Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

A Very Busy Easter and We're On The Road Again

We had a very very busy Easter, which was also very satisfying in a bunch of different ways.

One of the most fun parts came from a deprivation last year, because of various reasons our church didn't get around to organizing an Easter Egg hunt after the service. This year, there were a bunch of changes. The first was that instead of candy they filled most of the eggs with pennies. The kids could then put their pennies into the bins for various charities that the church supported.

Jet was upset last year that there wasn't a hunt because he was finally of the age where he was going to help hide the eggs for the younger kids instead of getting them. He wanted to help the smaller kids have a great time. So he had a blast this year, filling the eggs, helping to hide them during the service, and then finding some of the eggs for the tiny kids that didn't find any. So it was satisfying all around.

One of the ladies I've known for over five years was someone I worked with in Biloxi on a few of the construction trips. She's now on her third set of chemo with what's basically an incurable cancer and facing it head on. I've always wanted to spend more time with her. She's witty, fun, smart as a whip, and compassionate now in a way few people can be. I finally had to face the fact that there might not be that much more time, and got the courage up to ask her if I could visit, and we did.

It was amazing. I'm glad I asked and even more glad that I'm going to spend more time with her. She's asked me to come back and it's going to be good for both of us, I think.

Another is a lady of Hawaiian Japanese descent and into Japanese calligraphy but is entirely non-traditional in every sense. *laughs* We set up calligraphy equipment in the kitchen and went to town, and talked about everything. It was a wild ride, but I really do need to paint more, and it gave me an opportunity to finally dust off all my painting equipment, clear the space again, and get ink down on paper.

They were all good things to do.

On Saturday we ran around like crazy because we were signed up to do the following:
  • Boil 4 dozen eggs for dyeing on Sunday morning.
  • Prep neck ties to do the dyeing. (100% silk ties give up their glory when in contact with an egg in boiling vinegar water.
  • Prep veg and fruit and deviled egg stuffing mix for snacks for Easter Sunday
  • Coordinate a few more people for snacks
  • Shop for sweet potato casserole for Easter Dinner with Mimi
  • Knit a pair of fingerless gloves for Angie
  • Help Jet fill Easter Eggs (I've never seen $100 in pennies before)
  • Do the hiding on Sunday
  • John was liturgist for Sunday
  • I had to seed my tomatoes before we left for Moab
Then on Sunday we did it all. *laughs* And it was good.

Late Sunday night I packed up all my clothing, my painting supplies, and this morning we got everything else packed and into the van and headed south and west to Moab, Utah.

Disappearing Peaks
The weather was perfect. We've had a drought for the last two years here in Colorado, and to everyone's surprise, this particular March has been nearly the wettest on record. In most places we doubled the usual snow fall. March is our snowiest month, so it wasn't a surprise, but the sheer amounts have been pretty amazing. It snowed for every Saturday for the first three weekends in the month, nearly a foot a couple of times, and Easter weekend was the first sunny weekend we'd had in a very long time.

So it was clear and sunny and dry on the most part as we headed into the Rockies. And while snow covered the peaks, and clouds were massing their way in the West to try and rain on the Front Range later in the afternoon, the morning was perfect. The passes had no snow, just spectacular views of snow-covered vistas and the mists above them.

There wasn't all that much traffic. Most of the Spring Break craziness probably happened on Saturday morning, and so things were fairly clear. Jet entertained himself with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and his iTouch, and I mostly slept or drove, whichever John wasn't doing, and both of us took the occassional drive-by picture as we were able.

Perfect Picnic Spot
We stopped for lunch by the Colorado River, in the canyons just East of Glennwood Springs. It was just gorgeous out, we were all in t-shirts and shorts, and we had a picnic lunch in our van. It was perfect, just leaving the door open and letting the wind and sun come in. We just ate simple crackers, cheese, grapes, a few boiled eggs from the last few days of insanity, and chips of various sorts. We ended up with some of Jet's mint brownies.

He had a homework assignment he did on Saturday afternoon, making three-layered chocolate mint brownies. The base is pure brownie, there's a mint buttercream frosting, and a chocolate ganache topping. He did it for a 'measurement' assignment, where he just had to measure at least five things! So he was rather ambitious given the actual assignment, but he sailed through all three stages without a problem, and learned a lot about baking and finishing technique in the process.

Best of all he cleaned everything up after AND we've been eating mint brownies since. They keep beautifully in a cooler and were a wonderful dessert.

We wound and wandered and followed the freeway out and down South, through some of the most colorful areas Colorado has to offer and into Utah. Given the landscape, it's tough to tell which is which along I-70 once we were in the mountains and then coming through them and out the other side.

I love how the formations are entirely fractal when one looks at the more closely, each of the fissures and weather worn ridges are in proportion to the others, and the color schemes amaze me every time we go through. I saw one set of worn rocks that had a buttery yellow cast with red overlays and gray-blue cuts and shadows. Another was all in khakies, green, brown, and olive.

There's quite a lot of beetle kill up in Rockies, still, and the fire danger's pretty insane up here, where even the living wood is dryer than kiln dried wood from other parts of the country. There was a report on the news the other night about how silt and ash from a fire that actually burned most of the dead wood up here would affect the drinking water for everything down river of the Colorado River. That's a lot of the Southwest. I met a guy at the Easter dinner who works with the forestry service up here, and he talks about how they sprout and nurture tens of thousands of seedlings every year. It was so cool that he loved his job.

A Red Rock Back Yard
We arrived in Moab at 4 p.m. after a stop for gas, milkshakes, and onion rings along the way. John had reserved a room here, in a small, comfortable little hotel called the Silver Sage Inn. It was within walking distance of downtown, and after unloading everything we needed, we did just that.

We walked the length of the town, looked through a lot of the restaurants, a few of the shops, and noted all the espresso cafes and ice cream shops along the way. Given that Moab is far enough south to be hot for most of the year, there's probably a few dozen ice cream, gelato, and frozen treat shops. On the way back, we went to the Moab Brewery for dinner. They had a very nice root beer. John liked the beer, and we enjoyed the food because we were all pretty hungry.

Back at the hotel we played Mille Bornes, watched Three Stooges, and started reading the original Sherlock Holmes stories to Jet for his bedtime stories. We have a plan to hit one of the parts tomorrow and just hike everywhere. I suspect that my fitbit scores are going to really climb for the next few days.
Tags: travel, ucc

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