Introduction

Southern Utah is The Place to “Hit Refresh”

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By Neal Brown

As I sat at my computer the other day, I hit refresh on my browser waiting for a website to load to view the score of the Utah Jazz game. It froze on me. Technology has improved quite a bit since the internet first came out when I was in middle school and a frozen computer was a very regular occurrence back then. Now, though, we expect it to move pretty quickly, which is why I was irritated as it was the fourth quarter with a few seconds left in the game and the webpage wouldn’t load! I kept hitting refresh, and nothing was happening. I went to a different device, and sure enough, the Jazz held on for the victory, which led to my son giving me a rare fist bump, another victory for dad. A few days later my six-year-old daughter, who is oblivious to critical sporting events, begged me to take her on a hike, which she does regularly. This time I acquiesced, and brought a few of my other kids along. As we started at the base of the hike in the Kanab Creek Ranchos, I started to reflect on 2020 and how my kids handled the turbulent year. Somehow, that led to me defaulting to an annoying habit of mine, checking Twitter for news updates. I hit refresh, then hit refresh again; our hike had led us out of service. Thank goodness I didn’t have another device to check; something was telling me it was time to hit refresh in nature. Amidst my busy schedule, I hadn’t made it a priority to refresh from the chaos that controls my life. I could definitely feel it taking its toll. My kids on the other hand probably didn’t notice the epiphany I was having. They slowly and joyfully trudged up the mountain. Like most hikes I take my kids on, I didn’t plan beforehand very well, and this one was no different. My five-year-old daughter had sandals on and we didn’t bring any water. We didn’t set out to scale any peaks around Kanab, but that’s exactly what my kids wanted to do. I thought I might as well take advantage of the beautiful landscape, sit atop the cliffs, scan the community we live in and get some perspective. The kids enjoyed the adventure, acting like they were stranded without water by finding hidden spots of unmelted snow for nourishment. As we reached the peak, I was able to unwind, relax, enjoy the cool breeze and hit my own personal refresh. Goosebumps hit as I witnessed my kids enjoying each other’s company and chatting about how they didn’t think they would be able to reach the peak. The chaos disappeared as I breathed in the untainted fresh air of the place I call home; southern Utah. Come to visit, come to play, come to unwind, or come to stay. Come to southern Utah to “Hit Refresh.”

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Hit Refresh and be sure to take in the view after a hike. Photo by Katie Wallace.

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