After our Lands’ End Fit Event in St. Petersburg, FL, we took an early morning flight directly to Salt Lake City for a one day Event at Waterford School in Sandy, a south side community. I had had no sleep whatsoever after our late night eating and walking around hopping St. Petersburg, where there is plenty of night life, so my eyes felt like gravel. We were arriving in Utah on a Saturday, however, and we weren’t setting up until Sunday evening, so I was determined not to waste a minute. I asked a very helpful young man at the front desk of our Sandy Hampton, “Where could I find the closest mountain hike to the hotel?” and subsequently drove ten minutes to be in the mountains and another ten minutes to a roadside parking space. There was no signage, so I didn’t actually know whether I’d reached my destination, but it didn’t seem to matter. I stepped out of my car and down a decline between trees to paradise. Ahhhhh……..
The air was filled with that indescribably delicious scent of water molecules being pulverized on stones and the whoosh of a rushing current. All stresses and tiredness fell away. “Why do I live in Wisconsin?” I wondered. I walked along this creek back and forth for about an hour.
The next morning I was joined for another opportunistic hike by three of my coworkers from St. Petersburg. We were looking for a longer hike, so again, the very nice young man at the front desk made another recommendation. We drove up another watershed gorge, Big Cottonwood Canyon, to Donut Falls Trail. Donut Falls cascades through a hole into a cave below. We found when we got there, however, that to reach it one must walk along a precipitous embankment on either side and it is impossible not to get one’s feet wet. That doesn’t sound like much of a problem and if I’d had my Gortex lined hiking boots on, I wouldn’t have hesitated, but I was wearing tennis shoes, the only walking shoes I had with me on the trip; I already had one blister and was forming another. For bare feet, the water was numbingly frigid and the rocks were sharp, the embankment muddy and fallen logs slippery. Falling seemed a likelihood, so I chose the better part of valor and watched as the Nadine and Kelli showed their mettle and scaling the rest of the gorge.
Nadine and Kelli are up there somewhere.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and got back just after noon, so the next stop for me (of course) was The Museum of Fine Art on the Utah University Campus.
It’s fitting that I should begin with a painting by an artist from Utah, who studied in France, eventually being accepted to exhibit in the Paris Salon in 1892.
The subject of the painting is Isabella Rattray Young. She was a pianist who married a British marine artist who belonged to the Royal Academie,…I mean Academy. I have to remember which country he was in.
I’d buy this painting, if I just happened to run across it, and it wasn’t in a museum, and I could afford it.
I had this photograph of Maude Adams as L’Aiglon (The Eaglet), the son of Napoleon, taped to my mirror for years during college. I think I clipped it out of a Life magazine about great American women. I thought hers such a beautiful androgynous face — she also played Peter Pan — and I wished I could look like her.
Minerva Teichert attended the Arts Student League in New York City, where she studied under the powerful personality of Robert Henri. Henri urged his students to forget about European movements and to create a new American style of art. His students were urged to explore social realist themes of the city, especially scenes of laborers and industry. Teichert absorbed his technique, but chose to paint themes that were familiar to her from her life in the West. When she left New York, Robert Henri said, “George Bellows, John Sloan and Minerva Kohlhepp — these are my bets…this girl from Utah you’re going to hear from.”
I had to text this painting to my daughter because, I mean, have you ever seen such a French look?! It’s so “hunh, hunh, hunh (all growly), ma jolie fille, come up to my apartement. Come see my satyr carvings? (What?) Oh, my hair is tousled…?”