Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Relaxing up one side and down the other in Utah.
Ah! Mrs Philocrites and I vacationed this summer with a truckload of relatives who had gathered from the four corners of the continent to my parents' home in Orem, Utah, "Family City USA." Then the two of us scooted off to Southern Utah for several days of high-speed site-seeing.
Worth mentioning about our Orem visit: It's a lot harder now to get tickets to the Timpanogos Cave than it was when I was a kid, so we scratched that outing. The dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point is a lot of fun with kids. (I now have six nieces and nephews, all adorable. The youngest even has red hair!) Formerly sleepy Lehi, Utah, may become the home to an 85-acre mixed-use development designed by Frank Gehry, which simply blows my mind. Mormon family pictures gulp down vast quantities of time; perhaps the LDS slogan should be: "Family Pictures Can Be Forever." And the (new to me) BYU Museum of Art has a rather nice American art collection; Mrs P and I are new fans of the work of Maynard Dixon and Mahonri Young.
During our four-day excursion through Southern Utah, we visited the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Arches, plus a handful of towns my ancestors helped settle in San Juan County. (Okay, the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley are in Arizona.) I can't claim it was the sort of vacation where you slow down, get back to nature, and get reacquainted with the stars, but it was very nice all the same. I did pick up a wonderful book about paying careful attention to nature, however: Ellen Meloy's Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild.
What makes a road trip especially fun? The audiobook version of The Two Towers! We had started listening to The Fellowship of the Ring during an early summer drive through Vermont, when the scenery greatly enhanced our appreciation of the Shire. And now Frodo and Sam's trek into Mordor is tied up with my mental picture of the barren 100-mile stretch of I-70 west of Moab. I wonder where to drive while listening to the final book?
A fine vacation, but not nearly as relaxing as last year's week beside a Finnish lake. Final note: The French seem to have discovered southeastern Utah in a big way; the motels where we stayed in Bluff and Moab were heavily populated with French families. We marveled at how far they had come.
Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 14 August 2007 at 10:05 PM