Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Eating bird poop is not good for you

This post has the above title because it's one of the things I told my grandchildren at Capital Reef National Park.  In this particular instance, 2-year-old Marshall wanted to lick a picnic table that -- no matter how many times I wiped it off -- was not going to be guano free.  
In other words, instead of full timing in our motor home, doing what we want when we want, we had the grandkids with us.  We started our with 4-year-old Mia, who traveled with us in the “school bus,” as she calls our rig, from SLC, to the park near Torrey, Utah.  Then our daughter, SIL and Marshall joined us a couple days later.

Capital Reef is in south central Utah in the middle of the beautiful red-rock country.  It’s full of cliffs, canyons, arches, monoliths, and other wonderful geologic features in a huge wrinkle of the earth called the Waterpocket Fold.  The canyon running through the park is green, lush and home to a Cottonwood-tree filled campground surrounded by pioneer-planted orchards.

We love Capital Reef.  It’s our favorite of Utah’s five national parks and it was fun to share it with our family. One of the rangers told us that at Capital Reef you feel as if you are part of the park, and not just peering into it.  We agree.

This was our tenth visit to Capital Reef. I hope we make it back there again soon.
Granddaughter Mia near Capital Reef's Fruita campground.  The campground has 71 spots (no water/electric/sewer at the sites, but there is a dump site and  water available) and was almost always full by late afternoon.
Mia and Grandpa walking from the campground to buy homemade pie for breakfast at the Gifford House -- a museum/store that was originally the home of a polygamous Mormon family.  The third residents of the house -- the Giffords -- lived there 41 years until they sold the house to the National Park Service in 1969.  
I took this photo from our rig. The tree to the left is a mulberry, and the deer obviously like the fruit. The folks in the fifth wheel are full-timers from Colorado Springs who loaned us sidewalk chalk and a ball from their stash of grandkid toys.
Mia on the Grand Wash Trail. Grand Wash is one of our two favorite Capital Reef hiking trails.
Ranger intern Cinnamin (who told us her parents named her for the Neil Young song "Cinnamon Girl) and Mia at Capital Reef's Ripple Rock Nature Center.  Cinnamin, who doesn't look much older than Mia in this photo,  did a presentation for kids on the ecosystem. Mia also saw presentations on the animals of Capital Reef and how mountains are formed.  
Horses near the campground.
A campground apple orchard.  The area near the campground has 2,700 fruit trees.  During fruit harvest you can pick as much as you can eat for free, or pay a fee and take some fruit with you.
RVs barely visible in the trees of the Fruita Campground.
Marshall on the Capital Reef's Grand Wash Trail.
Mia, SIL Shad, Marshall and daughter Ashley on the Grand Wash Trail.
Mia follows her dad up a crack in the rocks on the Cohab Canyon Trail.  This is another of our favorite hikes with a trail head right across the road from the campground. The trail starts out steep, then turns a corner into a breath taking canyon. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What we've been up to

We're in Salt Lake City on a road-trip-hiatus.  Our daughter, SIL, and two grand children live in our house while we are on the road, and all six of us live here when we are home in Salt Lake. Jim and my days are filled with doing whatever we want/need, and our evenings are somewhat chaotic (well, more chaotic than we are used to) with two small kids in the house.

We've done a lot since we got back to Salt Lake one month ago today, including meeting up with friends and "field trips" with the grand kids -- like Mia's and my day-long excursion to the brand new Salt Lake Aquarium followed by the 3-D Lego movie.

We've taken our two cars (our tow car plus a car we leave in SLC while on the road) and our rig in for check ups and gotten a lot of work done -- transmissions flushes, brake jobs, etc.  The vehicles should be in good shape mechanically when we get back on the road.  We also ordered a new window blind for our rig, as the one near the dinette finally broke and we're not of the mind or patience to re-string it. And Jim got a Direct TV satellite set up for the rig that he'll be experimenting with very soon.

On Sunday, daughter Ashley, SIL Shad, our two grand children and I marched in the local Pride parade.  Good friend Debbie is manager of the Salt Lake City Library (the most beautiful building in SLC -- get a peek at it here) and asked if we wanted to march in the library's entry.  We said sure! Ash and Shad pushed Mia and Marshall in their stroller as we walked the probably mile-and-a-half parade route.  I hadn't been in a parade since Memorial Day 1969 when I marched from my high school to a cemetery while playing my trombone. 
When we first got back to SLC, we had peacocks in our yard.  The peacocks moved on, but now we have baby grosbeaks just feet away from our back door.
Another event since we've been home was SIL Shad receiving his Master in Public Health. From L to R:  Daughter, Ashley, Marshall and Shad.
Mia on her field trip day with Grandma.
A photo I took while walking in the Salt Lake City Pride parade.  I could not believe how many people were cheering along the sidelines.  Amazing.  I heard there were 150 entries in the parade, but the one bad thing about being in the parade is that you don't see many other entries.
My friend, Debbie, who manages the Salt Lake City Main Library, me, fellow marcher/book group member Sue, and Sue's mom.  
Marshall and Mia with one of the signs Mia and her mom carried at the Pride parade.  Another library sign read "This parade brought to you by the letters L, G, B and T." Music from a library van played "Reading Rainbow."