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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking back at 2015 - A year in review

 I love writing this post every year.  I love to look back over the last 365 days at all of the wonderful things I have done, and in my case, all of the beautiful places I have been.  What I do not love about New Years Eve is the pressure to have this "fantastic night", or the need to stay up until midnight to do so.  Call me old at heart, but being in bed by 10 pm is my idea of a great time.  Despite how I chose to ring in the New Year, reflecting back on the past year is my favorite way to start the day.

This New Years Eve, I am lucky to be home surrounded by friends and family, packing for a week long trip to the island of Madeira.  A trip with my family to a far-off non touristy 60 degree island is the perfect way to start the New Year.  But before I take off, I have to sit down and reflect on the awesome year I had.  Pour a mimosa if you like to celebrate early, and lets recap an awesome year on Katie Wanders. 
January:  Antelope Island
January:  Bonneville Salt Flats 
January was all about some local hikes and trips, after spending a week and a half back East for the holidays.  The month started with a hike on Antelope Island, and continued on with a trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats.  We bought some new microspikes for some winter hiking and climbed to the top of Grandeur Peak.

February was a "hole" lot of fun.  We started the month off with a trip up to Wyoming, to ski Jackson Hole Ski Resort, see the Tetons, and ski Grand Targhee.  I also posted a 6 month update on my move to Utah, celebrated my 27th birthday, signed up to run another marathon, and started training to coach Girls On The Run.
Angels Landing Hike, Zion National Park
Entrance to the Emerald Pools Hike, Zion National Park
Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park
Lake Las Vegas, Nevada
March is a fantastic time in southern Utah so that is exactly where we went.  We planned a wonderful trip down to southern Utah and to Las Vegas, Nevada.  We went to Zion National Park, and hiked Emerald Pools, Angels Landing, and Riverside Walk.  We continued our road trip south and went to Las Vegas and stayed at Lake Las Vegas.  We ended the month off with a trip to Kolob Canyons on our way back to Salt Lake City.

I welcomed spring and ran the Salt Lake City Half Marathon (half #7). This was a PR for me, my fastest half in 1:55 and on a hilly course at altitude.  I also ate at some great restaurants like Pallet.  It was a low key month full of running and eating my way around Salt Lake City. 

The Breakers Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island
Allenspark, Colorado
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
May was all about travel.  It was my first trip back East since Christmas and I was so excited to be back home in the spring.  The month started with a trip to Stonington Point, and Jamestown Rhode Island.  I kept the Rhode Island tour going with a trip to Newport to visit Rosecliff Mansion and The Breakers.  When I got back to Utah I spent some time hiking before heading off on a road trip to Colorado.  We stopped and saw Rocky Mountain National Park, and Boulder, and then went to see Denver and visit friends.  

Adams Canyon Waterfall, Layton, Utah
Silver Lake, Brighton, Utah
Lake Lackawaxen, Utah
Utah Valley Marathon
June was a fun month around Utah. We attended Bike Prom, and I ran my second marathon, the Utah Valley Marathon down Provo Canyon. Thatchers mom and sister came to visit and we hiked the Brighton area in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Silver Lake and Twin Lakes.  We took a trip to Red Butte Garden, and added a few more fun hikes including: Donut Falls, Adams Canyon Waterfall, and a hike to Bloods Lake and Lackawaxen lake.  We ended the month with a trip to Jordanelle Reservoir to go stand up paddle boarding and spend time near the water. 

Big Sur, California 
Bonneville Seabase, Grantsville, Utah 
Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco, California
Keyhole Arch, Pfeiffer Beach, California 
Napa Valley, California 
July was a BUSY month (and maybe one of the best!).  The month started with a hike to Horsetail Falls down in Utah County.  Then, it was fourth of July in the High Uintas, with some camping and a gorgeous hike on the Lakes Country Trail.  After the Uintas, we hiked the popular hike up to Lake Blanche and Sundial Peak in Big Cottonwood canyon.  This month, I bit the bullet (and accepted inland diving) and went scuba diving at the Bonneville Sea Base.  There was another trip to Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake before we embarked on my favorite trip yet, a trip to California.  A trip to California completed our drive, coast to coast with stops in Lake Tahoe Pier 39 Sea LionsSteps of San FranciscoGolden Gate Bridge Driving Highway One - Half Moon Bay to Big SurPfeiffer Beach, Big Sur Monterey - Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, and San Carlos Beach and finally ending the amazing trip with a visit to Napa Valley.

Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Wall Lake, High Uintas, Utah
August started with another trip back East.  This time, it was a long weekend in Boothbay Harbor, Maine before spending a week in Connecticut working between semesters.  I visited my beloved Alma Mater at Avery Point, and returned to Utah for a gorgeous hike to Wall Lake and The Notch in the High Uintas

Battlecreek Falls, Utah 
Block Island, Rhode Island  

Desolation Lake Trail, Utah 
We started the month off with Oktoberfest at Snowbird.  We also continued our Utah waterfall tour with Bridal Veil Falls in Provo, Stewart Falls in Provo, and Battle Creek Falls in Pleasant Grove.  And then it was another trip back East, this time for a wedding in Vermont.  We went to a beautiful wedding at Riverside Farm in Pittsfield Vermont, and went on a great hike in Killington.  After Vermont, it was a quick trip to relax on the beaches of Block Island, Rhode Island.  Once back in Utah, we ended the month with some gorgeous fall hikes, up Killyon Canyon up Emigration Canyon and Desolation Lake Trail and Overlook in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  

Lower Calf Creek Falls, Escalante, Utah
Oktoberfest, Snowbird, Utah
Queens Garden/Navajo Loop, Bryce Utah
Highway 12, Utah
This month, we planned another Road Trip to finish off our Mighty Five Tour (visiting all 5 National Parks in Utah).  We planned a trip to Capitol Reef National Park, and then down Famous Highway 12.  We stopped in Escalante to hike Lower Calf Creek Falls.  We eventually ended up in Bryce Canyon National Park where we hiked Navajo/Queens Garden Loop Trail among the Hoodoos.  I also took a trip to Las Vegas to visit a friend there for work, and enjoy some of the delicious food Vegas has to offer.  We ended the month with some great hikes, a hike to Red Pine Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon and to one of Utah’s peaks, Mount Nebo

Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah 
Mount Olympus, Utah  
Mount Van Cott, Salt Lake City, Utah  
Grove Creek Canyon, Utah
November brought some quick trips and hikes around Salt Lake City.  I hiked Mount Van Cott by the University, and one of Salt Lake City’s popular peaks, Mount Olympus.  We also took a trip to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in northern Utah.  I ended the month with a hike to Grove Creek Canyon and Falls with Amanda in Pleasant Grove, Utah.  
Antelope Island, Utah 
Onaqui Management Area, Utah

December was a chaotic month between recovering from Wisdom Teeth Surgery, my cat getting sick and the holidays.  But I still managed to squeeze in some adventure!  We took a trip to western Utah to find the Onaqui Herd of Wild Horses. I also went on some great hikes.  I liked the Living Room in Salt Lake City, and then the highest peak on Antelope Island, Frary Peak.  We got some crazy snow storms in Utah and I took advantage and skied Deer Valley and Alta Ski Resorts.  

Looking back, it was an amazing crazy wonderful year.  I saw so many places, from Boothbay Harbor, Maine to Big Sur, California.  Utah local events and long road trips.  This blog, and all these memories organized so neatly remind me how lucky I am to live this crazy beautiful life.

2015 has some large shoes to fill.  It was an amazing year and a hard act to follow.  But 2016 is starting off with a bang with a trip to Madeira, Portugal. I am so thankful for this my crazy wonderful travel filled life.  Bring it on 2016. 

1 comment :

  1. You've been to some amazing places! The photo of Block Island does NOT look like it is in Rhode Island! Congrats on the races you've done! Amazing photos, keep them coming. Alicia @


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