Monday, May 31, 2010

Mustache May, it's not an easy month.

I'm writing this feeling a little melancholy over the last day of a difficult yet fantastic month. I typically loathe the month of May. Anyone who has seen me in the last 31 days is painfully aware that it is Mustache May once again. For me Mustache May began in Moab working for Western River Expeditions. They had some weird rule about facial hair that would only allow for Mustaches. For some unknown reason the owners thought that beards looked unprofessional. So in a rebellious uprising we all got together to show them how arbitrary the rule was. We decided if they didn't want beards they would get a group of pedophile look-a-likes running river trips. Thus were the humble beginnings. As a group of guides we have for the most part lost touch with one another. The one thing that still unites us is the pain we all continue to endure every May. Call it insanity, call it stupid, call it commitment to friends and an idea. We endure. Mustache May for me has grown, I brought it to UVU as a flight instructor and eventually to Skywest. I take alot of heat during the month and I'm aware that I look like an idiot, but after 13 years of Mustache May I'm getting used to the abuse. So we went to Noah's baseball game the other night and ran into our neighbor Wendy. I may have started the smack talk by making fun of her high heels but she quickly retorted with some wisecrack about the stache. You would think it ended there but no. We went to church yesterday where we had a combined meeting for the 5th sunday. As the meeting began I noticed that Wendy and her Husband Tyler were doubled over in a giggle fest. As I tried to figure out what they were laughing at I looked to the front of the room to see the Bishop sticking a fake mustache to his face. Tiff and Tyler then sported theirs as did a half dozen others. I think the old folks in the ward wondered what the hell was happening. All I can say to Wendy is, Well Played, I'll never make fun of your heels again. This year instead of shaving tonight at midnight, I'm going to make it one more day. I fly tomorrow with a fellow patron of Mustache May. So tomorrow we will be team Stache. Then I can shave tomorrow night in Gillette, WY. How apropos.

There were a few very bright spots to the Month for me. Namely a 4 day self support kayak trip down Idaho's Selway River. The Selway flows through the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness in northern Idaho. It is one of the most difficult river permits in the nation to aquire. They allow only one launch per day of no more than 16 people. I was invited to go with a fantastic group of 9 paddlers. The river was at it's peak runoff for the year and it was HUGE. Having all of your gear for 4 days stuffed in the back of your kayak makes it all the more challenging. A swim on this trip would have meant a lost boat, lost gear, no food, and a 47 mile hike out. We drove for hours to get there, got rained on everyday but not all day, and ran rapids that had me scared like a little school girl. Many of that rapids were on scale with the biggest in the Grand Canyon. It was one of the greatest trips of my life and I would do it again in an instant.

Gauge at the put-in reading 5.2 = BIG water

The Coveted Selway Permit

View of Double Drop Rapid.
not the biggest but not the smallest either.
It's on par with Lava in the Grand.

Breakfast on the bridge above Moose Creek.
We didn't get on the water this day until 2pm.
We were there 4 days and only actually in our boats for about 7 hours.

Camp on the last night.

My good friend Shannon (that's GOOD friend not Girlfriend for you smartasses that doubt my integrity) has put together a far more exhaustive report of the trip on her blog. please view it here

Shannon and I rallied home after the Selway so she could get back to California and so I could load up the raft and the boys and the dog and My beautiful prego wife and drag them all down the desolation daily run for an overnighter. We had the time of our lives and the dog eventually learned to stand on the whitewater platform I built for her.

Boys, boats, dog, what else is there?

Some of you I know think I'm a slacker and possibly a bad Father.
To you I ask, do they look happy or no?
I'm not as bad a dad as you might think.

I may be bias but I challenge you to find a more beautiful woman anywhere.
My Tippy is a trooper, and she looks hot even with a belly in the desert!

The boys, practicing the art of just being.

Got the duckie out for some paddlin

Ani chased us as we paddled.
She's a great water dog.

Moose, just being Moose.

We had no where to be, so we chilled riverside style.

Then we tossed the big black dog back on the boat

and made for home.

Stopped at Rays for a cheesburger, and rolled on to Mapleton,
Physically, emotionally, and Spiritually Full!
Probably the best week of my life.
Peace out yo!