I have always prided myself on the life experiences I have been blessed enough to have had. I was only a small child when my family went down the Amazon River, traveling through Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. I remember clearly getting a beetle, that was about four inches long and three inches wide, stuck in my curls. I was not amused. I also remember natives giving me turtles all the time (still don’t know why, or what they meant) that my parents wouldn’t let me bring home. I was pretty pissed about that. I was the best of the grandchildren with the blow dart, but to be fair the other grandchildren had to hold up the blow dart gun for me, because I was six, and it was at least six feet long. Panama (including going down the Panama Canal), Costa Rica (holler monkeys make prehistoric sounds, I felt like the jungles were Jurassic Park), Italy, New Zealand, and many of the states. My knowledge of traveling was secure.
Obviously that very thought was proof that I know nothing of the world. I went to Ogden, Utah for a theater festival. How arrogant I had been to think I knew Utah well. I get judgmental when it seems that people think that Seattle is the only city in Washington, and yet I found myself thinking that all of Utah, excepting Salt Lake City, was going to be as quaint as the Utah I am most familiar with.
I do apologize to all. You must understand that from childhood I have been going to my grandparent’s little cabin in Koosharem, Utah. My experience is sitting in a rocking chair with a pair of binoculars, just in case the calves below start playing, or the bulls start fighting. My grandmother tried to teach my to fly fish in the creek in front of their cabin, and failed. My grandfather, uncle, older brother, and cousins tried to teach me how to shoot guns. That one stuck. I’m known as Annie Oakley in my family. Utah has always been a place to escape from the cities. To ride quads all day up into the mountains. To stand beneath the quaking aspens, hands raised high to feel the breeze the little green leaves passed on to kiss you, and slowing closing your eyes to listen fully to the song that literally swirls your hair and transports you to a place of overwhelmingly loud and quiet all at once. Going to the lodge at Fish Lake for a meal was always a huge deal. Us kids had always only brought play clothes to Utah, because that’s what we would do till we were called in, but we would put on the least grungy clothes we had, and my grandma would help my cousin Taylor and I with our hair. (Neither of us were girly girls on account of both of us only having brothers).
How silly I was to think that Ogden and Provo were just big little towns, much like Vancouver, WA. I learned that Provo is just as weird as Portland, OR, with each hipster trying to be more obscure than the next. Ogden is a beautiful city that has the charm of a “old town” looking main strip, and the attraction of many modern looking buildings. By far the thing that makes me jealous of Ogden, is the proximity of the great range of mountains. I saw the sun rise and hit the snowy monsters, and there is no doubt in my mind that that was one of the most wondrous and beautiful things I have ever seen. They looked warm and soft, and unforgiving of ignorance, all at the same time. I was stopped in my tracks, with my writing journal in my hand, completely inspired. Utah is blessed to have the commotion and convenience of the city right next to the peace and escape of the country. There is no sacrificing one for the other. I won’t make the mistake of thinking that again.