Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Greener Pastures

I generally blog here now.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I'll keep this adventure short and sweet because that's all it ever was.


Lee and I both have season passes to Lagoon (park of amusement). We've been there twice together. It's creepy for oh so many reasons.

1. We are both kind of seedy looking guys.
2. We are the oldest human beings at Lagoon without child accompaniment.
3. Lots of vaguely homosexual contact from two heterosexual men.
4. Teens girls realizing their sexuality in public with acne riddled boys wearing oversized black clothing.
5. The embarrassment of not being able to win one another a large stuffed animal.

Some rides require straddling. Take for instance the Jet Star II:

It's a great little coaster built in the 1970s for the price of $500,000.00. Lots of lateral g's and a double helix you could lose an arm on. However, every section of the car requires two riders.

I'm not small, and Lee is of a larger carriage than I. We've been through this twice and it doesn't seem to matter who goes in back or who sits up front. The two of us don't really fit. Ride operators generally stare working up the nerve to ask us to leave, but the give up after about five seconds of non-action.

Our best ride together, as a team, is probably the Tilt-a-Whirl.


Lagoon is a hard place to get a picture taken. Pictures aren't the objective. Lagoon is for fun. But I didn't tote my camera around, sealed safely in a zip-lock bag, in too tight jeans all day for nothing.

As we left I snapped a few more photographs.

Goodnight, Lagoon. Goodnight, blog.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mona, UT---Lavender Days

Sitting in front of a computer resizing pictures and formating blog entries is not an adventure, and since I've been trying to cram my remaining days before law school with as much adventure as possible, I haven't been around here much. Now law school is upon me, the adventures have been had, and hopefully I'll get at least three or four of those adventures up here before Jesus comes.

In the past three months or so I took approximately 700 photographs of various adventure. Big adventures in far off countries. Little adventures at local amusement spots. Many pictures. Many adventures.

So where to start?

To me there is no question about it: Lavender Days.

This was the quintessential adventure because it was all adventures rolled into one.

Lavender days can best be described as a small town fair, renaissance festival, old west shoot-out, bad high school play, and creepy multilevel marketing party all rolled into one.

Don't believe me? Behold!

We arrive at 12:00, just in time to catch the Wild West Shoot-Out. Now I don't know about you, but to me the ideal shoot-out should go a little like this:

Step One: Poker table gets thrown over.

Step Two: Guns are drawn and shooting ensues.

Step Three: All present join into the fight regardless of association.

Step Four (optional): Town drunk falls into trough of water.

Step Five: The black-vested, silver-starred sheriff picks off the last of the ne'er do wells, who happens to be standing in front of a second story window, or possibly on a balcony, and gracefully falls into a serendipitously placed hay wagon.

Unfortunately, what we witnessed was five minutes of poorly improvised generally escalating dialog followed by a single unimpressive cap burst. Repeat for 60 minutes.

I don't know why I didn't take any pictures of this. Probably because in still frame it would have looked like a normal gunfight, except the players were wearing Van Huessen shirts.

But we got bored, and two of my friends went to sit in a wagon that was slightly back stage. Made sense to me.

"Sitting in a wagon hardly constitutes adventure!" you say. I respond, "Hey, where did you ever sit that was so great?!?" Unless you've ridden a mechanical bull or a falling a-bomb, I don't want to hear it.

Besides, check out this Olde Barrel of Fune that I sat in!


Sitting isn't your thing? Lavender Days offers many options for the vertically inclined patron.

A woman, totally unbidden but not totally unwelcomed, started flogging me from behind.

She didn't quite have the vocabulary to be a convincing time traveler. When I tell her that the stocks aren't "that bad" she corrects me in haste.

"Aye, not at all! Sometimes ye wouldst be in the stocks for day, perhaps even a fortnight. Ladies and gentlemen would fill the olde towne square and wouldst pelt you with rotten produce, and perchance even spit upon thee."

Without thinking I say, "Sounds a lot like working in a cubicle."

It doesn't really sound like working in a cubicle, but it was still one of those jokes people laughed at, including this wench. She should have been more careful. I know the cubicle wasn't invented until after the industrial revolution and her cover is blown.

But suspension of disbelief isn't the only thing disappearing. Behold Erik the Red!

I think in that picture he had just summoned some children from the nether realm while his son stands confidently behind him.

