It finally feels like summer is kicking in for me. I haven't been doing much blogging but I've been out enjoying life now and again. For instance, we took our kids to Lagoon (Utah's sufficient arcade/zoo/theme park/roller coaster park/waterslide/historic site and purveyor of pioneer history). The furniture store gave us free tickets but we weren't going to go because we thought it would be torture standing in lines in crazy heat watching our kids have all the fun. But at the last minute we went anyhow and we all had a good time. So much fun, the kids all pitched a fit and cried the whole way home when we made them leave. For being a local gig, Lagoon is pretty impressive. It has decent rides with a lot of quiet areas tucked around. We went and found a quiet place to hang out in Pioneer Village and didn't see a soul around. When we bought some corn-on-the-cob we ate it while watching a family playing make-shift baseball in a small field of grass. I've decided I like Lagoon. It's a lot more relaxed than DisneyHell and all those others.
I've been dying to get back to Flaming Gorge and I missed my chance at the 4th of July because I thought my dad was coming to visit (he didn't), so we headed out there for the 24th of July, Utah's "Pioneer Day," a celebration of mormon's thinking they finally found a place where they wouldn't be run out of town. It's pretty much just a second 4th of July with more girls than usual walking around in bonnets.
I called up my old friend Geppetto to see if we could stay at his house. He said we could and that he also had full access to a Lotus Elise. And I had thought my trip would be cool because I was vacationing in Chaco sandals with a back up pair of Tevas.
I told my wife how I would love to move back to the Gorge. She said MAYBE should would consider moving to Vernal. What the...? Don't even compare the two. They are a world apart.
I have always felt like a superstar at the gorge. I am on familiar terms with all the local business owners, sheriffs, bishop and other members of the faculty. I show up and people hug and kiss me. They tell me they love me. Everyone wants to meet my kids and know how my family is doing. Every spot has a memory tied to it. I know as much about the dam as nearly any tour guide. I get invited to fish with river guides for free. I helped the Forest Service fix up the Swett Ranch. Like Butch Cassidy, I've been to Brown's Park 1.5 million times. I've caught frogs and snakes along the Green River. I've rafted to the islands and camped on them at night. I've sat at the top of the Cart Creek bridge in the moonlight. I've stared down and rappelled into more of those canyons than I can name. I know what many of the trails look like by mountain bike and cross country skis. I've watched the Kokanee salmon head up Sheepcreek Bay to spawn and die on more than one occassion. The list goes on and on...
My wife thinks all of that is nice, if those are your priorities in life. The real problem is... if she lived in Flaming Gorge she couldn't go to Target everyday. She couldn't buy 5 pairs of shoes and then return 4. It just isn't realistic.
I also got to go to Mustang Ridge and jump off the cliffs. This picture is of my favorite cliff in the world.
This picture was taken several years ago. That cliff no longer exists. It was smashed off the face of the earth. So now I have to settle for jumping off the next highest cliff. It's still fun and gets your blood pumping pretty good. I haven't been to the gorge since our latest kid was born and then we were in drought for years before that and these cliffs became SUPER high with the low water levels, so it's been a LOOOONG time since I've had this chance. Everyone says there are strict new rules about cliff jumping, something like you can't jump off anything over 12 feet high, but I think I should be grandfathered into higher cliff jumping rights because I've been doing it all my life. And those laws are only in place so big pussies don't have to make excuses for not jumping anyway.
I told my wife that as long as I am physically able to haul my carcass to the top of the cliffs and toss it off, I will continue to do so. She's glad the tallest cliff is gone.
It's been a good week.