Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Do Love Utah

It's funny when I try and have this conversation with people. I begin by saying something like, "you know, as an undergrad, I just hated living here. I was always so sour about it, the weather, the people, whatever, and I couldn't wait to get out," and then the other person chimes in and I never really get a chance to explain that however strongly I may have felt that before, I don't feel that way anymore. I was talking to a single friend about this some months ago and I did manage to get to the part where I say I do like it here, and then he responded with, "well, it's more enjoyable when you're married." Screeeeeeeech!

No. That's not the reason. That feels like such a cop-out response. There really are some great things about being here. It's affordable, the weather is comparatively mild to much of the country, and really, there are some great things about living among so many people share similar values (although for my own reasons I'd like to raise my kids apart from a Church culture, which is a lot like why I think people should travel abroad to experience different places, it just broadens you as a person).

My favorite things about Utah, however, really have so much more to do with its geographical elements. The snow here is an obvious draw for many people, but in the last year I just haven't been able to get enough of the warm weather aspects. Amy and I have been golfing for our past two FHEs and it's just wonderful, even if it was above 90 degrees yesterday. My newfound love for troping is obvious, but I wanted to give a shout-out to Southern Utah and canyoneering.

Rappel into Great Cathedral in Pinecreek
My dad grew up playing around in the rain forest as a kid. Some of my favorite times with him were just listening to his stories about playing in there, getting lost and not finding his way out for a couple of days, building tree forts and the like. And even though he has plenty of love for the outdoors, camping was just never something we did as a family. But the nice part is that I had member friends and some of my first experiences with the Church were scouting trips.

We went to Southern Utah and mountain biked in Moab, camped and hiked the Narrows in Zion, and had a lot of fun. We did a few other trips in the ensuing years, but nothing consistent.

Luckily for me I married someone who has such a great appreciation for camping and the outdoors. You know the funny thing about Amy? One of her stipulations about getting married was that I had to promise her we would go camping at least once a year. (What's mine you ask? Baseball. She had to come to love baseball.) At our current rate, we already have the next 5 years covered, maybe more.

We met up with a couple of our friends down in Zion this past weekend and it was only a 24 hour trip, but it was so much fun. Our friends, Jessica and Andrew, got some passes to go to Keyhole, and it just so happened that we were camped next to a couple of Andrew's buddies who had two extra passes to Pinecreek. There were several rappels in each canyon and a good amount of still, murky, foul-smelling water to wade through. So great. Later that night after we had arrived home, I felt the similar swaying motions from the rappels like you sometimes do when you've gone to an amusement park for the day.

Now I have my very own harness and a good base level to my outdoor equipment. I'm excited to explore some different areas of Utah, do some stuff up in the Uintahs, and to just keep on getting out.

It's beautiful here. I'm glad I finally figured that out.


Sarah Walton said...

Utah really is such a beautiful state . . . . I'm with you on not wanting to raise my kids in such a saturated population of members, but I do love to visit Utah. I love all the adventures you guys are going on! You and Amy really are perfect for each other. I love how you try something new, and not only like it, buy you LOVE it and embrace it to the fullest! You guys are going to end up with a LOT of hobbies at this rate!!

Kira Cook said...

I am liking Utah as time passes. "Dave, don't comment on that." I always left and went home so I never saw spring or summer. Hands down, my favorite runs are here in Utah especially in the fall and EARLY summer mornings.We all know what the plan is when my kidlets get older, but I'll enjoy my stay while I'm here.

Amy Silva said...

Ha Ha. I think that happens a lot, Kira. People say they hate Utah and then I come to find out they haven't even lived there during the best months. I would hate it too if you only showed up for winter. I admit, I used to think it was ugly here. I just didn't like naked mountains. Now I'm a firm believer that almost any state is cool, you just have to find the unique things that state has to offer. I don't know where I want to raise my kids yet. I could be happy in a lot of places. But I like the Mormons and I don't have any problem living among them. The challenges and experiences seem so different, but equally difficult and rewarding. We'll see. Who knows where we'll end up.

Lisa said...

Boy, you and Amy are great for each other. I love the camping/baseball stipulations. My stipulation was that my first born daughter be named Katie. I'm torn on the living in Utah thing. With how much you guys love all that Utah has to offer -- I'm sure you'll be sad to leave!