Friday we decided to go up AF canyon. We always talk about it, but are usually restricted by Zach's work requirements. Since there is no service, he basically wasn't allowed to go up there unless he took leave. He got a new commander in August and things have been a lot more employee friendly, if you will. They are now allowed to go to St. George without taking leave, get off a half day early every other Thursday, and he can go up the canyon if he is SRT, but not IRT (Immediate response team vs. Secondary response team). It is so much nicer, and very much deserved, especially considering how many non-duty days and weekends they end up working over the year.
The canyon was the perfect way to spend the day. They now have annual passes for military that are free, so that saved us $80, or the six dollar entry fee for the day. As we drove up, we stopped at Tibble Fork reservoir. That place has some seriously awesome views. Terran was so excited to get out of the car and led me straight to the water. The only problem was that the water was freezing cold and that is all that he wanted to do. At one point, as I was trying to walk him away from it, he almost pulled me in! So, we had to leave a little before I would have liked.
We proceeded up a road and were able to stop at a trailhead. Terran was freaking out in the car so we just wanted to find a place to stop and let him explore some more. There happened to be snow. He got his first experience playing in it. At first he didn't seem to care for it, but by the end I couldn't even walk him past any without him trying to sit down and grab it. By the way, Terran seems impervious to cold, so the water and snow doesn't really bug him.
We found something extremely cool on our mini hike. Bear tracks. And they were fresh. The anticipation, danger, and intrigue had both Zach and me wanting to forge ahead but turn back at the same time! We followed them to the edge of a steep hill where we could tell he went over. We weren't entirely sure they were bear tracks, but couldn't think what else it could be. When we got home, Zach googled the tracks and sure enough, black bear. It was really amazing to be that close to one and to realize just how wild the mountains still are. Sometimes I feel like nothing else (big, wild animals) really lives there because there are so many humans around.
It was an excellent way to spend our Friday.