Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Blue Bird of Paradise

Rosie and Dangerous Searching for the Elusive Bird

All great adventurers are usually stalking the countryside looking for something. After thousands of years, the quest for the Holy Grail continues to this day. Many lives have been lost seeking the treasure of the Sierra Madre, and with the latest revelation in the newspaper, the hunt for Everett Ruess is back on. Dangerous usually dreams up some pretty flimsy excuses to justify most of our back country trips, but this latest explanation was really thin. Do you think Trea actually believed him when he told her we were going to capture a "Blue Bird of Paradise?" Well, you can imagine her look when we showed up with one as an actual gift for her.

Sheep dogs are incapable of lying. We don't have the lips for it, so in all honesty, I have to tell you it didn't take us long to locate and capture a bird. Larry, Dangerous' friend, carved one for him, and all we had to do was drive to and from Boulder in a blinding snow storm to pick it up. It was worth the trip because not only did we get an award winning bird, but Larry and Judy fed us one of their world class Dutch oven dinners.

Larry and His Blue Ribbon Blue Jay

All great adventurers have their preferred means of travel. The Greeks plied the red wine sea in their trireme war ships. Powell floated the Colorado in his wooden dories, and Dangerous' ancestors crossed the plains to Utah in prairie schooners. Dangerous always makes me mention that Utah Jack's family arrived in Utah on a Continental Trailways bus directly from Sweden. Well, Dangerous continues his family's tradition by driving us around southeastern Utah in the "Great White Whale" towing a 19th Century sheep camp. No matter where we stop our rig attracts attention. Even those too polite to ask kink their necks trying to get a good look at our outfit. Dangerous never tires telling anyone who will listen that real western adventurers stay in sheep camps and not commercially manufactured travel trailers. Some of the Germans and French tourists actually believe him as they line up to take pictures.

"The Great White Whale" Parked at Hog Springs

Like all great seafaring vessels, our ship of the highways has a name. New England whalers frequently named their ships after wives, mothers, or sweethearts. Left to his own devices, I am sure Dangerous would have christened our trusty Bicentennial Highway vessel something like Rosie or Trea; but he didn't get the chance. While parked in Grover, Utah Jack named our rig "Sheepdawg Kamp," and labeled it accordingly. I guess I should be flattered, but all we get are strange looks as people pass us on the highway trying to decipher Utah's redneck spelling. With our new name, we are unmistakable as we drive down the highway. Give a wave and a honk if you spot us. I am the one riding in the bed of the truck. The three dummies are sitting up front.

"Sheepdawg Kamp" Parked at Mule Canyon

I have to tell you half the fun traveling with Dangerous and his buddies is getting there. The destination is important, but the journey is just as much fun. You should have been with us to watch and listen to Utah Jack and Nature Dan direct Dangerous as he backed the "kamp" into our selected site. Utah was standing at the back giving directions, and Nature Dan was on the the other side shouting instructions. As most of you know, Dangerous isn't a patient man. However, after politely asking one or the other to "shut-the-blank up" the "kamp" was successfully parked. As you can see, it wasn't long before the Camp Chef stove was out and the cooking started. Actually, the hiking started first, but we will get to that in my next blog. I have to admit, Utah's campsite selection was about ideal.

Love to hear from you!

Mule Canyon Sunset


Becca Hatch said...

You should know by now:
a: Never let Jack name anything.
b: For SURE never let him spell it how he wants.

Looks like fun.

Gloria said...

This one came through just fine, so I guess we are back on track. I commented on the poem. It's a keeper!