Wednesday, October 19, 2011


If you have a hour or so to kill, and want a real treat. Do yourself a favor and take drive up Santaquin Canyon. I have lived in this valley for many years. I have heard people talk about all the beautiful canyons we have just a few minutes away, Provo, Hobble Creek, Diamond Fork, Rock, Goshen, etc., etc. This afternoon Sally and I took the Spitfire for an early drive, we made our way to the west fields of Payson and Spanish Fork, because there is a lot of scenery and not many stops. You get a lot of farms and animals, garden variety pleasant things to gaze upon stuff right? We were making our way to the "Red Barn" a short drive south of Santaquin on the old road to Mona to buy some apples. They have a great selection of fresh picked apples and other fruit and goodies that are irresistible to anyone with a sweet tooth. It sounded however more like recess at an elementary school because Daryl and his other brother were giving hay rides to little kids. Hay rides, more like hey! keep your hands inside the wagon, hey! stop jumping up and down on the sides of the trailer, hey! can you be a little quieter? That's the kind of hay ride it looked and sounded like.We browsed a short while so as to not waste to much daylight and came away with a bag of apples a small bag of chocolate covered cherries and a big bag of kettle corn, yum! On the way back to town I got an idea, (by the way my mother was fond of telling us the word "idea" was the very same word in Croatian") to take a look at Santaquin Canyon. One, because we have never been there, and it's always fun to see new places, and two, it was close by, so we headed in that direction. After getting lost a bit I did the unthinkable and asked for directions. We got on the right road. It didn't take long to realize this was a cool place, not because it was October 19th either. Wow! It was a treat! I think we now have a new favorite destination for a short fun drive. If anyone is wondering were to go for an afternoon picnic on a warm day look no more. Go to main street in Santaquin turn South on Center Street and follow your nose to the mouth of the canyon, you will be amazed! Your welcome, you can thank me later. I took a little video and a few pics with my phone camera, which doesn't do any justice to the awesome scenes that await you, but here they are anyway. Until next time. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

 Here is one of a little waterfall full of driftwood

This one reminds me of something but I can't put my finger on it, you know why? It's too high! Maybe Lionhead in Montana just outside West Yellowstone.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

I've been gone for a while...

North of Salem along the foothills

       I know I have many devoted fans of my blog that have been wondering when I was going to post again. Well the wait is over! The truth is, I have been a little down in the dumps of late and really didn't have much I wanted to say. Sally and I have been going out almost every night we have together and visiting somewhere in the valley, or up the canyons. I found it was hard to write about the west fields of Spanish Fork and Payson for the tenth time and make them interesting to my readers. There isn't anything different when we go, we just like being out there. There is to me however something visceral about being in the country air, and the sights, and smells, and sounds, of country life. I guess the old expression is true, " you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy." I can't help thinking a lot of my growing up on the farm, and when I get out in the country air and I start waxing poetic and babbling on to Sally about the good ol' days of milking cows and putting up hay, and feeding horses in the chilly winds of Idaho.
I thought I hated every minute of growing up doing chores on the farm. I found later that the further I got away from that upbringing the more I felt privileged and felt a little sorry for anyone who didn't have the same experiences as myself. My father was not a mean man but he expected us to help and could be a little stern when we fell short of his expectations. I am so grateful for that now. I know now that he loved me and wanted me to amount to something. If I could not handle a few chores or some rough days hauling hay, then what was I to do when the real tests of life came knocking at my door? Even now in my older years I still get romantic sometimes about getting a little farm and having animals and raising crops.  Enough of the good ol' days.

Payson Canyon

         Sally and I have been to many cool places since July. We went over the Nebo Loop from Payson canyon, and then last week went over it again from the Nephi side and saw it backwards. It was beautiful both ways, especially now that the leaves a turning. Colors are changing so fast in the mountains, my car was actually green when we left on our drive! Ha, ha! There were a lot of cows to watch out for though. We went to Soldier Summit and over to Scowfield reservoir and down through Indianola. We went to Heber and up to Wanship and Kamas and came home by way of Kimball Junction. We went to Goshen north along the Redwood Road to Saratoga and Lehi and home. We have been around Utah Lake by way of West Mountain and Elberta and Santiquin. Up Spanish Fork Canyon to Diamond Fork as far as a Spitfire can go. This canyon by the way is "brilliant" (our new exclamation word, awesome is getting too worn out)!

