Monday, September 7, 2009

One Seriously Salty Lake

Several times now I've been to or through Salt Lake City and I've never seen the eponymous lake. Sure, I've seen it from a distance, but I've never gotten down there and checked it out. That's probably a shame. Like all other things, maybe next time.

This time I got to hang out with my friend Ben, who I met up at Baldface. I managed to not take a good picture of him, so you'll have to check out the only one I have here. How's that for graphic content? Fair to midland. I'll do better next time. Anyway, Ben stayed up at the Baldface compound for a few days after I left on a freakin' med chopper, so we didn't exactly get a fond farewell. It was good to see him again in Salt Lake. Edit: always one to put his best face forward, he sent me a better shot.

The ever majestic Benny Pellegrino.
Check out his Milosport shops for all yer snow and skate needs.

The first cool thing about where Ben lives is that he has a duck pond in his back yard. He commented that most of them are dark, but a couple are half and half dark and white and a few are straight white. He said that the white ones were definitely the aggressors. That's when I told him more than he wanted to know about duck sex. You see, on long road trips you find lots of things to listen to. Last year on a trip to Bellingham I listened to a podcast about sperm that included fascinating facts about ducks. I will share these facts with you now. If you don't want to read them skip below the picture and no one will think any less of you. Except for me. I'll know. I just will.

On with the educating. Male ducks, as it turns out, will rape female ducks, horrifyingly enough. Not only that, but duck penis can be up to 14 inches. Think about that in terms of duck body size. The drakes waddle tall, the hens live in constant fear. But wait, there's more. The hens have evolved defense mechanisms in the form of side branches off of the main vaginal canal. If she has to undergo the displeasure, at least she can try to force the perpetrator down the wrong alleyway, if you catch my drift. The black and white ducks? I guess mom didn't have the technique down. If you want to listen to the entire podcast and learn things you never knew you wanted to know about reproduction. Check out Radiolab. Aside from being overproduced to the point of confusion, it's a quality show. Anything to keep the mind busy on that long and snowy road. . .


How's that for tangents? That's what I thought. Ben is a member of our great American workforce, which meant I had a day to roll solo. He sent me up the canyon toward Brighton for a little hike to Mary Lake. Observation the first: he lives remarkably close to both a city and many ski resorts. Something like 13 miles to Snowbird. Hot damn. I could get used to that. The hike actually started at the base of a lift right off the parking lot at Brighton and followed the liftline up. A couple miles later and I was treated to alpine lake views.

Lake Mary

Lake Catherine (fore) and Lake Mary (back)

If you can't see the hummingbird in this picture, you're too drunk to leave a comment.

Hiking is like snowboarding, minus the snow and board...

After chatting with Ben about topics like how hard Jeremy Jones works and how good of shape Tom Burt is in, that hike was what I needed. The road trip held precious few opportunities for great hikes, so I got out when I could. Things like that are made all the better by the ever-passing scenery, never fully enjoyed from the driver's seat (three months just not enough time?). The casual thoughts of snowboarding that fluttered into my brain only made that hike nicer.

I got reacquainted with a couple more dudes from Baldface on the trip, Glen and his son Jonas joined the crew the next day for a skate session. I'm a transportational skater now, so I laid off the bowls. Those dudes were pretty well owning the place, though, and it was fun to just sit back and watch. Unfortunately, I failed on the camera. Another fail was our plan to float down the river, this time it wasn't our fault. Johnny Law said, 'life jackets required' under direct threat of an $80 per person fine. The badge actually rolled through just as we got done inflating rafts. So we said 'fine' and hung out on a little rocky patch of beach with a couple beers instead. The night ended just right, though, with a cookout at Glen's place. Killer food was backed up by shred videos (Terje's part from Notice to Appear, then the disc went to shit, then Optimistic?) which was backed up by Iron Maiden videos. Yet another disciple from Baldface, Scott, joined the fray and we wound it down with fresh-baked cookies courtesy the lady of the house. Thanks, Summer! Not a bad way to finish off a trip and really, that was the whole ballgame. I was out of my meds and the drive back to Portland was uneventful to the point of sheer boredom. Thanks again to Benny P for that SLC hospitality. Who knows you may see me back sooner than you think and for longer than you think. I could see living in a joint like that. Only 13 miles to the resort? Sign me up!

That brings my 2009 summer vacation to a close. Another 12,000 miles on the Graham Torino. A great swath cut across this land of ours. Experiences that can never be repeated. Only outdone. Bring on the next one. Speaking of next one, I'll probably drop a little recap post next or maybe I'll launch right into snow-related stuff. Who knows? If you do, tell me, I need to prepare. Peace!


  1. glad to have you graham. i'll email you a better photo, you better come back for winter shred!!

  2. Have I mentioned how much I love photos of wildflowers on snow runs. Pick the best parts of mountains in summer and put them on the funnest parts of the moutnain!


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