Sing it, Willie

Well, I’m on the road again, and this post comes to you from an airport lounge in San Francisco* where I just finished reading all the wonderful comments about Meg and Alex’s good news (it’s not twins, btw, that’s just how the ultrasounds look) and thank you, thank you for all the good wishes. It’s a very, very exciting time to be a knitter, let me tell you.  I haven’t started yet (though there is yarn in my suitcase) and I can’t wait to let the wild knitting rumpus begin. For now, I’m knitting socks and a cowl as I journey along. Christmas is still coming, babe or no.

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I’m on my way to Portland and the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival,  which I’m sure is going to be awesome, and then Monday, I go gloriously, delightfully home, and frankly, I can’t wait. Once I get there, I’ve got nine days before I leave again for the Strung Along November Retreat* and it feels totally luxurious.

it’s been a wild week since Rhinebeck. I couldn’t go home afterwards, because I was waiting on the paperwork that gives me my permission to work in the US (I do things properly) and I’d been given an extension on my old visa while they worked on the new one, the catch was that it let me stay in the United States, not come and go. So, here I had to stay, until I had the new paper in hand. This turned into a forced vacation of sorts, and after a day in Boston, I flew to Las Vegas and worked for three days, and then Joe flew down and joined me, and let me tell you this… we are not such big fans of the Vegas strip. The lights, the beeping, the noise, the bright lights (the almost complete lack of vegetarian food) the gambling… it’s not really us. (We did finally break down and put some money in a slot machine. We spent $8 and won $21 and the minute we did we cashed out and walked away. We know when to hold ’em.) The fountains were pretty, the whole scene wild and interesting for an evening or a day, but overwhelming in large doses. We did a little research, rented a car, and four days later we’re happy to report that while the Las Vegas strip might not be our scene… the stuff around it is absolutely our bag. We goggled at the beauty of it all. We saw The Hoover Dam (that thing is a trip, let me tell you) and Lake Mead, and Zion National Park, and Red Rock State Park, and Valley of Fire State Park. American friends, you really have it together in the park department.

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We hiked, we clamboured over rocks, we said “can you believe how beautiful this is” about seventy thousand times.

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“Look where we are!” we said, and “Holy Cats, do you see that?” and “Oh man, that is stunning.”

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It was so completely different from home, so amazingly unlike anything we’ve ever hiked before, and I was so taken with it that I was pretty much able to ignore the fact that the whole place is full of tarantulas. (Not kidding. It’s practically where the stockpile is. We didn’t see one, but I could feel them watching me.) It’s a miracle we didn’t drive off the road or otherwise die of the awesome beauty. I don’t know what mother nature was thinking when she made that part of the world, but it was a good day for her.

We’d never seen anything like it, and we only saw a little of it. We’d go back in a heartbeat. When we were done there (not done, but when it was time to go, I’d never be done there) Joe flew home, I flew to San Francisco for a visit with a dear friend, and now off to Portland and The Dalles. It will be just about three weeks in the States by the time I leave, and as lovely as it’s been, and as much really good lemonade as I managed to make from lemons, the idea of my own bed and my own sweet family has me delirious with joy.

*That is a lie. I started the post in the lounge but I ran out of time to do the pictures. This post has actually come to you from The Dalles. Also, I finished a Toolbox Cowl and just have to weave in the ends.

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You are now fully updated.

**Though it almost never happens for the November Retreat, we’ve got two last minute spots free. (Actually, we have two hotel rooms free, and one of them is shareable if you wanted to come with a friend.) We can give you more info by email at info@strungalong.ca. We’d love to see you there.

122 thoughts on “Sing it, Willie

  1. Glad to hear the delay wasn’t caused by anything unpleasant. When you have a minute (ha), it would be great if you updated the where-to-take-classes-with-the-Harlot widget!

  2. Hi Steph –
    I agree with you about Las Vegas – one night is probably enough for a lifetime. But all those parks and scenery in Utah, amazing! I’ve been about 4 or 5 times as an adult and once as a kid and it’s always so awesome. I’m so glad you got to experience it and I hope you can return soon! Capitol Reef is a sleeper – less popular but no less amazing and it’s not that far from Vegas (as a place to fly into, not stay).
    Oh, and congratulations on your growing grandbaby – so exciting!
    Leslita

  3. So glad you got to experience our incredible southwest scenery, and at a reasonably clement time of year. It truly is magnificent, and we’re grateful you did such a lovely job of showing her off.

