December 9, 2022
Well it’s definitely Christmas/holiday season even in remote areas of the country. We may not be near any big retail establishments (which is so wonderful by the way), but there are still festive happenings way out here. We started the week by visiting the Christmas market that was happening in Boulder one afternoon. I was able to get some handmade cards that contain riddles or puns and a few small gifts to send to family members. Luke got pulled into the photo booth they had to get his Christmas photo. I just happened to see Santa at the market today and so I got my Christmas photo with him. There is an amazing Christmas train that the local electrician built and he drives it around town at least once a week. I didn’t have my camera ready the first time I saw it, but I hope to get some photos or video of it this weekend.
Luke and I are loving life in the apartment at Entrada. We have greater appreciation now for going to bed in a warm home and waking up with the plumbing working as the pipes aren’t freezing at night. Our double showerhead situation is also leading us to be cleaner than we have in a long time as showering is such a nice experience here. A local woman here named Cassie and I are planning our supper club and met last weekend to work out the details of this. Now I just need to wait to hear back on if the space we want to use will be available for the date we selected. A few people we have talked to in town have already said they will definitely attend. We decided it should be adults only and several people cautioned me that if I did not, many would bring several kids in order to have them eat for free. I hope that our friendly mormon community does not misconstrue the intent of it being adult only and drive us out of town for being hedonists. I also learned a bit of backstory about why some of the locals are not in favor of this area being made into a National Monument or the local conservation groups working to protect it. It turns out that there was coal mining and some oil wells out here at one point and the families working these or owning them lost livelihood. Most of the time when I find someone with opinions I disagree with, I can generally understand why others have that different opinion once I just stop and ask why. Everyone has a good reason to support their beliefs and values. This doesn’t often change my mind about anything, but it does help me see that nothing is ever simple and nothing can ever be all good or all bad.
We checked out the music scene at the Pub which is about a block away from us now. We decided the musicians and singers there are very good, but it was just a little too loud. Luke played “The Mariner’s Revenge” and played along with several of their songs.
Our dog run this week led us to stumble upon the landfill. The landfill is free here (first place we’ve ever seen with a free dump) so you can just stumble upon it. I find landfills interesting. Probably for the same reason I find abandoned places interesting. Artifacts left behind by modern folk always seem to tell a story. The story I told myself here was about the perils of off-roading with Power Wheels. Then we have Luke walking the plank while Dobby watches. The shoe was a sad traveler trapped in quicksand (in my imagination world).
On Wednesday we actually got a good amount of snow. It hasn’t melted yet either, which is not what I had been expecting. The snow was very pretty and went on almost all day. The managers at Entrada here are a lovely couple named Wendy and Terry. Terry makes sculptures and paintings using a lot of found supplies like wood scraps. His sculptures are all over the property here so I had fun taking some photos of them in the snow.
We took a little drive down Hole in The Rock road to see if the snow was capping the hoodooos at Devil’s Garden. Weather systems are so interesting when you can see for miles. About halfway there, it seemed that it either didn’t snow much or that the snow had already melted. However, along the way we stopped to take a few photos as the clouds were enveloping parts of the ground. I also caught a very pretty sunset that peeked out from the clouds that evening.
I started my volunteer work with the inter-agency visitor center here in town over the past couple of days. Already, I am learning a lot! Yesterday was my first day and I got to hold a mammoth tooth that must have weighed at least 10 pounds. The folks working there have been very friendly so far. Today, I was able to go out to tag along for some trail mapping. We hiked out to Zebra slot canyon. I stayed at the mouth of slot canyon though while Rayden, who works for BLM went through it. The scenery along the hike was of course beautiful and it was not a difficult trek, but this slot always seems to have water in it and I didn’t want my bottom half cold and wet for the hike back. Rayden felt like it was just warm enough for him to hike through it. He bravely stood still in that cold water so I could snap a quick photo.
Some years back my mother and I started a tradition of baking and sharing cookies at Christmas. It made for nice gifts to bring to work and various holidays gatherings we attended and we had fun doing it. I skipped the tradition last year as we were camped in an RV without a lot of space for baking, but this year I’ve decided to go for it and make a bunch of batches of assorted cookies. The first kind I will make are pfeffernussee cookies as they seem to keep the longest and might be the most challenging. I’ve never had these, but I like trying new things and love ginger cookies, so I have high expectations for them.
We also scooped up a new XBox on a super black Friday deal and started getting some games for it so there has been lots of fun indoor time too. I just found out today that for one of our games, there is an add-on that takes place in Zion National Park so we will be trying that one out tonight. I hope everyone is doing well where they are and has an opportunity this week to find beauty in an old truck.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents her journey through her photography and blog to share with others.