Fallon, Nevada

Today the dogs and I decided to take a quick hike not too far from home. We drove to Fallon, Nevada, and found some cool places to hike around. The dogs are having a harder time hiking as much as the days slowly become warmer. Even early in the mornings, the sun is almost always shining and they get hot fast! So to keep them safe and from having a heat stroke, we have been cutting our hikes short! In this case it was a good idea because we were told that there are a lot of rattle snakes in the area and that we need to be extra careful!

Lizard

We started at the Hidden Cave Trail parking area and hiked to the Grimes Point parking area. The weather for me was great! The wind was blowing a little so I didn’t think it was too hot! Along the trail are all these cool markers that have information on them about the surrounding area, I really enjoyed being able to learn a little bit more about where I was hiking. The first marker was at a cool petroglyph of what looked like a lizard. There are many more petroglyphs at the top of the mountain to look at! Unfortunately we didn’t go to that side because of the snakes. We were actually stopped by a runner who told us that at the next cave was a rattle snake and that he ran around there all the time! He said that he stays away from that side of the basin this time of year because of all the snakes, but that if we stayed on this side we should be fine! It was nice to have someone tell us this because I would have hiked all over that basin if he hadn’t! Honestly I am always a little leery of running into people on the trail, but sometimes you can meet really neat people!

If I remember correctly there are four or five caves in the area but we only visited two. The information at those two caves told me that they were likely formed from waves from the lake that used to be in the valley. Once the lake receded, cave dwellers used them as shelters. (I am getting all this information just from what I read on the trail.) Now from where we started, the petroglyph came first, then not far up the trail was the first cave and just a little further was the second one! I think we started at the best spot because of all the things we saw right away. If we would have stayed left at the Y in the trail it would have taken us to the rest of the caves and to the other petroglyphs. Instead we went right and it took us to the top of the mountain.

Race to the Top

From here we could see the whole valley! The trail followed the ridge across until we came to one last area to stop and read some more history! On our descent to the other parking area, Case found a little lizard hiding in the rocks! He was so funny to watch jump around and try to figure out what the lizard was. I decided not to go back the way we came because the dogs were getting way too hot! So we just walked the road back to the truck. Our trip was about 4 miles and honestly very fun! I eventually want to go back and maybe not bring the dogs, so that I can go check out the other side of the basin and not worry about them getting bitten by a snake. The hike itself was easy, the only hard thing might have been the loose rocks on it, but the hill incline and length were easy! Make sure you bring lots of water because there is no water anywhere out there! Wear sturdy shoes and watch out for snakes!

Reno, Nevada

So this past week, has been CRAZY busy! The Monday after Easter Dalton and I were headed back to Fort Bridger from Montana when we got the call to head to Reno, Nevada. YAY! I have been waiting for this to happen for about a month now, I was just so tired of the snow and ready for a change of scenery. The drive from Montana to Fort Bridger is about 8 hours, we got to the camper around 7 p.m. and started packing things up. Tuesday morning, April 23, we left for Nevada, which took us about 10 hours. All last week was 80 degrees or warmer here in Nevada, it was amazing! I was so busy all week that I didn’t have time to blog and I found so many cool places I didn’t want to pick just one to write about this week. Since Wednesday I have found four new places to hike and explore around, and each day I just keep going to new ones. We are not directly in Reno, we live in an R.V. Park in Fernley, Nevada, which is about 30 miles from Reno. Close enough to visit whenever but far enough away to avoid the large crowds.

Wednesday April 24:

On the first day down here, I finished setting up the camper while Dalton worked and then since it was Peyton’s 2nd birthday, I wanted to take her swimming. Peyton absolutely loves the water, she would swim all day if she could! One of the most famous lakes around here is Pyramid Lake, just north of our camper about 30 miles. If you use your phone for directions to the lake, it will try to take you all the way around to the far end of it, I didn’t want to do that so once I got to the lake I just followed the road to the left side until I found a spot.

