Just a thought from the road, a look into the past

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It is Sunday here in Utah as it is back home in Alpine, California. It seems like I have been traveling for a long while, first three weeks in Peru’s Andes Mountains and now a week in Utah.

I wanted to share some thoughts about my trip, the people here and the beautiful countryside that fills every nook and cranny of Utah’s vast expanses.

It is Sunday here in Utah as it is back home in Alpine, California. It seems like I have been traveling for a long while, first three weeks in Peru’s Andes Mountains and now a week in Utah.

I wanted to share some thoughts about my trip, the people here and the beautiful countryside that fills every nook and cranny of Utah’s vast expanses.

Although I was born and raised in California, growing up in the 1960s, I do not relish the thought or promote the fact that I am a native Californian. Most mornings I dread turning onto the freeway onramp to battle the horrific traffic that fills our freeways every morning, noon and night.

Where do you all people coming from? I can tell you without a doubt that it was not always this crowed in Southern California.

If I have to guess, it must be our beautiful weather that draws most people from the East Coast where they are tired of shoveling snow, driving in blizzards or running for their lives from rising rivers.

Growing up in California during the 1960s was very laid back as Baby Boomers continued to multiply and fill up spare bedrooms with more and more kids.

Cars of that era were still being built to last, had smooth and shapely curves, just like the mold God created for all women and as I think about it, gas was a mere 25 cents per gallon.

Neighborhoods were safe back then too, our family did not even start locking our front door until one day when we read in the local paper that one of my sister’s friends, while on leave from Camp Pendleton, robbed the newly built 7-Eleven. That is creepy enough, but we later found out he did the deed while staying with us as our guest.

But enough of California, what I really wanted to share was a few moments from my trip to Utah. First off, at sunset the sky is so wide here that your shadow stretches out like a giant obelisk casting a long monolithic image over half an acre of land. The nighttime sky here is unbelievable where the stars come out and thrill your senses encouraging your imagination to work overtime.

The butcher shops here are filled with Black Angus beef, which is locally raised, grass fed and allowed to free range in these great pastures that grace the hills and meadows surrounding Cedar City. Most of us living in California are being duped into thinking we are eating well, pure and healthy foods as we hunt for great cuts of meat in our butcher’s cases.

Fuel here has a higher octane, less ethanol, is better and cheaper. When you go to fill up your car’s gas tank you will pleasantly discover gas is at least a dollar cheaper than what we are use to paying even though it gets trucked in from Southern California. Some materials, like those used in building houses, cost more here but there is also many more choices for woods, roofing and water faucets.

Most people here are very friendly although there are still a handful of selfish ones who demand to go before you, push up against you while in a grocery store line or while waiting for some other service.

One man, I met while stopping to admire his large ranch, slowed down to ask if I needed any assistance. The fact is I actually did need some help. You see, when I had gotten out of my truck to photograph his haying operation, I accidentally locked my door with the engine running. I had parked my truck hastily and I can only imagine what he and the others who passed me by thought about this tourist taking pictures of a circular irrigated pivot hay ranch.

His first thought was to break the glass window and so he handed me a hammer. Being frugal and having already tried to break the glass with a rock I desperately tried to think of something else but nothing came. Then he said he knew a mechanic at the local hardware store and called him up.

He said I would have to pay the mechanic something for his time but thought it would be cheaper than replacing the glass. Suddenly there was hope, some light at the end of the tunnel and he drove off with a tip of his Stetson hat and a smile on his face.

As I am sitting here in my office, located at the local coffee house writing you, I am wondering if you are enjoying hearing about my adventures, or are wondering where the “faith” part of my column comes in.

Take deep and long breaths, do not think of yourself too highly, open doors for people and do not speed up when someone signals to make a turn.