Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Food Guy Goes West

So the Food Guy came rolling back into town to pick me up late, late saturday night. He had some pretty good stories to tell about his trip out to Utah. He and his buddy Brian took off from Charlotte a couple of weeks ago and drove straight through to Colorado. I'll let him tell the story 'cause he and I just got back from a long run and I'm tired. So, take it away Food Guy.
Yup, Brian and I jumped in his giant Dodge and started heading west. We were too amped up to sleep at first, so we both stayed awake. That turned out to be a bad idea. By the time we got to Kansas we were pretty shot. So we went ahead and slept in a rest area for two hours. When we woke up we noticed this crazy marker- just in case we didn't know where we were we had this sign to let us know we were in the heartland- or armpit depending on who you ask- of America.
We sucked it up and got back on the road because we knew there were better things down the highway. We rolled into Colorado in time for lunch with one of Brian's buddies who just happened to be flying into Denver. We spent the night chillin in Colorado and then set off for Utah. Man, what a beautiful place.

We put on the Green River at a place called Sand Wash and prepared to spend the next week floating along, hiking, and just generally being glad to be in the Wilderness. There were some really cool rock formations along the way. Check this one out:

The river was pretty chill. Only a few real rapids, but it was lots and lots of fun. I spent a couple of days cruisin' along in Brian's kayak and a couple of days hangin' out in the raft paddling through what the locals call "the upstream W" or as we called it "that damn" wind. I met some cool folks from Salt Lake, and they assured me the wind wasn't as bad as it could be. Whatever, it sucked to be paddling a raft through it. But, I did get to row one of the big boats one day. We tied the kayak and the paddle raft to one of the big boats and took turns rowing away. It was a lot of fun.

All in all, it was one of the most amazing trips I've ever been on. I brought a copy of Walden and Edward Abby's book Down the River. How funny is it that the first essay in that book was "Down the River with Henry David Thoreau"? Crazy, huh? I thought so. Especially since Abby wrote that essay while he was floating down the Green back in the day. It was great to contemplate the wonders of the western wilderness with Abby and HDT echoing in my mind. Mostly, I just enjoyed hanging out with great friends- new and old- and being away from work, my crackberry, and my computer. I never thought I'd consider living out West, but now I'm giving it serious thought. I love the southeast, but there's something compelling about the big mountains and vast spaces out there. I guess the job market will determine where I end up. Who knows? I sure don't. All I know is I'll be heading back out west next time I'm ready for an adventure. Only next time I'll be prepared for the hell that is driving though Kansas and I'll be bringing YD with me. He'd love it out there.