Returning to a brown, green, and white spot on a blue planet
|Caroline mountain biking near Moab, Utah, days after we returned. Photo by Traci Sylte.
For the past 5 months, I've spent the majority of my time on or near the ocean. We've returned to Utah, and these first 2 weeks have resulted in me getting reacquainted with this part of the world. In the future, I'll be discussing how my actions in Utah affect the oceans of the world. For now, however, I just want to be present in the high desert.
Flying into the Salt Lake International Airport reminded me that winter was slowly withdrawing from northern Utah. The Wasatch Range (the western edge of the greater Rocky Mountains) still is snow-covered, and the color brown predominates. As the snow melts and temperatures rise, the mountains should green up for a few months.
In Cache Valley, our first week back was beautiful, with fruit trees in full blossom and the tulips kissing the sky. Daytime temperatures were in the 70s and 80s (F; 21-25 degrees C). It was definitely shorts weather. I checked out our lawn water sprinkler system, and mowed the grass twice.
|Our backyard last week.
|Looking over Cache Valley after a bike ride in Logan. The trees are leafing out!
One week later, however, the weather turned. This morning, the low was around 44 degrees F (about 6 degrees C), and we had rain, thunder and lightning, and hail. I was paying attention to the weather this morning because Caroline and I ran our first race in 2018, the Smithfield Health Days 10K. We put on warm running clothes and gloves, grabbed a raincoat, and set off with friends Rich, Teri, and Jana to brave the weather. As it turned out, the weather for the race window was perfect... cool, overcast, and no wind. An hour after we returned to Logan it was storming! Spring in Cache Valley has a history of being quirky... we live in the mountains.
|Coming into the finish! It took me 6 miles to catch up to Caroline, and we ran together for the last .2 miles! Photo by Teri Guy.
|The mountaintops are buried beneath the ominous clouds.
I feel like turning the heat on in the house. Wasn't I in Tahiti just 2-3 weeks ago? Alas, I'll be complaining that it is too hot in no time. In fact, Utah is warming up faster than many other places in the US due to climate change. We are having more extreme heat days, and the models predict our annual snowpack is going to decrease steadily over the next few decades.
It's too soon to say that we've worked ourselves back into a routine here. Caroline has replaced a broken board on our wooden sidewalk, repaired the kitchen floor after a slow water leak while we were away, and is currently downstairs in her office repairing drywall from that same leak. I've cleaned the spa, done some gardening and writing, volunteered during clinic hours at the Cache Humane Society, and have prepared an outline for one of my courses this fall. Was the past 5 months a dream? I need to stay in touch with all the great people I met to make it continue to feel real: Ron and Mary, Ted and Deb, Deb and Stuart, Ray and Leda, Alan, Kim and Carolyn, Doc Martin, Carla and Michael, and more. Please visit us in Utah, and don't be surprised when we call and tell you we are on our way to visit you!
|Lyon Arboretum, Manoa Valley, Oahu. The colorful carpet of fallen stamens is from the mountain apple tree.