Pyramid Lake

The first camp ground we came to seemed like a good spot to stop. There was no one else around, picnic tables were shaded with a canopy and the sun was shining! Luckily before I let the dogs out I happened to notice a sign in the water that said, “Hazardous waste. Area Closed.” This was a little concerning to me, what is in the water? And why don’t they have it taped off or something to make sure people stay out? Anyways, I drove further down the road and found another area to pull off. We were in my car, it has decent clearance but nothing like a truck, and the road we turned off on, I would recommend a vehicle with high clearance. Obviously I didn’t drive all the way down to the water because of my low clearance, so we parked at the top and walked instead!

I was a little nervous walking out through the desert that led to the water, because I am scared of snakes and spiders and I was told that both are abundant in this area. Fortunately all we saw were little geckos running around and the dogs were going crazy trying to catch them. The water was still too cold for me to swim in, but the dogs loved it! This was the first time that Case has ever actually swam and it was hilarious. He is not the strongest swimmer and was always just trying to play with Peyton while she fetched sticks. Both dogs, swam, played and ran in the sand for hours! Peyton had a blast, chasing after ducks, fetching sticks and just swimming like crazy.

Fun in the Sun

Personally, I just sat in the sun, enjoying being in warm weather and watching my goofy dogs run around and burn off some energy! The water was still pretty muddy so any fly fishing would be kind of hard to do at this time. I would wait until a little later in the spring, like middle of May possibly! If you are planning on fishing this lake, you should know that it is on a reservation so you have to have a permit and there is a limit to the number of fish you can keep! I plan on going back and fishing it so I will be able to let everyone know how it goes!

For those of you wondering, Peyton did get some new toys for her birthday and I made her special frozen doggy treats to eat too!

Birthday Girl

Thursday April 25:

On Thursday I found a small lake about 15 miles east of us in Fallon called Soda Lake. I decided to get up early and head out there to hike around the lake before it became too hot for the dogs. The directions out to the lake are not great! I use the app “All Trails” to find all of my hiking areas and the directions on that were better than just googling directions but still not great. Again I was in my car and made it to the lake fine, but I would recommend taking a truck. I drove through the desert on dirt roads for about a mile before I could see the lake. It was a little scary to be honest! We did make it though and it was beautiful!

Soda Lake

The entire hike was just over 3 miles around the lake. For the majority of the walk, the trail is right on the water, so the dogs swam and ran along in the water next to me. The last mile or so is up on a huge sand dune almost and it is a straight shot to the water from the top. I am glad we didn’t get there any later because it was hot even at 8 A.M. We only saw one other person out there though and that is always nice! Although she did have 7 poodles and 2 smaller dogs with her! Yes, 9 dogs! I couldn’t even believe it, I thought two dogs was a lot to take care of!

I didn’t need hiking boots, I just wore my every day tennis shoes and that worked fine. If you don’t want sand in your shoes though I would wear more of a boot then! Also I would NEVER swim in this lake, it was fine for the dogs but it smelled so bad! It had a kind of swampy smell to it and I had to bathe the dogs at the end of the day because it made them stink. If you had a kayak or a paddle board it would be perfect but I wouldn’t swim!

Time to Dig

The dogs and I actually ended up going back out to Soda Lake later that day to let the dogs swim again. It was just such a hot day and the lake is close enough that I figured they could use another swim. And for those of you who ride dirt bikes, ATV’s or side-by-sides, this area has tracks all over the place for that! The only wildlife we saw were rabbits and those same geckos we saw at Pyramid Lake.

Friday April 26

On Friday, I found the Hunter Creek Trail in the Toiyabe National Forest in Reno. The drive to get there took about an hour from our camper, which honestly isn’t too bad! I was really surprised at the terrain because I thought that everywhere around here was just desert! However this area had a stream, big pine trees and was pretty green! Directions to the trail head were easy to follow and spot on. From there though it became a little confusing! There are trails all over from the parking lot and there are two that can take you up the Hunter Creek Trail.