    I think I’d rather chew off my own leg than be forced to stay in Las Vegas for longer than it takes to drive through, myself. The fact you made it through three days (probably by holing up in your hotel room) says much about your stamina in the face of insanity.

  4. One of my brothers lives in Utah, 1 hour from Las Vegas, so that’s the airport we fly in and out of when we visit. Stay in Vegas? No thanks. The parks in southern Utah are a little bit different; still red rock, but there are a lot of vertical formations.

    Personally, I’d rather visit Canada. I’ve never been to your country, but photos of it look amazing . . . and the people are so very, very nice, I’ve heard.

    Perhaps your Rhinebeck and child’s sweaters proceeded so smoothly because you are surrounded by the aura of approaching grandparenthood. I suppose one could get drunk on such wonderfulness.

  5. Vegas is its own universe, and worth seeing once do you don’t have to do it again (although there’s way more to it than the strip, and lots of interesting cultural changes happening), but the country around is spectacular. Glad you got to hike around in it. I used to do a lot of work in Vegas and always tried to look to the horizon to remind myself of where I really was on the planet.

  6. Whew! You make me need to catch my breath.
    You are right about Las Vegas on all counts. Have never gotten the hang of it myself.
    However, so happy that you like our National Parks. Perhaps our greatest asset. And your response to them echoes our reaction to Canada when we visit there. So nice that we can reciprocate.
    Visiting a friend in SF isn’t the same as a public visit here, and I am still hoping to catch you in the flesh…as it were…Some day. Enjoy your at home time. You certainly earn it.

    • I’m an Idahoan and a knitter and we have some pretty spectacular scenery too! (Snake River Valley, the Northern lakes)….but Utah is pretty nice (my brother lives there)

  7. I was born and raised in Utah and I absolutely love the mountains and beautiful parks we have in this state. I am so happy you enjoyed them! I have been to Vegas as a stop on the way to California many times and I’ve never liked it there either.

  8. I am SO glad to hear you ventured out from Las Vegas. It really is so wild and wonderful out away from the Strip and all of the craziness. A few years ago, I found myself there while my then-husband was on business. I was miserable until I realized I had a friend close by and we had a car! So beautiful. So amazing. I’m glad your forced exile in the USA was enjoyable!

  9. The US Park Service works hard and is woefully under appreciated. Thank you for your kind compliments. You and Joe might enjoy Arches National Park in eastern Utah-more red rock and remarkable vistas.
    I’m partial to Denali National Park. It’s close to home and still seems new every time I see it-no matter what time of year.
    Glad to hear you’re whacking away at the Christmas spreadsheet. Have you set up one for first grandbaby?

  10. I first fell in love with mountains at the red rocks outside of Vegas. Now I live in Arizona, surrounded by 5 mountain ranges and 17 different species of rattlesnake, with about 1 week of frost a year. I love the southwest.

  11. So glad you enjoyed some of our amazing US parks – we have many lovely ones, but you saw some really, cool scenery! I’m so proud when folks from other countries come and appreciate some of our lovely wild lands! Thanks for being great tourists and come back any time (I’ll take you to Joshua Tree, Yosemite and oh my goodness…. Sequoia Kings Canyon NP!)

  12. Gorgeous pictures (including the cowl). I have never been to Las Vegas and have never wanted to go – but now I want to go see those parks!

  13. Wow! I love your reaction to this part of our country! Isn’t it amazing? I agree with every word you said about it. I, having been raised with much of it, have felt pretty much the same way every time I visit your beautiful green Canada. Last month in Nova Scotia I had many of your same comments, aren’t we blessed to have such beautiful lands?

  14. So glad you enjoyed the parks. Lovely pictures.
    As for the Tarantulas – while they are scary (I’m afraid of them too), they actually won’t hurt you. And this time of year is when the males are out traveling to find mates. They’ll travel up to 4 miles to find one, and are usually only out at dawn and at twilight.

