June 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm ·

Willow Park Zoo

We love Willow Park Zoo! We had an awesome time (and a huge group) go for a fried chicken picnic, and some animal time. We partnered with Common Ground Outdoor Adventures, and was able to talk all our Jazzy and wheelchair Grandfriends! The weather was perfect, the food was yummy, and the critters were active! Couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day! For more information about Willow Park Zoo, visit: http://willowparkzoo.wix.com/home

Willow Park Zoo

Ruth enjoying the sunshine & the birds.

Willow Park Zoo

Enjoying the Zoo

Willow Park Zoo

Fun in the Sun!

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Anita enjoying a walk in the shade.

Willow Park Zoo

Ruthie enjoying a beautiful day!

Willow Park Zoo

Irene and Betty

Willow Park Zoo

Tina and Polly watching reindeer and peacocks.

Willow Park Zoo

Charlene & a peacock (can you see him on the roof?)

Willow Park Zoo

Tina and Polly

Willow Park Zoo

Alice and Dee going to watch some monkeys

Willow Park Zoo

Time for some fried chicken, coleslaw and watermelon!

Willow Park Zoo

Some yummy lunch.

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Yummy!

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A nice sunny day!

Willow Park Zoo

We all agree, this looks like one angry bird!

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Arlene enjoying the animals

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Willow Park Zoo: http://willowparkzoo.wix.com/home

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June 20, 2016 at 7:28 pm ·

Exploring Our Valley: “The Secret Road”

Today in “Exploring Our Valley” we went to Hyrum Dam, and through Paradise to one of our favorite drives.  Our Grandfriends call it ” The Secret Road”. This beautiful drive connects Paradise to Mount Sterling on a beautiful gravel road that takes you to tall rolling hills and patch worked farmland.  In the Spring it’s covered in bright green fields and all colors of wildflowers! You also see ponds, small streams, beautiful horses, and a gorgeous old abandoned  house tucked in the trees. It’s a beautiful drive as you pass Sportsman’s Paradise and loop around past Hyrum Dam. If you have a free moment, grab an ice cold lemonade, roll the windows down and enjoy the ride! You won’t be disappointed!

Secret Road

Hyrum Dam

Secret Road

Hyrum Dam

Secret Road

Hyrum Dam

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Sportsman’s Paradise

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Sportsman’s Paradise

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Mount Sterling “Secret Road”

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Mount Sterling “Secret Road”

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Mount Sterling “Secret Road”

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Mount Sterling “Secret Road”

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Mount Sterling “Secret Road”

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Mount Sterling “Secret Road” Wildflowers

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Mount Sterling “Secret Road” Wildflowers

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Mount Sterling “Secret Road” Wildflowers

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Mount Sterling

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Mount Sterling

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Mount Sterling

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Mount Sterling

Sportsman’s Paradise: http://www.whitesranch.com/

History of Sportsman’s Paradise:

Whites Ranch in Paradise, Utah was settled in 1868 by Barnard White an immigrant from England. This was one of the first settlements in the beautiful Cache Valley.  The homestead, approximately 56,000 acres, was located in the southeast corner of Cache Valley consisting primarily of mountain property.

The Ranch House, stables and creamery were located on a bluff overlooking the fertile river bottoms of the Little Bear River.  This location was chosen because of its isolation and vantage point to overlook the valley.   Remembering, of course that the west was still unsettled in the mid 1800’s and the Native Americans were still formidable neighbors.  Another reason for choosing this location was the abundant springs located just below the bluff line where the Ranch House stood; as a year round water supply was paramount to any settlement in those years for the livestock and the settlers.

Over the years and through the generations, this working ranch has produced cattle, hogs, turkeys, milk, crops and rainbow trout.  Today this working ranch produces cattle, crops, trout, pheasants and partridge.  The fourth generations working the ranch are Grant and Tom White.

