Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Scots on the Rocks: Moab 2014

I discovered recently that this blog has a second reader!  Welcome, Bruce!

For this 100% increase in readership, I have taken again to the keyboard to let you know about the Moab Highland Games, which happened in . . . you guessed it!  Moab, UT . . . last November.

If you have never been to Moab, you should remedy that immediately, as fall, winter, and spring are the best seasons to experience these most beautiful and fanciful of landscapes (the temps are moderate instead of hot, and there are no crowds).  I would also highly recommend dawn and dusk, because the contrasts of light and dark throughout the park are incredible!  Sunny days are awesome, too, because the red-orange rocks contrast so strongly against the deep blue sky (I'm all about contrasts!).

My husband and I had a nice drive down to Moab on Friday afternoon, mostly because he did all the driving, and I did all the sleeping.  The roads were good, as we are having THAT kind of winter this year. The band had booked us in a room together, which was nice for us, but awkward for Sande, who is my long-time hotel roommate on band trips.  However, she suffered with a room to herself and nobody snoring in the next bed, and we went to dinner with her and Rob a couple of times.

It's been three months, so I can no longer remember the hotel where we stayed, nor the location of the games.  I just know they were outside town about a mile or so, and there was lots of red rock, dotted with sage green vegetation here and there.  Which describes most of the state of Utah, so you'll never find it.  My anonymity is secure!

Four or five bands participated, including one from Denver whose oldest piper is approaching 70 (Keep On Pipin'!).  The days were topped with sun and blue skies over a floor of red rock. This was a two-day competition, so we had plenty of time to look around.  We are still struggling with some of our Grade III tunes, so we did OK, but not blazingly well. At the end of Saturday's competition, the band drove up into the park,  hiked up to an arch and goofed off.  We got some pics taken.  Here's one:

There were stunning landscapes everywhere! Take special note of the molten gold rocks, the red rocks, the blue, blue sky, and the band that is more a family than a musical group. (Photo by Ott)

Some more adventurous band members (whose names will not be mentioned) climbed up into the farther archer, faced down a several-hundred-foot drop, and gave us a tune.  Other band members stayed back and took pictures and were very afraid, not so much for the drop as for how many people would be able to hear the horrible piping from that precarious location.

We did take first place in one of the events, probably the timed medley, as the MSR (March-Strathspey-Reel) was the piece with which we were having the most trouble.  But I don't remember for sure.  It was three months ago.

Here's the trophy:

Pretty cool, huh?  Not your usual gold plastic goblet.

I have a T-shirt with this logo on it, too, but it got pushed to the back of my drawer and fell down underneath, so I won't be able to wear it again until I move the furniture. I have to do that.  The Games workers had kokopelli-themed shirts, as well, and I wish I had taken a pic of them, especially the peace-keeping force, and the first aid squad.  I will try to get pics and add them later.

Then, we got our picture taken as a winning band, and somebody played with the focus:
Very much red rock, blue sky, and sage green vegetation.

Take a good look at those drummers, for you won't see them again in this blog.  More on that in a later post.