MJ, Tishla and I traveled from Tucson to Avalon in August, to celebrate Katy and Matt’s wedding. Then we drove northeast from the ferry port, and camped among the juniper and bristlecone pines, near Bishop. We shared the total eclipse of the sun with friends at the foot of the Idaho Tetons, a very special event.
After the eclipse, we pointed the truck southeast, exploring the four corner region’s diverse geography and geology, petroglyphs and pueblo cultures. I’ve attached a select collection of photos I took along our journey. Many of the best shots were taken by Tishla or MJ. I hope you enjoy this visual family history, the wedding of Katy and Matt Myers, August 12, 2017 and the total eclipse on August 21.
I’ve placed the gallery first because everyone loves to look at the pictures. Our three week trip had many memorable moments, a few that have great backstories. Cibbets I’ve described elsewhere. We used our time camping before the wedding to relax and achieve some level of centered calm.
The wedding location sprawled across the island, from the middle terrace to downtown, and beyond to Descanso Beach. We arrived early, John secured a golf cart and paid for our group and individual taxi services. We settled in to our vacation rental, the bride’s redoubt overlooking the harbor. She visited on Friday morning for her shower at the bridal aerie. Matt joined John, Tabitha and Miriam, Peter and Harper, and me on a glass bottom boat tour of the coast of Avalon, schools of fish thick in the reef and rocks. Swimming, polka lessons and parties filled the hours until the sunset wedding between Matt and Katy.
I recall now with gratitude at how graciously everyone accomodated themselves to their rooms and to the house. They made the house a brief home, filled with a sense of joy, and expectation. The wedding hour came suddenly, the vows spoken, promises made. The music played, the flower girls danced, then everyone danced. By morning, even the most energetic dancers slept soundly.
We departed amidst hugs, kisses and somber faces, returning to our separate lives. The three of us old campers lit out for Hiway 395, and parts remote. We found plenty of nothing in Nevada, with only a brief stop in Tonopah to wash laundry and eat breakfast at the Mizpah.
We reached remote Driggs, partying under the shadows of the Tetons, and a vanishing sun. We are so grateful to our hosts, Elizabeth and Bob, and to all the wonderful friends with whom we shared that cosmic moment. Thank you all for your love and hospitality.
After the eclipse, we pointed our truck south, to the Four Corners. I suppose it would be fair to label the final leg of our journey a reprise, or continuation, of our 2009 visit to Hopi and Navajo lands.
Our first camp, Horse Thief, suited us nicely. A pair of juniper titmice kept us company, with few human companions, despite the packed highway. From Horse Thief, we wandered among Canyonlands’ overlooks and bluffs, ending our day at Mesa Arch.
We visited Arches National Monument, which to me felt more removed and sterile than Canyonlands. Arches is very car-centric. All three of us loved Mesa Verde, and spent three lovely days on top of the mesa. We hiked out from Weatherill Mesa to tour the Long House of the Pueblo People. When we reached the ruins, our Forest Service guide asked for quiet. Just then I spotted a fox, and whispered it to MJ. Our tour guide heard the whisper, turned and was delighted by the appearance of a kit fox, who ambled past our group to drink from a seep spring.
I’ll conclude as I began, focused on the wedding, on the friends and family, on the love. At the wedding, the bride and groom asked me to say a few words. When the best man was brief and funny, Ellen succinct, I only shared part of my thoughts, the essence.
In the middle of our busy lives, we’ve come to Avalon to share in the wedding of Katy and Matt. To witness their vows, and love for each other. And, to party in their honor. To Katy and Matt [T]
Over the last four years, I’ve gotten to know Matt. He is kind, intelligent and well-spoken. He treats my daughter with respect and love, intelligence and focus.
I’ve witnessed Matt turn away a harsh or angry word with a sense of humor. He loves my daughter, and it is evident in his words and deeds. To Matt [T]
Matt already knows a secret about his bride, a secret I will share tonight with the rest of you. Those of you who know Katy know that when she is your friend, your ally, when you have her in your corner, her love is strong and fierce, her support unshakeable.
With Katy as your wife, all things are possible. With Matt as your husband, dream big. You can accomplish anything – together.
Here is the essence of what I have to share with you on this blessed day. Look around the room, do you see the faces of your friends and family? Are they having a good time? Are we having a good time? [T]
Even now, so early in your marriage, you are spreading joy, happiness, love. Your marriage reaffirms our marriages, your love reaffirms our love. You honor us with your commitment. You remind us that our struggles were not in vain. We are confirmed in love by your love.
May God bless you.