I've had a week to ruminate over the experience Cami and I had last Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Delta and Hinckley.
We had an enjoyable trip down to Millard County with Cami entertaining me the whole way. That girl has her Dad's sense of humor and makes me laugh so hard which scares her when I'm driving, which makes me laugh harder.
We arrived in Delta about 10:30 p.m. and I thought we'd have no problem finding a hotel room, boy was I in for a shock. We stopped by the two 'nicer' hotels in town and found no vacancies. We were told at the Day's Inn that there were some "local" places on the main drag. We pulled into the parking lot of the Rancher and both Cami and I shouted out loud, "No Way!" It was frightening! We drove to the Deltan and even though it was only slightly less scary, decided we didn't have much choice and checked in. The first thing we noticed when we unlocked our door with an old key (not a card), was the room was buzzing with flies. Cami became the mighty huntress armed with a magazine and a hatred for flying bugs. She was squishing flies on walls and furniture while I tried to figure out if the beds had bugs too. It was not the best night's rest we've ever had, but we were able to get up and out of there quickly in the morning.
Friday, July 24th we were driving to Hinckley munching on Pop Tarts excited for the events of the day. We found a great parade-viewing spot near the end of the route on Main Street and pulled the Jeep in and opened up the back where we sat on a blanket to view the spectacle. The Hinckley parade is known for many horses and loads of candy. We were pelted with more salt water taffy than you can imagine. Cami wouldn't even get out of the Jeep except for Laffy Taffy. When we left, I noticed that there were piles of Tootsie Rolls and other candies where the Jeep had been parked.
We spent a couple of hours visiting with people at the park and walking around town reminiscing about being a child in this town. How is it that everything seems so much closer together and smaller than I remember? I always thought the walk from my house to my friend, Julie's house was miles, yet Cami and I made the walk in about 10 minutes and we dawdled. The house I grew up always seemed so far back from the road and so large. Could this tiny little place sitting right next to the road be the same one? Our house used to be the only home on the road, now there are four others on the same side of the street AND the road is paved. It was a gravel road forever. I wonder when that happened?
The saddest part of the day was walking past Hinckley Elementary School. My happiest childhood memories took place within the walls of that building and now it is just falling down. I cried a few tears as we stood looking at it, which embarrassed Cami, but she indulged me and even took a couple of photos for me. This once magnificent building was the home of the Millard Academy and has a rich history. It was declared a historical site so it cannot be torn down, but time is doing it anyway. (Notice the 'For Sale' sign) When we got home, I told Rob that I'd like to buy it and renovate it and he promised if he wins the lottery, he'll purchase it for me and go to work.
Cami and I went back to Delta with hopes of finding a room in a nicer motel for the night. We stopped by Day's Inn and were able to reserve one of the two remaining rooms for that evening. Feeling assured of a better night's rest, we were able to enjoy our afternoon of walking around town and even doing a little shopping. The warped floors of the old 'D' Stevens store and my stories about things I remembered buying and other events in these places kept Cami entertained. She even found a skirt she liked so we bought it as a reminder of our shopping excursion in Delta.
We drove out to the Gunnison Bend Reservoir and I was able to show my daughter where I learned to water ski in the summer and ice skate in the winter. Many memories and stories were found out there on the sand as we stood watching the waves.
Back in Hinckley that evening we enjoyed a full rodeo complete with pre-rodeo events like Junior Barrel Racing and Mutton Bustin'. Cami wore her cowboy hat so she would fit in with the locals and we enjoyed a rodeo burger and soda for dinner. The hamburgers tasted the very same as they did 40 years ago when I first started attending that rodeo every 24th of July. We were able to visit with more old friends and acquaintances as we thrilled at bucking broncs and bull riders. I'm very happy to report that the Hinckley Lions Club has completely replaced all of the old wooden stands with new aluminum ones and that every seat was filled that night. It was quite the show.
We were happy to drive past the Deltan on our way back through town and check in to our much nicer and fly-free room. We rested well that night and had an uneventful drive back home. Of course we had to return the 'Eureka way' so I could show Cami the house that caved into the mine shaft (one of the most thrilling memories of my young life!)
Cami has decided that the 24th of July in Hinckley will be a new family tradition and she said she'll even let Rob come next year.