Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Weekend With Wife

Saturday, September 29th

Sheila Marie arrived late Thursday night - just in time! We hadn't seen each other since St. Paul.

Friday we walked around downtown Denver. Our first stop was the Colorado State Capitol. Denver's famous mile high elevation is marked on the steps of the capitol. It's actually marked on three different steps (as surveying technology has evolved, the marker has moved up and down).

Mile High JV

We tagged along with a tour group from the UK for a tour of the capitol. The Colorado State Capitol is, like the other capitols I've visited, a place with a very formal beauty. It houses the two state legislative bodies, the Governor's offices and the former chambers of the Supreme Court. It is decorated with lots of carved wood and native stone. The central rotunda is capped with a giant gold-clad dome.

SM at the base of the grand stairs in the Colorado State Capitol

From the capitol, we explored the city's "Golden Triangle". The US Mint was closed for tours (bummer), but we did visit the Colorado History Museum. The history museum featured a whole bunch of neat dioramas created by artists during the Great Depression. The dioramas served as a sort of WPA project to employ the artists and illustrated all kinds of historical settlements, forts and Indian life. The museum also had a great display of mining equipment and practices.

Friday night after the show we headed to "LoDo" (Lower Downtown - the hip, warehouse district here in Denver) to check out Denver's Oktoberfest celebration. For the event, several blocks were closed down. At one end of the street was a rock'n'roll stage and a polka band held court at the other end. In between were several beer tents, food vendors and a midway. We settled in near the polka band and hung out with Francesca and Ryan for the evening.

Right outside the apartment I'm renting is the 16th Street Mall. The mall is a shopping district lining 16th Street. The street is closed to traffic and features a free shuttle bus running from the capitol to the river. In addition to the stores, there are all sorts of performers and carts along the mall. Right outside my apartment is a cart selling "New Orleans style Snowballs." These snowcones come in an enormous variety of flavors and Sheila Marie and I sampled many during her stay here. The mall also offered Sheila some easy entertainment while I worked. As has become customary, Sheila Marie's suitcase was a lot more full returning to NYC than it was coming out to visit.

Sheila Marie and her Snowball

Saturday between shows we were able to catch the end of MSU's victory over hapless Notre Dame. So fun to see East Lansing on TV and to be able to celebrate with another Spartan. (Actually, I have a couple of Spartans on tour with me: Chris Sutton (Prince Herbert) graduated from the theatre department just ahead of me and Justin (our new Head Carpenter) also attended MSU, so there are several of us keeping tabs on Saturday afternoons.)

After the show on Saturday we went back over to Oktoberfest for some more fun under the stars. I had talked the event up a bit at work and roped a few more company members into attending. We had a blast! We sat and talked, danced to the polka band, drank and danced some more. I learned the words to a new polka song: There Is No Beer in Heaven (that's why we drink it here).

Patrick and Nigel attempt to balance beers on their heads (a la the bottle dance in Fiddler)

We're dancing in a circle and toasting.

Silliness.

Nigel, Patrick, Jen, Justin, Piper, Angelina & Jager.

Sunday we laid pretty low. We went for our, now traditional, steak dinner between shows.

Monday we had a wonderful day together. We drove south from Denver through Colorado Springs and to Manitou Springs. In Manitou Springs we caught the Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway train to the top of Pikes Peak. The Manitou Springs Depot is at 6,571 feet and the Summit Depot (8.9 miles down the track) is at 14,110 feet. The temperature at the base of the mountain was 65 degrees and at the summit it was 25 degrees! Along the way the train climbed grades of 25% (an average train loses traction on a grade of 4%). The railway is specially built for these grades: the train is powered not by wheels on the tracks, but by a cog wheel locked into a center "rack rail". The rack rail locks the train to the track and pulls it both up and down the mountain.

The rack rail.

Along the way up the mountain we passed through beautiful stands of Aspens that had begun to turn bright gold. (Fun facts: a stand of aspens is all one organism. The roots spread out horizontally and sprout up into new trees but remain connected below the surface. The bark of the aspen also produces a white powder with sunscreen properties!) We also passed by several bristlecone pine trees - one of which was more than 2.500 years old! After we passed the tree line we encountered some yellow-bellied marmots. These little guys are like cuter groundhogs. When they sit up on "alert" they whistle to their buddies.

