Monthly Archives: September 2015


22 Sep

An Update on the Outdated

Posted by on September 22, 2015 at 4:22 pm

A suit and tie may be standard professional attire but I prefer bloomers and a hoopskirt. Jason and I have been vintage dancing for a couple of years now. Our group of historical steppers gets employed to teach and perform at events pretty regularly. Of course, Jason and I slip antique styles on for our own affairs too. Here are just a few of our costumed occasions from recent months.

Last spring, our troupe was hired to demonstrate and instruct at the Once upon a Fantasy Masquerade Ball. It was a formal affair with a large number of attendees. The audience was rather enthralled by our antiquated maneuvers. According to feedback, we were the best part of the evening.

The Once upon a Fantasy crowd eagerly participated in our dancing schemes.

The Once upon a Fantasy crowd eagerly participated in our dancing schemes.

In July, we put on obsolete apparel to teach fancy steps at the Colonial Heritage Festival, which is an elaborate recreation of America’s early past and part of Provo’s Freedom Festival. Their ball was held on a grassy knoll and was just a few fiddles away from being completely authentic.

The Colonial Heritage Festival was founded to preserve the skills, culture and history of America's beginnings.

The Colonial Heritage Festival was founded to preserve the skills, culture and history of America’s beginnings.

Although Jason and I often don cravats and corsets for gigs, we also like to mix costumes with pleasure. We attended Steampunk Night at the Museum at the Hutchings Museum of Natural and Cultural History last fall in full regalia. For this event, the museum remained open late, served refreshments, added interactive exhibits, brought in friendly animals and organized educational games.

Prehistoric poop is just one of many reasons to check out the Hutchings Museum.

Prehistoric poop is just one of many reasons to check out the Hutchings Museum.

Since we obviously have a passion for steam-powered fantasy, we likewise went to the Salt City Steamfest, Utah’s steampunk convention, all geared up. We found ourselves twirling around that gathering too but just as jovial participants not patient tutors.

These owls were one of the fluffy additions the Hutchings Museum brought in for their steampunk night.

These owls were one of the fluffy additions the Hutchings Museum brought in for their steampunk night.

It seems like our vintage dancing group is being called to prance more and more. During the last month, we’ve performed at weddings, parties and senior citizen centers. Who knows, being behind the times may actually be fashion forward.

14 Sep

Stoned Again Part II

Posted by on September 14, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Our last full day in Yellowstone, after eating a large breakfast at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, we moseyed over to West Thumb’s assortment of geysers, pools and mudpots with my parents. Right on the shores of Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb’s hydrothermal oddities seem like a replacement for a beach dreamed up by Dali.

The Thumb Paint Pots are a field of miniature mud volcanoes 3-4 feet high. There is nothing smallish about their peculiarity.

The Thumb Paint Pots are a field of miniature mud volcanoes 3-4 feet high. There is nothing smallish about their peculiarity.

Following their tour of West Thumb, my parents departed for home and Jason and I continued our park explorations on our own. We took what we thought would be a short stop at Upper Geyser Basin and ended up staying there the entire afternoon in a very ADD fashion.

Black Pool used to be murky with growth until it got too hot for microorganisms to handle.

Black Pool used to be murky with growth until it got too hot for microorganisms to handle.

Observation Point gave a different perspective of an old favorite.

Observation Point gave a different perspective of an old favorite.

First, we decided to hike to Observation Point, which gives a 160-foot perspective of Old Faithful’s bursts, and then we trekked to Solitary Geyser, a feature changed forever by us hopeless sapiens. After that, we thought we might as well stroll around and see if any features were currently erupting or would be erupting soon. We discovered that Castle and Riverside Geysers were scheduled to gush within the next few hours and, geyser gods permitting, we could probably catch both shows and read a few pages of some good books besides. It sounded like as decent of a plan as any.

Castle Geyser erupts about every 14 hours and has one of the most interesting cones in Upper Geyser Basin.

Castle Geyser erupts about every 14 hours and has one of the most interesting cones in Upper Geyser Basin.

