So, last summer my husband and I drove days and days through Utah, the land of Mormons and flat, distant-vista terrain. Our destinations were the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, the grandest of “America the Beautiful” parks. Along the way, we serendipity-toured a fort, fully preserved with the dishes and clothing and telegraph office, the latter the genesis of the fort-in-the-middle-of-nowhere. An elderly and Mormon-proud docent, a 90-year-old nearly hunched over to her waist, led our tour, still working to keep the faith. She and the fort were charming – just what a vacation needs!

Later we overnighted in a tiny Utah town, also in the middle of nowhere. We endured a crappy meal at the diner attached to the down-on-its-heels motel and then walked the town to exercise our sit-weary behinds. Not much to see in an extraordinarily ordinary town. Gentle people, clean air, and the best custard ice cream and root beer float, served by jovial and welcoming people at a small drive-in. We settled in for the night to read, me on my Kindle app on an iPad, Larry with a paperback.

The next day we packed hastily, eager to get the final leg of the trek over with, check into our rented home in Jackson, Wyoming, and prepare for the advent of our homeful of guests.

We made it to Salt Lake City, toured a bit, including a happenstance organ practice in the famed music hall. It felt good to walk, stretch our bodies and legs. We ate extravagantly good Mexican food near our historic hotel. We had fun!

Later, we settled in for the night, eager to read and relax. 2000 miles travel in two days had left us bone-weary.

Yikes! No iPad in sight. My heart sank, for I knew, I truly knew that its flat black cover had melded with the black overnight stand at last night’s cheapo motel.

We called the motel immediately, the number readily available on the bill. The weekend manager agreed to search – the next morning and speak with the maid who’d serviced our room. We spent the night sleeping prayerfully.

When we called midday on Saturday we heaved huge sighs when we learned that the maid had placed the iPad in lost-and-found. The manager would send the iPad to our home on Monday. All would be well, we trusted when we returned from the final elements of our thousands-of-miles road trip.

When we returned home, our neighbor – who we’d alerted to look for a package on our doorstep – brought us the package. While the iPad screen had a small crack, it was prodigal no more.

Faith in humankind, especially among the Mormon kind, restored.