Hunter Creek Trail

When you come to the creek, which is about 100 yards down the trail, you can cross right there, if you have waterproof shoes. I did have my hiking boots on, but the water was deep enough to go over the tops and I didn’t feel like hiking the rest of the trail with wet feet. So instead of crossing, if you turn left and follow the small dirt trail up the mountain, after about a half mile it will bring you back to the creek but there is a metal bridge for you to cross. This is going to be the last spot for dogs to get water until you get to the top. Make sure you bring enough water for you and your dogs!

From crossing the creek, the trail side hills up the mountain, following the canyon back to the start of the creek. There are a couple of spots with shade, but for the most part we hiked in the sun all day! This is a very trafficked area, I honestly don’t know if I have ever hiked somewhere with so many people! I should probably get used to that around here though! Anyways, dogs should be on a leash for the most part, I let mine off every now and then when I couldn’t see anyone coming. We met more people on our way out than on our way in. We started around 9:30 A.M. and to me that was late because it gets hot so fast, but around here people must not think so! On our way out there were way more people just starting than there were walking out with us! We stopped a couple of times on the way up so I could give the dogs some water. The trail itself is a well beaten trail, it is a steep incline for most of the way in though!

Cool Off

At the top of the mountain we started walking into the big pine trees, which provided much needed shade and there were a couple little creeks running that the dogs ran straight to and laid down in! I let them enjoy that for a while before we kept going. We had to walk over a big log across one of the creeks again before we got to the end. At the end were some water falls! They definitely were not the biggest falls I have seen but still very pretty! The dogs of course jumped right in those to cool off again! The area around the falls was very shaded and had big logs for people to sit on! I gave the dogs some treats and we just relaxed listening to the water for a while before we headed back down!

Falls

This trip has been my favorite so far, I love hiking to waterfalls, and I want to go back later in the summer when I can actually get in the falls myself! My watch tracked the hike as 7 miles total, so 3.5 in and 3.5 out! Again make sure you bring enough water for yourself and your dogs! I always pack a small blue back pack. In it I bring 4 water bottles for the dogs and 2 for myself, along with some treats for the dogs and couple of power bars! If you are hiking alone I strongly recommend packing some sort of protection. Personally I pack a pistol on my hip but even pepper spray is better than nothing! You can never be too careful on a trail.

Saturday April 27:

On Saturday I was just wanting to take a quick hike to kind of wear the dogs out. I found Ballardini Ranch Trail near Reno. My app said it was a 2.2 mile loop and dogs were allowed if on a leash. This was perfect, I had my two dogs and our friend’s dog, Segar, with us and I didn’t want to wear him out too much because he is just a puppy. Directions to the trail head were easy to follow and the parking area was really nice. The loop I wanted to take was not marked though and there were trails all over the mountain!

Trail to the Top

I just picked one and started hiking, after I got to the top of the first hill I noticed that there was no one else around so I ended up letting all the dogs off their leashes to run around! Which was needed because it is honestly so hard to walk three dogs on leashes! I kept walking and ended up crossing a small road that had a trail on the other side of it. There was a stream that the dogs played in for a while and we followed that up until the trail started climbing up a large mountain. I decided to try that out and just kept hiking!

Once we got to the top there was a beautiful meadow with lots of green grass and wildflowers. We stopped here and I gave the dogs some water and then we kept going. The trail started to side hill around the mountain through a burn area. I met a couple of runners, a couple hiking and two mountain bikers while I was there. The sites were beautiful and the trail went for a long ways! After 3 miles of following the trail I decided to head back down to the stream and let the dogs cool off for a little bit. We then followed a different trail back to the truck.

3 Best Friends

All in all it is a great place to take the dogs, after you get past the first hill, you can take the dogs off their leashes and let them get some exercise. Although I wanted to do the loop, I am so glad I couldn’t find the trail to do it, I ended up finding a beautiful area to hike and the views were amazing! Sometimes taking a different route when hiking can lead to better things!

