Tour of Utah: Jordan River Parkway Trail

The Jordan River Parkway is pretty neat. -Not neat like ice castles or natural rock arches, but still neat. It’s a trail that runs nearly 50 miles; so, if you wished, you could start at Utah Lake* and walk till you reached the northwest bend of Salt Lake City proper.

©2020 Google Maps, and -hate to break it to you- this isn’t an accurate line of where the trail goes.

In fact, the trail doesn’t end in some random drop-off in Salt Lake. It becomes the Legacy Parkway Trail and continues on…

Pretty impressive.

Like with some other destinations I’ve mentioned, I’ve been to the Jordan River Parkway Trail. The funny thing is that I took the kids there, in either West Jordan or South Jordan (who named two cities that, anyway?), in order to go to a park. I only knew about the trail being there, not 20+ miles to either side of there!

Look at all I’m learning about my home state!

But that brings up another neat aspect of the trail: there are destinations like parks, access points, and BATHROOMS along it. The only downside I see is that the route travels through the flat, less-scenic, sometimes-hazy and/or gnat-infested areas of the Salt Lake Valley. Legacy Parkway is especially buggy since it skirts marshes and wetlands.

Still, a short or long stroll wouldn’t hurt. There’s a parking lot about ten minutes due East from the airport on I-80. From there, who knows where you’ll go?

—–

Here are last week’s posts:

Wednesday, September 30: “Tour of Utah: Ice Castles at Midway.” They’re cool. Literally.

Thursday, October 1: Shared my first fellow-blogger book review, with “The Sincerest Form of Poetry: Review, Q&A, and Book Release With Geoff LePard.

Friday, October 2nd-ish: Announced the winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest, Bruce. Congratulations!

Saturday, October 3: Start of this week’s A Mused Poetry Contest! Think up a witty poem for an anniversary card and turn it in before Friday morning.

Sunday, October 4: Put Pal and Kid on a dusty trail for Carrot Ranch’s prompt this week.

Monday, October 5: Shared a quote by Coco Chanel. Look for windows.

Tuesday, September 29: Responded to Hobbo’s Mystery Blogger Award. You can still answer my questions!

*The trail at least plans to run as far as Utah Lake.

©2020 Chel Owens

Jordan River Parkway photo © traillink.com
Walden Park photo © traillink.com

Tour of Utah: Arches

I’m the sort of person who could be next-door neighbors to Leonardo da Vinci and neglect to bring him a plate of cookies. Ohhh- I might do so when he first moves in. I’d definitely bring him one at the birth of his child(ren). I’m certain I’d also wave whilst driving to carpool when I saw him out painting his house.

On the whole, though, I’m not good at appreciating and utilizing resources I live near to. This is not the case for my blogging friend, Lisa, who not only lives in the paradise of the French Alps, but takes beautiful walks and hikes.

Since spending so much time indoors recently, I’ve resolved to change. I’ve resolved to GET OUT once getting out is safe and to visit what is right next door (figuratively). In the meantime, I’ve resolved to ‘visit’ the places virtually. I will use this as a guide for where to go once going is a good option.

So… first on our list is Arches National Park.

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I’ve hiked around the area twice, I think. I remember seeing a photograph of my family from when I was a child. We stayed in a motor home (RV) borrowed from my grandparents and hunted for our Easter eggs in places like the shower, compact fridge, and foldout table.

My memory’s fuzzy since creating and caring for children, but I’m fairly certain Kevin and I returned to Arches as newlyweds. We encountered a boisterous family group from Utah and a much smaller family visiting from France. The large family thought teasing the French couple to be quite funny. “Yep; I’m the dad,” one of the men said. “These,” he gestured to cousins, daughters, and his wife, “Are all my wives.”

The French couple had one or two children, as I recall, and joked right along. Oh, how I wish I were proficient enough in a foreign language to understand subtlety and humor.

All of this tells you nothing about the park itself.

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Arches National Park is located out in the middle of nowhere, very near to a very small city named Moab. A college roommate of mine came from Moab and explained that (polygamy or no) they were all related. “My family tree’s like a family wreath,” she joked.

Strangely enough, she ended up marrying a local and they still live there…

To get to the park, you drive and drive and drive and drive. If you were a tourist, the drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport to Arches National Park is 3 hours, 43 minutes (thank you, Google Maps).

