to go to church with them, but I'm not much of a churchgoer.

So our early holiday/solstice celebration took place in Moab last weekend.  We went down to our place for four whole days to do nothing much* except hike, snowshoe, cook, eat nachos and drink beer at the Moab Brewery, and stay warm by the working gas log fireplace**.

*but the bonus reason to go to Moab in the winter is to escape the really horrible air quality in Salt Lake that you can see in this picture from dug's blog looking down on Salt Lake Valley last week, where I live and work day-in and day-out

**as opposed to our non-functional, work-in-progress gas fireplace in Salt Lake

Friday we hiked Hidden Valley at sunset. 

You can see there is not much snow on the ground, but that is because we were at a pretty low elevation.

Saturday was different.  We went to the La Sals.  I am not a meteorologist, but I'm guessing the La Sals get the lightest, fluffiest powder because they are in the desert and are really quite high.  I think they have like 12 peaks above 12000 feet in a pretty small range.  Anyway, the snow was perfect, we saw only three skiers and two courteous snowmobilers on a 3.5 hour snowshoe tour on a Saturday with fresh powder, the sun was glorious, and we had the best dagwood sammies for lunch after we finally stopped to sit our butts down to rest. 

I'm perched on an avalanche rescue shovel. It was still cold.

Moab was stupendous!!!!

We came back to Salt Lake to celebrate Drew's solstice birthday on Monday.  Is there something wrong with me that I insist on baking a real (i.e. homemade) birthday cake for Drew even though what he really wants is a cake from a bakery that has perfectly formed icing roses made with hydrogenated oil and artificial coloring?  Isn't there something I am supposed to learn about loving a person that should make me want to give him what he really wants?  Or is that I love him so much I want to feed him only cake baked with love and natural ingredients? 

This birthday, he got John's Reece's Cake served on Drew's mother's china. With eggnog!  This cake I have been wanting to make for 13 years, but could not get the recipe because John had lost it.  He found it again at Thanksgiving, so I was eager to make it. It is gooey, peanut buttery, chocolate goodness!

So I am warm and content in our house in Salt Lake, but missing Drew, who is, at this minute, flying to Buffalo, New York where he will spend Christmas Eve with random coworkers. We are both thinking about Moab and cake and the good life.

Warm holiday wishes go out all our friends and family, especially my sister Jackie and niece Abbie, who were scheduled to drive to North Dakota but were wise enough not to attempt the roads during the bad blizzard, and to those around us who have had a difficult year.   Peace be with you all!

Happy Holidays!


  1. Merry Christmas Lucy! Glad you got to spend some time together and have such great memories to hold on to. It looks like it was a lot of fun in Moab.


  2. Loving the description of your Moab Winter Visit. Sitting on a cold avalanche shovels reminds me to suggest: that closed cell foam sleeping roll that has been retired, can be whittled into a compact sit-upon that would also double for insulation should an injury forbid travel and mean the trekker must stay put for help. Dimensions wise, think hip wide and neck to jsut past that crease where buttock meets the upper leg.
    Hey, look at avalanche [dot] org for snow reports on the La Sals and annual winter avalanche courses by Forest Service staff. Plus, there are two huts in the La Sals for winter camping. Sleeps 8-10 folks. Propane powers the wall lamps, two burner cook top and a thermostat controlled heater. Snow Cat services haul gear in, trash out. The trek is 5 miles to Tomasaki Hut and 8 miles to the Beaver Lake Hut. Line up a hut for next solstice birthday.

  3. Merry Christmas, Lucy and Drew! I am glad you got to spend some quality time together!

    Lisa and Jeff

  4. Please share the cake really recipe since I love peanut butter. Too snowy to ride in Moab? - Milissa

  5. Desert floor had too much snow to ride! Slickrock trail would be clear with a few icy spots. Sovereign trail would be unrideable. Then again it will have been 3 weeks between our visits. We will send the recipe soon.