Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dar Dar and Lols Gallivant!

Darwin and I have started a new tradition with each other: we take day trips, and they are fabulous fun.  I had no idea.  

We explore places close to home--places that we may have overlooked or forgotten about, like Pipe Springs and the town of Moccasin, Arizona...the north rim of the Grand Canyon...going up highway 89 to

When I say “explore”...I mean we dawdle.  We ride up and down the streets, gawking at yards, houses, people...trying to get a feel for the area.  We look up the town history, stop at historical markers, and try to build our background knowledge about the area.  We follow our noses.

Since we have no kids with us, we can do whatever we darn well please.

I vividly remember watching my mother, Alice Stratton, and my step-dad, Ermal Stratton, taking off on little jaunts after they were both retired.  “It’s called the Golden Years for a reason,” my mother would say.  (I never, but NEVER called her “Mom.”  We grew up saying “Mother” because that’s what she taught us to say from the cradle--and mother it still is to this day!)

Jealous pangs would slice through my heart as I heard what little trips they were taking.  “I want to go to the Devil’s Posthole!”   Or… “I want to make the loop up Kanarraville Mountain and down over Kolob!”  They would pack a lunch, and off they would go.

Well, Darwin and I are well into our Golden it’s time to follow Pappy’s (our term of endearment for Ermal!) and Mother’s example...leave the kids behind...and gallivant about.

Today we decided to go explore the little town of Enterprise, Utah, then make a loop over to Newcastle and take the dirt road to Pinto and back to Pine Valley...thence home.  

Enterprise rather knocked our socks off.  I remembered it as being fairly boring and slightly dumpy (I am NOT describing ME!), not a place I would ever consider living in.  Today, my world-view of Enterprise made a huge shift.  

As we toodled around the streets, we must have started in one of the best parts of town.  Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: “Look at all these new homes.I am so surprised. I thought this town was basically dying.”

Darwin: “What do these people do for a living? Where do they work? What..????”

Me: “Look at that one.  Look at those yards. Look at all the Halloween decorations! Cute!”

Darwin: “I thought young people got out of here as fast as they could! But these are upscale homes with toys, slides, bikes..these aren’t old retired geezers!”
We were charmed by Enterprise.  I’m sure our attitudes were helped by the autumn light filtering through golden leaves, by the perfect still warm, but not hot, weather, by the tall trees, the cool new high school, the green alfalfa fields surrounding the town, the school kids sauntering home, laden with backpacks, but poking along in the golden light.

Charming.  That is the word.  We drove up and down streets, trying to find the ghetto areas.  Yes, there were ratty yards (reminiscent of mine!) and older homes falling into disrepair...but not nearly as many as the cute ones.

We stopped at Marv’s original hamburger joint to get some food...and that may have been the most disappointing thing we did.  We wanted old-fashioned milkshakes made with real flavor and real ice cream.  We both ordered chocolate shakes...and while they looked impressive, the flavor was a real let-down.  They were made with soft-serve vanilla with some chocolate syrup mixed in.  I don’t love Hershey’s syrup...but that’s what my shake tasted like.  Dang, I was disappointed.  I want a chocolate shake made with chocolate ice cream. Honestly?  Wendy’s frosty desserts taste far better.  Shame on you, Marv’s.  Here’s the good part: the fries were made with real potatoes and the burgers had fresh, tasty beef.   Our total bill was a little hard to swallow: over $25.  We threw most of the shake away, couldn’t finish the fries, and my burger was covered in pepper and had a very hot onion, so I couldn’t eat that, either.  Ah, well.

After cruising a beautiful new subdivision on the north hills of Enterprise, we headed on over to Beryl Junction.  Darwin remembered his dad playing for a dance over there in the olden days.  We were trying to find where that might have been.

It would be fun to cruise over the Beryl area in a helicopter.  There are crop circles galore...all alfalfa. The green looked amazing in mostly desert area.  

The best part of the trip began when we took a road leading out of Newcastle heading for  Pinto. It was freshly graded and good...and finally we were seeing country neither of us had ever seen. It was a beautiful drive, with unexpected sights around each bend...sights as simple as rustic ranches nestled in little valleys, red leaves glowing in the sun, cattle leisurely strolling across the road, hills building higher and higher as we neared Pine Valley mountain.  

The first big surprise for me was the town of Pinto. Ever heard of it?