In the 1920’s the Little Bear River and the springs were put to use as a resource of their own.  The Little Bear River ran through the center of the bottomland and each spring the river was washing away and eroding the best bottomland. Since there was little hope of reclaiming the damage, the best solution was to turn the ravages of nature to an advantage. The river was diverted along the western side of the valley along the mountain.  This left an empty channel through the middle of the river bottoms that generated the idea of a family recreational fishery.  The Whites began developing the springs and diverting them into the empty channel.  As time went on, family, friends and other people came from miles around to fish the ponds.  The trout that were caught were sold to the fisherman.  The fishery grew from these humble beginnings to the nation’s fourth largest producer of Rainbow Trout both fresh and frozen.  As late as 1989 the Whites were producing in excess of seven million pounds of trout annually.

In 1990 the fishery began to turn full circle – forced by the state government – into massive and costly disease disinfection and the fishery was forced in a different direction.  This was the beginning of a massive restoration project.  The goal was to create a unique self-sustaining totally natural fishery complete with spawning beds and invertebrate production areas.  Utilizing the original natural stream beds, the spring waters now flow as they did in the late 1800’s.  The stream restoration is an ongoing project to ensure the streams and still waters are providing plenty of invertebrates to keep the fish healthy, active, and impressive in size.  The mixture of Browns, Rainbows, Cutthroats, Steelhead, Splakes and Cutbows provide an unmatched fly-fishing experience.  The fish will range in size from the naturally spawned fingerlings to as high as sixteen pounds with an average of eighteen inches.  Any fish, under 18 inches, have been naturally reproduced by the fishery.  The fishery is managed as a wild fishery practicing catch-and-release for fly rod only.  The two miles of streams and spring-fed lakes provide unlimited opportunity for year-round trophy fly-fishing for wild trout.

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May 16, 2016 at 9:25 pm ·

Exploring our Valley: Paradise

Exploring Avon & Paradise

It’s NO secret that we LOVE getting in the bus on Friday mornings and exploring our beautiful valley! These pictures come from the beautiful towns of Avon and Paradise. Each season brings new sites to places seen before. On this beautiful Spring ride, we had the opportunity to see a field full of baby sheep and goats, just new to the world, lots of animals on farms, and the beautiful canyon leading up to Porcupine Dam. 

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These Moos are enjoying a morning dip!

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Beautiful snow capped Wellsville Mountains

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A beautiful old barn in Paradise with Moos relaxing in the warm sunshine.

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Our favorite! Watching all these babies frolicking in the grass with their Mamas!

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Vivid blue sunny skies, and lush greenery! Our hearts are happy!

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We are so happy for Summer!

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Beautiful!

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The water is so clear and beautiful! I bet it’s still pretty cool!

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Although we were a little late getting back from lunch, it was a wonderful morning out in nature! Listening to birds sing their melody near the babbling streams, feeling the warmth of the golden sun, and of course seeing all the amazing animals on their farms! Friday morning is one of our favorite times of the week!

Paradise

If you have time, we suggest this beautiful drive. Lots of people in Cache Valley say they have never been to Paradise & Avon! Round trip from Logan it’s only a little more than an hour (although, once you get there you’ll want to spend more time). You’ll drive through beautiful rolling hills framed with majestic mountains. You’ll see lots of animals and farms. Drive up to Porcupine Dam, and see all the beauty. If you have a truck or other vehicle, you drive all the way across to Eden & Liberty! It’s worth the drive! Go out and explore this beautiful Valley, you’ll never know what’s out there in your own backyard!

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May 13, 2016 at 10:45 pm ·

Cookout at 1st Dam

Cookout at 1st Dam

We were so excited about our first cookout of the season. There was a little drizzle, but we weren’t complaining, especially since there was an 85% chance of rain! The morning was beautiful, and although not completely warm and sunny, warm enough to enjoy all the beauties of nature! Of course, there were a lot of ducks and geese to feed, and we had a good time feeding them healthy fruits and veggies. It was a great day to kick off the warm weather season. We went with our friends from Common Ground that make it possible to transport and accommodate all of our Grandfriends no matter what their abilities. It’s going to be a great Summer, and we can’t wait for all the picnics, parades, canoeing, and day trips! 

  • If you have never been to 1st Dam, it is at the mouth of Logan Canyon and it is beautiful. There is also, a 2nd & 3rd Dam further up the canyon, each has its own areas for picnicking, fishing, camping, and hiking! We are so blessed to live in an amazing area. Like we always say: “Logan Canyon is our playground!”
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Anita enjoying the spring sunshine.