I am proud to report that our reading and waiting were conducted expertly. We witnessed Castle’s ramparts flooded with insistent fountains and Riverside’s rainbow gracefully arched across the Firehole River. It was quite the double feature.

This feature was named Belgian Pool in honor of a Belgian man that fell in and died many years ago. Jason's shadow slipped in but suffered no serious injuries from the incident.

This feature was named Belgian Pool in honor of a Belgian man that fell in and died many years ago. Jason’s shadow slipped in but suffered no serious injuries from the incident.

With herds of bison roaming freely across unaltered hillsides, Hayden Valley seems lost in time.

With herds of bison roaming freely across unaltered hillsides, Hayden Valley seems lost in time.

In total, we wandered about five of six miles around the basin, often in circles, before the sun called it a day and we had to too. I guess time flies when you are staring at pressurized water heated deep underground by magma from an active volcano.

Riverside Geyser produces 75-foot columns during its picturesque outbursts, which happen roughly every six hours.

Riverside Geyser produces 75-foot columns during its picturesque outbursts, which happen roughly every six hours.

So next time you have a family member cancel on the same vacation two years in a row, be unperturbed. Be happy in the knowledge that your trip will go on and your enjoyment of it should too. For life is too short not to stop and smell the sulfur.

10 Sep

Stoned Again Part I

Posted by on September 10, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Last summer, a portion of my family traveled to Yellowstone National Park together. This made other segments of my family wish they had gone instead of canceling at the last minute. Which led to the planning of another trip to Yellowstone this year. That eventually resulted in certain parts of my family once again canceling. However, I am not the wishy-washy type so, despite this about-face mayhem, Jason and I enjoyed another outing to Yellowstone with my parents. Hooray for my committed streak!

Yellowstone Lake is known for its temperamental tendencies. It deserves that reputation.

Yellowstone Lake is known for its temperamental tendencies. It deserves that reputation.

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel has witnessed the lake's irritabilities for over 120 years.

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel has witnessed the lake’s irritabilities for over 120 years.

We stayed at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel this time. The citron exterior of that massive guesthouse has juxtaposed the woody shores of Yellowstone Lake since 1891. Like most Yellowstone accommodations, our room was too small to fit a regular queen-size bed but the building’s Colonial Revival grandeur and incredible views made our teeny mattress easier to ignore…though the lack of cell phone service was a little harder to overlook.

Tower Creek drops 132 feet to create this captivating fall.

Tower Creek drops 132 feet to create this captivating fall.

We met up with my parents at Bridge Bay Marina. There, we rented a motorboat and took it across Yellowstone Lake to Steamboat Point, a noisy group of misty vents on the water’s edge, with a couple detours for islands and shipwrecks along the way. The lake was predictably unpredictable. We reached Steamboat Point on glossy waters but dealt with wind-whipped whitecaps our entire return. Talk about more swings than a monkey with a hammer!

Yellowstone holds a whole lot of beauty beyond its flashy geysers.

Yellowstone holds a whole lot of beauty beyond its flashy geysers.

There are a boggling number of one-of-a-kind features at Mammoth Hot Springs.

There are a boggling number of one-of-a-kind features at Mammoth Hot Springs.

After those gusty exploits, we decided to give our sea legs a rest. We voyaged in vehicles without rudders across the entire northern loop of the park. We paused to inspect Tower Fall, Calcite Springs, Undine Falls and a 50-million-year-old petrified redwood before finally reaching Mammoth Hot Springs.

Mound Terrace has gone through several stages of activity and dormancy during the last century.

Mound Terrace has gone through several stages of activity and dormancy during the last century.

Jason and I checked out the tumultuous colors and living terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs on foot while my parents regarded the setting from the reclined seats of their car. Mammoth is a completely unique piece of nature’s artistry and a worthwhile reason to drive beyond the Old Faithful area.

Thermophiles produce this palette's oranges and browns.

Thermophiles produce this palette’s oranges and browns.

Canary Spring has become a bird of another color over the years.

Canary Spring has become a bird of another color over the years.

Check in next week for the second half of this adventure. I can guarantee that conclusion will be steamy and explosive.