7.22.2011

Wilderness

Immediately after the photo below was taken I told Carl that I was embracing life, that normally I don't eat cups full of sugared syrup and ice, but that this day, I didn't care, I was simply enjoying. About 20 minutes later I remembered why I don't normally eat snow cones. I apparently maxed out around my freshmen year of college when one night I was sitting in the dollar theater at a midnight showing with my boyfriend and I thought my teeth were all going to fall out they hurt so badly. Strangely, I don't even remember who the boyfriend was at the time, but boy, do I recall vividly the sensation of having eaten one too many snow cone in a day. I vowed to never eat another one, or just to slow down the intake, no matter how fun a snow cone seemed. A couple of days ago however, in my quest to embrace life, I was again convinced that snow cones equal summer, and was consequently struck with some very sore teeth. The sensation came on just as we were pulling onto a dirt road at the very end of Hobble Creek Canyon. Normally I would just brush my teeth and get on with things. I didn't realize at the time that Carl, Remy and I were about to embark on a three hour journey in the nether reaches of Utah's finest back country, and that although my teeth would continue to hurt, I would soon forget about them as I grew more and more enchanted with the uninhabited landscapes on the backs our our mountains.


This photograph was taken by Carl at one of the only points with a
sign and map, about 20 miles into our journey. This map makes no sense to me. It does to Carl though, he was rather excited by the whole thing, enough so to take a picture of it. So, we were somewhere in this region; that was us winding about on that green line.

It was honestly kind of a strange experience to be away from all people, except one leathery looking old man wearing a green canvas jacket and driving a golf-cart on the dirt road. We stopped him and asked how far we were from any towns or highways. He made it sound like we were minutes from a main road, like he'd just zipped into town on his cart. About 40 miles later we emerged into Spanish Fork Canyon, we never saw any sign of a town, or even other people for that matter. What was that guy doing out there, and how did he get there?!

It was a strange thing to be away from everyone and everything, if even for just three hours. It was beautiful out there, and we scouted out a load of places to camp. I found by the end of our exploring and hiking, I was excited to get back home, it was getting a little lonely. I thought about the guy on the golf-cart, scooting back to his trailer camp, I thought about the cow that got scared by our car and galloped down into a gully, I thought about how at the beginning of our journey, we had no idea what we were going to see, how behind the mountain that I live on, there are vast miles and miles of silence, how I was so glad that Carl and Remy were with me, because there was too much world for me to take in alone on that drive and hike.

In some ways the emptiness we had encountered scared me, though I am a believer in quietness, in wilderness and in meditation. I felt safe driving back onto our street. I found comfort in the daily problems I had so recently bemoaned, not because they are problems, but because they belong to people, and the fact that I worry about those people means that life is pretty good.










1 comment:

Brooke said...

It's best to not remember freshmen boyfriend? Boy-what? Who?