This week's adventure took me to Southern Utah again, but this time it was the southeast corner instead of the southwest. You see, at the beginning of the year I decided to attend every temple in Utah during 2010. One nice thing about living in Salt Lake is that there are seven temples within an hour's drive of where I live (where else in the world can that be said?) and I have attended six of those. However, the remaining six pose potential challenges, being a bit more of a drive. However, they are still manageable, and with a little planning, can easily all be attended by the end of the year.
Today, I made it to the temple which had the place on my list as the hardest one to reach. The Monticello temple is about a five hour drive from where I live, through the barren stretches of Central and Southern Utah, past Price and Helper and Moab. The original plan was to get together a group to go down for the weekend and spend the rest of the time in the Mesa Verde/Four Corners region, but plans got revamped, and my roommate Cassaundra, our friend Amy, and I set off on Friday early afternoon to spend the evening in Arches National Park, the night at a KOA campground in Moab, and this morning in the Monticello temple.
Which is what we did. We listened to Cassaundra's book on CD of Pride and Prejudice on the way down, and I solidified my opinion that Pride and Prejudice is much less a romance novel than it is a social commentary both on social structure and the absurd personalities that Jane Austen herself most likely encountered in society. I think I've had my fill of that story for a while now, though, after listening to it this weekend and watching a theatrical production last weekend . . .
We arrived safely in Moab right around supper time but as none of us were very hungry, we drove straight into Arches to enjoy it while the daylight held.
After fully exhausting the daylight, we drove through Moab to the KOA where we spent the night. We started unpacking the car, but before the tent went up, I realized just how brilliant the stars were and put in a bid for using them as our canopy. I wasn't as tired as I initially thought, so I lay on the ground with my eyes wide open for the better part of an hour, marveling at how even the dark parts of the sky seemed to hint at some twinkle of light and counting shooting stars.
In the morning, we got up, packed the car, took advantage of the showers, realized how out-of-place we felt wearing nice skirts at a campground, and drove south another hour to Monticello. This is the first true mini temple I've done a session in and I was surprised at just how small it was. We got there at about 9:20 for the 10:00 session, and the dressing room was completely empty. So we got changed and sat in the tiny bride's room talking quietly for about fifteen minutes until a temple worker appeared.
It was a good experience. The drive back was peaceful, and while I enjoyed the incredible scenery along the way, I am very glad that I don't live in dry, dry red rock country. A visit is sufficient for me.