Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Ali is the greatest, the greatest of all time. She makes me up, and makes my mind. I don't know what I would do without this precious girl in my life. Her wild elegance is enough to keep me from strife. Love her love her love her I do. She is my only authentic pure joy, honest it's true.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


It happened while I was in the Uintah's about a month ago. I was with my father, his friend, and his friends grandson- backpacking. It really was a great trip. I was able to spend some good quality time with my hero, my dad. How many people can say they went backpacking with a man so manly the best way to describe would be a crossbreed of MacGyver, Jack Bauer, and Jason Bourne? There was even one night where it started raining at 6:00 pm so we were confined to our tent from then on into the next morning. While in the tent we read. We read the Emancipation Proclamation, The Gettysburg Address, and JFK's 1962 State of the Union Address- it was pretty nice really. I do love that man. Even after that I picked up the book I was reading and read some more.
Nelly Furtado once sang "All good things come to an end." and that's true with most everything, backpack trips to the Uintah's included. As we began our journey home we had roughly 15 miles ahead of us, quite a feat for one day, and I was in Mario Kart. Seriously. I was seeing red turtle shells, giant mushrooms, and the haunting of a little 2/4 popping into my mind- I couldn't take it, I wanted that 1/4- but my dad had his speed dialed. "I can't keep up with my 48 year old father?!", that thought was all it took. I stepped it up about 20 notches and as I passed him I said, "See ya!" What I didn't know then was that those were almost my last words to the man who helped give me life.
While I sped through the woods and meadows of the mighty Uintah's all I could think of was Mario Kart and how I had the 1/4 spot, I was so happy. I looked back every so often once I got in this position and the pack was far behind, and fading. It was roughly 3:30 pm and the path was very well marked so at this point I was content. Before too long though my life took a turn for the worse when I... took a turn... for the worse (huh?). I don't know how it happened, but it did.
You know that poem Robert Frost wrote? Well it's crap, follow what TLC said and don't go chasing waterfalls, just stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're use to. I definitely ended up on the road less traveled, and it wasn't pleasant. I remembered that we parked near a river and so I thought I would find the river and stay to it- thank you TLC. As I was traveling near the river though the ground beneath me became a bog, it was nasty. I was up to the middle of my calf in sludge, dirty smelly sludge. I kept thinking "You just gotta keep going, just don't stop, you'll die if you stop." After walking at a fast pace for a while I finally saw something that brought hope, a tent. At this point I had ran out of clean water so this motivated me to go even faster, I was nearly jogging. I reached the tent with anticipation that a man with a gps and ice cold water would be waiting for me, this proved to be quite false. It was vacant. I waited around the tent for a little while hoping someone would show and then it happened, somebody came- it was a man and he had a dog. I was psyched. I had a whole routine thought up with how crazy I was getting. The man approached, he was wearing a hat and tennis shoes. His cargo shorts were soaked, and he had a wind breaker on with an Adidas symbol. "Hello sir, how we doin' today?" I began. "Ah doing well, how bout yourself?" he replied. "Well, to be honest I am not doing so good. I am actually pretty lost. I am with a group of three other guys and I seem to have lost the main path back to the trailhead, do you think you can help me out?", "Actually I don't know where that is either, sorry. I'd say just stick to the river for a few miles and I think there is a really wide path on the left." We talked a little longer and then I was off. As soon as I left the man with the dog despair sank in. How much further did I have left? Where was I? Had my dad already made it to the car? My mind was racing.
I began to think that the hat man was actually a killer, and I was going to be his next victim. I was convinced that he had given me faulty directions leading to a trap, much like the one in the Lovely Bones. There is something strange that happens to you after you've been in the woods that long and have been baking under the sun. I was loopy. I started to talk to myself, "Dad, you better find me. I'll never do this again I swear. Ali I am so sorry." I slowly transitioned into survivor mode. I found a spot in the river that looked like it was nice and clean and got a big gulp of water, it was so refreshing, I hadn't had water in what seemed like a lifetime. If I had only stayed with my dad none of this would be happening. I was certain that I would end up on the 9 o'clock news that evening as a missing person. My mother would be worried sick. Ali would be devastated. I HAD to find my way home. The most unsettling part of this was that it now became a race against time. The Sun was still up but just barely dangled above the ridge line. I figured I had about an hour or so before the lights started to dim. That's when I dropped to my knees and prayed. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner, but regardless, I did it. It was a simple prayer really, a cry for help. I got up and got going once again.
I made it to the place that my potential killer told me about and this brought me comfort, except one thing- there was a path going left and one going right. The one to the right looked vaguely familiar whereas the one to the left looked quite foreign- now I was certain he was trying to kill me. So I went with my gut and chose the right. I noticed horse tracks and four wheeler marks, and they were fresh. I was on to something! The new found path kept winding through tall trees, the fear of a cougar or a bear finding me sank in. My pace quickened, my heart pounded against my shirt. Then I saw the most glorious sight of my life, the car!
I couldn't believe it. I ran up to it's big black body and kissed the hood. I had done it, I had found my way. What a glorious feeling. I slapped myself a few times just to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I set my pack down next to the front right tire and sat down on a rock. Roughly 20 minutes later my dad came storming up the trail. I guess I had beaten everyone to the car, I kept my 1/4. I couldn't stop talking to my dad, I kept telling him how happy I was to see him and how I would never get lost again and on and on about nothing in particular really. It was my way of taking a deep breath I think. I was safe. I was secure.
Getting lost in the woods is probably the worst feeling I have felt. It is the feeling of being completely alone. I had nobody, and no idea where the right path was. I should have played it safe and followed someone who knew the way, but I didn't- I was too proud. I had to be 1/4. I learned a great lesson that day, it is better to follow a leader who knows where he's going, no matter what pace it is he's keeping, than to blaze your own trail just because you feel like you are able.