Sunday, June 26, 2011

To the Lighthouse: In which we don't make it to the Icelandic Festival

Yesterday was hot and sticky.
Av and I had been cooped up in the apartment all day. And we were dying for something to do.
That's when David showed up. It was perfect timing because we were going mad!

We decided to make our way to the Icelandic Festival in Spanish Fork. Without fully researching the situation, we headed to Spanish Fork, windows rolled down, music blasting. We expected that upon entering Spanish Fork, there would be signs telling us where this Icelandic Festival would be.

But there weren't.

So we drove up and down Main Street, searching for the festival. But it was no where to be found. I suggested we stop at the library, so we could look up the location, or at least ask someone.

Instead of going inside the library, David decided that the man sitting beneath the shade, playing his lonely drum, would be a good person to ask. This is way David is one of my favorite people. He knows how to talk to people so well.

My parents' caution to me as a child to never talk to strangers has stuck. And I'm sad to say, I think it's one of my downfalls. I've always wanted to strike up a conversation with someone on an airplane, but I just never have. I even have a hard time talking to my hair dressers. They just never say anything back. It makes me worried I radiate unfriendliness.

But back to drummer Tom.
He told us to drive back to the highway, turn right once we passed the Lonely Acorn, drive on a road that goes up, then down, and we'd be at Canyon View Park.
Surprisingly, the detailed directions were very correct.

Only, there was still no Icelandic Festival to be found. And I really hoping there'd be some authentic Icelandic sweater on sell that I could covet (or possibly buy).

As we park, we notice a couple taking pictures on a semi rig. David decides that he too would like his picture taken next to the rig. Again, one of my favorite people ever. He approaches the couple, asks if he can have his picture next to the rig. They say yes. And a conversation is struck up. The man, who's name we never got, is the best kind of red neck(I can say that without it being derogatory because I have family from the South. It's totally ok) . And the couple is taking pictures next to the rig for their upcoming nuptials. When we explain to him that we're looking for the Icelandic Festival, he immediately says that we ran into the right people. His sister is the treasurer of the Icelandic Association! He calls her to see if she can help us.

Sadly, we find out that the festival ended at two. It's about 5:00.

However, the rest of the conversation did not disappoint as we found out that this man was actually third cousins with the president of Iceland. And when the president of Iceland came to visit in the '80s, he actually stayed with this man's family!

The man encouraged us to visit the Icelandic monument in the middle of town.

So we bid the gent' farewell and happened upon this little beauty:

Yes, that's right. A lighthouse in the middle of Spanish Fork, Utah. A commemoration to the Icelandic heritage of Spanish Fork. Since they built that lighthouse, there hasn't been a boat accident in the sleepy little community... (ha. ha.)

So naturally, I made David read the inscriptions; which were in Icelandic. Then I read all the historical placards. And you know what I found out? Spanish Fork was mainly Icelandic peoples until the 1920's. I had no idea!

It ended up being a pretty cool adventure.
Oh, and do you see that rock? It's from Iceland...

Take away message from the day:

Always talk to strangers. Otherwise you just might miss out on the 3rd cousin of the president of Iceland.

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