Tuesday, April 28, 2015

am I

"Mom, am I going to see my dad before I leave?"
"Probably not.... I"m sorry."
"But he will be here while I'm gone?"
"Yes. He will take care of all your pets for you and cheer you on from home."
"May I leave him a note."
"Sure. What kind? Instructions for your animals or a love note?"

 As she reads it:

To Dad From Beach
You are a big yellow heart and I am a small pink star
You are a grand hot air balloon and I am a little party balloon,
You are a big sun burning bright and I am a little one warmly shining,
You are first place and I am second,
You are a shooting star and I am a little blinking light,
You are a giant pumpkin and I am a pumpkin sprout,
You are a bright big flower and I am a little bud.

Monday, April 27, 2015

mt aire

 Mt Aire is the trail of my dreams. 
Well sort of. It is actually the trail of my nightmares. Don’t get me wrong, I love it or I wouldn't keep going there. But I suppose between familiarity and a few seasonal geographical issues it is set up to be the back drop to all the things I fear about hiking alone. Just as Fifth water is all things good.
First it is a bit up the road. A narrow north valley inside a narrow canyon on the wrong side of a snow gate. The trail itself is short & sweet, that is once you have walked the mile or so distance from the snow gate. 
But you can get to it even in heavy snow and despite a few lectures on avalanches it doesn’t hold any slide scars. What it does have are a lot of downed trees and a lot of steep slope. In the spring it is mud packed for a good 1/4 of a mile, straight up. 
Like today, I spent so much energy making it up a stretch of mud monkeys I didn’t end up reaching the summit. Fighting the mud kicked my ass so completely I turned back right after making it through them. It is rare I ever find myself smart enough to do something so responsible. It might offset the fact that the whole time I was making my way up I was thinking "yeah, so not going to make it back down this alive".
Before heading back I took off my sweatshirt stashing it in my backpack so when I fell a) I would have something I could wear that wasn’t mud covered and b) so I had something soft to land on. 
Halfway down I gave up, left the trail for a friendlier way. I picked to go straight through a patch of wild rose bushes. The fact is I am allergic to roses but I am even more allergic to broken bones and ridicule.
So back to the whole nightmare thing about the Mt Aire trail, it isn’t about the slope or the mud. It's about the trees… oh, and that long black blank space between the bottom of the trail and the snow gate. The empty road.
It is a reoccurring nightmare: hiking Mt Aire and jumping a downed tree only to land on something on the other side. What it is and the injuries caused change. What doesn’t change is the part about being injured & alone and the long walk out. About what happens in the space between.
So today when I turned off at Elbow Fork I had it in the back of mind that I was out there alone. I thought to be careful. 
But I forgot. So when I jumped that downed tree, clipped a branch on the other side with my shoelace, landed face down off trail in a soft bed of salt grass I thought, well that’s never happened before… so I got up. Brushed myself off. I hiked down. Walked the road to the snow gate. I got in my car. And went for coffee.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

between the lines

Ken's Lake, Moab, Utah
Me: Why do you turn off your phone? What if we're having an emergency here? 
BC: Sorry baby, what's up?" 
Me: There was a spider. 
BC: Sweetness, there isn't much I can do about spider. I'm in Moab. 
>long pause< 
Me: Yes-but it was a really BIG spider!

me: catch anything?
bc: yes, dinner. 

weekending, in the on again, off again rain

Saturday, April 25, 2015

after the rain comes the morning

When I told him I was taking my children and moving out of Sugar House, unapologetic going west to buy land with BC, he asked me, 
"Utah, do fully you understand what you are giving up by doing this?"
 And maybe back them he was right. I didn't really know.
 But now I do.
 The answer is quite obvious.
As clear as sunlight set loose after a storm.
As easy to take as a hot cup of coffee the morning after a night of whiskey & rain.
To be here on this land with my child,...
I am giving up a whole lot of shit I simply don't need.