Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Watchman on the Tower

I had a week packed full of adventures this last week. I clearly am not going to write about all of them, but I figured I could list of few of them and then elaborate on one of them. This week I:

Walked behind Stewart Falls and got soaked
Jumped in the Provo River with my clothes on (again)
Went on a killer hike up the face of Timp with Jason
Went backpacking with Steve and Brian up Grove Creek
Saw my first Rattlesnake in wild on the Grove Creek Trail
Went to Amber's Cabin up Hobble Creek and looked at the stars
Went swimming everyday
Played in a river almost everyday
Went to a luau and ate some pig
Took a nap under a tree at the park
Had many, many, many great conversations with great people.

The Watchman on the Tower
I went hiking with Jason on Wed morning. I knew it was going to be hard, but I had no idea what to expect. I just knew we were going to try to get to a green rock on the face of Timp and that there wasn't a trail. We started out at Glen Canyon Park at a good pace. It was a fairly steep trail and I just hoped it would level off eventually, I was soon to find out that that would be the least of my worries.

After a little while on the steep trail we decided to leave the trail and go straight up the mountain. After a while of weaving through trees and bushes it became clear that we would have to 'bush-whack' through the Scrub Oak to continue on to our goal. I was wearing shorts and sandals at the time and after a few minutes of forcing my way through the Scrub Oak I had over 20 scratches that were bleeding on my legs and feet. As we continued to our goal we found that there was no way to reach the green rock without going through a lot of brush. It started to get frustrating as pressed through because we couldn't tell how long the Oak lasted until we would be in a clearing again. Jason mentioned that it might have been a good idea to print off the screen from Google Earth that showed where we were. I think the most frustrating part for me is that we could avoid a lot of Oak if we could just see the terrain from 30 feet in the air where it was clear the best way to go.

It became very obvious to me that we could avoid most of the pain of the Scrub Oak if there was someone on a watchtower that told us which way to go. I was reminded of my Seminary days when we watched the Watchmen on the Tower video that told us that our prophet could see things that we don't see that can hurt us. I was also reminded that as we go through life it is often like we are stuck in fields of Scrub Oak. Sometimes we can see our goal, but most of the time we are just trying to push through the next obstacle. How much easier it is to live life if we could see it from a birds eye view. I think that many of our friends and family can see our lives from a better perspective than we can. It seems we often respond to our friends by telling them we don't have time or energy to look at the big picture because we are pushing through the Scrub Oak of life. This hike made me realize that looking at our obstacles from many perspectives instead of just one could really help us avoid most of them, and the rest we can have courage that we will only be in it for a short time.

We ended up making it to the rock. From there we planned out a route to get to the bottom by going through as little Scrub Oak as possible. Sometimes when we were in the middle of the Oak we were tempted to take a path that appeared easier at the time, but we always stuck with our path that we planned when we were at the top. We went through about 10% as much Scrub Oak on the way down as we did on the way up. I finished the hike after only having lost about a cup of blood rather than a pint. I still have the wounds on my legs to remind me to get help from someone who sees each situation better than I see it myself.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Provo River, Eagle and Fire

There are a lot of adventures happening and not a lot of time to write. I will try and keep everyone updated on my adventures even if I have to leave out details. (I love how I assume that people actually read this blog.)

My first adventure of the week started out walking down the Provo River Trail with my friend Laura. We were on our weekly Monday Adventure and we were having a good chat. We were discussing how Laura has recently realized that she needs to expand her comfort zone and do things that are hard for her. I thought this would be an excellent opportunity, so I decided to make it happen. I decided that it was too warm to be dry so I decided to jump in the river. I jumped from the top of a stump that was about 10 ft high. It was cold and exhilarating. I really enjoyed the rush of it all. So then I started convincing her that she should do likewise. I realized that since we didn't have swimsuits on we would just have to be wet the rest of the adventure. I thought it would take more convincing but she agreed to jump right away. She jumped in and got out quickly. We both jumped in a couple more times. As we finished our adventure we both agreed that jumping in the river made the adventure so much more...well...adventurous.

My next adventure of note starts Thursday morning. I was woken up by a phone call from my good buddy Zack. He said we were going on a triple date and we were going golfing. He asked me if I was in. I told him I didn't know who to get for my date. He said I was going with his sister and that I could marry her if I wanted. I agreed to the date and looked forward to spending time with my good buddy and for golfing. When we were on the golf course we decided to do a date scramble. It was clear that we were going to hit from my date's spot every time. She is on the BYU golf team and made quite a showing of her skills.
We were on a hole that was ridiculously hard. It was a par 5 and it seemed like that might have been low. So after an amazing tee off from my date we both hit it from where her ball ended. I hit it in the brush and lost my ball, but she hit it to the sand trap next to the green. after we made it up there she got ready for the shot and hit the most incredible shot I have ever seen. It was a perfect hit. The ball landed just before the hole and rolled in nicely. She had gotten an Eagle on the hole and, needless to say, my date and I won.

I will try not to give too much detail on my weekend adventures. I went camping with Jeff Friday night and it was good to just chill next to an old friend and roast some hot-dogs over a fire. We were in an incredible meadow near Big Springs. I was blown away by the beauty when the moon hit the meadow and everything was covered in a soft white light. Jeff and I chatted just like old times and we slept under the stars. It was nice to be up in the mountains, away from it all, and to be with a good friend. Jeff and I discussed many things, as usual, but one thing that stuck out is our fascination with fire. We both are amazed by fire and its power and possibilities. There is something about fire that makes both of us want to sit and stare and wonder. There are many powers in this world that are amazing. Jeff and I like to learn about and discuss all of them, but fire is one of our favorites. (that and compound interest.)

Anyway, whether it is jumping in the Provo River, witnessing an Eagle, or staring into fire with a good friend; My adventures go on and there are many more adventures to be had. If any of you need some adventure in your life, you know where to find me. Until then, keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, June 2, 2008

For time and all eternity

I have been spending the last few weeks mentally preparing myself for most of my good friends moving on with their lives. I am not talking about getting a job or buying a house, I am talking about getting a new best friend for time and all eternity. Jeff and I have talked about how we just keep getting younger and younger friends, but I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. I mean, honestly, if I make friends with the people coming out of high school now we can't even agree on how many planets there are in our solar system. So I think maybe I should consider moving on too. That is a scary thought for many reasons that I won't go into right now.

I realize I have had friends get significant others, finances and spouses for some time now. This year seems to be different, it appears there is a landslide of weddings. I have a good friend getting married almost every weekend this spring and summer. I realize they are still my friends, but we are just in different games now. I will likely reclaim many of my friends when I make the leap and get an eternal best friend, but until then I am not sure what my best strategy is. I guess I have to start over with finding new people to spend my time with.

Which brings me to my next question: Where? Should I try and make more friends who will soon get married here in Provo or should I seek other circumstances? I think that Provo and I have enjoyed each other for a while but I was never meant for Provo. I think I should try a new place that might work better for my situation. Right now I am thinking that Washington DC might be a place that can handle me. It seems to be out-a-control enough for me. I guess I will try and seek my fortunes there.

I hope I still can keep in touch with old friends even after they have to plan their schedule for two. And one day, maybe I will be ready to join them and have my own permanent best friend. Until then I will: try and support my friends in their endeavors, make new friends, try and figure out my life, keep loving and loving and loving, and most of all prepare myself for the chance I have to make the decision for time and all eternity...