"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

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Off-Roading Experience Part 3: Considering The State Of Your Glovebox

Like I mentioned earlier, these posts aren't in chronological order. Which is partially why we haven't heard anything of Tanner or Ryan yet. See, Katie and I started out the group - so a lot of our traditions began with just me and her. I introduced her to Tanner and he fell into the group and then Ryan got hired at the Megaplex - The Workplace - and Katie brought him into the group. It will be one more post before we hear from The Voice of Reason, just for the sake of continuing the Off-Roading saga.
Katie, Ryan and I (Tanner was in San Francisco) decided to go to the temple in South Jordan. If you ever come with us, it is customary for Katie to collect the cell phones in the car and methodically stuff them in the glove box. We went in and came out, heading back to Denton - The Car. I unlocked the door and Katie assumed her position in shotgun while Ryan battled the Anger-Management Door to get into the back seat. Once we're all in and buckled Katie grabs the handle to the glove box and pulls to free our phones from their dismal prison. Since we were in Denton - The Car - the handle pops off, never to work again.
"Uh. . . Paige?" she asked.
"I don't think we'll be able to get to our phones in the near future."
"WHAT?!?" cried Ryan from his seat in the back. "I need my phone."
"Here, lemme try this," Katie said grabbing the keys from me and proceeding to jab them into the gaping hole left behind by the handle.
Luckily, the glove box fell open, and Katie redistributed our phones and closed it again.
"Oh thank goodness," Ryan said, flipping it open instantly. "If it wasn't going to open I was gonna kill it."
I shot him a pointed look through the rear view mirror.
"Not that I would ever kill Denton (-The Car -)," he amended quickly. "I love Denton (-The Car.)"
"Thank you," I said, smiling.
In the mean time, Katie was trying, and failing, to reopen the glove box.
"Is there anything important in here?" she asked.
"Only my proof of insurance and registration," I said. Those are probably the two most important documents you'll ever have in your car, period. They are two of the three things cops will ask for when they pull you over - believe me, I would know. I'm gonna say that I've got experience and leave it at that.
Katie, having been present for most of this 'experience,' eyed me, "You're going to have to be careful, Paige, considering the state of your glove box."
Even though I took that statement completely seriously, I cracked up, "Considering the sate of my glove box, really?"
"Yeah, no speeding," she said, sounding like my favorite broken record.
"What about Suncrest?" I asked, my hopes and dreams were suddenly crushed.
"Yeah," said Ryan, backing me up, "Suncrest is fun when Paige drives."
"You can still do Suncrest," she conceded, extremely reluctantly.
You see, on my side of the mountain, the road up and over Suncrest isn't monitored by the police - and, if you're too thick to pick it up, I like to go fast - REALLY fast. So, that is the one road I can really let loose on. (My record up is three minutes. Down? One minute and fifty seconds.)
I carefully drove towards the mountain, already excited to be going down the next side. Katie kept her diligent eye on the speedometer interjecting with, 'Paige, glove box,' when I got tired of holding up my lead foot. I had the feeling these would soon become the three words most spoken within the confines of my car.
"I still haven't been Off-Roading with you guys," Ryan commented from the back seat. "It sounds like SO much fun."
Katie and I made eye contact and cracked up (see The Off-Roading Experience Parts 1&2.)
"It has to be spontaneous," Katie said, explaining our tradition.
"But we didn't plan it, did we?" Ryan asked, suddenly hopeful.
"Yeah, I guess," she replied, "but we have to pass a dirt road. Hence the 'Off-Roading' part."
"Well, we should still explore," Ryan said, "that's how you guys started out on the other ones."
Katie screamed as I pulled a hard turn, we'd reached the top of the mountain.
"What?" I asked, "We've done this how many times now?"
"Not LATELY," Katie said. "You up for exploring?"
"What else would we do?"
"Awesome," she said concentrating on the road (along with GPS, she plays the part of radar for cops and living things.)
"Lets go down that road," Katie said, pointing to our right, "I don't know where it goes."
Words I never expected from a GPS, but hey.
"Okay," I said, hitting my blinker and pulling another scream from Katie's lungs.
We came to a dead end, "Well, that was worthless," Ryan said.
"Tell that to the GPS," I replied, pulling a U-turn.
"I just wanted to see where it went," Katie said as I pulled up to the road down the mountain. She looked a head and instantly pointed, "That road has cones on it, lets go."
I questioned her sanity - not for the first time, I might add.
"Usually, cones mean stay off," I said, noticing how Ryan's eyes swiveled between us in the rear view mirror.
"Ah, come on!"
For some reason, I gave in. My foot hit the floor and we zoomed across the street and past the cones at 50 miles an hour. We're just cruising down this road when suddenly. . .
I screamed. Katie screamed. Ryan screamed. There was a lot of screaming. I instantly rounded on Katie.