Make sure you take water on this hike! There is a stream at the bottom of the canyon but after that there is no where else for dogs to get water and the hike is always in the sun! If you want to go on this hike, park in the parking area and start on the trail that heads up the mountain, it switch backs twice before it comes to a Y, take the left and just follow that trail all the way up the mountain until you want to stop!

Reno Below

This past week has been so busy and so fun! I am trying to find somewhere new to go every day or every other day! I am enjoying the sunshine down here and the dogs love all the hiking! Between taking them for walks around the R.V. Park, and hiking in the mountains, we have averaged 7 to 8 miles every day that we have been here! Nevada is a beautiful area and I can’t wait to keep exploring! Just always remember to bring enough water because this is the desert!

Stansbury Island

Looking Down

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is home to many different hiking trails, and thankfully I decided to hike around Stansbury Island. This is the second largest island next to Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake. The hike I decided to go on was just over nine miles one way but being short on time I only hiked four of the nine before I turned around. This place was surreal, I only encountered a couple of people, the sights were outstanding and the trail was easy to follow.

Back Side of the Trail

Getting to the island was fairly easy, you can google, Stansbury Island Trail and it will take you right out to the hiking area. Once you turn off the main highway, a dirt road takes you across what is known as the “Mud Flats.” To be honest I don’t know much about the Great Salt Lake, and driving on a road that is surrounded by the water was a little scary. The water was not very deep but I have no idea if the mud under it is soft and you could sink in it or if it is even safe to enter the water! It was beautiful though and once through the mud flats and onto the island there is just water on one side of you. The dirt road goes on for about six miles before you turn right into the parking area. From what I understand there is a shooting range before the parking area that you can start at but it shortens the hike and you miss out on some of the best views. If you go past the shooting range and find the parking area, which was kind of difficult to spot, there is a trail marker for where you should start.

For the first part of the hike we walked through a field at the base of the mountain. Here is where I ran into a couple of people, they were camping at this spot. For any backpackers out there it was a small site but is very easy to get to and has a campfire ring and a spot for a tent. Past here is the first accent up the mountain, the incline wasn’t too bad but is a little steep so be prepared! About half way up the trail is a flat landing area perfect for a break and some pictures of the lake! The dogs had to be coaxed a little to pose for a picture here! Once we accomplished that we kept going, the trail worked its way to the top in switch backs. At the top of the mountain you can see both sides of the Great Salt Lake. The view is mesmerizing!

Good Dogs

From here I followed the trail which cut along the side of the mountain, looping around the side and heading back inland. After four miles I stopped and took a second to look around! There are cows in the valley, and the trial kept working its way back up another mountain. I saw a couple of trail runners and one other couple with their dog. The hike is easy once you make it up the first hill. To hike 8 miles it took me just over two hours. The trail was easy to follow, it is kind narrow but no big obstacles to overcome. I plan on going back next time we are in Salt Lake and hiking the entire thing. I recommend bringing plenty of water because there is none once you get up there. I had to share my water with my dogs so that also contributed to cutting the hike short! If anyone is looking for a beautiful hike, that is fairly easy I say go on this one!

Pishkun

First Pike

Does anyone like to ice fish? I ask this because I used to HATE ice fishing! We would go all the time when I was younger and it sucked. I was always freezing cold, the wind was blowing constantly and we sat on five gallon buckets around a hole all day and never caught anything! Such a boring way to spend a weekend I always thought. Well if you agreed with me, I hope the rest of this changes your mind.

Dalton likes to ice fish, and I would never go with him because as I said above my experience with it was not fun. Fortunately for me though, Dalton convinced me to go with him one weekend. At this time we were living in Fairfield, Montana and the options of where to go were limited. We ended up driving to Pishkun Reservoir which is about 50 miles northwest of Fairfield. It was snowing and the wind was blowing like usual in that area. My mind was changed first when we set up our ice house. It is a four person Eskimo tent that is super easy to set up. All four sides and the top just pop open when you pull on a tab. The tent kept the wind out but not necessarily the cold. If I remember right the temperature was below freezing before the wind chill. Dalton had brought a small propane tank and a heater that attached directly to it. When this was running I was able to fish in just my t-shirt, no jacket, hat or gloves needed!

