We had a great stay in Eden (yes, that's really the name of the town). We left June 23 and got back just before sundown yesterday (July 7). We take two days to make the trip, stopping in the town of Mesquite, NV (on the Arizona border) for the first night. The trek across SoCA and the Mojave Desert is our least favorite part of the trip. On the second day, though, the good part starts with an exciting drive through the Virgin River Gorge, then through the ranch land of Utah. Usually we get to stop at my favorite ever quilt shop, Corn Wagon Quilts in Springville. From there we go through Provo Canyon to the Heber Valley, past Park City and Devil's Slide, up and over Trapper's Loop and Snowbasin and down into the Ogden Valley where there are three little towns: Huntsville, Eden and Liberty.
This is our first view of the valley.
Ogden Valley is the home of the Pineview Reservoir, a very pretty piece of water. To get to our condo we drive over the spillway of the dam and around the lake, then partway up Powder Mountain. This year we arrived in Spring, as they had an especially late winter this year with 40 feet of snow lasting well past Easter. We didn't mind as it was still quite green for this visit.
For the first couple of days we just holed up in our condominium, only venturing out to get Cream O'Weber chocolate milk (yummy!), the Salt Lake Tribune and Ogden Standard-Examiner (which carry the same crossword puzzle so that DH and I can race to see who finishes first). DH likes to watch sports on TV, so I bring my headset and books on cd to listen to while stitching. This trip I "read" The Subtle Knife, second in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman (the first was The Golden Compass). I've really enjoyed this series because the reading is done by a full cast rather than one reader doing different voices.
The first project I worked on was my quilt with the embroidered sashing. I finished the pink sashing except for one butterfly. More about that later.
Saturday, June 28 was a scheduled Obama day across the country and before we left I had signed us up for a meet in Centerville. All of Utah tends to be very conservative Republican and so nobody was more surprised than the organizer of the event when upwards of forty people came to his Obamaque. He said that if fifteen people had shown up he would have been very happy!
The following Tuesday I set off for what I called "a self-indulgent day." As it turned out I didn't do everything I had planned but did enjoy the highlight of this trip - a two-hour visit to my favorite ever shop of any kind, Shepherd's Bush on 24th Street in Ogden, Utah. I joked when I got there that I had a year's worth of projects to kit up. "When your local needlework shop is 800 miles away, " I joked with Teri, one of the owner/designers, "you have to be organized." I did quite a bit of shopping, mostly for fibers that I can't get around home. They also helped me figure out the right floss for my quilt butterfly. As I did the pink sashing I decided that I wanted the butterflies to have just a teeny bit of sparkle. After making several suggestions, I agreed with them that the DMC rayons that matched the cottons - using one strand of each - for the butterflies will give me just what I want.
I got what I needed for a Trinity Easter chart I got this year
I fell in love with Teri Richards' "Scatter..." series and bought three charts and floss (and the button set for two of them.) My favorite is "Scatter Freedom... and peace."
I can hear Kathryn groaning already. Yes, I bought the Crescent Colors called for in the chart. I also bought the "Scatter Hearts and kisses' and "Scatter Eggs and chocolate bunnies." I got floss for all and the buttons for the Easter piece.
I also bought some "accessories". I got a set of Q-Snaps and one of their wonderful zippered bags (I love this fabric!).
I'm very excited by this purchase. I had read on their blog that they were selling these Q-Snap covers and I bought three of them. After using one for the rest of the trip I can honestly report that these are one of the best stitchery tools I've ever used. The cover fits over the frame and you can tuck up the extra fabric into the back of the cover. I've tried a number of "tricks" to get that fabric out of the way and this is the best I've used. I also liked the way it protected my stitchery from my fingertips.
I've reached that "magical" place on my Firefly Faeries (Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum) where I can really see the end of it and spent most of my visit working on the "orange" fairy.
Although we pretty much just hid in our condo this trip, we did venture out a couple of times. One of our favorite places to walk is called "North Arm Trailhead", the starting point for three trails. We usually walk the shortest because we love walking through the wooded area and along the river (which had lots of water since the snow is still melting throughout the mountains.)
This trailhead is at the north end of the reservoir. Pineview Reservoir is not only on the flyway for migrating birds (including sandhill cranes), it is an osprey preserve and there were nests on both platforms this year.
On July 4th we went into Huntsville for their annual pancake breakfast (where we talked to the delightful Betty and her son Mark and his family), then found a place to set up our chairs for the July 4th parade. I love this parade! You just don't find such "small town" parades around Southern California or even in many places in rural Utah. Here are some highlights (for me, anyway).
We sat near the Shooting Star Saloon, which was closed for the parade because the owners were in the parade. the Shooting Star was the first saloon in Utah.
My favorite part of the parade is the kids' and their decorated bikes. I was disappointed that there were so many gas-operated and electrical atv's (I prefer the pedaled bikes), and I got a huge kick out of the sofa bike!
I'd never been to a parade where they throw candy to the audience but apparently this is a big deal in Utah parades.
This parade always ends with a collection of antique tractors. This one has always been my favorite.
We did a little redecorating this trip, taking out the dining table from the upstairs bedroom and returning it to bedroom status. Fortunately, our friend John Lewis (the imagination behind Moose Hollow and builder for all of the Destination Eden properties) was going into town with his truck and trailer to pick up the equipment for the fitness center he's opening in the development. He picked up the mattress and frame we needed so it was very little effort for us. We missed out on all the ski season rentals this past winter because of the condo flooded, and are hoping that returning to the three bedrooms will help make the condo more attractive this winter. Of course, this will probably be a bad snow year.
It was hard to leave because we'd had such a good time but leave we did. We traveled the back route to Springville for breakfast at the IHOP, which takes about two hours. It was while we were in the parking lot that DH realized he'd lost his wallet. He gave it a few minutes then remembered he had taken his wallet out to leave a tip for the cleaning service. A quick call to the maintenance supervisor confirmed it was still in the condo. It didn't take long to figure out that we were going to have to return to the condo to get his wallet (a four-hour detour). It made for a pretty long day, but we were listening to David McCullough's John Adams on audio so it was all right. We spend a comfortable night at the Virgin River Casino and Hotel ($25 a night) where DH won $50 playing the slots, had a good breakfast at the Primm Valley Resort and got home to find our son had taken really good care of our home in our absence.
I will return to Eden in August and DH will fly up if he can. If not, oh well. I'm already planning my time. I'll take up my sewing machine to finish a foundation pieced quilt I've been working on for a friend (for three years) and some of the blocks for Butterfly Garden by Leanne Beasley. I'd also like to finish the floss portion of the Firefly Faeries and watch both seasons of Heroes in preparation for the fall season. I will have to be back to work on August 22, so I'll stay for the annual balloon festival
(which I can watch from my balcony) then make my way back home.