We arrived at the top of the mountain and disembarked into the cold. The change in altitude left me feeling dizzy, but the view was amazing. You can see more than 250 miles! Pikes Peak isn't the tallest peak in Colorado, but it is the tallest in the area, so you can see all the way to the Continental Divide. There was no snow left on the peak, but there was ice on some of the metal surfaces and in the cracks of the rocks.

JV & SM with the 14,110 foot marker.

At the summit with the Rockies in the distance.

At the summit there is, of course, a gift shop that made a great place to warm up. They also made some very tasty donuts and hot chocolate for our trip back down the mountain.

After our trip up Pikes Peak, we spent the rest of the afternoon in Manitou Springs. It's a cute little tourist-y town that must really be hopping in the summer season. Our visit fell at the tail end of the season, so many of the stores in town were closed, but we had a really nice meal beside one of the crystal clear mountain creeks. We bought a few souvenirs and split a malted.

SM beside the creek in Manitou Springs.

Tasting the water from one of the natural soda springs in Mantiou Springs.

On the way back toward Colorado Springs, we stopped to visit the Garden of the Gods. Neither of us was familiar with the place, Francesca suggested we stop. It was spectacular. The Garden of the Gods is home to some enormous pieces of sandstone that were heaved up out of the earth when the Rockie Mountains were formed. Several of them are not much wider than me, but stick up into the air hundreds of feet. The erosion of wind, rain and time has carved them in interesting ways. We were there in the late afternoon with the sun setting behind the mountain lending the light a really special quality. Sheila Marie took some amazing pictures!

Garden of the Gods

The sun setting behind Pikes Peak

SM at Garden of the Gods

We encountered lots of wildlife at Garden of the Gods: 5 groups of mule deer (including this buck who let us get within 15 feet of him), rabbits, chipmunks, rock pigeons and hawks.

Tuesday morning came too quickly and Sheila Marie was back on the plane to NYC much too soon after she had arrived. Her visits are like mini-vacations within the tour and I really look forward to them. I'm already counting down to her visit in Seattle!

JV

P.S. - Sheila Marie took so many great pictures during her trip! I posted some of my favorites here, but I also put a bunch more on Snapfish.

The Last Stop on the Baseball Tour

Friday, September 28

Last Thursday I was fortunate enough to catch the Colorado Rockies last afternoon home game versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a magnificent day for baseball: sunny and warm with a breeze – the sort of day you imagine when you think of afternoon baseball.


Coors Field is a great baseball park. A lot of thought obviously went into its design. When it opened in 1995, it was part of the wave of “retro” parks. Like the Ballpark at Arlington, its field is irregularly shaped and a lot of effort went into making the park feel welcoming and more like the old Tiger Stadium than the Metrodome. The field is visible from all the concourses around the park, meaning you can see the play while you buy a hotdog. The batter’s eye (the black seats at Yankee Stadium) at Coors Field is a stand of native pine trees with a fountain that erupts with every Rockies’ homerun. Above the batter’s eye are the bleacher seats known as “the Rockpile”. The most notable feature of Coors Field, however, is the 20th row of the upper-deck. This row of purple seats (the rest of the park’s seats are green) marks 1 mile above sea level. The thinner air lets the ball travel 5% farther than at a park at sea level (like Yankee Stadium). Combined with the drier mountain air, the altitude has turned Coors Field into a homerun park.

The game I saw on Thursday had its share of homeruns. The Rockies hit 2 (including a three run shot) and the Dodgers had 2 dingers of their own, but couldn’t come back from a 6 run second inning and got swept by the Rockies 9-4. At the time, the Rockies looked to be out of the playoff picture, but they’ve been playing like a team possessed and now only trail the Padres by a single game for the NL wildcard. They’re playing some great baseball.

The group I went to the game with was a blast. Mike Berg, Fran, Dumas, Michael, Tony, Patrick, Robert and I all sat in some great seats (20 rows off the field just beyond 1st base) that they guys secured for us (for free) when they sang that National Anthem on Tuesday. We played the dollar game (everyone draws a player from both teams: if your player gets a hit, that’s a dollar from everyone – a run is a dollar and a homerun is $3) and passed around quite a bit of cash. Poor Fran drew two stinkers – she ended down quite a bit for the day – but everyone had a great time. What’s better than sitting in free field-level seats at a baseball game, soaking up the sun and a couple of beers in the middle of a weekday?

