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Weekly Newsletter: July 1st-7th, 2024

  • Written by Keith Huster
  •  / 
  • 8 min read
  •  / 
  • Last updated 2 days ago

Happy Fourth of July! πŸŽ† πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ πŸ₯³ This week was action-packed. Keith went mountain biking, Lindsey practiced hiking, we checked out some local Fourth of July festivities, and Lindsey relaxed at Homestead Crater.

Check out our new posts and videos πŸ†• πŸŽ₯ πŸ“

Utah Adventures With A Friend: Part 5
Yi visits us in Utah to hike, bike, and adventure. This is part 5 of the multi-part series.

Our latest blog post

Doki Doki Japanese dessert shop πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅ 🍨

Doki Doki Dessert Cafe is a unique, Japanese dessert shop. Lindsey and I had been wanting to try out this place ever since we first ran across it on Google Maps. The main shop is in downtown Salt Lake City so it is quite a drive for us to just get dessert. However, they recently opened up a new location just a few miles from our home in Orem, UT. πŸ™Œ

We arrived kind of late in the evening and unfortunately, they were out of stock of a lot of their menu. We did however get to try out the Tiramisu Cup and their famous Taiyaki Ice Cream Sundae. Taiyaki is a fish-shaped treat that is somewhat hard to describe. It is similar to the texture of a waffle but it is filled with a sweet filling such as custard or chocolate. Everything was very good but the Taiyaki itself was the standout dessert. We could have eaten an entire box of those!

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Provo Fourth of July parade πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ πŸ₯

To get into the Fourth of July spirit, we decided to check out the Provo Grand Parade. This is touted to be the largest parade in Utah so we were very excited to finally get the chance to see it in person. The parade is just one of many events that make up the annual Utah Freedom Festival.

The parade was quite large and had numerous floats and other unique entries. We saw everything from classic cars, handmade floats, police and fire crews, high school marching bands, and even a military tank! πŸͺ– There were even flyovers from local aircraft owners and the local medical helicopter. It was quite the spectacle! The only critique we had, when comparing this to other parades, was that there was often significant lag time between entrants which caused several lulls in the excitement.

Hiking and biking practice at Deer Creek Reservoir πŸ₯Ύ πŸš΅β€β™‚οΈ

For the actual Fourth of July, we decided to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather before it gets too blazing hot. Lindsey has been practicing longer and longer walks around the neighborhood. She wanted to take it to the next level by hiking something with a little more elevation gain. Keith also wanted to spend time riding gravel roads with punchy climbs to test out his knee strength. We decided that the Deer Creek Parkway above the Deer Creek Reservoir would be the perfect route for both of us.

The plan was for Lindsey to hike as far out as she wanted before starting her return hike, approximately 2-3 miles (3.2-4.8 kilometers) each way. At the same time, Keith would ride one full lap out and back, 16 miles (25.7 kilometers) total. Keith would then ride back out until he met up with Lindsey so that they could finish the hike back together. This was such a fun way to get in some fitness and enjoy the beauty of Deer Creek Reservoir.

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Salt Lake City drone show πŸ€– πŸŽ†

We both enjoy fireworks, from a distance, but this year we wanted to see something different. So, we decided to check out the Salt Lake City Drone Show.

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Side note: Our usual Fourth of July plan is to drive up to a trailhead to get above the valley floor so that we can watch fireworks across the various cities from above. We typically drive up to The G trailhead in Pleasant Grove, UT but this year we decided to drive up the The Y trailhead instead.

Oh man, that was a mistake!!! The parking lot and surrounding streets were packed with vehicles and pedestrians. We weren't even sure if we would be able to turn around and get out of there. Thankfully, we were able to make an exit and work our way to another area to catch some fireworks from afar.

The drone show was incredible! The synchronization of the 100+ drones was outstanding and the Utah-specific visuals were impeccable. The drones created patriotic scenes, various three-dimensional shapes, and outdoor scenes such as biking, hiking, and camping. The pictures and video definitely don't do it justice.

Unfortunately, there was a little bit of miscommunication about the timing of the activities. The show was scheduled from 8:00-10:30 PM so we decided to get there around 6:30 PM to ensure that we would get decent parking. Also, the event included a band and food trucks so we expected to have some entertainment while we waited.

Well, the food trucks didn't arrive and set up until nearly 7:30 PM. By that time, we were both starving! The band did play several songs while we waited but there really wasn't much to do or see until the drone show itself. Speaking of that, the actual drone show didn't start until 10:00 PM and it only lasted for 15 minutes! That meant that we had sat around for nearly 4 hours for a 15 minute show. 🀦

Mountain biking through Mordor πŸš΅β€β™‚οΈ 🫣

Keith has been excited to spend the summer mountain biking with his friends after spending so much time distance riding last year to prepare for the Tour Divide race. This weekend, he finally got his chance. First though, he had to convert his bike back to a standard mountain bike by removing the aero bars and installing some fresh trail tires. Once his bike was ready, Keith and Brandon headed to Heber, UT to check out the new-ish Mordor downhill trail.

Brandon is scoping out the squirrel catcher, a 4-5 foot (1.2-1.5 meter) rock drop, at the start of the Mordor downhill trail
Brandon is scoping out the squirrel catcher, a 4-5 foot (1.2-1.5 meter) rock drop, at the start of the Mordor downhill trail

Mordor is a black diamond rated, expert only trail that includes a number of difficult and exciting features including rock drops, gap jumps, and technical rock maneuvers. The most technical section being the squirrel catcher at the start of the trail; a 4-5 foot (1.2-1.5 meter) rock drop. Keith was a little nervous since this would be his first proper trail ride since last Fall but he knew that he could always walk sections that he wasn't comfortable riding.

The trail turned out to be a ton of fun! So much so, that Keith and Brandon decided to ride two laps before meeting Lindsey and Steph for a post-ride meal at the Back 40 Ranch House Grill.

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Relaxing at Homestead Crater 😌 πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ

Speaking of Lindsey and Steph... the girls decided to skip mountain biking in favor of a relaxing float at Homestead Crater in Midway, UT. Lindsey and Steph went out for coffee and breakfast at the OG Cafe first to kill a little time before their scheduled float session in the crater. They both said that they made the right choice to float rather than ride. 🀣

Upcoming posts and videos πŸ‘·β€ πŸ‘·β€β™€οΈοΈ

Lindsey has wrapped up the series of posts on Yi's visit to Utah. We have several prior trips that we haven't yet shared so be sure to subscribe to our blog if you haven't done so already. We will also be putting together a full blog post about our trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Lindsey's most recent trip to Redfish Lake in Idaho.

We hope that you are enjoying our newsletters. Do you have any summer vacation plans? How do you like to enjoy the summer? Did you do anything fun for the Fourth of July? Let us know in the comments section below.πŸ‘‡ πŸ’¬

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