Diamond Fork Canyon

This photo is from a  formation that appears to have skulls trapped in the stone trying to escape. It is one we will visit often I am sure. Needless to say we have put many miles on the Spitfire and she is still going strong. I'm saddened that soon we will have to put her away for the winter and look forward to next year. I still need to get a top so we can get through some of the rain storms, we got caught in a few this summer. At least we have had fun on every trip, I only wish it was a bit bigger so we could stay in longer. Thanks for coming along.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I love a man in uniform

After not going to the parade, and not attending the Stadium of Fire, we made our way through the endless booths at the county building. Where do they come up with all these weidos, there a dime a dozen! I was begining to feel like a pair of brown shoes in a tuxedo shop. We tired of that place pretty fast so we went home and jumped in the Spitfire. I felt like going up to Midway. There was a fair amount of traffic coming down the canyon but going up we almost had the road to ourselves. What a great day for a drive! It was overcast and it made for nice viewing in all directions. As we entered Midway we noticed the "Timp Freeze" hambuger shop there on main street. We stood in line for a cone, I had chocolate and Sally had vanilla. Parked right in front of us was a 1961 VW bug in excellant condition. It took me back to the good ol' college days in 1971 when after my mission to Ireland, I bought my first car, a 1961 VW, from my Grandfathers lot for $275. I sold it back to them a year later for $300, and bought a 1965 Chevy Malibu SS which I traded for my first Spitfire, I fell in love with British cars. Tonight we are going to Pleasant Grove for their fireworks show. It will complete the 4th of July celebrations for this year. I must say though, the thing that made it for me was when I saw ex-Marine Galan come into church in his full dress uniform. It made me proud, and I told him so later. What a debt we have to these brave men who put their lives on the line for our freedom. I hope I never take them for granted or forget the contribution they have made to the cause of freedom. See you on the road.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mudslide Slim

A little homage there to the great James Taylor. You've probably guessed by now that I am talking about the "Thistle mud slide," no? I must have made to quick a jump, I thought it was fairly obvious. Not to worry I know your with me now. Sally and I were looking for some cooler air, so I thought a cruise up Spanish Fork Canyon was just the ticket. I was nice and cool! What a great place we live in to go just 15 minutes from home and be in a number of spectacular canyons! There is not a dud in the bunch. We stopped at the top of the long climb and pulled over so we could view the Thistle slide area. If you haven't been there it is worth the trip. What a lot of earth was moved that day, in just seconds! I remember when it happened. We had all that rain, like we've just had, and it made the area so heavy and soft it just slid down. It made Thistle a ghost town. I remember driving past all those houses under water, how sad for them. In 1976 the Teton Dam broke and also washed away many homes. One home was my friends, Ray Hawkes, he was killed in a car crash just a short time before it happened. His family lost all the photos they had of him. I don't have one either. Nature can be very cruel at times. Anyway, we had a good time and came down the canyon before it got dark. Spanish Fork canyon is risky at the best of times. We putted around the palacial homes in Mapleton and headed for home. See ya soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You never know

Last night Sally could not go with me on my almost daily ride so I headed out alone. She told me that the care facility where her brother Greg lives was having a car show. I thought I love cars so I will head over there and check it out. I t was not very big but had some really nice cars there. It was kind of funny because when I pulled up every one was checking out the Spitfire, and I wasn't part of the show. Maybe next time I will enter it. I walked up and down the main row and a man approached me. He looked familiar and as we talked I finally realized it was Provo Mayor Curtis. We chatted about cars and he informed me he used to own a TR6,another one of my favorite cars. He said sadly that he had to sell it because he was not very mechanical. This is true of older British cars, you have to tweek them all the time to keep them in top shape. As a point of fact, did you know that the British were trying to build one of the first computers but failed because they couldn't get them to leak oil. True story, at least some of it. I found the Mayor to be a pretty easy going guy and seemed genuine. I will feel better now about calling him up and complaining. Thanks for stopping.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Spanish Fork Canyon Wind Turbines

Sally and I took a ride and ended up heading for the wind turbines at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon. They are very cool if you haven't driven past them when they are spinning. I wish I could view them when I am tired and want to fall asleep fast because they are mesmerizing and have a hypnotic effect on me, like the menu at Burger King! We weaved through the back roads around by the Hari Krisna Temple. It looked pretty stunning in the low light of evening, a lot like the golden arches at McDonalds! There was a great sunset that traced the clouds with a thread of golden light, I love it when you just happen to be in the right place at the right time and all you have is a phone camera. I guess they are good if you like big pixels in everything. I was definetely a little on the cool side so we headed to warmer air and came home. Bye for now.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Memory Lane

