I have meant to do this blob ever since I have been blobbin. Barbara's blog about hiking gets me going. Jodi and Todd and the younguns hike when they are not running. Jodi and Brian are gearing up for Bryce Canyon in July. So I go now. Into 1993 or 1994.
I was restless one Saturday morning. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I decided to hike who knows where. I parked the car at the U of U and set out. It looked like rain so I fished an umbrella out of the trunk. I walked through the cemetery. It started to rain, all right. I walked to City Creek Canyon. Does this sound like a parallel (but opposite season) to Barb's blog? I was in pretty good shape then. I could not turn back. Up the canyon I went. The rain turned to sleet. Like most unprepared hikers, I kept a'goin'. Somewhere in my brain I knew I would have to do it all in reverse. (Not walking backward,but...) The rain turned to sleet. It was coming down sideways. Dumb. But I was having fun, dang it! Two or three joggers came hurrying down the hill. Two woman joggers passed me going up the hill.
That gave me courage. If they could run it I could walk it. The sleet turned to snow, still coming straight in from the north. I hiked all the way to the water treatment plant and a bit beyond. The gal in a bright green outfit came running back down. I finally knew that I had done enough. The snow was beginning to pile up. Down the hill I went, telling myself that I was having fun! I kept looking over my shoulder for the smaller gal in a gray and black jogging suit. I was tiring greatly by the time I reached the mouth of the canyon.
I decided to stop and wait a bit to make sure she got out safely. I knew some things and I "fer sure" didn't know some things. She was definitely alone up that creek. If she had fallen on the icy pavement she was very much alone "up the creek". A broken hip? A sprained knee? A head injury? On the other hand, there were many side trails up the side of the canyon and over toward the state capitol building. A simple manuever on a dry day, but in this weather the likelihood seemed remote that she went there. Cell phones were at least 5 years out.
Would her family become concerned and come straight to the canyon, see her car and go find her? Was she alone in every way with no one mounting a search? Was she sitting in front of a warm fire at this moment? I waited a long time. She could not have run that far up the canyon. Not in this weather. My heart sank. I could not leave her up there and read about her in the next morning's Desnews. I certainly couldn't walk into town and give the cops a cockamamie story of a missing person.
I started up the hill. I walked the better part of a mile. Suddenly, she rounded the bend, running at the same expert pace I had seen before. I turned and started back down. She gave me the strangest look as she ran by me. She recognized my umbrella and understood my instant turnabout. "You are a serious runner," I said. She stopped and walked with me. "Saturdays are my only day to escape my crazy life. I run no matter what." She never acknowledged that I was some sort of wacky guardian angel.. She never thanked me for anything. We chatted aimlessly all the way to her car. She asked me if she could take me anywhere.
I could not allow her to try driving up the hill to the U. of U. I declined. I cleaned her windows as she started her auto. I knew one more thing. I knew that she knew. I would have never left her up there alone. When I got to the city streets I called home. Jodi wanted to come and get me. I couldn't let her go out in that mess. I don't remember ever seeing a bus.
I was a ward Sunday School president at the time. The next morning my phone rang. It was my next door neighbor, a SS teacher. He said, "I'm not going out in this! Bye." I had no time to tell him I had just done fourteen miles "in this". For fun.