One of Fran's snaps from the game: Robert, JV, Dumas & Berg


Too bad it doesn't look like we're having any fun...

Thursday marked the last game I’ll be able to attend for the ’07 season. The Spamalot Tour has done a lot for my baseball lifetime list:

Major League Parks: 7
Tiger Stadium – Detroit (RIP – I understand they’re about to finally tear down “The Corner”)
Yankee Stadium – New York
Wrigley Field - Chicago
Minute Maid Field – Houston
Rangers Ballpark at Arlington – Dallas (Arlington)
Metrodome - Minneapolis
Coors Field - Denver

AAA Parks: 6
Cooper Stadium – Columbus
Frontier Field – Rochester
Victory Field – Indianapolis
Principal Park – Des Moines
PGE Park – Portland
Franklin Covey Field – Salt Lake City

A Parks: 2
Oldsmobile Park – Lansing
Covelski Stadium – South Bend

Unaffiliated Parks: 1
Midway Stadium – St. Paul

Though I didn’t get to see a game at Yankee Stadium this season (the Yanks have locked up a play-off spot and trail the BoSucks by only two games in the Division Race with 4 games to go!!!), I compare everywhere I go to the House that Ruth Built. With that in mind, I offer this assessment of my ’07 Baseball Tour:

The Nathan’s Famous Award for Best Concessions:
Frontier Field (Rochester) – look back at the picture of me and that hot dog plate: that is ballpark food heaven.

The Bob Shepard Award for best PA Announcer:
Franklin Covey Field (Salt Lake City) – their PA man had the rich, sonorous tones you want from your PA man. He sounded truly classic.
Honorable Mention: Midway Stadium (St. Paul) – what he lacked in classic sound, he more than made up for in enthusiasm. He really got the crowd into the game (and he sat at a folding table on top of the dugout – that’s worth something!).

The Shea Stadium Award for Dumpiest Park:
Midway Stadium (St. Paul) – there is nothing good to be said for the physical park at Midway Stadium.
Runner Up: Metrodome (Minneapolis) – I’m sure that they’ll find outdoor baseball in April a bit chilly at their new park, but I applaud the fans in Minneapolis for realizing that the word “baggie” has no place in baseball.

The 6 Train in the Right field Gap Award for Best View of Transportation Infrastructure:
Midway Stadium (St. Paul) – Train tracks ran the length of the outfield wall and just across the street behind home plate. An engineer honked the train’s horn and waved at us!
Honorable Mention: PGE Park (Portland) – The MAX tracks ran along the outfield wall, though the engineers never honked at us…

The “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning” Award for Best View of the Surroundings:
Franklin Covey Field (Salt Lake City) - The view of the mountains over the outfield wall was spectacular.
Honorable Mention: Principal Park (Des Moines) - While Des Moines didn’t have any mountains; they showcased the view across the river and to the State Capitol.

The Crazy Squirrel on the Foul Poll that Totally Distracted Suzyn Waldman Award for Best Animal Antics:
Midway Stadium (St. Paul) - They had a pig for cryin’ out loud.

The “Thrilla from Godzilla” Award for Best Homerun Celebration:
Too close to call:
Rangers Ballpark at Arlington (Dallas) - Centerfield Pyro
Coors Field (Denver) - Centerfield Fountains
Franklin Covey Field (Salt Lake City) - “Haircut for Homerun Ball” Promotion: if you caught a homerun ball, you won a free Supercuts hair cut!
Disqualified: Minute Maid Park (Houston): -Minute Maid Train (there were no home team homeruns that day I was there)

The Tommy Lasorda Getting Hit by an Errant Bat Award for Jumbo-tron Fun Award:
Victory Field (Indianapolis) - The “Flex-cam” quickly cutting away from a rapidly disrobing Matt Allen
Honorable Mention: Coors Field (Denver) - Rather than the “Yankee Cap Game”, the Jumbo-tron hide the ball game in Denver is sponsored by a garbage and recycling company. They hide the ball inside garbage trucks that race around the screen.

The “Hey Beerman!” Award for Best Service at Your Seat:
Coors Field (Denver) - Jerry, our usher, walked through the stands offering complimentary sun block and carrying a hand-pumped water mister. Awesome.

