Monday, April 11, 2011

The Follies of Youth

Utah. Home of the Greatest Snow on Earth. Says so on our license plates. Having lived here my whole life, snow is nothing new. You can count on snow cropping up at any time between October and May. Usually our mountains are snowcapped until late August. So all in all, we're used to it.

(it lets us make giant ice sculptures like this)
Clearly, I have learned nothing in my 21 years of Utah winters.

This last weekend, my friend Happy Banana and I decided to go up to her cabin at Strawberry Reservoir.

***NOTE: Mommy will be adding random heckling from this point forward. Two Blonde grils have wandered into the wilderness and have apparently left their common sense in the car. Back in the parking lot. Far, far away.****

We knew that there would still be lots of snow, and we would have to park in the community lot and hike in on the packed snow to the cabin. All in all, should have taken us about an hour, maybe hour and a half to get there** your mother would have told you not to do this if she had know what the true plan was....hiking through deep powder during a snowstorm for more than an hour? Did you forget something? like your brain?***

We packed up our food in a sled, and off we go. We're happy! This is our weekend getaway, the last one we'll get to have for several months before Happy Banana leaves me for the excitement of Europe.  *** Happy Banana is even blonder than Thing One is  -- just thought you should know. *** We're both dressed in jeans and down coats--we forgot the snow pants. We arrived at 8, with plenty of light (even though it was snowing a little). All was going well until it got dark. But as we passed the halfway point **** walking how many miles in the snow? following snowmobile tracks? probably made by young men having a good time and not really caring where they were going? If they had known they would be leading two foolhardy young women to lostness in the woods, they may have made it even more interesting for you...*** and continued on, we started sinking into the snow. About up to our hips. **Good thing you're so short. Your hips aren't too far from the ground that way.**

For anyone who's never sunk into the snow up to their hips, it tends to want to take your boots off when you try to get out. **I'd do a "Nelson" laugh, here, if I wasn't such a wonderful mother.** I didn't look at my clock at all during this whole excursion (until much later), so I'm not sure how long we tried to keep swimming through the snow. After a short **?**  while, we were starting to feel our energy drain from trying to drag our sled of food along. We decided to leave it behind and come back for it in the morning, taking a loaf of bread along with us to tide us over. *** I must insert here, that they were discarding things from the sled before this. The first thing they dumped was the 24 pack of Dr. Pepper. That was the worst mistake of the trip.***

This is about the time that the thoughts that this could have been a bad idea started to creep up on us. But we'd come so far that the idea of going back seemed even more exhausting than what lay ahead. Or so we thought.

By about 11:00 we were so wet, cold and tired, we couldn't go any further--even though we could see the cabin, we still had another 1/4 or 1/2 mile to get through in (what we later found out was) six foot deep snow. ** In case you didn't know, dear daughter, snow tends to be just a little bit deeper in the mountains than what we get here in the valley. Especially after you run out of snowmobile tracks to follow.** We were fortunate enough to have cell phone signal, and we were able to call my friend H.B.'s parents. After explaining that there was no way we could keep going ** because your banana friend had succumbed to hypothermia and was turning purple like this text**, she told us she would see what she could do to get us out of there. Her mother called search and rescue, then told us they were on their way. We then backtracked to a locked-up garage we had passed a short while before, waiting for SAR to contact us back.

As we were headed back to the garage, the thought crossed my mind that if SAR was on its way...there was a distinct possibility that we could end up on the news. As horrified as I was by this thought, I realized that my mother would KILL me if she found out we were lost in the barren Utah snowdrifts through the local news ** LOOK! She found her brain!! **. Once we reached the garage, SAR called us back. H.B. was in bad shape at this point **like I said, purple**, so I spoke to them and called 911 so that they could get our GPS coordinates for SAR. They said it would be about an hour til they got there. We call H.B.'s mom to touch base, and I ask her to call my mother **Thank you for remembering me at all. That way I didn't have to spend all that money on gas so I could drive up there and kill you**. Then we huddled together to try and stay warm.

A bit later, H.B.'s mom calls back and tells us she was able to reach a couple who lives in the area year round **thank heaven for crazy people who for some unknown reason live in the wilderness all the time on purpose**, and that they were going to come out on a snow-mobile and look for us. Miracles of miracles, a few minutes later, we hear a motor and then see lights coming our direction. Our rescuer, Mr Hancock arrives, and I have never been so happy to see someone I've never met **why, oh why, couldn't it have been some eligible young bachelor that came to your rescue?**. We called SAR back and they were able to call off the rescue. As H.B. gets onto the back of the snowmobile and I get into the towing sled, Mr Hancock explains that he had found our abandoned sled of food and followed our tracks to find us **how good a rescuer can he be if he didn't pick up the Dr. Pepper? Seriously, Mr. Hancock!**.

The Hancock's let us spend the night at their house. I have no words for how incredibly humbled and grateful we were for their hospitality. After warm showers and brief chatting with our rescuers, I called mom, then H.B. and I turned in for the night **how you could sleep with the gulit after scaring the bejeebers out your parents, I will never know**.

The next morning they took us back to our car, where H.B.'s parents had driven out to meet us there. Then we went home **where everyone was still picking up their jaws from the floor in astonishment that you survived this fiasco**.

Summarizing: We are both complete morons who's own pride and stubbornness should have gotten us KILLED. It was only through answered prayers that we were not killed by our own stupidity. My parents refrained from telling me "I told you so," to my face **but we did a lot of sniggering behind your back, dear one.**. Probably because they figured I'd had the living daylights scared out of me already and I've learned my lesson. **I love you, dear demented daughter, and I'm glad you didn't die.**

How was your weekend?

3 comments: said...

Oh my! Is it terrible that I am laughing so hard I am crying and may have peed my pants ever so slightly? I am glad you are ok though!

Allen said...

The great thing about experiences like these is you live, learn and have a good story to embellish as time goes on :)

Allen said...

You survived and learned. Now you have a great story to embellish over the years :)