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Saturday, November 14, 2015

You Only Get One Story, Make It Good

"Once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.” (Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)

Every November Zion National Park hosts a "Paint-out," an "invitation only" affair where some of the best western landscape artists convene for a week of plein air (outdoor) painting… lovely oils, watercolors, acrylics, and pastels. These masters make it look so easy, but it's mostly rocket science and mystery to this amateur.

Zion inspires creativity. It makes me want to paint, draw, write, and photograph. Zion also inspires movement. It makes me want to hike, bike, walk, wade, and explore… preferably with friends who appreciate wandering around in such landscapes. Only the heartiest can weather Zion beyond mid November. Our gang is down to four, now, layers of Rv friends peeling off one by one in search of warmer climates. Bobbie and I will likely be the only one's left soon enough. We will stick it out till December, store Goldie down the road in Washington, then hit the road home to Lovely Ouray, now all blanketed in holiday snow. Decorations will come out of storage, Bobbie will arrange the Manger Scene while I put up a few lights. A fire will flicker in the hearth, as well as our hearts. It is a good story, one worth repeating every year. 

Normally I'm not cut out to do "repeats." I crave change and new horizons. But every year we seem to end up spending October and November in Utah's red rocks, and every year, to our surprise, we are not disappointed. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.    


  1. I totally understand your draw to this area. We aren't repeaters either, but the eastern side of Utah calls us every spring. March, April, and May now call us back to Bluff, Moab, and Capital Reef. I can't seem to get enough of this area. The red rocks are where I feel home:) But with your IMAX view in Ouray, I would return for the holidays, as well!

  2. It seems you CAN have the best of both worlds when you have an RV!

    There is something about red rocks that suck us right in. We are now adding Cottonwood to our list of potential places to settle down someday thanks to its proximity to Sedona/Jerome/Prescott....and not terribly far from UT.

    1. I can hear real estate prices escalating already.


  3. I started reading your blog last Fall when you were in the red rocks and I was full of envy. Now I need to read about it all over again and am even more full of envy..............I just love that part of the country. I am in New Mexico but will soon be moving to Texas (don't ask...........hubby got a job there so I will make the most of it......it is right by the hill country so there will be some places to go hiking and camping. Not like the desert Southwest though. Yep I really envy your every day is full of fun and games.

  4. It's nice when you have favorite locations in Utah that you can make repeated visits and they never grow old. Then home to lovely Ouray.
    The photo of the 1962 Corvair ( same blue color) was my first used car as a teenager. With rear engine weight in the back, great winter car for doing parking lot donuts in the snow. Great photos of Zion.

  5. That left handed painter sure has some incredible depth going on in his painting. And those moody, broody cloud photos make me think maybe I made the wrong choice of a movie on a cold, rainy day in Zion...Glad I got to see them through your lens.

  6. In Kanab I'm feeling the chill but I do love the red rock country. Maybe Mexico for the winter would warmer though.

  7. As much as I love (and thrive) on new adventures, there are places that call me back time and again. The red rock canyons of Utah, definitely. And the San Juan Islands. And the Sierras. Good thing we're traveling full-time. :) Your photos are gorgeous.


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