Thursday, August 26, 2010

A few days off

The wife and I travelled out of town over the weekend of Aug 14-15, leaving Wednesday evening and returning Monday afternoon. The purpose was to attend another family reunion, this time my father's side of the family. Overall, the trip was a pleasant one, but after all of it, it just confirmed the fact that long car trips are not for me anymore, and this one was not all that far, only 15-1600 miles roundtrip. Here it is, ten days later, and my body and brain can't get going. Our itinerary was as follows: one night in Flagstaff, one night in Moab, UT, two nights in Altamont, UT, one night in St. George, UT. (The proprietor of the motel in Altamont raises longhorns, and had the same last name of one of my classmates in elementary school in the late 1930's, but said he didn't know her.)

This get-together is held every two years during the Duchesne County Fair, but not because of the Fair. The Party Pasture is booked up through the summer, and our weekend always falls during Fair Time. Some of the family have projects and stuff entered in the competition, and some of the younger relatives have 4-H entries, but that has petered out since one of them won the Grand Champion Bull trophy a couple years ago. In years past, the family has had rodeo riders, horse entries (male and female), calf roping, etc., but I didn't hear of any of that this year.

Back in the party pasture, though, things were rocking, kids were playing basketball, chasing the dog, and generally getting in the way of the adults. There were more kids there than past years and all were having a good time, no quarreling, fights, or anything of that nature. The auction on Saturday is always a big and fun thing with people bringing stuff they don't want anymore. I donated two copies of The Stranger from the Valley and three copies of The Upamona Gold Claim Wrangle. I didn't bring any to sell  because of the taxes and license requirements. Anyway, one book brought $50 and the others sold for $20 - $30, which I thought was quite a bit for pocket books, but relatives, "not everyone has an uncle who writes," said one of my nieces. All the money from the auction will go toward the next reunion, though.

Another niece's husband gave me a tour on a four-wheeler around a couple of his pastures to see his Angus cattle, and discuss water and the winters and other stuff. Will post a couple of pictures in an upcoming blog.
While I was up there I managed to catch a bug and went to the doctor when I came back. The medicine I was given is almost worse than the bug - it makes me dizzy, no appetite and fatigued, but I am on the way to a full recovery and will be back in the swing shortly. It will take awhile to catch up on all the blogs and stuff, if I can find the time.

A note from Scott at, which many of you may have seen, says he is running a short-story contest, 2,500-4,000 words, entries due by Nov 30, 2010. Get your entries in early!


  1. I'm not a big fan of long car trips anymore. But because of work they are a continuing must.

  2. Thanks for the great blog. By the time you were done, I felt like I'd been there. The auction is a great idea, and so is having it during the Fair, even if it wasn't planned that way. Good also to hear that there were so many kids in attendance. That means it's thriving.

    One of my grandmothers came from a family of 12 or 13 kids, and they had reunions every year in a state park that was big enough to hold them all. That was back in Nebraska in the 40s and 50s. There got to be so many as the generations multiplied and moved farther away that it eventually evolved out of existence. But I still have memories - like the cases of pop and big 5 or 10 gallon buckets of ice cream.

    I cannot travel distances either anymore. Just knocks me out for a day or two afterwards.

  3. David, I'm getting too old for road travel, but who knows, maybe a trip is coming up.

    Ron, our reunion has been going for about 20 years or longer, after being resurrected. The participants change, but the count has remained about the same. Large families help, and ours is mostly Mormon, known for their large amount of off-spring. No one brought the ice cream this year, but there were plenty of soft drinks and water.

  4. Sounds like you had a great time even with the bug and car lag. We did a 3,000 mile round tripper this year and you are right about taking a while to recover. We traveled south and downhill from our home in Wyoming and found the heat every one was talking about. We were glad to get back home.

  5. Oscar, it sounds like you got the start of a great story there. Road trip, sick, medicine, and then the woozy hero has to defend his family against all odds. What do you think?

  6. That's a hell of a long way to go to catch a bug, Oscar, but I'm glad it was worth it.

  7. Old guy rambling, I think you went the wrong way in summertime, but hope recovery was successful.

    Anon-9, maybe I could make a western out of it, if I had the time.

    Mr. Valance, Right, why travel when you can get the bug at home. In retrospect, the trip was a good one.