Once you arrive, you realize you have driven and driven and driven and driven …out in the middle of nowhere. It’s hot (unless it’s winter). It’s dry (we are a desert). It’s red. It’s windy. It’s also slightly radioactive, but they don’t really want that in the brochures.

You and I will need sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, good hiking shoes, and lots of water. We’ll eat rattlesnake for food -or, also remember to pack in food.

The park is BIG. According to Wikipedia, it’s about 76,000 acres. It contains “more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches.” And, yes, those arches are really cool to look at. You just have to hike to them (good thing we brought hiking shoes).

The trail to Delicate Arch, the one you’ve likely seen pictures of the most, is three miles roundtrip. With a toddler, that takes about 6 hours. After that, you pick him or her up and hike the rest of the 2.5 miles without complaint.

The area has neat-looking land forms and geological striations visible from the road and the Visitor’s Center as well. Not bad, eh?

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I recommend trying to find lodging nearby so as to enjoy the hikes and area on a fresh night of sleep. RV companies rent vehicles out for limited-time use. Locals have Bed and Breakfast options. One of my neighbors offers an on-site, parked RV for paid use as well.

Supposedly, this link will bring you to a virtual tour of Arches National Park.

—————-

Last week’s schedule, a little closer to home:
Thursday, April 16: “This and That and a Blogging Schedule,” a mix of thoughts and ideas for a blogging outline.

Friday, April 17: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to DumbestBlogger! We’re working on the special prize, I promise!

Saturday, April 18: Announced the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a humorous end to a useful object. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, April 19: “In the Mind of Crazy Rhyme,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, April 20: An inspirational quote by the internet.

And, another update about home life c/o COVID-19.

Tuesday, April 21: “Going Postal, VI.” Gotta love “Lucy.”

Wednesday, April 22: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “Mom Time in the Closet.”

Photo Credits: Tom Gainor
Josh Soriano
Natalie Chaney
Stephen Leonardi
Jake Nackos
Jaxon Lott

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Welcome to Utah; Wanna Stay?

I’ve lived in Utah for most of my life. If you don’t know where Utah is: just go West of that big, open, flat area in the middle of The United States of America to the Rocky Mountains; but stop before you can gamble or make it to the beach.

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Given my druthers, I think I’d prefer somewhere like Boston in the fall. With dogs. And no dishes or laundry. Ever. Those who know me might wonder why I’m living in The West with 4.5 children and housework ’round the clock, but we’re not going to climb aboard that psychologist’s couch right now.

I bring up my location and innermost desires because I often wonder why people come to my little speck of the world. Why do they stay? What do we have to offer here?

For me, the attractions include:

    1. The Mormons. Okay; okay: the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
      When I traveled with our music group in high school, other kids we met in the hotels would always ask two questions: Where are you from? immediately followed by Are you a Mormon?
      We may have stood out for lack of cussing and cut-off jeans, but mostly Utah is just known for its Mormons. I’m not bothered; there are a lot of us here. Mostly I get bothered by those who are bothered by that fact. I mean, it’s a little obvious that LDS people might live in Utah. They kind-of settled it.
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      Anywho: being mostly LDS myself and not minding the culture surrounding it, I find the placement comforting more than not.
    2. The people.
      Personally, I feel this ties into Reason #1, but I knew many people would go digging for ‘Mormons’ once I mentioned ‘Utah.’ Whether it’s because of the huge number of LDS and families or not (trust me, it is), the people here are generally friendly and kind.
      I remember watching the American Idol episode they filmed here in 2009. Contestant after contestant on the show responded to the judges’ negative assessment with a smile and a, “Thank you.” The judges were weirded out by the positivity (watch at about 15:37).

  1. The Scenery
    Since I live in the Salt Lake area, I can always see mountains. Mountains, mountains, mountains. They’re beautiful, and I totally take them for granted. It’s not till I’m lost in Oklahoma that I realize how wonderful those natural compasses and rocky beauties are.
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  2. Destinations
    Utah is also home to plenty of hiking/biking/camping/ATVing areas. There are even a few spots with swimmable water. I’m too lazy to look up what percentage of the state is Federal or State land, but it’s sizable. Utah’s home to Zion’s, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Goblin Valley….
    I am also not very grateful for how close and easy these destinations are, or the millions of unnamed camping and hiking areas. If we want to go on a quick hike, there are several within half an hour’s drive. There are even nice areas to walk around within walking distance of our house.
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    Utah is also known for its skiing. I haven’t had time or money for the sport since high school, but publicists are not lying when they say it’s The Greatest Snow on Earth -though I’d amend that it might be the greatest this side of the globe. I’d love to try the Alps.
  3. My family nearby
    You all aren’t going to enjoy the benefit of this; but having grandparents, siblings, cousins (lots and lots of cousins!) close enough to visit is very nice. Home is where the heart is and all that.

