A Closer LookPosted: August 10, 2013
“Look”! “Have you ever seen anything like that?” Heather was pointing to the gathering of Dragonflies above a bush near our tent pitched on the shore of Bear Lake, Utah. As they zeroed in on the bush, they followed the shoreline in and then some natural homing signal made them veer up towards the bush. What was unusual is the fact that no more than ten minutes earlier, they were nowhere to be seen. As dusk took hold, the sky turned red over the Wasatch Mountains to the west. Could that be it? Was this the Sunset Dance of the Dragonfly? We could only surmise that it was an integral part of the natural life on the lake. I suspect we were seeing the food chain in living colour.
Hmmmm… hmmmmm… hmmmmmm… the familiar sound signaled the approach of a hummingbird. The cool breeze carried down Montpelier Creek made our little Shangri-La a very comfortable place to spend the hot afternoon and contemplate the nature of things. It was common to see these beautiful birds on our back porch at home in Quesnel, BC. There, we set up the requisite hummer feeders and marvel at their flying prowess as we sip our lemonade and watch the “world go by”. Never had we seen one of these clever little creatures drinking water out of a creek. What we witnessed was something to behold. From a perch above a little back eddy, she zoomed down and assumed a stationary position just above the water. Her wings were just millimeters above the surface. She then moved forward, skillfully flying with just tip of her tiny pointed beak below surface. Watching closely, we marveled at this tiny winged vacuum, drinking its fill. She came back a number of times and we felt privileged to have shared some time with her.
We were enjoying a particulary beautiful morning of riding following the Salt River south of Alpine Wyoming. Our stay in Alpine had been, well… “colourful”. We camped behind a Tavern that was masquerading as a campground. It did a pretty good job and we slept well just barely hearing the honkey tonk music from the home of Budweiser. Like many other regions in Wyoming, this section of Hwy. 89 was flanked by nature reserves and boasted many interpretive stations with information about the local flora and fauna. However, as we rolled along one thing was in the back of our minds. The day before, we had received a text message from Bob our real estate agent back home. We are in the process of selling a piece of property and he required a signature on a document. It sounded simple. Receive an email with attached document, print it sign it and fax it back. Easy peezy… problem was Alpine had no library and no Mailboxes ‘r Us. We messaged Bob and said we’d have to wait until we arrived in a bigger town, maybe Afton a comfortable day’s ride away. Back on Hwy. 89, we could tell a small town was looming on the horizon by the line of trees going across the horizon ahead. They typically grow along the banks of a small river that would have been the centerpiece of the homestead that pre-dated the current town. As we rode closer we could see it was one of those places that was home to a single horse so to speak. Even so, Etna had a General Store with a gourmet coffee bar, Post Office and and a friendly staff that were just itching to say hi. Ready for a coffee, we parked our bikes in formation out front and sauntered in. The coffee was great. The ladies however were exasperated at the sheer thought of our journey. We were given a felt pen and excitedly asked to sign the picnic table out front. Just in passing, I asked, “Is there anywhere we could download a document from an email, print it and fax it to Canada? “Sure”… “Right here.” said one of the gals. Wow. One really needs to look a little closer.
Last story for this blog post is about a family we met in Montpelier’s KOA campground. They had rented one of the “Kabins” near our campsite and were having a great time. Of Hispanic descent, they were mixed in ages from a little baby to a gentleman who looked our age. As usual, it took a series of cordial waves and hellos before Manny the middle aged man in the group broke the ice. His greeting was sincere and be was keenly interested in where we had come from. After telling our story, we were invited over to their place for dinner the following evening. We were thrilled not only at the idea of a home cooked meal but the potential to make some new friends. This was going to be good! It was. Carne Asada with all the trimmings. Homemade Ceviche to start. Mmmmm! After dinner we were honored to be present at a first for the family. Manny’s wife Liz had her Dad Rene’ were visiting from Guatemala with Liz’ sister Cynthia. It was their wish to have a marshmallow roast! I was asked to light a campfire and the ritual was underway. The customary flaming torches were created as was lots a lots of laughter! The evening ended with warm thank you’s from everyone and, an invitation to come to their home just outside Salt Lake City. We heartily accepted and have made a date to see them after our USANA Health Sciences Convention is over. NOW we know why we booked an extra day in Salt Lake City!
Now on to Logan. Bear Lake Summit is on the way. Our last of 12 major climbs on the ride. Let’s keep on truckin!