Thursday, March 10, 2011

Deep Snow at the Cabin

My sister's family was in Utah for a visit and I took them up to the cabin to play around for the day in the deep snow. It was just the girls and Josh but we had a ton of fun. Somehow we managed to get everyone outfitted for the snow. I packed up two backpacks (mine with important supplies and Kjirsten's with cheese and crackers...actually that makes hers the more important backback) Josh got to ride in the sled and laughed the whole time and cross country skiiers we passed on the way would be laughing too by the time they reached the source of our sounds. It's always odd going to the cabin in the winter since everything that used to be so familiar suddenly gets skewed when you realize you're not following the trail you do in the summer...or are you? You're 6 feet off the ground and it's surprising how different things can look from a little change like that.
We made it! The cabin is always such a nice friendly welcoming sight no matter the season.
First Things First....Dig out the door at the top of the stairs (I've never had to dig out this door before, that's over a one story of snow)
Next...dig out the electrical box so we can have some light
Next...melt some snow for hot chocolate (also pop some popcorn and eat the fancy cheese and crackers from Kjirsten's backpack)
Then finally it's time for some fun!
I made the first ascent to the top of the roof using the avalanche shovel as an ice pick and to cut steps behind me. Thankfully it got easier every time we went up because it wasn't easy the first time.
Kjirsten following me. Being the second person through fresh snow is almost as hard as the first.
Me and Kjirsten on the top of the roof. I like this picture and the picture my sister took at the same time from the bottom.
Katrina inched her way up and we made our way to the porch roof...
The jump down to the porch roof is scary. It's a lot shorter than the final jump off but since it's the first thing you do you're not quite sure what to expect.
The first jump! I was so proud of my nieces, they agreed to jump all three of us at the same time. I thought for sure they'd make me go first or after I got to the bottom I'd look up to see at least one of them still at the top chickened out, but they did it!
I never managed to talk any one else into doing a flip though. It'd been a couple years since I'd flipped off anything so I was a little nervous and kept saying "You've done this a dozen times" out loud before I could go. The last time I did a flip was this time. And surprisingly it doesn't appear that my good form has suffered from the break in time....or my outfit or hairstyle either....
After the girls and I had a few more turns (more for the girls than me) we got Jailynn to make a jump. Unfortunately we'd packed down the snow quite a bit by then and I think she got whiplash.
We played around some more behind the cabin rolling down the hills....
...burrying eachother and making half snowman bodies...
...we even did a little backcountry sledding down the snowshoe trails in the trees which was pretty fun.
Then it was time to lock the place back up. Easier said than done since once you open a door all that snow puts a bit of warping pressure on the door frames.
(This is the mighty expedition picture) Josh was happy to get back in the sled for the ride back.
almost there...
...I don't recall there being an exciting follow-up to this picture but it sure looks like there should be.
The End

Friday, March 4, 2011

"I realized my participation deserved more than just waving a sign"

Is it just me or does anyone else find it totally lame and completely irritating that the news story coming out of Utah these days and making into national headlines is the fact that a college basketball player has violated the honor code and NOT that Tim DeChristopher will be going to prison for making a peaceful demonstration of civil disobedience against the Gas and Oil companies buying our wilderness land? Really? REALLY? I find it infuriating.
I went to BYU and I think that story is alright, it's a chance to show the world that people still have morals and that there's a school that treats everyone equally regardless of their elite status or the benefits they bring to the school. I agree with the decision, but I also think, as far as Davies is concerned it's sort of a private matter. He did something wrong, from the seriousness of his punishment possibly very wrong, and if I were him I'd sort of wish everyone would stop talking about it.
DeChristopher however did something right and no one cares. He's making a huge sacrifice. He's willingly giving up years of his freedom to make a statement about something he believes in. A statement that needed to be made and he did it in a perfectly acceptable way. He did not commit some violent crime of anarchy. He did not hurt anyone. He brought something to the attention of the people and I feel like no one is paying attention. He had the opportunity to plead to lesser charges, not go to trial, and maintain his freedom but he chose not to because he didn't want to back down from the statement he believed needed to be made. He didn't want to let the oil and gas companies intimidate him and win. He's not getting kicked off the basketball team for a season, he's going to prison! People complain and complain about the atrocities committed by these big oil corporations and yet when one of us makes an attempt to stand up against them and open a door for protest and change…we instead discuss who was the best dressed at the Oscars, Charlie Sheen, and BYU students breaking the honor code.
America is great and I love it, but I also think there's a lot of things wrong with it. I believe most people would agree with that. There's stuff wrong with every country, but whereas many countries major problems seem to stem from corrupt governments, I'm starting to believe our corrupt government stems from a corrupt people. Corrupt in the fact that we just don't care anymore. We don't care about what matters. Other countries hate us and give us this spoiled brat stereotype and I honestly think we deserve it. What happened to us? When Rosa Parks broke the law by sitting in the front of the bus she was making a much needed statement in the most appropriate way possible. Peaceful civil disobedience. She was breaking the law, but a law that everyone later realized was wrong. Our history is filled with examples of this, they are the Boston Tea Parties that go down in history as heroes that spurred change and gave hope and inspiration to their fellow wronged citizens to also stand up for what they believe in and for what is right. I believe in Tim DeChristopher's actions and I want to say something cliché like he is ahead of his time or something equally lame and unfitting, but I don't believe he is ahead of his time. Sadly I think perhaps he's behind the times. He's acting like our founding fathers would have acted and we have forgotten how to follow people like that. Tim DeChristopher is brave. I believe he is a martyr in many ways. It takes a lot of courage to do something like he is, trying to be the first in the hopes that others will follow behind you. I want him to be the beginning of change, an uprising of the public, the start of a revolution for a better world. I want the people to see the beauty and importance of wilderness and pay attention to what companies are doing to it behind our backs. I want us to stop sitting on our butts complaining about them but never trying to stop them. I want us to recognize a hero when we see one. When I first posted a comment on my facebook page about this my sister replied with this Edward Abbey statement which is just one of hundreds of his that could be used for a story like this.

"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earth movers, governments and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behavior.”

Unfortunately I believe that whereas Thoreau's behavior was proper and good, ours is just laziness. I want to have hope in the American people, myself included. I want to believe we will continue with what DeChristopher has done. I hope someday I look back at this as the start of something big, but I'm having a hard time maintaining that hope. I don't believe America lacks the right leaders, I believe we lack the right followers.

Read more here and here.