(Brent Bateman's Favorite)
What should I do on my first day off for the holiday? Be ready to make the drive to Topaz Mountain at 4:45 A.M. but the sheer terror of my dad's wrath if I wasn't ready to go wakes me up at 4 A.M.
I felt like a little kid ready for school when I climbed into the suburban with my backpack and lunchbox. My dad, Dra, Uncle Scott, cousin Brandon, Uncle Norman, cousin Alex, and I all rode together while my Aunt Kay, cousin Blaine, and his wife Christy followed in their car. I tried to stay awake and listen to my uncle's great stories, but I can't stay awake for long in cars.
I woke up later to my dad saying, "We went too far!" I opened my eyes, wondering why were at a toll booth, and saw my dad talking to a guy in uniform with a huge shotgun. Masking my alarm with my sleepy voice, I whispered, "Where are we?" So confusing. Apparently, we'd made it to Dugway. We flipped around and quickly found the dirt road we had missed.
Our first stop.
I didn't really know what I was supposed to be doing. Dra and I started taking pictures and laughing a lot immediately. We were horsing around, using her screwdriver and hammer to chisel at the rock, and I asked if I could see it for a second. I blindly chose a spot, chipped away, and a huge piece of black rock fell out. Dra said we should show my dad, so we climbed back to where he was, and he was in awe. He called everyone over to show off the bixbyite (spelling is of course atrocious, I'd never heard of such a rock, and every time my dad said it, I thought of Clive Bixby). I was beaming until I looked over at Dra and she was scowling at me and my dumb luck. It was hilarious. My dad told us to show him where we found it, and we laughed that we couldn't because it was our secret spot. He didn't laugh. We showed him immediately.
Our 2nd spot: The Geode ... Patch? Field? I can't remember.
It was kind of a bust. We did see a lot of sheep though. I don't like sheep, it's no secret. There were literally hundreds of them. They scattered when my cousins Brandon and Alex jumped from behind a hill and scared them, but then they would gain back their stupid sheep courage and start following us again. I stuck close to my dad, then we realized there was a muddy water hole they were trying to get to. They weren't going to mob us after all. We saw the sheep herder on his horse. He had four super cute dogs with him, but they were all business, no play.
Can you see the windy road at the bottom? We parked close to the road and climbed up to this spot. I think it was the only time I was truly warm all day. My dad kept muttering, "Shoot!" Apparently, when he had come before there were these "two rocks that were amazing," and he couldn't remember where they were. Again, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. Instead of destroying rocks, I mostly watched all the people around us and talked to my non-stop-talker cousin Alex.
Overall, it was a great time. Would I go again? Probably, but only if it was warmer.