A few photos lending local color to a few places we have passed through.
Afton, WY, just across the Idaho border, on the way to Yellowstone. I had gone inside to mail a bill after rejecting Howard's suggestion that I use the drop box outside. It's those old postal affiliations that draw me in, and with what was I rewarded? A glimpse of how Afton sees itself in the grand scheme of things.
Afton - Idaho - The Rest of the World
North of Afton on the way to Smoot, these creatures made from discarded metal tools and machines appeared. Road art at its finest. We zoomed by before I had a chance to get a shot, so looked out for them as we retraced our path back to Salt Lake City from Yellowston on our way to Mesa Verde.
These benches lined the main road of Montpelier, ID. They are in Bear County, just northwest of Bear Lake. Charming, very charming indeed.
Just south of Montpelier, ID, on the way to Salt Lake City, sits this abandoned church. whose fate is reflected in the wuthering skies.
Hyacinth, where are you?
Please come to my desert boo-fay with riparian entertainments.
Saguaro National Park outside Tucson, AZ
July 26, 2010
Today we are on the road to Yellowstone, after having driven over 400 miles yesterday from Bryce to a small town in southern Idaho. For the first time ever, we pulled up stakes at our campground just minutes after checking in. We could have stood not being able to use the swimming pool or waterslide, and waiting until Monday morning to do our laundry – those activities were shut down because it was Sunday and Mormons observe the Sabbath more astutely than most of the world – but the final straw broke the threshold of forebearance when the shower machine ate up 2 quarters and still refused to release its refreshing bounty. So off we zoomed to a secular KOA, where our campsite was beside a babbling brook – a truly idyllic spot. (I gazed and gazed but little thought what wealth to me the brook had brought. (Apologies to Willy Wordsworth) I await the vacant and pensive moods on my couch.
That very retrospection, I keep telling the children, will serve them well as they think back on this summer of 2010, because they sometimes grow weary of the life on the road.
Speaking of retrospection, let me go back a few days. San Diego was “a vacation from the vacation” as the boys put it. We stayed on the 9th floor of the former Bachelor Officer Quarters on the Amphibious Base in Coronado – wow, what a view! The boys had a room to themselves (vacation enough right there) looked out over the bay, and the rest of us enjoyed the Pacific and Point Loma. That location was great for me because it lies smack dab in the middle of one of my favorite running routes, so I was out every morning reveling in the memories (the pungent smell of kelp included) that sprang up as I revisited those old stomping grounds. There was not enough time to do everything we would have liked (but that is the case everywhere), but we caught up with a few old friends and neighbors, visited Sea World and Legoland, and spent an afternoon at Balboa Park. My memories of San Diego are inextricably tied to my life with the children from ages 3-7 for Maryrose, 5-9 for the boys, and 13-17 for Andrew so that this visit gave me a few pangs of nostalgia for what used to be.
Maryrose was suffering from a sore throat and generally not feeling up to snuff in San Diego, but she didn’t let that get in her way when it came to L.A. and going to Knott’s Berry Farm with Howard to get her dose of wild rides and rollercoasters. That evening we visited Howard’s west coast aunt, cousins, and extended family, before heading out the next day for Death Valley and Las Vegas. I have nurtured a perverse desire to see how hot hot is, so here was our chance, but I will admit that I was having second thoughts about the prudence of such a venture, especially after our pop-up had a flat, and Howard was forced to labor under the scorching sun to change the tire. It was hot in Tucson, it was hot in Yuma, but it was fearsome in Death Valley, where there was no escape from the remorseless sun and where the remoteness could easily vanquish the unprepared traveler. There was a newspaper article posted in the visitor center from August 2009 about a woman who got lost in Death Valley in her car with her young son and a dachshund. Her navigational system misled her and by the time she was discovered, her son had died. There were plenty of other nuts out there where we were, but there was a definite angst level. I will say that there is no way none of us would have been out there without air conditioned cars. Next time, I’ll go in the winter. Coming up – Las Vegas & Yellowstone, les grands Tetons, and Salt Lake City.