Sunday, September 29, 2013

Looking for Color in All the Wrong Seasons

Fall here has been a sad affair.  The past summer was so hot and dry, and snowfall last year so light, that all the leaves have gone straight to brown this year, trees stressed far beyond any ability to produce the reds, yellows and oranges I so love.  It has left me hungry for color. So I have gone looking for it in all the wrong seasons, namely spring, and found it, in this photo of the Soapstone basin.

Barely an hour and a half from our house, and only 20 minutes from Park City, in a good, wet year this place is a magical carpet of flowery color, easily accessible by car.  It may be all of the color I get for a while, as winter seems poised to come.   Not sure how much of this man-made global warming thing I believe, and think maybe global cooling could be worse (Ice Age, anyone?), but I will be praying for snow, snow, snow, from this point until about next May.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why Bountiful Is Best

I may have posted these before, I can't recall, but thought I would just say that I love living where I do. A two minute drive from my house gives you these, which reminds me on a regular basis that God exists and really likes us quite a bit. Lucky us.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Shakespeare 2013

We headed to Cedar City last weekend for a quick (down on Friday, back late Sunday) trip to catch the closing weekend at the Shakespeare Festival.  Our treat this year was King John, one of the history plays that is hard to catch live anywhere, on Friday night, and then Love's Labor Lost and the Tempest on Saturday.  

We arrived in the city just in time to eat dinner and then head straight to the play. In true Shakespeare fashion, it deals with deeper themes, such as legitimacy and how the lack of it creates insecurities, resulting in decisions of precarious consequence.  How can you not love such stuff? I for one do love the Festival. The plays bring all that eloquence to life in such a real and humorous way, and I admire the dedication of the actors and their tremendous skill at something so difficult. Such a treat to have it in this beautiful part of our state. 

The boys, not being Shakespeare aficionados at this point, didn't go to any of the plays, but happily, the Festival has a daycare facility set up in a house across the street, ready for all ages with PlayStations, TV's, family friendly movies, and tons of toys, and good secure sign in and out systems.  We picked them up after King John, and carried them off to the Crystal Inn, which I believe is the nicest place to stay in Cedar City (and I am not just saying that because the CEO of my company owns it, really I am not.)  As we drove up, I explained to my kids who Crystal was (my "boss") and that she and her husband owned the hotel.  When we walked into the family suite, which had a large screen TV and two couch beds, Keegan exclaimed, "Wow, this place is awesome!"

Later, he said, "Dad, I would like to meet your boss one day." 

"Why do you want to do that, Keegan?" 

"Oh, just to see what she's like, and to tell her I like her hotels."  

Then he walked off with his brother, and I overheard him saying, "Alden, Dad's boss owns this place, and she's a GIRL!"  I laughed so hard. 

It has rained down south a lot over the last few weeks, and Saturday was no exception--overcast and cold, with rain threatening.  If you think that would deter Keegan from swimming in the outdoor pool at 9:30 am, and dragging his not-as-enthusiastic-as-he-should-have-been father along with him, you would be VERY wrong.  That kid is a fish. I was too cold to get a non-blurry picture, so I'll have to leave it to your imagination. 

It rained during the afternoon and evening performances, and I learned that you want row G or higher in their Globe mock up theater, so you can stay out of the rain. In some way, though, it just added to the middle ages feel of the thing, and became part of the experience. Kate loved both plays, but the Tempest was the clear winner over Love's Labor Lost (as it should have been).

The rain also made for beautiful driving on Sunday.  We first headed out to the west desert, a place called Parowan gap, to see some of the 5000 ancient (and some not so ancient) pictographs carved there. Here are a few pics:

Some are thousands of years old, others maybe not so much, and the debate rages as to which is which, but it is an impressive place nonetheless.

(Keegan insisted on the photo of the lizard.)  Afterwards, we drove the 143 to Brianhead, where Kathleen and I honeymooned all those years ago.  Along the way we took a side road up to Yankee Meadows, a beautiful place at the top of an amazing side canyon. The rain was coming down in sheets, too much for photography, but the next time we are back in Cedar we may head here for some day hiking up out of the usual heat.  We headed over to Cedar Breaks National monument, and caught just enough of a break in the rain to head out to the main overlook. Here are some pics:

One of the nice benefits of rain is that it brings out so much of the color. We had only a few moments before the rain closed in again, and obscured the view.

From there we headed over to Bryce, so we could visit my niece, Taylor, who was working at Ruby's Inn over the weekend. She and her husband are juggling school in Cedar City at SUU, working up at Bryce over the weekend, and managing a new baby, Titan born shortly after Ryan and Hannie's baby Darrell, (Dare). They are scrambled but seem to be holding it together pretty well. Very proud of them and all their hard work.

The other side benefit was that we drove beautiful Red Canyon, the entrance to Bryce from the west. We found out what it looks like when it rains in the desert, that is for sure. Here are the pics:

 From there, we drove over to Antimony, on a splendid two lane back road that runs along a high plateau near Bryce. It yielded the picture that opened this post, and will make for a great bike ride the next time we visit the National Park.  Here is a closing photo from that road, much like the opening one, but so pretty I thought it worth posting.

Three Shakespeare plays, swimming outside in the rain, 5000 year old Petroglyphs, a national monument, Red Canyon, a visit with my niece, and traveling down a backroad we had never seen before, and which was beautiful. Not bad for a quick weekend!