wolfe ranch in arches national park

by jani on March 27, 2013

Each year there are an estimated 1.7 to 1.9 million visitors to Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. They visit the park to to see the incredible formations (we did that and you can see our images here)… to hike and sometimes to just sit, ponder and take in some of nature’s most magnificent vistas.

I wonder how many stop to visit Wolfe Ranch. It is, after all, off the main road which takes you to Delicate Arch and everyone wants a photo of this iconic arch! I would, however, suggest to those of you who may visit Arches, to take the left fork and drive the short distance to see this historic building. Then ask yourself, how on earth did Wolfe and his family survive in the middle of nowhere?

At first HB had no interest in walking to see this sad- looking edifice. But on closer inspection… and I mean peering into the windows, we were both taken back by the tiny living space – and immediately wanted to learn all we could about this family and why they would choose this desolate spot to live.

wolfe ranch 4This is apparently the remains of the corral that Wolfe used for his livestock. How did he find water? We saw no nearby water sources when we were there. How far did they have to travel for basic needs? It’s all quite mystifying to me!

wolfe ranch 1There’s no chimney or stove that we could see. How did they cook? How did they keep warm in the cold winter months? The difficulty of this lifestyle has had me pondering ever since we visited this place.

Here’s what we’ve learned from Wikipedia:

“John Wesley Wolfe settled in the location in 1888 with his oldest son Fred. A nagging leg injury from the Civil War prompted Wolfe to move west from Ohio, looking for a drier climate. He chose this tract of more than 100 acres (0.40 km2) along Salt Wash for its water and grassland – enough for a few cattle. The Wolfes built a one-room cabin, a corral, and a small dam across Salt Wash. For more than a decade they lived alone on the remote ranch. In 1906, Wolfe’s daughter Flora Stanley, her husband, and their children moved to the ranch.[2] Shocked at the primitive conditions, Stanley convinced her father to build a new cabin with a wood floor.”

wolfe ranch 2The root cellar-

wolfe ranch 3One thing I realized after our visit to Arches National Park and especially the Wolfe Ranch – just how easy our lives are. We are surrounded by luxuries and yet  find so many things to complain about. We need to take a moment and realize all that we are blessed with on a daily basis.

Have you ever visited Arches National Park? While there, did you stop to see this historic building? Granted it isn’t much, but there’s such a story behind it. If you do go… maybe – just maybe – you’ll look at the water bottle you’re holding in your hand and realize that there was no chore in getting it! As always I welcome your comments.


arches national park

by jani on February 27, 2013

Just about this time each year, we start planning another trip to Moab, Utah. We have fallen in love with the quirky town and the gorgeous parks that are its main draw! One of our favorite destinations is Arches National Park. We have the Lifetime Senior Pass, which costs $10  and allows free entrance into any national park or forest for seniors 62 and older. We highly recommend purchasing this.

Note: There are those (possibly me included) who mistakenly refer to each arch in the park with a plural usage… that’s incorrect. This is Delicate Arch – you may have seen this on Utah license plates.

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This is a map that (I think?) we picked up at the ranger’s station. I added a few titles to show just how close everything is – and yet you can spend endless hours exploring this awe-inspiring scenery!

arches 0

If you look at the above map, the Three Gossips formation is in the same location as the Courthouse Towers. They just have such a striking difference in their appearance!

arches 1A perfect view of Courthouse Towers.

arches 2

It’s difficult to even comprehend how this rock is being balanced. It has the right name:  Balanced Rock!

arches 4

HB and I enjoying this gorgeous day at Park Avenue… I should have brought my shopping bag!

arches wall street

Since, it’s almost impossible to fit all your activities into one day, might we suggest adding a couple of extra days to your stay in Moab. It is be well worth your time. These extraordinary rock formations are mesmerizing!

Have you traveled to Arches? I’d really encourage you to check out the wonders of this great place…. and again it’s practically in our backyard!


bistro 412 – park city, utah

by jani on February 18, 2013

Bistro 412 is one of our favorite restaurants in Park City, Utah. I have loved escargot since my first trip to France in 1966 and HB has been fond of this delicacy for most of his adult life. This restaurant serves  escargot, topped with a delicious pastry crust. Although the menu is eclectic, there is a strong French influence running throughout, including French music in the background.

bistro 1(1)Many visitors enjoy sitting in front of the outdoor firepit –  people watching or just relaxing with a favorite beverage. It was an especially popular spot during the Sundance Film Festival.

bistro 2(2)

bistro 3The interior has an engaging quaint charm that transports you to a small sidewalk Parisian café… a lovely setting for your afternoon or evening meal.

bistro 5The servers are efficient and very knowledgeable. My favorite item on the menu is a poached pear salad with goat cheese. Our waiter suggested adding grilled shrimp… it was delightful. I will definitely order this one again. It also comes with roasted beets… a perfect choice!

sundance film Collage 2Bistro 412 is located at 412 Main Street.

If you haven’t tried the Bistro 412, we highly recommend you do! What are some of your favorite restaurants in Park CityAny comments are always welcomed!


the bakery at windy ridge – park city, utah

by jani on February 11, 2013

When I was a little girl, growing up in the Sacramento Valley, one of my favorite adventures with my parents was “a trip above the fog,” as my dad referred to it. We would drive up to Auburn, where the sun was brightly shining. As we reached higher elevation, I would look back over the valley with its covering of that heavy gray blanket of fog or as they call it here… Inversion… that awful nine-letter word!

So, H.B. and I have been taking a few daytrips this winter, to go above the fog, haze, ugly pollution, inversion… whatever you’d like to call it. It has been delightful and we have discovered a few new favorite stops in our treasured Park City, Utah.

I’d like to introduce you to The Bakery at Windy Ridge. It’s located directly behind the Windy Ridge Cafe owned and operated by the same gastronomers, Bill White Restaurant Group who brought to Park City some of the finest eateries including:  Grappa, Wahso, Ghidottis, Chimayo, and Sushi Blue. “The Bakery“, as most residents refer to it, advertises “Breads, Pasties and Delectables”…  both sweet and savory.

bakery 5The Bakery is located at 1750 Iron Horse Drive.

bakery Collage 2There are always so many enticing pastries to choose from… the question is,which ones do we end up with? There were chocolate eclairs, beautifully arranged fruit tarts, pecan tarts, cupcakes, raspberry chocolate mini cakes, pear tarts, lemon bars and apple pies that looked heavenly. We knew before even entering The Bakery that we would be going home with their marvelous macarons (today’s flavors were pomegranate, brandy and raspberry)

bakery 10

bakery 7Yes, the apples seem to be bursting out of the pie shell of the “Mile High Apple Pie”.

019Here’s the talented Executive Pastry Chef, Stephanie Krizman, who created all of these delights. After she told us that she added maple to the pecan tarts, we knew we had to try them.

bakery 9These pecan tarts, with just a hint of real maple syrup, are just as good as they look! In fact, they may be my new favorite dessert – and a very good reason to go take another trip up to one of our favorite vacation spots. Park City has it all…  whether winter, spring, summer or fall!

bakery 3The macarons almost melt in your mouth – with just the perfect delicate crust! We were not the least bit sorry that we splurges on these little pleasures!

bakery 1

I’m getting hungry just writing this post… that’s just how good this bakery is!

So, the next time you happen to be in Park City, you must check out this wonderful bakery… perfect, after a day on Utah’s world class slopes!! Let me know what you think; I’d love to hear back and any comment is welcomed.