Memorial Day weekend was super busy up on the resort. Tents were everywhere, all the cabins and homes were full, and the recreation barn was constantly moving. But the busyness only made the ranch more enjoyable. Throughout the day, happy shouts and screams from children echoed over the grass. There was never a slow moment. We even started our evening activities, which will continue throughout the summer.
Soon to be running several times a week, we gave our outdoor movies a test run this Friday. How to Train Your Dragon was a huge hit. The littlest kids can appreciate the story, but the adventure and character development of Hiccup and his friends entertains adults as well. We even have a popcorn machine that will be set up nearby! I really can’t think of anything more fun for the whole family than an outdoor movie with popcorn and soda pop on a warm summer evening.
Watching the families this Friday reminded me of my own family’s outdoor movie parties. Sitting in the warm evening with the chill of night just barely hinted at, we would gather on the back porch with blankets and select one of our favorites. Our outdoor movies give that opportunity to everyone staying at the resort. Bring your blankets and breathe the summer night in deeply as you sit back for some great entertainment.
This weekend also marked the beginning of our weekly rodeos. Not only do we have a great group of wranglers to demonstrate the poles and barrels, experienced riders in the audience can participate. Several times through the evening the announcer introduced guests from Las Vegas, Salt Lake, and elsewhere as our newest riders. Dreams of being a cowboy can come true at our rodeo. And if you have no such aspirations, it’s at least worth coming to see the Dolly Parton Race – which rather defies description and therefore must be experienced.
We even started my favorite evening activity – stargazing. Just after ten, our group left the lodge. We had timed our maiden hike perfectly. The moon was gone, the air was just a touch chilly, and the sky was clear and dark. Up at the water tower, we lay on the ground and looked up at the show above us. Cygnus, Ursa Major, Hercules, Draco, and more were beautifully clear. Our greatest challenge was not seeing too few stars – rather it was seeing too many. Identifying a single image in the sky coated with sparkling gems was a well-loved challenge.
Gazing at that wide expanse gives a new perspective on life. Out here in the desert, it is easy to feel like we have so much space. We are so spread out and involved in the world we live on. That may be true, but seeing the stars from billions of light years away and realizing that some of them are whole galaxies reminds me that we really aren’t that big. We are so lucky to live on this world and be able to look out at worlds without number that lie far beyond our reach. Every once in a while you can see something from that distant elsewhere touch our world as meteors fall through the atmosphere. The night sky truly shows another world.