I was born with an odd curiosity for where other people call Home. Specifically, I often want to experience their day-to-day lives. So: what do you like about where you live? What do you see? Visit? Eat?

If you’ve lived several places, what have been your favorite aspects of some of them?

—————-

While you consider and respond, read what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, September 4: Discussed a bit about the fun and games of selling dice.

Thursday, September 5: “A Thoughtful Poem.”

Friday, September 6: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb!

Saturday, September 7: Announced the 42nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Do you know where your towel is? PLEASE ENTER!

Also, “I Give Myself Two Thumbs Down” over at The Bipolar Longname Blog.

Sunday, September 8: “True Grit?,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 9: An inspirational quote by Paulo Coelho.

Tuesday, September 10: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Three.” Sorry, Wil.

Wednesday, September 11: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “‘Work at Home,’ They Said,” “Parents, Put the Phone Away!!!,” and “The Boy Mom Poem.”

 

Photo Credit:
John-Mark Smith
Michael Hart
Justin Luebke
Mitch Nielsen

©2019 Chelsea Owens

When the Shadow of Me Returns

Last night my Other Me reappeared, the one of shadows. For, truly, that is where she always stands, lurking: the shadows of thoughts, the shadows of feelings, the shadows of anything I see or do.

It is she who colors a happy idea with doubt.

She deepens the uncertain edges of a frown in every smile.

The fear of possible failure to proposed activities? Also her.

I hadn’t seen her in a while; thought her to be gone. How little I knew. How I forgot. She does not ever go away, especially when I choose to ignore her instead of keep working to repel her. Especially, when I want her.

Last night I felt her; nearer and nearer. And, like a fool, I let her come. I asked her to grow, expand, envelop, then smother. Anything, I thought, is better than what I feel.

Because the Shadow of Me does not feel.

As I settled beneath the apathy and self-pity that I invited in, I twitched a bit in discomfort. Some part of me recognized the old, unhealthy patterns. Something deep within, in a timid voice, whispered, “I don’t think we want this.”

“Do we?”

Yet, not until this morning did I notice the source of the rain. Standing –no- languishing morosely in depthless puddles I blamed anyone but her; anyone but me for bringing her. Like a fool; I cursed the weatherman, the water, the sky, the mud. I failed to name the shadowed storm. It is Depression. And it is not what I needed.

Because, as familiar as Depression is, it is not a good solution.

As easy a solution as Depression appears, its fallout is more difficult to clean up than actual resolution.

But who wants to stand and face her troubles when Depression promises otherwise? I can tell you: not me. No, I chose fear. I chose to see My Shadow’s effects: small rocks on the trail ahead made to look like looming boulders; a few grumpy observations from my companion augmented to devastating predictions against success.

So I turned back.

Rappelled to our base camp of years ago.

And sat outside the tent, in the rain.

I’m still there, you see, but have shifted a bit. My seat felt somewhat wet so I moved to a less-muddy patch. Still depressed. It’s a new day, though; I can see the pervasive grayness is a lighter shade.

And, no, I’m not ready to climb again. ‘Tis a daunting thought.

I think I’ll start with an umbrella. From there, I just might gain the perspective I need to change into dry clothes and eat some rations. We’ll see.

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

It’s almost time for fun in the sun (or snow)! After reading through the entries this week, I may reconsider my vacation plans…

Especially after reading the poem of the winner, Peregrine Arc.

Oi’, Summah!

by Peregrine Arc

Lemunade and sugahs
Butterflies and sands
My dear, look at my toes
They’ve been completely eaten by crabs.

Oi, get yer feet off my beach blanket
Tide, do yer worst
For I’m a sun crisped lobster
A blue eyed, Caucasian curse.

Tantamount to the joyous degrees and aspects of the tiny filigreed hairs of a baby tarantula from Spain.
But never, ever with a yellow umbrella on Tuesday, for shame.

Is how much I enjoy my summer rain.

Drip. Drip. Drip…
….
….
….
Zazzle.

Congratulations, Peregrine Arc! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Honestly, I had three poems tied for first after my initial run-through. They were terrible, confusing but still readable, related to vacation, and had hidden messages. P’Arc’s winning elements were her deviance from a meter and her (hopefully intentional) misspellings.

