Home Safe

Home Safe

I’m home safe and sound. Paul and I left South Bend, Indiana, about 10am this morning and headed straight home.  It’s been a fun month, but I’m so happy to be home.

We left on September 4th, and here it is October 4th and our trip has come to an end.   In the last 4 1/2 weeks we have seen the sublime, the absurd, the funny, the sad and more.  We’ve seen president’s graves, and birth places. Temples of the Lord and old abandoned places were on our route too.  We’ve seen it all.

It is probably too soon to ask if I’d do it again, but under different conditions, I think I would.  One would be to have Elizabethe come with me.  Perhaps we’ll figure out a road trip where she won’t get bored to tears.

The Drive Home

The drive home started last week after reaching the end of Route 66 in Santa Monica, California.  We got up the next morning and drove to Scotts Valley, California.  The day after that we drove to Reno, Nevada, where we spent the night with my old high school buddy Jack.  After Reno we headed to my daughter Amber’s house in Saratoga Springs, Utah.  Our next stop was Cheyenne, Wyoming for the weekend.  (I served in Cheyenne 40 years ago in 1977!!!)  We got up Monday and headed to Omaha, Nebraska.  Tuesday we stopped in South Bend, Indiana, and now we’re home.

copyright 2017 db walton
Me and My Daughter Amber’s Family

Bitter Cold

Bitter Cold

It is bitter cold today.  Many people think it is bitter cold all of the time in this part of New York.  It isn’t.  What is true is we get lots of precipitation, which equates to snow in the winter.  The usually warmer winter weather keeps that snow melted much of the time.

While it is in the low teens today, they are saying in a couple of days it will be near 60F.  That will melt all this snow and then the cycle will begin again.  Until then, it is bitter cold today.

Hearing about the storms in Utah and the west, I’m thinking… they sure have a misconception about our harsh winters.  One big difference is this… they will get a harsh storm, and then it will be sunny and 18F for a few days.  We’ll get a harsh storm, and then it will be overcast and 53F for a few days.


I’ve been painting all day.  It is both rewarding and frustrating at the same time.  With practice, I’ll overcome the frustrations.  Until then, I keep trying.

Digital painting is as real as oil painting (as an example).  Oil painting if you goof up, you might take a rag or a spatula and scrape of the paint.  Digital painting you press the ctrl-Z key until you’ve removed your mistake.  Thus, digital painting goes quicker than oil painting.

I do, however, miss the smell of linseed oil and turpentine.

Baptism Day

Baptism Day

Today is baptism day for one of our granddaughters.  We headed off to Pennsylvania at 7 a.m. so we could attend her baptism.  The 4 hour drive is becoming quite familiar.

We arrived in time to attend Priesthood and Relief Society.  Their small branch has more people than I expected.

After the meetings two people came up and said they used to live in Palmyra.  They named off several ward (and former ward) members like the Wards, Dahnekes, Denoskeys and more.  Talk about a small world.

I was asked to give the talk on the Holy Ghost — something I’ve done many times.  (In fact, I think I gave that talk at her brother’s baptism too.)

copyright 2016 db walton
Baptism Day

She was baptized by her dad, and then we headed back to Jennifer’s house.

They had the sister missionaries over.  One of them was from Twin Falls, Idaho, and the other from Logan (College Ward), Utah.    Both of them go home on Tuesday!  Talk about short-timers.


For my birthday present, Jennifer put us up at a B&B in Ridgeway, Pennsylvania (about 7 miles south of their place).  It was dark when we got there and hard to see the house numbers, but we found it.

Talk about a well kept, elegant house!  This 1860’s house is immaculate inside and out.

copyright 2016 db walton
The Room We Stayed In


copyright 2016 db walton
The B&B We Stayed At


Sherwoods in Utah

Sherwoods in Utah

The joke in the family is that I run in to someone I know wherever I go.  Today it was the Sherwoods in Utah.  I actually don’t know this Sherwood family, but I know the dad, Paul Sherwood.  He served in the temple with us.  I think his name is Don.  We also served in the temple under his uncle, Bill Sherwood, who was the previous temple president before President Brighton.

We enjoyed our visit at Amber’s ward.  They commented about the high number of visitors, but that would mean they have a rather small ward for Utah.  The High Priest Group was a decent size, and they seem to have a LOT of Primary age children.

After church it was time for a nap.

Ben and Natalie and Bradley and Rebecca and Zoe came over for dinner and Amber prepared TWO roasts – one beef and one pork – for dinner.

copyright 2015 db walton
Sunday Dinner in Utah

Our Sunday evening was delightful.  It was fun spending time kids and grandkids.

Elizabethe helped Brianna clean her room.  The two of them had fun.  At one point, Brianna came downstairs and said, “Grandpa, come!  And bring your camera.”

copyright 2015 db walton
Little Miss Show-off

Her and Nana managed to get her room cleaned and neat. She didn’t want a picture of her room as much as she wanted a picture of herself posing in the door way.

Ben and Jason played pool most of the evening while I copied images from the last few days over to my laptop.  I also installed Windows 10 on my laptop after Jason was the guinea pig.

