Friday, May 27, 2011

We Made It to Utah!

We left this morning at 5:14 a.m...just 14 minutes later than we wanted to leave.  I thought that was pretty good!  We'd dropped Dog off at the kennel yesterday so that made it possible for us to leave even earlier than we'd originally planned.  The sunrise was incredible...
We cruised up the road, using the new 303 highway all the way to the 17.  That was really fast!  We jumped on the 17 and luckily there wasn't much holiday traffic yet....just a big onion truck and a few other vehicles.
 This sign always makes me wonder why the road is called Bloody Basin.  It CAN'T be good....(LOVE the dirty window - NOT! - it really impedes the pictures!)
We motored on up to Flagstaff, having made good time.  But, then we wanted to stop for a quick bite to eat.  We missed the exit to the nearest Arby's so we ended up continuing on through town, which ended up adding an extra 30 minutes to our drive by the time we got our food at a Jack in the Box instead. 

I took lots of pictures of the beautiful red rocks on our way north....the shapes and colors always fascinate me...
 As we were driving along, I saw this jet con-trail.  It was really strange that it suddenly turned like this.  I wondered why...
There are tons of these little roadside stands along the way.  The Navajos sell homemade jewelry and such from these.
At one point, we came to a stop for about 10 or 15 minutes while we waited for the pilot car to take us through this construction zone. 
Soon we were on our way again and I looked up in the sky and saw this...two jets flying a little too close for my comfort.  In reality, they were probably a couple of miles apart both horizontally and vertically, but from my perspective, they were super close to each other! 
 Another rock structure with a huge crevice...
While we were driving along, I looked up at this set of rocks and noticed something that looked like Dog's face, so I just had to take a picture!  But, later when I looked at the picture again, I just couldn't see it...bummer! 
It was pretty soon that we were headed up the side of the rocks toward the plateau that drops back down into Page and Lake's a windy road on the side of the mountain...kinda scary... 
It always amazes me that when this road was built, they cut huge portions out of the rock so people could drive through and get to the top of the mountain.
Before we knew it, we were in Page where we stopped to get gas.  We weren't there very long and soon we were on our way again.  We headed toward Lake Powell...
I grabbed this picture of the Utah state sign as we crossed from Arizona to Utah.  I always like to take a picture of the state sign as we cross over into a new state.  After I took this one, I realized that I could have taken one with my cell phone camera too and posted it real time to the blog.  So, I told Melon Man to go back...
 He said, "No way!  I'm not turning around.  That's two miles back!"  So, he didn't.  Oh well.  I got this one instead and it was better anyway.

We continued on up the road and soon came to Orderville.  EVERY TIME we go through Orderville, Melon Man points out to me that Orderville was the last place that the law of the United Order was practiced.  He was going to actually make a sign to hold up stating such and stand next to the Orderville sign for a picture, but he never did, so a picture of the Orderville sign only will have to do for this trip.
As we continued north, it wasn't too long before we saw this mountain with snow on it.  It's been a long winter in Utah this year.  There's still snow on most of the mountains! 
And, because of all the late snow, there is quite a bit of flooding going on right now.  The Sevier River was hauling butt and had overflowed its banks in a lot of places.
 I don't recall where it was that I caught this picture, but the blossoms were just incredible.  So beautiful!
We had decided to go to Richfield on this trip to put flowers on Mom's grave for her birthday and Memorial Day.  So, on our way, we passed through Junction.  We saw the old Ipson homestead and had to stop to take pictures.  It was kind of sad...the grasses and weeds were overgrown, the plastic sheeting on the doors and windows had gotten brittle and broken, the paint was peeling, and the chimney was breaking apart.  It really made me think about 1) who would take care of this property now that Aunt Mary was gone and Aunt Viola just can't do it herself, and 2) will this house eventually deteriorate and look like the pioneer homes of 150 years ago?
There have been so many good memories in this home.  I remember sleeping out on the enclosed porch.  I love the bear claw tub.  Who can forget the taco beds? 
I love the detailing on this house.  I love that back then, they marked the home with the year the house was built. 
I love the old shed off to the side.  I don't recall ever going out into that shed.  I wonder what's in there! 
Look at this sad chimney.  Some day it will just crumble.

We headed back onto the main road and made our way toward Richfield.  We got to the cemetery and there were already a lot of flowers on many of the graves.  Melon Man had bought a big permanent type of bouquet that mounts onto the headstone.  It was really pretty and looked like something that I would have picked out.  Thank you, honey.  Ya done good.
I went to put it on Mom's headstone, but the wind was blowing so hard that I knew it probably wouldn't stay there very long. So, I moved it to the vase on the right.
We even picked up a plant for grandma and grandpa Hurdsman's graves.
I spent a good long time talking to my mom.  I sobbed while I talked to her...a lot.  I miss her so much.  I wish she was still here with us.  But, she's not...and that hurts.

We soon left and got underway again.  As we got onto the freeway to head through Aurora and then on to Scipio, I could see Molly's Nipple off in the distance.  I never knew it was called that until Mr. Spock's dad called it that.  Ever since then, that's what I've called it.  It's just a little plateau on the top of the mountain near "the property" but it's a landmark to us.  It doesn't look like much from this far away, but when you get closer, it's more pronounced.
Once we got past Scipio and onto I-15, we were on our way.  It wasn't too long and we were in Utah county.  We called Jenn and she invited us for dinner.  We were so glad to be able to spend a few hours with her and her family.  It was difficult seeing Taylor all puffy and chemo-kiddish.  I tried to be strong, but as I hugged him, I lost it and just cried.  It was hard seeing him like this.  This was the first time since finding out that he has cancer that I was able to hug him.  I didn't want to stop. 

Dinner was ready so we sat down and ate.  She had made a very yummy chicken casserole, salad, and of course, fresh rolls.  She always amazes me how she can just throw a dinner together so quick and even makes a huge pan of rolls from scratch!  I can't do that.  I am just not the domesticated one like she is.  The casserole was so good, I could have easily eaten half the pan, but, of course, I didn't.  I'll have to get the recipe from her!

It was about 9:30 p.m. when we left.  Peanut had left me a message on my cell phone about wanting to go get ice cream so we called Kevin's house to see if they were still up to it.  It was quite late, but we agreed to meet at "Sub-Zero", an ice-cream place.  The store is owned by some friends of Kev and Jodi's.  These are Jodi and Peanut's ice creams - watermelon and M&Ms for Peanut and banana for Jodi.
Peanut loves to go there! She loves watching the nitrogen clouds flow out from the mixing area.
She was so cute...she did her sign language version of the Pledge of Allegiance for us...
 When the ice cream store closed at 11, we parted ways and left to go check into our hotel room finally.  We stayed at the Staybridge Suites in West Valley.  Our room was beautiful.  It had a nice little kitchen, a living room, and a large bedroom and bath area.  I think we'll stay there again in the future!
Soon it was nighty-night time!  It had been a long day and tomorrow promised to be the same!

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