Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hiking the Courthouse Wash. The Final Chapter.

I feel like I'm dragging this story out a little too long, and truthfully, how do I top a fire?

So, I'm thinking I'll resort to that old gimick from the 80's television and movies: The Working Montage.

(Remember those scenes on The A-Team and Macgyver, where they would compress several hours of the story into just a few minutes -- where B.A. Baracus would turn his van into a tank, and Mac would build a glider out of duct tape, all before the next commercial?)

Without further ado, here is the Courthouse Wash working montage:

The scene opens on Erin Bawden's brand new Chuck Taylors. His brand new WHITE Chuck Taylors, purchased just for this hike. This hike through the deep red soil of southern Utah.

Next, the camera pulls back to reveal a meandering line of scouts, following the riverbed, making their way past a small herd of cattle, grazing near some cottonwoods, along the bank of the trickling stream.

Eight cows. One bull.

The scouts file by uneventfully, with the exception of one -- Erin Bawden, who decides to try his hand at bullfighting.

Dissolve to all the non bullfighting scouts, stopping suddenly...wondering what that low rumble the distance stretching out behind them, they see a cloud of dust...getting closer...closer...then around the corner comes the matador, panting like a racehorse, running like a cartoon character, and mentioning to everyone else that they might want to...


Dissolve to all the parched scouts frolicking -- yes, frolicking -- in a beautiful pool, hidden below the overhang of an ancient cliff. Despite stern warnings from their leaders, they are filling up their canteens from the small waterfall that feeds the sapphire pool. Remember the leaders are the only ones who still have any water at this point.

Despite the presence of water, all the scouts remain mostly clothed, which leads me to another digression:

The only time I have EVER participated in a strip poker game, was in a teepee full of scouts. Nothing in the Scout Law saws you have to be smart. 

Dissolve to one curious scout -- Paul Stoddard --  who comes upon a pair of frogs, doing...well...what comes naturally. Doing what this scout should have learned about in ninth grade biology. We're not sure what he's thinking. Maybe he thinks that the one is hurting the other? Maybe he thinks they would rather do something else (after all he wouldn't have health class until the tenth grade), so he pulls them apart. When the other scouts explain what he has done (don't ask me where they got THEIR information), he throws the frogs. 

He just throws them. A good thirty yards. 

Dissolve to Danny Luscher cooking the greatest camping meal I have ever had in my life: macaroni and cheese. For two days he had hauled a pot, a bag of macaroni and a giant block of cheese through the desert. This night he boiled the pasta in river water, then slowly melted the entire block of cheese into the macaroni, over the camp fire. It was a masterpiece, and never duplicated -- trying to cook macaroni and cheese this way in the kitchen does not work. I've tried. 

Dissolve to one scout -- me -- still awake after all the others have faded off to sleep. Zoom in on my eyes, wide open. See the universe reflected. As I lay there, in the quiet of the desert night, I stare into the face of time. For the first time in my life, I understand why they call our galaxy The Milky Way. The number of stars, and the beauty of the night sky overwhelm me. There is no way I am sleeping. There is no way I'm going to miss the show.  

Dissolve to Tayah Edwards suddenly going in, up to his waist, in a pool of quicksand. Panic sets in. A rush of motion. Screaming. Yelling. Aaron pulling him out by his back pack. Concern. Relief. 


Whoa! Quicksand!

Dissolve to scouts eagerly seeking out, and happily, gleefully, stupidly, intentionally wading into every other quicksand pool they come across. 

Dissolve to the scouts, nearing the end of their journey, coming across a family of naked children playing in the river. The parched, weary, and sunburned scouts can't help wondering what it would be like to be sunburned...there?

Dissolve to mouth of the Courthouse Wash -- a small series of waterfalls -- where the meandering stream, flows into the mighty Colorado.

Hey! The Colorado is about as mighty as rivers get in these parts.

The boys have survived. The leaders have survived. The National Park has survived.

Dissolve to Erin Bawden's Chuck Taylors, now, and forever more, as rusty red as the Moab sand.

And...go to commercial.

Whatever shall I write about tomorrow? I'm open to suggestions....


Anonymous said...

Chris, you've given me three days of much needed laughter. Thank you for that.

When I read about your adventures, I smile because I know all the parties involve and I quiver with fear because two of my three boys are in that phase of life.

Anonymous said...

d'oh... involved even!

{krista} said...

My frogs do that ALL the time... apparently they haven't learned they are living in a childs bedroom and that's inappropriate.

I think you should write about a typical day in the life of Chris. Then... and now.