It's been quite the week. On Thursday night (actually Friday morning) we left at around 1am for Utah via Las Vegas. We drove on the new bridge at the Hoover Dam and then went back to the dam and walked around. There was a line because they were working on the barriers. I know 'cause we asked them. We saw a mountain goat that had made its way down into the land next to the river.
Then we did a trek down the Strip in Las Vegas. It looks quite
tawdry (shabby) in the daylight.
Without its sheen of glittery light the cracks and rough places show up like an old
We went to find my publishers so I could talk to them. We were going to
print with SUNRISE OVER SCIPIO but then they stopped it looking for another option. Anywho, because of rush hour we got
there ten minutes late and my editor was gone and we never could meet back up.
We had two missionary's stuff to take back to their parents's clear back
by the Oqquir Mtn Temple...an hour and a half back the other way. We got to the in-laws pretty late.
They're so patient and understanding.
The next am we watched Conference the first session and then raced over
to Salt Lake to see the second. Unfortunately we didn't have tickets and
had to watch it from the Tabernacle...the hard wooden seats behind a
pillar. But it was still cool. There's just something about being that close to truly great men. I loved the talks and can't wait to
re-experience them in the Ensign. It was surreal being that close to the
Prophet and Apostles, even though we were so far away that they looked
like they were on TV. The bummer was that when the guy spoke in his own Portuguese we only had subtitles and I couldn't take good notes. While we waited for the men to get out of their meeting, I met John Bytheway and one
of the actors for Saints and Soldiers 3 and another writer. Very cool.
The picture was great!
Monday am we took off for Idaho. We had lunch at Idaho Falls. Bit and I
fed the birds before we saw the don't feed the birds sign. Pretty fun.
Then we went and saw my dorm at Rexburg and saw the temple. We ended up
seeing 13 different temples this trip! We even saw the new Payson one.
We got to Yellowstone late in the afternoon and had just enough time to
set up camp and go for a walk before the sun went down. We saw lots of
kicking, charging bison and I think we heard a whole pack of wolves that night. I contemplated for a few minutes the terribly thin nature of those ripstop nylon walls of our tent. We also
saw a moose.
What I didn't see was the full eclipse. I was trying so hard to just get a half hour of sleep that I refused to open my eyes at 4:30 when it occurred. I think that was the half hour I got.
The next day we did Yellowstone. Mostly in the morning it was very
misty. I got some great pictures of the mist and steam, but not so good
pics of guysers until it warmed up and the steam abated. We saw Old Faithful blow twice. I hoped to see the one that's bigger than Old Faithful go off, but we weren't that lucky. We
saw all kinds of bubbly hot sulfur holes of all colors. I remembered
Morning Glory pool fondly as a gorgeous blue hole. Apparently people
dumped too many things in there and it lowered the temp of the water and
now it's no longer a gorgeous blue. Now it's a gorgeous blue-green and
red and yellow.
Mostly green. I loved the hike, though. No people but me and the Hubs charging along ahead of my puffing, gasping self.
On the way out we saw a huge grizzly bear heading off into the weeds
across the river. We also saw lots of elk and deer and a pretty little
fox right on the side of the road. We went up to the Grand Teton Nat'l.
park next. Wow those mountains were jagged and majestic! I loved them, especially the jagged-iness.
We got pizza in Jackson Hole and saw all kinds of elk. We passed a plethora of tiny less-than-200-people towns. But that part of Wyoming was
so much prettier with trees and mountains than the rest we saw before.
There is just something so post apocalyptic and dreary about a sere landscape full of nothing but calf-high sagebrush.
That night we spent with my in-laws (got there late) and then the next
morning we took off for Nevada and Lehman cave. It was a pretty cave.
The operative word being WAS. Most of the stalactites had been chopped
off. It was really sad. Apparently in the 20's they gave a stalactite to
anyone who could pull it off the ceiling. Some of them had new little
soda straws growing from the stubs. I think the Hubs and I knew more about the
geology than the ranger did. I kept anticipating her spiel with
questions. She told me I'd probably been there before and was amazed
when I said I hadn't.
On the way back to Utah and Richfield where my cousin lives, we stopped at the state line and the Boy and I stood
in two states at once and two different times. In other words, we were
Now I expect The Doctor to swipe me for a little Companion action momentarily.
We tried to make it to Cove Fort that evening but we missed a turn and
went to Oak city first. By the time we got there, the Fort was closed,
so we went to KFC and then to my cousin's. The next morning we went to Fish
Lake and saw the world's biggest living entity...a stand of aspens. They blazed with color. We bummed around a dilapidated lodge and I
dreamed of what it would be like to buy it and clean it up and have all
kinds of things there...reunions, SCA events, church camps, Boy Scout
events. Would be cool. While we were there, we saw a muskrat chugging
around in the marina. It was so cute.
On our way home, my cousin got a call saying that her youngest daughter had been hit with a baseball bat in P.E. She had to have stitches
in her chin and they were watching her for a concussion. We couldn't do
much, though, so we went to Cove Fort. It was a way cool little fort. My
aunt and uncle worked there until 2 weeks ago.
We just missed them. I'll show you the pictures when we get them off my
We went back to the cousin's to sleep and in the morning we went to see
Scipio where my book is set. I'm happy to say that most of what I wrote
was pretty spot on. We took a few pictures and then went to a glorious
little camp ground called Maple Grove. Talk about scarlets and golds and
all flaming colors in between!!! It'd be a great place to have a family
reunion, esp. in the fall. After that we took off for Richfield Walmart
and then home.
We saw AZ, NV, UT, MT, WY, and ID. We saw bubbly mud, spouting steam, and gorgeous sulfur pools. Giant aspen stands, gorgeous Victorian houses, tiny towns, ancient barns, and miles and miles of empty, waterless land, sky-ripping mountains, ranks of pines both of the pinion and fir types. There were horses, cattle, elk, deer, mountain goats, regular goats, bears, moose, bison, chipmunks (mini-bears), squirrels, muskrat, llamas, dogs, cats, and maybe wolves.
The trip back was a total fly-by. I had a good book on my kindle, so I read until nearly dark. Amazingly there was very little sleep-age, which is weird since road trips render me comatose. We hardly even stopped except to get gas, making it home
at around 7:45. It was pretty strange getting home before dinner time.
Pictures to come when I get them off my camera.
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