Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rock Canyon: A Place of Solace

My readers have spoken and I must respond. It seems that most of the team wanted to hear about my adventure by myself up Rock Canyon at 1 am. The funny thing is that that is not my best adventure and kind of a hard story to tell. The story of my time in the canyon is very short. The real story is what led to me going up there. I think I will try and give some background so you can understand why I did what I did. I can’t fill in very many details of the events of that night, but I will try and give you enough so you can understand why my journey up Rock Canyon was necessary.

Last Wednesday started out as a fairly good day, but I have never been one to leave things as they are when they are okay. I decided that the time had come for me to gain some needed closure in my life. So I went about a covert operation to try and gain some closure from a situation that has left me in much pain for some time. (Yes, I plan on being this ambiguous the whole time). This operation was thwarted by people that I really believed cared about me. I realize that they didn’t really understand how much I needed some closure and they didn’t understand that stopping me in my caper would stop the needed closure. But the result was the same. As I was coming to grips with what happened and more importantly, why it happened, I was getting more and more frustrated.

I then went to say goodbye to my good friend who was going to be moving back to California. A friend that I wish I spent the time necessary to get closer to, but I didn’t. I then was frustrated enough that I thought a run would help, so I went running for a couple of miles. That gave me little help, so I went to talk to my good friend Mary. I spent a few minutes talking to her, and then I had to leave because she needed to talk to another one of our friends. Normally I would have just stayed and joined in, but this girl she was talking to was on my list of girls I’m not allowed to communicate with (my least favorite list in the world).

So I left Mary feeling that my life was really a mess. I feel that my life is only as good as my relationships are, and, well, it sure seemed like they were doing well. It was almost 1 am at this point and I had nowhere to go. I wasn’t going to go home; there was no way I was going to sleep anytime soon. So I decided I needed to go somewhere where I could focus on the one relationship that I felt was going well in my life: my relationship with God.

I drove up Rock Canyon and called Mary, told her where I was and I told her that I would send her a text when I was down so she knew I was okay. (I realize that Mary isn’t my mother, but when I hike alone I want someone to know where I am.) I got out my sleeping bag that was in my car and unzipped the bottom enough so I could stick my head through then I started hiking. I hiked fast to try and get some energy out, so I don’t know exactly how long I hiked, I just know it wasn’t very long. I went up about a mile and climbed up a large rock and lay down. It was quite comfortable because I was in my sleeping bag and there was a nice layer of snow, but I have never been in so much pain in my life.

I lay on the rock and thought and prayed, but mostly cried. I felt like I was so stuck in my life. I couldn’t seem to move forward, definitely couldn’t go back, and I hated where I was. So I lay there and prayed and cried and thought. I was in a lot of pain, but I still noticed that it was a beautiful night. There was a low cloud cover which caused the city lights to be reflected so it was quite bright where I was. The snow made everything pure and beautiful. It was a very still night.

After I had been laying there for a while (I really have no idea how long, it was all a blur). I think it was long enough that my tears were melting the snow underneath my head. I heard a sound that instantly triggered the word ‘animal’ in my head. As I was getting up to see what it was I realized that the sound didn’t belong. It was the sound of metal tags jingling against a collar. I found the source of the sound relatively easily. There were two dogs jogging up the trail. I sat there and watched them as one walked by and the other noticed me and started barking. After he barked for a while his master, who was still out of view called him back. When the guy came into view I tried to move a little so he would notice me. I even said something, but his dog was barking too loud that he didn’t notice. When he got close to me he turned on his light to try and find out what his dog was barking at, so I waved and said, “He’s barking at me.”

We talked for a couple of minutes. He said he hikes up Rock Canyon every night. He usually goes to the campground, but he had a late start tonight so he probably wouldn’t go that far. He made sure to ask if I was staying the night—I must have looked very odd laying on a rock in my sleeping bag. Then he continued on. I went back to thinking and crying and praying.

I eventually didn’t have any tears left and so was forced to return home. I got home, wrote down some of my thoughts (which are published on my private blog).

That was a really depressing story wasn’t it. Sorry blog fans. I usually write a better story than that. I guess I wanted to give you the story you asked for, and there it is. Don’t worry about me. The next day I talked with Jeff and he made everything all better (he always does). I have my ups and downs like everyone else; I am just trying to enjoy the ride.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's been a long December

I think that it is time for my readers (all three of you) to vote for which story I tell. Here are some adventures from the last couple of weeks. Just leave a comment to vote for which one you want to hear more about and I will write about that one. (Must be 18 or older to participate, no cash value, only one vote per person (except Jeff, he has two votes), all votes must be received by Tuesday December 23 at 11:11 PM)

Adventures in the last couple of weeks:

• Sweet Snowfest adventure up Rock Canyon. This included but isn’t limited to: Somersaulting race, snow angels, sliding down mountain trails. Hot chocolate and Hot-tubbing party. Story of Diane’s comment.

