Wednesday, August 26, 2009

24th of July week - Pioneer Day in Escalante UT

My Aunt and Uncle brought my 94 year old Grandmother up from Tuscon AZ to Escalante UT for the week of the 24th. This is where my Grandmother lived much of her life and where my Dad grew up and I don't admit it often but I did too. (We moved from here when I was 15.) My Dad took the opportunity and flew out to Salt Lake and the kids and I too him the 6 hour drive down to Escalante. The drive once we got off I-15 is gorgeous. It takes you through Red Valley where you drive through tunnels of red rock,
and past Bryce Canyon. It was really fun to see these familiar sights of my childhood.
We were so excited to see my Grandmother. It had been almost 7 years (since my marriage) since I had seen my Grandmother, she had never seen my kids and to see her in Excalante over the 24th! What could be better?
You have to understand 24th of July (Pioneer Day) celebrations in Escalante. The day starts off with the cannons going off at 6am for at least the next 1/2 hour to an hour. (This particular morning they would set off my cousins alarm on her car as well which was really annoying as my kids could sleep through the cannon but not the alarm - Go figure!). The cannons are followed by the band wagon going all around town playing music. Then there is the kids parade later than morning followed by the regular parade. Next comes the western shoot out in front of the local grocery store in the center of town (I used to live on this corner and one night there was a real shoot out I'll have to tell you about). This is followed by a BBQ dinner with the best BBQ sauce ever! The afternoon is filled with a program featuring local talent (and the not so talented) and a carnival. That night there is a rodeo and fireworks. This is an all day wonderful event and I've not celebrated Pioneer Day without being there in Escalante. It was great as a kid and I didn't know what the 4th of July was (my little town never celebrated it- in their defense they shared the celebrations of these two holidays with the next town over and the other town did the 4th of July celebration.)
It was great to spend time with family and just to spend time with Grandma. She was so sweet with my kids, and I was really happy that they got to meet my Grandma. I think she's doing great for 94!

Daniel was climbing in this Birch tree after the parade. It made me happy to see as I used to climb all over this tree when I was his age and a little older.

So this is the road out of Escalante which takes you over Boulder mountain. This road is crazy and it was the first time I had ever driven it. At one point the road goes over a mountain top where it goes straight down for about a mile on either side as it winds across the mountain. It's called the Hog's Back. (There is another road near there that is even worse that is called Hell's backbone). I had lots of plans for while I was there, but somehow it just wasn't that important once I got there. Dad and I did catch up with old friends (Thank you Aunt Evelyn, Katie and Sarah for watching the kids so I could do that) and that really meant a lot.

Another picutre that warms my heart. When we were waiting for the parade to start Daniel entertained himself by rolling down the hill on the grass in front of the motel (My Uncle Dick owns it now but my parents ran it when we lived there and that is where I lived.) It was fun to see my son doing what I had so often done and to be there with my Dad.

This one makes me laugh. My cousins went fishing and although we didn't go they enlisted Reagan's help to dig worms. Which she happily did with my cousin Sarah.

Another picture of waiting for the parade with cousins Sarah and Bryce. I'm still waiting for Sarah to send me more pictures of the week. I was bad and didn't take a lot of pictures that weekend.

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