Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Volunteering at Colonial Days

As July is about to fade I would like to reflect on an event I got to volunteer for on Independence Day. The city of Orem has many things going on during this time of year, one of which is the Colonial Heritage Festival.

What is Colonial Days? I’m glad you asked. Gregg Hardy, the chairperson, sums it up nicely: 

“Meet history face to face! This year marks the eighth annual Colonial Heritage Festival, a free four-day event for the whole family. Travel back in time through our living museum known as the Village at Aubin’s Grove at SCERA Park, and visit our indoor Colonial relics museum at the SCERA Center for the Arts. Visit Colonial artisans, exhibits, demonstrations, and join in the great debates, public trials, and storytelling in the Old South Church. From our grand Mayflower replica and maritime interactive exhibits to the Colonial School, children will be attended to by teachers from the Alpine School District. Children will also be able to play Colonial games and participate in the daily children’s chores. Military enthusiasts can visit the gun displays and experience the cannon firing on the green. Exhibits include the apothecary shop, blacksmith, cooper, broom maker, gunsmith, spoon maker, potter, bobbin lace maker, bee keeper, chandler, wood worker, women’s clothing, home life, frontier life, and much more.”

Sara Hacken, and me

Sara Hacken, my friend and neighbor, is one of the main organizers for colonial days and was thrilled to get my help since they are always extremely short-staffed for volunteers. They first had me assist with the children’s chores activity. Then they had me play along in the old south church debate, I then spent the rest of my time helping people suit up in Jamestown armor that the Virginia Company would have worn.

Pepper doing children's chores 

Pepper and me in Jamestown armor

I had a lot of fun and would not mind helping out in the future if work and family obligations will permit. I saw a lot of extreme re-enactors that participate every year. I personally am torn between two different thoughts, one being that it is fun to dress up and connect with the past, and the other being how some of these re-enactors are just playing an extremely expensive game of cowboys and Indians. Are your thoughts similar to mine on this?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rocks, rocks, and more rocks

I recently returned from a campout in Moab, Utah. Moab attracts a large number of tourists every year, mostly visitors to the nearby Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. It's a popular base for mountain bikers that ride a lot of wicked trails, and off-roaders that come for the annual Moab Jeep Safari. I was surprised how popular this small town is.

My family and I enjoyed hiking in Arches National Park and observing all the breathtaking landscape of the desert. So beautiful! It’s amazing to me how sandstone can erode into delicate arches, and also form other interesting shapes.

Like this one. It had no name but it definitely has physique. What do you think I should call this rock formation?  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Got Birds?

I had the cherished opportunity recently to visit the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge up in Brigham City Utah.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge visitor center

What are they? Their mission statement says:

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge lies in northern Utah, where the Bear River flows into the northeast arm of the Great Salt Lake.  The Refuge protects the marshes found at the mouth of the Bear River; these marshes are the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem.  Since these marshes are in turn surrounded by arid desert lands, it is little wonder that they have always been an oasis for waterbirds and wildlife. 

So in other words they love nature, they really love birds and try to provide birds with pristine hospitality. 

The visitor center is filled with avid bird lovers who are anxious to answer any questions you may have about the world’s fowls.

While I was there I saw this display which really cracked me up. I got such a big kick out of it I had to take a picture of it.

Here is a close up of the plaque.

Can you see the irony that I found in this display?