Archive for January, 2016

Lake Powell Boat Tour

Posted on January 29, 2016. Filed under: American Southwest, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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In Page, Arizona, at the visitor’s center, we discovered that there is a boat that will take you 100 miles up Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge.  We signed up for it for the next day.  Early the next morning we sloshed down our breakfast to get to the Wahweap Marina by 7:30 a.m.  This was going to take all day, something like 6 or 7 hours so it started early.

It was cold and windy up top of the boat, it was October, afterall.  But none of us wanted to go downstairs even though the boat had large windows and a more comfortable temperature down there.  These views out in the fresh air, thDSC04496ough, were spectacular!

It is amazing to see how Glen Canyon was filled by damming the Colorado River in 1963.  It took 11 years for the water to rise and fill up this canyon.  Now this body of water serves as a valuable reservoir.

This day it was beautiful to watch the landscape whiz by as we motored through.

 

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We had a side trip too, through a narrow side canyon.  That was tricky maneuvering for our captain and, at one point, we did scrape the wall.  But it was fun to get into a narrow slot like this.

I didn’t know if I’d like a whole day on a boat and it was pretty tiring.  But it was so beautiful, I was glad to see it.  It was our last day so we squeezed in more of Antelope Canyon AND Horseshoe Bend as well before hitting the sack.

 

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Bad Weather Hiking – Switzerland

Posted on January 24, 2016. Filed under: Switzerland, Travel | Tags: , , , , , |

Our first hiking day.  The trip had been planned for months.  The mountain vDSC08750iews had been dreamed about.  That feeling of being so small next to those behemoths.  And that air.  Oh, the big breaths of mountain air in the sunshine.  I couldn’t wait.

Ha!  It had been a wonderful summer AND fall, they told us.  Weeks and weeks of perfect weather, they said.  And now.  This.  Pea soup fog and rain.  No views.  So sorry.

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In the guidebook, that scene above has a backdrop of jaw-dropping mountains.  Not for us today, though.  We have to settle for the charming old stone barn on the grassy slope.

Getting to the col or pass was disappointing too…

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We could barely see right in front of us.  It does bring focus to the sharp terrain at the top of this col, though, forget about looking out on any vast expanse.

 

 

So, we decided to makeDSC08773 the best of it.  It could be snowing and a lot colder we told ourselves.  This is the mountains.  It’s unpredictable and it can change really quickly.  Or not.   Maybe we need to change.  Plans.

We did 2 days of this before cutting our losses and zooming off to Zermatt by train and bus.  After arriving there the sun came out and we did day hikes in fabulous weather for the rest of the trip.  Sometimes you just have to be flexible!

 

 

 

 

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Is the Cablecar Cheating?

Posted on January 11, 2016. Filed under: Switzerland, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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Uh, the answer to that would be, “NO!”  Let’s not forget we are on vacation!  Perhaps a 6-8 hour hike in the mountains (read:  either all up or all down) is enough exercise?

We found the cablecars (téléphérique in French and seilbahn in German) in Switzerland to be fast, efficient, and a lot of fun.  We used them from our base of Zermatt to get up into the mountains to begin our day hikes.  We also planned to use them on the Haute Route whenever we could, but nearly missed the one into Zinal. 

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This is because the trail passes a cable car that closes at 4:15 and we had just missed it.  (Maybe there was some crying and stomping of feet.)  But then we found out 45 minutes later that first cable car station was for an entirely different town!  We just made the 5:00 last car down the mountain after a very difficult, wet, cold hiking day.  Our eyes bulged out watching the trail below the cable car.  It took about 20 minutes to descend on the cable!  We estimated an additional 2-3 hours if we had had to walk that path.

We couldn’t believe it when we were suddenly done with the day and off to find our hotel.  Ah…that sweet feeling of completing the hiking day.  Body buzzing…thanks to God for the help!

 

 

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Fermenting for Health

Posted on January 3, 2016. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , , |

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Today I teach a class on the healthy human microbiome.  That is the 3-4 pounds of microscopic organisms which inhabit our digestive tract, mouth, nose, ears, and the entire exterior surface of our bodies.

Often overlooked as we do things to damage this crucial organ, the microbiome does everything from digesting our food to keeping us happy.  Antibiotics use, stress, gluten, sugar, and junk food consumption all lead to an unhealthy microbiome.

But you can change all that by consuming healthy foods including naturally fermented foods.  These traditional foods have huge doses of additional species to help keep us healthy.  Plus they taste good!  Here’s a link to a recipe for Latin American Curtido Kraut which is especially yummy due to the addition of jalapeños!

I’ve been making yogurt, homemade rootbeer and ginger ale, curtido and other fermented vegetables for awhile now.  My favorite website to get supplies is Cultures for Health.  I get no reward for mentioning them here.  I do like to give a pat on the back, though, to great organizations and this is one of them!

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