  15. I love the area around Las Vagas and have been to a number of National Parks around there. I’m not sure why as I come from a cold, lush country (UK) I am feel so at home in the wild dry deserts and cannons round there but I do. A beautiful part of the world. Ps love your posts so much.

  16. Wow what a fab visit beautiful photos stunning scenery. You must be feeling quite happy with yourself now. Let’s see it’s just about the end of October and you must now have quite a few gifts in your Christmas gift box. I remember the panic of last year. If shopping please be careful on stairs.

  17. We felt very similar about Vegas. We saw, and I’ve seen it, and that was enough for me. We also went to Zion, Bryce, the Grand Canoyon and a lot of other great stuff, and I too would like to go back one day. We flew in and out of Vegas on the way to Yellowstone national park (which was truly amazing) and I loved it all. But Vegas as a portal was enough for me.

  18. I agree with you about the Strip. My husband and I have been there twice. The first time, it was something to see. The second time, I kept thinking, “Is that it?” We probably should have rented a car and gone to a park like you did.

    Can’t wait to see all the knitting you’re going to do for the babe on the way!

  19. Vegas’ only contribution as far as I’m concerned, is as a cheap air gateway to the Parks – those you’ve mentioned and then some. I’ve been there 3 times – once as a kid while moving between coasts (minimal stop), once at a professional meeting that was moved there at the last minute due to a hotel strike in San Francisco, and the last time to visit the parks. The meeting trip was with hubby and we extended to play tourist, the last time with hubby and daughter, as family vacation for the parks.

    I never thought about Canada not having anything similar. For the parks – utterly gorgeous and worth the trip. For you for next time – consider the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Joshua Tree, and Arches. That only works together if you’re willing to drive A LOT and have some time to spend, and I have fond memories of a Mexican restaurant in St. George, Utah, though I can’t remember its name – and there seem to be a lot of them there now.

  20. Thank you for the lovely compliment on our National Park System. If only more Americans got out to use them. Those of us who do, would be happy to share the trail.

  21. Hi Steph. Hope you have a good time at the fiber festavile. I live in the portland area and must admit I am so jelous of you.:)

    1. because I really want to meet you.
    2. because you get to go to so many cool things.

    I have young kids. Two we adopted and they are HIGH needs for the time. I can’t get away. I don’t have free time and am really bummed. I keep telling my husband, my time is coming! 🙂 Hope you enjoy your trip!

  22. I’m with you Stephanie, I do not enjoy Vegas at all. And it’s refreshing to see in the comments that I’m not the only one! I’ve been there about 5 times with my ex-husband while he was on business and I just never understood the appeal. The Southwest is beautiful though. Sedona is gorgeous — if you ever have a chance to get there do so. Of course since I live in the PDX area I think you are in the most gorgeous part of the country right now! 🙂 With all the bad election press and nonsense right now it’s hard to remember what’s good about the US, but we have a beautiful country with lots of different climates. There is something for everyone!

  23. So looking forward to your classes at CGFF. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us–stunning scenery, and GRANDBABY ultrasound.

  24. I’m with you, I have no use for Vegas, but Zion national Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth! Bryce is cool too, and the Grand Canyon, of course…but Zion takes first place in my book. We should plan some sort of knitting retreat out there…don’t you think??

    • I totally agree. Zion is the closest thing we have on earth to Holy Ground, especially in the meadow (where they obviously went). If you visit when it’s super hot (much of the year), the meadow is a cool green oasis. I’ve been there twice, and I have a huge photo taken in Zion on my office wall. Heaven.

  25. I LOVE the Valley of Fire. It is an amazing place to go hiking. I hope you were able to see the petroglyphs while you were there! So cool!

    • I was just thinking that! I don’t know if it was intentional (??), but the colours in your cowl look like they were chosen as a meditation on your surroundings…

  26. I totally agree with you about the Las Vegas strip, but now you are in my favorite place in the world! I could happily spend the rest of my days knitting the winter away in Fort Hood. Give the Columbia Gorge a hug from me!

  27. Great choice on sight-seeing. Vegas makes me claustrophobic. We love Zion and go every other year to hike. I was knitting on Angels’ Landing 2 months ago and I actually thought “Wouldn’t it be fun to run into the Yarn Harlot here?” We also found a creek walking hike further up the road and saw Bryce and Cedar Breaks as well.
    You’ve probably seen Red Rock before on film as it was used for one of the Star Trek movies and the annual tarantula mating migration is especially fun when you live where they keep trying to walk through your house.
    So glad you enjoyed our corner of the U. S. There are a lot more National Parks to come visit!

