Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 139 - Utah Rocks - The Innmates

View from the front door (back of Inn)
Like a prison cell, we’re forced to be in the same quarters as others and the randomness isn’t much different than the cellmate chosen by the Warden.  The difference is we pay to be in a bed and breakfast called by different names.  On the recent trip to Utah, we stayed at the Stone Canyon Inn, a Bed and Breakfast in Tropic, Utah.  We have the opportunity to share the common quarters to mingle with the others guests. Since were at an Inn, I called the other guests Innmates. 
The other people at the Inn came from as far away as San Diego, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Great Britain. We mid-centurions were the youngest of the guests and we were blessed to have booked the Inn so far in advance to get the biggest room.  It reminded me of the Fried Green Tomatoes movie in which Katherine Bates replied, “You may be younger and faster, but I’m older and have more insurance!”  It was different words but a similar situation.  Tried as I might, I just couldn’t find a common bond to talk to anyone about any subject that would bring them down to earth.  They seemed so different that they were flying in a hot air balloon high above the clouds.  The view must have been great from up there, but it didn’t help me communicate with any of them. I didn’t know if it was the British aristocracy or the generation gap or what but I just couldn’t relate to them.  We exchanged pleasantries and although cordial, I have a hard time relating to people who don’t love birds. 
All of the innmates knew I was a bird lover. They had seen me taking multiple photos of the birds on the feeder in the front of the inn. On one occasion, I was trying to take a photo of the birds on the feeder.  One man walked in FRONT of me as  I was taking a photo of a rare Steller's Jay to get a cup of hot coffee.  This was the same area of the free coffee and tea.  Didn’t he realize we had come a long way to see these different birds?  As it turned out, on one of his hikes with his wife, he captured his own great photo of a Steller's Jay (looks like a blue jay with a black head) and is going to e-mail it to me.  I hope he does the right thing and honors his word.  It will be a quick way to forgive him for the small inconvenience of missing the bird I intended to photograph that day.  (It has been a week and I haven't heard from him yet.  I've copied some off the internet for your viewing...)
Steller's Jay
Steller's Jays
Another man told about how he and his wife had bought a Caribbean style steel drum that sported a hand-carved tree of life in the metal.  They didn’t have the room to take it back with them but knew they had to have it.  This was a clear dilemma on how to get it back to England.  They talked about putting it in the checked luggage and ruled out the possibility of bringing it through the metal detectors at the airport.  I suggested the most logical thing was to ship it.  I’ve shipped chandeliers to my house, stained glass windows, and many more things than these and they all made it safely.  He acted like he didn’t even hear a word that I said.  So keep your problem, the obvious solution was brilliant but if you want to lug a big steel drum back to England than go ahead, but don’t complain about your dilemma and dismiss the solution that will solve your problem.  This was an “inn mate” problem.  You are put with people who talk with no logic.  Or maybe it was that their problem was bigger than the solution you provided, thus the feeling of aristocracy.  The right thing to do is when you hear a solution to your problem, either explain why that wouldn’t work or take the suggestion, please don’t be rude to totally ignore the other person as if they don’t even exist. 
Bullock Oriole - Bryant Olsen photographer
The front view was spectacular for us as they had put out a bird feeder.  We were delighted to views of several of the 291 birds that live in Utah.  There were approximately sixteen house finches, a pair of Western Scrub Jays, a pair of Bullock Orioles, a juvenile American Goldfinch, a  Gray Warbler and another Western Meadowlark donned the top of the trees one morning.  He was singing the same song he sang in the Lavender fields….suuuucccccch aaaaahhhhhh pretty-little-bird. What surprised me was that nobody knew what type of birds these were.  They would put out birdseed to feed them but didn’t know what they were feeding.  The right thing to do was to educate our Inn keepers on how to find out.  The Inn keepers drive their RVs up the canyon and work for the owner for six months.  There are two sets of couples that take turns making breakfast, cleaning the linens, preparing the rooms and welcoming guests with coffee or herbal tea upon arrival.  We tipped them handsomely for two days as we appreciated their hard work.  They also brought me a pillow with support after the first night of sleeping on a linen of air after inquiring about my first nights sleep which I explained wasn't so good due to my flat pillow. 
Fred told us about the black and white birds that camped out near the entrance fence and he was right, these birds were a pure delight to watch.  I showed him how to go to www.whatbird.com , click on the browse feature on the top of the web page, select the state you want to find out “what bird” you had seen and scroll through the sketches of the birds you would find in that state.  We researched and found that these were Black-billed Magpies. After taking a hike the next day, Fred told us that he and his wife had seen a bird, came home and looked it up using the technique I had taught them the day before.  It was an Evening Grosbeak.  He thanked me for educating him on this process and they now are going to download the checklist of birds off the Zion National Park website and begin to check off the birds they have seen.  I was glad to be a Bird Ambassador on our trip to Utah. 
We had made friends with the innkeepers and the female contractors we had met there.  We tried to find common ground but the river ran deep in this Stone Canyon Inn. Unlike prison, we were free to come and go as we pleased.  And going was more pleasing than coming when it meant we were able to see some of the 291 birds that are not viewable where we live.  I enjoyed the Inn and the Innkeepers but the stuffiness and the arrogance  I experienced by the Innmates was really for the birds!  We may have flocked there to be together, but outside the Inn, we’d probably never even eat at the same bird feeder.  We fly at different altitudes. 

True Independence and Freedom can only exist in doing whats right.~ Brigham Young

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