• Brady’s soup party then night hike. Beautiful weather just before the storm. Great fire and fun and friends.

• Concerts: BYU choirs with Maria, we sang Halleluiah Chorus. Kurt Bestor with family, left halfway through and had hot chocolate with my friends and read Christmas Stories. Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert with Megan, what a great concert and good times with a great friend.

• Great chat with Jeff. He can still solve all my problems in one evening. What a great guy with a great wife.

• Evening with Mary and Natalie. We looked at lights and then we hiked up to the top of a cliff and I let off some steam by screaming to the world—very therapeutic.

• Didn’t break my neck – just thought that I would throw that out there.

• Hiked up Rock Canyon by myself at 1 am and laid on the ground in the snow and pondered life for hours.

• Watched almost every sunset, watched the moon every night that it was out before 2 am, looked at Venus and Jupiter almost every night and enjoyed the stars every night that they were out.

• Loved, laughed, cried, hurt and still spent every day with people that were important to me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Life I Live

I did want to write about our annual Thanksgiving Couch-Burning. Then I realized that event doesn't describe my life for the last week. Instead I will include a couple of pictures from the event and write about something else. I recently looked at my favorite quotes and I thought I wanted to share my favorite quotes with the team and maybe a couple thoughts on each of them.

Me and My BFF Jeff at the Couch Burning

Me chillin' next to the burning couch

A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within himself.
-James Allen, "As a Man Thinketh"

This is one of my favorite quotes in the whole world. I have read this many times. I have memorized it more than once. I love this because I want to learn to use my circumstances for my more rapid progress and to discover the powers within myself.

"Promise yourself to be strong so that nothing can disturb your peace of mind, to make friends feel that there is something inside them. Look on the bright side of everything and make your dreams come true. To think the best, for forget the mistakes of the past, and to press on to other things. To give so much time to improving yourself, that you don't have time to criticize others. To be too large for worries, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think too well of yourself and to proclaim this force to the world, not in loud voices, but in great works."-James E. Talmage.

I like this quote because it has so much that I want to do and to be. I especially want to be too large for worries, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. I hung this quote on the bathroom mirror on my mission and tried to live by it. I appreciate this passage because recently I have more fully come to understand this. I feel that I have had a lot taken from me but my ability to choose if I am happy of not. I haven't always chosen to be happy, but sometimes I do. It is those times that I do choose to be happy that I count as great victories.

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. –Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”

I appreciate this passage because recently I have more fully come to understand this. I feel that I have had a lot taken from me but my ability to choose if I am happy of not. I haven't always chosen to be happy, but sometimes I do. It is those times that I do choose to be happy that I count as great victories.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. -Nelson Mandela

This is quote that I believe was originally by Marianne Williamson. I just know that it is true. From all I have seen of people we are afraid of how great we are. Too many people spend too much time hiding from their greatness. That is why it is so wonderful when someone steps out and decides to be great.

I think that is enough for now. I hope that you all enjoyed some of my favorites through the years. I am still inspired by all of these quotes and I hope to someday live up to them. More stories to come later...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I still can't believe that he went over the edge...

My friend Brian and I have been on many adventures together. We have hike in just about every part of the mountains surrounding Orem and Provo. When it is just me and him we often go on adventures that others wouldn't want to come on. For example when we went camping up on the base of Timp in early Spring. His sister said we were crazy and that it was too cold. We just looked at each other and smiled and commented how it wasn't going to be nearly as bad as the time before. Oct of 07 we backpacked up Slide Canyon and we almost died. It rained and rained until we got high enough and then it snowed and snowed. I have never been so close to hypothermia in my life. Needless to say, we push our limits when we are together.

Yesterday I went on a repelling trip with Brian and a couple other friends. Brian is getting married soon and so it is important for us to have a few last adventures before he leaves the world of singlehood. There is a cliff up Dry Canyon that has been my favorite cliff for a long time. I have wanted to repel off of it as long as I can remember. I decided that this is where we needed to go. I asked Brian what equipment he had and he told me that he had a 60 meter rope and a harness. So I told him I would borrow all the other equipment that we needed.

As we met in the parking lot and started the hike up I noticed that his backpack wasn't as big as I thought it would need to be to hold a sixty meter rope, but seeing as this man was the best outdoors man I knew, I didn't worry. We hiked to the top of the 150 foot cliff. And Brian started setting up. When he finally got his rope out I told him that I didn't think it was long enough. He hooked it on anyway and threw it over the side. It was hard to tell from leaning over the edge how far the rope went down, but I knew it didn't go to the bottom. We decide the rope was probably a 30 meter rope rather than a 60 meter rope. We pulled the rope back up and tied a smaller rope on the end to see if that would make it long enough. After throwing both ropes tied together over the edge it was still hard to tell if it made it to the bottom, but we didn't think that it did.

