Sunday, June 28, 2009

Notes from a quick trip to Utah –

I think Bryce is under the false impression that I have some inheritance money squirreled away. I know the financial demands of a young family – raising kids, buying a home, general expenses – can be tough at times. But is that enough of a reason to invite me to bike with him on Saturday morning along the “Devil’s Rock Pile” or “Slaughter House Run” or “Death to Older, Foolish, Bike Riders that Think They Know What They are Doing” run – whatever it’s called . I think he loves me and wouldn’t want to cause me any harm unless its for that inheritance money (which isn’t much).

Bryce isn’t in all that great of shape himself – he has a handicap sticker on his car, a splint on his arm from a broken wrist, and he is recovering from major neck surgery. He lured me into thinking that this would be a calm downhill coasting ride through the pleasantries and beauty of nature. He appealed to my idiot notion that I can do anything a 20 year old can do, and its wrong, wrong, wrong. I’m just glad I’m in one piece to write this testimony.

My estimate of Austin’s intelligence went up dramatically when he wisely declined to go with us and instead offered to drive the car. When we got to the top of Squaw Peak getting ready for our “dash of death” my helmet was mysteriously left in the other car – was that part of Bryce’s plot? He did give me his baseball cap to wear, was that a smirk he wore as well?

The trail actually started along a nice dirt road with very few rocks, but no sooner had we started on our journey when it started pouring rain. I started cursing under my breath and asking why am I doing this crazy thing? The wind was cold, the rain got us wet, I couldn’t see through the drops of water on my glasses, and I was left in the shivering dust as Bryce and Jake raced ahead. And this was suppose to be the easy part of the trail.

We finally got to the single track trail head and I starred in disbelief at this narrow little curvy path, going up and down, around trees, over roots and through the mud. OK Mark you can do this because there is no going back. Actually the first 10 feet was nice trail and then I would dodge a rock only to be face-to-face with a large tree. OK swerve left – no right – was that a big root? Dang my foot fell off the peddle! Oh my gosh, I can’t see a thing through these glasses. Ouch!!! That was a big rock. My butt hurts! Where are Bryce and Jake – is that them laughing up ahead? How long is this trail?

We were running along a nice sized stream on the left. Suddenly the trail wasn’t level anymore side to side. It was at about a 30 degree angle tilting towards a 20 ft drop down to the fast flowing creek on the left and a forest of trees rising sharply to the right. One or two inches of crooked driving and I’m in trouble – thank goodness I can’t see through the rain on my glasses or this would be really frightening. OK we made it past that bad spot surely the trail can’t get any worse. HA!

They didn’t name it “Rock Canyon” for nothing. We moved out of “quiet” part of the trail and started the death defying section of pointed, sharp, nasty, hard rocks. Sometimes loose gravel rocks, sometimes they were the kind of rocks that poke their sharp heads far enough above the ground to cause major bumping, or sometimes they were just big boulders scattered on the trail. The path is a steep decent and I was blazing along at a mind blowing 2 miles an hour because my hands were cramped tight around the brakes with that white knuckle fear of serious injury. It took a good half an hour after the ride to unknot the muscles and straighten out my fingers.

The rocks seemed to go on forever and then suddenly an oasis of a nice flat, smooth, wooden bridge. Oh thank goodness for that calm bridge, except as I peddled across the rain had caused the wood to be extremely slippery and I almost ended up in the drink. Is there no safe place on this trail? Well the next stream crossing was even worse – there was no bridge just a rocky crossing through the water. Bryce even had a hard time with this one and I figured if I went as fast as I could, I should make it through with dry feet. What a fool – half way across my front tire hit a large submerged rock and immediately stopped the bike, but I kept going into the water except a big boulder stopped my awkward tumble. Again I heard that funny laughter.

I survived to finish the trail with only minor bruising and cuts and Bryce’s chance at an early inheritance was thwarted. Just watch and be careful with any of his invitations to go on a fun and adventurous bike hike, he may have ulterior motives.

Other news of the trip: Austin is back at school in Provo and landed in a good apartment where his roommate had him delete WOW, got back on the boards, did some homework, scoped out his classes and ward for good looking girls, and filled his refrigerator with food. He seems very happy.

My 1031 court case made some progress this week as we completed the depositions and one witness really made our case very convincing. We had a great Father’s Day dinner at Bryce’s with Preston and Tiana.

We did suffer one casualty this weekend. After mom and I finished up a very pleasant and social bike ride along the Highline Canal the bike fell off the rack while on the freeway. We were lucky that the crashed bike didn’t cause an accident, but it is trashed and needs major repair before we can ride it again.

5 comments:

Celeste said...

Dad, you are are very funny descriptive writer. I was careening down to my death as well as you described the death trap Bryce led you on. Sounds like fun!!

Brad said...

Bryce took us on a similar adventure once. We headed up to a peak like that with Bryce and Marcia right at sunset, and they took off and left us in their dust. Celeste and I were stumbling down the trail, in the dark, thinking "Where the heck are they? How long is this trail?!?"

I should have warned you....never go mountain biking with Bryce. It's not what it seems...

Tracy Barrand said...

Mark,
I do not want to know how dangerous this was, I don't want to know, I don't want to know

b-ryce said...

Dad,
That was a very very funny description of our ride. I gotta say it was a blast.
As far as taking the family down crazy runs, I guess I'll just keep doing it until somebody gets seriously injured or nobody is dumb enough to go with me :)

I'm sorry to hear that your bike took a leap on the freeway, Yikes!

--Bryce

Mikidees said...

I'm proud of you and your death defying bike trip:)