Bryce Canyon

I went to Bryce Canyon for the Ellison Family Reunion the other weekend. I camped with the grandparents and had a great time. The weather was beautiful and it is always great getting together with the extended, extended family. As per Robertson tradition we even got some bike riding in.

I went on a hike or two too. Not that it wasn't pretty, but quite a bit of Bryce Canyon looks a lot like mine dumps. I don't find anything wrong with mind dumps, but I know that some meadow muffins start having cows about piles of dirt. I wonder if they've ever been to Bryce Canyon. One of the most curious things I saw was a spot at the bottom of one of the canyons where someone had taken way too much time to stack rocks on everything.

The most annoying thing about this is that everyone decided that this was what was worth taken pictures of. Yes, I traveled all the way from Hamburg Germany so that I could tour the National Parks of North America and these rocks that some hippies stacked up last week are what I'm going to spend my time ooo-ing over. I decided to fix this situation.


Spare Time

Nothing better than grease under your fingers.

Finished Product


So, is that your brother?

The caption to this picture in the Ely Times reads, "Ely optometrist Kent Robertson has an understandable edge in selecting his protective eye gear for this weekend’s Fears, Tears and Beers Mountain Bike Race in Ely." I just thought it was funny. Yes, this is a 48 old (today in-fact), father of five, LDS Bishop, and local eye doctor. (incidently his father also rides mountain bikes) He may act like a 16 year old--even in matters where he shouldn't be--but he's my dad and I wouldn't have him any other way--most of the time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!


Mr. Librarian

"So, what brings you to volunteer at the library?", the lady asked. I know she's expecting an answer along the lines of needing the volunteer opportunity to pass a class or get a merit badge or something like that. I could easily make up an answer to this effect. I quietly weigh this option against telling her that I'm a recent college graduate without a job and just need a chance to contribute to something where I don't have to directly help greasy homeless people, sniveling kids, and/or senior citizens with their unsolvable problems.

"I just like the Library", I say as I smile and hand back my volunteer application. She gives me back a look that says she's suspicious that that isn't entirely the case but says nothing. I really do like the library. I've always envisioned myself working in a library, probably not unlike how George Costanza always envisions himself working as an architect. Holding a degree in Construction Management in no way qualifies me to work in a library so volunteering is about as close as I'm going to get right now. At the very least I figure it will give me something to do, and as a bonus will allow me to feel good about myself (read: better than others) for giving my time to the community.

"Can you come and help us for two hours on Thursday from 4-6pm?"
"That will be fine. I'll be here."

On my first Thursday I show up and am unceremoniously led the room where books are returned. There are carts and carts of books and my task will be to organize all the books on a cart so that they're easier to place when employees take the carts out to re-shelve them. As far as service goes this isn't so bad. I don't have to talk to anyone. I can sit there and listen to the employees talk and judge a vast unseen group of individuals on the books they choose to check out.

My first cart is full of romance novels. I can't figure out why a public library would bother carrying these books. Aren't they a dime a dozen at any used book store? Even new from the grocery store check out line they don't cost much. I soon find out that one person will check out 20-30 of these novels at a time. I read the titles as I organized them on the cart: A Pirate of Her Own; Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang; Flirting for England; The Passionate Diplomat. As I tried to picture the kind of person who would take home 20-30 of these titles I suddenly wished I had asked for some rubber gloves.

The only thing more disturbing than the romance novels themselves is listening to the bitter and unrequited library employees talk about the romance novels coming down the chute. "I just love the covers of romance novels." I'll spare you the graphic description of why she liked the cover of romance novels, though I'm sure you can imagine how her monologue went.

For the most part I am an invisible person in the room. Every now and then one of the employees working in my vicinity will try to make small talk. "So, what brings you to volunteer at the library", they always ask. "Oh, I just needed an outlet for my O.C.D. and organizing books seems to help." I always thought that this was a pretty good joke, but it never even gets so much as a smirk from the inquirer; nonetheless, I keep plying it on any person who will fall into my trap hoping someone will laugh. I find I do this with most jokes I come up with. One of my favorites is one that I use when my family mentions a relative of ours,"oh him, he hasn't worn a pair of pants since he married her." No one ever gets it. The best I get are blank stares or someone who says,"he doesn't wear any pants?"

On the upside this keeps me from having to make small talk with the employees in the book receiving room, and I hate small talk.


Into the Wilderness

What do you do when you begin to get stir crazy from living behind the zion curtain? Apparently you go Wyoming and get prairie madness. A couple weeks ago a friend and I threw caution to the wind and hit the dusty trail in our trusty rental car. The premise of the trip was to get out of Utah and to see as many weird touristy things as we could.

I personally had never been to Yellowstone. It was amazing! We saw most of the park and because we are proletariat elitists we skipped seeing Old Faithful. We pulled into the LARGE parking lot and couldn't see the geyser due to the large strip malls and huge throngs of people (read- seething masses of humanity), so we skipped it. The rest of the park was fairly empty which was perfect.

It was quite a site to see all that steam and water shooting out of the ground all over the place.

This is me, pulling a Newhouse picture face. I'm actually licking the sulfur of my lips, it makes you young. But seriously, no suitcase smells worse than one full of dirty cloths mixed with the smell of sulfur.

The colors in the pools were real brilliant. As you looked across the Firehole River all you could see on the other side was the steam rising up and reflecting all of the blues and oranges and yellows. (sorry, I'm just not one for taking pictures, they always turn out like crap anyway). FYI- skip Mammoth Hot Springs, it sucks.

From Yellowstone we headed south to Pinedale, Wyoming. Great town! We stayed at the Log Cabin Motel; highly recommended. We had some great food and went to the Mountain Man Museum. We had initially gone to Pinedale to eat at Pitchfork Fondue
only to find out that it wasn't open until June. However, we managed to eat ourselves sick in another location, necessitating a midnight run for Tums.

From Pinedale we headed back up through the parks to beautiful, scenic Butte, Montana! There, we went to the World Museum of Mining, the Berkeley Pit and the Radon Health Mine (ask me about that episode sometime). We tried to go the Butte Museum of Prostitution and found it to be closed; very disappointing. We also found out the people in Butte don't eat out.

I paid to look at that.

Now after seeing these pictures you may be asking yourself,"Who in their right mind would rent a car and drive 1600+ miles just to look at those things?" Well, me obviously. The joy really is in the journey. I hadn't laughed so hard for four days straight since the last trip I took. The scenery was really great, and I got to see some more of this vast country. And let's face it, what else have I got to be doing right now? My life is currently like a Simon and Garfunkel song.