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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Aloha Everyone

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is the top attraction in Brigham City. Established in 1928 to protect feeding and breeding site for migratory birds.

We arrived there shortly after the Wildlife Education Center opened this morning.

Craig is one if the volunteers. He was very helpful in answering our questions and gave us historical information as well as shorebird/water bird facts and lent us a bird identification guide book of the Bear River refuge.

J.J. and I took self auto tour following the routes that were clearly marked.

At first you see birds at a distance. hen you ears begin to catch their chatter. With binoculars around our neck, J.J. drove at a turtle's pace, very appropriate for Honu as it means turtle in Hawaiian.

We came across this bridge where their must have been easily 100 small birds that resembled Bank Swallow. However they flew off too rapidly that we could not ascertain the specie by comparing with the guide book.

We saw at least 40 different species including Snow Goose, Tundra Swan, Sandhills Crane, American White Pelican, Snowy Egret, American Gold Finch, Double-Crested Cormorant several different species of ducks and hawk.

Reeds along the Bear River bank are over 10' high in some places  A great place for birds and other animals to conceal themselves. We saw a family of deer, otter, huge mud-colored carp, numerous butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies and bees

Our favorite birds are Black-Necked Stilt.  A flock would be sunning themselves on the gravel road we traveled. They wait until we were within 10 to 15 feet. Then they gaily make their mocking sounds and fly off only to land in our path and wait for our arrival.

What a wonderful way to spend the entire morning.

There were no other cars on the auto tour route and for nearly 3 hours, J.J. and I were alone in the wild bird sanctuary. We were grateful for the peace and quiet we experienced listening to birds flying overhead or what sounded like mating calls. I think our visit would have been more educational if there was an expert who at least spent 30 minutes to talk about birds' behaviors.

Irregardless, it is a "must" place to stop if you are anywhere near the Great Salt Lake. For information go to

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Movie Date to See Hercules

Aloha Everyone,

Tonight, J.J. and I had a movie date at the Walker Cinemas, which is located about 5 minutes drive from this RV park.

There were two cashiers and two snack shop clerks working. Everyone seemed to know one another and were happy to give you synopsis of the films they've already seen. The choice was limited so we decided on Hercules. The cost to see the movie as seniors was $5.50. While we were waiting for the show to begin, they must have shown at least 35 - 40 short advertisements promoting everything from the University of Utah Brigham campus to a local tractor repair shop. I was counting at the beginning, but eventually gave up and decided that they were all part of our entertainment.

We parked Honu next to the sign that announced names of movies and the times they will be showing.

After the show, we had a nice conversation at our RV Park with Vern and Colette from Fountain Hills, AZ. They are traveling with their 2 dogs to attend a conference of search and rescue dogs to be held in Montana. Colette is a trainer of search and rescue dogs. Vern and Colette offer their services as volunteer. To see photos of their two dogs, please go to JJ's blog site:

Aloha -- Cathi

Fresh Peaches and Apricots

Aloha Everyone,

When it comes to fresh fruits, my eyes are always much bigger than my appetite. Today we wanted to explore Brigham City. As we were driving down the Main Street, we saw signs advertising fresh local peaches, apricots, watermelons and cantaloupes. Peaches were being sold at $9.00 per "lid".

Apricot on the other hand was being sold by crate. When I told the proprietor that I only wanted a few fruits each, she sold them to me by the pound.

Here I am choosing tiny potato for our lunch. The only disappointment came when we were settling our bill and the proprietor told me that the potato we purchased are from California, and that the Rainier cherries, of course, were from Washington.

Brigham City has a population of approximately 18,000 people based on 2010 census. It is a city in Box Elder County. It has an orderly Main Street where commerce seems prosperous. However, once we drove a couple of streets away from the city center. houses are smaller with children's toys strewn in the browning front lawn and the working class neighborhoods gave appearance of deferred maintenance.

More images of Brigham City:

For lunch, we had fresh broccoli with blue cheese dressing as our appetizer followed by boiled potato, Swiss cheese and Rainier Cherries as our main dish and Greek yogurt for dessert.

Here is a picture of our main course:

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cache National Forest on Highway 89

Aloha Everyone,

Woke up to the sound of a gentle rain. We went to sleep last night leaving the ceiling fan and the side vents open. At 5:30 AM, the temperature was below 60 degrees F and I was reluctant to leave my warm bed. The route we chose was through the Cache National Park.

Logan River current was rapid  and it was making gurgling sound as it flow down stream.

With steady rain falling, low hanging clouds often came at graspable reach. I thought of the Misty  Mountains from The Hobbit as we drove between high cliffs and twisted pine forest roads.

"Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To find our long-forgotten gold.

The pines were roaring on the height
The winds were moaning in the night..."

We counted at least six camping grounds within the national forest. However, tonight we wanted to have a good wifi connection so we can catch up with our correspondence.

We elected to return to the Golden Spike RV Park in Brigham City in Box Elder County.

Meg, at the check-in counter accommodated our request of which stall we would like to occupy for the next three days.

J.J. and I spent a very relaxing afternoon.  We also planned our activity for the next couple of days including a movie date.

On Friday we have an appointment near Salt Lake City for Honu to get a 15.000 miles check-up.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, July 28, 2014

Return to Bear Lake, Utah

Aloha Everyone,

We woke up this morning with every intention of going to Yellowstone National Park. However, after seeing a long line of steady north bound traffic on Highway 89 and confirming the bad weather forecast for the remainder of the week, we decided to head back to Utah.

There were a couple of sites we wanted to see before leaving the Grand Teton National Park. Here is a barn and a house that are historical memorials to the Mormon homestead.

A group of artists were out this morning trying to capture the ephemeral beauty of the early morning light.

There must have been a colony of 40 - 50 of these little animals. They looked well-fed and were running from one burrow entrance to another.

The name "Jenny" has a special meaning in our family and so J.J. and I decided to try to access Jenny Lake one more time before we left the Grand Teton National Park.

Though the camping ground was again full, one way scenic loop was accessible.

Here are photos of Jenny Lake:

Our lunch was purchased from the deli at Albertson in Jackson Hole. This establishment has great fresh produce. Quality and prices are comparable to Whole Foods.

The picnic location we chose was by the Snake River where people launch their rafts to float down stream.

Passed by the town of Afton where their claim to fame is the biggest elk horn arch on Main Street.

We also drove by north Bear Lake to compare their white sandy beach to sands of Sandy Beach on Oahu.

Tonight we are back in the RV park we stayed 3 nights ago in Garden City, Utah.

Garden City where we are staying is famous for their raspberries and raspberry shakes.

Every establishments on Main Street where they sell raspberry shakes had lines of eager customers.

Tonight Honu is under an apple tree.

Aloha -- Cathi