Did you hug the Earth on Earth Day?
Did you hug the Earth on Earth Day?
OK, this might seem more like a Facebook update than a blog post but here’s the story.
The day started out early, around 4:30. I got up did the morning routine, got me and my bike to the day job, did my full day there, got back home, packed the 4Runner, and got out of Dodge, er, Salt Lake.
Most of my pontificating will be done within the echos and cobwebs of mind as I watch the little dotted lines of the 300 miles of roadway fly past us. I’ll sing a little, cuss at other drivers a little more, and count down the miles as we roll through each town on the way.
In the morning, I’ll wake up floating atop 100′ of liquid happiness, other wise know as Lake Powell.
I love being where I belong.
I checked snow levels at the local ski resorts today. 140 some-odd inches of snow, roughly 12 feet.
It’s as deep now as it’s been all winter and March is still a snow month, especially for the major resorts whose starting elevation is at least 8-9000’.
Ironically, many of these resorts will start closing this month. Not because of the snow, but because of lack of interest. People have been skiing since Thanksgiving in November and the days down here in the lower elevations are getting longer and warmer. Which brings me to my interest.
I don’t ski. My interest in the snow levels is purely based on the water content, and more importantly in the water content that will flow down and into Lake Powell. The fact that none of the snow at the local results will actually flow into Lake Powell is not lost on me. Our snow, nonetheless, is indicative of the snow in the Rockies that does. The more snow we have, the more snow they have. In general.
You see, I also notice the warmer and longer days. I know that winter still has some blustering to do, but I’m ready to hit the lake and I want it as full as it can be for this season and again for years to come.
My interest in Lake Powell, however, will last longer than 3-4 months.
We went to the movies this afternoon. That took a few hours. Good movie.
Not wanting to go home, we stopped at a home show and picked up a few items.
Still not wanting to go home, we decided to go out to the Great Salt Lake Marina. We slipped in just before they closed the gate. It left us within the State Park with few people, and fewer still as each car left.
Enjoying the hint of salt in the air, we walked the shore line of this Inland Sea. With the mirror finish of the water, the puffy clouds rolling in, and the mottled sunlight dispersed throughout, the lake didn’t disappoint.
It never does.
Growing up in California, I never ran into another Jensen. Our family was an island; alone in the sea of last names. Occasionally, some kids at school would even think my name was the cartoon equivalent of Jetson; not that it bothered me.
But in Utah, there’s no shortage of Jensen’s and you can find one around any corner. And Mike Jensen’s are so common that if you swing a stick, you’ll hit three of us.
Even cooler than that, there’s a town in Utah called Jensen. I had never visited the town until today.
Jensen lies in the upper northeast corner of Utah and is the gateway town to Dinosaur National Monument. A welcome center is all there is for visitors. So we visited the center and then proceeded to Dinosaur National Monument.
The day’s snow kept us from hiking or being able to explore anything beyond the paved roads. But we did get to spot a pair of bald eagles along the Green River and visit the quarry and its Wall of Bones.
The wall of bones is a preserved section of the actual quarry where thousands of dinosaur bones have been excavated over many years. This wall, has the visible bones left behind so others can see what a target-rich fossil environment looks like.
I’ve seen dinosaur skeletons before. I’ve seen people on TV digging bones from the ground with their brushes and hammers, their straw hats, and their dusty long sleeve button-up shirts. But to see the raw bone encased in the rock struck me differently: they were real.
The bones were where history had placed them millions of years ago. They hadn’t been rearranged or assembled. Maybe identified for the uneducated tourists (like me), but they had yet to be moved.
Visiting historical sites is to touch history. To touch history is to feel the history that happened there, to imagine it in context of its location. In turn, I feel a part of it.
Jensen may be Danish in origin, but it has now lead me to something new to which to be related.
Annette and I are told on a regular basis how much fun we must have. They comment on the adventures we experience and the things we do.
Funny thing is, we don’t feel like we do so much.
We get out. We have our cheap kayaks and we have our places we like to visit. We bought passes to the state and federal parks so we can pop in on them whenever we want without worrying about entrance fees.
We like to do day trips.
Actually, we do day trips because of our crazy work schedules and the four jobs between us. So when a day opens for a few hours, we go to where time allows. Today it was a little excursion to East Canyon Reservoir for some floating, picnic, and relaxing.
I believe it’s the collection of little trips, the little adventures that make it look like we’re always out exploring the world. We don’t have the time or the money for the big ticket adventures, and maybe that’s why it appears we have so many.
Bryce Canyon has stood in its place for thousands, if not millions of years. I’m not a geologist but suffice to say, it’s been there for a long time. I have been alive for 49 years.
Of those 49 years, I waited about 46 of them before I visited Bryce Canyon National park. I’m ashamed that for the vast majority, of the majority, of my life, I’ve lived within 4 hours of Bryce Canyon and yet never visited, never asked to be taken there by my parents, never took my own kids, and never gave it much thought beyond, “I should go there some time.”
I have been there now three times. The last time being yesterday. The true beauty of Bryce Canyon, I feel, is in the trails down into the canyon and standing on the bottom looking up. We hiked 6 miles yesterday and only scratched the surface of the things to see. I can’t wait to return, but I’m also waiting to get back to Arches. And Zion’s. And …
I bought a pass over the past several years and have visited all the National Parks in my area. And not just once either. My sweetie and I go as often as we can, exploring the different trails, sights, and revisiting our favorites. What a blessing to have so many awe inspiring places close to my home.
Sometimes I worry that I wasted my time before by not incorporating these wonders earlier in my life. Maybe I should have shrugged off the local indifference and made more of an effort to enjoy them.
Fortunately for me, they weren’t going anywhere.
The images that display at the top of my blog page are my own images.
I’ve been hampered lately in taking new ones due to camera issues but I’ll get some more up.
It was a cold, rainy spring morning when we hiked up. The feeling it draws to recall form such a striking contrast to what most people experience: hot, dry, arid, did I mention hot, days that usually make up days outside of Moab, Utah. It makes it fill that much more special.
I love living in Utah and the Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Zion’s, Bryce Canyon, and the other great natural places that reside within Utah’s borders have enriched my life in such a way that I cannot imagine not having them within driving distances.
I hope you enjoy the images as you visit my blog. And if you want to know anything more about any of them, please, please, please just ask. I’d love to tell you about them!
The 24th of July.
It might not have the same ring to you as the Fourth, but the “24th” in these parts is just as popular.
July 24, 1847 is the day the first Mormon pioneers, of which my family shares history, entered and settled the valley of the Great Salt Lake. It is here that they felt they would find the refuge they sought and needed, outside of the U.S. borders.
They did not hate the U.S., but its courts and systems of justice had failed them. They needed to find a place away from it all, and this place that no one else really wanted, suited the call.
Utah is a patriotic lot, don’t get me wrong. There is a fierce loyalty and belief in this country that would match any other group. But the day our earliest settlers realized they had found the place for which they hoped and prayed, it’s was a true day of Independence that rivaled the one 71 years earlier.
And it still does.
Happy Pioneer Day.