There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label crazylegs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crazylegs. Show all posts

27 May 2017

The Lantern Festival

The sun was setting in the Utah desert, clouds filling up with shades of pink and orange as we slowly made our way out to the Lantern Festival.

We find a spot and lay out our blankets, then read the instructions to get our lanterns ready. The creative processes of my nieces and nephew flow as they decorate their lanterns in their own unique style.

Cbug draws mushrooms, Flooey does a self portrait, and crazylegs fills her lantern with a million flowers.

I write a note to lost loved ones, and welcome any alien life that may come upon my message.
Cbug excitedly asks if he can light them with the lighter. I can tell that his parents don't usually let him play with fire, but I'm the uncle.

He is thrilled, as any young boy would be.

The night sky becomes an ocean of wishes as the lanterns slowly rise.
It's the most magical experience we've encountered together as our wishes are sent out into the universe.

25 December 2016

Family Christmas 2016

2017 will mark the ten year anniversary of this little blog of my life, thoughts and adventures. Many different events have been shared over that time, but looking back at the times with my family are probably my most favorite.

As I travel back home for Christmas this year, I recall past holidays...
My 2015 Christmas was full of melancholy as I was moving to Arizona a couple of months later.  Christmas Eve 2012 was the night before I left on Christmas morning to Prague. 2010 was the year I made a time capsule for my newest niece Flooey.  My post in 2009 was all about trying to reconcile sadness of the past with hope of the future.

This Christmas Eve I was at my brother's house, and I talked the family into watching "Christmas Vacation", as the kids had never seen it before. The scene where Sparky gets trapped in the attic and ends up watching old Christmas movies touched me deeply, as it reminded me of how important it is to capture and remember these moments of time.
Before you know it, years have passed by. So I make another treasured video to remember 2016.

Merry Christmas.

21 November 2016

family reunions unveil the passing of time

We stop our card playing to soak in the beauty of a double rainbow. The Aunts and Uncles tell stories to the younger kids as the storm clouds pass overhead. I smile at the passing of time.
It's our family reunion up at the Fruitland cabin. As night rolls in, we get the fire going and make our version of smores. Starburst and gummy bears if you please.
Playing on the water, almost breaking my back on the tubes with my buddies. My time for tubing is quickly passing.
I sleep in the same room as the little ones, we tell stories late into the night before cuddling up together.

I feel safe, warm and loved.
I expect more family members will pass away before the next reunion, but new additions will also join the fold. Until my time comes, I will continue to document the journey, unveiling the passing of time.

24 October 2016

The South Rim

"Is it really one of the seven wonders of the World?"

"It depends upon who you ask, but I'll let you see it with your own eyes, then you can tell me what you think...."
As we step off the train from Williams, glimpses of the South Rim can be seen through the brush oak and pines. It's June, and the Arizona heat is beating down like a lunatic oven. Indian flute music is being played in the distance, and the notes bounce off the canyon walls and follow the Colorado river down stream.
We stop at the vista overlooks, and drink in the beauty in silence. Cbug tries to mirror his father and uncle with his own camera skills, crazylegs makes fun of selfies, Emily is making sure none of us fall off the edge.
I stop asking them if they are having a good time, as they are too young. Instead I will write here about how much I love and miss them. One day perhaps, they will find this post, laugh at the photos, click play on the video, and relive our times together at one of the seven wonders of the world.

08 October 2016

Comin' to your city

Sports teams.

One of the great things I love about having a team you support is that you'll never lose them, no matter where your life takes you.

As long as you are loyal.
I catch the early flight on game day from Phoenix to the SLC, jump on the light rail train at the airport, and eventually find myself back at the University of Utah stadium.

The tailgating crew greets me with open arms and warm hugs. We enjoy wildcat burgers and brews, laughs and memories while waiting for game time.

We ended up with our homecoming game win over those pesky Wildcats.

Go Utes!

06 October 2016

Grand Canyon Railway

We started the morning in a makeshift Western town, complete with gun slinging cowboys and horse apples. It was just past eight am and the temperature was already approaching 85 degrees.
The train whistle blew, and the familiar "All Board" call bellowed across the station. Tickets in hand, we boarded the Kokopelli car, settled into our seats with breakfast from the dining car, then felt the lurch as the wheels started to roll.

