Category Archives: life

Midway UT, Swiss Days and some history…

Midway UtahAhh, my hometown of Midway, settled by Swiss immigrants in the 1800’s- in its current late summer glory- we’re coming up on the annual celebration of Swiss Days, August 30-31. A weekend of art, craft, food, music and even the coinciding sheepdog trials at Soldier Hollow. I’m sewing like a madwoman, stitching handmade goods since I’ll have a booth and pedaling my wares again this year.

1st annual Midway Swiss Days 1953I ran across this invitation in a locally published book, apparently the 1st annual Swiss Days was in 1953, making this the 60th year- so exciting folks! This book was full of fascinating historical images, in part because of the geothermal wonders of the area and structures that still exist today and have had us guessing at their age and how the appeared in their heyday.

Map of Midway UT, historicalI love this map, dates and notes, familiar and unfamiliar names.

Lukes Hot Pots, Midway UT, historicalOne of the most historically intriguing places in Midway is what is currently known as Mountain Spaa, formerly known as Luke’s Hot Pots.

Lukes Hot Pots 1910, Midway UT

archival, hot springs Midway UTThe early days of Midway, one of the larger crater hot springs and a local family.

Midway UT hot pot, historicalI think the 2 fellas to the right (in the water) must be twins. What do you think?

Mt Spaa hot pot Midway UTI think this is the crater hot spring where the previous two pictures were taken. Today, for whatever reason, it only has a bit of water in the bottom, about 15 feet down.

Craters like this one but in various sizes, dot the landscape for a few square miles in the heart of Midway. Most are dry and currently only two are available to swim in. The most famous and largest is the crater at the Homestead Resort, and I think a smaller hot pot can be soaked in at the adjacent Zermatt Resort as well.

Outdoor pool at Luke’s Hot Pots, 1930:
Mountain Spaa Midway UT 1930 The buildings and pools still stand, although currently in a state of extreme dilapidation. Curiosity (and the need for an interesting location for a photo shoot) got the best of us and we wandered around the place a year or so ago, snapping pictures and trying, in vain, to piece together the history of the place. When I found the book on the history of Midway, these photos answered some of our questions but still felt no less like looking at the Titanic in the former glory and then it’s current state.

empty poolThe same pool from the above picture, empty in early spring 2011. I’ve talked to friends who remember swimming in this pool in the 1990’s. It was fed by warm water from the hot spring (previous picture) which is just up the hill.

hot spring fed outdoor pool Midway UTHere’s the outdoor pool in 2013.

Mountain Spaa dining room Midway UTOne of the most intriguing and only interior photograph I could find is of the dining room- a little stage for live entertainment and all, I’m not sure what year the picture is from, but here’s how it looks today:
Mountain Spaa dining room Midway UTWandering around this place I kept trying to visualizing it in it’s prime… I’m picturing Kellerman’s in the movie Dirty Dancing.

Lukes hot pots, Hotel 1910 Midway UT
abandoned houseThis former hotel, built in 1890, has actually held up very well and is still looking sturdy and sound for it’s formidable 113 years. I hope when something becomes of this place, this building will be restored and not torn down.

For more photos of Mountain Spaa and the afore mentioned photo shoot, look here.

back in the swing of things

Phew, what a month it has been. Hardly a moment to do anything but sleep and my filthy house and disheveled affairs show it (hopefully not the children).  Organizing the Beehive Bazaar and then sewing for the event kept me busy the first few weeks of May and right on the tail of that… I jumped on a movie, learning the wardrobe biz. Thankfully it was being shot very close to my house and this made the long days (at least 12 hours) bearable. It was super fun learning wardrobe and right up my alley. It’s like my brain was built for the job.

Now I gotta pick it up, (it’s like I’ve been in a coma for a month) and get everything back on track, and school’s out tomorrow… an added element of madness ensues. I’ll have a 9, 13, 15 year olds (16 yr. old is in Costa Rica as an exchange student until July) with oodles of fresh free time on their hands.

And so, as I blink and stagger back into my life, I’ll share a few giggles with you, these videos have been making us laugh, over and over.

for more Zesty guy commercials look here.

And this might make you jealous and hungry…

Backpacking Coyote Gulch

Our spring break story…
20130408-135339.jpg I took the kids backpacking into Coyote Gulch in Escalante Utah, one of the most beautiful places on earth, a spot I’ve been backpacking before- but not the kids, not yet at least.

20130408-135356.jpgWe joined some friends and went into the canyon through ‘Crack in the Wall’, a new entry point for me. It took some lowering of backpacks with ropes and then shimmying through a narrow gap to get down to the canyon floor.

20130408-135424.jpgBeginning with Stevens Arch (I believe) there are beautiful arches every few miles, one of the spectacular features of this hike.

20130408-135443.jpgJug Handle Arch

20130408-135454.jpgJacob Hamblin Arch, the most famous of the Coyote Gulch line up.

20130408-135510.jpgOhh and a natural bridge too.

20130408-135607.jpgThe Escalante River meanders it’s way through the canyon, cascading over waterfalls.

20130408-135624.jpgThe leaves were out on the Aspen trees and buds appeared on the other foliage. We were about a month too early to see all the desert flowers in bloom.

20130408-135648.jpgAnd a bit early for swimming, only about 70 degrees (air temp) for a high. We enjoyed the waterfalls from a distance, with just our feet in the water.

20130408-135714.jpgAhh… sleeping in the sand, great for kids and the weary Ambien induced traveler. The star gazing was phenomenal with moon light casting shadows on the cliff walls.

20130408-135730.jpgBackpacking breakfast of champions- hot chocolate and oatmeal, on a rock shelf table.

20130408-135807.jpgRock shelf table (1st night) better than sandy floor/tiny rock table (2nd night). But it’s-all-good, just happy to be camping along side a beautiful arch.

20130408-135828.jpgTeens, all in a row, heading back across the slick rock after a fantastic few days in the great red rock outdoors.

So, now it’s back to real life and work and lots of sand covered laundry. But we’ve got a head full of magical memories we’ll never forget!