Monday, January 29, 2018

Spiral Jetty

We have never been out to see the Spiral Jetty (a massive piece of land art – all mud and rock and salt -- stretching into the northern end of the Great Salt Lake). It’s understandable of course. It’s only been there for about 50 years, and, you know, . . . it’s an hour and a half drive so . . . naturally we’ve had very little opportunity. (???)

Photo Jan 15, 6 36 31 AM (1)

(In our defense, for an incredibly long time the Great Salt Lake was so high that the jetty was submerged, so we didn’t grow up going out to visit it.)

Photo Jan 15, 6 39 34 AM

I nearly began to cry when we arrived and I pulled out my camera . . . only to realize I’d left its battery charging at home. I had my cell phone, but it was incredibly harsh and bright light to be dealing with, and I just couldn’t quit moaning my disappointment until Goldie told me to snap out of it and enjoy our adventure. Twice. (But for some time I’ve been wanting to visit both the Spiral Jetty and the Bonneville Salt Flats SOLELY to take pictures . . . so it wasn’t easy for me to accept my sad situation).

Still, we read various things about the place on the drive so we knew to look closely at the oolitic (tiny tiny pearl shaped) sand. And we knew to look for the monster with the head of a horse and body of a crocodile that some salt works’ employees claimed to have seen (and been attacked by no less) on the Great Salt Lake’s northern shore in 1877. (The account made no mention as to the whether or not alcohol had been consumed prior to this sighting . . . but we naturally assumed we’d spot it first thing and were disappointed to see not even the slightest hint of lake monster. [In all my years, I’ve never managed to see the Bear Lake monster either. Some folks have all the luck.])

Photo Jan 15, 2 12 25 PMPhoto Jan 15, 6 49 05 AMPhoto Jan 15, 6 55 21 AMPhoto Jan 15, 6 56 59 AMPhoto Jan 15, 6 55 00 AMPhoto Jan 15, 6 58 25 AM

And Hans got heavy and was set free to crawl and bungle about in the salty, wet sand. And some of the kids ran off so far on the flat stretches of sand that, while I could see them clearly, they absolutely could not hear me yelling for them and Abe had to be sent to retrieve them. And the kids found lots of cool chunks of salt and crystals of salt. And one time, when Jesse found an especially big and smooth one – but was unsure if it could really truly be salt – I went ahead and licked it for him to confirm. And walking back up the semi-steep, rocky hill to the parking area Goldie and Jesse nicely carried shoes and bags for a lady I noticed struggling to prod little ones up the hill while carrying an arm load of stuff. And we liked how impossible it was to find any point where you could clearly see the horizon. The lake just curved up and around and into the sky.

Photo Jan 15, 4 28 00 PM

(Despite the many opportunities he gave me, I simply could not capture Abe clicking his heels [though I think Daisy managed it with her phone] but this picture does make it appear that maybe we weren’t so unlucky after all in our monster sightings. In fact we might be the first to have seen Bigfoot at the Great Salt Lake!)

Photo Jan 15, 2 15 49 PM

And of course, we stopped at the Golden Spike place to see the historic spot where the Union and Central Pacific Railroads officially joined up in 1869. We weren’t at the right time for any of the train showings. But we mashed a few pennies flat in their little press and read a bit of history and walked out on the old tracks. So that was something.

And even though I still, several weeks post-adventure, find salt sand occasionally appearing around the house (it sticks – impossibly – to shoes and anything else it touches), it was a good little family outing, and I’m glad we went.

Photo Jan 15, 5 49 56 AM (1)Photo Jan 15, 5 52 43 AMPhoto Jan 15, 5 52 58 AMPhoto Jan 15, 5 57 30 AM

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Warm January Day, A lot of Pictures, And a Little Dream of Fear and Hope

We’ve had an especially warm January. It’s been lovely of course. I won’t deny it. But I keep feeling vaguely unsettled – as if perhaps I’m cheating someone or something by thinking springy thoughts when winter has hardly been here at all. And of course . . . there’s the drought situation – constantly hanging over our heads here. And I feel uncomfortable knowing we haven’t appeased it’s thirsty little demands.

Nevertheless I did enjoy – without a bit of hesitant guilt -- (a Saturday or two ago) when we intended to accomplish all sorts of important and necessary things . . . and somehow . . . without planning or intending to, and with no real discussion, we all drifted out of the house where we colored chalk, flew kites, jumped on pogo-sticks, rode bikes, played PIG (basketball), and left everything needing done . . . undone.


Mette came ambling after Mike with this swimming-pool noodle and somehow ended up completely tangled in kite string and noodle. And Anders’ kite-flying looked most often . . . as you see below. (Luckily it didn’t seem to discourage him any.)


Summer and Mette hugging is just the dearest thing. (Summer is very often the most tolerant and kind older sister one could possibly be [when only age three and to a sibling just one year younger].) And the chalk coloring. Somehow it ended up just dumped out and sort of rolling about under their bellies . . . and Mette’s darling navy pea coat was in a sorry state after. And that picture of our camping stuff . . . is probably the most orderly part of our garage. (Which is a horrifying thing to think about . . . and something I typically try not to think about.)


I don’t recall why, but we’ve had this tube for a very long time. How convenient that we now have a wave-runner to pull it along with!


One night, several years ago, when Summer had just learned to walk, I dreamt that I was standing on the deep-end side of a giant swimming pool. Across the pool from me I saw that Summer was toddling quickly towards the edge of the pool. It was such a terrifying moment. I saw that she was going to fall in. She didn’t understand her danger. And I did not think I could save her. And of course no part of me realized I was only in a dream. A thousand panicked thoughts rushed into my mind with the speed they can only in impossible moments like that. I knew if I yelled for her to stop, she wouldn’t understand and would simply run more quickly towards me (and the edge of the pool between us). If I jumped in, I would never have time to swim across the tremendous width of this pool to get to her in time. And running around the length of it seemed just as unlikely to get me there in time to assure her safety. But, in an instant, before I even had time to form a decision about which course to take, the unthinkable happened and she stepped over the edge and into the deep end. Only then . . . and now I’m actually crying as I type this . . . she just defied all my worries for her. She didn’t sink at all. She simply walked on the water.

Maybe it means nothing to anyone else. A silly dream. A relief. But to me it seemed to, in one small scene, summarize the depth of all my fears for my children: all my fears about their futures and their troubles and their trials, . . . and simultaneously fill me with every hope in the world about their potential and ability and how they’ll manage all the things ahead that I can’t simply save them from experiencing.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...