We are so blessed with so many of God’s gifts hugging us in this little green valley. Years ago (more than 60 of them), my family arrived here, and except for college I’ve been here ever since, and am now older than a lot of natives. I’m a Uintah Basin girl, though I remember more about Samuel Gompers Junior High in Los Angeles than the Basin. My next younger sister was born in Roosevelt, then the family moved to Salt Lake, then California, then back to Utah, and this could get repetitive. I’ll leave it at the fact we moved around a lot.
My personal moving around stopped here in Moab. I’ve lived in three houses in town. The first was called the “old Tangren place” on Third South. The second was our place on Fifth West, where the kids grew up. And the third was where I now live. It’s on Second South, although you would have no luck getting there from the street address alone.
I digress again. Writing, for me, is like that. I’ll go off, willy nilly, in most any direction unless something stops me.
I mentioned gifts hugging this valley. The LaSal Mountains don’t hug us, they simply dominate the scene and I love them. So Sunday a whole bunch of Taylors made the trek around through LaSal, and some of the Redd Ranches fields on up to Medicine Lake. I had asked for this outing three summers ago, and then had some kind of bug and had to stay home while everybody else enjoyed the afternoon.
When my children were little, Sam and I would plan multi-day campouts there several times each summer. We sort of followed in the footsteps of his parents, Siss and Bish. Medicine Lake is high, 10,000 feet or thereabouts. Not many people used to go there, way back when. But it’s popular nowadays, given the traffic there Sunday.
The camping spot we trail-blazed now has a permanent turnoff from the main road and was occupied by other happy campers when we arrived. However, the next best spot was empty, and before long we descended on it.
A couple of our group fished, but I was content to stay in camp and hold my great-grandson, who would rather have been crawling around in the dirt and exploring the possibility of walking than be held.
Sena went on her first camping trip when she was about two weeks old. The experience stuck. She’s always been a mountain girl. And for anybody who happens to know Dorothy Shay and her baudy mountain songs, Sena is not THAT type. We used to drive up and set up camp, and Sena would be along in a while, horseback. She knows the mountain better than I ever did or will.
There are a couple of new features at Medicine Lake. The Forest Service has installed mountain toilets and a fence on one side of the meadow. Boy. Uptown. And there is also now a fence down one side, but as Robert Frost put it, you don’t know what’s been walled in or walled out. (See Mending Wall.)
Bugs are plentiful on the mountain, but I only saw two mosquitoes, and didn’t get any bites; rather stings. Mosquitos have a long proboscis, not in the 1908 Webster’s, but the big dictionary describes it as the oral region of some insects (among several other definitions). Mosquitos don’t bite, they sting with that big proboscis. Medicine Lake is planted with trout, along with many lakes on the mountain. It also has an upper pond. One year we used a bucket and planted the upper pond while Sam happily provided us fish with his fly rod, Oops. That may not be strictly legal. The fly-fishing outfit now belongs, with best wishes from Sam, to a grandson.
I’m at a loss on how to end this thing, so will suffice to say that I just had a request for my green corn tamale recipe, and if I can find Evelyn Jones’ pepper recipe, I’ll also include that next week. Good stuff!