Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Two Dads

Utah Jack, 70's Thin

Dangerous Doug, 70's Hair

Perhaps you think that Utah and Dangerous are just two hard-nosed outdoorsmen with killer instincts and empty bellies. They are, but I know them in a little different way. They were both my dads, way back before having two dads was "cool" or required amendments to state constitutions. Most weekends, the two of them would load up their combined 7 children into "Old Blue" with rations, bikes, and no changes of clothes for an adventure. We went to all kinds of places -- Graveyard Flat, the sand dunes, Zion National Park, and later, the cabin in Grover, to name only a few. It was rare that we kids weren't invited to go with our dads. They tried diligently to enforce a "No Whining and You Better Carry Your Own Crap" rule, but I'm sure that they got pretty used to the long drawn out call of "How much longer?" and I remember many times that one or the other of them threw one of the kids backpacks on top of their own for a spell.

Sand Dunes

Dead Horse Point

Maybe you are wondering if all the work you go through to get your kids on a camping trip is even worth it. I can tell you it is. My fondest childhood memories involve stinking to high heaven, walking long distances, and staring up at the dark night sky. They include sage advice and stern warnings from two men, one my dad the other a close second, who loved me dearly even though I'm sure they felt like pushing me into the Escalante on more than one occasion. They taught me that the outdoors is a dear friend to me. I hear myself repeating Dangerous and Utah when I run off at the mouth about Lake Powell being a blight on society, a fecal stew, and a ruination for the lost remains of civilizations below its putrid waters. I hope it's a legacy I pass on to my own children that there is beauty in all landscapes, that vacations need not include Disneyland, and that two dads can be a lot of fun. Even though anyone who has been to the cabin could tell that neither one of you was the "decorator" in the relationship.

Graveyard Flat

Becca is Utah's oldest daughter with a family of her own. You can find a link to her blog at the top of this page. Let's hear more from our guest bloggers!

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