Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Beatty Family Reunion 2010 Trip
I uploaded lots of pictures on Facebook as well as here, please have a look.
Logan, Sam and I left around 5 a.m. Friday morning heading for Hurricane, Utah and the nearby town of Toquerville, where my great-grandfather Walter Beatty lived and a large amount of family that I'd never met still resides. The kids were asleep and missed the antelope and bison in South Park. We made our first stop in Grand Junction for an early lunch. It had to be Subway, that's what we all wanted. And then the rest of the trip we enjoyed a little game of reading the road signs and seeing all other towns that had Subways - almost all of them did! We stopped at the Colorado/Utah border for pictures, and stopped at one rest stop on I-70, but did not need to stop again for gas. We took pictures of beautiful scenery all the way. We got to our hotel around 5 p.m. and ordered pizza for dinner and went swimming in the hotel pool. We watched America's Funniest Home Videos on the hotel TV until we fell asleep.
The next morning, we enjoyed making our own waffles at the hotel continental breakfast, but we had to wait in line for the machine, testing the kids' patience just a bit. Then we drove the few miles to Toquerville's LDS church for the reunion. We all got shirts representing that we are descended from Walter Beatty; people descended from his siblings had different colored shirts. There were introductions at the reunion, then a tour of my great-grandpa's house two doors down from the church, followed by lunch and entertainment put on by various cousins and family at the reunion. Sammy was inspired by one young girl's recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and decided to recite the Preamble of the Constitution for everyone. Another older girl sang the National Anthem very well - so there was plenty of patriotic sentiment at the reunion. The children were excited by a candy bomb - black powder being used to launch candy across the parking lot for fun. One story that Samantha learned from relatives is about my great-grandmother's wedding ring. Walter was a horse wrangler and guide in Zion National Park and was hired by a famous rich lady to take her to the top of Angel's Landing. When they got there, she was about to throw off her ring, but Walter asked her if he could have it instead to give to his wife Vera, who had a gold wedding band but no diamond. She gave it to him and he of course gave it to Vera. Great-Grandma Vera passed it on to my dad's cousin Vera because she was named after her. Vera has passed it on to her son Ryan's bride, Shay, but the stone is now in a different setting. At the end of the reunion we posed for a group picture, then Logan, Sam and I and some other folks headed over to my dad's cousins Paula and Vera's house to chat. My great-grandpa's saddle was there and Logan and Sam posed for pictures on it. It had hailed during the reunion and the yards looked almost like they were covered in snow. That evening, we went to the movie theater in Hurricane and saw The Karate Kid - which we thoroughly enjoyed. The kids feel asleep to The Toy Story playing on the hotel TV.
Sunday morning we had waffles again and then drove into Springdale to the beautiful place that my Uncle Jack was staying with his daughter Dawn and her family called Cliff Rose Palace, if I recall correctly. Then we followed them in Zion National Park, the entrance being a very short distance away. We explored the Emerald Pools trail, had lunch at Zion Lodge and then walked the Temple of Sinawava trail. Logan and Sam had the opportunity to meet and play with their second cousin Duncan, Dawn's son. We took lots of pictures. I hadn't seen Dawn since her mom's funeral and before that we were probably children, so it was nice to connect with her as well. Jack hospitably took care of us all and planned our route since he was the only one who had been there before and was kind of acting as our patriarch that day. We stopped at the museum to see the large picture of great-grandpa Walter there and then we headed back toward Hurricane. We stopped at a very touristy gift-shop in the town of Virgin where Logan was incredibly excited to find and buy a samurai sword set and Sammy got gifts to take home. We were invited to my second-cousin Richard and his wife Sara's house for dinner, and that was a wonderful highlight and end to the trip. Richard showed everyone how to ride a horse and everyone took a turn. The children showed Logan and Sam the other animals and they played together very well. I think everyone was sad to leave when it was time to go.
Monday morning we were on the road by 4:45 a.m. As on the way out, the kids fell back asleep quickly and it was a beautiful quiet drive through Utah. Finally in Colorado they started keeping me company again. We met a little snow up in the mountains before the Eisenhower tunnel, and some rain we got back to I-25 and home, but we made great time and I dropped the kids off at my brother's house at 3:15 p.m. The car did well and averaged about 43 mpg - yay for that! Thanks to all the family and friends we met, we had a wonderful time. I am so happy to connect with family - what a blessing!