As a child my family had gone on various summer vacations. It had probably been twenty-five years or more, since I had taken a trip with either of my parents. Recently, my father and I went to Utah to enjoy some time together. It was just the two of us; he was going to hunt and I to hike, horseback ride and tour the surrounding area of Salt Lake City.
We had researched different locations for many years but could never find a place that was acceptable to both of us. We finally found a location in Utah, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Our ranch location was about an hour outside of Salt Lake near Ogden, Utah. Upon our arrival at The Broadmouth Canyon Ranch, owned by NFL Legend Rulon Jones, we immediately met another father and daughter duo, she was 13 and her dad in his late 40’s. A memory flashed before me, it was around the start of my teen age years, when I turned in my hip boots and my interests shifted from outdoor sports to boys. I began to pull away from my father. Now, here I was, an adult women, coming back around to find common ground with my dad. It was a precious opportunity, and I intended to make the best of it.
We had adjoining cabins in the woods away from the main lodge. Our cabins were cozy and secluded. He would get up early in the morning and head out with his guide to hunt. I would get up later, take a walk in the mountains, have breakfast and go for a horseback ride. We met back for dinner. He would tell me about his adventure that morning and I would talk about mine and the canyon ride or exploration of Temple Square in Salt Lake City. There was something so special about those conversations that delighted me. It was the exchange of our stories and the passion we both shared for our hobbies. Mine for travel and horseback riding and his hunting and adventure. We would reunite after dinner, play cards together and turn in for the night. I savored every moment with my dad.
My Father taught me many things in life, one of them being a love of nature, and I have a keen appreciation for it to this day. At night in the cabin, I would listen to the sounds of the Elks bugling and other creatures scurrying all around. Dad went out early and came back later than the other hunters most nights. A group of us were already at dinner, when my dad and his guide Jaden finally arrived. I watched out for him, stashed a piece of dessert when I saw it might run out, and picked up a paper for him in the morning when I went for a drive.
One of the last nights, I looked up at the mountains surrounding our cabin and I could barely make out the peak it was so grand. I realized then, that if I could measure my love for my Father, it would be as high as the mountain top. He is my hero, the strongest man I have ever known and no one can fill his shoes. I was so proud to be with him, proud to be his daughter. I could only hope that he was proud of me too. All I wanted from our vacation was to reconnect with my Dad and share some common ground. It was a gift and I will treasure it for a lifetime.
You never know how long your parents will be with you, but I know this, I will always cherish the memories of our time together. As we celebrate Father’s Day, remember those special times with your Dad or make some new ones that will last a lifetime.
Jodi Cross is a freelance writer, marketing consultant, and adventure traveler and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Salt Lake City has been the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints since 1847. Temple Square is the spiritual and symbolic epi-center of the LDS religion. Spread out over some 10 acres, the square contains the Mormon Temple, the Tabernacle (as seen on TV), Assembly Hall, vast lush gardens and the Seagull Monument. Temple Square is free to enter. If you are there mid-day you might just stumble upon an organ concert. The pipes can really bring you to your knees.
If you happen to be in Salt Lake on a rainy day, try the Natural History Museum full of dinosaur exhibit areas or the Aquarium which is always great for kids and adults alike.
There are also 21 National Parks in Utah, some of the best include Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Both of which are about 4.5 hours from Salt Lake.
If you are into hiking, biking, climbing or nature photography Utah offers an endless backdrop of choices.