“It’s great to be alive in the West”

My late father-in-law, Gary, lived in the western United States for all but one or two years of his life.  He was born in Montana and then headed down to Arizona to follow the love of his life when he was in his early 20’s.  Gary traveled the West extensively while racing and riding motorcycles and dune-buggies, and flying hang-gliders and airplanes…he was an independent spirit who loved life.  My sons remember working with their grandfather, painting the house or building a fence…out in the Arizona heat…and making comments about how hot it was outside…and Grandpa used to say “Yep…it’s great to be alive in the West, isn’t it?”

If you’ve been following or visiting my blog for any length of time, you might know or remember that I lived in the Phoenix area for over 20 years before moving to Salt Lake City a couple of years ago…leaving part of my family behind, and bringing another part of it with me.  Those who remained in Arizona love the desert and its heat…and most of those who came with me, love the cooler, mountainous region that we now call home.  So, while I have left the cactus, tumbleweed, and ungodly heat behind, I can still think fondly of Dad and my desert-dwelling sons and say that yes, it’s great to be alive in the West…but this is my view when doing so.

Twin Peaks and Bells Canyon from Dimple Dell Trail

The mountain to the left of the cloud is Twin Peaks…the opening below the cloud is the entrance to Little Cottonwood Canyon…and the area that you can see below the ridge-line to the right of the cloud is Bells Canyon.  I made the photo this morning while hiking/walking along the Dimple Dell Trail, a preserved natural area that runs from near the base of the mountains and into the southern neighborhoods of the Salt Lake Valley.


38 responses

  1. And an amazing view it is! So I guess you are happy there? You are one of the most…?

    March 16, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    • Yes, dear Karen…I am very happy here…one of the “most,” yes…and my soul thrives with those mountain views…..

      March 22, 2013 at 6:47 am

  2. Yep… it sure is great to be alive in the West. No ifs, ands or butts! 😀

    March 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    • No ifs, ands, or butts…that’s right! 🙂

      March 22, 2013 at 6:48 am

  3. What a beautiful view Scott, and living in the west myself I can sure say Yep, it’s great to be alive in the west also. 🙂

    March 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    • T’is beautiful, Adrian…thank you…and it’s nice having you for a neighbor out west. 🙂

      March 22, 2013 at 6:49 am

  4. It’s great to be alive in the west or not. Beautiful as usual.

    March 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    • Thank you, CJ…so nice to see you again…wishing you well.

      March 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

  5. Mmm, finally I too can say “It’s great to be alive in the West.” One of the things I loved about SLC when I visited (twice, but each time too short) is the way the mountains creep up on the city and intermingle with it. I’m glad you love this place and look forward to seeing more through your lens – both as the Social Work metaphor – the lenses that we all see our world(s) though – and the literal camera lens you carry along.

    March 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    • Yes, you are now living in the West, as well, Lynn…a bit north, but still in the beautiful West. During my first visits to SLC, I was astounded at how close the mountains are…how “right there” they are…and now that they’re here in my everyday life, it blows me away that I get to experience them as I do. Thank you for being here, Lynn…and there will be lots and lots of photos of those mountains as my blog continues….

      March 22, 2013 at 6:54 am

  6. Your mountain photos are amazing. They are so beautiful and so engaging. I also appreciated the background which I think really adds to the enjoyment of your photos.

    March 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    • Thank you very much, Charlie…I could have sat out there for hours just staring at them…I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and the narrative.

      March 22, 2013 at 6:55 am

  7. How lucky are you! My husband and son took a ski trip out to your area (Park City) a few years ago. They can’t wait to get back there! Stunning capture!

    March 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    • Very lucky, very fortunate, indeed, Susan…and Park City is just over the ridge, so I know you saw some wonderful mountains there, too. 🙂

      March 22, 2013 at 6:56 am

  8. “‘Tis a gift to come down where you want to be.” There are so many wonderful places that it staggers the imagination to try to embrace them all. That’s one reason why this passion of ours is so important: We can share our perceptions of the places that are so dear to us with others whose art and opinions we value, and who may not be able to experience them in person. And you are one of the gifted ones.

