I am going back to Utah. After a (two?) year furlough I am going back to the land of lowered alcohol content, Mormons and Warren Jeffs (is he even there? or in Texas now? or in jail? meh, whatever...). It's long overdue. I am excited, to say the least, to see my friend J.Dubs and meet her man. I am also excited to finally put some real life personalities to the blogging personalities that I have been introduced to through Jennie. It's funny to read the daily lives of some people and feel like you actually know them through the blogging world then get the opportunity to finally meet them in 'living colour'. Can't wait.
Did you know the name Utah came from the Ute Indians and it means people of the mountains? I didn't either, but I think it fitting since the state is full of beautiful mountains as well as 14 alpine ski resorts, 5 national parks and some sweet, sweet rock climbing. Yes, once upon a time I used to climb rocks tied off to a rope and a belayer sporting ballerina slippers with sticky rubber soles. Once upon a time I actually had a little muscle on my upper body and great core strength. Not so much anymore since most of my climbing friends have moved away (don't blame them) and the remaining climbing community is way too incestuous and full of drama that I just can't deal. It's ok, I know someday I will get back on rock!
Oh and did you know that Utah boasts the highest literacy rate out of all the states in the continental U.S.? This does not surprise me ever since I saw a documentary on how the FLDS run their compound...uh I mean 'community'. The kids don't know what the word 'play' means. They think that working in the gardens or cleaning their homes is fun. When they are asked to write for class (usually LDS bible versus) they do so with impeccable penmanship and grammar...and these were the kindergartners! They also had no knowledge of such frivolities as Disney Land or candy or cartoons. Yikes!
Anyway, back to my trip to the desert. Why is it that I chose to go there in the summer when the heat is at its worst? Well, to be honest, I wanted to go for my birthday and it happens to be during the hottest time in most places...unless of course I choose to vacation south of the equator where I will be put back into winter. Of course, I have considered a ski trip to the Chilean Andes during our summer, however my lack of funds have to date prohibited this trip. Someday.
The weather here has been less than stellar, so even cooking in the desert is an improvement to the mess we have experienced here in Crapchester. Just to give an idea - this summer has been a cross between a cold, grey, rainy Juneau and a hot, steamy, rainy South Florida. Either way, my hair is frizzy, my underwear is constantly damp and I am perpetually miserable. Besides Utah has a dry heat and dry is welcome respite at this point (hah like standing in front of your hair dryer while next to the oven). That's ok, I am so excited to see Jennie, to ride mountain bikes at altitude and to have Trevor experience all of it with me...it doesn't matter what time of year it is. And I hear the higher you go into the mountains the cooler it gets, so that in itself is enticement enough. As for the biking at altitude, I am not sure my lungs or heart are ready for the feeling that they are in a vice grip for each time we go out hard...mentally I think I am ready for that feeling again. I vaguely remember it from the last visit when I decided it would be a good idea to go running the morning after a party at Jennie's place - I thought I was going to throw up. Well, in all honesty that was probably the vodka from the night previous. Whatever I am ready for a 40 mile mountain bike ride with a heart rate of 230 bpm (don't people die from such things?) Meh, I am Russian, we are strong like ox...it will take a lot more than some thin air to kill me off. So, Jennie if you are reading this, I can't speak for Trevor, but I am ready for the pain that you and Joel are planning on inflicting upon me! Bring it!
Ok, maybe just a little at a time though...