Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Resolutions

Every morning, Ol' Dangerous disappears around 6:30 AM. He sticks me outside in the dog pen; scrapes the snow and ice off the windshield of his truck; and heads to the American Fork Recreation Center. I wait patiently for him to show up a few hours later to let me out and to feed his horses. He tells me that this time of year the recreation center is crowded with people working on their "New Year Resolutions." For a few weeks, Dangerous has to share the track and pool with those resolved to get more exercise and lose weight. According to Dangerous, the crowds are usually gone by February 1 because exercising and losing weight isn't much fun. Don't get the wrong idea! Dangerous isn't all that virtuous. He is pretty thick around the middle, and he really likes to eat. Exercise is the price he pays so he can ride and hike in the spring.

I am not sure I understand all this resolution stuff. Dangerous tells me that I ought to give it a try. He has suggested that I resolve to stop barking, darting, and snapping at Dottie while he is trying to mount up to ride. He has also encouraged me to refrain from eating hot, steamy ones dropped by Dottie or LG in the trail. Dangerous doesn't mind me eating them. What he doesn't like is the big, wet lick I usually give him after.

Well, after some lengthy discussion, we came up with our 2010 "New Year Resolutions." Most of them involve me directly, but there are a few that Dangerous has to pursue on his own. For example, the Forest Service doesn't welcome me into their offices while Dangerous crusades to protect our favorite trails. So, working together, this is what we plan to do during 2010. Why don't you share your resolutions with me, and we can hold each other accountable during the year?

Continue the Fight

For years, Dangerous has spent a lot of time attending Dixie National Forest planning meetings. Unlike many of those engaged in the forest planning process, he pays all his own expenses. I guess he considers it a small price to pay to try and protect the few remaining non-motorized trails we love so much. This year he agreed to serve on the Dixie's Motorized Task Force charged to help implement the new Motorized Travel Plan. I don't get to attend, but I do hear about all the meetings afterward. I will keep you informed about what goes on during the year.

At Least One Long Backpacking Trip

Age is creeping up on Dangerous and his buddies, but he is still committed to hiking regularly. He might not backpack as often as a few years ago, but during 2010, we plan to make at least one long, wilderness trek. Sometime in February or March, I am sure you will see the notice about when and where we plan to go. If you are up to it, watch for the announcement, and plan to join us.

More "Sheep Dawg Kamp" Adventures

Keep your eyes peeled while driving Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, and Montana byways. You never know where we will show up. If you see the "Sheep Dawg Kamp" cruising down the road or parked in a meadow somewhere, stop for a cold beer and a snack. We are even more recognizable this year. Dangerous' son made him signs for the side of his truck. There might be other sheep camps on the mountain, but none of them will have a sign on the tow truck advertising "Parasite Ranch: Grover, Utah." If you see the sign, you will know for sure it's us. I will fill you in about the sign in my next blog.

Fly Fishing

Dangerous has invested a lot of time and money learning to fly fish. Actually, he has bought all the equipment, read numerous books, and attended classes; but so far, he hasn't wetted a line. Well, this year he plans to actually put all his book knowledge and equipment to use. Again, you are invited to join us. Look for us on one of the numerous lakes and streams on the Dixie or Fish Lake National Forests, and if you have time, join us the second week in July at Green River Lakes, Wyoming.

More Porch Time

After a long day in the saddle, we always retire to the porch in Grover for food, conversation, and sometimes music. Since we have resolved to ride more this year, you will probably find us, May-November, sitting on the porch listening to Fremont Bob spin yarns or make music. Fremont has had all winter to practice his music and refine his yarns, so drop by most any night if you want to be entertained. With a larger audience and more practice, we think we can get Fremont a Nashville gig next winter. Come by and help us out!

Promote Utah Jack's Career

If you stop by to visit, you will probably have to listen to Utah Jack's sales pitch. He is a bit short on cash, so he is trying to increase business. His LLC, "Lil' Buddy Budget Burials," didn't take off as planned during 2009. When you join us, humor him by stretching out on the porch after dinner, so he can take your measurements. At a low, low price, he can put you into one of his hand made coffins, and we will store your purchase in Grover for a nominal fee until you need it. Hopefully, Utah will see a huge increase in sales during 2010. Dinner is free, but you have to listen to Utah's sales pitch!

Another "Grover Boyz" Picnic

We plan to do it again this year, so pencil in the "Grover Boyz" picnic on your new 2010 calendar. Kay is helping again with a fund raiser. We only hope the Wayne County Sheriff doesn't shut her down before she earns enough to pay for the food, drinks, and supplies. Contact me directly, and I will tell you where to make your contribution. Make sure you keep Labor Day weekend open so you can attend!

Southeastern Utah Canyon Hiking

What would spring and fall be without our regular hiking trips to southeastern Utah? Dangerous and I are resolved to make at least two trips again this year to hike our favorite canyons and visit Anasazi Ruins. Get in touch with me if you are interested in joining us. Dangerous isn't the best guide on the Colorado Plateau, but hanging out with him and his buddies can be highly entertaining and occasionally, educational. You can help us continue our search for Evertt Ruess.

More Riding!

Don't forget that the horse riding season usually starts May 1. This year Little Guy and Dottie will travel in style to Grover. Dangerous bought them a new aluminum horse trailer, and we plan to use it a lot. I am sure you will find us riding all our old, familiar trials along Highway 12, but this year, I plan to get Dangerous back to some old favorites like the Fish Lake Hightop and Thousand Lake Mountain Flat Top that we haven't visited in years. So, load up your horse, and come join us!

Well, that's our list for 2010. If you think it sounds like more of the same from 2009, you are absolutely right. I always say go with your strengths and stay with what you know. Some people probably think we are really good at wasting time, but remember you are only wasting time if you would rather be doing something else. We try really hard to always follow the High Plateau motto, "it's always Saturday in Grover!" Love to hear from you!


Becca Hatch said...

Count me in on several of these. Is Utah Jack's business an MLM? If so, I'd like to get in early.

The Barratt Fam said...

Watch for a special gift coming your way in the mail... it will help you keep track of your exciting year ahead. Xoxo...

Max said...

At times I guess I'm a might slow, but your "resolutions" list finally opened my eyes. Having Dangerous host wilderness treks for "over the hill" hikers is part of Utah's business plan for Little Buddy Budget Burials. Sheer genius.