Monday, June 18, 2012

Graduation & Vacation Part 5

After a slight delay, I am finally posting the final part of my graduation and vacation trip.

As mentioned previously, the morning of Day 9 we left a cold, windy, rainy and snowy Bryce Canyon to begin our trek home.  A few miles south of Bryce Canyon off of Hwy 89 is a very small, rural town named Alton, UT.

So without further ado.... I would like to welcome you to Alton, Utah, population 119.  The home place of my heritage in Utah.

This sign that welcomes everyone to Alton was donated by my family in 2008 at  the 100th birthday celebration.

My maternal grandmother and her 4 sisters grew up here. 

Please read this plaque.  

Jonathan Heaton, the founder of Alton is my great-great grandfather.  
Further down you will see the names of my great-grandparents, John Stanley and Clarrisa Amy Heaton Glover.  They are the parents of my Grandmother.  Clarrisa is my mother's namesake, only she was given the shortened version of Claire.  

Only in a rural town!  Ha!  

Another reason for us to visit Alton was that it was Memorial Day weekend and we wanted to decorate my ancestor's graves with flowers.  

The grave sight of my great-grandparents


My great-grandparents passed away shortly before I was born so I never got the chance to get to know them.  However, I have been told some wonderful stories about them.  I look forward to meeting them someday.  

Another Ancestor
Cool Headstone

The Alton Cemetery is full of Heaton's, Glover's, and Roundy's.  I am related to them all.  
In fact if you have one of these surnames or know someone with these surnames and are from the Southern Utah area, I am most likely a relative.

The entrance to the Alton Cemetery

This view is looking at the cemetery.  
Among the cedar trees and sagebrush you will find my ancestors graves.

Another view of the cemetery.

 This is a view of the Alton valley looking from the cemetery.

Another view

This is the property where my grandmother's home used to sit.  The house burned down a few years ago.  It used to be next to that small red garage.  Sad to see it is gone.  

I have so many wonderful memories of Alton.  There were many family reunions held here when I was younger, and my grandmother has shared some really fun and amazing stories about her life growing up there.  

The welcome sign says it all.  Alton, Utah... A pretty little place.  The scenery surrounding this area is breathtaking!

To read more about it go here and here.  And if you ever find yourself in Southern Utah, do stop by for a visit.

A few short miles down the road from Alton is Kanab, Utah.  And right before you get into town is a place we wanted to visit called the Moqui Caves.  This is a museum of natural history displaying life of ancient Anasazi Indians of Southern Utah, as well as many other artifacts.  

As we walked into the cave we were greeted by a man named Lex Chamberlain.  He begins by telling us about the history of the caves and about his father, Garth Chamberlain who originally bought the cave and turned it into what it is today.  He explained that his father was an amazing artist (many of his creations are on display),and an ex-NFL player that played for the Pittsburgh, Steelers after being drafted from BYU. Next he tells us that his father was also born in Alton, Utah.  When he told me this, and I let him know my family history of Alton, we began talking about our ancestors and learned that his relatives are also Heaton's, and discovered that we are cousins (removed a few times)!  It was amazing!  

He gave us a more personal tour and showed us all the family pictures he had as well as the works of art his father created.  It was wonderful!  Finding relatives you don't know about is really exciting!   This place was amazing!  I can't describe the feeling that I had on this day after visiting Alton and the Moqui Caves.  We stayed much longer than we planned to but it was well worth it.  I encourage all of my family and friends who have not visited this place to do so.  

This was the last big stop of our trip.  Our stopping place for the night was Gallup, NM. The next morning, on our 10th and final day was a 13 hour car drive from Gallup to Fort Worth.  

Our whole trip was amazing! We saw my daughter and niece graduate, we got to see and spend time with many family members that we haven't seen in a long time, we got to meet family that we have never met before and visited places so spectacular that the memories of this trip will last a lifetime.  

And the best thing is that I got to see and experience it all with my best friend and husband.  Love Him!  Can't wait to do it again sometime.  

If you have never been to southern Utah I recommend that you get there someday.  There are so many National Parks and neat places to experience.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Weed: Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary

In this post I am linking to another blogger who writes on a very controversial subject.  It is a very good read and I recommend everyone read it.  I learned a great deal and know I will be more full of empathy, love and acceptance towards my fellow brothers and sisters in and out of the Mormon church who find themselves with these same type of attractions.

