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I have mentioned in posts past that Greg and I have a few road trips up our sleeve for this summer. These next couple of months Greg and I are in a very unique position- one that may never be repeated and is certainly uncommon for most middle class Americans... Neither of us have to work. All summer. We are off until August 13 and if that isn’t the greatest thing about teaching, I don’t know what is.
I plan to spend my summer working on those big nebulous goals that I never seem to get around to during the school year. Clean out the pantry. Write my book. Organize the garage. Greg plans to work on his ARL and take the Praxis test. We both plan to sleep in and stay up late and go on lots of little road trips with our family.
Utah is an amazing state for outdoor enthusiasts. As a child, my parents would always take our clan of eight kids to explore all that Utah had to offer, especially Southern Utah. I have memories of hiking at Bryce, Zions, Arches. When I was in high school my dad started building a cabin in Schofield and from then until last summer our outdoor summer adventures all revolved around building and staying in our cabin. We went ATVing, and snowmobiling, enjoyed campfires, and played on the lake- fishing, rafting, swimming.
If I start thinking about how much I miss this place I will start to cry.
For a great cabin post, hit up this one that I wrote when my mom decided to sell it.
Since I have been away from home, though, I haven’t explored Utah nearly like I should. Adulthood kind of got in the way. Summer jobs and not enough money and Greg’s rehearsal schedule have all kept us from being able to enjoy Utah on the level that we would like. When my mom sold our cabin last summer, it made it even harder to enjoy being outside. (We also bought a house, went to Europe, and had a baby in the middle of last summer- didn’t leave us much time for outdoor Utah!) This summer, though, with lots of time off, we plan to hit up a few of Utah’s best sights. Here are the places I really want to road trip to this summer.
1. GOBLIN VALLEY. True story: The last time I remember visiting Goblin Valley was on a ninth grade field trip. When attempting to climb a massive rock, my friend yelled from below, “Bonnie! You have red all over your shorts!” And that was when and where I started my period for the first time ever. Now, 13 years later and with my period business all figured out, I’d love to return with Greg and June to climb rocks and take pictures and explore how beautiful that part of our state is.
Gotta love that Utah red rock.
2. TIMPANOGAS CAVES. These caves are probably twenty minutes from where Greg and I live. I have absolutely no desire to do the entire 18 mile hike up Timpanogas Mountain, but a little one mile hike to explore some cool caves? YAH BABY.
3. ZIONS. One of the coolest places in all of Utah is Zions National Park. My sister worked there for a summer and knows the whole place inside out. I’d love to do a hard, adventurous hike like The Subway or Angel’s Landing, but honestly, I’m a little intimidated by Zions. It seems like it’s for all the hard hard core enthusiasts, which I am not. I also had a student who died in a rapelling accident in Zions two years ago. It is so beautiful though, and I know it has lots of great hikes to offer for a family like the Larsen clan who may be just a bit more on the scaredy cat side. Have any of you gone on great hikes in Zion that you would recommend for a redhead who burns easily, a girl who is afraid of tight places and a one year old baby?
4. PRICE, UTAH. We can't forget about my good old home town! It's hard for me to visit Price because it brings up so many memories of my dad and the pang of missing him is extra sharp. Greg has only been back with me to Price twice- once was before we were married. This summer I want to take Greg and June to my unique little city and visit Sherald's Burger Bar where I used to serve up a mean milkshake, the Wave Pool, and of course, good old Carbon High School.
5. MOAB. Greg and I actually visited Moab together a few summers ago, but we didn’t do the arches hike. I want to go back, do that awesome hike with June in tow, and enjoy some good old fashioned camping with the gorgeous red rock as our background.
Of course, all these road trips require a car that is well maintained. I am kind of OCD about making sure the oil in my car is changed on time. I bought my little used Toyota Corolla over five years ago, and it has been the most amazing car for us. We’ve put 70,000 miles on it and have had absolutely no problems with it. I try to take good care of our car as she takes good care of us so oiling up during our summer adventures is an absolute must.
I have probably had my oil changed at every place in the book, but I always end up going back to good old Wal-mart. The price of an oil change at Wal-mart's Automotive Center just can’t be beat. Plus I get to shop while the oil is changed. I feel like I live in an eternally frenzied state, so being able to kill two birds with one stone is huge for me. I drop the car off in the back, do my grocery shopping, and by the time I’ve got my groceries done, my car is ready for me too.
This time around I had my car changed with Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle oil. I’ve got 125k miles on my Corolla and it runs smooth as butter. The Pennzoil High Mileage vehicle oil helps reduce leaks and oil consumption in high mileage engines. It’s designed for vehicles with over 75K miles to help the engines running clean and going strong for a long time. AND From June 10th until September 9th, Pennzoil oil changes will be on Rollback at Walmart Automotive Care Center stores, meaning that the High Mileage oil change which is usually $39.88 is now $35.88. (Industry standard is $46) Smoking deal!
(Also if you like the whole works for your car, the Platinum Full Synthetic will be down from $49.88 to $45.88- Industry standard is $66)
You can find out more about getting your Pennzoil at Wal-mart on
Any other places in the state of Utah we should definitely hit up? They need to be easy enough to take a baby, but awesome enough that we never want to go home.