dave shields in his book The Race tells of his fourteen-year-old character's ride up the south side of boulder mountain, starting from his home in hanksville, utah. the opening scene of the book has his character crashing near the top, splitting his knee open, blood everywhere and bone exposed.
when I first tried to read this book I stopped right then. put the book down. and didn't pick it up again for about a year.
it was too visceral, and there wasn't enough else pulling me through that part to keep going.
I eventually went back to the book, though, and skimmed the gross parts about muscle and bone and enjoyed the story.
two years ago I was visiting torrey, utah, and attempted to ride up boulder mountain from the north side. neglecting to do my research ahead of time, I ended up out of water and food an unknown distance from the top, and didn't dare keep going, and turned back around.
this morning I was again in torrey, this time armed with research, plenty water, and a pocketful of bananas and Gu's.
and a determination to get to the summit of boulder mountain.
no crashes, no blood, and no turning around.
boulder mountain is in part of the Dixie National Forest, in an area I like to call mid-south-central utah. and it's really just one more hill to climb in susan's book of life. I made it, I scaled the summit today, and what I learned is that the section I rode two years ago was the best part of the climb. it's the prettiest section, the most colorful, and it culminates in a "scenic overlook" spot that is one of the most stunning around.
from this spot you look out over mesas and buttes and snow-capped mountains--the henry's--far, far in the distance. red rock and purple, bone and gray and seven shades of rosy pink blend in this stunning expanse of varied topography. on a clear day, it's said you can see a hundred and fifty miles, which is enough to almost boggle the mind. trees, reservoirs, valleys, gulches, passes, almost every kind of geological structure you can imagine ~ these all stretch out away, fading gently into the horizon, gradually slipping into a hundred shades of blue and gray.
so today's lesson is this: it is good to have a goal, and it's good to achieve your goal, but it's also true that sometimes the most wonderful things in life are found along the way to achieving your goal.