The Weed: Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary

Still need to write up Part 5 of my vacation and get that posted... look for that really soon.  See ya then!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Baby Baby!

On Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm we became the proud grandparents of a new grandson.

 Jacob David Romney
8 lbs. 12 oz. 20.5 L

Welcome to the world little man
(I can't wait to meet him)

The new little family

We are so very happy for Natalie & David
They will be amazing parents!

Love You!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Graduations & Vacation Part 4

Before I continue on with our trip to Bryce Canyon, I need to rewind just a bit because I forgot to include another stop we made while we were in Cedar City.  As I have lived there before I knew about a place called the Parowan Gap which has a lot of ancient history including petroglyphs that are the work of prehistoric Fremont and southern Paiute tribes. It is also a place that has history of the first Mormon settlers to that area.  Since DH had never been there I decided this would be another great stop.  You can read about the history here.

Listed on the national register of Historic Places

I think this is an amazing place. So much writing on the rocks! I wish I could understand the meaning of all the pictures.

We saw these cool lizards... the one closest is pretty fat and may be pregnant?

They stayed right where they were the whole time and watched our every move.  

Anyway... it is a pretty cool place so if you ever get down that way you should stop by and check it out.

The morning of Day 8 we left for Bryce Canyon National Park by way of Utah's Scenic Byway 143 called Utah's Patchwork Parkway.  Very nice drive!  It was a very windy day when we left Cedar City and it was very windy the whole day, even when we reached Bryce Canyon.  We arrived fairly early in the day with the intention of seeing as much as we could that day before our evening dinner show plans that I will tell you about in a little bit.

We checked into our hotel and began our trek to see and experience all we could.  Here are a few photos of our day.  

Before you get there you go through a couple tunnels like this one. This is how they opened the road (many years ago) to make it easier to get there. 

This is my 2nd favorite National Park next to Yellowstone

The landscape is so beautiful! 

This is one of many bristle-cone pine trees that can survive the harshest terrain. Look where the roots are.  Pretty cool tree if you ask me! 

Look at all those "hoodoos"

The ones in white look like people to me

And this one looks like a church or a temple

I still can't get over the amazing scenery.

These look like castles on the hillside

This looks like a the backside of a group of people with their arms around one another

Mountain Blue Bird

Remember when I told you that it was really windy?  Well it was SO windy that we were getting hit with rocks as we were walking from point to point. It Hurt! I won't even tell you about my hair... what a mess! It must have been blowing between 50 and 70 mph.  It was crazy!  

We decided to head back to our hotel around 4pm to rest and get ready for our evening plans.  Being in the wind all day really takes a lot of a person!  We were both feeling wind whipped and exhausted.  We decided we would see the rest of the park in the morning before we left to begin our trip towards home.

To make our trip to Bryce a little more memorable we added a western dinner show to our evening plans as part of our experience.  It was located at Ebenezer's Barn & Grill and was put on by the Bar G Wranglers.   Let me tell you... this was the highlight of our trip.  We had such a great time!  We were seated by one of the wrangler's, Jay Evans, who I learned happens to be married to the daughter of long time family friends of my Grandma in Delta (for my mom - the Lowder family). It is always fun to run into people you know in the least likely places.  After we were seated, two other couples were seated at our table with us.  One was from Georgia, but the husband was originally born in Jordan.  The other couple was originally from Houston, Texas but were living in Saratoga Springs, UT.  They brought their 4 year old daughter with them.  Cute!  We had such a great time talking and getting to know one another.  At other tables, there were people from all over the world.

We had a very yummy cowboy dinner and the entertainment by the Bar G Wrangler's was so much fun! They are really talented performers with their instruments and their voices.  It was such a memorable night.  We bought a few CD's and have a picture which they all autographed for us.  So fun!

I highly recommend you including this into your Bryce Canyon experience when you go next.  It will be a memory that I will always look back on fondly.  

The next morning we went to grab breakfast and as we were leaving with our shorts and t-shirts on we noticed it was still windy, but now it was really cold with a rain/snow mix coming down.  Crap! When we were done with breakfast and after packing up our stuff, we just decided to leave Bryce Canyon and begin making our way home.  We had plans to stop by Alton, UT on our way out of Utah.  This town is a very special place for my family.  It is where my grandma was born and raised and where the roots of my family is from. I will tell you about it in Part 5 coming very soon.

See you then!