The Grand Canyon Railway train adventure was underway.
After waving to the locals as we pulled out of town, past the prairie dogs and the last remaining buildings of Williams, we settled into views of the expansive open plateau.

Listening to some history from the conductor for a few, then the singing cowboys showed up...and things got interesting.
Cbug got himself fully immersed in the show, dancing and singing wildly up and down the aisle. The whole train car was busting up in laughter.

We heard classic tunes from Johnny Cash and John Denver. It felt like we were going back in time the further the train went, and no one was complaining.
We even ran into some unruly characters that robbed us (in good spirits). I haven't seen such happy faces on my brother's family like that for awhile.

Which made the entire experience worthwhile. As "Country Road" was sung by everyone on the train car as we were coming home, I closed my eyes and thought of you.
John Denver was your favorite singer, and whenever I hear him, I know that you are probably close by, just above my head, smiling down from the heavens.

Your spirit was closer to us on this day I think.

14 September 2016

Love Shack Jenga

I sit in the splendor of the Fruitland highlands and wonder if I've ever truly left....
The cabin stays the same, the scenery hasn't changed, the people I love are all here.

Maybe I'm just in a dream, and need to be submersed in a tub of ice cold water to snap me out of my entrapment.

Yet everything I see here has shimmering around the edges, letting me know that I'm only making memories before returning back to my reality.
So I take full advantage of this time, long walks and talks with my two best friends, creating big smiles as Jenga blocks fall.
We ride along dirt roads as the sun sets, sit in comfortable silence around a roaring fire, play darts and tether ball to pass time during long and lazy afternoons.

I lip sync teen pop music hits in terrible fashion, but it makes us all laugh.
I love to roam back to the love shack cabin with these two.

31 August 2016

taking some time to fish

"Time spent fishing should not be deducted from one's life."

This saying is usually found on a bumper of an old pick up truck, or on a block of wood in a desk of one's attic.

Funny thing though, it's entirely true.
You can get so wrapped up in wanting to have that big adventure, the one that you think will change your life, that you don't realize how important, even necessary, time spent doing the little things that you enjoy are.
The amount of fish caught wasn't important.
Luckily, for me, I got plenty of the important stuff accomplished.

18 August 2016

The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel

After taking our time driving up from the Phoenix area, we finally pull into Williams, Arizona after a few hours. Tired and hungry, we find our home for the next couple of nights....


From the outside, it isn't all that impressive. Honestly, I was wondering if I'd made a big mistake. Yet once inside, you are immersed in the grand old splendor of the place.
The best part of staying here is having the train station that goes directly to the South Rim right behind the hotel. Train enthusiasts have old railway cars to explore.
We get checked in, then enjoy what the hotel has to offer ; a swimming pool and hot tub, a game room right out of the 1970's with Ms. Pacman and air hockey, vintage cars on the grounds outside, and just beautiful evening weather for cocktails whilst enjoying the sunset.
We are rested, refreshed, and ready to start a new adventure in the morning....

05 August 2016

Williams

It is the last town bypassed by Interstate 40, a relic of the old Route 66. A place of steam engine trains, cowboys and handle bar mustaches. A city seemingly stuck in an era of yesteryear, and not wanting or needing to change a thing.

Welcome to Williams.
Neon antiques litter the main street, along with vintage cars and Harley bikes. In the emptiness and quiet of morning, I walk along the train tracks with a owner less dog, together we try to get a feel for this town.

Smokey the bear greets us and a flood of childhood memories cause my eyes to well up in tears.
I try to explain to Cbug and crazylegs the history of the West as we walk together in the Arizona evening, but my attempt at a history lesson is lost in youthful boredom.
That's OK though, as I like to think the memories and conversations will stick with them subconsciously.

01 August 2016

Jerome

The time had finally arrived. A road trip with family up to Arizona's most infamous site, and one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

But I digress, first stop was breakfast at The Henhouse for some pancakes.
After hardly making a dent in the enormous flapjack, we jumped on the interstate and started our journey northward, first stop Jerome.

This little town perched on the top of the Mingus mountains and overlooking the Verde Valley was a good place to find all kinds of treasures made by local artists from the materials found in the mountainside.
Our favorite find was undoubtedly the kaleidoscope store. Imaginations ran wild as we turned the various knobs, creating all kinds of interesting formations and colors.
Cbug and I found a pottery and glass blowing workshop behind one of the stores, and sat in quiet wonderment as the gentleman told stories of growing up in Jerome as his fingers gently and effortlessly shaped and molded the clay on the potters wheel.