Again, some of you were (hopefully intentionally) not that terrible. Bad or no, you’re all worth a read:

The perils of camping

by Bruce Goodman

We’re leaving town to go on summer vacation.
The traffic heading out is like a conflagration.
We’ve got the three kids in the back of the car.
We’re going to a lonely camping spot with no shops other than very far.

Arrive we have! now to erect the tents;
One for the kids and one, you know what is meant,
for me and the Missus.
Already she’s flooded me with kisses.

Well here we are getting down to business.
The kids are all fed and have washed up their dishes.
Oh oh… oh Honey, we’re safe in our tents
but I forgot to bring the condiments.

Chorus: Heigh ho! Heigh ho! Is it off back home we go
because Daddy forgot to bring his condiments?
Who wants stuff heated up around the camp fire
when eating a sausage without condiments is dire?
Heigh ho! Heigh ho! Is it off back home we go
because Daddy forgot to bring his condiments?

—–

The woe of winter holidays

by Deb Whittam

Holidays are upon us,
She whispers with dread
Perhaps it was time
To enforce a day in bed
The kids would be up to hijinks
The circus, the movies, the zoo
All great fun things
When it’s raining to do
What about arts and crafts
No need to get wet
The look they send you
Suggests this isn’t a safe bet
In the end you’re left with no choice
Honesty is the best they say
Go play on your computers
I’m staying in bed today.

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

Time for the two of us
To be where we’re not
For privacy take long
treks
We’ll get all sweaty
And deliciously hot
While engaging in rigorous
Hikes

—–

I Really Wish You Were Here, Instead Of Me

by Joanne Fisher

Here I am just soaking in the brine

I really wish I was having a good time

It would be really nice if someone else was here

If only I had won a totally different tier

I am at this wonderful summer resort

All because one day I bought a torte

The prize was a holiday in the midst of winter

All I’m hoping is this isn’t going to make me bitter

I better go as I’m running out of space

I long to soon be back in an aeroplane’s carapace

By the time I get home I’ll be full of joy

but for now I should let go of this freezing buoy

—–

Summer vacation

by Violet Lentz

life has been one long endless summer vacation lost luggage canceled flights hotels with no HBO sandy beaches endless nights spent wading in hot water close calls getting caught up stopping short of letting go doing nothing so long that it finally gets boring taking off on a tear in a t-bar and bra make up and cigarettes toothbrush at the ready why hang on to dirty laundry just throw that shit out grabbing at straws as they strike at my fancy waking up wearing nothing but an old worn wild hair in hot pursuit of a synonym for i wanna get higher diving too deep in some roughneck’s water seeking someone i can drown in or maybe just drift- far away from myself.

—–

VACATION EXCITEMENT

by Ruth Scribbles

Summer vacation?

Excitement?

I hate summer in Texas

It’s blasted hot 🥵

If I leave Texas, then….

Oh Lordy, must I be wordy

Hot as hell…

How do I know?

My skin sizzles and smells

My energy disappears

I become a big wimp

Can’t even limp around

Oh wait, did you say vacation??

Woohoo! Alaska, here I come!

She said as she melted from the sun.

—–

I have so much fun reading through these every week and hope you have just as much fun writing them! Come back tomorrow at 10 for the next prompt.

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Peregrine Arc: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The 28th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.

Buckle your safety belts, keep your arms and legs inside, and review the manual if you’re worried about how to operate a terrible poem. We encourage mis-meter, almost-rhymes, and intentional clichés on this rocket ship.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. Topic: The excitement of summer vacation (or winter, if you’re down South).
  2. Length: Postcard-sized. If you write rather small, you can fit more in your poem.
  3. Rhyme if you wish; grandma probably won’t be able to read your handwriting anyway.
  4. Make it terrible. Not only will granny not know if you crossed your t’s but might also misconstrue a few of your words for some she thought she heard her favorite news anchor warn about the young’uns using these days.
  5. Rating: PG or more decent. We’re having good, clean fun this summer.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (June 7) to submit a poem.

Use the form if’n you don’t want yours up till next week.

For immediate fame and gratification from your peers, include your poem or a link to it in the comments below.

Tell your friends, your TwoFacebook crowd, your Tweeters; whatever. Spread the word and share the love.

Most of all, have fun!

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Photo credit:
Vicko Mozara