By Liz Wood 

No place like home


My husband and I returned from our vacation Monday night. Tom Dixon, a former editor of the Saratoga Sun got married in Phoenix last Friday and we decided to plan our vacation around his wedding.

We had already planned a return trip last year to Cortez, Colo., where my husband has family. His uncle had promised us a trip through Montezuma Canyon in Utah to see some Petroglyphs. Our plans were changed slightly as Uncle Bill had knee surgery the day we arrived and his daughter Renee agreed to take us on the tour.

Volunteering on the Saratoga Museum board has turned me into somewhat of a history buff. I have always been fascinated by history in the West, but as I learn more through the work of the Saratoga Museum, I find myself wanting to know more, not just about our Valley, but other areas too.

The Southwest has always fascinated me, but I did not get to spend a lot of time there. When I was 10 years old, my mom and dad took us to see some of the Southwest. We traveled through Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and California before heading north and traveling through Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.

I would not see the Southwest again until 1998 when my husband participated in an art show in Sedona, Ariz.

Last week we spent our first night in Moab and visited Arches National Park.

In Montezuma Canyon, we spent a good part of the day looking at Petroglyphs, and still didn’t see everything there was to see. Jerry’s uncle spends days studying them and has promised to show us even more when we return.

We also spent a day in Mesa Verde National Park. It was closed last year because of the government shutdown, so we wanted to make sure we saw it this year. At 10 years old, I had no idea of the amount of work it took to build these homes in the cliffs. As an adult, I am able to appreciate the work put into building these communities.

That being said, I still have vivid memories of visiting the Mesa Verde in 1968, which led me to want to see it again as an adult.

The same is true of the Grand Canyon. It was a spectacular sight to see at 10 years old, and I was thrilled to be able to share it with our children in 1998. But this year, to be able to take our time and truly appreciate nature’s art in the canyon was incredible.

I was amazed at the visitors from other countries who came to see the Grand Canyon. Many flew into Las Vegas, Nev., and rented a car or RV to see the canyon and other places we visited. Even for early October, there were a lot of people visiting the canyon.

We saw incredible landscape and changes from green grass in a meadow to stark orange slick rock with arches formed by ice and wind to deep canyons in the ground.

We explored interesting artifacts left by ancient societies and imagined what life was like centuries ago.

As my husband says, “It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here.”

I feel fortunate to be able to live in a Valley as beautiful as the Platte Valley. Medicine Bow Peak still takes my breath away every time I see it.

Monday, as we drove through Utah, I couldn’t help but find myself getting excited about coming home to Wyoming. To be able to wake up every morning and see Medicine Bow Peak from my bedroom window is something I sorely missed. I was looking forward to walking down the streets of Saratoga and to see familiar faces and yes, to get back to work.

It is nice to be able to travel and see the sights, but like Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “There is no place like home.”


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