Sunday, February 26, 2012

I wanna be like Mike.....

We love Mike, and we were so excited when his wife called last minute and said,"Mike needs to come or he'll go insane!!" So we booked him for the next week and now we get to enjoy him for 2 weeks!!
Mike and his wife Colleen came over 2 years ago for 4 weeks, and we thoroughly enjoyed them. They were hard workers, and just a delight to be around. I don't remember their weight loss, but Mike told me he wanted to thank us, because after that stay, he went to his High School reunion, and looked and felt GREAT!!!
We saw them both again the next year for two weeks, and now this time Mike came for two weeks. Mike started out strong the first day, and at circut/run class, when he was sprinting the first couple laps, I thought for sure he's going to slow down....I was wrong. I know he has had a great weight loss this week, because I can see it already, but we'll weigh him out next week and let you know his amazing results!
I had the opportunity to hike with him on Observation Point in Zion National Park. Here's something interesting about Mike, he doesn't like heights, and he doesn't necessarily like hiking (hahaha, we are a hiking spa:)). So as we are hiking up, Mike tells me the hikes he doesn't want to do (I think he thinks since he's a return guest he will get a say:)) the one hike with all the sand:)(we live in a desert).......oh and that one hike with all the scrambling Hell Canyon (that's a summer hike anyway), oh and he doesn't want to do the saddle (a favorite of most people):).....but we love Mike and we have MANY fun hikes, so it's not a problem.....then he is quiet for a while, and then he says, "Oh that's why I come...I come for the food.":) :) As we are hiking, Mike stays real close to the wall, and I comment and say, "Doesn't this beauty amaze you, don't you love this?" He says, "no not really".......when we get 2 miles from the top, I got a little nervous, because he was really feeling it, and looked as though he was ready to turn around. I really wanted to get him to the top, and I couldn't say, "The view at the top is amazing, and so worth it!!" But he kept going, and we made it to the top, he had no desire to look at the view, no desire to take his picture at the top, but I convinced him to get at least one!
Mike is a smart guy, he works hard, he has an amazing family, and sometimes he just doesn't take the time he needs for himself. Mike finds rejuvination here in our mountains even though he said at 30 years old he never would have thought he would be hiking like this at 50. But even Mike can not escape the fact that our mountains have power, they have healing, and they can bring a person the peace that they are looking for, and he will go home and feel ready to face the challenges that he has day to day, and next time Mike you better bring Colleen!:)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Last week I took these two ladies on a hike I KNEW they would love!! It rained the day before, and the ground was still pretty wet, so I knew there may be a chance we would have to turn around and do something else. We reached the mountain, and the picture shows what we had to climb first.... this GIANT white sandstone mountain. When the sandstone is dry, it is like sandpaper, and grips right to your shoe.... that is why we 'LOVE' our sandstone mountains. But once that sandstone is wet, it is very slippery and that is why it was also named, 'Slickrock'! Well because these ladies LOVE a challenge, they still wanted to attempt it....attempt we did, but it was too slippery, so we had to turn around and we enjoyed a beautiful hike in Snow Canyon. But they both wanted to come back when it was dry and try it again.

This time I brought Cheryl, one of our very prepared hiking guides, and very 'SAFE' hiker. So off we went....up the mountain. The first part is very challenging when dry, and today although it was a warm, BEAUTIFUL day, there were still traces of wet rock in the shade, but we were very careful with our footing, and we made it to the top. We were very cautious, and the first mountain took us a little over an hour because of the elements (normally it would have taken us 40 min tops), but we CONQUERED!!