    • Spellcheck is not the boss of Stephanie.

      Being Canadian, she quite properly uses the British English orthographical system, wherein words like ‘honour’ retain their historically developed spellings. ‘Clamboured’ is entirely correct. I knew you’d want to know 🙂

      • Respectfully disagree 🙂

        Clamber is the correct spelling on both sides of the pond. It’s unrelated to the or/our words.

        • Googling

          “clamboured” etymology

          gets lots of citations of this spelling. This is likely a low-frequency variant.

          I love discussing lexicography and hope nobody is taking offense…

          • I am beyond happy right now to know I am not the only person who finds words fascinating. How could someone be offended by that?!

          • In all my years of Canadian living, it always has been ‘clamboured’ and yes, it’s just one of those wee distinctions between our respective nations.

          • Not at all offended. Interesting discussion. I, too, googled (I usually do before posting in these circumstances for fear of getting egg on my face) and found absolutely nothing. But when I googled again, “clambour ca,” I did indeed get a few results. Definitely not British spelling, though.

  28. What stunning pictures! I’m more of a “lush green scenery” sort of girl (I grew up in New Brunswick, Canada, so I’m maybe a little biased), but it looks like you managed a totally beautiful trip.
    And congratulations on the finished cowl!

  29. I’m jealous. You got to see a whole bunch of film locations without going to Lost Angeles. Let’s see: “Viva Las Vegas”, “Diamonds Are Forever”, “Con Air”, “Star Trek Generations”, “Transformers”, “Mars Attacks!”, “San Andreas”, etc.

    Now I’ve got this mental image of Joe, wearing a tux and using a British accent, saying “Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred. Make it so!” (Somewhere, Patrick Stewart just wet himself!)

  30. To be honest, I really can’t explain my own love for Vegas. In general, I do not love either crowds or excessive noise, and lord knows Vegas has plenty of both. But I’ve been three times, and kind of can’t wait to go back. I think it’s the sheer spectacle of it all. If you can get past all the crowds and whatnot, the place truly is visually stunning, with new surprises to enjoy around every corner.

    That said, all three times we’ve been there have all also included taking a trip out into the amazing scenery to break up the insanity of Vegas proper. Hoover Dam the first time, Valley of Fire the second, and a motorcycle trip through Death Valley the third. All undeniably breathtaking, and definitely part of Vegas’s appeal for me.

    But I really do also have a soft spot for crazytown Vegas too.

  31. Thank you for sharing the pictures. The idea of the strip also does nothing for me but I would love to visit the places you went to. Also, the only reason I understood where all of the cities you named are is because of Ticket to Ride. 🙂

  32. Agreed! I am a native of southern California and I’ve been through LV in a car once and have no desire to stay or even drive through again. Not my thing. The scenery in the US in general is gorgeous..ever been to Yosemite? I’ve been to Vancouver Island, Ottawa and surrounding areas you also have gorgeous scenery!

    Also..congrats on your soon to be granddaughter!

  33. Ooh, your pictures are so gorgeous! It’s an amazing part of the country- I so want to spend more time there.

    For your next southwestern trip, try Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon- also awesomely beautiful. And if it interests you, Ken Burn’s documentary on the US national park system is full of gorgeous visuals that will help you decide what other parks belong on your bucket list.

    Though it must be said that Canada has some pretty spectacular scenery itself. I was awestruck by the sites around Banff and Jasper. The colors of the glacial lakes are amazing. They could inspire yarn colorways!

  34. Beautiful! You did all of my favorite things to do in that part of the country! — I forbore giving you any advice (which would have been: 1. See the fountains at the Bellagio, 2. Get the heck out of Vegas) in order not to prejudice your experience, but I cannot be surprised that your reaction was what it was.

    Your sweet comment about our national parks reminded me of this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stGhjokq57U

    Which reminded me of you when I first saw it, so I thought it was time to complete the circle and show it to you.