The “Dunkin Donuts D Train” Award for Best Baseball Side Betting Game:
Tony Holds for introducing me to the Dollar Game.

The “Lemme Hear Ya” Award for Best 7th Inning Stretch:
Principal Park (Des Moines) & Jeff Dumas root, root, rootin’ for the Cubbies.
Honorable Mention: Minute Maid Park (Houston) - Deep In the Heart of Texas

The Freddy Schuman Superfan Award:
Mike Berg attended more of these baseball adventures with me than any other member of the Spamily. I might even be able to overlook his love of the Angels...

The Phil Rizzuto Memorial Award for Best Use of Baseball Terminology:
Jeff Dumas’ description of the Rangers’ Ballpark as a “bandbox”.

The Yogi Berra Award for Best Sport:
Fran Curry for laughing through her $30+ loss at the Denver Dollar Game
Honorable Mention: The Box Office at Frontier Field giving us our money back in Redwings Dollars for the rain out in Rochester.

The House That Ruth Built Award for Prettiest Ballpark:
Major League: Ranger’s Ballpark at Arlington (Dallas) – I know it was designed to feel warm and nostalgic, but it works. It’s a great place to see a game.
Minor League: PGE Park (Portland) – The place felt like a set for an old baseball movie. The timber supports for the roof and the ivy covered outfield walls were charming, but it was the giant, person-operated scoreboard that really sealed the deal.

And the Grand Prize:
The Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS at Yankee Stadium Award for Best Time at the Ballpark Award:
Midway Stadium (St. Paul): Some of the baseball was downright awful, but I had so much fun at that game. (Probably not as much fun as at Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS at Yankee Stadium…)

I’m grateful that this tour has given me the opportunity to see so many games in so many great parks. I will really miss this part of the tour for the next few months. (The tour does go to Florida during the ’08 Spring Training months…) However, thanks to modern technology, I can easily follow the Yankees quest for that 27th World Series Championship no matter where work takes me!

JV

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Salt Lake City Pictures

Thursday, September 20th
My Salt Lake City photos are on Snapfish. The first roll I call "Mountains & Temples" and I titled the second "Golden Spike & Spiral Jetty". The highlights follow:

Mom & Dad at Cecret Lake

Mom & JV laughing near Sunset Peak

Dad and Lake Catherine

Mom taking in the vista

The Mormon Tabernacle and the Salt Lake Temple

JV on the site of the Golden Spike - I have one foot on Central Pacific tracks and the other on Union Pacific tracks.

The road-trippers: Wayne, Roy, Fran and JV at Golden Spike

The drive to Spiral Jetty: high desert, the Great Salt Lake and the mountains in the distance

Fran standing on the bed of the Great Salt Lake with the weird hill dotted with volcanic rocks behind her

Wayne standing at the base of Spiral Jetty

JV

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Salt Lake City Photos & Denver Update

Wednesday, September 19th


Mom & Dad returned safely home to Michigan on Saturday afternoon. They sent me a couple of photos from the trip that they deemed "blogworthy":

Mom's "Peasant Pic" - Onstage with the cast of Spamalot


Hiking up to Cecret Lake

Cecret Lake

Perched on a boulder at Cecret Lake

Mom & I on our way up to Sunset Peak


I have, of course, grabbed a few photos from Fran's blog. These are from our Golden Spike / Spiral Jetty adventure. (I'd like to say, again, how great that whole day was. My traveling companions were a blast. Live steam engines!!! The spiral jetty was such a special place. I really was affected by the combination of art and landscape.)


#119 - The Union Pacific's representative at the wedding of the rails.


The Spiral Jetty


Roy, JV & Wayne on the bed of the Great Salt Lake (we might as well have been on the moon - it bore no resemblance to anywhere else I've ever been on earth).


In my continuing series reporting on Pyro Party Sunday:

Sunday in Salt Lake City, we had a lot of extra pyro to destroy. The company the supplies the pyro sent 2 weeks of the wrong stuff for the rabbit mound. This meant that we had 24 flashpots to blow up on Sunday (in addition to some other odds and ends). Mike, being the genius that he is, wired these 24 pots into two groups of twelve and mounted them to a length of board.


Before

video

During (you might want to turn down your speakers...)


After


video

Mike also had some spares of the pyro from our chandelier. This is three of those gerbs wired together. (Mike is a licensed professional...)

