Saturday, September 17, 2011

What I Did Last Summer (Utah Scenic Highway 12 Reprise Part Three: A Fateful Meeting at Calf Creek Falls)

Now that the dust has cleared from the meteor called August* that smashed into my life, I can continue with this little series on Summer 2010.  (Actually, September is a meteor of another sort, but one of my own design, so at least I could prepare for it. Which isn't meant to imply I was ready for it.)


June in Utah can be… cold.  It was so cold the night before in Bryce Canyon I couldn’t sleep.  And while I can usually count on the wrestling, struggling, swearing and panting required to get my sleeping bag into its dry bag to warm me up, it was too cold even for that to be effective.  I was nearly beaten by that daily athletic event, yet my teeth were still chattering.  Breaking camp and loading up that shivery morning wasn’t the highlight of my trip, but even so, as I rode out of the park, I wasn’t sure if the tears stinging my eyes were solely from the weather.  How lucky I am to be here, in these wonderful places, doing what I love to do!

Good morning, Highway 12!  Special Bonus: I had time for the short hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. This would serve me well, as you will soon see.

I love these stripey rock walls.

Not quite three miles in and Lo!  Lower Calf Creek Falls appear!

The falls in all their glory.  Next year, next year… the upper falls, from a shorter but more difficult trail.

A friendly hiker at the falls noticed my awkward attempts at a self portrait and offered to take my photo.  We hiked back to the parking area together, and I learned that he too, was a motorcyclist.  Do you remember, back in 2009, the day I fell in love with the Ducati 696?  Not only faster than my Kawi, but lower and lighter, too.  Sadly, I never did find that extra $10,000+ under the couch cushions, and had ruled it out as an impossibility.  But fate, in her mysterious ways, would put this unsuspecting starving artist in the saddle of shiny new bike before summer's end.  A few weeks later, this friendly hiker (who would later become my Most Excellent Tour Guide)** would search for and post a Craig’s List ad for a practically brand new Ducati (but, remarkably, in the same solar system as my budget - Pluto to be sure, but still the same solar system) on my Facebook Wall.  Thanks to this chance meeting on the trail, in little over a month’s time I’d be the proud owner of my “little pony.”  Who knew?

*Pack and move home from UT, dead car leaves me stranded in UT, ridiculous alternate transport home to Tucson, job goes wonky, find affordable reliable new-to-me-used car (Hah!), beloved doggie moves on to greener pastures… I think that’s plenty for one month!
** My METG took me on a most unexpected tour last week, the description of which is approximately fifth in the line of blogposts held up on the runway.

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