Hello old friend. Even with good intentions to continue, I haven’t touched this blog in two years. It’s now been three years since my trip to Kenya. I sometimes miss writing, but haven’t been able to push myself to blog or journal hardly at all in those three years. I now live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jared and I are now married. I am over halfway through my first year of teaching. So, so much has changed. I think I want to give this thing another shot, as a way of documenting and reflecting and processing life post-college, as well as a way to share our adventures here in Utah.
So let’s start with an easy one. This past weekend, Jared and I hit up our 3rd Utah national park: Bryce Canyon National Park. We saw nothing… literally! The whole weekend was overcast and damp. Bryce Canyon sits at an elevation of over 7,000 feet, and was foggy and snowy the whole time. We saw about 10 feet in any direction, and saw white and trees. Not exactly the majestic landscapes and wild panoramas we were expecting! But we had fun nonetheless.
We stayed at Bryce Canyon Villas, in the town of Cannonville. Cannonville is inside Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, so the views were pretty great outside the door. We enjoyed the luxuries of cable TV, a gas fireplace, and a grill. We arrived on Friday around 7pm, and realized hardly any businesses were open for the season. Dinner was excellent pizza from The Pizza Place in nearby Tropic, double thumbs up. Saturday we tried to go into the park, but it was pretty pointless. There was not much to see. So after burgers at Ruby’s Inn Cowboy Bar and Grill, we went driving to see what other adventures we could find.
First we found a little roadside hike to a cave and a waterfall. I’ve never been a desert person. However, the desert of Utah has proved me wrong, I’m a little smitten with the beauty of the desert! The colors and the juxtaposition of water, rock, and plants makes a beauty I wouldn’t have imagined. The red rock-pillar formations, called hoodoos, are what makes Bryce Canyon area famous. They’re formed primary from a mix of stone types and weathering. Though I can’t testify about the hoodoos in Bryce itself, the ones we did see were still impressive.
We continued down into the valley, driving throughout Grand Staircase. We found a dirt road, and took it through ranch land, old abandoned buildings, dry riverbeds, and sketchy muddy slopes. We even saw a pair of bald eagles. We then made our way to Kodachrome State Park to get a little hiking in. We choose a short trail over red, muddy paths and stream beds, through rock formations, and into a couple box canyons.
Sunday we debated trying to snowshoe in the park before going home, but I was feeling less adventurous after so much cloudy, wet weather. Also, the night before we were woke up by a cacophony of sirens and horns that lasted several minutes. Turns out, the local girls basketball team had just won state, and the valley was celebrating. So, after a lazy morning and brunch back at the Cowboy Grill, we started to head back north. We took a dirt road through Red Canyon, stopping at the mouth of another box canyon to explore a dry riverbed full of every color of rocks. We got to see some real hoodoos here, and the sun even came out a bit. The history lover in me also requested a stop at the Cove Fort. It was fort commissioned by the Mormon Church for about 20 years in the late 19th century. The fort is/was located at the crossroads of the stagecoach lines, railroad lines, and at the heart of Indian country. Though it never saw any action, it was a prominent stopping point for travelers from the north, as well as a communication center. We got a tour from a very personable Mormon missionary, as the church still maintains the fort today. Then we continued the drive through wide valleys, passing tall mountains and rock formations, and lots of sage brush and cows back to the city and our kitty. A good weekend indeed.
As I attempt to get back into blogging I will work on catching up with life and reflecting on all that’s coming with adulthood. So far, I like being out of college. I love my job, love my classroom and school, and love my kids…. Most days of course. Jared and I have been married for over 7 months, and its been wonderful to finally truly be together and learn how to love each other more and ourselves less. Utah is treating us mostly well. I love the mountains and all of the wild landscapes we get to interact with throughout the state. I do not love Salt Lake City. I will always be a small town girl! We pray about our future and know this is where we need to be right now. I’ll refer back to my default favorite chapter of the Bible in closing:
1 I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
3 He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
5 The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.