May 22nd, 2022

It was my final weekend in Salt Lake City! Time has really flown by for this month, and I think my stay here has proven my theory that sometimes planning the least yields the greatest results. I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of this city, and met some truly amazing people. As I travel around, it's never easy to say goodbye to places and people. But this is the first time in recent memory that I felt something stir deeper in my heart and soul - a noticeable call to stay. I'm hopeful that this isn't a goodbye, but rather a see you later!

On Saturday I hopped on my bike and rode over twenty miles to downtown SLC. I wanted to check out a few things, but most notable was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple. Imagine my disappointment when I arrived, just to discover it was under maintenance.
Luckily, there was still some beautiful architecture to admire while in downtown.
Also in downtown, here's the Utah state capitol building.
I got to chatting with some locals while in downtown, and they recommended a nearby hike. So off I went, up into the mountains to overlook the city.
From the top of Ensign Peak. I'm really proud to say that I cycled from basically as far away as you can see here - my AirBNB is on the ride of almost the furthest mountain inlet. One of the most memorable day trips I've taken, and cool to say I went across the entire valley.
A final photo from my hike up Ensign Peak. The yellow flowers were in bloom, but unfortunately my camera didn't really do them justice.
On Sunday I got swept away to Red Butte Garden. It was absolutely gorgeous, to the point that I'd recommend someone visit SLC solely to spend an afternoon here.
I brought my guitar out to the garden and spent about an hour playing some tunes and enjoying the beautiful weather and park.
It wasn't long before some people started to gather to listen, including this cute little girl. It's moments like these that I absolutely love - being able to share music and a moment with others.
A cool moose statue, also in the garden.
A final photo from the garden, this zany looking flower. I wish I could recall the name of it!
For the first time in SLC, I went out for a decadent dinner! This was Mint, a tapas restaurant. Pictured here is the jalepeno hamachi, wagyu steak and their Apollo sushi. All of it was absolutely phenomenal.
And last, but certainly not least, a homemade mini apple pie from my friend Danielle. I can't describe how good this was - flakey, crunchy, sweet, soft. Yum!

May 15th, 2022

Another great week here! Since I'm mostly solo'ing it out here, I've had a lot of time to relax and enjoy all the beautiful nature around, which has been really great. I've spent a lot of time out on my bike, and a lot of time hanging out at parks playing my guitar and just lounging.

From when I went out hiking - lots of pretty colors!
I was admiring that big rock formation jutting out at the top when I spotted something else...can you find the mountain climbers?
I came across this trio, lounging above the river, relaxing and reading books. Looks like an amazing way to spend an afternoon, but I don't know if I would trust that smaller dead tree trunk.
This is Lisa Falls, and some of the crazy rock formations around it.
The Wasatch Mountains! This is the view from Lisa Falls, with the falls itself behind me.
Another shot from Lisa Falls. It's really hard not to take a million photos, there's so much natural beauty here in the mountains.
On Sunday I cycled 2000+ feet up into the mountains. This was the view as I got ready to descend back into the city. I was grinning like an idiot the entire ride down! It was also amusing passing all other cyclist on my way up - them in their spandex, clipless shoes and serious getups. Me in my basketball shorts, tennis shoes and a backpack strapped on.

May 8th, 2022

I have a ton of photos to share from this week! I'm staying in Sandy, which is a small suburb outside of Salt Lake City. It's a perfect balance, being close enough to modern conveniences but far enough so that I can spend some time enjoying the company of the mountains and myself. It's been amazing, catching up on personal goals and having a break from the bustle of cities. I went into SLC with virtually zero expectations. All I wanted was to find a decent stopping point on the road between South Lake Tahoe and Denver.

But wow, have I been blown away! I didn't realize the mountains were going to be practically in my backyard, and I certainly was not expecting the raw, unfiltered beauty of the area.

It was pretty difficult picking my favorite photos, but here they are:

Out for a bike ride after work, I found this cool offroad trail through Dimple Dell park.
Another shot from the cycling trail, this one looking towards the city.
Bell Canyon resevoir, a short hike from where I'm staying. A couple people on the shore fishing helps put things into perspective.
A shot of the trail from Bell Canyon resevoir, nearing twilight.
One more from the Bell Canyon resevoir, looking into town.
On Thursday, the weather was really pretty, so I biked to a trailhead I had seen previously and started hiking. I was planning on a short hike, but ended up going for hours and hours. This was near the start, and I ended up hiking close to the peak of those mountains!
About halfway through my unexpectedly long hike, I passed this sign. A really polite way of saying "you're on your own, don't be an idiot."
Getting up there! You could start to see the entire valley at this point. I believe this was somewhere around the 1200 ft elevation mark from the base of the mountains.
A little over 1500 ft from the base of the mountains, I came across the Bells Canyon waterfall.
Having lost track of time, I rounded a corner and saw these big, flat, white rocks. It took a moment before I realized...that's snow! And that's a completely frozen creek! I had lost track of time and elevation, and didn't realize how far up I had gotten.
The final photo I took, nearing the peak of the mountains. At this point, I had to turn back. I had been hiking for quite a while, and sunset was approaching. I'm planning on coming back next weekend and continuing the trail further into the mountains.