Erik has a vaguely Scottish, Irish, Euro, Mr. & Mrs. Howell accent. It's not shared by anyone in the family. So apparently Erik immigrated from his homeland. He claims to be a gypsie, so his story checks out.

At one point he asks for some burly men from the audience. I don't swear, but darn this beard! I'm about to come toe to toe with one of my worst fears: being called into a magic show.

The trick is me and this other (fat) dude supposedly pull a rope "through" Erik. It was kind of a crappy trick. Without further ado, here are the photographs. Please notice me gagging after having to examine Erik's sweaty, gypsie vest.

Don't clap. Say huzzah! (Erik insists.)

After this, there is only one thing that would make me feel better.

A little peasant boy gives me a pig to kill. I don't think he thought I would destroy it. I felt bad when the blacksmith had to come and help pull the lifeless, stuffing knocked out, burlap animal off the end of my spear, but I had a lot of aggression to work out.

The End.

Monday, July 2, 2007


Hello! This is the very first blog post I have ever written, ever. Kind of an intimidating thought, that, but onward we go. I believe in Rip's theories about the beauty and necessity of taking in life off the freeways every now and again. My husband of 11 years, Ty, and I have been avid road trippers since we started dating. With the arrival of our daughter, Gabby, 2 years ago, our lives changed dramatically for the better, but there were a few casualties, the prevailing whimsicality of a road trip being one of them. Recently, we've decided to steal some of the whimsy back. "Recently" being "last weekend".

It had indeed been a while since we had been out on the open road. Ty came home from work around noon to find Gabby and I held hostage indoors by the brutal 112 degree heat. He said he did not have to work the next couple of days, and what did I think about going camping? I thought it was the best idea ever! We hurriedly packed and looked online for fire-permitted areas, and were on the road in under an hour.

Here she is, our little Camperoo.

Yes, she really is that cute almost all the time. And I'm totally not biased or anything.

Shortly, we began to encounter mountains. I should probably note at this point that with a few obvious exceptions, I took these photos from a moving vehicle, so bear with me. If you look closely, the rocks at the forefront bottom of this picture resemble a gorilla.

I am like a happy puppy on road trips. I put my tongue back in my mouth and my sunglasses on to try and look cool, but inside I was like this.

The 60, heading toward the White Mountains. Specifically, Greer. I had never been there ... had only heard tell tale of a wooded, be-cabined, nearly pristine place frequented almost entirely by nature and adventure lovers, and offering some of the loveliest non-primitive camping around. Since it's sort of not camping without a campfire, and campfires right now are only permitted in designated sites, we decided to go cush, not rough. But more on that in a bit.

On the way to Greer, we first passed through Miami and Globe. Miami might be a mining town, but they recycle.

The town of Miami has a certain metallic feel to it. Everywhere you look, there is something built out of metal. Living in a suburb, I guess I've gotten used to the prevalence of concrete. Metal ages so much differently than concrete. It rusts, it bends, rain sounds percussive falling on it. Given the choice of building materials, I think I'd take metal any day over concrete.

Here is one of the Miami mines, a copper mine, I believe.

Sometimes on road trips, I feel a kinship with my fellow travellers. Admittedly, it's not usually with the q-tips in the the big white Caddy going 15 under the speed limit; nor with the teens in their tricked out imports treating the switchbacks like a real-life video game. This vehicle seemed like my people. Look at it -- doesn't it just look happy? "Come follow me! Who knows where we'll end up?" And as our paths coincided for a stretch, follow we did.

Now I would like to present some vintage neon signage shots I took in the Miami-Globe area, and dedicate them to my friend and colleague, B, a noted aficionado of neon.

As the afternoon wore on, and the driving continued, our little Camperoo began to wilt a bit. Here she is zoning out on some Thomas the Tank Engine.

Afternoon turned the corner into dusk. As we approached Greer, and the sunlight began to fade, I tried my best to capture what I could of the scenery from the car.

At last we arrived in Greer, and not a moment too soon. Within minutes of this photo, we were in pitch darkness, and still not ensconced in a campsite.

And here, my friends, is where it all began to unravel. Every campsite in all three areas was occupied. This was not a total surprise; our whimsicality meant we got on the road later and other folks beat us to the punch. No big deal, campfires are fun, but not a necessity, so we decided to go primitive, which would also give us privacy. Ty knows the area quite well, and in no time we were at the turn-off ... and the road was closed.

