Sunday, February 07, 2016

Road Trip to the Sun Tunnels

So the Sun Tunnels is a large artwork out in the middle of  nowhere Utah, which I'd heard about and figured I'd see someday, but hadn't really made any strides in making any plans. You're supposed to go at solstice time, when the sun lines up through these tunnels out on the ground. If you wanna read about it, go here.

Ty emailed a few people in December about going for winter solstice, with the plan of camping out there so we'd be there for sunrise. If you know me, you know I can camp for about one night a year, and definitely not during winter. And definitely not in a place that's just a plot of land with absolutely no facilities or anything resembling a town nearby.

We negotiated - I said we should just stay in Wendover at a cheap casino motel since we'd have to drive through there anyway, and then get up early and drive to the tunnels. He got on board with that, since I'm smart. We made plans to go Monday night, so we'd be there for the morning of the 22nd - solstice day. Except as we were about to leave SLC, we realized it was cold and stormy, and what if we went out there, and it was cloudy and we couldn't even see the sunrise? We decided not to take the chance and waste our travels.

The next night, we'd go. Except he had a family thing, and I maybe had something, but! Sunrise wasn't until right after 8am or so. And with a four hour drive, we could easily leave at 3:30am and make it perfectly. Also, if you know me, you know I'm not a morning person. But I agreed. Yep. I'd get up at 3am.

Ty picked me up at 3am. I requested silence. And freaked out a little as snow storms rolled in and we could barely see the freeway. And we slipped on roads in Wendover, while getting breakfast. But no worries in a 4x4 pickup, right? I was still nervous.


We turned off the main road and tried to follow loose directions to get to the site. We were in the middle of nowhere. Nothing around. But we made it! And here's the cold proof. I guess everyone else did make in on actual solstice day, cause we were the only ones around.

And now, a bunch of photos.

Starting to see glimpses of light....





We'd take some photos and walk around, then have to get back in the car and get warm. It was really cold. And I hate cold.




 







There really is absolutely nothing around. I'm so glad we didn't camp there.





Lucin, Utah.



Snow storm was rolling in from the west the way we had come, so we decided to go north and east to escape. We basically drove up to almost Idaho, then came down I-15. Weather was clearing, but roads were wet, and there was a quick stopping on the freeway. Ty pulled off to the left side of the road (we were in the far left lane) so he'd have more room to stop, and the two cars behind us piled up into the car that was in front of us. No one was hurt, thankfully, but seeing a few cars pile up when we could've been smooshed wasn't a good feeling. Thankfully we made it home without any other incident.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

December in Review

Christmas month! Though I don't think it ever felt totally like Christmas to me. Alas. December!

I guess around my neighborhood every year there's a bit nativity scene for one night only. We took the girls from church as our weekly activity. It was kind cold, but cool. I was a little obsessed with the camels. Where does one rent a camel?!



Christmas treats started to appear.

Sergio and I hit up the symphony one night for Beethoven's Ode to Joy, as well as a commissioned piece from Nico Muhly. I should do this more often.

I went down to Taylor's one Sunday for dinner. Niece time!


Trader Joe's had some beautiful wreathes and I needed to get festive. 

Tara invited me to the Lower Lights Christmas show, and wow, were there a lot of people on stage. I enjoyed it.

I grabbed dinner at the new Chedda Burger and the owner made us some crazy fries, since he was out of the ones we really wanted.

After burgers, off to see Foals - my favorite band in the world right now. They're so amazing. And I was annoyed that they were opening. Ty and I left after their set - I was rockingly satisfied.


I went to The Sound of Music sing-a-long at Tower. Not well advertised, and I'm glad Lacey told me about it! Her cousin and aunt dressed up for the costume contest - they're on the far right as warm woolen mittens.

Such fun!

Abe and Kim had me over for dinner one night and we played Settlers. I love this game! It'd been a long time since I played.

Winter came in. It was pretty.



I almost forgot about all the Christmas dishes I purchased last year. I got out mugs to take to a house party.

Meghan got the Austin mug since she just accepted a job there. I will miss her, but I'm excited to visit!

For the second year, I volunteered at Granger Elementary's holiday party, handing out gifts to the kids and helping them with holiday crafts. It's also where Lacey and I met last year. Here's to a year of friendship! The kids made us a cute card.

 Packaging fail.

I got tackled by third graders.

I finished up my Junior Achievement lessons and took a photo with the kids for the last day. I didn't realize how enthusiastically they'd gather in.

Mom got tickets in the lottery for the MoTab Christmas concert, so Celisse and I braved the downtown traffic to get there.

Such a wonderful show. I was in love with the soloists from the Met Opera and very impressed with the production. It'll air next December on PBS!



I went with Jeff back to the symphony to see Home Alone on the big screen while the symphony played the score. It was absolutely delightful.


Tashina and Rob came into town with their sweet new baby, and Celisse made us a delicious dinner while we caught up on life.

I met this kid when he was in high school, visiting Georgetown. Crazy that he's a dad now!


Hallie is getting used to her little sister. They're so cute.

Azhar invited me over to a party with some of her friends from Iraq and Jordan. There was so much food! I couldn't stay for the dancing party after dinner, but they made sure I was stuffed before I left!




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