Once we were on top of the sandstone, we ran into snow, and it became a little more intense....but we got out of the snow real quick!
We stopped for a little doctoring. Jeanette became quickly acquainted with our yucca catcus plants here, and she needed a little doctoring. This is a horrible pic, I apologize, it is one I took with my phone, but it has Cheryl doing her thing, she is ultra prepared for everything!! The rest of the pics were taken by Cheryl.
THIS is AWESOME CHASM!! It is breathtaking, and beautiful!
This is Snow Canyon overlook, Cheryl said the first time she ever saw this, she sat down and cried because of the beauty. Pictures will never capture the magnitude of these mountains, and the powerful feeling you get when you are on top of this mountain looking down over Snow Canyon! We met up with Cindy and Mike who met us from the other side. Mike chose to follow Nick's (Desert Cliff's guide) advise and 'Hike to Hike again', and chose not to follow us crazy ladies!!:)
Jeanette is on her last week here, and we will miss her!! I can't wait to show her results and her before and after pics of just 4 weeks!! She worked hard!! notice the yucca plant in the front of the picture, this is the plant that kept stabbing Jeanette!
Jeanie is a firefighter from California, she is one tough lady, but has a heart of gold!
The end of the hike was following a horse trail back to our van, and we had to enjoy a snowball fight in the beautiful Snow on the other side!!
This hike we had to name after our two crazy and tough guests Jeanette and Jeanie, so it will be now known as The Crazy J's hike:). We hiked 6 miles with an elevation climb of 1200 ft, and most of that was done in the first mile!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I would definitely pick this hike over Angel's Landing in Zion National Park, because I like a good LONG hike with LOTS of uphill, and this one has it!! This hike is 8 miles long and 3-4000 ft high. We started out the hike in snow! Someone made this cute Snowman along the way.
This is still the beginning of the hike, and as you can see the trail is covered in Snow, it wasn't bad because it was not packed down too much to make it slippery.
The snow makes it beautiful along the way, and it is hard to not feel like a kid again.
This is the trail still covered in snow, going through the canyon, if you look closely, you will see hikers, that is where the trail is heading!:)
After we got halfway, MUCH of the snow had melted, and we did make it up to the top!!
Jeannette was planning on doing this hike her very last week (next week), because it is the hardest one, but she did AMAZING. I would be very surprised if she didn't do both Angel's Landing and Observation point next week, she has gotten so strong the short 3 weeks she has been here!!
Once again the canyon on the way back
The snow was a little tricky by the water, we certainly did not want to fall through the ice and get our shoes wet! We made it without wet feet!:)
This is a great pic where you can see the top of Observation Point and be proud of what you did!
Coming down was a little tricky, but fun!:)
We had snow all the way back down to the bottom. It was a beautiful day, and a beautiful hike!!

Friday, February 10, 2012


We have a guest here for four weeks, and she is TOUGH, and very BRAVE. She wanted to hike Angel's Landing, so I checked it out and asked the the Ranger last week if it was going to be icy, and he said that it shouldn't be too bad. So we started on this hike which is a 5 mile hike and a climb of 1500 feet. We started out a little on the chilly side, but after a few minutes, we were warm.

I just love this hike, and especially the 'Walter's Wiggles' here. There are 22 of these switch backs....we were feeling really good here.

We made it to the top of Scout's landing in a little over an hour, it was a great pace, and of course even from Scout's landing the view is spectacular!!

But continuing on is what is INCREDIBLE...I could say that it's not for those scared of heights, but I have seen many people conquer their fear on this. The park has really made it very safe with chains that will be there for you to hang on to. We had to deal with a few icy patches that were not too bad, but we had to be very careful and choose our footing wisely.

We made it to the top and found this note under a rock...they hiked this three days before us.

This was on the back of the note, this girl had a fear of heights and made it to the top, but I wouldn't say that it was 'ice covered ground' more like 'ice covered patches', but really cool that she did this inspite of her fear of heights.