Denver update:

We arrived in Denver around noon on Monday. I'm renting an apartment here (as opposed to staying in a hotel). The apartment is fantastic. I'm 3 blocks from the theatre and right in the heart of things downtown. Outside the front door of my building is the 16th Street Mall. It's a mall in the old school sense: a shopping street lining a pedestrian and bus only mall. Denver feels much more urban and vibrant than the cities we've played lately. There are people out and about on the street after the show. There seems to be a nightlife nearby. I'm excited to spend three weeks here (and have two days off).

Load-in and opening night went reasonably well. There were a few minor hiccups, but the audience sounded like they enjoyed the show. The theatre is large and modern - they even feature oxygen tanks next to the water coolers on stage. We're playing in the Buell Theatre which is one of ten theatres in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. They have more than 10,000 theatre seats in the complex and the whole place is owned and managed by the City and County of Denver. The presenters even through us a really nice opening night party last night.

Tomorrow, I'll wrap up the Baseball Tour with a visit to Coors Field. I very nearly wrote an obituary for the Baseball Tour after the Salt Lake Bees game, but the rehearsal schedule worked out in my favor this week and I'll spend another afternoon at the ballpark. The Rockies will take on the Dodgers in a game that could have ramifications for the NL wildcard. Speaking of baseball division races: LET'S GO YANKEES!!! The boys in pinstripes are 5 games up in our own wildcard race and only trail the BoSox by 2.5 games as of this writing!

Tomorrow also marks another exciting life development: Sheila Marie comes to the Mile High City. It has been far too long since we've been in the same place (6 weeks ago in St. Paul). She's been getting lots of suggestions about what to see and do in Denver via her friends at work, so I'm glad we have all day on Monday and the afternoon on Friday all to ourselves. I can't wait!

More pictures from Salt Lake City just arrived in my inbox, so I'll sort through them and get them posted shortly...

JV

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Portland & Salt Lake City Photos

Saturday, September 15th

Another roll of film has returned from Snapfish - you can check it out here.

Highlights:


Cigar Night - Cuz, Patrick & Graham

Cigar Night - Dumas, Karl & Tony P.

Ryan's Killer Rabbit Cake

Ryan's Birthday

Esther at the Portland Load-Out Pyro Party

The Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City

This isn't one of mine - Fran took this great snap of our trucks lined up in the crazy wide Salt Lake City Street. Fun Fact: to get to the loading dock at the Capitol Theatre, the trucks had to back through a parking garage and then make a ninety degree turn to the loading door...

Franklin Covey Field, home of the Salt Lake Bees

Bumble, the Salt Lake City Bees mascot.

The post-game view from my seat (through the screen). The mountains behind the center-field wall were amazing.

Keith and Vera's Birthday

Things have been quiet here the past couple of days. Thursday we had an understudy rehearsal. Friday I had an unexpected day off, but laid low. This morning, I met Mom, Dad, Cindy and Ben for a lovely breakfast before Mom and Dad took off for home. They had a great time over in Moab: they hiked, saw the arches and went white water rafting. They went on another mountain hike yesterday with Cindy. I think they really enjoyed their vacation.

Tomorrow we'll pack up the show and move over to Denver. Tomorrow evening will also mark the final performance for one of our "tall girls": Siobhan Santapaola. Happy trails, kiddo. She's returning to NYC to get married soon! Her replacement, Jen Mathie, has been rehearsing during our stay here in SLC and will make her debut on Wednesday in Denver.

JV

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Golden Spike & Spiral Jetty

Wednesday, September 12th

This morning, I met up with the Spamalot Wardrobe Department (Wayne, Fran and Roy) for a road-trip adventure. We rented a car and drove 90 miles North and West of Salt Lake City to the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Promontory Summit, Utah. On May 10, 1869 the Intercontinental Railroad was completed at the site. The Union Pacific (coming West from Omaha) and the Central Pacific (coming East from Sacramento) met in the hills above the Great Salt Lake 6 years after the construction of the cross-country railway began. (Fun Fact #1: Until 1872, railroad passengers could not cross the Missouri River at Omaha on a train, they had to disembark, ride a ferry and then get on another train in Omaha for the rest of the journey.)

