utah is the beehive state

I did it! I finally hiked the Angel’s Landing trail in Zion National Park! We got home today. Traveling between Seattle and Salt Lake City is very easy, the SLC airport is pleasantly rinky-dink sized and the actual flight is basically an hour and a half (just as you finish munching your corn syrup-flavored pretzels, a flight attendant with a pretty old face and split ends squeezes your shoulder and tells you to put your seat upright). Nonetheless, Adam was crazed tonight and went to bed early because we let him stay up too late last night so he could watch fireworks with his cousins in the front yard in his pajamas (their suburban town capped off it’s community festival with a surprisingly vigorous display of pyrotechnics).

I always relish visiting the Wasatch Front of Utah. It’s a wondrously strange place, the Mormons’ cultural freakishness is nearly overshadowed by the grandeur of the skyrocketing mountaintops. And these are mountains like you’ve never seen before, they shoot impossibly straight up, there are hardly any foothills to get in the way. Donald and Amy’s house looks up at sagebrush and juniper-covered ridges begging to be explored. We usually end up going for at least one or two drives into the rocky, improbably steep-walled canyon that looms over their neighborhood.

It was hot and sunny for our entire visit. My eyes hurt whenever we were outside it was so bright, reminding me of how lusciously dreary Seattle is. Adam spent a lot of time with his cousins playing on the slip-and-slide (or filling cups of water from the garden hose). We felt at-home but not pampered, Don and Amy are the perfect laid-back hosts. It was very good to see them and our nieces and nephews. We sat around the house and relaxed and visited. Sprawled out on the grass at a couple parks while the kids played. Visited the deepest open-pit mine in the world. Hiked in Zion National Park. Hiked up Big Baldy Mountain above Utah Valley.

On the way home, we stopped at a McDonald’s right off the highway in Salt Lake City so Adam could have a milkshake before we got to the airport. As we pulled out of the parking lot, a burly guy wearing heels and a sundress crossed the road, trying to walk sexy.

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