Lessons Learned

Hiking boots that don’t feel good one week, won’t miraculously feel good the next. Note to self: Bite the bullet and get a new pair. Nine and a half miles in poor boots can ruin a great hike.

One of the highlights of my recent trip was seeing the gnarled old bristlecone pines in Great Basin NP that are thousands of years old despite a harsh, dry environment. They are so incredibly hard, it’s like knocking on rock. I went with a good friend who enjoys the same kind of travel that I do, caves, hiking, great vistas, and laughter. We toured Lehman Cave, which is unique because of its cave shields, (so cool), and participated in an astronomy program. Great Basin is certified as a dark location for star gazing. No light pollution – which means they have converted all their after dark fixtures to red lights, and the fixtures are shielded so the light travels down where we humans need to see, not up into the sky. Important if you like looking at stars!

Goblin Valley in Utah is a fabulous location for photography, especially if you like weird shapes carved out of red sandstone. I saw monks, buddhas, pioneer women in bonnets, cowboys in sombreros, every kind of character you can imagine, all garbed in the same red, of course, and most all asleep. It was hot there, so a nap was most appropriate in my opinion.

Bonnieville Salt Flats was not on our list, but we drove right by it, so we had to turn off and see what it was all about. I’ve heard about it many times, but never been there. Very interesting and very white. (It’s nothing but salt so what did I expect?) Then there is the Great Salt Lake, not so impressive, and the sulphur smell can be a little much. It was interesting to find out that there is life out there, brine shrimp and algae feed a huge number of migratory birds passing through the area.

We heard the organ being played in the Morman Tabernacle and I have to say, that is impressive. Best of all, I got to see my family in their new home, play with my grandsons, and get in some much wanted hugs. All in all – a great trip.

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About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature and fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's, two topics that are very difficult to manage in real life. Barbara volunteers doing school programs and speaking to support groups. National Parks, hiking, and snow-shoeing are in her list of favorite hobbies.
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