Spring Break 2008 Day 4

Good evening to all…

Before I begin, you must know I am writing from home. The wind, the very cold and blustery wind, blew us home this morning. We woke early expecting the temperature to warm up and the wind to calm down, but it was not meant to be. Even the trailer hoses were frozen. Luckily we had left the water heater running all night and the warm water opened the cold water pipes. We considered all of our options and rather than hike in the wind and blowing sand for the third day…we cleaned the trailer, packed up, and headed north on Highway 89.

I haven’t driven on Hwy 89 for many years. It is still just a two-lane highway that runs up a long valley. I don’t believe we traversed any high mountain along the way, except when we hit I-70 and headed to Salina. Hwy 89 is a comfortable road to take when you want to take the road less traveled.

I tell this part of our story for Emily and Jared. Many thoughts of them filled my heart as we traveled from Salina to Manti and Ephraim. I remember the year or two they lived in those little towns attending Snow College, finding out who they were and are, and how a town fell in love with them. I remember them in wranglers and boots and very large belt buckles. I even remember a time with the little “shits” and Miles at Palisades State Park. I was surprised to see how the towns have changed. Manti is looking a bit more “touristy” and their favorite restaurant is out of business. Ephraim is growing with several new subdivisions along the mountainside. I guess nothing stays the same for long.

The drive home was wonderful—in warmed up as we headed north and the wind stopped howling. And, it is always good to come home.

Wednesday was unexpectedly cold. We ate breakfast consisting of bacon and eggs, fruit and juice. We had planned on driving Hwy 12 all the way to Boulder and possibly on to Capital Reef National Park. It was a good day to hike less and drive more.

Across the street from the KOA is a beautiful field of alfalfa and their sprinklers were already watering the new little plants. They had been watering for days and we watched the farmer move the heavy metal pipes and wheels by hand from one place to another. On this morning, there was ice on the ground where the spray was blown by the wind and the large metal wheels were covered in white ice and looked frozen in place. The ice never melted that day. The ice-covered wheels where in the same place, unmoved, when we go home that evening.

On our drive, we stopped at a place called the Koffee Kiva. This little place sits on an outcropping of red sandstone overlooking the Escalante River. We ordered a Mocha and sat in the sun looking out the window into the narrow river valley below. The table had an old map under glass to look at and it was fun to point out all of the places we’ve been in our past lives with children, the places we have been to together and the places we hope to visit.

We drove on over the famous “Hogs Back” and made our way to Boulder. There we stopped at the Anasazi Indian ruins. I always wish I’d remember what I learned at other Native American sites. I think I learn something more at each site I visit, but I also think conflicting information is given. We found that to be true when we visited South Dakota. Everyplace we went there was a different story about Custer and who killed whom where and when.

We drove on to Capital Reef National Park. We drove through a lot of snow and blowing snow on our return to Boulder. It was a great drive and we’re planning a trip back to Capital Reef. Torrey, Utah is on our list of places to consider moving to.

Back in Boulder, we decided, upon recommendation, to eat at Hell’s Backbone Grill. It was a fabulous experience. The owners of the restaurant are students of Buddhism and cooked gourmet meals on the Colorado River for rafters before buying the grill and moving to Boulder. They knew they would have their hands full moving to a Mormon community that didn’t very often accept “outsiders.” Somehow, in peace and love, worked with the tight knit community and have been accepted. Their food is based on what the community can provide. They grow many of their own vegetables, buy locally raised beef, the only fish they serve is Trout as it is farmed in Loa (a nearby town), and other vegetables, herbs, and eggs are provided by other townspeople. We bought their cookbook, which tells their story and includes many recipes. The introduction is written by Terry Tempest Williams and is titled “Prayer Flags in the Desert.” I love it!! I could go on and on about how I feel about that sentence. You may remember how much I love the prayer bundles in the trees at the sacred Native American site at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

The title of the book is “With a Measure of Grace.” Let me quote from the book—“For many people, grace conjures up elegance, style, composure. To us, grace is an ethic as well, a central element of thoughtful, responsible daily interaction.” I was impressed with this place, these people, and their beliefs. I hope to live the rest of my life “with a measure of grace.” (Chris and Sara—you would love Boulder, Utah and Hell’s Backbone Grill!)

It is late now! And it has been a long day. But before I go, all of you must know how much you are loved by me. My life would not be what it is without each and every one of you. You have “graced” my life and I am richer for having brought you into this world, having raised you with the very best of intentions, loved you with all my heart, and I adore you and your children as you face the life you now create. Peace be unto you!

Love to you,

Mom and Danna


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