Posts Tagged ‘Utah’

Hey, wait a minute…..

I haven’t mentioned the wildlife yet. For a long time on the road I was wondering whether or not any wildlife existed anymore. I finally came upon a smattering of it in Utah.
Here’s what really made my heart smile at Zion! (Sorry for all you people who know it’s wrong and want to argue with me about how it’s wrong. I know it’s wrong. But tell me, how can something that is wrong feel soooo right?) I fed a wild animal right out of my hand!! Just like my childhood hero, Grizzly Adams, I felt a true connection with the beast. Like our souls were on the same level, when no one else on earth has been able to fully understand me. It wasn’t easy, we both had to work through our issues with distrust. And now, I’ll never forget my little buddy. I miss him already.

We met while we were at a designated picnic area in the park. Word spread and then this guy came over with some friends.

These little monkeys were so cute (that’s right, I said monkeys), I decided to bring them home with me. They fit nicely in the car and they are behaved enough, they don’t distract me too much while I’m driving.

And last, but certainly not least, the beast that used to rule the grasslands. The beast whose numbers were decimated down to a mere 200 head in just 15 years time. This beauty of a beast.

He’s real cool. They call him “wild”, but he’s fenced into a pasture and he rolls right up to the fence line to get his water while 30 humans gawk. Then he turns to stroll back to his herd real stately like. But I feel like he’s saying something smart-ass under his breath as he goes. Don’t you?

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We left Bryce Canyon and moved on towards Zion National Park, which is virtually around the bend. Just when you think you’ve really seen the most beautiful thing, Utah gives you Zion and you can’t decide which is better. Bryce is delicate and more detailed, like lace. Zion is bigger, the palette is softer, and the rock formations look like tufts of flakey pastries, while Bryce’s “hoodoos” are more like a million red-orange candles dripping with wax. These pictures don’t really show what I’m talking about. You could see all the thin layers of rock formed one on top of the other, like a phylo dough.

Here’s the tunnel we drove through on the way in:

So, guess where I am? You’ll never guess. Not ever. I was in Moses Lake, Washington yesterday, which is in central Washington. That’s where we went from Seattle to see the rodeo. That is the little town where Mycol’s great grandfather lives and hosts a family reunion every year in conjunction with the local fair and “Rodeo Round-up”. I am still, obviously, trying to catch up on my blog. Dammit. I think today is Sunday, right? And we had planned on being in Montana tonight. But for reasons that I will not get into just yet my mother and I left Moses Lake and headed BACK WEST again!!!! An hour and a half WEST, AGAIN. For Mycol, so that he could spend an extra day with his dad and his aunt. She and her husband and mother-in-law have a “cabin” near Roslyn, Washington. Get out your maps and figure it out. It’s right off of I-90, the highway that runs from one end of Washington to the other through the middle. I’ll posts pictures and stories later, but for now let’s talk about what came after Zion.
From Pittsburgh to Zion was a wonderfully paced trip. Beautiful country. Lots of fun. After Zion, well, things changed. It didn’t happen all at once. First, we had to travel through miles and miles and miles of this:

It wasn’t the first time I’d thought it (I thought it back in Nebraska), but I thought, “What if we were space travelers, and this car was our space exploring vehicle, and this planet was unknown prior to our exploration, and this is what we’d see and report on.” The desert is one of several places that make you notice that the earth is a planet. Catch my drift?
And then, suddenly, the space explorers come upon a crossroads where there is still nothing for miles and miles other than the three buildings on three of the four corners of the crossroads. Two gas stations, one bigger than the other, each with a gift shop and port-o-johns, and some other building. You’d think we’d find out what the other building was, but we were taken aback by the aliens. This one rolled up on us out of nowhere and started trying to mate. He said he was from Illinois where he grows corn and soy and he pulled this tiny alien over to show us and called it his “boy” and said he was looking for a new mommy and maybe a new baby brother soon after. He asked us if we was “Latino” and said he’s got a BRICK house back home with plenty of room for us and if’n we’d like to come for a visit just give him a holler and he’ll send a plane ticket promptly. He was the spittin’ image of my hen-pecked uncle Chuck, so we figured we’d better report on him. ‘Specially when he give us his business card and it read Charles Hunt. Coincidence? I think not.

We parted ways with Charles and headed for Vegas. Here is a sign that Las Vegas lies ahead:

Those things are used to power these things:

And here’s my lucky lady trying her hand with lady luck:

She couldn’t resist, but she didn’t win anything other than 3 extra plays, or something like that. She still finds money on the ground everywhere we go, though.
Stay tuned

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Day 6

Just to let you know, I am posting this post from Seattle. Here I sit in Erica’s back yard on an early (not so early) Seattle Saturday morning. She has a lovely place to stay here and Mummy and I are very comfortable. The house she is sitting looks so much like something out of Domino magazine I had to take pictures of every square foot of it. I’ll use the pictures to inspire my own remodeling project back east.
Day 6 on the road…..well, my notebook is in the car, but that was the day we visited the national parks in Utah. Bryce and Zion. On the way there, we stopped at Big Rock Candy Mountain, which I’m sure was one of the songs from O Brother, Where Art Thou, and we stopped to purchase some things. Now, when my brother Rock, and his wife Luvy, went on his honeymoon in California he made friends with some bears. He’s so good at making friends. When I saw this bear at Big Rock Candy Mountain, I asked him if he knew my brother. He said he’d heard of him and asked if he could have his picture taken with me so that he could say he’d met Rock’s sister. How could I say no?

