Christening of The Bike

You may recall that I found myself an awesome bike a few months ago. Well I finally got it fixed up, just in time for my work trip to St. George. My maiden voyage on the bike happened to be just about as picturesque as you could imagine. I biked up and down the bike path that winds through Zion National Park. The trail crossed many times over the winding Virgin River, the body of water that carved out the massive red rocks on either side of me. I decided it was time to finally name my bike, and that it would only be right if her name tied back to this first glorious ride of ours. After considering many beautiful options, I settled on a name that has stuck. Ready for it?

La Verkin.

Perfect right? La Verkin is the name of the town at the mouth of Zion Canyon. Legend has it that the name is a mutation of “La Virgin” (the Spanish translation of the river’s name). This name’s ridiculousness has always made me laugh. And now I love greeting LaVerkin by name every morning and night. You can check out the town’s website here.
I am official dedicating this blog post to the women of the town of La Verkin photographed below.

To commemorate the naming, both LaVerkin and I took a dip in the Virgin River:

Click on the lizard below to link to other photos I took while hiking and biking around in St. George last week. I was particularly struck by Mother Nature’s brilliant color schemes.


Smog Lake City

A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribute made me smile. It features a video made by an artist who works in the same downtown office building as I do. The video shows clips of the blocks along Main Street that are most familiar and homey to me. The murky light owes its credit to the thick smog settled over the valley during the filming, which took place two days after the EPA declared our air to be the worst in the nation. I hope you enjoy the video:

I recently wrote a blog post for work about our unfortunate inversions…the #1 reason I look forward to spring.

grub skipping from one blade of grass to another

At heart, I am an old woman. I’ve been casted at least three times as an old lady in theatrical productions. I didn’t try out for any of those roles; the directors just saw it in me. I have a knack for spurting folklore-ish wisdom with a rattling voice, and my frail pointyness adds nicely to the illusion. I also dream of being 83 years old. I can much more clearly imagine myself as a grandmother than I can a mother. I think it will be lovely to one day just pretend I am senile… could anyone really do anything more than laugh if an adorable little old lady decided to bathe in the city fountain?? There is a liberty in old age that I do not possess now.


In the past weeks I have developed a nightly ritual to sooth myself to sleep. I curl up in my afghan, don my night cap, and crochet as I listen to a book on tape. I complete this by 10pm every night. I imagine I will do the same thing when I am 83. But, really, it is this book on tape that I wanted to tell you about: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I just made my way through the infamous chapter on the battle at Waterloo. “Made my way through” is the best I could muster with this chapter, but I rewound to listen to the concluding lines at least three times:

This is what Waterloo was.

But what matters it to the Infinite? all that tempest, all that cloud, that war, then that peace? All that darkness did not trouble for a moment the light of that immense Eye before which a grub skipping from one blade of grass to another equals the eagle soaring from belfry to belfry on the towers of Notre Dame.

These words give me hope.

gotta take it where you can get it

While I was eating lunch with a random table of 8th graders at a local junior high school, I heard a boy shout to me from across the lunchroom, “I LOVE YOU LEO!” When I didn’t turn around (though I was smiling), he shouted it again. “I LOVE YOU LEO!!!” Ironically, I was never called “Leo” when I was a student (ironic because my last name is Leonhardt and all of my brothers go by that nick-name). But now we have some swank new work jackets that allow people to know who I am even without turning around.

(in this photo we are zooming in on some snake skin with a hand-held digital microscope).