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The ladies feeding the ducks some fresh lettuce. (because bread is bad!)

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1st Dam

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Having fun and eating some yummy hamburgers!

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Lilian loves EVERYTHING in nature. She’s a little disappointed it’s too cold to go swimming.

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Lots of ducks and geese!

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Betty enjoying the walking trails.

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Eva enjoying some lunch.

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Happy for some sunshine.

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Rescue Duck

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Polly & one of our friends from Common Ground.

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Char is happy to be outside!

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Little beggars!

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“I wouldn’t mind a bite of your cookie Ma’am”

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Grandfriends & Common Ground Friends!

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Geese

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Don’t burn those!

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Lunch is almost ready!

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Lunch is served! Delicious grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, homemade potato salad, cookies, chips, and all the fixings! Our tummies are super happy!

Cookout Cookout

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May 12, 2016 at 12:26 am ·

“And They’re Off!” Kentucky Derby

We had such an awesome week celebrating everything Kentucky Derby! 

This week we enjoyed a beautiful ride throughout the valley, where we saw lots of beautiful horses, including some racing horses! There are a few places that even do chariot racing. We also had a fun activity and talked about the Kentucky Derby and it’s traditions. Each Grandfriend decided what color of horse they would like, and named one for our very own Williamsburg Derby. We had an amazing turnout, and we are excited about racing each week. We even have our own “Winner’s Circle”. We finished up the week with Derby Cake for Happy Hour! If you have never had “Derby Cake” you’re missing out! Our version was a chocolate cake with cherry for the fruit! Another favorite of ours is “White Derby Cake”. White cake, cream, and strawberries! Yummy!

Kentucky Derby

20160506_112343 We’re off on the bus to see some horses and horse ranches.

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Our beautiful valley!

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These beauties came running over to say “hi” to us!

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These horses run chariot races, and some have competed in the Kentucky Derby!

Kentucky Derby

These horses run chariot races, and some have competed in the Kentucky Derby!

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Making Derby Cake!!!

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Excited about Derby Cake!

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Chocolate Cherry Derby Cupcakes!

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Williamsburg Derby Horses! Each Grandfriend has their own horse they named and picked out the colors for!

Kentucky Derby

Williamsburg Derby!

Kentucky Derby

It’s been an awesome week full of fun! Everyone loved the Williamsburg Derby, so we will now have weekly races on Wednesday mornings at 10:30. Come join us anytime! We have horses you can adopt!

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March 31, 2016 at 5:55 am ·

Cache Valley Rides

Cache Valley Rides: Spring & Baby Animals

On this ride we headed out on Valley View highway through the marshlands. This time of year you can see lots of Canadian Geese, and all kinds of ducks and small birds in the water.

We headed out through Benson. It is calving season, and there are lots of fields with “baby moos” (as the Grandfriends call them). It is fun to see them all gathered together in a small group under the watchful eye of their mothers.

Traveling north we saw a group of beautiful white geese nesting. Did you know that geese mate for life with the same partner? We also saw lots of horses, unfortunately, no babies. We saw a couple flocks of sheep, with some lambs.

Out near Trenton there is a domesticated elk farm. There were several babies in the field. We were lucky because they were so close to the road. There is another domesticated elk farm in Willard that has a lot of elk to see! If you are ever in the neighborhood of the Fruit Stands, it’s worth a stop at the Apple Creek Amish Store, and a few more minutes up the road to see them all grazing in the field.

We are so lucky to live in such an amazing valley that is beautiful in every season!

If you have time, get out and have your own Cache Valley Ride Adventure! 
Cache Valley RIdes

Geese laying on eggs in the marshes of Benson

Cache Valley RIdes

Benson marshland

Cache Valley RIdes

Elk near Trenton. One is sticking it’s tongue out. These mamas had babies playing in the back field.

Cache Valley RIdes

A smiling horse that came over to the bus to say “hi” when we opened the doors. (yes, that is a true story!)

Cache Valley RIdes

Baby “Moos”

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