This is the Cliff that Brian went down

Question: What would you do in this situation? Would you unhook the ropes and find a smaller cliff to repel? That was my thought (which is what the rest of us ended up doing later). There were plenty of cliffs close by. All of us who aren't Brian might choose that option. Brian, he took the path less traveled, and it made all the difference.

This is the cliff the rest of us went over. It was much smaller.

Brian decided he was going anyway, and I wasn't about to stop him. He was shaking a little as he backed over the edge of an 150 foot cliff with ropes that were probably about 125 feet combined. After he was half way down and decided he wasn't going to make it with the rope where it was. So he anchored himself to a bolt on the cliff and had us unhook the rope and drop it too him. He then anchored the rope from there, but he had to double the rope up so that he could retrieve the rope after he was down. This made so he had to anchor himself in one more time and repeat the process before he made it to the bottom.

First let me say that I was blown away by the extent of Brian's skill in getting himself down safely and retrieving his equipment. But the thing that impressed me the most was Brian's audacity to go over the edge. Brian was so confident that he knew that whatever happened after he went over the edge he could deal with it. He did have quite a bit of equipment strapped to him - he wanted to be prepared. Still, he went over the edge!

I think if I had more of Brian's confidence and attitude in my life then I could do so much more with my life. I think most of us are so afraid to go over the edge. We are so afraid to take chances that we don't know how they will end. Brian probably wasn't sure how he was going to get to the bottom when he backed over the edge, but he knew whatever happened he would deal with it and succeed. I hope that someday I can be as amazing as Brian. I hope that someday I can have the guts to take risks that are worth taking. I hope that I can get better at taking a step or two into the darkness only to find that the way is lighted for a step or two. Until then I am glad I have friends like Brian who show me that it can be done and it is worth doing.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I know I just posted something. I decided it was too personal and needed to be deleted. Too bad, I think it was one of the best things that I have ever written. Life is like that I guess. If any of my good friends would like to read it they can email me a request and I will send it too them. Of course my good friends already know what it is about if it is personal.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I just love a good adventure

Last week I had some good adventures that need to be mentioned. I went elk hunting with Zack. It was the muzzle-loader hunt and we were trying to shoot a male elk without more than one point on its rack. Well we rode the horses all over the face of Timp and I don't think that we even saw any male elk at all. We sure found the herd and chased them all over the mountain. It was some pretty intense riding. And, for that matter, it was pretty intense pulling the horses down steep slopes that they really didn't want to go down. I was a great adventure. I can breathe up in the mountains. I sure love spending time away from it all. We may not have even fired a shot, but it was a day well worthwhile. I sure appreciate my friend Zack and his adventures.

I also had a couple of quality dance parties. We just played some music and danced our hearts out. I realized that you can become very good friends with people when you dance like crazy together. I feel much closer to all of my friends from the dance parties we had. Thanks for a great time.

Hot-tubs are one of my favorite parts of winter. I love being in a hot hot hot-tub when it is cold outside, especially if it is raining or snowing. One night two friends and I stayed in a hot tub for a couple of hours (despite the warnings to only stay for twenty minutes). We talked and let out everything that was inside of us. It was very therapeutic for the whole team. I foresee a winter filled with hot-tub adventures. Let me know if you want to join in.

I think my best adventure from last week was my Nauvoo Reunion with all my old friends from Nauvoo. I was surprised at how many people came. I think the farther we all get from that experience the greater that we realize it was. We sure had a great time and gained life-long friends. It was fun to look around the room and see that some people hadn't changed much, some had progressed and a little and some had progressed an enormous amount. I sure like seeing the progression in my friends. I was very impressed with a couple of people who had become so great in the last three years.

The Nauvoo party was also great to get in touch with old friends. I am glad that I got some phone numbers of some of my long lost friends and I have already started talking with them more often. I sure like old friends who are still your friends regardless of how much time has passed. I think things are looking up for me in my life if for no other reason than the fact that I have great friends who are there for me in my time of need. I am sure glad that even though life gets hard sometimes I am never all alone, all alone in my time of need.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween, caving, and roommate adventures

I have had many great adventures recently. Since it was the week of Halloween I took the opportunity to wear a cape almost daily. Since I was dressed as Neck-Brace Boy (a lesser known super hero) I got a chance to give him some publicity. I enjoy representing a great hero that defends our quality health care. We need more heroes like him. I guess I wear capes all through the year, but I have worn a cape in public recently. Since Halloween I have enjoyed my first serious spelunking adventure. We repelled down into a cave in Rock Canyon. We then explored the whole of the cave. Then we ascended out of the cave using devices called (appropriately) ascenders. That was a sweet adventure, even if it was a little claustrophobic at times.

