When one door closes, another one opens! Utah

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

You will have to say that we have good "Karma" after reading this!… I do…

Where should I begin as this "event" is the ramification of many others which not only "us" are going through them, but I know many. We are a bit isolated here, but still, with such Natural wonders surrounding us, I can feel the lack of "traffic", something I felt even a while back camping for example at Monument Valley which normally is filled with "tourists". If it was not for the Europeans right now taking advantage of the Euro exchange, the high rising cost of fuel would have left many destinations empty. Add to this of course the "event" of higher food costs, anything that has to be moved to reach us, (including tires and oil…) and even for the fact that I do not watch television, the Internet is enough to make me wonder what the future holds, what it holds for also our own traveling. For the first time I read about motorcycle riders not taking needless joy rides themselves but combining them with maybe some errands and shorter destinations. Cheaper to ride a motorcycle? For sure… but at around $25 a tank, easily used in one day or less… it all adds up!

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Burr 1  

But, read on as the dark side of the coin flipping for many has become a bit brighter for us! There is no lack of discoveries where we are! There is no sense for us to move on much further without trying to explore the roads we can ride. This is where I wanted us to truly spend some time… as it will take "time", without being forced to stay here. We are at the right place at the right time. The cost of living has also hit us hard, reason for me a bit ago, besides still for my passion being in a kitchen, to look into working in Bluff. It did not happen… About a week ago, as I was having lunch in Boulder and leaving, I decided to talk to the owner and ask if they needed some help. It just happened that one of the cooks was leaving in a couple weeks I was told and of course it would be a consideration.

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"The Burr Trail Grill and Outpost"… a couple days a week, I have always said, after 40 years on a multi Star cooking path that I wanted to "flip" hamburgers! It has become reality, a "dream come true". But, that is not all… the best has yet to come. The first day of my training arrived, I did not want to leave Spirit behind for 10 hrs or so and decided to take him with me. Whatever happens… happens. "We" get to work and as soon as I saw Lisa, the owner, I excused myself for bringing Spirit assuring her that he will be fine in the "back alley" mixing his time also in the sidecar. As she replied… "But you must bring Spirit… everyone here has a dog and brings them to work!", as it was really not an option to leave him behind. I think I suddenly and instantly became a hundred pounds lighter, wishing someone had taken a picture of my big smile! You see, this story is not about "work", it is about Spirit and all the other dogs, which by the way are "all" rescued dogs! They all have their own little areas, some on a line, some not, water bowls and… don’t tell anyone… they do get a slice or two of bacon when we cook it by the pan.

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Suddenly the outlook has been much brighter. Where else could this happen? What Karma this has been! Little town, population 160, cool little restaurant, clean and very organized kitchen that has been in existence for 5 years and here we are, 2 days a week, making a little bit of money to make up for everything that has gone up these past two years, maybe be able to save up a bit for winter and a new camera as this one "has" go in to be cleaned up, I cannot imagine myself being without a camera for 6 to 8 weeks!

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When I say "flipping hamburgers", that is not all we do! There is dinner, the menu is not huge, we are at the end of the line for ingredient delivery, of course there is a fuel surcharge, the prices are up but the food is good. The pay is minimal and I get a free meal per shift! Interestingly enough, working 2 days a week I make in a month what I made in one day! But, that was then, this is now… Different Life, different Space. The fun factor is high, everyone is incredibly nice and Spirit goes to work with me, I actually see him from the kitchen when I am working! How about that…

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We are still staying in Escalante, the commute is of course this great 28 miles each way, just long enough to think about work on the way in and unthink about work on the way back. There is no decent place to move "White Elephant" in Boulder, we are looking but we don’t mind the ride twice a week.


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"We" already worked a couple shifts, I am in training… Spirit is not! It is not the cooking, it is the fact that every kitchen is like riding a new motorcycle, details on the handling, ticket codes and mainly where things are at. I like it, it still leaves us 5 days a week to pack up the tent and go get lost exploring the too many roads around. We have not even been into Bryce Canyon yet, but we did return to Kodachrome State Park which I will post pictures of it next time, definitely a worth while visit with many paths to hike including a great Nature Trail.

