Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hello/goodbye, Utah

Our time in Utah came to an end waaaay faster than I expected. So, sorry all you people who we thought we'd get to hang out with. Seriously.

It hadn't been that long since I'd last visited Utah, but this time we were up in Lehi so it was a little different than Provo. The main thing I was struck by was that I kept thinking I saw people I knew from my days at the BYU. Then I realized that no, people in Utah just share 80% of their genes with other Mormons, so they only resemble half the people I knew in college.

OK, I'm exaggerating a little, but it is true that everyone looked vaguely and almost creepily familiar and I had to do a double-take many times to confirm that it was not my old friend so-and-so. Part of the confusion also comes from the fact that hair and clothing styles in Utah Valley are very, shall we say, homogenous, so you really do have to look close to catch out any actual acquaintances.

In other Utah news, we really enjoyed our visit. Jeremy's sister tended the girls for an astounding 8 hours so we could climb Mt. Timpanogos together. It was so glorious. The last time we climbed Timp was in 2001 when we were dating. This time, we got up at 4.30 and started climbing while it was still dark. For a long time, we hiked together, just the two of us, in darkness and quiet, except for occasionally jangling the car keys to avoid surprising bears (really).

We made it to the very top this time, instead of stopping at the saddle like last time, but you know what? I never want to go all the way to the top again. To the saddle, the enjoyment vs. suffering vs. sense of achievement ratios are just about  in equilibrium. If you continue another difficult 45 minutes to the summit, those factors get all out of whack. I'll leave you to figure out which one skyrockets (hint: it's SUFFERING). Next time I climb Timp, I'm stopping at the saddle. The view is just as good, after all.

And for anyone who's been wondering for years which route to the top is the easiest (like I have), I can now tell you from personal experience that it's the Timpooneke trail. Glad that's settled.

We're in Idaho now. Only one stop besides this one is left in our Summer of Progress.


Nancy said...

Bummer that we missed you!

Do you know, I've never hiked Timp, ever? One day I will...I mean, it's kind of something you have to do, right? I've only lived in this state for like a decade...

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Hiking Timp seems to be the thing to do now. Thinking back to my BYU days, hiking Timp was never mentioned, probably because so few people had cars to get to places like that. Is it easier or tougher than climbing Mt. St. Helens? Do you have to scale huge boulders like on St. H?

Bridget said...

From Wikipedia:

"Prior to 1970, an annual Provo event called the "Timp Hike" sent thousands of people up the mountain's slopes. From 1911 to 1970 this one-day event (which took place generally on the third or fourth weekend in July) attracted thousands of people to the mountain. It also created the need for infrastructure, such as the stone shelter built in 1959 near Emerald Lake and a smaller metal shack on the summit (this was used as an observation deck complete with brass rods etched with notches aligned with various landmarks). The hike caused environmental damage to the mountain, and was finally canceled to help preserve the delicate mountain ecosystem."

So maybe that's why in the mid-70s people weren't hiking it so much.

Jake and Becky Veigel Family said...

I'm jealous, I miss hiking Timp, and it's funny but I have had exactly the same experience. Hiked to the lake many times, but only have done the summit once and no desire to go back. My issue is the height and the fact that you're walking on the edge of a cliff with the wind blowing at you half the time. Not my idea of fun! B

Kathy Haynie said...

Haha - my husband and I climbed Mount St. Helens for the first time ever on Tuesday. We are very sore, even though we trained diligently all summer.

Bridget said...

Kathy, part of the reason we climbed Timp is to train for Mt. St. Helens - which we're climbing next week! I've climbed it a couple of times before but not for ten years at least so I'm a little worried about being out of shape.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Interesting. Guess I barely missed the fun. Don't think I'd want to be in a metal shack on the summit in a place where t-storms are common.

And if you think you're out of shape, guess again. Not sure I'll make it to the top this time.


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