This is the first in a series of stories about a recent trip to Utah. We thought we would try something different, at least different for us. We hope you enjoy this combination of travelogue, photography and (hopefully) humor.
USS Puma Palace - Ship's Log
The Honorable Captain Kathleen Turner commanding
Boyd Turner, First Officer
29.9.2015 Expedition Day 1
Again, it begins. We departed Puma base for an exploration of the Canyons and Rocks Territory of the political subdivision of Utah. RON site of RNO was chosen in order to top off certain procurement items. The Captain was concerned about her personal uniform allotment for cold weather. No adequate clothing at non-gouging rates was located. We did add a high-intensity light to the equipment list, replacing the antiquated 1980s model light (yes I know – 1980s.) Finished the preparations in RNO with a gorging on slabs of beef.
Note to crew: No gorging on slabs of beef prior to important rest periods as the phenomenon referred to locally as “meat sweats” is likely to ensue.
30.9.2015 Expedition Day 2
Today we traveled across the political area known as Nevada to a location known as Cave Lake. The local fauna is very friendly. We visited a local informational location and observed a large bird known as a dusky grouse. The bird walked up to and under our vehicle presumably in attempt to elicit meal items. This was a very strange behavior for a supposedly shy animal, but easily explained given the small brain pan (size of a small ball bearing) of this creature. They must be prolific reproducers to be this stupid. Later, back at camp, a member of the Sciurid clan continually asked for alms. Said individual tried to climb on the Captain multiple times. The Captain tried to shoo the animal away but the animal was nothing if not persistent. The Captain attempted to retrieve a squirrel repellent spray from the Puma Palace but the First Officer had not placed the spray in the proper weapons locker. The Captain then launched preemptive strikes with small locally obtained stony projectiles, striking the impertinent creature at least twice. Eventually as darkness approached the animal departed.
1.10.2015 Expedition Day 3
The day started as the Captain was awakened by the First Officer thrashing in his sleep. In retaliation the Captain awakened the First Officer. The First Officer was quite perturbed to be suddenly awakened from a dream about warfare with the Sciurid clan. Unfortunately the First Officer was unable to achieve definitive victory due to premature awakening. The crew then went for an exploratory foot excursion to the eponymous lake. The lake is about 15 of the local acre units. There were several of the Osprey fisher birds obtaining their morning meals as well as approximately 100 of the Coot clan. Other avian folk observed included ruby-crowned kinglets (smallest crowns in the known universe), spotted sandpiper (not currently spotted), and the near ubiquitous red-shafted flicker. Upon returning, we dined al fresco where the Captain was attacked by a small-feathered species referred to by locals as a mountain chickadee. The Captain was not amused. The First Officer found it hilarious.
Today our vehicular exploration first took us to the Ward Charcoal Oven State Park. Made many images of these historical structures in the middle of the day. We then drove the Surprise Loop road. This road loops up on a mountain behind our camp and back down to just north of the burg of Ely. Road was of native surface but in good condition and suitably wide. There were some areas with good vistas but the main attraction was a long riparian area with aspens whose leaves were being shed. Again many images were made. However, strong winds affected the area limiting some opportunities for walking and image making. Near the end of the loop we made contact with Special Agent (Trainee) Turner at her TDY training facility at Glynco. All copacetic on that front.
Our original plan was to return to camp for evening repast but as we had spent so much time on image making, we thought it prudent to return to the ovens and take sunset pictures. As evening slid toward darkness thunderstorms and lightning enveloped the eastern horizon while the Milky Way appeared overhead. Many images were again made. This delayed our return to camp necessitating foraging in Ely. A very sub-par offering was had at the Clan of the Double Arch. Service was absent –literally. We stood for many minutes waiting for service. The Captain was not happy. Then service personnel forgot eating utensils, then drink machines were inop. Then service that did occur was surly. Possibly the first known rating of minus stars. We returned to our bunks in time to be serenaded by a close thunderstorm, which delayed the onset of welcome slumber.
Log transmission ends. Standby for future log segment...