Soon enough I decided that I could learn to ice fish like this. A nice tent to keep the wind off, a heater to keep me warm, and I never had to go outside. When I was younger we never had the tent or heater. We were out on the ice for probably three hours and I started to get bored. I kept thinking about how typical it was to never catch anything ice fishing. We had brought Peyton with us, (we didn’t have Case yet), and her and I played outside for a while to keep from going insane. Bringing Peyton was not a horrible idea! She had a blast, but having her in the tent was a little crowded and I worried about her running around out on the ice. I didn’t want her to fall in. Nowadays we don’t usually take either dog when we go ice fishing.

After about another hour or two without catching anything we decided to call it a day and start breaking stuff down. Dalton had gone outside to reel up the six other holes we had drilled. I should mention that we had tip-ups, or for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a contraption that holds an ice fishing pole for you. You drill holes a ways from the tent, then take the tip-ups and place them over the holes. They are square so they won’t fall through the hole. Then the pole is placed in its holder and a spring loaded flag will pop up when something pulls on the line. We set these up to better our chances of catching a fish. As I was saying, Dalton went to pick those up while I cleaned up in the tent. Right then is when my mind was changed for good! One of the lines started going out so I grabbed the pole and started reeling in! I caught my first ever Pike and my first ever fish ice fishing! The experience was so fun and I regret not going more when I was younger!

Setting tip-ups

Also when we go, we use a big black sled to pull most everything, from the tent, to the auger, poles, buckets, heater and propane tank. It makes life so much easier and the sled doesn’t have to be anything special just something to pull everything in. We also wear YakTrax, which go over our boots and have small spikes on the bottom for traction on the ice. These are a life saver! Always be sure to check with your local Fish, Wildlife and Parks before going out on a lake. There are times when it is safe and not safe to go on the ice! Ice fishing started out as something I dreaded doing and now I look forward to it every winter. It is a great hobby to have in the cold weather and with the right gear it is enjoyable! I would like to mention that we do catch and release all of our fish.

Hoover Lake

The High Uinta Wilderness is full of beautiful lakes to hike to. Hoover Lake is just one of many that I have had the pleasure of seeing. The trail is about an hour to an hour and a half drive from Fort Bridger, WY, which is where we are currently living. The scenery to the lake is absolutely stunning! Huge mountain peaks, dense forests, rivers and lakes all around you as you drive. I had actually been by this lake in the fall and WOW! I think that fall would be the best time to visit Hoover Lake and all the other lakes in the Uinta Wilderness. There are Aspen and Birch trees all over. You drive along a winding road through a mess of color. Yellow, orange and red light up the mountain sides making the trees look like they are on fire. I drove through areas where leaves were falling from the trees like snowflakes from the sky. It really was a surreal drive.

Now I didn’t actually hike to Hoover Lake in the fall, like I said I had gone around the area but I actually hiked to the lake in November after there was snow on the ground. Dalton was with me on this trip and we had our two dogs, Peyton and Case. We decided one Saturday morning that we had wanted to go explore and maybe find a lake to hike to. I had gone to the Uinta Wilderness a couple times before so I knew where to go and off we went! We packed a lunch, winter jackets, water and the adventure began.

As we drove to the top of the pass, which is in Utah because we are right on the Wyoming, Utah boarder, the snow kept getting deeper and deeper. We thought that maybe we shouldn’t go since we couldn’t really see the trail when we parked, but decided that a hike anywhere would be fine. The sun was shining, there was no wind and the snow was hard packed. The walk was fairly easy, a small hill to go up and a kind of rock slide to get down into the lake, but the hike in was only about 1.5 miles!

