I got "home" (a.k.a., back to San Francisco) from Climate Ride late Tuesday night, and I drove off for Utah first thing Thursday morning -- talk about a quick turnaround!
I agreed to help out at a Bed and Breakfast south of Provo, in a town called Spring City, Utah. I'll be helping cook breakfast, and otherwise tend to the inn. I couldn't think of any reason to say no when I was asked to help out -- should be another adventure!
After repacking the car, I got on the road, intent to make it to the Nevada/Utah state line before stopping for the night.
The drive across Nevada is relatively boring, except for Donner Lake. Now that's a pretty little spot! It makes me wanna see Tahoe, too! (I feel like they're similar?)
I made it just over the state line into Wendover, Utah, last night, which meant I was able to wake up ass-early to check out the Bonneville Salt Flats at sunrise.
Well, I missed sunrise EXACTLY, but the light this morning was still really beautiful. And I was the only one out there!
I didn't venture too far, because I was a little nervous being by myself, but I saw enough to see how much potential this place had. I wished I'd had someone with me to take pictures of! I felt like that beautiful light was being wasted.
Definitely a unique spot. What a space. I'd love to come back.
When I arrived at the B&B yesterday, I jumped straight to work. Phyllis, the owner, gave me a quick tour of the house, and I helped her make a couple of beds and clean up the kitchen. She had four groups of people arriving later to spend the night. Talk about a time crunch!
We got everything done, though, and this morning we set to work making breakfast for only five people, since one of the parties was going elsewhere for breakfast.
With the help of her friend Pam, Phyllis and I made:
a tofu scramble (for some vegetarians in the group!)
toast with butter and jam
I was fortunate enough to arrive on the weekend Spring City has its annual historic homes tour.
After making breakfast for the guests, I headed down to Main Street to buy a ticket for the walking tour.
There were about 20 homes and shops on the tour. The houses were really unique and beautiful. Most of them had the most gorgeous wood floors!
I also went into a couple of art galleries, and also the workshop of a man named Jock Jones who makes hand-crafted Windsor chairs. Now THAT was cool. He's old-school, using all hand tools to make the most beautiful chairs, benches, and stools.
While I was in town for the historic homes tour, I saw they were doing a live recording of a local weekly radio show at 6:30 p.m. Tickets were $10, so I bought one.
I've always kind of wanted to go to a live taping of a radio show, so I was really excited about it!
It was really similar to "A Prairie Home Companion" -- Spring City's show is called "Life Under the Horseshoe," and it's drama, stories, and music. Really clever and professional.
They apparently use (and alter) stories that locals send in, so you can email them with a story about your family, or something interesting that has happened in the area, and the writers may include it (or a version of it) in a future show -- pretty fun!
The sound guy was hilarious, too. During the drama skit, someone was supposed to shoot a gun. After a couple of vigorous attempts to shoot the toy gun the sound guy had, he realized it wasn't working, so he just shouted "BANG!" -- and everyone in the room completely lost it. The actors, the host, the audience, the sound guy himself -- we were all dying. It was hilarious!
I ventured out to Maple Canyon this afternoon to see what all the fuss was about.
It's pretty cool.
There are a ton of climbing areas and a pretty short hike up to a vista point for us non-climbing folks. Definitely a unique landscape -- the rock is called "conglomerate," and apparently it's heaven for climbers!
After Sunday climbing, Jason and I went to the Mexican restaurant in Mt. Pleasant -- it was my third visit here, AND the only restaurant I've been to since arriving at the B&B! The menu is big, they serve breakfast all day (can you say "huevos rancheros"?), and it's pretty good. No regrets, haha!
The sun sets really late here -- it's still not totally dark by 9:30, which is sometimes when I try to go to bed. Jason and I saw a nice gradient sunset after leaving the restaurant tonight.
I still marvel at the sky here. It's immense and often dramatic and almost always interesting. There is a wonderful quality to the light. I haven't spent this much time in such a natural setting in a while, so I'm really soaking it up.
Last night, my very good friend from DC and her mom stopped over at the B&B. My friend, Merideth, needed to finally get her car from DC to SF, where she just moved, so she and her mom are taking a week to drive it over. And they stopped to see ME along the way!
They got in late-ish, but we stayed up a bit anyway so they could tell me some of the highlights from their drive so far -- like almost running out of gas in the middle-of-nowhere east Colorado.
I'll be back at Merideth's place in SF in a couple of weeks, but it was fun to see her here in Utah, too! I'll be here at the B&B for another week, then I'm off to explore Arches NP for a few days before heading back to the west coast.
We woke up EARLY (like, 4:15 a.m. early) to make it out into Arches for sunrise.
It was worth it.
(Hint: Sunrise is always worth it.)
There was a group of four people who'd just beaten us to the parking lot when we arrived, but no one else showed up until a MASSIVE tour bus pulled in about eight minutes before the sun came up over the horizon. It seemed to be mostly older folks, with their tripods and adventure vests, and since they were all chatting and making noise, it ruined the serenity of the sunrise moment a bit.
On our way out to the park for sunrise, we'd scarfed some fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and a Clif bar each, but we were ready for second breakfast as we drove back through Moab.
We each got a smoothie here, and I had the huevos rancheros, which was pretty good but had a LOT of beans and a LOT of cilantro on it. They have some unique smoothie flavors -- one of the ones we ordered had cinnamon in it!
For sunset, we drove out to Canyonlands, and damn.
Such epicness has not been seen before by mine eyes.
The photos really don't show the scale. I was in awe. Everyone needs to see something like this every once in a while -- to remind us how small we really are; how much we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. How grand our planet is. How constant change is, and how short our lives are compared to the life of Earth.
It was another early morning, and this time we had about a mile hike to get to Delicate Arch before sunrise.
It's a pretty steady uphill -- really steady once you start climbing the rock slab -- and a little exhausting first thing in the morning with headlamps, but it's worth it.
This arch is definitely a cool one, and I was happy to see it in the prettiest light of the day. I think sunset could also be pretty rad here, but I'll have to save that for next time.
Hiking down after the sun was up gave me a newfound appreciation for waking up at 4 a.m. -- at 7:45 a.m. it was already pretty hot, and the sun was right in the faces of everyone who was making the climb up. The light was getting harsh.
Like I said, getting up for sunrise is ALWAYS worth it!
Leaving Utah was a bit sad -- I'll miss the landscape! -- but I'm excited to continue with my adventures, and especially excited to get back to San Francisco, see my old friends, and spend time with some new friends!