Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Salt Lake Easter, Mount Helena, 66th birthday

A true sign of spring, the Pasque flower on the side of Mount Helena
I've covered quite a bit of ground since my last post two weeks ago.
We took a wonderful Easter trip to visit Katie's son, Chip, in Salt Lake City, I found spring on the side of Mount Helena, which I climbed twice, and I celebrated my 66th birthday.
Salt Lake is several weeks ahead of Great Falls for spring.  It was great to see flowering trees and feel the real warmth of this new season after the tough winter we've had.
We tried an AirBnB rental for the first time and found a great place in the Sugarhouse district for $55 per night.  This online rental service offers really basic sleeping arrangements, which we found clean and acceptable and very accessible to the downtown and Chip's place.

Top:  Madeline Cathedral where we went to Easter Mass. Middle: Katie on grounds of French restaurant where we had brunch. Bottom:  Me on my 66th birthday dinner.
We really covered a lot of ground in Salt Lake:  we went to a Triple A minor league baseball game in a gorgeous park on a warm night.  We saw the international exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Leonardo, the science museum in the old library.  We caught the Utah Symphony in modernistic Abravanel Hall downtown where an expanded orchestra played the Mahler Symphony No. 5, with its famous slow fourth (adagietto) movement.  Easter Sunday we went to mass at the Madeline Catholic Cathedral, which featured a boys choir singing in Latin and a chamber orchestra ensemble.  We were treated to an Easter Brunch at a French mountain restaurant in Mill Creek, which featured peacocks and a vineyard.  Afterward, we went for a tour of nearby Park City ski areas, all but one which were closed for the season.  There's still plenty of snow in the high country.  The Wasatch Mountains is a stunning mountain range.
The weather couldn't have been more cooperative --- warm spring with clear skies.
Salt Lake is a very beautiful city with its mountain backdrop.  It has a great choice of restaurants and there was plenty going on, including the Salt Lake marathon that tied up the downtown.
On the drive home we stopped in Helena where we climbed Mount Helena and enjoyed an early display of alpine flowers.
I returned the following weekend and climbed it again.
Then, April 28, I celebrated my 66th birthday with my wife over dinner, where she surprised me with a bound copy of a four year portion of this blog bound in a beautiful book.  I was thrilled beyond belief.  She plans to have two other volumes, covering the other six years.  The one book covered 372 pages, which means that all-told there will be more than 1,000 pages in three volumes!
I had to attend a school board meeting, where the Ag Program and FFA kids were featured and the industrial tech curriculum review was previewed.
Despite recovering from the shoulder surgery of five months ago (it's still sore and there's some flexibility issues), I feel really great for this advancing age.

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