Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lake Powell

I forgot to include this happened after my stay in Dixie National Forest, on my way to Arizona.

This is what I saw of Zion. The other side. I accidentally drove 30 miles past the turn and decided not to turn around. I did see something very cool though...

I thought this was a mirage at first, until I drove up to it. It's Lake Powell! Greatest lake EVER. About 185 miles long, it sits in the southwest corner of Utah. It's SO BLUE.

This dam is almost as large as the Hoover Dam. I would not want to be there if it broke open, that's for sure. It's holding A LOT of water. When ice is melting in the springtime, it all runs into Lake Powell. One vacationer told me that during the month of June the lake rose a full foot every day.

I asked someone where was the one place I could swim where there would be no other people and I was directed here--to the Coves.

The water is DEEP. I'm not sure how deep. At least 30 feet, I assume. That looks like an adult tree standing underwater. In the heat the water so nice. It was my first time swimming in a body of water other than a hot spring all summer. It was also terrifying, with the depths, and not knowing what might be down there to grab hold of my ankle and drag me down...if I had more time I could have written some intense fiction stories. Maybe an erotica or two included.

It almost looks like this guy is walking on water--is he Jesus? Look closer!

Venice Beach

Here are some pictures of Venice Beach. Enjoy! And stereotype as you may...

Our two greatest California stereotypes caught passing each other! The movies and the surfer dude. Love it. By the way: California is not so different from Boston.

I met the redhead in this picture (I have to look up his name later, can't remember now) while I was walking to Venice Beach. He was too. Neither of us had ever been there before. He was from Nebraska, a state I avoided on my way to Idaho. He works summers at his family's ranch in Oregon. I wanted to watch the street performers, so we stopped to watch. They took forever to get started, and when they did almost-start they were just insulting to anyone and everyone. They gathered a bunch of unwilling volunteers to create a wall to jump over. Redhead and I parted ways soon after this. I played on the bodybuilding park by myself, as it should be.


The Powell Library was beautiful. It has carvings and tiles in the walls, and carved staircases too.

These columns guard the front door to the library.

Yes, this is an adorned water bubbler. It was in the Royce Building.

Of course I explored the library. I randomly found some books of poetry written by western women. I like this poem. Read it and you'll learn why.

If I were there longer I would have climbed this tree.

Artemis stops in LA

I stayed with Joanne and Jim for two nights in LA--yes, Los Angelas! I met them at the ranch this summer, while I was serving my sentence there. Jim helped a ton with places to see when I left LA, and both of them gave me advice on what to check out in the city--UCLA, Venice Beach, etc.

I forgot to take a picture before I messed up the bed, but there it is! Lovely room. I also had my own bathroom. Oh, and the wall-mirror meant that I got to see my awful bed-hair both mornings.

I could show you all kinds of pictures of their backyard, but you wouldn't really get it. It goes up and up, it's this crazy-winding path in the back, filled with green plants and trees and spiderwebs. This is one of my favorite parts though. They've been together for some 20 years and are still madly in love. See, it does happen sometimes!

Okay, just one! Their yard was so cool. Jim said he bought the house around 30 years ago. "It wouldn't be affordable today," he said.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Welcome to the Salton Sea

"Welcome to the Saltn Sea Recreation Area." Please step out of your car and into the swarm of flies. Try to ignore them, because they won't go away. And don't worry that they're obsessed with your's one of the warmest things around, aside from the tropical heat.

Beautiful scenery: (More research needed) The basic gist of this is that the sea was cut off from the ocean a hundred or so years ago, and it was so beautiful out here, that people put a price on it and it became prime real estate for the wealthy int he early 1900s, the '40s, I think. Everything was going great for a while: kids were swimming in the sea, people were fishing it, and the beach was the place to be.

Then one day every fish in the water goes belly up and the bodies settle on the shore. Everyone freaks out, abandons their homes, and never returns. End of beach front property. Now the place is practically deserted, with flies everywhere and dead fish still lying in piles on the shore. Their bones have almost become one with the sand, until you walk on them, and you realize it isn't sand at all.

I was dumbfounded at what these guys were doing--they were fishing in the Salton Sea! Couldn't they see all the dead fish everywhere? I yelled to them, "Have you caught anything?" And one guy answered, "A couple." I asked, "Are there fish here? Alive?" He said, "Yeah. Fishing season, they're really good." I looked down into the water and realized that, yes, there were several schools of fish along the rocks. I'm not sure that I would eat them. The water is still salty, although it's been cut off from the ocean: What made the other fish die, but these fish live? Are they ocean-fish evolved to survive in this ocean-like sea? I'm dying tor ead more about the sea and find out what research has been done, if any. THAT would be an interesting science project.