So, let me tell you, Great Sand Dunes seemed like a protected jewel. There were hardly any other cars on the road to the entrance of that park and when we got there, although there were other people, tourists and campers, comparatively there were very few.
As you approach Bryce and Zion the fanfare surrounding them was a bit unsettling. I wondered if I was entering an amusement park rather than a national park. Billboards advertising gift shops, museums, trail-riding horse camps, RV camp sites, hotels and motels and resorts, ATV adventure companies, etc., lined the entrance road to Bryce. We drove on in, parked in the lot for Sunrise Point, and walked out a short distance through the pines to the ridge. And then…….and then……..and then tears came to my eyes as this emerged before me

Words can’t describe it.
On the other hand, there ARE words to describe people who walk around with bright yellow plastic bags on their heads.

Remember that bold little birdie that tried to beat my car across the road? Well, at a gas station before Bryce while checking my oil I noticed that it’s carcass had fallen from the place where it was wedged below my hood down into a space in front of the radiator. I was concerned that it’s body would rot there, creating an odor that would be somewhat unpleasant. So I wanted it out of my car. So in the lot at Sunrise Point, Bryce Canyon, I decided we’d better find a good stick to knock the dead birdie out of there. Mummy said, “I’m your man.” And she was.

Well, folks. That’s it for now. Stay tuned for a continuation of Day 6 on the road with “The Three Santooches”.

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Day 5

Okay, I know you won’t believe it, but I’ve been experiencing technical difficulties. Yes, technically, it’s been exhausting to try and post in the evening after a fun-filled day of vacation. Also, exhausting after a day filled with driving to our next destination. It’s Sunday now, our 10th actual day on the road, but I’ve only caught you up to day 4. So here is my attempt to get on with day 5 in an effort (which will continue when possible) to get everyone up to date. If you care.
So, we reluctantly left the Great Sand Dunes and I didn’t think anything could be better. I was so happy to have “discovered” them. There weren’t too many people there at all. It was peaceful. My original plan was to do a 4 mile hike there up to the Medano Lake, which was pictured in my NG guide. Unfortunately, the road that led to the trailhead had been washed out by the storm that took out the power at the Travel On Inn the night before. The rangers said that the road wouldn’t be back in use until Friday or Saturday, which was too late in the week for us to consider staying. So I guess I’ll have to get back there someday and do it. As we left the park we looked all around us and admired Mother Nature’s work.

Okay, okay. So there are a lot of you out there who thought you’d never hear from me again. Like, I’m so lazy I gave up the blog altogether. Or, I’ve crashed and died and will never be seen on earth again. Or, I’ve died and gone to heaven out here in the west and will never return. Any which way, you are all wrong. I just have a lot to catch up on. Have I been at all repetitive yet?
So, we’ve seen prairies, sand dunes, mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, and deserts. Songs that keep repeating themselves in my head (I can’t help it and I don’t know why) are: Bohemian Rhapsody!!!????, Oklahoma! from Oklahoma! (“we know we belong to the land, and the land we belong to is grand”), and Beverly Hills by Weezer. I swear, I’ve listened to some music on the way, and none of these songs represents what I’ve been listening to, or even really what I love, but still, they are on auto-replay.
Here’s what the prairies look like in Colorado peppered with livestock:

Here’s a letter on the side of a hill in Gunnison, Colorado. It’s for you, Aaron:

We finally made it to Utah on day 5. We pulled into tiny Salina, Utah. Rhymes with vagina. This town is about 30 miles from the mining accident in Utah. Salina is big on coal mining. Just like back home. It’s a real neat little dusty town with one blinking red and yellow light at the only intersection. I really like these towns. It was almost as cool as Plattsmouth and Mitchell, Nebraska.
Anyway, we checked into our room before heading out for pizza. Hey, Aaron, check out our room key!

We went for pizza after I checked out some cowboy boots in the western outfitters store. Still haven’t found the right ones! But that’s okay, I still have Wyoming and South Dakota to hit up!
Next door to the pizza joint was the Big Beep Bar and since I hadn’t had a nice cold beer since I left home I thought it was about time. The Big Beep Bar is across the street from this:

And two doors down from this:

This is the Big Beep Bar:

Granted it was a Tuesday at about 6 pm, but we were the ONLY people in there.

I let Mummy taste my Squatter’s Wheat beer ’cause it was light and refreshing. The bartender told me it’s locally brewed. Hey, his name is Mudsy and he was locally brewed in Indiana, Pa. No kidding. Then his parents moved him out to Salina when he was 14. Here he is:

Stay tuned for Day 6! If I can remember how that day went!

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