Saturday, May 17
“It’s a beautiful day. I feel like going somewhere! Let’s go into town.”
I enjoy the drive through Round Valley from our camp to the town of Salina. About halfway to town I see flashing lights up ahead along with dust clouds.
Hmm, a police car . . . I wonder what this is all about.
It’s a cattle drive!
I slow down to a crawl and grab the camera. Wow! This is no little cattle drive. There must be at least a hundred head!
The cattle are kicking up dust. I try to get some good shots through the windshield, but most of them don’t come out well. The above shot shows the end of the herd.
The herd has split to both sides of the road.
This looks like a family operation . . . Mom, Dad, and a slew of young kids, all on horseback, do their best to move the cattle along while keeping them out of the road. Dad rounds up a stray.
Everyone is very intense. The daughter follows her mother’s instruction and waits for all the cattle to move ahead of her.
In only a few minutes the herd and the rancher family are behind us.
We continue toward Salina.
Gee, that was fun! What a childhood those children have. As young as they are, they’re contributing to the family’s livelihood and learning important skills. Maybe someday they’ll teach their own children how to use a horse to drive cattle up a highway.
As we approach Salina, a sign points to Richfield, twenty miles to the south.
“Let’s go to Richfield,” I say to the crew. “This road looks like it’ll take us on a nice drive.”
One can barrel down Interstate-70 to Richfield. Instead we take Route 89/24/118. Soon I’m rewarded with photo opportunities I can’t resist.
Not only are there beautiful horses to photograph, but also cone-shaped hills and colorful mountains for backdrops. We pass several newly-plowed fields as we travel southward through the verdant Sevier River valley.
Horses, green meadows, freshly turned fields, farm houses and barns, a cattle drive, all on a beautiful spring day . . . . National parks and spectacular scenery are fantastic and I enjoy all that, but this is what I really love.
I tune into the Wal-Mart honing part of my brain . As long as we’re here, might as well pick up a few groceries. I’m almost out of milk and I’d like some more carrots, peppers, and a head of broccoli.
Hmm . . . what’s this?
Fresh Market . . .
This looks like a good grocery. I pull into the parking lot. I put a suit on a wiggly Bridget and a suit on a sleepy-dopey Spike and let them out the side door. The crew is quite familiar with the pre-shopping walk-around. They do their business, we return to the PTV, they have a drink, and I pop them inside.
“Bye, guys. I’ll be back in a minute.”
The store is spacious, upscale (as in big produce, bakery and deli sections, gourmet this and organic that, all the trendy stuff), and it’s a pleasant change from the cattle drive over at Wal-Mart. The prices are a bit higher, of course, but, after that beautiful drive, I’m agreeable . . . without my usual resentment.
Something I’ve never seen before . . .
Live lettuce in a store! That’s what the sign says, “Live Lettuce.” Curious, I lift up a head of Bibb. Yep, it has roots in a pot of water.
Then the truly unexpected happens!
Oh my, oh my, what do we have here? “Wild Mountain Blackberry” and “White Chocolate Raspberry Yum.”
Gee, why fight it. Life is more than carrots and broccoli.
I drive around Richfield until I’m sufficiently lost.
One thing about these central Utah, predominantly Mormon towns — lots of decent menfolk. Lots of fathers with children in tow. It’s Saturday. I’ll drive down this residential street and . . .
Sure enough, I have my pick!
Men are mowing lawns, cleaning gutters, puttering around their tidy homes. A man is loading his pick-up parked on the street. His little boy, around four or five, is “helping.”
I ask for directions and he carefully explains the way. I thank him and he replies warmly, “Have a safe trip.” Gosh, I’m in Mayberry!
If this post is too long for you, go make a sandwich or something. . .
But, I warn you . . . You’ll miss the conclusion of the cattle drive!
The rancher family has herded the cattle off the road and into a field of grass and sage. They’re taking a break before moving them further.
They walk near the cattle without fear.
I close this post with my favorite photo of the day. Look closely to see . . .
. . . Daddy’s little cowgirl.
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