Case was three months old and having a hard time in the snow. He was so cute trying to follow Peyton who just ran right along, happy to be out and about. The lake itself was beautiful! There were flat meadows for people to camp at, the water was clean and crystal clear. There was snow all around us, and it made for a quiet escape. We stayed for a little while, ate lunch on a log and watched as the dogs ran around the water. Eventually Peyton decided it was time to go for a swim and jumped in the lake! Crazy dog! She loves the water so much!

Dalton and I walked slowly around the lake, looking for fish and just visiting. There was no one else around because we are kind of crazy and the only ones that would hike to a lake with no trail! That’s how you find the best spots and the most beautiful pictures in my opinion! (Also it was not a far hike and we could just follow our tracks out!) However we didn’t follow our tracks out because we wanted to see more of the landscape. Our trail out was close to 2 miles long instead of the 1.5 miles on the way in. We followed the inlet of the lake, a small creek winding through the snow. Our dogs ran ahead of us, chasing each other and rolling in the snow. Dalton and I had to pack Case a couple of times because that is a long ways for a puppy! The hike out was a little harder because the snow wasn’t hard like before. We sank and stumbled along, but the exercise and fresh air was worth every second.

I would love to go back to Hoover Lake in the summer and camp out, I bet there are fish in that water and the views are amazing! I wouldn’t recommend to just anyone to go out and hike the trail when there is snow, but in the summer there is a sign at the trail head and I’m sure the trail is well beaten in! We enjoyed this little adventure and I know my dogs loved every second of it!

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Above the City

Montego Bay, Jamaica, where all your worries and doubts disappear! Humid air, sunshine and salty water: my trip to this tropical island was phenomenal! If anyone is having any doubt about visiting Jamaica let me put your mind at ease and say DO IT! This was the most relaxing, wonderful and fun place that I have ever been. We flew there in November, which according to the internet is the best time of year to go. It is right after their rainy season and not so hot that you can’t do anything outside. Not to say that it still wasn’t hot, our weather was sunny and 80-85 degrees the whole time! We stayed at Sun Set Cove Resort, it is kid friendly and a very nice resort. The views of the ocean and garden were beautiful, the drinks were endless and the Jerk Chicken was out of this world!

The first couple of days there were spent laying by the ocean, snorkeling from the beach and drinking as many Pina Coladas as we could. The water was calm, no waves crashing on the beach, and boy was it warm. The water was cool enough to cool us off but warm enough to stay in and swim all day. I would wake up every morning around 6 AM, put on my swim suit, mind you it was 75 degrees that early, grab a cup of coffee and head down to the beach to enjoy the sunrise. That time of morning there was really no one else around except a few people who had the same idea as me. It was so quiet and relaxing, I would suggest to everyone to at least try it once. Breakfast consisted of bacon, eggs, potatoes, and fruit and of course mimosas! Afterwards it was back to the beach to soak in the sun and play in the sand. I should mention that I was in Jamaica with Dalton and his family, grandparents, mom and stepdad, his sister and her boyfriend and their daughter.

Lunch View

On the third day I of course woke up and went to the beach before anyone else was up. Eventually we met for breakfast and discussed our plan for the day. We decided to hang out at the beach until lunch, grab a bite at the buffet. Which was amazing! They always had fish, salad, fruit, pastas, chicken, soups, bread, desserts and more that I just can’t remember! The only downside to the buffet was they never had their famous jerk chicken, which was only in their restaurant on the other side of the resort. Let me just say that the jerk chicken is indescribable! So spicy but so full of flavor and anyone who knows me knows I don’t like spicy foods, but I could have eaten that every day for lunch and dinner! Anyways the resort had a pool bar that we decided to hang out in for the afternoon, the drinks were amazing and the company was great! The third day was an unforgettable day because at the end of it the whole family went down to the beach at sunset to take family pictures. During one of the pictures of just Dalton and I, he got down on one knee and proposed! It was so romantic and such a surprise! I won’t bore you all with too many details but it is a memory I will never forget! That night we went to the fancy restaurant at the resort and celebrated!

