Ciao! I am currently having an adventure in a valley known to the locals as “Happy Valley,”
Missy Anne says there are different reasons as to why people call it Happy Valley but she says she hopes it’s because people are happy living or visiting here.
It’s-a large valley surrounded on all sides by mountains, with the Wasatch Mountains on the Eastern side of the valley.
Utah Lake goes through the middle of the valley, but you usually don’t realize that you are riding alongside a huge lake as you drive through on the interstate it is not until you go upon the benches of the mountains that you can see how big it is.
Missy Anne just walks out her door and shows me the very popular Mt. Timpanogos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Timpanogos< ) which protects the Northern side of the Valley while the Southern
end of the Valley lives in the shadow of Mt. Loafer. Missy Anne says both are exhilarating hikes, and she reached the summit of Timpanogos a long time ago when she wasn’t afraid of heights.
Mt. Timpanogos is home to Timpanogos Cave (http://www.nps.gov/tica/planyourvisit/index.htm< ) which is just about 30 minutes off the interstate and up the Alpine Loop.
It’s a steep hike to the entrance but worth the experience.
Missy Anne says today we are going to drive up Provo Canyon, this highway leads to many places she says, most notably to one of her favorite little towns of Heber City, and to the tourist friendly city of Park City where
much of the Winter Olympics were held. As we enter the canyon I see steep cliffs and many mountains and realize that the snow is getting deeper.
And, much to my excitement I read road signs warning of avalanche danger. Missy Anne would like to stop at the scenic Bridal Veil Falls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridal_Veil_Falls_%28Utah%29<
), but discovers that the scenic spots are not cleared off from snow.
But we can still see it out the window it’s magnificent in the winter, water still flowing but covered in frozen ice.
She says occasionally you can see crazy people ice climbing on the falls.
After some thought she says we will continue up further.
Along the side of the highway I see the Provo River, Missy Anne says in the summer you can see people on inner tubes floating down and people in the water’s fishing.
She also lets me know that at Vivian Park you can take a ride on the Historic Heber Railroad and see the amazing mountainside, and Deer Creek Reservoir.
But, we continue up, and drive through some tunnels carved through the mountains, the kids shriek in excitement over this.
And then we turn up a smaller canyon road. She says this is the road known as the Alpine Loop and it will take us to the Mt. Timpanogos hike or in the winter more importantly to the Sundance Ski Resort.
After many curves, and just as I was starting to get a little car sick, we arrive at Sundance (which the festival is named for.)
It’s a beautiful place, and before I know it we are sitting by a fire,
looking at the ski lifts and beautiful snow covered mountains.
It’s breathtaking. Unfortunately, at the ski rental counter they were unable to find ski’s that would fit me.
I had Utah curse words for them “Ah Heck!” and “Oh my gosh.” Missy Anne taught me that one.
Missy Anne says that she came up to this place in the summer for the most amazing outdoor play experience, for her anniversary last year.
They were served a beautiful BBQ in a grove of trees, got a tractor ride, and a moonlit hike in addition to an amazing theatrical experience.
We find ourselves shivering like-a- crazy!!
Back to the mini-van, and a sleepy bambino. The kids are crying out for hot cocoa, and so am I.
Missy Anne says she has just the thing, Fluffy Hot Cocoa from All Recipes.