Monday, January 26, 2009
I wasn't around when there old friend, Ward Roylance, stuck Utah Jack and Dangerous Doug with the lasting handle "the Grover Boys," but for some reason it has stuck for 22 years. If you ask a High Plateau traveler if they know Utah or Dangerous, they will probably give you a blank stare. But, ask about the "Grover Boys" and you will get directions to their place and usually some strong opinions about their parentage. It is tough to think of these two aging back country wags as boys. As a dog, I am not familiar with "people years," but in dog years both of them are well over 400. Since every day is Saturday in Grover, maybe they are still boys.
I have never understood what draws so many travelers to the "Grover Boy's" cabin porch, but a lot show up regularly. Most come to venture into the wilderness with them, but anyone who visits has to check their ego at the cabin door. The cabin porch is no place for the pretentious or overly ambitious. You can find a complete list of the brave souls who survived an evening by reading all the business cards tacked up in the outhouse.
A more unlikely pair would be hard to find, but the "Grover Boys" have been friends for over 40 years. They are always giving each other unending grief. You would think that the stuff they hurl at each other would end in a fight rather than laughter. I have heard this exchange plenty of times. Utah Jack to Dangerous, "You really expect me to believe your ancestors stepped off the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock." Ole Dangerous replies, "At least they didn't arrive from Sweden on a Greyhound Bus." So goes the many exchanges. Everyone who rides and hikes with them gets the same treatment. Even a fine sheep dog like me catches it sometimes. You've seen my picture, and I am "show quality." At least that's what the breeder told Dangerous when he picked me up in Elko, Nevada. But, how would you like to be regularly called "Rosie-the-Red-Butted sheep dog." I don't have a red butt!
Utah is the builder with a sharp eye for detail. With inept help from his buddy, Utah built a cabin, restored the Roylance cabin, and built a horse barn. He won't let Dangerous touch power tools or hand tools without close supervision. Utah Jack never forgets a previously used camp site, and tells everyone he picks arrow heads out of Dangerous' boot prints. He also never misses a meal, and lives a contented life in the year 1956.
Dangerous organizes the wilderness adventures, feeds vistors, and wrangles the horses. He plans the next adventure before the current one is complete, always wants to know what's over the next ridge, and constantly searches for new adventures. Because of his unending activity and planning, his friends frequently drop the Dangerous label, and call him by his Indian name Ants-in-His-Pants.
Well, that's my independent take on these two characters. Maybe family, friends, past porch visitors, or others have something to add. Don't hold back! They better be able to take it after all they dish out. You might start by trying to figure out from the pictures who is who. Look forward to hearing from you.