Thursday, August 13, 2009

Country Roads

At the beginning of this summer my roommate ML and I revived a long-standing college tradition that Munn and I began during our freshmen year. Occasionally when we had some free time, Munn and I would take long meandering drives in the areas south or northeast of Provo. The goal was usually to get ourselves good and lost. Whenever we got sick of exploring, we’d eventually get ourselves back to civilization and familiar roads. We were usually out for two or three hours, and some of the funniest and best talks we ever had were during those drives.

Last summer Munn left me for bigger and better things, and ML moved in. I told ML about all the drives Munn and I had been on, and we finally got around to trying it out earlier this summer. I guess I wasn’t technically lost this time. I’ve driven out that way so many times that I actually recognize a good chunk of the farms and roads in the area. I couldn’t tell you town names or even the names of streets, but I’m always able to navigate my way through.

It was on this drive that ML discovered my lifelong love affair with dilapidated out buildings. I particularly like old stables on the verge of collapse, but I generally take a liking to any wood structure that seems to be nigh unto toppling over. (See below)

On this particular drive, I also learned that ML is rather afraid of cows. I was much amused.

We also found a favorite spot of mine on the southeast shore of Utah Lake. We were there after the sun had set, but it was beautiful just the same.

I guess the drive tradition didn’t actually begin with college. I remember one night in high school when I just wanted to get out and clear my head. I drove from my house up to the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and just sat in my car in a little turnout for a while. Then I came down the canyon, watched some fireworks from Wasatch Blvd, and then looped my way through Sandy. Three or four hours after I began driving, I met a friend of mine in a random, poorly lit parking lot out on Redwood Road. We ended up taking her car out to the Great Salt Lake, and we parked at the water’s edge somewhere out by Tooele or Grantsville. Wherever we were, it was pitch black, and there wasn’t any moon. The edge of the lack was inky black, and we really felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. That’s actually one of my favorite memories of L.

Then there was the time that L., A., E., and I drive up to the area near Top of the World Drive and found the Neff’s Canyon make-out spot . . . er. . . parking lot. We brought a garbage bag full of popcorn and laughed at all the other people around us. The view really was gorgeous. (I guess that’s the reason for the reputation.) That was a fun night.

Another of my favorite drives was even earlier. C.’s mom volunteered to drive a carload of eighth graders way out past Delta for a weekend science field trip. On the way home, C.’s mom was a blast; a little bit into the drive she took us out for a bunch of figure eights on some salt flats just off the road. We laughed and got sick, and everyone had a great time. I’m still friends with every girl who was in that car.

I’ve been on dozens of other memorable drives – too many to list off here. These pictures are just a handful of the scenes I’ve captured during these drives.