Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Adventure to the Uinta Mountains

My mum had been visiting for 17 days, left on Wednesday last week. It took us a few days and an entire weekend, but I'd say we're pretty much back to normal now. In fact, we had an entire long weekend with no real plans* so we decided to go for an adventure by just getting in the truck with a picnic lunch and head east.

We had never been to Park City before, where most of the skiing happens. I'm not a skier and even if I could afford that sport, I wouldn't be. It's winter, it's down hill on slippery things, no thank you. (I tried once as a 14-year old, had an accident that resulted in 18 stitches in my scalp, declared NEVER AGAIN). It was Memorial Day here in the US, so only about half the shops and restaurants in Park City were open. I didn't take any photos there. If you've seen one expensive tourist resort town (Banff, Tofino, Asheville), you've seen them all. We decided to continue west towards Strawberry Reservoir and beyond.

Mr. Cupcake getting some high-altitude fresh air.

The above is overlooking Strawberry Reservoir. We missed the turn that would have had us go down the western side, but thought "hey, we have a 4x4 truck, we can do back roads" and carried on up to 9,300 feet to find this.

To the right is a several-hundred-feet drop off, so we had to turn around and go back the way we came to a more reasonable road. But there was some significant bouncy road driving first.

The perspective is hard to tell from this photo but I would say we are angled down about 35 degrees. It was steep.

This is the same steep hill, coming back the other way, having found a dead end.

We ended up driving as far as Duchesne before turning south and came back to the Salt Lake Valley through Spanish Fork. I love that view of Spanish Fork when you come around the corner and see nine massive wind turbines moving gracefully.

We drove through several different landscapes in the course of the day and no, I didn't take photos of them all. My favorite is the red rock formations. It was nice to be in a coniferous forest! I love the forest smells on a warm day.

Interestingly, after sitting in the truck for the entire day, my fitbit thought I had walked more than 5,000 steps. I guess that's what happens with all the bouncing we did while off roading!

There is so much to see and do in this state. I can't wait until we have camping gear and can start doing some exploring in destinations further than a day trip.

*Well, we were supposed to help a friend move on Sunday, but after asking her twice what time and what her address was, and hearing no response, we had a free day with no plans!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Cannon Greens community garden plot

Eep. It has been a month since I have posted.

Lots has happened in the garden, not the least of which is that I have acquired a second garden plot, right next to my first one. See, there are deadlines for these plots and if gardeners don't have their plots weeded/planted out by X date then they are forfeit and become MINE. I had weeded my neighboring plot and around it in hopes that it might become mine and then it did, on Thursday, so that night I dug it up and amended the soil with manure, planted everything out on Saturday, and on Sunday we built a structure to hold up the peas and tomatoes. Below are photos of this evolution.

 April 24. I wanted that plot on the left.
 While weeding that plot on the left I discovered some volunteer lettuces and onions, which I transplanted to my bed since they were unclaimed.
 Mulched around my entire bed.
The garden ran out of wood chips soon after this, and since we get them for free from the City, we have to wait until their next pass through our way.

Oh look I have weeded that plot. It's like it wants to be mine.

May 8. Things are growing. The weather turned very cold after this, near freezing and everyone was worried.

 May 13. This is a pet project of mine, to clear the weeds along the fence line, hoard cardboard and put it down, get some composted manure and topsoil on here and then plant sunflowers. I started a week ago and had some help from gardening friends who also want to see the garden become beautiful.
 On Thursday May 15 at 12:32pm, I received the email that said I was the proud new owner of plot 33! I wasted no time and got it all amended that night.
 On Saturday morning (May 17) I had planned to spend about five hours at the garden getting stuff done. My new gardening buddy Jasmine took this photo of me before I started planning out all my starts. The weather had finally warmed up and everyone was planting out their tomatoes and peppers, so I filled my new bed with 34 tomato plants - some that I had grown from seed, some that were donated to our garden after Wasatch Community Garden's annual plant sale the weekend before.
 The irrigation line on my new bed was twisted, but it was later corrected. The white bits are just chunks of ice that I emptied from my cooler just as I was leaving the garden.
 There is a string of pea starts along the left side, then a string of peppers and other sundry plants, tomatoes mostly in the middle, then salad greens on the right side.
 The Sunflower Strip is coming along. Emily and Alfred helped cart the manure!
 Ever since getting interested in permaculture, I have wanted to create an herb spiral. I laid down a bunch of logs in a spot where I think the spiral should go, to get a sense of a good location.

 I had drawn up a schematic of the kind of trellis I wanted for my garden, since I have peas and tomatoes that will need to climb. Dan helped me with the design, we took some measurements, bought supplies, and set to work making a modular portable trellis that could double as a hoop house in the winter, and that we can take with us one day when we move to a place where I can have my own land.

 Dan took a stop-motion video of us constructing it, but this is the bones of the structure. It still needs a cross bar along the top but as the plants grow, I'll be stringing up jute twine and it will be a green tunnel. I'm pretty excited.

The view of the garden from where I park my truck. I can't wait to see it in full green!