“YES!”

The fourth day, I’m sure you can guess what I did first thing, coffee and sunrise. We had a plan to go parasailing that afternoon. The weather was so warm and the sun was shining all day. Our captain was a blast and very friendly! We went in pairs, seeing the island and ocean from above. The water was beautiful! Blues and greens we could distinctly see the different shades, showing us where deeper and shallow waters were. The air in our faces felt amazing and I could have sworn we were up there for twenty minutes! Back on the boat we watched as everyone else went up and got dipped in the water. It was a great day and a fun adventure to go on! We ended the evening eating jerk chicken!

Our second to last day, us kids decided to go to the Blue Hole Waterfall, of course it didn’t start with going there, we were actually supposed to be going to a more popular waterfall but our driver told us about this other one so we wanted to check that out instead. It was beautiful! The name should be called Blue Hole Waterfalls, since it is not just one waterfall. When you first get to the parking, there are boys, probably anywhere from 13 to early 20’s waiting for tourists to pull up. They take you on tour of the falls. If I could go back I would do it again but take my time more. If you are planning on going to the falls do not let your guide rush you through like ours did. At the time we thought it was great because we were getting to see everything without waiting in line, but looking back it all happened so fast that it’s hard to remember it too well. Also they say that phones are not allowed, which is true unless you have a waterproof case because you are jumping in the water and swimming most of the time! Let me warn you though, they say they will take pictures with their cameras but then want to charge you $80 in American dollars to buy your photos. I would recommend taking a water proof camera and taking your own pictures. We did talk the guys down in price for the pictures but they were still too expensive for us! Sadly we only got a couple pictures at the very beginning of the falls. Don’t let this discourage you though! The falls come honestly by their name, the water is a bluish green and a little cold, although not freezing! On our trip it was raining but still so fun! We hiked along trails that followed the river, we jumped in the water multiple times at different holes. We climbed water falls that we eventually jumped off the top! We swam in the water, went off rope swings, and crawled through holes in the falls. It was a great time! The fresh water felt great and the scenery was beautiful! We walked past vendors on the trails, selling sugar cane, tea leaves and marijuana. All too soon it was over though and we were heading back to the resort. Our taxi driver was very laid back and fun to talk with. He stopped for us at a local market and bought us sugar cane and what they call Pear Avocados. When I first tried the sugar cane I had no idea how to eat it, so I bit a piece off and chewed and chewed and chewed until finally I couldn’t stand the taste and spit it out. Well come to find out you’re supposed to bite a piece off, suck the juice out and then just spit it out! Lesson learned there. Now let me tell you about these Avocados! They are three times the size of what we in the United States call avocados, and way better tasting. They are almost creamier, and the taste is much better. I would eat one of those everyday if I could! All in all the day trip was great and I would recommend going to see the falls!

First Falls

There was a day that we went shopping with some other people from the resort. It was fun to see the city of Montego Bay and experience some more of the Jamaican culture, like their driving for instance! There are of course lanes on the roads, but no one really pays attention to these, if there is lane moving to slow, one car will just start another lane and more will follow. They use their horns as a way of communicating with each other. Honking to pass, turn, or simply say hi. They all drive very fast too, well it seems fast anyways with so many people! We shopped all day and bought some cool things, but the best part was at the end when we stopped at a local shopping area and a man was sitting outside carving bamboo cups. He made the cups right in front of us and carved whatever we wanted on the sides. Mine had Dalton and I’s names on it, with the year and the word “IRIE,” which in the Jamaican slang means, “Everything’s all good.” This was the best present I brought back from Jamaica.

Our trip was over too soon, but it was an experience I will never forget! The views were outstanding, the food and drinks were amazing, and we did everything from playing beach volleyball, to snorkeling, to jumping off waterfalls and flying in a parachute above the ocean. I plan to one day go back and try out more fun activities in that beautiful country. I would say to everyone that Jamaica is a place of relaxation, adventure and should be on your bucket list!

Quiet Escape