    Hubby has a slew of Canadian cousins and second cousins and great-aunts and such up in the Toronto and London areas, and they’re all lovely, lovely folks who make us feel about Canadians and Canada they way the Canadians in the video feel about Americans and America. (Whew! That was convoluted … What I meant to say was that it feels good to have a little love-fest going on with our next-door neighbors, and this video came at a good time when a lot of us are feeling dejected about the nastiness surrounding this election — and so did your comment about our national parks. Sometimes we need to hear good things about our country.)

    Watching the video, I thought about how all of those things (except maybe inventing jazz and bluegrass and the internet) are true about Canada, too.

  35. Stephanie,
    My husband and I took a guided tour of the canyonlands in that area in July. The tour started and ended in Vegas. Neither of us liked Vegas that much but the rest was almost overwhelming. We saw most of the areas you mentioned plus a lot more (north rim of the Grand Canyon was spectacular!) So glad you were able to visit some of the beautiful places in the US.
    Also, Congrats on being a grandmother in waiting. The only thing better than that is being an actual grandmother.

  36. Thank you for the lovely compliment about our National Parks (the western ones are impressive indeed!)… it’s really our best thing as a country, I think. And I missed the rush on the congratulations about being a grandma – but congratulations belatedly! Although I have to say my first thought was “Harlot is younger than I am! And I am not old enough to be a grandma!” But my father-in-law said the same thing when we announced we were expecting our first, and he settled into grandparenthood just fine despite his youth. 🙂

  37. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow!! Signed up for your class tomorrow morning and can’t wait. It’s been quite a busy week and I’m going to have to leave Portland at an ungodly hour to get to The Dalles in time, but it’ll be worth it!

  38. Yeah, my family is not much on LasVegas either. When we went there in the 60’s the campground was so noisy with people coming and going that my dad had enough in the middle of the night and just loaded us all in the van and we left in the middle of the night. 🙂 Glad you got out of town too. Too much to see around there and even more for next time. Just skip Vegas.

  39. So glad you got to experience the glorious parks. I think Zion is my favorite park of all (probably because I actually managed to make it to the top of Walter’s Wiggles). This may be considered heresy here in California because I live only 3 hours from Yosemite. They are both gorgeous in their own way.

    Congrats again on the new little one coming in to your life!

  40. First, congrats on the soon to be addition to the family! That child is going to have some awesome knitwear.

    Vegas is hard for those pf us that are non gambling vegetarians. I’m glad you got to see some of the loveliness that is all around it.

  41. I LOVE that part of the world! I’ve been through the parks in the area around Moab, Utah as well and they’re breathtaking. Arches National Park, Canyonlands Park – they’re stunning. I’m glad you got away from the strip.

  42. I see I’m in the minority of those posting, but I love Vegas and wouldn’t dream of hiking there. I do prefer Fremont St. (old Vegas) and the Golden Nugget to the Strip, although I’d love it if they went non smoking.

    If this whole knitting/writing thing doesn’t work out, I think you would be a great photographer. if anything could tempt me to be more outdoorsy, your beautiful photos could.

    Congrats to the whole Harlot family on the coming baby. It’s so great to have a happy event coming!

  43. SO glad you didn’t see a tarantula. Because you would have had to take a picture of it, and I would have had to boycott your blog until I got over it……

  44. Thank you, as an American I think we did quite a bit right with our National Parks out west. The one 1/2 a mile from my house needs some work, however. In any case, I like to go to Vegas to watch the people. There are some … interesting… people in the world and a lot of them live in Vegas. (Also I’m not a vegetarian so the food is an attraction in itself.)

    Have fun, hope you make it home to your bed soon.

  45. How fabulous that you got to see Zion’s – it’s truly a wondrous place. Now come back to southern Utah again when you have time to see Bryce Canyon (Bryce is unlike anything else), Arches, and of course, the Grand Canyon. All of them are as amazing as Zion’s and worth the trip.

  46. Zion is a national treasure. I’m happy you enjoyed it so much. Visit again because there are more wonderful national parks in that area!

  47. Congrats on your happy news! Being a grandmother is the best! (I am up to 4!) Yes, the best part of Vegas is the surrounding area! The Hoover dam is an amazing feat of engineering isn’t it? Your pictures were great.

