A dear friend of mine got married in Provo Canyon in Utah last weekend. It was a beautiful ceremony in a beautiful location, and a reminder real love exists and it’s worth waiting for.
While, of course, the entire weekend was about celebrating the happy couple, I also turned it into a multitasking trip.
Since getting married, Gary and I have traveled twice to Las Vegas — the first time being part of our honeymoon — and to various places throughout the state. Surprisingly, however, we haven’t gone to my home territory in Elko County.
So this trip provided the perfect opportunity to rectify that.
We left Thursday morning, stopping in Winnemucca to drop off some promotional materials to the convention and visitors center there. It houses a veritable safari of stuffed exotic animals. We made similar stops at the Elko Visitors Authority and the Western Folklife Center.
With the technical part handled, I wanted to introduce him to some of my childhood friends. We found it difficult to align schedules with meetings and kids and all those other things.
So we agreed to meet my friend Olivia at her daughter’s cross country meet.
Turns out, it was the best idea because nearly everyone from Elko, Wells and Ruby Valley (my collective hometowns) was there. I got to introduce Gary to so many of my oldest friends.
The only thing that caught us off guard was the cold. I should’ve known better, but I wore open-toed shoes to the meet — in fact, sandals were the only shoes I packed.
When Olivia found this out, she immediately offered to give me the socks off her feet. She urged me to take them, but explained they were her husband’s old socks.
“He thinks they’re ruined after they get just one hole,” she said, pointing out because her feet were smaller, a hole in the heel of his sock would hit her higher on the ankle.
“I just have to wear long pants,” she reasoned.
So delightfully sensible.
We finished the evening having dinner with my sister and then to my nephew’s football game until it was just too cold to bear.
Before traveling onto Provo the following day, I took Gary for a drive up through Lamoille Canyon. He’d heard it was beautiful, but nothing prepares you for the stark ruggedness of the Ruby Mountains as a backdrop to the golds, greens and oranges of the aspens embracing fall.
A week later, he’s still thanking me for bringing him there.
From Lamoille Canyon, we cut along a dirt road leading to Secret Pass then down into Ruby Valley, where I spent my formative years, then over to Highway 93 and up to Wells, where I graduated from high school.
By now, Gary has heard all of my stories — or at least a good portion of them. But it’s a different thing all together to breathe the same air I breathed, to smell the smells. He saw the actual ground I ran and played on, places my heart was broken.
I loved seeing him take it all in. He was astounded by the grandness. I think I made more sense to him.
It reminded me real love exists and that it’s worth waiting for.