Saturday, February 10, 2007

First Y Hike of the Year. And a taste of southern Utah. And a proposal.

Y Night Hike.
The Y is the perfect distance from Provo. If it was closer, you might still feel like you were in Provo. If it was farther, I probably wouldn't be able to walk to it.

The Y itself.
Stepping outside of Provo.

Below are some pictures from a trip to Southern Utah with my old seminary teacher. We stayed in Moab so that we had easy access to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. (A side note about Moab: It's pretty much my favorite town in Utah. It's full of outdoorsy, granola type people and surrounded by natural wonders. Brown Sugar tells me that Alaska is like a giant Moab, full of granola folk. I think I will love it there. Moab is also home to the Red Rock Bakery which is a great place to get a sandwich.)

At any rate, here are the other pictures:
Canyonlands Overlook

Arches National Park - Double Arch
Arches National Park - Turret Arch
Arches National Park - Delicate Arch
Arches - Somewhere on the road.
Canyonlands National Park - Aztec Butte

We visited Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horse State Park. OST had much better cameras to use than I did (I'm the proud owner of a little 6 megapixel digital Olympus that I bought in September) and it was fun to play with them. They can take some seriously amazing pictures - stuff you wouldn't mind hanging up in your home. I relearned all about F-Stop values and aperture and various settings on the camera. I took a photography class in high school, but I definitely needed some refreshing. The pictures above are just the ones I took with my own camera. I actually think they turned out really well if I do say so myself, but they lack two very memorable and interesting shots that I took with the other camera; White Rim Overlook in Canyonlands and False Kive in Canyonlands. White Rim was this hauntingly beautiful giant rocky void with what looked like marble bathroom tiles at the bottom. I sat there amazed that there could be so much empty space framed by all this intricate white/black/gray rock. I supposed you would have to see it in person to understand...

False Kive was perhaps the coolest part of the entire trip (thought the entire thing was really cool). False Kiva is an ancient ruin you can only get to by a special trail not mapped on any national park maps...Yeah, I'm pretty amazing for even knowing about it. In fact, the park rangers won't tell you how to get there unless you ask about it specifically by name. It's like a secret menu option in the National Park System. If you are lucky enough to find it, even with directions, (it took us a few tries...the place gives no hints of itself until the very last second when you find it) there is a log you can sign and comment in and an amazing view.

Okay, I got a picture of False Kiva from OST, and here it is:
Awesome, huh?

Lastly, dear readers, I'll take a moment to propose something I think I already mentioned on El Veneno's blog. I'm thinking of putting a sort of forum together at BYU on the whole SSA issue in anticipation of Soulforce's arrival at the end of March. I have mixed feelings about Soulforce, but ultimately I feel misrepresented by them, and I think that more representative voices of the LDS/SSA community ought to make themselves heard so that LDS people, especially BYU students, have a better understanding of what SSA is and how different people deal with it. An important insight would be how people deal with it within the context of the gospel without breaking the commandments or disobeying the prophet, and living your whole life that way is possible.

I have a good feeling about doing something like this, but I feel very inadequate about actually putting it together. I'm really a horrible example of leading the sort of life that I think one should. However, I think I can be brutally honest about that up front and I'm going to put an effort into this project. I would love to have help if any of you are interested. The plan right now is to hammer out some sort of proposal to present to whoever we need to at BYU (BYUSA? President Samuelson?). El Veneno and Smurf and I are going to try to work something out at first, and then we hope to present that to a broader group of you all for feedback, and then finally make a presentation for the administration. If all goes well, we could put on a forum at BYU with a an educational presentation, a storytelling time where a panel talks about their experiences, and a question and answer session.

I'd feel much better about Soulforce's planned stop at BYU if BYU students and the community had an opportunity to actually hear from a broader group of LDS/SSA guys. I'd love for this to work. If it doesn't, that's okay too and at least we tried. Smurf wants to call BYU to repentance if it doesn't. We'll see about that.

Leave thoughts or comments on this blog or email me at Let me know if you would like to participate in something, whether up front or behind the scenes.

Catch ya later.


Samantha said...

"I'd feel much better about Soulforce's planned stop at BYU if BYU students and the community had an opportunity to actually hear from a broader group of LDS/SSA guys."

I'm assuming then that help from me would be of the wrong gender, otherwise I would offer it (and all my beautiful CES/BYU influential contacts, as well). So I'll just wish you the best, and I really hope all goes well with your venture.

pinetree said...

Silly Samantha. Lesbians and even straight people are more than welcome too.

Stephalumpagus said...

I'm not gay, but I'd love to be involved if you need people. Smurf has my number, and my email is

John said...

I am down with contributing in some way... granted, I don't think I'd feel comfortable standing in the quad and talking about this issue, but I would be happy to help plan/brainstorm, go before administration, etc. I also have a couple friends that would probably want to help as well (they will no doubt make a comment themselves soon enough). My email is on my profile.

agirlwho said...

Feel free to include me in on this effort. I would love to help as well. I don't deal with SSA, but I love my friends who do. Something positive should be done about it. My email is on my profile. :)

Thrasius said...

Those are pretty amazing pictures. thanks for the post.

Vero Awesome said...

BS is right, yo. Alaska is where people like me are spawned, and that makes it f*cking awesome, if I do say so myself. Which I do.
Although, I can't really picture life without you and I majorly love your guts, so we'll just see if I don't join you there.