Utah Report Five: Tuesday

We returned to Salt Lake City to prepare for our return to the real world.

Farewell to Utah:

We are packing up now for the return flight to KC.

Thanks to those who filled in missing information from the previous e-mails: Randy discovered that "Escalante" in Spanish means "Escalante." Meanwhile, we saw a(n) historical marker that mentioned one of the first explorers of the region was named Escalante. His name still sounds appropriate for "twisty-turny staircase," but it was just a coincidence. And Lani correctly prophesied that I'd enjoy Zion (National Park, not heaven; yet) a lot better since the roads were at the bottom of the canyon instead of the top. What a wonderful plan! And I think the views were just as dramatic looking up, not down.

We saw the Great Salt Lake yesterday. It's nice to be able to say we saw it, since it may not be here much longer. At any rate, we had to walk about half a mile from the start of the lake to the actual water. It was like low tide: but this body of water doesn't have tides; it was just very low.

Lasting impressions:

Beautiful scenery.

Essentially treeless in Arches and Canyonlands. Trees along the rivers in Capitol Reef. Parent trees letting their children climb the foothills (foot mesas?) near Bryce. And whole families of trees ascending the incredibly steep canyons and filling the crevices (crevasses? is there a distinction to be made?) in Zion.

And tree fences throughout the scrub desert in northern Arizona. (Surely you've seen tree fences before? Most neighborhoods have them. Tall poles with wires strung between them at least a dozen feet above the ground. In Michigan's northern peninsula, they were especially effective in keeping the trees from advancing on the roads; in our neighborhood, I guess they're designed to keep our trees from moving over to the back-door-neighbor's house. But in northern Arizona, with no trees to speak of on the plateau, there were the tall poles with wires strung between them marching from horizon to horizon.)

It's been a wonderful journey. Kathy will probably post pictures on our website soon; we'll let you know about them, but won't make you sit through an evening with us as we look at all 600 slides together.

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