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One might think maybe this is not such a big deal, it is for me after the fiasco in Boulder and the Rally… Everyone is in love with Spirit! The "tough guy" that wears goggles and a helmet and I hope that it does not get to his head. We received many e mails thanking about the previous Blog on how Spirit was rescued, I read many of your own real touching stories, as I have always known that many Dog Lovers do read these words. Thank you. This story I think will truly cheer you up knowing that there are people out there that care so much for our "Friends" as they do in Boulder, and maybe some of you remember, also in the little town of Terlingua, Texas. Maybe it is a little town "thing"?

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Here are a couple residents we have already met… and fed… and spend some time with, remember, this is part of the job… it is a hard task which I do bring myself to accomplish!!! Lola, who is Terry’s Friend, Terry who is now training me and will find out soon if I will be on my own next week as there is only one cook per shift.

Lola 2

Lola 3  

How can you resist! And below is Cassie who is Brian’s Friend, Brian being a great server…


There will be more! We are right at the start of the Burr trail, one of my favorite roads and as I was walking into the Outpost, which is a real nice gift shop with much local Art, I noticed this board which said at the bottom…

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How ironic!… It was not written for us, it was not written for the Blog, it has been there written for a while. Now lets not go thinking we are setting roots, we will be here in the area as long as we are needed as the destinations including back to Zion are many. I met this Ranger the other day that has been here 20 years, he still has not seen it all and ridden all the roads. All of the above is the reason of the title… "when one door closes, another one opens", I actually feel as suddenly many doors have opened up for us and real happy that Spirit does not have to stay behind when working a couple days a week. Juts make sure you stop by when going down or up Highway #12… no excuses as I will write my schedule up next week.

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As always, you be well…

Have you checked the T-shirts? “Throw the Dog a Bone!”… T-shirtsMouse padsPhotography we have been getting great feedbacks.

We are always under deep appreciation toward the readers that have send in a contribution helping this website’s expenditures. For those who have not, continue enjoying the site, pictures, recipes, and if you feel it’s worth $1 a month, the contribution button is above, snail mail is below…

Ara Gureghian   853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245   Naples, Fl 34108

Ara & Spirit

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9 Responses to “When one door closes, another one opens! Utah”

  1. PAUL BROWN Says:

    How lucky can you get. Traveling one of the best by-ways in the country.

  2. James NomadRip Says:

    Sounds like a great place to work! Congrats!

  3. Belinda Salinas Says:

    Congratulations on your new job…I am glad you get to take Spirit to work with you. What an added bonus but something probably only found in “small towns” like you previously mentioned.

    How ironic that you happened to mention Terlingua, Texas…have had it on my mind for a couple of weeks now, as I am looking forward to this year’s annual chili cook-off.


  4. Cindy Says:

    Yes, you do indeed have good karma as does Spirit!! Ha ha!!! If you have to work this couldn’t be a better situation for you both. Maybe there wasn’t a pic of your face with that big ‘ol smile on it, but I can sure visualize it!!

    Wishing continued good karma for you both!

  5. Louise Says:

    Lola is a beauty, isn’t she?

    I’m so happy that you found the right place to be. And right on Utah Hwy 12, my all time favorite motorcycle road! Best wishes, you deserve them.

  6. Linda Corpe Says:

    Hi! I loved reading the website and looking at the wonderful pictures. The dogs are adorable. What kind of camera do you use to get such color and clarity? Really, you take marvelous pictures.

  7. Starla Myers Says:

    Wow! Congrats on finding the Perfect Part Time Job, Ara! Sounds like you & Spirit are having Fun in your New Work Place! So Happy that things are going well for you. Yes, I agree…Small Towns are the Friendliest. My Best to you both!

  8. Tony the Tiger Says:

    So, I’m browsing through your backpages and see you’re working as a cook… flip back and it’s not just a cook, but such a wonderful place in life, where you ~get~ to cook… excellent! I am happy for you and Spirit, Ara – take care.
    *and not too much bacon!

  9. Bobby Says:

    Ara , I can’t believe that this very place I also stopped for a blended coffee and shared with Lisa . One wonderful lady and great place . The Burr trail in the canyon for the day and back for coffee . What a wonderful place and even better people . Be safe and be in Good Spirit .

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