Monday, October 19, 2020

Fall Leaf Tour of 2020

I was really able to enjoy the gorgeous fall leaves this year, I went on several drives up the canyons and a couple of walks and saw all sorts of fall colors.

Our first drive of the season was on September 21st, we wanted to start kind of early in the season to make sure we saw the reds and oranges which always come sooner than we think and are so fleeting. Another thing on our fall to do list, was get apple cider donuts and slushies at the Big Red Barn in Santaquin. So we decided to drive down south to get our treats and then check our Nebo Canyon while we were in the area.

The donuts are so soft and squishy and are covered in delicious cinnamon sugar. The slushies are my favorite, the apple cider slush is absolute perfection, with just the right amount of spice. You have the option of getting vanilla or caramel ice cream swirled in the middle, I always go with the caramel, so my slushy tastes like a caramel apple.

Then we headed up the canyon. We were able to find some little pockets of color!

Mom had created a fun autumn scavenger hunt for V to complete on our adventure.

Overall, we didn't see much color in Nebo canyon. The highlight of our drive was all the wild life we came across. We saw lots of cows out grazing.

We saw some adorable deer.

But this creature was by far the best wild life we saw. When we first saw it, we thought it might be a skunk, but a closer look showed that is was more like some kind of chicken. We weren't sure it was injured since it was sitting so close to the road and didn't seem to be moving. We would have gotten out to check on it, but he was perched near a curve and parking the car and walking across the street would have been dangerous. He reminded me of a character from Fraggle Rock.

We were a little disappointed at the lack of fall leaves in Nebo Canyon, so we thought we would drive up a little of the Alpine Loop on the way home to check on the colors there.

We made a stop at Sundance so the kids could get out and run around for a bit, they had been so good on our super long drive in the canyon.

Mom made the cutest nature fairies with the kidds.

We were able to find lots of beautiful colors around Sundance and we had just a few minutes to capture them before the sun set.

We drove the Alpine Loop a couple of days later because we had found so many colors up there while driving around Sundance, and we wanted to drive the whole loop when the sun wasn't setting on us.

We made a few stops along the way to go exploring. The colors were gorgeous!

We had so much smoke in the air from wild fires not only in Utah, but from California as well. We had smoke filled skies for weeks, which made for hazy vistas.

Towards the end of our drive, we got out at a campsite near Tibble Fork Reservoir so we could take pictures amongst the leaves and let the kids get their wiggles out. 

We spent a long time trowing rocks into the river, both the kids thought it was the unbelievably fun. Simple pleasures.

While playing in the river, we had the most serendipitous moment. The sun began to set and our entire surroundings were enveloped in the most glowy, golden pink light.

We could even see the beautiful sunset sky above the trees. It was gorgeous and so magical, the vibrance of the warm, golden colors was nearly impossible to capture in a picture.

Such a beautiful and wonderful unexpected moment.

On our way back to our car, we passed by these gorgeous red leaves and needed some pictures in front of them. 

During quarantine I taught myself how to french braid! I am very proud of myself. These braids also showcase my 2020 corona roots (since getting to the salon isn't considered an "essential" activity) which I didn't notice until we started taking pictures....

V took these family photos for us. She is such a natural with the camera.

Monty has the most kissable cheeks!

A few weeks later, on conference weekend, Mom, Dad and I took a little drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon during our break on Sunday to see how the yellow leaves were coming along.

Sadly, a lot of the aspens didn't even turn this year, and we saw hillsides covered in trees that had just dropped their leaves.

We made a stop at Mom's childhood cabin, since I hadn't ever seen it before and she has told me tons of fun stories from all the summers she spent up there as a little girl. It is nestled in an aspen grove so we got to see some beautiful yellows, while walking around the cabin.

On our way back down the canyon, we were able to spot a few reds and oranges!

The next week, on October 11, I spontaneously decided to drive the Alpine loop, since Sunday's are much more relaxed now that we can't meet in person for church and family Sunday dinners have been paused. I listened to the talks from the Women's session from conference since I didn't have a chance to listen to them last week. It was like having church in the canyon, and it was a very beautiful, spiritual day.

And most of the aspens were in full "bloom". Some had already dropped their leaves, but the majority were perfectly, golden yellow.

Talk about fields of gold!

The major lesson I learned from all my fall drives this year, always go for the Alpine Loop, it never disappoints.

When I got into the Provo Canyon part of the drive, I took a little break at Vivian Park to go for a walk and enjoy the very brisk fall air and the sunshine.

I had to weave in and out of reckless long boarders, but the trail was beautiful and covered in tons of yellow leaves.

Vivian Park is absolutely stunning in the fall.

A couple of weeks later I was pet sitting Luci, and I had driven to DQ in Sandy to try out their pumpkin Pie Blizzard, I am going on a tour of pumpkin shakes this year as well, I will blog about that in a later post. While we were in the area I wanted to find a fun place to take Luci for a walk, we found this beautiful little trail behind a business park in Millcreek that had beautiful leaves that were even more stunning in the golden setting sun light.

So many fun fall leaf adventures! I got a whole months worth of autumn leaves this year instead of the usual one canyon drive through. That's one bonus of 2020, I have a lot more time to enjoy the beauties of nature.