After a bit of off-roading (which was a feat in itself in our low-profile vehicle), we came to a clearing in the woods. Under typical lighting conditions, it would have appeared as a vast patch of thick darkness amidst patchier pieces of tree-shaped darkness. That night, however, there was a full moon -- the brightest, clearest, quietest moon I may have ever seen. The area was empty of any trace of humanity, populated only by sweet-smelling pines, tall grasses, and a stillness that nearly broke my heart. It was already dark, and our campsite would keep. Ty stopped the car, turned off Gabby's movie, and we sat in silence and stared. This was peace, and my heart drank it up through my eyes. Looking back, we'd have happily driven hours more had we known those moments were waiting; but we didn't know, and there is something magical in that.

After setting up camp with the aid of the flashlight moon, we played with Gabby for hours, and still, she was nowhere near sleep, as evidenced by this photo, taken around 11pm.

It was so fun being outdoors with her, watching her romp, laugh and explore her nighttime playground. However, after we attempted to put her to bed, and she managed to climb out of her pack n' play a half dozen times, we realized we may have bitten off more than we could chew. Neither Ty nor I wanted to spend the weekend sleepless and exhausted; we desired to enjoy as much of it as possible. We weighed our options, deciding, at last, to wave the white flag, pack up, and decamp to my parent's home an hour away in Show Low. Part II of this adventure will pick up from there ...

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Hey readers, B here. I’m thrilled to be contributing to this blog and I wanted to get something up right away. These are some old pictures that I’ve never really done anything with. They were taken in 2003.

I’m writing this from memory, and though I could do some research I choose not to because I want this to go straight from my head to your hands. Because of this, there may be some geographic inaccuracies.

Let’s set the stage. During the Fall Semester of 2003 I had two classes, but about three hours of free time in between. I certainly wasn’t going to use those three hours studying, and there’s only so much time one can spend not buying CDs at Graywhale.

One of my favorite activities is Driving Around, so that became my tween-class pastime. I explored various canyons, and on a road that connected Emigration Canyon and Parley’s Canyon I found a nice spot overlooking a reservoir where I would park and eat lunch (sandwiches).

Eventually I started exploring further and further, following Emigration Canyon over to East Canyon. I was hesitant at first, like a young man making out with a girl for the first time, trying to see how much handsiness he could get away with.

Anyway, let’s break from the story to enjoy some fall colors.

One day I decided to go all the way, and I had a camera with me. Here’s the thing about East Canyon: it goes on and on and on and on. Over hills, ‘round curves, through the trees. In certain parts of East Canyon I get a weird feeling. I think there might be something sinister going on up there.

After a lot of driving the thick pine forest gives way to sand n’ sagebrush, a desolate area patrolled by dragons.

There’s a crossroads near the town of… Hennifer? It’s a nice area. Got itself some kind of stream, some algae filled ponds, a post office.

First, a left turn, where the spirit of locomotive industry lives on.

You come ‘roun these parts boy, you best be watchin’ yeh self. This here de Devil’s Slide.

That’s all there is to see to the left. Turning right at Hennifer yields a more interesting destination: Echo.

Named for the popular character from Lost, there doesn’t seem to be much of anything going on in Echo these days.

I’m surprised to see Echo surrounded by red rocks. I thought those lived solely to the Southern portion of the state.

Looks like the Modern Motel is the local hotspot.

I don’t go in because of the general spooky feeling emanating from the town. Seems like the kind of place where a hapless city slicker like me goes snooping around, only to run into a pack of Wolfpires.

“Hello? Anyone? What does it take to get some service around here? I just need OH NO I’M BEING ATTACKED BY HORRIBLE MONSTERS!!!”

I’m so worried about monster attacks that I decide to explore the abandoned church and the old cemetery.

Here’s some broken thing, if you need it.

I decide to put my childish fears aside and visit the Echo Café.

As soon as I enter my fears are re-established. The place is dusty, dark, and abandoned. The only noise comes from a single ceiling fan, spinning too slowly to do any good. A magazine rack holds the wrinkled pages of a random selection of decade-old magazines. Finally an old guy emerges from the back. I order a Coke.

“Forty-two degrees in Coalville last night,” he says in an out-of-place New England accent. I nod politely.

“Supposed to be even colder tonight.”

I say, "Shut up old man" and leave with my Coke.

The end.