Friday, July 21, 2017

Mabel spends the Night with Grandma and Grandpa

Brittany wasn't feeling well yesterday, so she and John let us take Mabel to our house for a day! We started with a very fun trip to Costco!

Ed rolled Mabel into the house on top of our Costco cart, all covered with vegetables!

Mabel really enjoys pushing around Brittany's old Cabbage Patch doll in our Fischer Price Stroller!

There was plenty of room for the doll in the swing with Mabel!

In the morning, she took Judy Hopps for a ride in the stroller along the front driveway!

It's so fun watching Mabel run up and down the driveway, but it's also scary, as she has a tendency to trip occasionally.  She did end up with one slightly scuffed up knee this morning.

We put together our old puppet theater and did puppet shows for Mabel. After she got over her terror of puppets, she begged for Ed to repeat his "Lion Sleeps Tonight" show three times!

This afternoon when Brittany came over, Mabel was still a little nervous of puppets, but couldn't stop watching!

With the help of her Mom, Mabel put on a performance of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar!"  Ed and I thoroughly enjoyed that!

Healy Park and South Point

Ed and I explored the area around Healey Park in Alpine Yesterday. We enjoyed this old cabin surrounded by rusted farm machinery. It's right in the middle of a suburban neighborhood!

We were also amazed at the beautiful birds chirping next to the path. The owner of this house has a private aviary!

The path had a pretty sturdy bridge for such a small amount of foot traffic!

We also enjoyed walking around South Pointe park, which is mostly undeveloped open space, with a couple of nice viewing platforms!

We also stopped off at Lambert Park to take an "after" picture on the fire-blackened Brown Dog path.

This "before shot was taken in the same spot on May 24th, 2017-happier days!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Face to Face with Troy Stout

Ed and I hosted a meeting last night to have some of our neighbors meet mayoral candidate, Troy Stout. We had a great discussion. In a small town like Alpine city decisions affect us all quite personally. We like a Troy's attitude towards preserving the natural setting of Alpine while managing growth.

The primary ballots go out next week, and are due back the middle of August. It's time to decide! It's nice we can get to know the candidates in intimate settings like this one!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Alpine Town Council Bans Motorized Vehicles in Lambert Park

Ed and Evertt went to the town council meeting last night where they discussed the problems of having an unofficial shooting range right outside the city limits. Look, Ed is on TV!

They had quite a few concerned citizens attending, although they did not take public comment. Many people are attached to the shooting range and called the town council to voice their support for it. Many people feel it is too close to homes and endangers hikers and bikers in the area. (Not to mention the very real threat of fire.)

In the end, the council voted to ban motorized vehicles from Lambert Park (the only access point to the shooting range) until January 2018, at which time they will re-evaluate. Many citizens, including Ed and Judy Bush, are very happy about that!

Fire Aftermath from Votes to Ban Motorized Vehicles in Lambert Park

Ed and I walked Rocky Ridge this morning, the path in the National Forest just above Lambert Park. The firefighters are gone as is the smoke, but the black scars remain.

It is strange how the tree trunks burned, but the leaves are only singed and still green.

Coming down from the shooting range, we could see the backs of shot out televisions.

The further south you walk, the less damage to the forest. It was nice to see it green down here.

Looking back towards Lone Peak, you can see the burn on the right side. In some places the trail acted as a fire barrier, and the burn stopped there. Other times it jumped the trail.

From down below you can see the black mountain behind the green park.

This part of the park wasn't burned. These trees are the remainder of the 2012 fire. You can see the regeneration of the scrub oak over 5 years. It will take quite a while to get to its original height!

I took a couple of videos so you can see the damage.

Pay no attention to the creepy heavy breathing in the background of the second video. It is just me out of breath!

Monday, July 17, 2017


Ed and I went out for our walk this morning and had an opportunity to survey some of the damage from the fire this weekend.

