Something I should have done, but stubbornly refused to do for myself, was keep a journal of our vacation. I thought I would capture it all on "film".... but alas, only the visible things can be captured that way. Here's Installment #1 of my attempt to reconstruct the highlights of our trip.
Our first day on the road we had planned to see Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. We traveled a good part of the day with happy kids, the entire family looking forward to all the fun days ahead. We had to drive through Las Vegas (what a pit), and I couldn't help noticing the inordinate number of billboards advertising drunkenness, immodesty, and licentiousness, and the services for help getting out of the holes people dig for themselves when their love of money exceeds their love of God: cheap divorce, bail bonds, criminal attorneys, cash advances. It all comes back to the love of money, for the love of money is the root of all evil. God forbid my dependence on it would lead me to a life of sorrows, and may he draw my heart ever closer to himself in its place!
As we entered southern Utah (and as was confirmed to me the longer we were there), I realized why God moved me to western Arizona. It is so that I will continue to look forward to heaven! If he had moved me to one of the many GORGEOUS locales in southern Utah (after all, stuff grows there), I might have thought I was already in heaven. :D Western Arizona is definitely NOT heaven.
Sorry, I digressed again. After checking into our motel in Panguich, UT, we attempted to get to Bryce Canyon. This is what we found:
We took our chances on driving through this flash flood (foolish we were, but the other guy made it okay...) and proceeded towards the park, only to be stopped in a loooong line of traffic. Boulders had fallen across the road somewhere way up ahead, and it would be hours before they could be cleared. My newscaster companion explains:
As the camera ran, the rain fell harder and harder until we were in a deluge. We turned around and whipped together a Plan B. Emily picked up this very temporal souvenir of the storm. Fun stuff for a desert kid!
Plan B was to go in the opposite direction, to Cedar Breaks National Monument, sort of a miniature Bryce Canyon. It appears in the middle of nowhere. You turn a bend and there it is, like so many other remarkable sights in Utah. The drive was just beautiful. (All the drives on this trip were beautiful!)
We ate our picnic supper in this verdant, flowery meadow:
And, on the road home (home to our motel), as we came around a bend in the road, we encountered a large flock of sheep! We stopped to watch the trusty sheepdog doing his job. Doesn't he look like a good dog? He was watching us carefully, since the kids had dared to escape their confining vehicle and photograph his charges.
More rain and a cool night made for a fresh start on Day 2. More to come!
In his hand are the deep places of the earth:
the strength of the hills is his also.
The sea is his, and he made it:
and his hands formed the dry land.