Notes from Westwater

Sand Dune on the Barracks Trail, Photo by Merry Palmer
In the spring, we traveled to the Kanab area, trailering our ATV behind. Our destination? A campground somewhere near the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park where we planned to meet our daughter and her husband. Since we arrived hours before they did, we pulled into the park where ATV’s, sandboarders...
“Pray to have eyes to see God’s hand in your life and in the world around you. Ask Him to tell you if He is really there—if He knows you. Ask Him how He feels about you. And then listen.” – President Russell M. Nelson When Obi-Wan Kenobi gives Luke Skywalker his father’s lightsaber, Luke opens it...
Whistling Swans among the thousands of waterfowl at Fish Springs. Ted Palmer photo
Families packed the San Juan High School auditorium, ranging all the way from babies to grandparents. A cacophony of sounds rose as friends chatted, babies cried, and young ones ran up and down the aisles until their parents corralled them. The lights blinked, dimmed, and a spotlight focused on the...
Wild horses running free in the western Utah desert.  Ted Palmer photo
“You must always see with a big vision, / and if you keep your mind calm / there will be a way / there will be light.” – Chiura Obata The wild herd galloped across the desert with tails flowing, manes rippling, ears back, and muscles working under shining coats. Exhilaration filled me at the sight...
Building that once housed Blanding Trading Post, Photo by Merry Palmer
Aiyanna walked into the Blanding Trading Post, clutching the one-dollar trading token in her hand. Earlier that week she’d sold a blanket to the trader. He had examined it carefully, pleased with its beauty, symmetry, and durability, and he understood the spirit pathway she’d woven into the border...
The climb to the Bandara Cinder Cone near Grants, NM.  Ted Palmer photo
Beira is described as a one-eyed, blue-skinned crone carrying a staff which she uses to freeze everything. The mythical queen of winter is considered the Scots’ creator goddess, mother of all their gods and goddesses, but I also surmised that she loves to surprise humans with snow storms. We’d seen...
Angel Rock photo by Ted Palmer
I believe in angels, the kind that heaven sends. I’m surrounded by angels, but I call them my friends. – Anonymous We could see the angel from a distance with her wings outspread, towering over the badlands at a height of 7,000 feet. I complained that she didn’t really look like an angel, but if I...
The spectacular purple hoodoos in Red Canyon. Merry Palmer photo
“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” – Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz Ted and Kenidee shimmied up a steep hill covered with shale. Taking a deep breath, I dug my fingers and toes into the clay like a beetle and started after them. I made it half way up before I started slipping....
Mysterious writing of the ancient inhabitants of San Juan County.  Courtesy photo
Three of the figures were leaping, left legs extended, right legs leaving the ground, arms out for balance; one was skipping; one doing yoga, and one twirling like an alien ballerina. Next to them, a much larger, square anthropomorph wore an antenna-like headdress, earrings or pigtails, and a...
Polly Skousen Sloan, the mother of the late Ruth Palmer, with the graduating class from the LDS Nursing School in Salt Lake City in the early 1900s. Polly is in the back row, third from the left. Courtesy photo
After Ted’s oldest sister opened a tiny, blue velvet bag, she tipped out a rose-colored garnet ring into her palm. The band was large and spun around on her finger when she tried it on. “This is my grandmother’s ring,” she announced. “Grandma Polly’s. She had extremely large hands although when I...

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