Friday, April 18, 2008

If only i was amish

It was a sunny wintery morning in Provo Utah. There was no new snow, so snowboarding wasn’t really an option. It was still a little chilly for a nice bike ride or a jog. Danny and I decided we were ready for a charming winter hike and therefore headed up to the Spanish Fork hot springs. We had been trying to go for quite some time, but were just waiting for a little snow melt to permit us in.
And away we went. No need for food or water, the hike is only 45 minutes up and less than that coming down, naturally. Plus, we are tough, obviously. At about noon, we threw on our swim suits, brought a long a couple of towels and drove the 30 minutes up the canyon. To our dismay, the road was closed about half way up.
We could have gone back into the car and drove back to Provo. We could have spent the day relaxing, watching movies, things of that nature.
But that’s just not really our style.
We looked at each other, and without a word began our quest to the hot springs. Surely it couldn’t be too far to the trail head. The air was relatively warm, the sun was shining, and the snow was that perfect consistency for making snow balls. Actually, you know, I am just going to go ahead and call them ice balls. We thoroughly enjoyed our hike up to the trail head. So much in fact that we didn’t really pay attention to time or how far we hiked, etc. nor did we bother to even bring a watch because that wouldn’t be important on a hike. Right. We made it safely to the trail head. The snow was deep, but pretty packed all along the trail. I guess that gives me no excuse for the 5 or 6 times I fell on the way up. Good thing I was behind Danny so my lack of athleticism could remain a secret and I would continue tricking him into thinking I was cool. In my defense I had serious shin splints. So quit judging me.
The air suddenly changed. Ah, the sweet succulent smell of sulfur! We must be close. It was enough to make a regular person gag. Good thing we are basically ninjas. Well, Danny is. I would best be compared to Dwight Schrute from The Office. A wilderness man if you will. Or woman. If you won’t. Amish.
The trail overlooks the hot springs, or hot pots, as the Utah natives tend to call them. There were 2 girls and a boy sitting in one of the hot springs. As we got closer we realized something. Something was missing. What was it? Hmm better take a closer look. Oh that’s right. They’re clothes. That’s what was missing. Awkward.
Onward to the next set of hot springs so as to make our hot potting the least amount of awkward as possible, and to try to unwind after being traumatized by the nakedness we had just beheld. We had a great time at the springs, they were dreamy, truly. They were a beautiful shade of blue and it started snowing as we sat in them. It was getting a little dark, and seeing as how we did not have flash lights, we decided it was about time to roll out.
The thing about hot springs, hot tubs, things of this nature, is they do such a great job of relaxing your muscles. More encouraging for sleeping, and not hiking. If I thought I had a hard time staying vertical to the ground on the way up, boy was I in for a treat on the way down. I really can’t tell you how many times I fell. I don’t think I could count it on two hands. Amazing. It is as though I have a talent for tripping. But my favorite time was when I started tripping, went to catch myself and somehow really messed up my footwork and fell flat on my face going downhill. I really don’t even know how that happened. I was in front of Danny all this time, so there was no more hiding my clumsiness. So, what’s a girl to do? Well if she is anything like Dwight Schrute she would begin running at this point. As fast as she can. On the snow. Downhill. With shin splints. Keeping in mind that there is no water or food and she is not really sure how many minutes, hours or miles away from the car she is. Yeah that sounds like a pretty good idea. I actually felt pretty good getting down the trail, and if that had been the end of the hike I would have been in pretty good shape. I didn’t fall one time while I was running, so maybe I just suck at walking. Anyway, we started walking up the road to find our car. It seriously took like 4 hours. The temperature dropped significantly without the sun. Every time the road would curve we were just sure that the car would be around the corner. Not so. We were stinky sulfur-y, hungry, tired, thirsty, and cold. We kept mushing onward, one leg after the other. The last 500 yards of the hike, I caught my second wind and began running as fast as I could, leaving poor Danny boy to hike on his own, but I just knew the car was around the corner and I didn’t care how far or uphill I had to run, I just had to! I don’t think clearly. Finally we made it back to the jeep, or Black Magic as I like to call him. There is nothing as magical as sitting in that bad boy with the heat on full blast after a long cold hike. I feel a special bond with that vehicle now.
We drove home, tired, but with a new sense of accomplishment.
Then, we went out for soup.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rocky... road?

I thoroughly enjoy long boarding down Provo canyon. It is so choice. The canyon has a slight decline down the entire trail so as to pave the way for a perfect long boarding ride in which you never have to push, and yet never get going so fast that you feel the need to stop. Really, it is perfect. Because I enjoy it so much, it is my desire for all of my friends to partake.
One night this summer, I convinced my best friend Brian to come along for a ride. He had never ridden a long board, and to put it frankly, is kind of a wuss. I have the magical ability of convincing him to do things of which he has absolutely no desire to do. That’s what friends are for. I couldn’t convince him to ride his own board, but led him to believe that going tandem on my board would be better and safer. A marvelous idea indeed.
We drove up the canyon. He sat nervously in the driver’s seat, biting his fingernails and sweating profusely. It was about 11 pm, and 65 degrees. I didn’t understand the sweating.
We pulled into the parking lot to begin our trek down the canyon. Brian nervously crouched at the front of my board. He closed his eyes, and we were ready to go.
And away we went.
After about 5 minutes down the canyon road, once we were at a point that we could no longer return to the car, I realized something.
We did not have a flash light.
Or cell phones.
Could this be a recipe for disaster? Absolutely. Was Brian angry with me? You bet. Did we keep going anyway? Naturally.
We continued on our journey. Every so often Brian would wuss out and start to put his feet down, but was quickly reprimanded by yours truly. No need to suck the fun out of the ride. Often the phrase “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were female” escaped my lips.
He put his feet down again. I became frustrated with him and told him to never under any circumstance put his feet down again. I told him to let me take care of the controls. Speed and what not.
We came to a steeper area. Brian started screaming like a little girl. I could not see a dad gum thing. I also could not think clearly over his female ear busting screeching.
And then it was too late.
I quickly became aware of a dark 3 foot long 4 inch wide slithering lump in the road. It was just long enough to take up basically the whole trail. How considerate. In my mind I saw that I had two choices, 1. Bail and knock Brian off with me. Or 2. Sally up and ride over that chump like the worthless waste of space it was.
I chose the latter.
We made it safely over our obstacle. I was beaming. Ah, success. Brian turned to look at me, face pale, freckles a glow.
“What was that Bri?”
No answer.
He put his feet down again. This time unrelentingly. We came to a full stop.
And he started walking upwards on the trail. We found the hideous creature which we had managed to mangle. It had two perfect dents in its body that sandwiched it to the canyon floor. Brian reached out compassionately for it. The beast struck at his hand.
But this was only a small obstacle on our journey, and we sallied back up on our board and mushed onward down the windy canyon road.
I am led to believe that for at least a moment, Brian was enjoying the ride. The sweet smells of summer, the moonlight, the wind on his face. Everything was going perfectly.
Suddenly we lost control. We were speed wobbling like it was 1999. We were going a little too fast so that we couldn’t bail. I was trying to think quickly, but to no avail. Before I could even really think, our front right wheel went flying off into oblivion.. as did Brian.
He will never go long boarding with me again.