The heat was unbearable though, so after a quick spell we leave the town and head into the mountains to enjoy some smoked fish and cooler air before continuing the drive to Williams.

30 June 2016

Finding Dory

I had family come to town, and it was the lift my soul needed. We went on adventures big and small, and I savored every minute of it.

Simple things, like showing my nephew how a record player works.
Trying a new restaurant while they were in town.
Even somehow going to a special premiere of Finding Dory the night before it officially opened.
This post is selfish. It's just for me, no one else.

When I'm old and feeling lonely, if I can still access the internet, I imagine I'll stumble back upon this post, remember our good times, and smile.

27 May 2016

Homestead Crater

Countless times have I driven through the picturesque town of Midway, Utah when living in this State.
Yet it took my returning home for a wedding to go to the Homestead Resort and the Crater. As you pull into the parking lot, the dome as hard to miss. On a clear Spring day in May, faint steam was barely visible rising from the opening at the top. We had a few minutes before it was our time to enter, so we walk up the steps to peer down inside the geo thermal crater.
The girls were a little apprehensive as they stared down into the dark earth. They became even more so as we paid to enter, and ventured into the tunnel that lead to the thermal waters.

I get in first, and slowly talk my niece into the water. She takes one last look up to the hole at the top, and then wholeheartedly jumps in.
Her little sister had no such qualms about it though, and couldn't get enough of the warm and soothing mineral waters.

Of course, the older kids were all about this underground adventure,
Your time is only allotted to forty minutes, which is actually plenty of time as the warm water and constant pull to the edges from the rising bubbles underneath wear you out quickly. Good thing life jackets are required for everyone.
If you find yourself in Midway, I would highly recommend a stop by the Homestead Crater. It's a fun, soothing way to relax inside a natural wonder of this Earth.
The crater is over one hundred feet deep, so you can also scuba dive down into it's depths for a greater exploration of the mighty crater.


23 May 2016

Fielding Garr Ranch

"I guarantee that we will see some buffalo if we go."

"Yes! Antelope Island!"

It was as easy as that. Within minutes we are driving on the causeway out to Antelope Island. The oldest child has a headache and takes a nap, but the other two are keeping their eyes peeled for buffalo.
The paved road ends, turning into a bumpy and dusty dirt road. We adventure on, and at the end of the trail, way up on the island's hillside, we see the herd.

Turning back from whence we came, I ask if they would like to stop at the Fielding Garr Ranch. The girls want to rest in the car, but Cbug is up for it. The ranch has a rich Mormon history, being a stronghold for managing the church's tithing funds. It was also a sheep and cattle ranching homestead until those became unprofitable.

Ranching operations ceased though when the Island became a State park in 1981. We listen to these stories from an 82 year old cowboy that has spent most of his life at Fielding Garr. He tells us that there is a book full of pictures and we can take one if we'd like.

We enter the barns and stables and fall back into Utah's cowboy history.
There is an open area set up for kids to try their hand at a lasso. CBug grabs a rope and shows me what he's got as the lasso is swung around over his head.
We walk into a small ranch hand room made for sleeping, an old and musty cellar, a kitchen from the early 20th century.
A trail into the woods behind the Ranch begs us to explore it. We find an old tree that has fallen. CBug climbs it and I flashback to when I was his age, doing the same thing.
Today was one of the good days.


19 May 2016

It's Science!

It has literally been over 20 years since I stepped inside the Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City. So long in fact, that they moved locations and changed their name to the Clark Planetarium.

But what hasn't changed is my love for science, space, and our planet Earth. I decided to take my nieces and nephew along to share in that love.

We started by watching the 3-D movie, "The Last Reef", that was showing on an enormous 5 story high movie screen.
It was Flooey's first time seeing something in 3-D. As we learned about the fragile ocean reef ecosystem, I laughed as she tried to reach out and touch the jellyfish as they floated by.

After the show, we all committed to become better at recycling and caring for our oceans. We then moved on down to the science exhibits, where we learned about the moon's orbit, how tornadoes are formed, planetary alignment, and the power of electricity.
"It's not Science fiction, it's Science! and it's awesome."