Friday, March 6, 2009


For all you pagans out there, I am sure you know that March 20th is a high holiday. The banks and government don't close that day, but around here it marks the start of riding and hiking season. You don't have to check the budding plants or sprouting tulips. You can tell that something is going on by watching Dangerous. He has been making calls and exchanging e-mails with his hiking and riding buddies. Don't even try to find us the second week of May. We will be somewhere, probably lost, along the Escalante River thrashing through the coyote willows, eating freeze-dried meals, and sleeping on the ground. If you stop by to talk, you will find Dangerous servicing the Chevy and repacking the wheel bearings on the horse trailer. He might pause long enough to talk, but don't be offended if he continues working on his tack, or calls the farrier. I get real excited because I know that for the next eight months we will spend most of our time in the backcountry. I understand all the preparations, but what I don't understand is how warm weather affects the behavior of the High Plateau bunch.

Take for example "Little O." That's what we call her, but I know her given name is Kay. Most of the time she acts like a dignified mother who holds down two responsible jobs. In her spare time, she cooks enormous, gourmet meals for Utah Jack. However, the change of seasons appears to bring out the animal, or I should say the wolf in her. As you can see, she is ready to take on any High Plateau danger with pistol and ax. Watch out Utah Jack! "Little O" is loaded for bear.

I am not sure what "Bronze-Age-Man," has in mind, but he should definitely cover those legs. By the looks of them, they would easily burn under a full moon. Maybe a full moon inspired him to wear those heart covered shorts (click on the picture for a closer look). It has been a long winter on the High Plateau, and possibly Mike's attention has turned to love.

Fremont Bob's new look totally confuses me, but again, I can only guess it results from the changing weather. I hardly recognize him without his ever present cowboy hat. He appears to have replaced it with an empty coke can. I can only guess that he traded his XXXX Beaver hat for something aluminum so he can commune directly with spring spirits.

I guess I am a bit embarrassed by these guys behavior, but I think you would find them more interesting than suburban dwellers. You won't find them cleaning their golf clubs or arranging tee times. You most certainly won't find them planning a church picnic, or servicing their lawn mowers, but you will find them getting ready to enjoy the natural world around them. How about sharing some of your spring rituals with me? Maybe you can convince me these guys are normal. Love to hear from you!

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