My family and I spent this past week in Utah for our annual “Talbot Family Reunion”. It’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember and something I look forward to every summer. We have a huge family that was traditionally raised Mormon – although a lot of them, including myself, have developed our own set of personal beliefs over the years. Regardless, we all love and respect each other just the same and when we get together, we have endless chaotic fun.
This year we spent a day at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum located on BYU campus, which is home to over 2 million specimen of reptiles, birds, mammals, fish, & plants. They even have a little two-headed snake and a Liger! My grandma used to take me there when I was little, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it played a huge part in developing my deep interest and love for nature. I nerd out hard whenever I visit that place.
We also went for a family hike 1.5 miles up Mt. Timpanogos to take a guided tour through three elaborate caves systems decorated with helictites (spiraling rocks), stalagmites, and stalactites. These stunning features still continue to slowly grow and twist to this day. Which means that thousands of years from now the cave will look very different from what it looks like today. This, to me, is a beautiful reminder that the Earth, and all of her features such as rocks and mountains, that we often don’t acknowledge as living things are actually alive in their own way – and we should always treat them with the respect they deserve. The park also offers an Introduction to Caving tour which takes you off the paved trail and along Hansen Cave Lake. I would really like to try it sometime during my next trip. Please visit the Timpanogos Cave National Monument website for information on times and to make reservations.
The whole family spent a day at Lagoon as well, which was an absolute blast. Towards the end of the day it started pouring rain and literally half of the park left. But not us. We ran around the park screaming like crazy people, riding Wicked and every other roller coaster repeatedly. By the time the park closed, we were completely soaked. Later that night some of the older cousins went to see the midnight premiere of Transformers: Age Of Extinction, and I do not recommend it. They made absolutely no effort to tie it into the first three movies.  It was 3 hours of explosions and pure nonsense. I actually fell asleep towards the end, no joke.
Before it was time for my family to head back home, everyone met up at Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, where we celebrated a few summer birthdays and of course looked at all the beautiful animals. It feels like this reunion went by way too fast, and I’m already excited for next year.
At the moment we are back in Boise re-cooperating, before heading out on our next adventure this Wednesday!