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Monday, October 26, 2015

Recapping a Katie Wanders Summer

Happy Monday everyone.  

With the leaf peeking season coming to a close, and summer long gone now, I thought it would be fun to do a summer recap of all of the great trips of the summer.  Sometimes it just feels so darn good to sit back and reflect at all of the amazing things you accomplished.  Or in this case, all the beautiful places I saw.  Looking back, I can't help but think how lucky I am to have seen all of these beautiful faces and places.   From the Atlantic to the Pacific, and some beautiful places in between.  Peaks of mountains, lakes along the American West to the waves under the Golden Gate Bridge.  I don't always get to travel to exotic places, but this recap is truly a reminder of how beautiful  (and amazingly diverse) the U.S. of A really is.  

May to September here we go.

Entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park 

We started off the summer season the Katie Wanders way, with a Road trip.  Late May we packed up the car and headed to Denver, Colorado where we visited a few friends and enjoyed the city.  I loved Denver, a fun clean city with a great vibe, but just a little too far from the mountains.  We also drove through the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes, taking in another gorgeous National Park.  Eventually we drove back west across Colorado stopping in Steamboat Springs, and some crazy little towns in Colorado and Utah.   I also made it home in May where I spend time with family and friends.  I spent some time riding, working, and catching up.  I even escaped CT for a weekend and visited the beautiful Newport Mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. 

Breakers Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island 

 June was a fun month before the Utah heat came full force (Utah summer sun is no joke).  We rode around on our bikes and had a blast at Salt Lake City BikeProm A big ol party where we ride our bikes around the city in prom attire- as much fun as it sounds.  I ran the Utah Valley Marathon down Provo Canyon, and scored my second 26.2 for the books with some friends.  And yes my last 26.2.  Of course there were some great hikes, like Adams Canyon Waterfall, Donut Falls, Blood Lake and Lackawaxen Lake, and spent a day paddleboarding at Jordanelle Reservoir.  

Finish Line of the Utah Valley Marathon 
Bike Prom 
Hike to Adams Canyon Falls 

July brought the heat, or really, the never ending Utah Sun.  We took a hike to beautiful Horsetail Falls, and then spent the fourth of July camping in the Uintas with a group of friends.  The Uintas are a great place to escape the city heat and enjoy the wilderness in the land of no cell reception.  I checked out the Utah dive scene and spent some time diving at the Bonneville Sea Base.  I fed the fish and had a wonderful reunion with my dive gear.  There were some trips to local favorites, like Antelope Island and Park City, a great way to escape the heat.  And then there was the epic California Road Trip.  Four days from Utah to the coast to finish off our drive all the way across the country.  From Salt Lake City, to Lake Tahoe, to Sausalito, San Francisco, down the Pacific Coast Highway, spending some time in Big Sur and Monterey, Napa and Sacramento before heading back.  My favorite trip of the summer! California is as amazing as they brag to be I have to say it....

Antelope Island 
Diving at the Bonneville Sea Base
Hike to Horsetail Falls 
Monterey, California 
Napa, California 
Sausalito, California 
Lake Tahoe, California 

August started with another trip home between semesters (yes, I went back three times this summer- girl needs her ocean).  I started off the trip home with a drive and weekend up in Boothbay Harbor, Maine with great friends.  A weekend spent relaxing by the water with a lobster roll in hand.  I was back East in Connecticut for almost two weeks where I enjoyed time with family and friends, diving a ton and enjoying New England summer.  Once I made it back west, I ended the month with a trip to the Uintas to escape the heat and enjoy a nice hike around Wall Lake.

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Wall Lake, High Uintas 

September was another great month (are you sick of hearing that yet?).  We started off September with a trip to Snow Bird’s Oktoberfest for good beer and local fun.  Then there were a few great waterfall hikes, Battlecreek Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Stewart Falls down in Utah County.  And then… you guessed it! Another trip back East.  This time, it was to Vermont for a friend’s wedding before heading to Connecticut.  We spent a beautiful weekend stopping in Brattleboro, Vermont and celebrating Amy and Luis at Killington, Vermont .  We also hiked the beautiful Deer Leap Overlook trail with friends.  After Vermont, it was home for a few days before heading to Block Island, Rhode Island to relax on the beach for a few days.  It was perfect beach weather and a wonderful week playing hookie from grad school life.  September ended with a beautiful hike back in Utah to Desolation Lake.

Hike to Desolation Lake 
Hike to Stewarts Falls 
Snowbirds Oktoberfest 
Hike to Deer Leap Rock, Vermont 
South Lighthouse, Block Island, Rhode Island

States Seen:  Utah, California, Colorado, Nevada, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, 

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