Sunday, August 24, 2008

the view from up there

I have lived high up on hills, once at the very crest of a hill, with stunning views in all directions. there is something to be said for living in places like that. I love the views, I love to see lights in the distance: house lights, street lights, lights on signs and freeways. to be high on a hillside is freeing; to be able to see so much at one time is both awesome and humbling.

but it can also be isolating. this depends upon your hill, of course, but if it's a large one and you're on top, you can become one of few. and though there may be neighbors and community there with you, you can still be far from the rest of the world. which may happen to please you to no end.
I, however, find myself wanting to be part of the larger whole. during the times I lived on those hills I was fine with the arrangement, but at this point in my life I want to be closer to the middle of the mixing pot.

thus I have to ride my bike to experience those views.

today's ride filled me with enough city views to last a good month or so. I usually head up canyons for long summer rides, as you know by now. today's goal, however, was an 85-mile ride, and since I wanted to leave from my house, avoid east canyon (as I am tired of it), and not kill myself climbing, my options were limited. I finally decided to take wasatch to draper, then up traverse ridge road to suncrest and down the other side into american fork, then up american fork canyon until I hit 42 or so miles and could turn around and retrace the route backwards.

riding up to suncrest is something I had only done once, and I had never come down it until today: wow. I completely understand why people want to live there.

not that I do.

nonetheless the city views are absolutely amazing, staggering, heart-stopping. and the juxtaposition of these houses, these views, against so many, many acres of open, untouched land . . . I can identify with the desire to build a home atop this hill.

for me, though, it is like taking a vacation to an exotic locale, one I find beautiful and extraordinary. as much as I may love it, as many smiles and sighs and exclamations it may pull from me, I do not necessarily want to make my life there.
I don't want to live on south mountain.

nevertheless, it was a great visit there today.
and I loved every moment of swooping down that ten percent grade, especially along the stretches of untouched grass and scrub oak that will hopefully always remain structure-free.

No comments: