Sunday, June 18, 2006
Livin' in Utah
Can I just tell you... I live in the coolest place in the world. My town (really a suburb of Salt Lake City) is a twenty minute drive from any kind of nature I want to find. Twenty minutes east, and I am in rugged mountains. Twenty minutes south or west and I'm in the driest sage desert you’ve ever seen. Twenty minutes north and I can be in a canyon where I can find prehistoric seashells.
The cool thing about Utah is that, if you don’t like the scenery, drive for twenty minutes, it’ll change.
Back a dozen years ago or so, a friend of mine and I decided that we were gonna hike to Lake Desolation up the Beartrap Fork trail. So one Saturday morning we got up at something like 4 am, and drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the trailhead of Beartrap Fork. It was so dark, but we had been there before, so we hiked with flashlights, only when we needed them. Well, we get up the trail and enter into this large field. Suddenly, we hear all these hoof beats. We had spooked a herd of mule deer, and they cut out of there pretty fast, but the cool thing is... we couldn’t see ‘em. We could only hear their departure. That was almost magical to me.
Nothing happens in the mountains that isn’t magical, at least to me. It’s like a drama that keeps on going, whether I’m there of not, it’s just that, when I am there, it’s happening just for me. That can be the herd of deer I come upon in the early hours, or the squirrels chasing each other up some lodge-pole pine, or a badger coming out of a critter hole with his face covered in blood.
There are also places that I've been to that feel like they've never had another person there for a hundred years.
One time, my Father-in-law, one of my friend, and I decided that we were gonna check out this ghost town we’d heard about. So, we drove 5 hours south to a place called Puria. There, we find this ghost town. Turns out it wasn’t a ghost town at all. It was a movie set. Used for Outlaw Josey Wales. Yep, walked into the very same building as Clint Eastwood. Now that’s cool!
I’ll tell you what... say what you will about Utah... I’ll take it over someplace else in an instant.