Most folks know the musician side of Rob Jensen from his famous "Whiskey For Lunch". But back in the 80's, he was part of a popular local band, Plague of Locusts, and wrote a number of tunes poking fun at Utah culture. Thanks to Kent Maxwell, there are now some videos of this band up on YouTube. Check 'em out.
A different sort of post from me. This concerns Miriam's Uncle Maurice. He's well on in his years and still quite spry, and during his time, he's done some wonderful pen and ink drawings of houses of worship. Originally, he focused on his Morman heritage and drew interesting old wards as well as the standard LDS institutions. But as he traveled the world, he began drawing the famous cathedrals and churches from the countries he visited. These drawings were his hobby, and they are quite good... incredible detail.
Miriam had collected the smaller card versions of these drawings, and finally thought that the originals should find an exhibition space. With a little technical help from me, she submitted examples to the SLC public library, and the application was accepted. Quite a surprise for Maurice and his family. As a result, everyone in the family is on board and excited about this exhibition. Starting the 17th of May and running for four weeks, these pen and ink drawings will be on display at the Sprague Branch in Sugarhouse. Check it out... they really are wonderful.
We knew the way, a couple ways... we decided to take the main road from the San Rafael bridge on south, hit I-70, and zoom over to Salina and eat at Mom's. So here's some features as we drove down the road (Bottleneck Peak, above... and you know how to get larger sizes...).
The section of I-70 through the San Rafael Swell is probably one of the most amazing and beautiful stretches of freeway in the country. There are several view areas, each one with a fascinating view of desert canyons and features (as well as good deals on Indian jewelry). Stop at all of them if you ever drive across this stretch.
We made it to Mom's, where we heard that Osama had bought the farm, and Obama was now a hero to America. Well, I don't know, good riddance to bad trash on one hand, but they should have captured him alive... I'm headed to Europe and am now just a bit worried about Islamic whackos.
Anyway, we gorged on Mom's chicken fried steak, and put on all the calories we burned off hiking, plus some. Then we fell asleep at the wheel on the way home, crashed off the freeway, and were never heard from again... the end.. (until next season when we will return with all new episodes).
We took one path down to the Black Box, but found a sudden and deep drop off. End of the line, it seemed. However, we did notice sort of a shelf, just below us, that seemed to follow the canyon both directions. We found a way down to this shelf, then proceeded to follow the river, scrambling over rocks, almost to its resurfacing at Mexican Mt. In the meantime, some shots of the river deep in the black Black Box. (do I have to remind you... click on the pics for a larger image). The river was high, but I bet in a couple weeks the runoff will make this a monsterous place to be.
Here's our intrepid photographer, right on the edge (very scary), getting the shot.
Unfortunately, right after he took this shot, a gust of wind blew him over the side. You could hear his screams all the way down. Too bad, he was a great friend and good camp wife. More Black Box pics...
After following the river for what seemed like miles (1/2 mile?), I worried about getting out and back to the truck. The problem was finding a wash that would lead me back to the Mexican Mt. road. I only had a vague idea where I was, close to Mexican Mt. itself, and a few landmarks to follow. So I headed away from the Black Box. Amazingly, I found Rodney... he'd rescued himself, and, as I saw when we got back to the road, we were very close to where the river resurfaces and where he was able to get out. And, he kept his camera dry!
To celebrate, I took some pics of wild flowers. No blooming cactus, yet, just buds...
I recognized the point where we hit the road, coming up the wash (follow the cow shit, says Rod), and soon we were back to the truck. Then back to the camp for a well deserved beer!
I've been to this area of the San Rafael many times, now. I keep thinking I'll get bored, and should move on to another part. But then I find more canyons to explore, more things to discover. Can't wait for the next trip down here.
Sunday was a really beautiful day. Still cold, still windy, but just fine for exploration. The first thing I noticed was this arch... I've looked around this campground a million times but never seen this. It is an arch, isn't it... Sherm's arch... It's an arch... (don't look around it too much).
So, anyway, we decided on a big hike. Someone told us about another path into the Black Box, other than the "official" trails (I suspect there are many alternate ways in). So off down Mexican Mt. road we went. Check the view above...
The San Rafael river is odd. Check the following pic... here the river is peaceful and on the surface. Soon after this point, it dives deep into a narrow canyon (pics of this in the next blog post).
As we continued down the road, there were many stops just to admire the buttes and formations. I'll finish this post with a collection of shots I took (as usual, click on the pics for a bigger image). Note: Rodney, photographer extraordinaire, also took many shots. But you'll have to pay for his (more on this later after his web site is up), mine are free...
Next post, the infamous Black Box itself... stay tuned...
This group campout was the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration (a few days early). A recent tradition is the Saturday evening cocktail party, although our usual hosts, Marsha and Bobby D., DID NOT SHOW UP! (may they be cursed forever...). But, on with the show... Jane and Wraye hosted this year and did a bang up job. And the treats were great! The cold weather discouraged the usual "formal" wear, but a few folks got into it anyway...
Most of us fought the wind and managed supper, then off to the fire for some music and more drinking. Unfortunately, my fingers were too cold to work the camera, so no shots of people falling in the fire, hurling, or anything else embarrassing... But then, things really were mellowed by the weather, so most of us had an early bed time, the sleeping bags were compelling.
Quite a weekend down in the San Rafael, although tragedy struck early. Just after arrival, I looked in my cooler and realized I'd forgotten my tequila. An unpardonable sin! I'll never live it down. Fortunately, Harry came to my rescue, and we spent early Saturday afternoon doing what all good desert campers do... drink! (the Modello was quite good as well!). As usual, click on the pics for a bigger image.
We were soon joined by others, and a 12 year old Chivas.
As one would expect with afternoon drinking (and, I suspect, other substance abuse), things got a little weird... (Don't ask...)
At some point, we returned to reality and decided that survival dictated a wood run. The weather was cold, with a steady breeze adding to the wind chill. A big fire was needed. So off we went, down the road quite a ways... and new adventures... see next post (or previous post, depending on how you read this blog) .