Jabberwocky for 2003 August 16 (entry 0)

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: I'm back from Utah but have spent the last three days basically crashed in bed. Here is the report on my trip to Utah. Leonard, Rachel and I got up really early last Friday morning and drove straight through without incident. It's so fun to have older kids who can share the driving--it's almost worth the agony of teaching them to drive. (Actually, I didn't teach Rachel to drive; Ruth Davis did. I didn't have what it takes to do it again with a third child.) We got to Provo around dinnertime and stayed with the newlyweds in their little off-campus apartment. It was rather bare, but clean and in good repair--a nice place for a first home. Rachel slept on a featherbed on the living room floor and Leonard and I slept on a pull out couch bed.

Saturday morning we went to visit the North American Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. I really like this museum and this was my third visit, but I wanted Leonard to see it. I shot a roll of film of my kids there, the highlight of which was the picture of my son-in-law with the mural of the creation of the universe. We were very careful to note all the trilobite fossils because they figured into our plans later. After the museum we went to lunch at HickoryKist in Provo and then took naps--at least I did.

Late afternoon saw us traveling to Midvale for the reception. It was a busy afternoon getting all ready for the evening. I was worried that it was going to rain, but it didn't. The reception got interesting before it even started because the Delaneys showed up. They are people from our former ward who now live in Idaho; I was in the YW presidency with Cheryl and taught the girls in Primary. Susanna told an interesting story about her one and only experience toiletpapering--the Delaney's house. Brother Delaney came out and caught them and yelled at them and the girls all went home scared and crying. They didn't know he was only giving them a hard time.

The reception officially started and the people were lined up clear down the block. I never met so many neighbors, and such friendly people. It was a real ordeal standing there in that line, however. I worried about John's father's strength. I think it's better to just greet the guests individually, but was told that a line is the way they do it in Utah. Well. I think I'm safe from any more Utah receptions, so that's okay. I would have liked to have more time for a longer visit with Sheila from the Mollybluestocking list.

A highlight of the line was when Bob Denkers, an old friend from college, came through with one of his daughters. We also had a good number of relatives--not all we would have liked because being August they were on vacation, but quite a few.

The next day, Sunday, we went to church at the BYU married student ward. The young couples actually gave some of the best church talks I've heard in years. After church we went to a family dinner at my brother Jonathan's. All my sister's married children were there and we had a lovely visit. This is the last time in a while to see Dave and Alyson, as they are moving to Kansas to grad school. Aly said she would send me some ruby Birkenstocks that I could click and come see her.

In the morning we got up very early, Susanna and John went off to work, and we hit the highway. We travelled to Delta by way of the Tintic Mining District, where my great grandfather got his start (and his finish) as a miner. We took pictures of some of the most admirable timbering I've ever seen, still sturdy and solid after over a century.

In Delta, we checked into the Best Western and then went larking off down a nowhere road to try to find the trilobite fossils. The map we had printed off from the internet looked a lot more thorough to a person sitting at home in California than it was trying to navigate the desert with its hundreds of nameless and mismatched road. Eventually we made our way from the two-lane highway to the Road of Doom and from there to the quarry. It's funny that I've been driving around in a 4WD vehicle for two years now and this is the first chance I've had to use it.

It was darn hot. We got to the quarry and spent the afternoon breaking rocks with a hammer. It got hotter. We found many, many trilobites and this was extremely exciting, but boy was it hot. We had read also that there is a geocache in the area,and we looked for it, but not having a GPS we didn't find it. Eventually, we loaded up all the rocks we could carry and returned to Delta via The Road of Doom. We ate dinner at a place called The China Inn in Delta--to be highly recommended, and run by real Chinese people.

In the morning, we visisted the Deseret Industries store, where we bought a book called "How to Write a Story and Other Essays" by Mark Twain for $.50. Then we went cross country--not on a Road of Doom, but rather a Road of Inconvenient Travel--to I-70, which we took to US 89. I was kicking myself that I didn't bring the blueprint of the house my grandfather designed and built in Panguitch so we could find it. We paid a visit to Big Rock Candy Mountain and then continued south to Glendale, where we paid a visit to old friends, Kingsley and Mimi Nelson. Dinner and catching up.

We got up well before dawn and headed home. I drove through Zion Canyon in the dark--an absolutely magnificient experience with the full moon shining of the rock faces and Mars closer than it has been for 50,000 years. Especially surreal were the views of the formations in the half-light, framed by the window cutouts of the big tunnel. These tunnels and highway are sentimental to our family because my grandfather built them.

Out of the canyon, we found they are widening the highway and widening and reparing the Hurricane Bridge, but they have had the good grace to have preserved Grandpa's supporting towers. I don't know about the original railing--last time I was through there, maybe three years ago--the concrete wasn't in such good shape, so it was good to see the bridge getting some attention.

Through St. George, Las Vegas, home without stopping, except for breakfast at the Denny's in Mojave.


© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.