This is proof that we were at the top today!:)

What an incredible day!! Jeanette will also conquer Observation Point while she is here with us....CAN'T WAIT!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 3 of "What to experience in a week"

Wednesday is usually tough for a lot of our guests, and although I did not think I would experience this, I did.:) I taught an early morning group kick, and then had a delicious bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon apples, and walnuts. I was not able to go on the hike with Desert Cliffs, but I was able to make it to the cooking demonstration at 12:30, I was feeling really tired, but the lunch was delicious, we made ourselves some homemade baked potato fries, and a turkey meatloaf...yummmmmm. Then I came home and decided I had to lay down for a half hour nap. Then it was off to circuit training, I wasn't sure how I'd do, but I made it through, was able to push myself. I did not lift as much as I did on Monday, but it felt good to work through being tired. Then it was off to treading on the eliptical. A great half hour workout that has interval training. I felt GREAT afterwards!!! We came back for dinner, and it was really good, chicken chili, a delicious (full of vegetables) quesadilla, and for dessert two gingersnap cookies and apple cider (perfect ending).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 2 of "What to experience in one week"

(Jeanette in this pic is here for 4 weeks, and she works hard, I can't wait to reveal her results!)

Well I am blogging about yesterday (Tuesday), but will say that I jumped on my scale this morning (Wednesday)and was down 3 pounds from Monday morning. I have to say I'm not surprised, I know this program works, and I love that I am not focused on my food for the day. I don't stop by the fridge or the pantry to grab some handfuls of something, because I know that each meal that Desert Cliffs provides for me is all that I need to be successful and feel amazing!!
Tuesday: Breakfast was an egg omelet, and then Desert Cliffs went on to enjoy a body balanced class and then pilates...followed by an all day hike. Because of my crazy life, I was not able to join, so I went for an hour run, and then later in the day a group power class. Lunch was a Turkey/cranberry wrap and veggies, and then for dinner we had Tilapia with a raspberry sauce, a delicious fresh salad with grapefruit, manderine oranges and lots more yummy veggies, and steamed brocoli. Agh and for dessert.....half frozen banana with choc/peanut butter drizzled on top..YUMMY!!!
I have actually been losing weight for the past 9 months since I had my baby...I have had successful months and months where it wasn't so successful, and I actually saw a weight gain....(around Christmas:(). But I have worked hard, and to this day I have lost 30 lbs, and have gained 10 percent muscle. This week for me is merely a reminder of what it is going to take to get these last few pounds off, and boy oh boy is it reminding me:). I feel wonderful!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What you experience in one week....

Well for most of you that have come to visit us at Desert Cliffs, you will know that I LOVE our program. I have loved Southern Utah hiking since the day I discovered our mountains here in St. George 7 years ago, and I have always loved a good workout. Well I, like many others, make the mistake of eating more when I workout, and rewarding myself with sweets. This isn't always bad, but it can and will lead to weight gain even when you work out 6x a week.
So, my to join Desert Cliffs for a full week. I believe that just like anything, you need to practice to get better at ANYTHING, so for a week I am going to practice once again what it is that I need to be feeding myself at home, and start forming better habits. I weighed myself on Monday morning, and plan on weighing out Saturday morning.
Monday, I was able to do the whole program at Desert Cliffs.....I ate a healthy bowl of oatmeal, (I am going to make my own breakfast this week), and then went on an INTENSE hike. We were out for 3 1/2 hours hiking one of the tallest mountains in Snow Canyon. It was AWESOME, and a GORGEOUS day!! Then I came back and we had an incredible salad with LOTS of veggies, and was delicious, and sooo filling. After lunch we had a small break, and then we went to the gym, and did a great circuit training with weights, and then a Group kick class that was a high energy high calorie burner!! Then we came back and had a WONDERFUL dinner, Chicken with yummy salsa, sweet potato, and a delicious salad. To top it off and curb my sweet tooth, a WARM... small... peanut butter cookie!! DELICIOUS!!! THEN, as if the day couldn't get any better, we headed over to the gym, and took a 'Healthy postures' class that was perfect...a class combined with stretch, pilates, and yoga.....made me feel wonderful!!! It was also very inspiring to see older men and women in such great shape that are still incorporating exercise in their lives.
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