Smokey the Bear and Tibetan Monks? I Must be in Boulder (Utah)…

UTAH: Boulder fence and shadow

Boulder, Utah will never be confused with the bigger Boulder (that would be the more substantial map dot in Colorado), but we found it to be a charming stop on our journey through southern Utah. Renegade cows, a Russian waitress, Tibetan Monks and Smokey the Bear all combined to make it a memorable over-night stay.

UTAH: Bryce Canyon National Park; Before the Hail
We arrived late in the afternoon, damp and mud-splattered (courtesy of Bryce Canyon National Park), with a strong desire for room service.

UTAH: Boulder Mountain Lodge; Anasazi

Our room at the Boulder Mountain Lodge was spacious with views of meadows and mountains and included a coffee table book that dissed “Smokey The Bear” in strong conservationist language.

This was actually a hilarious bonus for my group who had been terrorized by Smokey’s gargantuan remote-Smokey the Bear vs forest conservationvoiced presence at our Ohio State Fair in their younger years. Personal greetings from an over-sized and overly-friendly bear statue didn’t generate the warm “save the forest” feelings the Park Service was probably striving for. Which made the Smokey The Bear bashing book great environmental bed-time reading…

Our initial exploration took us to the fenced pasture across the road, alongside the breezy flowers of a vast meadow and on to a charming enclosure that concealed a 12-foot hot tub and patio. We gratefully soaked our feet after rinsing them in the adjacent shower and laughed over our afternoon’s adventure at Bryce Canyon. When we quieted down, the whole world was perfectly still. The pond just beyond the decorative iron fence hosted a bird sanctuary brushed by dozens of butterflies. And further out, mountains emerged from the rolling meadows.

As we crossed the drive to a restaurant, the Tibetan Monks were a bit of surprise. The purple-robed gentlemen arrived in minivans with minimal luggage and enormous smiles. The Drepung Loseling Monks were featured on the Hollywood soundtrack of “Seven Years in Tibet.” It seemed unusual to bump into them in southern Utah, but it turns out, Boulder, Utah is a yearly trek for them.

UTAH: Boulder; sunflower

We ordered surprisingly good carry-out from the Burr Trail Grill and chatted with another “Hannah” while we waited on our order. Home for the summer from school in California, she told us a little about growing up in an area canyon where they had to create escape routes with cut trees whenever heavy rains washed out the roads -and wear safety harnesses for the crawl above floodwaters to safety!

We savored our quiet evening. Hannah and I planned to run in the morning, and then we’d hike Lower Calf Creek Falls in the Escalante National Memorial.

Well, we got half of it right…

From September 2008.

Escalante Hotel Review

Next: The Cows…

More on Utah…


12 Comments to Smokey the Bear and Tibetan Monks? I Must be in Boulder (Utah)…

  1. I prepared my comment before I read the entry — it was, “Being on the Coors tour was how I knew I was in Boulder. ”

    Monks are good too.

  2. It must be fun staying at lodges, hiking, running, snapping scenic photos…very cool post!!!

    Hugs, JJ

  3. Heather

    Delmer,
    It was kind of a wild encounter in such a deserted place. Felt a little under-dressed in my t-shirt and shorts…
     
    JJ,
    We had a lot of fun exploring together. Our week away was a good “reset” for everyone.
    I thought of you yesterday while reading a travel article about kayaking in Erie. Hope you’re fitting in lots of paddling before the weather changes…

  4. How lucky to see the monks. You manage to enjoy such adventures.

  5. Suzanne Perazzini

    What great days you had together as a family. Your children will never forget these holidays.

  6. Heather

    Jean-Luc,
    The unexpected moments are usually the best ones! We met a lot of interesting overseas visitors on this trip.
     
    Suzanne,
    We each had different “favorites,” which makes the case for varying the adventures on a family trip. I’ll be interested to hear their memories a few years from now, and to see who feels compelled to return with their own children.

  7. I really admire your skills in photography, I enjoy looking at your photos. I’m pretty sure you enjoy your stay there! 🙂

  8. Wow, Tibetan monks in Utah? It must be a long journey for them. Unlike in Malaysia, there are also quite many of tibetan monks along the busy streets in K.L. , asking for donation but who are actually ‘locally made’ Tibetan monk…. 🙁
    Enjoy your vacation! Cheers!

  9. Great article and nice pictures. Took me back to when my wife and I visited Zion, Brice and Cedar Breaks. BTW – It’s Smokey Bear not Smokey The Bear.

  10. Heather

    Cecil Lee,
    “Locally made?” Ha! Yes; these guys were the real deal…
     
    MorganLighter,
    Oops. Always pays to double-check, huh?

  11. Heather

    Thanks James! I definitely had no shortage of great subject matter out west!

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