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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Alpine Loop

Today I did something special.  I played business golf in Midway, Utah at Crater Springs golf course which is part of the Homestead Resort.  The golf was fun and company was pleasant, but that it is not the special thing.  After golf I decided to take a different route home. Instead taking Highway US 40 to I-80, I decided to drive down Provo Canyon.  The road is adjacent to the beautiful Provo River.  One of the nation’s most treasured fly fishing streams. 

Fifteen miles or so down the Provo Road from Heber is the turn off for Sundance Ski Resort and the Alpine Loop. I love the Alpine Loop.  Usually when I take the Alpine Loop I go from north to south but today I drove south to north.  Usually when I take the drive, I have a companion with me. But today I drove alone. Since it was a Thursday, there were few cars on the narrow loop road. I drove slowly, looking at mountains, looking at trees turning from summer green to the warm colors of autumn.  Oranges, reds and yellows.  The green of evergreens interspersed among the aspens.  I stopped from time to time to get out of my car to take a photo of the mountains, including the backside of Mt. Timpanogos, the trees and the small mountain streams.  I have taken this road many times but not for four or five years. 

Today on an autumn afternoon it was indeed special to take a solo drive through this beautiful country.  As I drove, I felt a spiritual connection to the land, my heart seemed full.  I thought about my life, my son Alex, my ailing parents and my dear wife, the Lovely Sharon.  I thought about things I am proud of and I thought about my mistakes and shortcomings. For me autumn has always been a time of reflection and today was no different. I feel blessed to have the family and wife that I have. I feel undeserving to have the Lovely Sharon as my wife. 

I thought about turning 60 in a month. Such an unbelievable number, 60.  Six decades on this earth. Heading into my seventh decade. I cannot believe I am that old.  As I drove I looked at my hands on the steering wheel.  My hands looked old, a couple of old man brown spots on my right hand.  Whose hands were these holding my steering wheel? They couldn’t be mine could they? 

 As I came out of the trees I came to the magnificent overlook of the mountains.  The mountain sides and the craggy cliffs took my breath away.  I stopped again and stood on the side of the mountain looking at the natural expanse before me. I gave thanks for all I have, for all I have done, for my family and friends.

 As I descended to American Fork Canyon, there were sheer cliffs on both sides of the road. The stream was bigger here but after a dry summer the water level was lower than normal. The rocky bottom of the stream was visible in places but the stream ran true down the canyon. I watched it as I drove next to it to the bottom of the canyon. When I left the canyon, I picked up my cell phone and called my dear mother, just to say hello, just to hear her voice. Sadly she is not well.

When I finally arrived home, the Lovely Sharon was not home.  I headed down to the Bud Cave, sat in my old leather chair.  I picked up the novel I am reading and read for a few minutes when I heard the alarm system beep which indicates someone entered the house.  The Lovely Sharon was now home.  She descended the stairs and walked into the Bud Cave.  Boy was I glad to see her.

(I did not take the photos included in this blog entry)

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