Cove Fort

Cove Fort

For the first time in my life I visited Cove Fort.  This is a fort that was built to give rest to tired travelers.  It sits at the junction of I-15 and I-70 in central Utah.

Three of the girls and their kids, Elizabethe and me went down there and met up with Jake, Aaron and Curtis from the Church History Department.  I did some photography for them while the ladies and kids took the tour.  We then had a nice picnic lunch on the grounds.

This was the home for Ira Hinckley, an ancestor to my daughters and also Gordon B. Hinckley.  Thus, it has historical significance to the church, and also my children and grandchildren.

copyright 2015 db walton
Cove Fort

It was fun learning the history about it.  And, it was fun taking photos that will be used in a web site about Cove Fort!

When traveling on I-15 through Utah, it was worth the stop for the 45-60 minute visit.  (Clean restrooms too!)  The fort is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and free tours are given daily.  (And, who would expect to find an old abandoned truck at a church-owned site?)

copyright 2015 db walton
Old Truck at Fort Cove

I rode home with Rebecca and Zoe and we made a stop by Paul O’Donnell’s.  It was nice to see him.  We didn’t have much time to visit, but it was nice all the same.

copyright 2015 db walton
Paul O’Donnell

Rebecca dropped me off at Amber’s house and continued on to the baby shower.  I spent the evening shooting pool with my two sons-in-law – Jason and Ben.  It was a blast.  I introduced them to Badfinger (that was the band we put in our play list on Pandora) and we shoot pool to music I grew up on.

Waffle Love

Waffle Love

Today’s breakfast was at Waffle Love.  It’s a small hole-in-the-wall place in Provo.  It’s a bit on the pricey side, but the waffles are sure good.

copyright 2015 db walton
Waffle Love, Provo, Utah

After that, we went to look at the Provo City Center Temple.  This is the former Provo Tabernacle turned temple.  It’s near completion from the looks of things, and is quite pretty.

copyright 2015 db walton
Provo City Center Temple

Our next stop was to find me a blazer.  They are hard to find here, and given so many men in Utah wear suits on Sunday, I figured we’d find one.  I struck out at Ross and Kohl’s, so we went to Mr. Mac’s.  Not only did I find one, it was on sale!  To top that off, it fit well right off the rack, so I bought it.

Tomorrow the plan is to go to Cove Fort, so we ended the day with a trip to the store to buy sandwich stuff .  We have to leave at 6am so we plan to just grab the food, put it in the ice chest and make our lunch at Cove Fort.

Sunny and Cool

Sunny and Cool

Today is sunny and cool.  In the shade it can be quit chilly, but in the sunshine it’s nice.  I figured that makes good walking weather.

With it being Memorial Day Weekend, there were a lot of people at the Smith Farm.  The parking lot at one point was about 50% full.

While walking through the grove I met folks from Indiana, Utah, Pennsylvania, New York (of course), but not many from the west.

copyright 2015 db walton
My Favorite Spot in the Grove

Someone asked me today, “Do you think they know where the actual spot is?”

My response is this… if anyone does, they would not tell because they would not want people doing stuff like this to it…

copyright 2015 db walton
Vandalism in the Grove

I don’t know who “BYA” is, just that he visited in 2012 and vandalized on of the trees in the Sacred Grove.  I would hope by now that he has repented.  And, for this very reason, vandalism, I think the location will remain sacred to those to whom it has been revealed.

Those trees that were there in the spring of 1820 know, as do the rocks that witnessed that special event.  I wonder how many people actually stop and think about the significance of that event.

Let’s think about this…

  • A boy, who has never prayed out loud before, goes to the woods behind the family log home to pray.
  • As he prays, he says a light descends and when it rests upon him, he looks up and sees two men.
  • One man, calling him by name, points to the other and says, “This is my beloved Son.  Hear Him.”

This was 195 years ago.  Has anything happened like this since?

Going back in biblical history, the closet thing that comes to it is 2,000 years ago when Jesus goes to John the Baptist to be baptized and we hear the voice of the Father announcing him as his “beloved Son”.

So, when you think about Palmyra, think about what is claimed to have happened in the Sacred Grove.  Take a reverent walk through the grove.  I’m sure if you ask, God will let you too know what happened there.

copyright 2015 db walton
The Sacred Grove

Small World and Weddings

I photograph lots of weddings, and some times, I do not see a single person I know. Other times, the connections are amazing.

Take today’s wedding. I asked a family, obviously from out-of-town, where they were from. They said Highland, Utah. I told them my brother lives there, and told them where. They responded back that it was close to where they live. As the conversation progressed, I learned they live across the street from my brother.

The bride turned out to be the cousin of one of my home teaching families.

Small world… especially at some weddings.


I watch the news and see snow in places, and today it is a damp drizzle in Palmyra. They say we’re supposed to be in for a rough winter. Perhaps I’ve got to wait for “winter” to actually get here.

I met a young man at the temple tonight who goes to the same high school in Highland, Utah, as my nephew. He seemed excited to hear that my nephew goes to Lone Peak High School.