Yeah, I pulled up hard on the E-brake and slowed my electronic presence to a crawl, beginning last spring. Tetonsandwasatch, no articles, despite nailing some beautiful Wasatch lines after returning from a blindingly excellent trip to Alaska. Very few FB pix. Same with Instagram. Checking in to see what others had been up to; infrequent. It was intentional. It felt good for me. Time is precious, and even tossing up a quick photo on social media takes time. Or maybe I’ve gone off selfies. Only time will tell.
Thanks to the many – I was surprised how many, really – who inquired through various avenues if I was okay. Maybe that’s the reality of social media, huh? People you do, or even don’t, know worry about ya if you disappear. Yep, I’m fine. Life is going as life goes. Onwards. Ever onwards. Often, on skis.
In my electronic absence, I filled my life with some things that were unusual for me. There aren’t any pictures to present, as I also set down my characteristically present camera for a change. (threw in some recent ones at the end, have a look) The interesting parts of April to October/November could be summed up thus:
1) Well, for starters, I have grown a fu Manchu mustache. Yes. And not that trucker ‘stache imposter. A true Fu. Cheers.
2) Skied, or re-skied (depends which ones) a bunch of lines in Spring that I don’t see people standing on top of, or tracks in, ever. Well, nothing new there. Next.
3) Books read completely in that timeframe: 43 (2 were skimmed, one because that was fitting to the format, one because it was among the worst books I’ve ever read).
Books unfinished: 10.
Topics: Varied. Behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, mountain stuff, probabilities, logic, finance, biographies, sociology, history, books by scientists about science, autobiographies, it was a wide swath. In six months I suspect more pages were read and ideas absorbed than during my four years of college. Thought I’d fill in some gaps in my knowledge base. That felt good. Sometimes the brain gets hungry.
4) As a trail user here since the day SLC became home base, I’ve been dismayed by the apparent lack of Forest Service attention to otherwise fine, scenic trails. Many have grown in and are being slowly overtaken by the mountains. This forces users to endure what seems like a bushwhack on an actual Wasatch trail.
Don’t know if this is due to state or federal budget cutbacks, or a focus on the more mainstream trail mileage, or something else. I decided to take matters into my own hands. Literally. Clippers in backpack, I headed up and took care of some business. You may have been on a trail and noticed that it had recently been trimmed. That may have been me. It may not have been. You may never know, as I was only ever seen by one person – an IG friend I’d previously met in person – who recognized me despite the fu Manchu disguise. I begged secrecy and he politely obliged, despite snapping a photo to document the scene best described as follows:
(He, running along the trail, stops) ‘Oh, hey. Wait, I know you!’
– greetings and pleasantries exchanged –
‘Hold on, you’re trimming Wasatch trails by hand, solo? Why does this not surprise me?’
‘Uhhh, ….. dunno?’ (no good answer) If one is Roger the Shrubber, then I guess one is Roger the Shrubber.
5) For some reason, Mountain Hardwear saw fit to bring me aboard one of their smaller boats. Thanks, MH people. Too kind. Maybe, unlike Clif Bar, they actually like people to push their limits inside of their chosen sport. #pushyourself Anyway, check ‘em out, they’ve long had bomber gear, and these days they even have a reasonable selection of lightweight stuff for mountain people inclined in that direction.
6) The idea behind Food not Lawns is clearly starting to resonate deeply the more I become disgusted with the concept of GMO-based, overly processed stuff that passes as food in this country/globally. Digging out yard grass and replacing it with garden growing space is a reasonable endeavor. Replacing flower beds with edibles works, too.
The back and side yards were producers this year, and next year should see impressive expansion of both food and herb growth, with the inclusion of some of the front yard in the growing space. In the Autumn, leaves and other fertilizers went into the soil. Next year’s dirt should be a top notch, nitrogen rich, worm-friendly place. In contrast to this year’s soil. If someone whose thumbs to his shoulders have long been (accurately) considered either black or snow white, with not a hint of green, can contribute to such an endeavor, you can do it too.
6.2857) Between the garden and the trail trimming, let’s just say renaming this site Wasatch Gardens seems apt. Fortunately, that website name is already taken. And, there’s snow on the ground. It is, after all, time to ski! See below.
7) Gear reviews: I punish gear, and have been hard at work doing just that. Reviews are forthcoming. Some gear I’ve been privy to use is top notch, and you’ll love knowing about it, I bet. A few duds in there, and you’re going to hear about those, too. Because objectivity is key here at t&w.
And that’s a decent summary of a good portion of the E-Break. Let’s just see where the posts head from here. Maybe in a backcountry skiing oriented direction?