This trip was scrubbed two weeks ago when it was originally scheduled due to the unplanned surgery reattaching my left biceps tendon. So it's with great relief to get to a point where we could make this little overland trek in a minimum of pain.
As with any adventure that takes us east out of St. George, this Grand Staircase trek took us through Zion Canyon.
The idea was to drive to Escalante, Utah, where the trailhead to the Smoky Mountain Road can be found down a side street not far from the BLM offices on the south side of town.
We're always glad to get back on the road or back on the water, to move, explore, share, talk, eat, sleep and drink in the proximity of each other.
Mindy was able to get off work earlier than expected giving us a head start and putting us in Escalante a couple of hours ahead of time. The plan was to camp at Escalante Outfitters, a barely-an-acre parcel set up for tents, not RTTs. So we camped in the parking lot, fully warned that a wedding party wa…
My sisters used to play guitar and sing Peter, Paul and Mary's 500 Miles, a folk song that would haunt my earliest dreams as a four year-old kid. The memory of the dream is still pretty vivid; I'm on a road walking west to the horizon and it's getting dark. The feeling is even more vivid, a combination of fear and purpose.
Throw in the Mamas & The Papas' California Dreaming and the sum for me is the reason I'm still drawn to the West Coast. That, and being land-locked in the Southwest. If you've been reading this blog you'll know we've been making the best of that as well. Mindy's always been patient and tolerant enough to go along for the ride.
A trip we've been planning to Eugene to pick up our daughter from Duckland for a break turned into a trek up the northern extension of the Pacific Coast Highway; the Shoreline Highway, the Redwood Highway and the Oregon Coast Highway, that curvy undulating ribbon of black that forces all your senses…
Speak the names of most small towns in Utah and you can immediately fetter out who's a native and who isn't, especially when you say the words, "Tabiona" or "Hannah." These neighboring villas are nestled along the Duchesne River at the base of the High Uintah Mountains, and host the annual gatherings of the Moons and the Fabrizios, families indigenous to this area, along with the Defas.
The Fabrizio name came across the Atlantic from Italy with a "De" in front of it and was later divided into two, though I'm not sure where that happened, and those families established the history around Hanna and Tabiona. You'd think there'd be strong Italian traditions that survived the emigration, but it seems the Uintahs would have none of that. Instead, what evolved were a work ethic honed by the rugged territory, foods adapted from available resources, and values rooted in old world ideas elevated to reflect new religious influences. What didn…