Amy gave me the greatest surprise of my life (coming right after my surprise party two nights ago). She set up this amazing 24-hour getaway for us at the Homestead Resort in Midway. We always wanted to go up there to see the Homestead Crater, but we got that and much more. Amy, you're the greatest! It was so much fun, and we realized that we need to plan little journeys for just the two of us more often. Here's our trip.
We're there! We came up right after work and still had a couple hours and beautiful chilly daylight.
our first excursion was renting mountain bikes and cruising into Midway
down the mountain streets
We ate a huge dinner at the Mountain House Grill. It had a big fire burning out front which drew us in.
Amy and her monstrous pitcher of peach lemonade. It really was good.
Coconut shrimp and I. It's been years since I ate any of these babies.
We rode our bikes back to the resort in almost complete darkness. Luckily we didn't have to avoid too many cars. Once back we went marveled at the clouds and the bright moon, and went and spent a good long time in the spa. We went outside into the mineral bath spa, which pumps thermally-heated water straight from the crater. It soothes your skin and relaxes you, makes you just want to fall asleep. We made friends with a man and his two sons. He's a U of U Ph D candidate in English literature, and an avid traveler and explorer, and we all hit it off and chatted for at least an hour. Then it was back to our little room to watch clips of movies on cable till we fell asleep.
Early the next morning we had breakfast scheduled at Fanny's Grill, at the resort. Amy got a plate of fruit and cottage cheese. I got bread pudding french toast, which was remarkable. We're thinking about adapting that recipe ourselves. There was a cozy fire going right behind us.
It was cloudy before breakfast, but immediately afterward it was snowing! We came outside into little fat flakes falling all over. Our next destination was Soldier Hollow to go horseback riding. I was extremely excited, but we pretty much figured it wouldn't happen because of the weather. We decided to go anyway, to see if we could raincheck it. Once there, we talked with the guides and stood out in the snow awhile, and realized we really wanted to do it. So we trotted around on our horses for an hour on these amazing mountain trails, with fall colors spread everywhere and light snow dusting everything. Honestly, it was breathtaking, and we would have made a big mistake if choose against going. People would pay a lot of money to see what we see. I'm sure of it.
outside Rocky Mountain Outfitters
Getting settled on Bonny
Amy mounting Chubbs
Me on my horse Bonny. Don't you love the variety of colors?
the happy couple
home on the range
We made it back in time for a soak and swim at the crater itself. The crater is a huge naturally-warmed spring that bubbles up right out of the earth. It has created a big dome overhead as the mineral water spilled out over the centuries. It's been an attraction for at least 130 years. Fourteen years ago they blasted a short entrance tunnel into it and began pumping some water out so that the water level remains safe and constant. They call it a crater because there's an opening at the top where everyone used to swim in it.
It was freezing out! The tunnel and top both lead directly outdoors, so we were pretty cold as soon as we got out of the water. They only had one towel for us too. We would've stayed longer but we had to check out of our room, so we hurried back and then drove home to pick up the kids. Our wonderful friend Michelle watched them. Can you believe it? What a handful. We're very grateful and we owe her!
Thanks Amy for the best birthday I could've wished for! It was the perfect surprise, especially at this ripe old age . . .
looking at the top of the crater from inside
the entrance (changing curtains behind Amy)
the spa area on the side of the dock
I left the little spa and swam directly in the crater. It's 60 feet deep and they do scuba diving there all the time--there were quite a few in training there.
Our last hurrah. What a wonderful date!