  48. My favorite blogger mentioning my favorite singer! I’m thinking of your catching a ride from knitting gig to knitting gig with Willie. THAT would be a blog entry!

  49. I even hate the Vegas airport. Awful, filthy place even for a layover. But around there?!? The Grand Canyon and all the parks you mentioned are favorite destinations. When our kids were growing up, we bought a used RV and would take them to National parks. Great memories. My favorite way to travel.

    Congrats on the upcoming grand baby! Exciting news!

    • Yes, I hate it too. Spent a long layover there once and nearly went crazy from all the noise of beeping slot machines EVERYWHERE in the airport. Thank goodness for knitting to keep me sane. (How appropriate that I should click on the airplane — get me outta here!)

  50. Steph, I share your sentiments about Las Vegas. I’ve been there a few times for various reasons, and while the lights and fountains and such are cool, once was plenty. I’m good. I don’t ever have to go back.

  51. I know what you mean about the wonder of that country. If you ever do indeed go back, I would highly recommend a river trip out of Moab, Utah. Our family canoed 100 miles on the Green River at the end of September, and it was a once in a lifetime trip…which is why we are going back next year! It was an unguided wilderness trip but it looks like you know how to do those up right (and I could recommend the outfitter we used). The most beautiful 9 days I have ever spent… And red rock cliffs, side canyons to hike, cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, easy flatwater paddling. You might really enjoy it… So glad you enjoyed yourselves.

  52. Was at two of your classes today. Sorry I had to leave the sock one early. You are a great teacher. Filled with knowledge and a wonderful sense of humor. See you at Madrone!
    You are absolutely right about Zion Park. So many awesome places there.

  53. U.S. parks, whether they’re national, state, county or local, are our nation’s treasure. Many people fight to keep them funded and accessible to the public. I’m so glad you got out of Vegas (as you said, fun for a day but it’s not my mug of tea) and saw the beauty of the state.

  54. I enjoyed seeing you briefly tonight at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Fest (I was the one that snagged the lovely Romney cross fleeces). Thank you for describing how you wash your locks to me!

  55. Thank you for the beautiful pictures of some of our national parks. Roosevelt knew what he was doing when he created them. Did you know that you can purchase a park passport? Basically a small book that you can have it stamped with a stamp that is unique to each park. FYI

  56. Thank you so much for the pictures! I studied the volcanic rocks out there (Searchlight, NV), and I used to go hiking and camping (no tent!) every year in college and then in graduate school. My master’s degree is on the chemistry of those rocks. And it’s been 7 yrs since I’ve been out there, and I miss it. Those rocks are my happy spiritual place. Thank you so much for reminding me of what it looks like out there.

    sidenote: That desert is the best place to be around spiders b/c there are no plants…they can’t sneak up on you! You see them sunning from far away and can give them a wide birth. I always feel safest from creepies while i’m in the desert.

  57. What a stunning palette out in Las Vegas deserts and surrounds. It was wonderful seeing you and Joe against those backgrounds. Glad you enjoyed your stay.

    Per spiders … I lived in Nevada and only 1x did I take my eyes off of my hand, as I was packing my garage boxes…and guess was spanning my ENTIRE hand when I looked back. Arghghg.

  58. Thanks for loving the U.S. desert southwest and the parks! Come back back soon. As you remarked, there is lots more to see. And, belated congratulations to you and your family on the upcoming birth!

  59. Yep, national parks are one of the things we do best. Thanks to Teddy Roosevelt for getting the ball rolling. Vegas, however, belongs on the list of things we poorly and in excess.

  60. Bummer about the retreat. I emailed a few months ago asking about it and never heard back. I’m sure the folks planning on going are very disappointed.

    I’m the odd one out on Vegas, I loved it. Back when I didn’t have kids, of course!

  61. Vegas is great, for about an hour, or unless there is a show there that you really MUST see. Otherwise, meh, nice hotels, but the scenery outside that area is pretty great. I’m glad you got to see Zions. It’s so pretty. If you get a chance to get up to Moab, UT, please do. It’s gorgeous.

  62. I’m not a fan of Vegas either…spent a weekend there with a puppy in tow. He tried to lick the stripper ads while I tried to keep him from stepping in broken glass. Not so much fun. But the scenery all around it is indeed amazing. What I love about that area is that many of the parks are so different from one another. Glad you got to get away from the strip and see it all!

