Monday, February 28, 2005

05-15 Kanarraville Utah, Rambling Thoughts

Southern Utah

Kanarraville (2nd week)

Week 15 of 52
July 11-17

Doug‘s Rambling Thoughts.

Ahhhhh, another week in this small town of 350. Riding my bike in the early morning or later in the evening. The sight of the sun making the surrounding mountains rich in golden reds skirted with pinion pines. Sitting in the shade of my awning and the cotton wood trees, reading a new book. Enjoying the fresh air before the mid day heat forces me into the camper for an afternoon siesta.

Am I really having fun? I have so many friends write back to me and say things like “it seems like your having a good time”. I can assure you, I am having a good time. Perhaps it’s because I seldom write about anything negative that some question, is it real. Although a friend pointed out I had a couple of mishaps, the broken toe, the flat tires, the heat exhaustion from the desert hike and don‘t forget about the cows that could have attacked Dave and I. But all in all, each one of those was a learning experience and I do like to put it in a positive light. I’ve also found that I can learn from good experiences too. So I don’t need all those yucky experiences to learn and grow.

Traveling Solo. I know many people who are considering full timing or traveling solo are concerned about leaving friends and relatives behind and that it could be lonely out there. I have found that by keeping a journal and sharing it with my family and friends that it’s like having them along with me. You know if you travel by yourself, one of the things you miss is being able to look over at a friend or loved one and say, wow, look at that scenery. Or wasn’t that a fun town or such. Well by my keeping a journal and sharing it with you, it truly is like having you right beside me.

Another thing about this concern of being lonely is that with today’s technology, I can be in almost constant communication with friends via e-mail or cell phone. I might have to wait until I get over a mountain pass to get a good cell signal, or go into town to connect to the internet via a library or internet café, but that’s a part of exploring new places. So for me, loneliness is not an issue.

It also depends on your personality and your willingness to meet new people. I have had to really take charge and reach out and say hi to many strangers instead of waiting for someone to say hi to me and start a conversation. I find I talk to people while on a hike, in a restaurant, shopping, looking at scenery in a national park, you name it. When I get to a new park, I say hi to my neighbors as soon as I get parked, many times before I’m even settled in. The professor and his wife who’s a Doctor and their 2 children that I met visiting a slot canyon, ran out of film and I offered to take a few pictures and e-mail the pictures to them. I now have friends in Denver who are eager to have me visit. After an interesting conversation with them in the canyon and on the way back to the parking lot on the open decked truck, they said I was the type of person they look forward to meeting when they travel. Now that’s a nice compliment.

Dinner Party on the Road. Last night I had Steve, his brother Richard and Denise, Steve’s girlfriend over for dinner. We had my famous salad with mandarin oranges, apples, blueberries, onions, on a bed of romaine lettuce and Paul Newman’s Romano and Garlic dressing, a light dressing with tons of flavor. For the main course I made one of my famous one dish meals. A pie with stuffing as the pie shell and the filling a mixture of Campbell’s cream of celery soup, chicken, peas and French fried onions. A little California wine to toast with, more good conversation, a bit of country music in the background to top it off. Later we joined some other campers out on the patio and we pretty much talked until about 11:00pm with folks from England, The state of Washington and California. Along with a dip in the hot tub and you couldn’t ask for a better way to spend an evening.

Of course camping people are the easiest to talk to most times anyway. They are on vacation or full timing and something about the fresh air and sunshine that just makes folks eager to start a conversation and share their adventures with you.

Of course you get the occasional visitors center rep, who just doesn’t want to go through the speal again. Like the one I got at Colob Canyon, a part of Zion Park. He handed me a news flyer and said the map was in it and was the same as the one under glass at the counter. And that was that. He didn’t want to say another word.

Oddities. And being in the country, I come across odd things I’m not used to. Like everyone waving at you when they pass you in their cars or on the street. I’ve had to get used to the wave from the steering wheel as well. That’s where you keep your hand on the steering wheel and just raise it in a quick wave. After all, I do want to be friendly to the folks around here. And will a nod do when I’m on my bike or should I take a hand off the bike handle and give a full wave? I’m still working on that one.

I’ve seen a lot of cow guards on the roads out here. Those are those metal grates that you drive over, but the cattle can’t walk across. The wildlife is much more plentiful out here. Lots of rabbits hopping across roads and sometimes becoming rabbit pancakes along the way. Blue Bell ice-cream is the ice-cream of choice out these parts. You see lots of barbed wire out west too, unless it says, open range. In which case it’s a free for all for the wild animals to play.

Do I miss anything while on the road? Well out west I do miss the beaches of Florida and being able to go for a swim anytime. I haven’t found many lakes or swimming pools out here. And of course my friends, but as I’ve said earlier, I’m able to keep in contact with them quite often, so I can’t say I miss them except to see them in person.

And sometimes I miss finding a good grocery store to shop in. But that’s really just a minor inconvenience.

Colob Canyon. I took a short hike up into Colob Canyon which is a separate part of Zion National Park. The road into the park is only 5 miles long and gives a person much more time to enjoy the grand scenery on a smaller scale. Since it is basically just the one canyon, I was able to stop at all the turn outs and view it from many different angles. Something you don’t get a chance to do in the other parks. There is so much to see at the big parks, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on any one aspect. I took the hike at the end of the file mile road and just enjoyed a trail that wound up the top ridge of a mountain for better views of the Canyon. There were many yellow flowers in bloom all along the sides of the trail. The trail was about the 6,500 ft level, so I found myself taking a couple extra deep breaths to get enough oxygen. Not uncomfortable, just something one needs to do.

So there you are. Just some of my thoughts while I enjoy another week at this little Rv campground in Kanarraville, a town of 351 if you include me . Sure hope you find adventure in your life. It’s out there, just waiting for you.

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