tumbleweeds near smithsonian butte

Tumbleweeds

Actually the desiccated carcasses of an invasive species, commonly known as Russian Thistle, tumbleweeds rolling across the open desert are as iconic as it gets. But those weeds can’t tumble forever! Years ago I thought it would be an amazing fake business to offer Tumbleweed Tours. Tourists could travel to the most impressive gathering spots of tumbleweeds in the west, and marvel at the spectacle that is the tumbleweed en masse. We would travel the dirt roads where they have crashed up against fences

Along the Blitzen River

Road Trip

Do you know that anxiety that creeps back into your belly as a trip comes close to the end? This is especially noticeable with trips that require airplanes. You give your friend a big hug goodbye and then they drive off to resume their life while you navigate the shuttle, the airport, the security lines. Do you have enough time to grab coffee or go to the bathroom or make your flight? And then, safely at the gate, checking emails,

steering the boat

You want advice? I’ve got advice.

A new co-worker asked me for a piece of advice when she started her job. I suggested my old standby, it rarely helps to freak out. Turns out this is advice she can really use: she is someone who defines herself as a highly emotional, dramatic person who is prone to freaking out. The more I am around drama, the more I embrace the soundness of this advice. I used to freak out. I remember sailing on a reservoir in

Homemade sugar cubes in a tiny glass.

Let’s Celebrate!

It’s spring, it’s March, the cat didn’t barf today, daffodils! So many small reasons to celebrate! And for me, I am no longer wearing a giant sling 23 hours a day, which means Phase 1 of shoulder surgery recovery is behind me. I took the dogs for their hike this morning. I cannot run for another 6 weeks, but I said hello to all the regulars running by and noticed where the trail has changed slightly with rain and snow

gooseberry mesa

Faves

My dentist seems to have the perfect temperament for his job. He’s pleasant, cheerful and apparently does not tire of routine. He’s a fly fisherman, so we chat about fishing while he runs sharp metal tools over my teeth. There are two main rivers that people fish around Salt Lake City, the Provo and the Weber. They each have pros and cons, but both are easily accessible and heavily used as local go-to fishing spots. My dentist fishes the Weber

tiny drawing - laurel hunter - spaceship

Pause

You may remember that I took a spill last September. Turns out I tore my rotator cuff (my supraspinatus tendon, to be specific), and had to have it repaired last week. While I can scribble down ideas for posts, my inability to type as fast as I think, with only one hand available to help with typing, is leaving me disinclined to write for now. Wild Westish will return to normal posts in 5 weeks. Anyone interested in what to

drawing of a super moon

Super! Blood! Blue! Moon!

When is the moon not super? I mean… really. A beautiful, glowing rock that appears in our sky in a variety of shapes at different times of day. It affects tides as it orbits the earth, lights up a dark desert night, keeps you company on a road trip, illuminates the trail on a nighttime MTB ride. It is the star of more than one children’s book, and the destination for a cheese vacation in my favorite Wallace & Gromit

twilight

Thursday’s trail run

I pulled into the parking lot at the trailhead a little before 6:30 on Thursday morning. The nearby houses were dark. There was one other car, a gold SUV, in the parking lot but no sign of the driver or anyone else. The trail disappeared into darkness until I clicked on my headlamp, creating my little circle of visibility. A half mile in, I perched on the edge of the meadow that sits like a shallow bowl below the hills.

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