Albion Basin in late July and early August is hardly a Cecret (haha! get it?) but I meet so many people in Utah that don't make the annual trek to see the wildflowers in Albion Basin. My family has been going up for my entire life, it was one of our very favorite activities growing up.
One of very favorite first photos of E and I were taking in the wildflowers when we were both 18!
So of course this year we were excited to once again head up to Alta, and hike the Cecret Lake trail (weird spelling I know, but that's correct), and see the wildflowers. As I mentioned in the last post, we also stayed for dinner and pretty much had a lovely time making memories with our little family of four.
Last year on our hike to Cecret Lake I took an almost itentical photo at the same spot. It's just that jagged mountain gets me every time.
Hiking with these three is pretty incredible. James wanted to wear his backpack. Inside was a toy train, a granola bar, and his sunglasses.
My hiking boy is pretty dang amazing.
On this hike he proved to us he's big enough to do all the river crossings alone. Never needing us for balance or support, he's getting way to big way to fast.
Once we were done with our awesome hike we set up our dinner supplies near a fairy garden. Right next to our site there was a tiny spring, and a lush little valley filled with flowers. As E cooked I played with the kiddos in this magical little spot.
It really felt like a dream.
Juliet is a pro pinecone collector, sorter, and taster.
Of course as the sun dipped lower and lower into the sky, the light became more and more beautiful. Truly, my life is golden, both figuratively and literally.
And, finally, that photo that my parents took way way back in the summer of 1999. We were newly in love (I fell HARD for E the summer after I graduated from high school) and off to college together in a few short weeks. We are both 18 here. Fourteen years later my life is even more wonderful.
We hiked Cecret Lake late this afternoon and stayed up the canyon for dinner. I took lots of photos from both our hike and our dinner, but really they don't compare to these.
On the way in I noticed the most intense felid of yellow Mule's Ear daisies. The flowers were thick, tall, vibrant, and seemingly infinite. I said to E "I want to stop there on the way out and take a few photos."
What I came home with was way better than just "a few photos." We happened to be leaving the canyon right at sunset, only ten minutes later and the sun would have already dipped behind the mountain. But we arrived in just the knick of time, and the light was like honey.
I've learned that she loves to show me her belly button, and she always gives me a huge smile once she finds it. Glad I remembered this little trick.
I was so excited to post these photos, none are edited. Not a single change. Saturation and light levels are just as they were when I snapped the photos.
This photo might be my favorite of all time. Love love love.
Really, what's not to love?
E snapped this one with his cellphone. While the 50mm is perfect for the shots above, it really is FANTASTIC to see where this field of flowers lie.
It has been hot hot hot. In the triple digits all week.
And we've been poolside every day at nine am for swim class for James. By the end of the hour Juliet and I are so hot and tired of sitting in the sun we are ready to cool off big time.
Today the kids were begging for some watermelon. A huge fresh watermelon sat on our counter ready to be sliced, and they couldn't wait.
So we made some enormous slices and headed to the backyard so the drips could at least land on someplace other than my kitchen floor.
As I snapped a few of these photo I was brought back to this post, where again, I shared watermelon with my baby on a too hot day in summer three years ago. Looking at those pictures again I can hardly believe this almost four year old is the same kid. Bittersweet for sure.
The humidity is doing wonders for her curls.
Messy face = happy baby.
Some days her eyes are so brown. Other days they are clear green. We've been calling them hazel, but not sure where they'll finally land.
Soon they moved to the bench and I was totally laughing watching these two babies of mine devour their watermelon.
E and I seem to have found a new love for the mountains. Sure, we've always LOVED the mountains, but since having kids we've either had very small kids or I was pregnant (or both). But this year the kids are bigger and dinner away from home is more enjoyable than ever before.
So in addition to our weekly hiking date, we've been enjoying dinners up the mountains this summer so so much.
Packing our little BBQ, some deli salads and a pack of hotdogs really couldn't be easier. Finding a spot we all love is also easy. If there's rocks and sticks and a river, we are golden.
Storm Mountain picnic area up Big Cottonwood is perfect for us. Nice big spots, a waterfall, playground and of course the beloved river. I tried to get more photos of James but they all ended up looking like this, his back to me throwing rock after rock. I swear he could do this for four days straight.
Juliet kept both E and I on our toes. She's scamper off into the woods only to eat dirt, try to throw rocks at James, and cause mischief in a moment's notice. This was after Daddy captured her and hauled her back to the picnic site.
And of course both of us get a lot (a lot) of time to watch James throw rocks.
Post dirt eating (eww!), she's off again. See how she looks over her shoulder with a mischievous little grin? Oh she's naughty and she knows it.
The size 2T skinny jeans did not fit here (too small!!!) so we dug out some of James's cargo pants hand-me-downs in hopes of keeping the bugs off. Luckily, the entire evening was fairly bug free, hence the pushed up sleeves and lack of hat.
Not sure what James was pointing out in this photo, but since it's the only one that proves I was present, I'll take it. And can you believe my big girl sitting at the picnic table like she's ten?!
This big stick kept her entertained for quite some time, enough time for E and I both to finish our meal without having to run after her again and again.
Soon we broke out the 'smore ingredients. Oh this boy loves marshmallows.
All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, a huge storm cloud moved in and it started POURING. Luckily we were done with our dinner and dessert because suddenly everything was soaked!
We hurried under a canopy of trees so we could wait out the storm. The sky was black with rain and there was so much thunder! It felt like a grand adventure and we were all loving it.
Of course (of course) right when it was raining the hardest James announces he needs to go to the bathroom. We ask him to hold it, he says he can't, so off he and I go to the bathroom building. Luckily, while it was still pouring, we really were not cold. The air and rain was quite warm. Upon leaving the bathroom the sun began to peak out of the clouds and light was catching in the still pouring sky. Never in my life has a parking lot right outside the public bathroom looked so heavenly.
Back at our picnic site I grabbed the now sopping wet Juliet in hopes for some photos before the light changed. I got this one single one before the sky changed and the clouds covered the sun again.
The rain stopped for long enough for us to throw a couple more rocks in the river before packing up and heading home.