Monday, October 18, 2010

Maiden Voyage of New Camper

We recently bought a small used travel trailer so we could do some sightseeing and camping together; so we took it out for the first time to visit DUP (Daughters of the Utah Pioneers) museums in small Southern Utah Towns near where we live in St. George.  Here I am in front of the Panguitch City DUP Museum.  Built in the 1890's, it contained an amazing collection of pioneer artifacts collected from this area; such as, old tools, kitchen utensils, clothing, furniture, photos, and written histories.  The building itself is a historic Bishop's Storehouse of the Mormon Church in this area.  It stored donated commodities for distribution to local needs.

Our Ford pickup which is 17 years old now and in really good shape, did a good job of pulling the little trailer.  We enjoyed the conveniences of our little house on wheels with hot water, toilet, shower, kitchen, dinette, forced air heat, and air conditioning.  It has two beds in the main body and two fold out beds at each end.  We were snug as two bugs in a rug--even when the temperature was below freezing in the mountains at the Duck Creek campground near Cedar Breaks.  We are planning to do more camping this fall before the colorful leaves are gone from the trees.

 These pictures don't really do justice to the true colors of these rocks.  They were bright orangey-pink in color.  We traveled through the Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon, the towns of Tropic, Cannonville, and Henrieville on the way to Escalante where we camped in the Petrified Forest State Campground.  We enjoyed hiking a two mile trail to view the surrounding mesas and plateaus of the Grand Staircase area and to see the amazing petrified logs and pieces of wood produced over millions of years of geologic history.  This fascinates me.  I appreciate God's creations.

 This old storefront has been preserved in the town of Escalante and brings back images of the old west style architecture I have seen in old western movies so many times.

The DUP restored this old Mormon Church Tithing Office.  It is now a DUP museum.  It was closed; so we'll try to return another time to see inside.  It is constructed out of hand-made adobe bricks, a common building material in this area in the late 19th century.

This is a restored log cabin typical of the first pioneer dwellings constructed in this area.  I want to paint a picture of it sometime.
 While camped at the Petrified Forest Campground in Escalante, we took a drive way up into the mountains on a road named "Hell's Backbone".  It was aptly named with the winding hairpin curves and steep cliffs on a washboarded road.  The scariest part was a very narrow single-lane bridge connecting two narrow promintories which dropped off on both sides about 1200 feet.  I had to close my eyes to avoid a panic attack!

This is a good view from our hike near the campground in Escalante of the 11,000 foot Aquarius Plateau.  The distant cliffs on the plateau were brilliant pink in color.

We hope to return to this amazing scenery for further exploration.  What a great trip.  Fun, fun, fun!

On Site Painting of Navajo Lake

On our return trip from Escalante on our little trailer's maiden voyage, we stopped at this lovely lake near the Duck Creek campground where we stayed the previous night.   I had Chuck park the trailer on the road at the end of the long reservoir, called Navajo Lake.  While he waited in the cab of the truck listening to radio talk shows and napping, I sat in the trailer at the dinette table looking out the window which perfectly framed this lovely Fall scenery.  It took me about two hours to complete.  I am out of practice doing water color.  I have to really be inspired to work up enough energy and discipline to paint these days.  I guess I just need to plan on a regular time to do it and avoid letting things get in the way of that time.  I truly love to paint landscapes.  It releases tension and stress and is quite enjoyable, once I settle down and just do it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thankfulness for Medical Technology

On Oct. 4, my brother who is age 68 underwent multiple bypass heart surgery in a hospital in Christ Church, New Zealand.  It was successful and he is now recovering in the cardiac unit anticipating to return home next weekend.  He had five bypasses performed during this surgery.  It was his first heart procedure.    Angina pain alerted him to the problem and he promptly sought medical help for it.  To me this is a tremendous miracle of modern medical technology.   I am so thankful for the ability we have to extend life  and improve its quality through medical advances that have been made in recent years.

Campaigning for a Candidate

Today my husband and I went out into our neighborhood to campaign for a candidate who we hope will unseat the incumbent Democratic Senator in our congressional district.  He is young, energetic, courageous, and knowledgeable.  He is an attorney who has served in our state legislature.   He recently served as vice-chairman of the Republican Party.  He is a fiscal conservative and a constitutionalist.  I was impressed with him when he came and spoke to our local precinct meeting.  Our congressional district is very large geographically, extending from East Salt Lake City down south to Iron and Washington County where we live.  He took the time to visit with us in our little town of Ivins and convinced many of us that he would be honest and reliable in representing us in the US Congress.

We knocked on doors, talked to people and handed out brochures.  This is the first time we have become politically active in our lives.  We have become more and more disillusioned with the path our country has taken in our lifetimes, and are worried about our grandchildren's futures.  We feel it is time for a return to traditional conservative values and beliefs, especially those freedoms guaranteed by our constitution.  Unfortunately our candidate does not come from a well-known family with lots of private funding as is the case with the incumbent.   Nevertheless, we want to do our part to stand up for what we believe at this time.  Just for the record, his name is MORGAN PHILPOT.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October General Conference 2010

My husband and I traveled from Southern Utah to Provo and Highland to join two of our daughters and their husbands in a journey to Salt Lake City to attend Sunday afternoon session of General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  We had a wonderful time and had our spirits uplifted by the messages we received from our church leaders.   It was heart warming to be with our family members to enjoy sharing these events together.  The weather was bright, sunny, and clear; so when we drove over the hill behind the Draper Temple, we could see the entire Salt Lake Valley stretching as far as we could see in all directions with  the Great Salt Lake stretched into the horizon with the big city's skyline  in  front of the lake and mountains.  What a sight!  We were able to park conveniently and get into the huge conference center where thousands of church members congregated.  It was awesome to join with everyone singing the hymns of Zion together and to hear the Tabernacle Choir sing their chosen hymns. Each speaker presented a carefully considered talk on topics each considered important for people to hear at this time.  I took notes in my notebook so I could review the points that stood out to me later on.  One of our daughters used her Blackberry cell phone to take these pictures which she e-mailed to me.  We used our cell phones several times as we maneuvered from waiting line to our seats and guided our husbands from the parking garage to where we were seated.  What a convenience it was to have cell phones.  Of course, we turned them off before the meeting started.  Everyone reverently stood up as the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors entered the Hall and took their seats.  A hush fell over the crowd in anticipation for what was about to occur as the session began.  I felt well rewarded for coming.