Mark’s birthday was on Sunday, and so we had a few celebrations over the weekend. On Friday night, we tried to organize a dinner out with all our friends, but many were too busy for our last minute plans, so we ended up just having a low-key get together at a friend’s house. A nice BBQ with the kids and a few of our nearest and dearest, punctuated by Mark’s favorite dessert: German Chocolate Cake.
Normally I would bake him a cake, but I still haven’t been inspired to do much in our new kitchen. So we got one from the bakery, and everyone seemed to enjoy it well enough. I can’t speak to how good it was, as I hate chocolate cake and didn’t have any.
Anyway, once we’d celebrated with friends, we wanted to do something with the family. So on Sunday afternoon, we grabbed Mark’s mom and sister, and we headed up into the mountains for a bit of a hike. We ended up going into Brighton and taking a nice walk around Silver Lake at Big Cottonwood Canyon.
We took a “picnic” lunch with us, which was actually quite stressful. We weren’t sure what to take, nor whether there’d be picnic areas or anything, and trying to figure out something everyone would enjoy was hard. In the end, we ended up stopping at the 7-11 at the bottom of the canyon and buying what turned out to be a disgusting gas station pizza. I wouldn’t recommend it!
The area was utterly gorgeous, as you can see. We were right at the top of the mountains, surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. The kids were enthralled. There is a wooden boardwalk that runs all the way around the lake, with little bridges and jettys that you can fish from if you like. There are signs every so often to tell you about what you’re likely to encounter, and when we immediately ran across a sign saying, “Beware of Moose,” I giggled to myself. How likely was it that we’d actually run into a moose in such a big open area with TONS of people around?
Yep, this guy just came tromping out of the woods and jumped into the lake to cool off. He bathed for a good long time, and people all over were taking photos and videos. It was pretty amazing. And since he stayed out for over an hour, we got to see him from many vantage points, both near and far. It was really incredible.
Funnily enough, Dexter had insisted on bringing his toy moose on the hike, and he kept waving it at the real moose to get his attention. It was adorable.
At one point, we stopped for a rest and let the kids play with the ducks on the lake. We fed them bits of pizza crust, which was really the first time we’ve ever done that. Dexter was totally excited about getting to give food to the animals, and he kept yelling for more. Daniel was more reserved and we had to stop him from feeding them pepperoni.
Toward the end of the trail, there were a few large rocks and walls to climb, and Mark was straight up them as soon as he saw them. Of course, the kids immediately tried to climb up, too, but they were too high and steep, and both kids were wearing sandals. Mark, happily picked up Dexter and carried him a little way up. You can’t tell from the photo, but they are about ten feet off the ground here, and it was an almost sheer vertical wall.
It was a really lovely day for a hike. Warm and sunny, but the high altitude and the tree cover meant that we didn’t get too overheated. It was great being out with family on such a great day.
By the time we made it all the way around the lake, we’d been gone for a few hours, so we decided to pack up and go home. We were hot and sweaty and tired and in need of a bathroom.
Silver Lake is such a beautiful little place to visit, and it’s right next to the ski resorts, so there is plenty to do all year round. There are also trails that branch off from it which lead to bigger and better lakes and hikes, but for our little-legged boys, this was just the perfect place to start.