    March 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    • Excellent words, Gary…and yes, I do feel gifted to have come down here…and it’s wonderful to share with good friends…it’s like a warm embrace.

      March 22, 2013 at 6:58 am

  9. At my age, it’s great to be alive. 😉

    March 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    • Precious George…so glad you’re here with me! 🙂

      March 22, 2013 at 6:59 am

  10. I’ve always loved the west too. I will never be able to leave these mountains again though other than briefly. They are home.

    March 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    • I share your sentiment completely, Terry…..

      March 23, 2013 at 8:11 am

  11. To find a joy in where we live is a gift…….to find a joy in places we visit is a real bonus……but to come home again …..is heaven.
    As others have said…..thanks Scot for showing us your world….and the perspective of your life…….it’s great to share your journey.

    March 17, 2013 at 4:16 am

    • Yes, that bit of heaven, John…and you are most welcome…thank you for being here, too….

      March 23, 2013 at 8:12 am

  12. I’ve tried leaving New Hampshire a few times but it keeps pulling me back, so I can understand the attraction of place and the memories that go along with it.

    March 17, 2013 at 6:35 am

    • Yes, Allen…I think there’s something substantial to the notion of “putting down roots.” The attraction or allure becomes something felt in the core…and something that cannot be ignored.

      March 23, 2013 at 8:16 am

  13. “It’s great to be alive in the West.”
    I think that almost every single day, Scott! 🙂

    March 17, 2013 at 9:43 am

    • How wonderful for you, Ruth…In Colorado! 🙂

      March 23, 2013 at 8:17 am

  14. It is wonderful how you connected your qrandpa, dad and sons to the sense of place . . and I loved the quote of your grandpa. 🙂

    March 17, 2013 at 11:41 am

    • Thank you, Bruce…and it is truly wonderful to have been able to draw that connection, as well. 🙂

      March 23, 2013 at 8:18 am

  15. It sure is!

    March 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm

  16. victoriaaphotography

    Beautiful image of the mountains (as usual), but I have to say I can’t possibly imagine living in a hot dusty desert – this last hot month or so in the city has been bad enough. I love seeing the mountains and snow in all the blogs I follow (including yours, Scott).

    It’s sheer bliss to wake up in the morning and see the rustling of the eucalyptus trees as they bow and sway in the cool breeze today.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:48 am

    • Thank you, Victoria…and I understand the sentiment about living in hot, dusty desert…in total, I lived in Arizona for right about 25 years…and so prefer the mountain areas of Colorado and Utah, and even the rolling farm and forestland of Germany, over that desert…. It’s nice to be able to share the photos here, Victoria…especially with friends and folks who so enjoy seeing those other parts of the world…and also very nice that you woke to the familiar bliss of your rustling eucalyptus trees this morning….. 🙂

      March 23, 2013 at 9:05 am

  17. Que ça fait du bien de voir les montagnes en couleurs, sans neige. Je vais devoir patienter encore ici. Bonne journée.

    March 18, 2013 at 6:53 am

    • Bien que je le plaisir de voir les montagnes sous la neige, je suis vraiment impatient de les voir dans leurs couleurs printanières complets à nouveau … Merci, Val.

      March 21, 2013 at 6:49 am

  18. What a great view – how far is this from your home, Scott?

    March 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    • Good morning, Andy…and it sure is a great view. The entrance to the canyon in the photo is right about five miles from my home and the location where I made the photo is about three miles south of the house and two miles closer to the mountains…so it’s all very close…just down the road a bit…and as you can imagine, I do feel very fortunate to be here. 🙂

      March 23, 2013 at 9:12 am

  19. Nut Balls

    It is so great to be alive in the west!! 🙂

    March 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    • Yes, it is, Nathan….

      April 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm

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