Monday, July 9, 2018

The Long and Winding Road

More than 2,000 miles in the car... and we didn't kill each other. You may recall this time last year the family went to Zion National Park in the southwest corner of Utah. We liked that excursion so much we renewed our annual America the Beautiful Pass and headed back to the Beehive State all of last week. Our ultimate destination was Moab, a quaint little tourist town perfectly situated between Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. There were memorable stops along the way but not a record store in sight. Probably best since vinyl would have melted in the stifling desert heat. I took a plethora of pics, and here is a small random selection to give you a taste of some of the most memorable hikes we've done. Believe me, these shots cannot do the scenery any sort of justice.

Shoshone Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho

Snake River, Twin Falls, Idaho

Snake River, Twin Falls, Idaho

Turret Arch, Arches National Park

My youngest looking at North Window from under Turret Arch, Arches National Park

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park

Skyline Arch, Arches National Park

My boys playing under a small patch of shade at Sand Dune Arch, Arches National Park

Hiking from Sand Dune Arch, Arches National Park

Balanced Rock, Arches National Park

In a strange coincidence, when we returned, the boys wanted to rest and watch a movie. We chose 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade', completely forgetting the opening scene would take us right back to the very spot we had just visited. Steven Spielberg may have a little better eye than me.

This discovery may come as a surprise to you, but it's possible to get sick of listening to music. At one point, I probably controlled the car stereo for about 10 straight hours before needing silence. There was Chicago Cubs day baseball to break up the monotony almost every day and, fortunately, I had several 2018 releases to pass the time. Loving the Tracyanne & Danny album, probably my favorite of the year so far, and the new one from Gruff Rhys is just beautiful. Coastal Fever Rolling Blackouts will surely make my year-end list too. It was an album I hadn't listened to in ages, however, that really became my soundtrack. The sprawling and meandering 'All This Sounds Gas' from Preston School of Industry seemed to make the miles melt away. When this was released back in 2001, the album barely made any impression on the public. You're all wrong!

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Nic Ros said...

A great read, as ever.
Twin Falls, Idaho is an excellent, quirky film btw

The Swede said...

The photos are just amazing Brian. I can absolutely see why you and the family returned to the same neck of the woods again - it's clearly phenomenally beautiful. My one question is, how on Earth do you hike in that heat? It's only around 24° here and if I'm not at work, I don't leave the house until the coolness of dusk brings a little respite. It was obviously immeasurably hotter where you were, so how did you cope?

TheRobster said...

Seeing those pics it makes you realise how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things, doesn't it?

Currently experiencing a heatwave in South Wales - averaging between 26 and 30 Celsius (78-86 F) on a daily basis for the past three weeks with no let up. Like The Swede, I'm finding it tough. It's still hot at 9pm. Us Brits are such wimps!

Still getting into the new Gruff album - it's verging on the slightly too melancholic for me. I don't get Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - I just don't see the appeal. Even their name bugs me - it sounds like they couldn't decide whether to call themselves Rolling Blackouts or Coastal Fever, so thought 'sod it, we'll use both'.

Brian said...

I'm not going to kid you boys. It was sweltering out there. Your so-called heat wave over there, however, is a far below average day in the summer among the cornfields of Illinois where I grew up... and that doesn't even factor in the high humidity. There was no humidity in Utah. I will take a 105 degree day in dry Utah over an 85 degree day in Illinois when you factor in that humidity. As you have noticed, our family hikes all of the time. My oldest son is intellectually disabled, and it keeps us from doing a great many things, but he loves to hike and has incredible stamina. He usually leads us on the trails.

Gruff's album underwhelmed me at home. I found it a challenge, but I really took to it when I could concentrate on it in the car. Don't give up, my friend. Nic, Even though it has been many years, I remember that film well. Had a real David Lynch feel to it. The town ended up being about as idyllic as can be imagined.

George said...

I am tremendously impressed that (I assume) the four of you managed 2000 miles in the car, Brian. And in blistering heat. Sounds like an epic journey with some awesome sights.

Brian said...

Thanks, George. When we went to Zion last year, we flew to Vegas. Much easier. We got a new car in May (our first in 15 years), and I think we were excited about a road trip for that reason. That feeling wore off pretty quickly.

Rol said...

Glorious pictures, Brian. Traceyanne & Danny is next on my list and I've found myself drawn to the Rolling Blackouts CD in the store, so you may just have tipped me over into buying it.

C said...

Somehow I missed this post at the time - so sorry! Such fantastic pics. Even though they're so impressive, I totally get what you mean about photos not doing the real thing justice and so being there and experiencing these scenes must be truly awesome.