If you will indulge a moment of rare, and I mean really, really rare, glass-half-full philosophical reflections from an unrepentant cynic, I think it will be worth your time ("Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. But God is a myth, a fairytale for the weak of mind).
I don't like doing something stupid any more than the next guy; I'm old enough to be Solomon Wise, after all. I was trying to find someone to share blame for this tranny fiasco...someone like my parents; if it wasn't for their wander-lusted DNA, I wouldn't be roaming around in the boonies trying to find myself, let alone the next Pulitzer Prize winning photograph/Blog Post. No, I'd be like most Americans...sitting on their couches in front of the boob tube, watching Dr Phil and Dancing With The Stars...or shuffling papers behind a desk while mindlessly holding a texting conversation with eight people at a time. Why can't I let it go...trying to get Goldie perfectly level on a mountainside campsite? Note to self: When leveling boulders begin to exceed two feet in diameter, you may want to look for another site.
We have just about squeezed all the juice we can get from this winter's grapes, playing with friends in all the various and sundry desert landscapes of Arid-zona. Now, limping home with Goldie's tail between her legs, I am reminded of the ending of a favorite childhood movie...the exception being that "Old Yeller" isn't quite dead yet.
We're making the best out of our last days...aimlessly wandering backroads in Utah, living moment to moment, cherishing the final hours...a little down in spirit but still squeezing those grapes for the last drop. Tomorrows problems don't come till tomorrow, and even though the roses are wilting...they're still mighty pretty and smell oh so sweet.
That's when we made a random turn onto a lesser Utah backroad. And from that lesser backroad we probe lesser backroads, looking for a level boondock for Goldie. We try and fail, try and fail...backing out...tired...bickering. I am boorishly stubborn, got it from my mom, so we push on...in search of another lesser backroad bastard son-of-a-lesser backroad.
Bobbie follows in my rearview mirror, tired, needing a camp. The lesser road spits after a mile or so and I take the lesser fork, holding the "less is more" principle to its literal definition in spite of the odds. Goldie's squeezed by shoulders of soft sand...there is not one single place to turn around. One mile, two, then three...four: "God Damn, where are the campsites? Doesn't anybody pull over and boondock in Utah?" Five or six miles in we settle for a wide spot in the road and set camp. Only a couple of vehicles pass by...looking at us like we are crazy fools. I want to shout, "We Are Crazy, so what!" but just smile and nod...like a fool.
It's getting late. We need a walk before dark. Down the road a half mile we drop into a random canyon to kill a couple of hours. It's entry is steep and potholed with tanks full of water. By trial and error we find a way to the bottom and wade Utah's notorious red sand. The canyon gobbles us up...deeper; deeper.
A massive overhang looms to our left and we follow foot tracks to its base. There are voices, faint, distant, but we find no one. A few more steps and we are stopped in our own tracks...stunned by what lay before our tired eyes.
Come, as Life explains to me why we must get off the couch, why we must do what we do, the reasons we heed the restless "call of the wild." It is for the slightest chance of discovery...wondrous places that satisfy the itch deep within, if only for a moment...here, in some random remote canyon bottom in Utah.
God bless Utah, and while You are at it, Lord, go ahead and bless my parents too.