"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Home is not where you live, but where they understand you." - Christion Morgenstern
"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them." -J.K. Rowling

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Off-Roading Experience Part 1: Trails

Katie and I practically live together - her mother feeds me like one of her own and my mother refers to her as 'my fifth child.' We know each other so well that we can tell how the others day has been with one look. This fateful night, we were both extremely pissed off - for reasons that will never be discussed on this blog - so Katie decided that we should just drive around - hence the title: 'The Plotter'. Harmless suggestion, right? We ended up behind Lone Peak High School, and we drove past this road neither of us had ever been down.
"Let's see where it goes," she said.
"Are you gonna be able to get us out of here," I asked.
"Paige," she said in that sarcastic plotting voice that I knew all too well, "have I ever gotten us lost before?"
I didn't even need to answer, there was a very legitimate reason I called her Kate-Kate. So I turned, we were both on the edge of our seats, squinting out into the darkness that even my brights wouldn't illuminate. The paved road curved around the back of our school and then came to a fork - each option a dirt trail.
"Go right," Katie said.
"I'm not sure Denton(- The Car-) can take this, Kate," I said.
She slapped her door in an endearing fashion, "Paige, it is true, Denton has seen many things - but if they didn't kill him, this definitely won't."
For some psychotic reason, that made sense to me so I pulled forward to continue on down the right trail. The car rumbled on down the trail and I sent a prayer up to the god of crappy cars that mine would be able to pull through this in just as many bent pieces as it started in. We came to this clearing, it was probably a circular fifty feet of dirt that had two other trails coming from it.
"That one," Katie said, pointing to the one on the left.
"We went right last time," she said simply.
I shrugged and followed her directions. We ended up on this extremely narrow trail that went on for quite a while. Just when I was thinking it would never end, a sign appeared in the middle of the road:
Really? I thought, we've been going down this road for at least five minutes and you put the ROAD CLOSED sign here? I looked around us - to my left, the road just dropped of to this ten foot cliff, to the right, it went up a ten foot cliff that was littered with trees and boulders of various sizes.
"What am I supposed to do now, genius?" I asked, the sarcasm was hard to miss.
"I just told you to turn. Ultimately, you had the choice, this is your fault," she said.
I reminded myself to invest in a new GPS system.
I considered my choices again and decided to try backing up the hill and doing some kind of twisted three-point type turns because if we went down the hill no one knows where they would have found Katie and I's skeletons wrapped in Denton's - The Car - crushed body. Crunch, crunch, grittle, crunch, grittle, crunch, thump - that is what it sounded like as my car slowly ascended the slope hitting millions of little pebbles and gigantic rocks whose lives would never bee the same. There was an epic CRUNCH and my car refused to go any farther, seeing as it had high centered on the biggest boulder we'd seen yet.
Katie screamed, scaring the crud out of me, let me tell you. I smacked her on the arm and took a deep breath to focus my mind - they don't call me The Driver for nothing. I put both of my feet on the break pedal and pushed as far down as it would go before putting my car into drive. We descended slower than the plague slightly turning all the while so that we could go back down the narrow trail. Beads of sweat slid down my forehead and Katie clutched the handle of her door as if it were her only chance to get out of this alive.
We made it back onto the road safely, both out of breath and totally high off the thrill. We came to the fork, and I couldn't remember which way was out so I looked to Katie.
"That way," she pointed, down the other trail.
"Katie," I said, half exasperated, half excited, "wasn't that just enough."
"I want to see where it goes, Paigey," she said still pointing while she bounced.
"I swear, you're going to be the death of me," I muttered and against my better judgement, turned the way she pointed.
This trail was, if at all possible scarier. Tall ominous weeds swayed in the slight breeze on both sides of us, their pale yellow color shining in the glare of my headlights. When the radio started playing 'No Good Deed' from Wicked, we both got seriously freaked out, so we had to change the song to one of the undeniable classics - "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" by Relient K. The music calmed us down slightly and we slowly continued, following the trail that insisted on twisting and turning mysteriously for the next fifteen minutes. Finally, though, we randomly came to a paved road. Somehow, this freaked me out more than the trail we had just braved. The road was wide enough to have a median in it - which really confused me, because as far as I know we were still back behind Lone Peak.
After looking in each direction about fifty times, I tentatively pulled forward and took Katie's suggested right. I glanced back towards the trail we'd just left, trying to remember it in case I decided I wanted to go back and saw something that made me laugh so hard I had to put the car in park.
"Uh. . . Paige?"
"Look. . .at. . .the. . .sign," I gasped between bouts of laughter.
She turned around and then cracked up with me.
"Oh my gosh," she said. "We've been breaking the law for the past hour, haven't we?"
There was a sign at the head of that trail that said "Alpine Trails - Property of Alpine City."
"There's a law against driving on city trails?" I demanded, suddenly panicked.
"Just drive, Paige," she said, shaking her head. "If you turn left at the end of this road you'll be on the road to your house."
I just nodded and obeyed, still shaking from laughter.
Moments Like These

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