Subway Canyon hike, August 2008

My first summer in Provo, I entered a lottery for a permit to hike the Subway Canyon with two of my friends. I’d done the hike once before as part of a Scout Camp, but this go-round would be different: we’d start from the bottom and go up, then come back down, instead of dropping in from the top (because we needed to have our car at the bottom.)

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All the camping spots were full when we got in, and it was late, so we didn’t bother pitching tents on the ant-covered ground. I slept on the roof, while Shane and Eli reclined the seats in my Subaru and left the hatch open.

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At the entrance to the park.

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This was a foot bridge near the bottom of the trail, covered in debris from a flash flood before we got there.Sub Canyon 008

Shane and Eli playing Nature Boy.

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Eli was a wrestler from Texas, grew up on cattle ranches and whatnot. I spent that summer working out with him and Shane (who was an exercise sciences major.) Most nights at the gym we were pounding iron.

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The main appeal of this hike, for me anyway, is that you spend almost half of it swimming.

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There are holes like this all the way down.

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This is about as high up the trail as we could manage. Once you hit the waterfalls, it’s time to turn back.

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Some of the pools are really deep.

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And the rock formations are amazing. I don’t know how many tens of thousands of years it took to do this, but it’s been going on for a heckuva long time.

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The way back down is a lot more fun.

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Lots of natural water slides.

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I stopped taking pictures during the last two miles or so, because we were out of bottled water and the sun had taken its toll on us. It was pretty miserable once we were away from the water, and when we got back to my car it had ants crawling all up in it, so we spent the rest of the drive back to Provo squashing bugs and talking about the upcoming semester.

This was about year after I had read Louis L’Amour’s autobiography, EDUCATION OF A WANDERING MAN, wherein I learned a truth that has made a great deal of sense to me:

Adventure is just a romantic name for trouble. I’m glad I have friends to get in trouble with me.

Project Wūgòu zhū: The Dirt Hog

Last month I got a motorcycle, my first in over a decade. Admittedly there’s some anxiety over me getting on a bike again, after what happened last time. (Long story short, I did a stupid and crashed and it hurt real bad for a few months, and also it was expensive.)

Anyway, I’m not spending a lot of money on it yet because I have other priorities, but I will pick at it here and there and post updates as they come. It needs a little work and I need a full set of riding gear before I get it up and going.

As for the name, “Wūgòu zhū” is Google’s literal translation of “Dirt Hog.” I had a friend check it but she wasn’t 100% sure. I hope it’s right and that it doesn’t actually mean something like “swine genitalia” or whatever.

The most obvious problem when I got the bike was the broken front wheel fender, which is held to the underside of the front fork assembly by three bolts with 10MM heads, nothing crazy. I Googled around in search of parts, but since it’s a Chinese bike, it’s hard to find anything official over here in the states.

However, I did come across, a forum of enthusiasts for Chinese bikes in the Americas, and they’ve been really helpful so far. One of them even sent me a spare fender he had lying around and didn’t charge me for it. Super helpful of him. I got it installed once it arrived.

Next up I need to replace the clutch perch because the mirror mount is broken off, so I only have a mirror on my right handlebar. Between that and getting the matching mirrors, it should cost about $30, so I’ll get around to it later. It sounds like most of the stuff on this bike can be replaced with generics.

But I do plan to design some vinyl decals and place an order in the near future, so maybe some decorative stuff will be my next move.