We were happy to see that much of Lambert park is undamaged. You can see the fire smoldering in the canyon here.

However, there is a big portion of Corkscrew, Brown Dog and Zag paths that have burned!

The fire was named the Water Tower fire, as it started just above the water tower in Lambert Park.

It started at an area just outside the boundaries of Lambert Park on National Forest land. Somebody dragged a couple of TVs up there for target practice. The fence survived the fire, but the hillside behind it did not!

The ground crew is out in force again today. They came from all over Utah, as well as Idaho. They had 80 of them working hard to create fire lines yesterday.

Today the firemen are sifting through the debris to make sure no hot spots are left to flare up again.

One helicopter is back today. We watched him dip his bucket into the pond before taking it up to the canyon and releasing it.

With the dawning of a new day we have a much brighter outlook. We've lost so much, but are grateful that so much work was done to save our homes and mountains. Thanks to the firemen on the ground and in the air for all the hard work they are doing to put out this fire!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Harrowing Day with the Water Tower Fire

We woke up this morning (with only 3 1/2 hours sleep) to find our friend Brock, of the Lone Peak Police department, still standing guard to keep people from driving up our street. The smoke was thick and the fire had skipped over another ridge and was up to 300 acres.

We spent a good part of the day watching firefighters fight the blaze from the air. The planes got right down into the crease of the canyon and placed the retardant exactly where they wanted it. This picture was taken from the front of our street.

We also had a close-up view from our backyard. At one point the winds whipped up a bit and brought fire over the ridge right behind our house. The planes and helicopters doubled up on that spot and put it out quickly!

We were very grateful to see the fire crews working so hard!

On the way to church I took this picture from another angle. Our house is to the left of the first fire.

There were four or five helicopters fighting the blaze. They filled their water buckets at the pond right behind the church, as well as the pressurized irrigation pond on the north side of Lambert Park.

By the time Sacrament Meeting was over the blaze was in a better condition. The one on the left was almost gone!

We've had helicopters and planes circling our house all day, but they seem to have got a handle on the fire. The people who were evacuated have been allowed back home. It looks like about 500 acres have burned.

This is the view at about 5:30 p.m. It looks like the fire is still smoldering, but I think we might be able to sleep easier tonight! We're glad our home was saved, but dread going for  a walk next week to survey the damage!

Fire on the Mountain

This was the view we had as we drove home tonight from the light rail station! You can't see clearly, but the fire is roaring up the canyon on the right and also burning in a half circle to the canyon closer to us, which is also on fire!

Some of the burned area is where Ed and I walk above Lambert Park. The fire was started by recreational shooting on forest service land. They can't fight it till morning when the planes can drop retardant.

This is the view from our street. The raging fire is one canyon over, but you can see the canyon very close to us is also on fire.

The winds are relatively calm, and the Fire Department is out monitoring the fire. We're going to pack our bags in case we're evacuated in the middle of the night.

I went through my 72 hour kit. So much of it is irrelevant since I packed it. Who needs a portable transistor TV? Cell phones are a blessing. Having all our finances online is also a blessing. Maybe we should pack our password cheat sheets!

Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Alex Boye

This evening started out happy and ended up sad! We took the light rail to Salt Lake City for the Tabernacle choir concert. We were the only ones on for the first several stops! By the time we reached Temple Square it was pretty full!

Despite some delays in the transit service we arrived in plenty of time to get our seats in the conference center!

The Tabernacle choir gave a great concert with guest artist Alex Boye. Our favorite numbers were I Want Jesus to Walk With Me, The Battle of Jericho and Circle of Life from The Lion King!

It was a beautiful evening to be at temple square. This was still the happy part!

The sad part was getting a call from Charlie Knadler, our neighbor, who told us the mountain a mile southeast of our house was on fire!

Then, to make things worse, we were so upset we got on the wrong train and ended up in West Valley! We finally made it home by 11:45 p.m. To find out the mountain, is indeed on fire!