Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Escalante Adventure

I want to re-cap what a splendid summer it's been! I'll start with our trip to Escalante, UT for a Checketts family reunion at my Aunt Sannette's house.

I Love Escalante's gorgeous red rock! Not to mention the picturesque western landscape! This rock is called Rattlesnake Point- It's in my Aunt's backyard, and buried at the base of it is an ancient Anasazi settlement! We hiked to the top- a quick little hike to a breathtaking view!

Sam and I basking in the glory of the view! I love the striations of the sedimentary layers... Wow- I think my geology teacher would be proud of my observations!

My big sister Hillary and I at the top of Rattlesnake point, heading down to explore the riverbed. I think we look pretty outdoorsy/adventurous! What do you think?!

Not sure what plant this is- but it was all along the dried up riverbed- made me think of the little rhyme: "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With Silverbells and Cockershells and Pretty Maids all in a row!" A little diddy I picked up in third grade, thank you very much... I think these could get away with being called Cocker Shells!

My aunt had these cute little fuzzy kittens- I really wish I could have taken this little fur-ball home!

Beautiful lake not too far out of Escalante. We did a special memorial service for my dear Uncle Dan. Sam and I want to come back and fish here sometime. It reminds me of a lake in some Nicholas Sparks novel!

The little road that lead to the Bed and Breakfast Sam and I stayed at.
The Slot Canyons Inn Bed and Breakfast in Escalante. We LOVED it! The owners are so nice and hospitible and it is such a cool, cozy place on a gorgeous property. Talk about getting away from it all!

Another awsome view of Rattlesnake Point. My aunt was taking us to the Anasazi ruins for a guided tour! She is so knowledgeable- she could upen a museum!

We're all getting the schpiel from Aunt Sannette- see the grey spots of dirt on the ground? That's layers and layers worth of the Anasazi fire-pits over the centuries!

Brigham Young University Archeology students came and dug up the settlement site and re-buried it when they left to preserve it. It doesn't look like much, but there's a whole lot of amazing history under there...

In fact, I found my own little piece of history nearby the site! It's an Anasazi button or bead. This little pebble just caught my eye- then I realized when I picked it up, it wasn't a pebble after all!

It's just a small little piece of the past.

On the way home, Sam and I couldn't stop pulling over to admire the gorgeous rock formations through Bryce Canyon. This part of the country is unbelievable!

I don't know- do they look like little castle towers to you?

Arches and ridges...

and Sam stealing kisses. That's what I call a good vacation!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

There is Beauty all Around...

I have to admit- I was kind of annoyed that we ended up in Utah. However, the more I let go of my pre-conceived notions of what it was going to be like here, I've seemed to notice the more beautiful things about living in the Beehive state! I work right next to beautiful Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake and often venture there on my lunchbreak. I wanted to share with you how breathtaking Spring is at Temple Square. Take a look...

Tuilps "kissing" the Conference Center tower

Purple blossoms in front of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. My Grandparents on my Checketts side had their reception there back in the day.

The Salt Lake Temple. My ancestor John R. Moyle engraved on the golden tablet you can see set into the middle spire. An AMAZING feat- seeing as though he walked from Alpine Utah every week on a wooden leg to do it:

"John R. Moyle lived in Alpine, Utah, about 22 miles as the crow flies to the Salt Lake Temple, where he was the chief superintendent of masonry during its construction. To make certain he was always at work by 8 o’clock, Brother Moyle would start walking about 2 a.m. on Monday mornings. He would finish his work week at 5 p.m. on Friday and then start the walk home, arriving there shortly before midnight. Each week he would repeat that schedule for the entire time he served on the construction of the temple.
Once when he was home on the weekend, one of his cows bolted during milking and kicked Brother Moyle in the leg, shattering the bone just below the knee. With no better medical help than they had in such rural circumstances, his family and friends took a door off the hinges and strapped him onto that makeshift operating table. They then took the bucksaw they had been using to cut branches from a nearby tree and amputated his leg just a few inches below the knee. When against all medical likelihood the leg finally started to heal, Brother Moyle took a piece of wood and carved an artificial leg. First he walked in the house. Then he walked around the yard. Finally he ventured out about his property. When he felt he could stand the pain, he strapped on his leg, walked the 22 miles to the Salt Lake Temple, climbed the scaffolding, and with a chisel in his hand hammered out the declaration “Holiness to the Lord."
-Jeffrey R. Holland, “As Doves to Our Windows,” Ensign, May 2000, 75

The Lions at the base of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. My favorite place to eat on Temple Square is inside this building. It's called Nauvoo Cafe and I promise you they serve the tastiest toasted sandwiches! The Cranberry-Orange Relish Turkey Sandwich is my favorite!

That's it for out tour folks! We end at the statue in front of the Church Office Building that celebrates Motherhood. How appropriate that there are beautiful purple floweres surrounding it- my Mom's favorite color! I love you MOM!