I think my favorite event of the week was my Saturday night activity. I had a little reunion with two of my favorite roommates of all time. My roommates from my second year at Snow College: Albert and Darrell. They brought their wives, they told me I could bring a date, but I opted out. That would be a really great first date if I brought a girl to hang out with my old roomies and their wives.

I had a great time just chillin' with some of my best friends of all time that I haven't talked to in over a year. It was enjoyable getting to know their wives too. I had gotten to know Janell a little bit a year ago. However, Albert's wife Jenny I had only talked to a couple of times previous. She was mostly quite so I didn't get to know her really well, but she is high quality for sure. I am sure glad that Albert married an awesome girl, because Albert is freakin' awesome.

I am not sure what my favorite part was. I loved hearing about their lives. I loved telling some good stories from mine. Perhaps the best part was retelling good stories from long ago that affected our lives so much then, but now we are able to laugh at them. Albert and Darrell were great roommates back in the day, and they are now great husbands to their wives, great employees at their jobs and great friends to everyone else. I appreciate them a lot and I think they are continuing on the tradition of being great. I sure am a huge fan of Albert and Darrell. I hope they continue to dominate life.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Colors of Fall

The past few days I have been in the Manti La Sal Mountains with my friend Zack and his family and friends. We were trying to shoot a deer. While we may not have had a lot of luck in that area we still had a great time. The daily hikes were beautiful. The horseback riding was hardcore. The fireside chats were worthwhile. I did a a lot of thinking while I was walking through the forest looking for a deer for someone else to shoot.

I think that yellow is my favorite fall color. To me I think red is the color of early fall, yellow is the middle, while orange and brown are the end. Yellow is the color of the Aspens. I walked through many Aspen forests these last few days. Seeing the yellow leaves coat the ground was great. There is a special feeling in the Aspens that I don't feel anywhere else. I love the color Yellow and I love the Aspens.

Even the sunrises and sunsets are different in Fall. This is the sunrise for this morning. I sure appreciate the colors of the sunrises in the mountains with the evergreens in the foreground. This was a place of incredible beauty. These mountains were a place that I could breathe, and more importantly think. I loved my time spent there.

I had some great times on horses this weekend. I figure that I went from novice to proficient on horses as a result of this trip. There were many things that contributed to this. Maybe it was all the hours spent riding through the forest without a trail. I think the biggest factor was one experience. Zack saw a buck and so he jumped off his horse a pulled out his gun. He through the reins to me and told me to hold his horse. He then set up and fired at the deer that was running away. He was only standing out five feet from my horse and his. Both horses went crazy, but I was able to stay on my horse and calm down both of the them. I think that gave me enough experience points to level up. Anyway, I had a great time riding the horses.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Adventures of Jared W. Summer '08 Picture Review

I went on a lot of sweet adventures this summer. Since I don't own a camera I didn't take many pictures. However I got some of the pictures off of my phone and gathered pictures from others and here is a very incomplete list of my adventures. I hope you enjoy seeing a few of the adventures that happened this summer. If you want to hear stories from any of these adventures let me know.

Wind Rivers of Wyoming. One of the most beautiful places that I have ever been.

The Narrows of Zion. What an adventure!

Brian and I still go hiking even though he is engaged.

Hawaii. I climbed the tree and picked the coconut. Then I opened it on a rock. I am similar to Survivorman.

This was watching my brother Pete in the triathlon at Bear Lake. I watched two triathlons this summer, maybe someday I will participate.

I went to Bear Lake several times. Also a good time at Bear Lake.

Bryce Canyon was as beautiful as always. We hiked through what seemed like the whole canyon.

My sister Amy got married and now I am the only adult single member of my family.

This is me at Amy's reception. It was a sweet party.

I went to a lot of receptions this summer. And I mean a lot. I usually wore a Guayavera, I got tired of dressing up every Saturday.

I went on some good fall hikes. This one is up by South Fork Park. It was a wonderful day.

This was a camping trip with my brother Dan and his kids, Koda and Cambria. I didn't sleep very well because it rained on me and I didn't sleep in the tent. This is also my favorite meadow in the world. I had many great adventures here this summer.

This is a waterfall on the trail to the top of Timp. I hiked to a lot of waterfalls this summer. I love a good waterfall.

This is at the top of Timp for the sunrise. It was a wonderful hike that we started at 2 am.

I went on many walks next to Provo River. I sure like this river.

This is coming off of Big Springs. I love the hike up here, I usually hike to these cascades several times a year.