I had never been before, so I was excited. The only place I’ve ever been camping in Utah was Zion’s National Park. And, even though that is in the desert of Utah, the canyons and rivers that ran through it caused the park to have plenty of plant-life, like small forests! But Yuba was different. Shrubs were the only plant. You could tell we were still in the desert. It is a very small state park, and thus, very out of the way with very few signs to direct us. On our way down, we called the headquarters twice to make sure we were headed the right way. When we got there and checked in, we were informed our campsite was newly opened to cars rather than just boating access. So, the “roads” were gravel and sand. They strongly suggested using only vehicles with 4-wheel drive, which our old car definitely doesn’t have. So, we went less than 10 miles for a mile and half. We couldn’t even drive up to our site because we were on a hill and there wasn’t any more gravel. So, we parked and carried everything over.
We quickly set up camp and started a fire because we were hungry!!!!!! We had a beautiful view of the lake and the mountains. I kept wandering around our campsite while Justin prepared dinner. I love exploring in nature–it brings out the child in me. I was giddy, almost, skipping up and down the hill of our campsite, taking pictures and viewing our surroundings.
Justin wanted to be in charge of dinner–a hobo dinner which included beef, mixed fresh veggies, and potatoes. But, I forgot to pack the potatoes! We brought our two favorite kettle cooked chips (Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt and Applewood Smoked Barbecue), so we crumbled them up on the dinner for seasoning. We also brought the makings of Reese’s s’mores and roasted starbursts.
We also went down to the lake.
Because it was so windy, Lake Yuba was pretty darn cold. Everyone else were on boats and were tubing. We were the only ones without a boat. So, we walked into the lake and immediately felt its coldness. But, after having played in the cold 30* water of Aberystwyth in Wales, I knew I could easily play in Lake Yuba. So, slowly, I inched further and further, allowing my body to slowly acclimate. Justin and I kept daring each other to go under, since that is the easiest way to get warm. Finally, after about 10 minutes, we did. We swam a bit and just had fun. We were pretty close to fish and it was fun to see them jump out of the water. We freaked out everytime we touched rocks, thinking they were fish. It was really weird because it wasn’t salt water and I’ve really ever only swam at beaches. Every time a wake splashed in my face, I expected to taste salt, but didn’t. It felt off. We got out to warm up and bit and drew in the sand–I found a great pointy stick to help! Then, after we were warm, we hopped back in and watched the sun set from the lake.
Afterward, we made our s’mores and watched the stars while talking. The wind picked up quite a bit and there was a thunderstorm in the distance. We made plans and preparations in case it headed our way, but the wind blow it away from us. We hopped in our tiny tent–tight fit, perfect for cuddling, and listened to the wind. However, the campsite next to us had about 10 single adults who (they said) came often to boat. They were very loud and it was quite past midnight. So, Justin went over to ask them to adhere to the quiet hours Lake Yuba has. They apologized and said they weren’t used to other people camping the same time as them–like I said, Lake Yuba is a pretty small state park. They did quiet down and we were able to go to sleep.
When we woke up the next morning, we started another fire and quickly closed down camp. Breakfast was to be sausage patties and muffins cooked in orange peels. Our fire was pretty pathetic and no matter what we did, our food barely cooked. It was a pitiful breakfast. We said our goodbyes to Lake Yuba and headed home. We unloaded the car, went to grab some Arby’s, and watched this week’s two episodes of America’s Got Talent on hulu. Then, we took a nice, long nap. Boy, was that needed.
We then gave each other presents. For Justin: “54 reasons I love you” deck of cards and a small, portable charcoal grill. For Tayler: crystal necklace and earrings, lavender wick candle that crackles, and a pensieve. This pensieve is my favorite gift. Justin took a jar and painted it my three favorite colors and put pieces of good memories in it for me, just like the pensieve from Harry Potter. Another gift was waiting for me, but not from Justin.
A couple months after I graduated, BYU finally mailed my official diploma to me. I am so relieved to have both my official Utah State Teaching License and my Bachelor of Arts in History (teaching) Diploma. It makes me feel like a true adult. It is also a very weird feeling to know that I am officially no longer a student!
We got dressed up and then went to Communal, a small restaurant in Provo.
The premise of this “cultured” restaurant is that you share all the dishes, hence the name “communal.” I had been once before with my Welsh Study Abroad group as a sort of reunion. We had a larger party and quite the smorgasbord. So, it was interesting to choose from their menu with just Justin and I. We will do a review of them later this week, both giving our own opinions. Stay tuned for it!
After dinner, we walked back home–a very peaceful, lovely walk–and finished our Harry Potter marathon. It was quite the good first anniversary (and somehow, somewhat Harry Potter themed!)!