The site is in the middle of nowhere. The nearest town, Corrine, is 30 miles away. The railroads were racing for the Salt Lake Valley, as there was significant money to be made in controlling the trade in and out of the Salt Lake City region. Union Pacific won the race, but the Central Pacific set the record for most track laid in a single day: 10 1/4 miles of track were laid in 12 hours on April 28th, 1869 - a record that still stands today.

Much of the site has been recreated. The old line was decommissioned and the tracks were actually taken up in 1942 and recycled as part of the war effort. The grade and right-of-way remained, however, and in 1957 the National Historic Site was created. The tracks were relaid and a replica of the California Laurel-wood tie was placed at the site of the original. Two replica steam engines were commissioned and are drawn up nose to nose to recreate the event. The original Jupiter and Union Pacific Number 119 were each scrapped at the end of their useful lives, but are recreated to tolerances of 1/4 of an inch. They are spectacular machines and we got to see them run! When we arrived, they were idling nose to nose across the ceremonial tie, but just before we left, Engineers fired up both engines and took them for short trips. To see, hear, smell and feel these machines in operation was cool.

I used my new found ability to capture video on my cell phone to produce these short clips:

video
Union Pacific #119 has been stoked with coal and is building up a head of steam.


video

Backing away from the Jupiter.


video
Steaming past me on the passing track.

video

Creeping back into position: nose to nose with the Jupiter. (Fun Fact #2: Steam engines like these do not have brakes. Their tenders have mechanical brakes, but the engine is more than capable of dragging the tender. The force of the steam must be used to stop these engines, just as it drives them.)


We took lots and lots of photos between the four of us - I'll post the highlights as soon as I have them!

From the Golden Spike, we ventured even further into the middle of nowhere to see Spiral Jetty. Spiral Jetty was created in 1970 by the artist Robert Smithson. It is composed 6,550 pounds of earth and basalt rocks arranged in a 1500 foot long by 15 foot wide black stripe spiraling into the Great Salt Lake. The materials and the design are simple, the effect on me was anything but.

To reach the jetty, we drove 19 miles Southwest from the Golden Spike Site across open scrub land. The road began as a two lane, gravel country road and steadily devolved until it was an impassable jumble of stones. We passed over 4 cattle guards and across acres upon acres of grazing lands abutting the Great Salt Lake. The jetty is situated at Rozel Point at the base of a large hill composed of black basalt rock. The rock is obviously volcanic and is unlike anything else we saw on the trip. Big black hunks of rock protrude from the hill like cubes of sugar sprinkled over a child's birthday cake. The lake at Rozel Point is red due to some combination of algae and minerals. Today the lake was quite low, leaving the shoreline encrusted in inches of salt. Much of the jetty was on dry land also encrusted with inches of white and pink salt. Some puddles of pink water remained inside the jetty and just beyond its outer swirls. The whole effect was surreal.

The place didn't look like anywhere else on Earth I've ever been. It looked more like a picture from the Mars Rover. The ground was brilliant white crystals - so white and sparkly I almost couldn't look at it. It was solid, however, not sandy at all. The combination of weird nature and man-made art was provocative. I had no idea what to expect when we went to visit this place, but I was really moved by it. It was definitely worth the trek.

This is a sort of stock art history shot of the spiral jetty. It gives you the idea, but not the effect of the piece in person.

video

I shot this video standing out on the jetty and looking across the lake and then back toward Rozel Point.

Among the things that struck me about Spiral Jetty was its complete lack of any commercial angel. There was no one collecting admission to see it. There was no gift shop. There wasn't even a box to leave a donation. Just a very long, very bumpy and very dusty road leading to this amazing piece of art. It is unlike anything else I have experienced on the tour. There have been plenty of free things to see and to do, but they were all presented by an institution or commercial enterprise. Spiral Jetty was just there. Not that paying for something takes away from the experience, but it added to the profound nature of this experience that it was just there to be experienced.

We drove back toward civilization singing along to the songs of the 70's on XM channel 7. Every other song was some one's favorite... We had to pass by the plant where they make the rocket boosters for the Space Shuttle, there wasn't enough time to stop! We did pause long enough to enjoy some "home cookin'" at the Golden Spike Cafe in Corrine. We rolled back into Salt Lake City just in time to go to work.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. I had a great time with all three of the folks in the car with me. I also really enjoyed both of the sights we visited - on very different levels. A wonderful road-trip.

JV