"Tinkerbell's" Family: Mesa, Arizona

This is Tinkerbell's family. I worked with her this summer at the ranch. She was a housekeeper and I was a server. We started talking over stomach problems. Her family is remarkably similar to my ex boyfriend, Chris. They all practice martial arts, many of them have been in the military, and they're all somewhat short and skinny. In Chris's family, his sister was a mechanic and he wanted to be a baker: In Tinkerbell's family her sister is a mechanic and one of her sister's fiances was in culinary school. The similiarities are terrifying. Especially since I love Tinkerbell's family so much! I felt right at home. She has 7 brothers and sisters altogether, and most of them are involved in relationships. It was weird to finally be a third wheel, since I haven't experienced that in so long.

This is the cactus in the neighbor's front lawn. An arm fell off of it a few days before I showed up. It was one of the first cartoony-cactuses I'd seen on my drive southwest.

Sarah is Tinkerbell's 19-year-old sister. She acts tough and in charge, but is fairly easy to talk to. She is with Vince, and the darker puppy is theirs; he's the brother of her mother's puppy Sheba.

Tinkerbell's simple wedding dress: "It's my dream dress," she says. Her wedding is next Friday at the temple: most of her family isn't allowed in, because they aren't Mormon. The reception is in October. There might be 800 guests there.

Rachel's Princess dress: Rachel is getting married the day after Tinkerbell's reception. This sounds a little crazy to me, since both of these things are happening at their large, but not masion-like house. I want to see her wedding and the reception so much!

Rachel is sitting on the stool in the middle of the living room in a poofy, tight-bodiced wedding dress and veil. She's tossing her bouquet of red flowers.
"Oh my god. I can't believe you just did that," Pepper says. ""Why do you look like such a bride?"
"I can put you in a different dress," her mother says.
"No, mine fits my personality."
Rachel walks across the room, showing me how she can walk in the dress. She turns and leaps back onto the half-foot stool, revealing the black jeans beneath.
"I'm not jealous. Your style looks like you and my style looks like me."

This is Tinkerbell with her "sweetheart" Christopher. They've been dating for 7 years.

Adam & Noel: Adam is one of the older brothers. He is allergic to the sun and lives in his van in his mom's cement garage. His wife lives there with him. She gave me a colorful skirt that she says she was getting rid of.

The family loved me because I'm Pagan. But their mother and Tinkerbell are both Mormon. I'm so glad my friend is open-minded enough to accept me. She has never tried to persuade me into her religion.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Free camping in Dixie

This is a picture of Kabob National Park, but it looks an awful lot like the area I camped at in Dixie National Forest. It looked like this on the drive there, anyway.
Luckily I stopped at the Visitors Center and asked for directions. I always feel like I'm doing something wrong when I ask about free camping--it feels like taking advantage. The woman at the center directed me to 14 East and told me to keep driving to the flats. I turned into Webster Flats and drove down a rocky dirt road until I found a good side road that my car could handle.

All of the trees were Aspens. When I found my site, I immediately began setting up my tent and then gathered firewood. Failed at starting the fire. I play the trees. Cooked grilled cheese and hot chocolate for dinner. Then I immediately went to sleep and got up at 6 a.m. in the dark so I could catch shadows in Zion.

Geology Guy

Eric is a blonde and blue-eyed non-Mormon. He made that very clear when we first met. I stayed with him at his house in Logan, Utah my first night on the road this time around. I danced with him a couple of times in Stanley--the first time at the Kasino Club, the second time at Rod & Gun's reggae night. He's a graduate student studying Geology. He's read all the books I loved growing up-- "My Side of the Mountain" and "Julie of the Wolves" and "Island of the Blue Dolphins."

His kitchen doubles as his office and bookshelf space. It was a very nice basement studio.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bannack Ghost Town--purple orbs?

I basically couchsurfed with this woman I met at the Stanley craft fair last week. Cora Breezley is a photographer living in Challis, Idaho. I went with her and her two granddaughters this weekend to visit Bannack State Park, where there's a ghost town. The population was once at 3,000 and now no one but park employees live there. Many of the buildings were taken away over the years, before the state got hold of the place.

The long hallway in Hotel Meade.

The Hotel Meade was built in 1875 originally served as the county courthouse. When Dillon became the county courthouse, this brick building remained empty until 1890, when Dr. John Singleton Meade bought it and transformed the building into a hotel. Children sometimes claim to see a girl in a blue dress walking around in the hotel, and many guests mention cold and warm spots throughout the building. In 1915, a 16-year-old girl named Dorothy came to the hotel with her mother. One day she and some friends were playing outside in the pond, and Dorothy fell in. Her body was found later. She is the girl in the blue dress.

I took the picture of this stove in the dining room. There is a purple light on it. I am not a fanatic, but I found this light on a few other pictures too...they're all in different spots, so it can't be on the lens. There could be something wrong with the camera, or maybe weird reflections. But maybe not.

Side by side they lean.

Would you care for a shave, sir?

"Shawna looks really demonic in this one picture," I said while Cora was frying hamburger for our dinner.
"That's probably her natural state," she said.

I'm writing writing writing in the old schoolhouse.

I love old cans!

We found a hidden vent at the back of the schoolhouse. Angela is the one furthest from the vent.

Cora, taking pictures in the first house we stepped into. We spent 2 and half hours in the town the first day, and another house the next morning.