"This is your fault!"
"No, its not!" she said. "You had the choice to come down this road!"
"But you told me to!"
"You still could've chosen not to go down it," she said. "It's not my fault you hit the pot-hole."
"I blame you," I said as we came to the end of the road.
"Another dead end? Come on!" Ryan said from the back seat.
"We'll find another road," I reassured him, turning the car around.
We came back to the road that went down the mountain and I turned on my left blinker.
click-a, click-a, click-a
"Great," I said, recognizing the problem immediately. "It broke again."
"Your blinker?" asked Ryan, the closet mechanic.
"Does that sound regular to you?" I asked.
He just laughed.
"I blame you," I said to Katie, as I pulled back onto the street and began speeding down the road.
"You didn't have to go down the road," she said in the classic 'I told you so' tone.
"It's still your fault," I said, stepping on the break now that we were getting to the monitored road.
"Oh, look, Paige!" Katie said, pointing to our right. "A trail!"
"YES!" cried Ryan from the back, sitting up a little straighter.
"Is it marked at all?" I asked (see The Off-Roading Experience Part 1).
Katie laughed, "No, come on! Lets see where it goes!"
I wondered if I'd ever think through the things she tells me to do be for I did them as I pulled on to the trail. It was pretty open until we came to a turn, then there was a hill on our right and trees on the left. The trees cleared out and we were suddenly headed for a big group of people. They had a trailer an all of this equipment set up.
"What the photo shoot?" Ryan asked from the back as the guy that seemed to be in charge came up to my window.
"We got lost," Katie muttered as I rolled down the window.
"Hey, watcha guys doing?" the guy asked, eyeing our temple clothes.
"We just wanted to see where this trail went," I said, forgoing the fall back. "Can we get past here?"
"It just wraps around the mountain," he said, looking back at the group of people he came from. "If you go around that way (pointing left) you should be able to pass us."
"Sweet, thanks," I said.
"Thank you," Katie said.
I rolled up the window as he walked away and as soon as we were all far enough away we all cracked up.
"Let's try to find another way out," I said.
"But I like interrupting the photo shoot," Katie said.
I just rolled my eyes and followed the trail further. When we came to a fork in the road, Katie guided us down the one that went up. Denton - The Car - bounced and rumbled along to the next fork where, again, Katie guided us up. This one was steeper, and rockier, so I put my faith in my front wheel drive and put the pedal to the metal. Up, up, up, we went, Denton - The Car - inched sluggishly up the hill. It got to the point where I was beginning to doubt Denton - The Car - would make it any further - and that never happens.
"Maybe we should turn around the next chance we get," I suggested.
"I agree," said Katie.
"Yeah, I wanna play the Killer Bunnies," Ryan said.
So, as soon as the edges of the trail cleared up I pulled off of the trail to turn around and we began our hesitant decent. Katie and Ryan were on the edge of our seats as I slowly let off the break, only to slam my foot back down again seconds later. We went along like this until we got to the particularly curvy and rocky section of that trail. I had to find a good balance because I would have to step on the gas to get over some of the rocks, but I had to break to get the rest of my car over them. I inched forward and suddenly my car began rocking back and forth.
Katie screamed.
"I don't think all of your wheels are on the ground," Ryan said.
I opened the door to check my side, both wheels were down. Satisfied, I slammed the door and carefully let up on the breaks. When my car teetered even more dangerously, I stopped.
"Um," said Ryan, his door open, "the wheels aren't on the ground here."
I took a deep breath, and decided to try the other side of the trail. I pulled the gearshift into reverse and then let up on the break and pushed the gas simultaneously. You could cut the tension in the car with a knife I swear. Katie and Ryan were both on the edge of their seats, watching my every move. No pressure, right?
We lurched forward, and Katie gripped her car handle and Ryan started muttering under his breath. There was a moment of suspension, and we were back on the road, rumbling back towards the photo shoot we'd previously interrupted.
"Look for another way to a paved road," I commanded my passengers. "We are not going through that photo shoot, or whatever it was, again."
We rumbled forward and then I screamed and pointed.
"What?" Katie and Ryan cried.
"A road!" I joyously replied.
"Paige, it doesn't connect," Katie said, Ryan was looking at me apprehensively like he already knew what I had in mind.
"All that's between us and the road is a bunch of sage brush," I said. "Don't worry we'll make it."
Before either of them could say anything else I sped off, crashing through the sage brush plants whose lives would never be the same. We made contact with the paved road and I breathed freely again. I eyed Ryan in the rear view mirror, asking the question with my eyes.
"THAT ROCKED!" he yelled.
Katie and I laughed, and we continued down the road like nothing had happened.
Moments Like These

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