The feeling of being scattered and not-quite-caught-up has persisted, and it's impacting my ability to write posts, and comment on other people's.
Maybe to break the logjam I'll post pictures of a desert (to mirror my inner state).
A synopsis of the trip:
We drove approx 1200 miles to Breckenridge, CO, for a family reunion. My father is the oldest of 3 kids, each born 7 years apart. My parents had two girls (one who died in 1988, and one yours truly) and twin sons. (I am the firstborn of the grandkids.) My father's younger sister had three daughters, (the oldest of whom is about 6 years younger than me) and their youngest brother never had children. He's about 9 years older than me.
Gary & I have 2 kids; my cousins have 5 sons and one daughter among them, one of my brothers has a daughter and a son, and my sister had had one daughter--the firstborn of the great-grandchildren of the grandparents my cousins and I share. So, 17 adults, 10 children, one house. One week, with some variation in duration to meet school and sports obligations.
It went quite well, all those personalities together. I was puzzled at how I seemed to naturally gravitate toward my aunt's family, much more than mine. There was just better chemistry there, and our conversation was spontaneous, very pleasurable (not forced, as with my parents and brothers), frequent, and frequently long.
We, Gary & our kids & I, left a day before the house needed to be vacated. Gary had ambitions to visit and re-visit some of the canyons and formations of southern Utah--we honeymooned there over 16 years ago.
First stop was Capitol Reef National Park, a very long, narrow, north-south oriented tract of land. In this portion of the trip I alone shot over 800 photos. Gary said it's a 'common mistake' with a digital camera. I suppose I epitomized that common mistake--everywhere I looked there was a picture. Obviously, this was shot while on the road.
There are petroglyphs here.
Next day we drove through an aspen forest and then onto the most amazing of roads. It's hwy 12 toward the town of Escalante, and it's like driving on the spine between beautiful canyons. At places the drop-off below us on either side is hundreds of feet. To the west we're tracking the Calf Creek drainage on its way to the Escalante River (on it's way to the Colorado). I'm not sure what creek drainage is to the east. There's a little BLM campground, just 13 sites, and we were lucky enough to get one.
We had to ford Calf Creek to get to it.
Then we went for a hike upstream to find the falls. Scott didn't feel well, so Gary took him back to camp. Connor and I pressed on.
And on and ended up here:
As I arranged the photographs the obvious metaphor dawned on me.