Stopping Time in Montana
I wish I could say more about Utah, but I was pretty much done when I left Bryce Canyon. I drove over to Zion National Park, arriving around sunset. Once I got to Zion, I made a half-hearted attempted to drive around and get the lay of the land before trying to find a place to park and sleep. As I drove around, the thought of having to do any more hiking felt like a chore and a burden, and I was dreading it. That was all I needed to give myself permission to skip Zion. I turned around, drove out of the park, and headed north. I didn't have much of a plan left for Utah. I wanted to head north to get to Montana, where my mom lives. I knew I wanted to stop in Provo, because I had ancestors who founded the city. I also planned on stopping in Salt Lake City, because ... I dunno, it's there? Because I liked SLC Punk as a kid?
While I was in Provo, I found the house my great-great-great-grandfather built, which is now a historic site. That was pretty cool.
When I got to Salt Lake City, it was at 8am on a Sunday morning, so there wasn't much to do. And frankly, I was feeling a bit burnt out with finding a new place to stay every night, having to keep moving, and I wanted to do some major reorganization in the van. So, I treated myself to breakfast, and decided to just drive towards Montana until I didn't want to drive anymore. I ended up driving straight through in one shot, rolling up in my mom's driveway a few days ahead of schedule. She was thrilled.
And it was such a good decision on my part. I had no idea how exhausted I was. I had expected to stay for a few days or so, and then leisurely head to Seattle and Portland, and come back for the solar eclipse on the 21st.
Expectations are so great. My I love the sound they make when they are completely shattered.
On the first day, I pulled my hammock out of the van. On the second day, I actually got around to setting it up. This set the pace of my visit. It got slower from there. I think I spent a week and a half at my mom's. I stopped counting days.
I spent most of my time there lounging in the hammock, throwing a ball for my mom's dog, and chatting with my mom. I think we only went into town together two or three times. I pulled half of my crap out of the van to organize it. I didn't really get around to it until the day I left. I think I left the doors open on the van for three days straight.
My mom and I talked about making art, changing the narratives inside your head that define you, our addiction to stories. We'd always been pretty upfront with each other, but this visit we went to brutal honesty. We both survived. I think we even like each other more now.
I gave her my chromecast and introduced her to music that's been catching my attention lately: Run the Jewels, Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar. That led to a Youtube marathon with NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts, British accents, the Rubberbandits, dubstep dancing, finger tutting, and c-walking. We compared melody lines from the Vikings theme and Nirvana's "You Know You're Right". She took me to the ceramics co-op she helped start up. We drank out of coffee mugs she made. We ate off plates she made. We had ice cream in bowls she made. I probably should have told her how impressed I was. (Hi Mom! I was impressed by all the ceramics you made.)
I bewitched Ollie, her (supposedly) aloof and standoffish dog, who normally has no time or inclination for people. That dog bewitched me too. I repeatedly threatened that I would steal her. I still might.
It wasn't until we visited her friends Paul and Linda to pick up veggies from their garden and eggs from their chickens that I realized I hadn't taken a single photo in Montana. Paul bemoaned the haze in the sky from the wildfires, and how I probably wasn't able to get any photos of the area. He was right, but I hadn't even tried.
Mostly I shot photos of Ollie with my phone.
I really want to steal that dog.