When I was little, I fell in love with the cover of Volume 4 of the Book of Popular Science. It was a photo of the Double Arch at Arches National Park in Utah. When I needed to, I transported myself to that place to get away from my childhood stress. It was my happy place. I vowed to myself I would one day go there in real life. For years and years, it was my fondest wish.

Then one summer I overhead my brother Patrick say he wanted to take a long drive to the ocean and back to Kansas. I went up to him later and said I want to go and so we did. We drew up our destinations for the trip. I had two must sees:  Donner Lake and the Double Arch.  

We went to Denver, Laramie, the Temple at Salt Lake City, drove over the very flat salt flats, Reno, and then at Donner Lake. There was a very tall statue there with a plaque about the "brunt of fate." I looked for bones and then we went on to Sacramento, and to Monterrey to visit another of my brothers, Ed. We got into the Aquarium for free since Ed is the CFO of the place. He then piled into the car and I briefly saw the ocean at Pebble Beach, then we went to Kings Canyon and found the towering redwoods. It smelled really nice there. Next we drove to Las Vegas where after a few days, Ed flew home. The next day, Patrick my brother and I were back in Utah. Once we got into Arches Park, we drove along to find my happy place. My brother speaks Italian and he translated a hilarious argument a group of Italian tourists had. And suddenly I was there! The Double Arch!  

Something did not seem right, however. And when I realized what the book publisher had done, I felt tricked and somewhat cheated. How could they be so careless? So I lost my happy place and learned a lesson on the "brunt of fate."    

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Comment by Maxim on June 16, 2014 at 11:31am

Colleen…… Yes, I was there as a kid.  Those were the days that my dad would take 4 weeks off and pile  the five kids in the car and we'd drive around the western half of the US and Canada always sure to visit national parks and historical sites as well as relatives in Canada.  I don't have any special memories of Arches NP but distinctly recall going there.

I had to look up cis-trans too.  Martha, you must run in sophisticated circles.

Comment by Colleen Prohaska on June 15, 2014 at 10:08pm

Maureen ... Yes, the energy was incredible there. My feet had been painful and aching from all the walking and climbing and the long car ride. But it melted away as soon as we got to the Double Arch. I went up half way and sat on a boulder with the lizards (note: I did not say 'toads.'). Patrick made it to the top. I kept telling him to be careful and not break an ankle but he was super charged and had no problems. 

I brought the book with me to the Double Arch and kept looking at the cover and back to the arch before me, Finally I figured out the publisher had reversed the photo on the cover. I thought maybe the photo was taken from the opposite direction but Patrick said that was not possible since the other side was a giant cliff. Utah has a gasp out loud beauty with its striking rock formations and canyons. It was my favorite place followed by the redwoods.

Martha ... I had too look that up on the Internet and found out cis/trans is a half way rotated molecule in organic chemistry.  Thank you but I need to be much smarter for your high brow humor.   

Maxim ... Have you been there too? It is a very lovely place with many more than that. The main one is the Delicate Arch. 

Comment by Maureen on June 13, 2014 at 12:34pm

Colleen -- what a beautiful place. Other than the disappointment, what did it feel like to be there? What was the energy like? I can't tell what the publishers did. Did they switch the picture from left to right (or right to left)? 

Comment by Martha on June 13, 2014 at 11:38am

There's a cis/trans joke here someplace....

Comment by Maxim on June 13, 2014 at 10:59am

Very interesting my fellow traveller.  Our attachments.  I assume you did walk under the arches.

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