Posts Tagged ‘utah state parks’

If travel is like love, it is in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” – Pico Iyer, “Why We Travel.”

A view of Steinaker Reservoir through the trees on an early morning hike. — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day Five

            Today’s drive down Highway 40 from Jordanelle State Park to Vernal was one I’d driven quite a few times before. The fact is there are very few roads in Utah that I haven’t driven.

As usual, Pepper is waiting for me to catch up with her. My daily walks with my now nine-month old Scotty-mix puppy help keep this wondering/wandering old broad healthy.

I lived in the state for 25 years, and many were the times an itchy foot would attack me early on a Saturday morning. I would throw a few things in my car, gather up my canine traveling companion, and take off for the weekend. The road was always calling to me as far back as I can remember. After a divorce and after my children had fled the nest, I started answering it back every chance I could.

Highway 40 might haven taken me to Heber, where I might ride the Heber Creeper to Bridal Veil Falls; or to Rockport State Park, where I might set up my tent for the weekend; or to Flaming Gorge, where if I had timed it right, I might watch ospreys feed their chicks.

Highway 40 held the key to many of my memories. There was the tiny town of Myton, which recalled my float trips down the Green River and the rough, unpaved road trip back from the Sand Wash take out to Myton, where civilization began again.

Just past Roosevelt, I thought of the fancy Bottle Hollow Lodge, which I discovered no longer existed. The tourist attraction was a joint business project in the 1970s between the Ute Indians and Utah State University’s Extension Services.

I was working as a writer for USU at the time, and wrote about the venture as part of a marketing campaign. I recalled sleeping one night in the huge round beds that were the standard in the motel’s unique round rooms.

Up the road from where Bottle Hollow had been, there was a neon-lit motel, a bare step above a Motel 6, that now provided passersby overnight accommodations. I was glad I wasn’t stopping there.

I ended my day instead at Steinaker State Park, located just seven miles up Highway 191 from Vernal. It was my virgin visit to the park – and it was awesome.

Book Report: Travels with Maggie, 49,387 words.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day. Bean’s Pat: 23 Thorns http://23thorns.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/frog/ Ribbit. A long blog, but I loved it. I was hooked when the writer began to explain why his family wasn’t like other families.

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            “Coexistence: What the farmer does with the turkey – until Thanksgiving”

The view of Lake Jordanelle out my RV window. — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day Four Continued

The zoom lens on my new Canon Power Shot was a plus in capturing this view of wild turkeys at Lake Jordanelle. — Photo by Pat Bean

             I only drove 77 miles today, but then I only have to drive 75 miles a day to meet my goal of getting back to Texas in time for Thanksgiving.

That gives me plenty of time to start my day by writing, taking a hike with Pepper and then dawdling along the way, stopping to enjoy things like Devil’s Slide up Weber Canyon, the fall colors in the mountains and, of course the birds.

It was a good day for bird-watching. I saw ravens, crows, turkey vultures, a red-breasted nuthatch, magpies, house sparrow, belted kingfishers, great blue heron, a western tanager, kestrels, European starlings, barn swallows and house finches.

It was also a plus that my canine traveling companion, Pepper, was distracted elsewhere when I spotted the turkeys. — Photo by Pat Bean

I even got to see some wild turkeys at Lake Jornanelle State Park, where Pepper and I spent the night. Thankfully, I saw them while Pepper was sniffing a hole in the other direction and was able to snap off a couple of photos before we got closer.

The turkeys disappeared into the bushes as soon as they saw us.

Book Report: Travels with Maggie is now up to 48,803 words. I had time to do more but smelling the flowers got in the way. I no longer flagellate myself for letting that happen. Perhaps it’s because I know that I have more life behind me than ahead of me, and while writing is important to me, it’s not the only thing in my life.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day

Bean’s Pat:  Wales’ Castles http://tinyurl.com/8exuruo From the era of King Edward, An armchair-traveler’s special.

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