After having my usual at the Taco Shop, Sally and I decided to take a little cruise in the Spitfire. We made our way through town and ended up going to Provo canyon. The air started to cool a bit once we got in the canyon so Sally had to put on her hoody. I decided to tough it out and shiver all the way up and down. I found out it's not a good idea to have a large drink and then go for an extented ride in cool air. It has just the opposite effect of being asked for a sample at the doctors office.
Anyway, we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls for a while and just took it all in. The falls is really full right now and very spectacular. I don't think there could be a better setting for a falls than right there. The rock formations are amazing. It makes me want to see how those massive layers of granite were molded. What power could do that? Well I know, but I would like a geologist to try and explain it. We used to go up the all the time when the kids were young and the lodge was still there. When Sarah and Rachel were young we took them up the gondola to the top. this also has that same effect I mentioned earlier coupled with white knuckle fear of heights. We spent many Sunday afternoons feeding the fish in the river below. I would like to be the fish food vendor in those days, $.50 for a small handful of "trout chow"! What a rip-off! Sometimes we would bring our old stale bread, the heels that no one would eat. We continued further up the canyon to Vivian Park, named for Luciel Ball's side kick who fell in the river there during a filming of the "I Love Lucy" show. No, not really, I made that up, but it is better than what probably happened. Likely named for some over weight, middle aged blue hair that chain smoked and had her curlers in her hair until 3 in the afternoon everyday. We made our way up to South Fork to the camp sites and then came back down. It was nice to get back in the warm air of the valley. We stopped on Center street to watch some vultures come in but they were already up for the night, so we came home. See you next time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Last Ride

 It was kind of bitter sweet. Yesterday afternoon I came home early from work so I could relax some before the big wedding day got started. I was a bit tired and thought of taking a nap with my ipod on, but it was a gorgeous day and I had time to fire up the Spitfire for an abbreviated ride. Sean was home, which is rare because he is usually at the gym when he has some extra time. This is why his body type and mine are a bit different! So I asked him if he wanted to take a ride in the Spitfire. To my surprise he said yes, "lets go get a drink", which is code for going to Maverik and getting a drink! I was a little taken back because he has never had an interest in going with me in the Spitfire. We climbed in and went to Maverik and got a soda, and a little gas because the fuel gauge on the Spitfire has mind of it's own, and it's better to be safe than sorry. We cruised out to 1860 south and then took the old road that goes to Springville. I pulled over after a short distance and asked Sean if he wanted to drive. He said yeah! I know this is out of character for me because this is like a  mom giving the newborn to a novice. I was a little nervous, but he did real good! He didn't kill it one time! I don't think I was that good on my first try, must be in the genes. We cruised along and then it dawned on me, we were taking our last ride together as father and single son. Later today he was becoming a man and taking on new responsibilities and challenges. He would not stay at my home tonight. I can't say good morning to him everyday, we can't have those spontaneous talks that spring up at odd times. I will miss not having him around. We had some private words back and forth about the future and then we steered for home again. He even pulled it all the way into the garage up the steep driveway. He's a natural. Later we made our way to the wedding. It was a perfect day in many ways. The weather was grand, the venue was awesome, the bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, and we had the pleasant company of friends and relations. It could not have been better, and  I was so proud of my son, and feel so blessed to have Tiffany for my daughter in law. I know he will be a great husband and a father someday, and she a great wife and mother. I give them my love and wish them every success and happiness. A good time was had by all.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Date night food run!

Tonight is date night, so Sally and I made our weekly visit to the Taco Shop. It is not a place filled with romance and atmosphere but they sure have great Mexican food! Tonight was the first time in going there for years that the proprietor asked me if I was going to have my usual. I was surprised! I didn't think he was paying any attention. We wanted to drive the Spitfire which meant that Sally's dad would have to meet us there. He usually picks us up at our house and we go together, but tonight we wanted to drive around after. He is 80 years old now and it's fun to go with him and get his perspective on life on this big ol' planet earth. He is alone since his wife died unexpectedly 8 years ago. After we downed our food we said goodbye to Harold and putted around town for about a hour. We cruised the tree streets while admiring the architecture of those cool houses. Some are run down but most have a charm about them you don't find anywhere else in Provo. Some day it would be fun to live there but I don't think I could be happy among all those students again. We had enough of them at our old house. We made our way to campus and looped around lower campus. You have to be careful driving on campus because most of these kids are just a few years out of diapers and looking both ways before crossing the street is a concept that has not quite fully sunk in! This area will always have fond memories for me when I was a young kid at BYU. I think I flunked out of a class in everyone of those classy old buildings! Later we found our way down east center to have one last look at the Turkey vultures perched for the night in the Sycamore trees, being really careful not to drive right under them because that could completely ruin a fun night out. We then turned the Spitfire for home. Now for some British comedy before bedtime! I love Netflix!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