  63. Having wintered in Nevada for several years (not in Vegas, but near), I recognized at least one picture in Valley of Fire, but I never saw or even heard of any tarantulas there. Quail, yes, but tarantulas? I am a desert rat at heart so I think the country there is beautiful.

  64. The landscapes in some of those photos look so much like home* that I had to keep telling myself that you didn’t make it as far north as Wyoming, and you wouldn’t have been that close to Yellowstone National Park without going there, too, and no really, those aren’t the red rocks at our Red Rocks** down the road. Homesick-making, and absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing them. 🙂

    *Where I grew up, which will always be home even though I am far overdue for a visit.
    **An itty-bitty-tiny place that likely doesn’t even come up in a Google search, with one sometimes-open hotel, named after the red rocks nearby. One of your pictures with a highway in it looks remarkably similar. .

  65. Your comment about feeling the tarantulas watching you made me laugh–I grew up in Arizona and I always felt a little that way! One night when I was about nine years old I walked out of our kitchen and encountered a tarantula about the size of a dinner plate (I do not exaggerate) clinging to the wall at eye level. I’ve never screamed quite so loudly before or since. My brother came out of his room, pondered the situation a minute and then got a dustpan, knocked the thing into it and went outside and released it back into the wild. Glad you enjoyed the desert–Zion is one of my favorite parks!

  66. Wow what a week you had between adding to the family (what great news, best to everyone) and traveling around the southwest. Las Vegas is best when you get beyond the neon lights and glitter and start hiking.

  67. I showed your Insta-post about the spare spots to Natasha, and we both whimpered a bit. SO MUCH WANT. But we were actually *on* a retreat at the time, so figured it might be pushing it with the husbands. Have a glorious time, Stringer-alongers!!!!!! I miss you.

  68. I love reading your blog and what appeals to you. Keep writing, knitting and photographing. It is always interesting. Outdoors in the SW is fabulous; indoors in LV has much to offer with plays, music, theater… top notch. All parts of Canada are lovely as well. Too much world, too little time.

  69. My limit for Las Vegas Strip is 2 nights. One for just wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere. Then one night for a fabulous restaurant and a show. Then I’m done.

    Next time you are in that area, be sure to check out Best Friends Animal Society’s sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, which is about a 4 hour drive from Vegas. A truly special place if you love animals. I’ve been out there twice and probably would go about twice a year if I could.

    I agree with your assessment of the area. Really a magical place for jaw-dropping scenery.

  70. Just back from SAFF, Southeast Animal Fiber Festival and it was smashing. Not Rheinbeck, but there were animals, and fiber and yarn and buttons and pins and wheels and looms and lucets and spindles and combs and well you know. Everything a Fall Fiber Festival should be and not super crazy and not super crowded and nice. 88 degrees in late October!

    I saw bunnies, alpacas, goats, so many different sheep I can not list them.

    Heaven only comes along every once and a while. I had fun. Oh and the Spinning Wheel Rail Road delivered a wheel to me too! Perfect.

  71. I loved your Knit Smart class!!! Wish I could have gone to the others too… Thank you for teaching and sharing your love of knitting and fiber with all of us!

  72. Hi Steph,
    Congratulations, you’ve been to our stomping grounds but have just dipped your toe into this glorious part of the US. Next time, stop in Cedar City and we’ll take you to Cedar Breaks and over to Bryce Canyon. Just a FYI though, tarantulas do live here but they’re relatively harmless. It’s the tiny translucent scorpions and the pretty pink (really) rattlesnakes you need to avoid.
    p.s. And if you visit here, we’ll introduce you to Pearl . . .

  73. I don’t remember from your blog if you’ve ever been to the Grand Canyon. If not, go during the shoulder season (last time I went was in October) and prepare to have your socks knocked off. Given your response to the stuff around Lost Wages, I think you’ll love it.

  74. Wow what a fab visit beautiful photos stunning scenery. You must be feeling quite happy with yourself now. Let’s see it’s just about the end of October and you must now have quite a few gifts in your Christmas gift box. I remember the panic of last year. If shopping please be careful on stairs.

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