I decided to make a night of it.
It’s been my goal to attend the temple on a monthly basis this year. So far, so good. But July’s calendar looked exhausting on my phone. Almost every day had a little dot associated with it. Those dots generally represented to-do’s or places I needed to be.
Ugh, I thought. When am I going to squeeze in a 200 mile round trip to the temple?
Since I had the fourth off I decided that would be my best bet. But the temple was closed for the holiday. Hmmm. I had a lot on my plate to think about, what if I went down Thursday after work, attended the temple, then stayed for the night? On Friday I could mosey my way home and do a little sightseeing that I’m usually too pressed for time to enjoy.
Yes, I’d make a night of it.
Thursday went rather smoothly all according to plan.
Friday I woke up and decided to start my way back home. My first stop was Taco Bell to grab some breakfast. While ordering noticed groups of people walking in a common direction.
“Is there going to be a parade this morning?” I asked my friendly Taco Bell worker.
“Yes,” she replied.
“Is it going to be on that main road?” The main road out of town. Also known as my escape route.
“Is there another way out of town?” I asked.
“Oh, well you take a right out of the parking lot then a left, then do kind of a zig-zag….” her directions went on but she lost me at the zig zag. When she finished she looked at me and asked, “Do you want me to write this down?”
I scoffed. We stood in Po-dunk USA. Surely, it would not be that complicated to find my way out of town.
I enjoyed my breakfast burrito and took my tray to the trash. Instead of emptying the contents of my tray, I accidently let go and threw the whole tray away. Never done that before? It’s embarrassing, let me tell you. (sigh) And, unfortunately, a good indicator how the rest of my trip would go.
It turns out it is possible to get lost in Po-dunk USA. I figured I would eventually connect with the highway out of town. I figured all wrong. I drove for several minutes. The houses turned into ranches. The ranches became sparse. I continued my way determined the roads would intersect.
Finally, I realized the road I was on was never going to connect with the highway. I checked the map app on my phone to confirm (because I was sure the highway was just over the “next hill”). It couldn’t even tell me where I was. I had no choice but to back track.
No worries! Just an added adventure to my day.
I finally made my way to the highway and pointed in the right direction started for home.
For the past ten years since I’ve been attending this particular temple, I noticed a fun trail alongside the road. I’m usually in too big of a hurry to stop and hike it thought. But today, today would be the day. I pulled over to the trail head and was surprised I was the only car in the parking lot until I saw the sign.
So, I climbed in the car and continued on my way. It wasn’t the only stop I was going to make that day. I still had another one a ways down the road.
There were a couple of mishaps along the way but thankfully I was watched over and protected. One was my fault the other another driver’s. But I made it safely to my next destination. It was a place I had visited years ago with my family. I knew there were trails to follow and a visitor’s center. The exact details were a bit fuzzy since it had been so many years ago.
I followed the signs to the restaurant and store. Nothing about it looked familiar. I asked the clerk for details about the trails. He pulled out a couple of maps. “This one will take you to the overlooks,” he said. “It’s only about ¾ mile there and another mile to the visitor’s center.” I nodded and ignored the other map he had out with day long hikes. “Can I drive to the visitor’s center?”
“You can, but I suggest you hike it and leave your car here.”
Okay. So, I set off to see the overlooks. Should I change shoes? I wondered and looked at the sandals on my feet. Nah, it’s only ¾ mile.
Yeah, it’s only ¾ mile from the sign down the road. I walked along the dusty trail. The only visitor on it at the time. Although remnants of horses dotted the path. I continued on in my sandals. After all, I’m the girl who wore flip-flops to the Grand Canyon.
I arrived at the first overlook and looked over the canyon.
I tried to go to the second overlook but saw this.
“Oh, c’mon,” I muttered.
Then I heard the rumble of thunder and looked up at some pretty dark clouds. Oh dear. I decided to head back to the car. Truth be told, I just didn’t want my phone to get wet. I walked pretty fast back to the car.
I decided to try and drive to the visitor’s center. It took two minutes. I walked around the trail close to the center and had the eerie feeling of familiarity but not quite remembering the details. I remembered being there before years ago and seeing the tree struck by lightning. But it was all rather fuzzy and not coming in clear.
I decided it would be real nice to be home. So, I climbed in my car and continued on my way. Nothing else exciting happened and arrived home in the afternoon. Just in time to take a nap before I headed over to my brother’s house for dinner.
It wasn’t a bad way to spend the Fourth. Maybe I’ll even make it a tradition?