First good drive

Today Sally and I just couldn't help it, we had to get out and enjoy the sun and take our first good drive of the summer season. We headed south towards Springville to get some supplies for Sally but when we got there  they were just turning the key to lock the door. It was one of those awkward moments when they don't want to see you because they are afraid you might ask them to open back up, so they walk away with their head turned and don't make any eye contact. That's ok, because we can use that as an excuse to come back on Monday on another drive! We then headed south and ended up west of Spanish Fork out in the farm country, by Lake Shore, Benjamin, and Palmyra. It's a great drive if you just want to take in the sights and smells of the country life! That area has special memories for me as it was the old stomping grounds of one of my best friends, Steve Davis. I found myself out there on countless occasions, helping with his house, building the barn, working on jobs together, or just to say howdy. We were inseparable for 27 years until he got colon cancer and passed away three years ago. I can't go in that area of the county without thinking about my old friend Steve. After our drive in the country we came home and I made my famous dish, "Saturday Night Special" for dinner. After we cleared up the dishes Sally had to mail a card to my nephew who is getting married, oh darn, we had to get in the car again because it was out! So we went on another hour drive out by the lake and the west side of Provo. Gas is cheap right, so why not? I was fun just being with Sally and taking in the cool night air. See you on our next ride.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"All tuned up"

I know you are thinking that I have been under the hood getting out the winter bugs and checking the oil and such, but you would be mistaken. I am playing on words! Yesterday I made a stop at "rip off Ralph's," as he is called, and purchased a new stereo for the Spitfire. I didn't want anything fancy, just to be able to listen to the radio or play my ipod as we roll down the road. That would be just great. I had a little problem because the person that owned the car before me cut a big hole for the stereo. Probably had a cassette player in it. This made it hard to get a smaller one to look good, and let's be honest, isn't looking good what this is all about? I had to insert a piece of wood to take up the extra room, this was a hassle to say the least. I had to remove the center console, not fun, and try and figure out the mess they did with the wiring under the dash. Needless to say I was 'til after dark getting everything hooked up, and at the big moment....... it didn't work! My first thought was "rip off Ralph" sold me a piece of junk, or I should have picked one from further down in the stack. You know when you go buy something and there are 20 to choose from and you bring home the one that is broken or doesn't work! So I took a deep breath and decided to go against my better judgement and look at the instructions! I know, I hate to have to admit this publicly but it happened ok and let this be the end of it. I found that I had a wire missing and as soon as I got that done, WOW!, the tunes came blasting out! I was so excited, and the "Bose" speakers I have I bought at a yard sale for $2.00! What a score! Well that's it really. So if you see a tiny little red car coming down the road with the music cranked, tell them to turn it down, unless it's me of course! See ya soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

All gassed up and ready to go!

Here goes! This is my first attempt at blogging. I don't know exactly what I am doing but I guess I can't screw it up too much; so I will forge ahead. My whole idea in doing this was an attempt to share some of my travels in my 1974 Triumph Spitfire 1500. This is similar to the Triumph I had when I was courting my wife Sally. We met in August of 1974. Not long afterwards I bought a 1968 Triumph Spitfire GT6+. This was a car of my dreams! I drove it across the country in 1975 with my brother Gary. We were on a big adventure to sell bibles to the good "bible thumping" people of up-state New York. I was disappointed to find that most of them had already heard of the bible and actually owned a copy. Needless to say it was not the financial bonanza I was promised by the recruiters. So after I earned enough gas money to get home I threw my duffel bag into the hatchback and started to pull out of the driveway. My room mate, who was also a bible salesman was all excited and kept telling me I couldn't leave. I said, as I pulled away "just keep your eyes on my tail lights and see if I don't!" I was off to find my brother Gary who had started hitch hiking home five hours before from another city. I knew I had a lot of catching up to do so I picked up a hitch hiker myself so I could stay awake for the long night of driving ahead. I found my brother in Nashville early the next morning sitting on the top of the back seat in a convertible with four women. I had to give him a "10" for style points. We reunited and made our way west with our little hitch hiker friend in the back of the Spitfire. We had a lot of memorable experiences but I will have to save those for another time. Needless to say I have had a lot of time behind the wheel of a Triumph and enjoyed every minute so far! I enjoy taking it out for a spin as often as time permits. The road and scenery look so much different to me when I am rolling along 6 inches off the pavement. It's great to feel the wind blowing through what is left of my hair and the sounds of the motor as I go through the gears! I will try and post pictures and tell about the places we visit. So come along it's going to be a fun ride!