It is very important to always wear the right shoes when hiking.
My feet hurt, I have somehow managed to sprain them, they have a few blisters, and I ruined my good shoes to top it off.
My friend Trent and I have been enjoying the outdoors; really wanting to see what nature has to offer. There are some REALLY beautiful places right here in our own backyards. We are trying to make the most of what we have and get some great photos out of it.
Now. Before I go into all the details, let me start again from the VERY beginning. Let me explain the post title.
It all started with an invite to a shoot out at the Salt Flats...Once upon a time
I got a message on Model Mayhem regarding a photoshoot a photographer was trying to put together out at the Bonneville Salt Flats.... I said I would go so I took work off. I wasn't able to get the entire day off so I had to meet them out there. I had a co-worker come in at 3:00 so I could leave. The group originally planned to meet out by the airport at 2:30 so I would be running about an hour behind them. Not too bad considering we would be out shooting until 9:00 or so but it meant I might miss the group.
I had invited my friend Trent to come out with me for company so I had to swing by and pick him up as well. Figured I would eat before I left so we didn't head out until 4:00. Everything was good. Filled up the tank in my car and we left for Wendover. We made good time, found the recreation turn off and headed out onto the salt. It was a pretty good day to shoot and the salt really was a great area for photography. I had never been out there and actually driven on it before so we had a little fun before really looking for the others. Well, there were two others out there shooting. No models, no other photographers anywhere. I had a feeling they never went out. After checking the thread on MM, I found out my suspicions were true. Not enough people showed up at the airport so he cancelled the shoot. Oh well, we had some great ideas for landscape shots so we weren't too bummed. We found a place to start and began shooting away.
We were out there until about 8:00 then we decided to head back. We had some great shots but we had been talking about going to a movie or something that night so we were anxious to get home while the night was still young. We had our last little bit of fun drifting around and the lookout point where we get back on the road was in sight. Just before we we drove up onto the road, I decided we might as well get one last shot of the sunset over the west mountains while we were out there. It's such a long drive and it was such a nice night, I didn't want to miss an opportunity! We headed toward the mountains to find a good place to set up. I was paying special attention to the ground we were driving on to make sure it wasn't getting too soft. We were starting to leave tracks behind us so I was getting a little worried. I said to Trent, "I don't know, this is a little sketchy, maybe we should turn around?" He said it was up to me. He will stay and get the shot if I want to. I decided to head out just a little further and stop. I didn't want to go too far out and chance getting stuck. I slowed down and hit the gas a little to spin the car around to face the right direction. BAD MOVE. "Uh oh." I thought. I better move the car a little to make sure we aren't stuck and so we don't sink. No dice. We were already sinking and stuck. I rushed out to look at the situation, told Trent to start pushing while I rock the car forward and back, and jumped back in. I figured we better act fast if we were to get it out. After 10 minutes of fussing with the car, I knew it wasn't going anywhere on its own power. I didn't want it to get too bad so that we could get it out easily with a strap and some help. We waved down a couple we had talked to earlier, which thankfully saw us, and got a ride back to the gas station. Just before we left my car, Trent and I threw all of our camera gear inside and locked it.
At the gas station, we talked to the clerk and asked for some towing companies. The only guy able to get out there that night was $120/hr but he said he was located in Wendover just 10 minutes away. "You better head out then. My car isn't getting any more unstuck as it sits. Let's get this over with." I said. We thanked our new friends Copper and his girlfriend for the lift and they left. Tow truck on his way, it looked like we might still be able to get home tonight.
Well, we waited. Then waited some more. Then it got dark and we waited even longer. I called him at 8:40 and he didn't get there until 9:45. He had to stop by his shop and load everything up. All I could see was my bank account draining. I wasn't happy either. We get back out to the lookout point in the tow truck and unload his pickup. He wasn't about to drive the large tow truck onto the flats and get it stuck. Understandable. We can barely see my car from the road because the remaining sunlight from dusk is gone. It is still there though and all I can think about is how happy I will be when we are actually driving back home IN MY CAR. When we got out to the car, it looked like it hadn't sunk any more than when we had left it. "Good," I thought. "It will be easy to get out and we'll be on our way." I was trying to keep the tow time down to a minimum to avoid going broke. "Ok, unlock the car..." I said "Unlock the car. What's the matter?"
What am I doing at this point, you ask?
I am searching my pockets like a strung out crack addict looking for a hit. NO WAY could I have lost my keys. Yep. I did. Back to the pickup. Not in the pickup. Back to the tow truck. NOT in the tow truck?!
(I had many bad thoughts at this point.)
They are probably in Copper's Jeep! How am I going to get a hold of him again? We have no number, no last name... but Trent says they DID say something about playing craps at a hotel that started with the letter "P." The Peppermill?
Then I said, "Maybe they are on the counter at the gas station. I bet that's where they are! Let's head back. They obviously aren't out here."
Ok, so no. They were NOT at the gas station. And yeah, I am freaking out at this point.
I don't know what to do. The only thing I was sure of was that I was not going to leave all our camera gear locked in my car while it sat out in the middle of the salt flats. Oh, and time is my
money for the tow truck driver.
We headed back to the car and tried to jimmy in. The car has electronic locks so we couldn't unlock it. The unlock switch didn't work inside the car because the locks were engaged and the door pulls wouldn't unlock it either. (Normally when you lock the car from the inside, you can pull the door handle once and they will unlock. That way you pull it again to get out.)
I finally told the driver to pull out the strap. I wanted to try to pull it out and "drag" it over to where he could get his tow truck so we could put the car on a dolly. Remember, the steering wheel is locked so we won't be able to steer it.
The ground was just too soft. We couldn't get any grip with the pickup so we had to move the truck to a new place each time we tried a pull.
The car came out. It was rolling freely on the ground. I was as happy as any normal person would be but it felt so much happier. You have to remember, I was sitting on the emotional bedrock just 5 minutes earlier. Any "normal" feeling felt ecstatic. There might be hope afterall.
We were able to get the car back and put it up on the dolly to get it back into town. We had the driver put it in the parking lot at the Peppermill Casino. After hitting the ATM and pulling 3 hours worth of tow-trucking (or $360) from my account, feeling a little raped, we said goodbye to the tow driver and went looking for Copper and his SUV. It wasn't 5 minutes later when I got a call from Trent. "Guess what I am standing next to?" "You found Copper?!" I asked. "Well, no. I am standing next to their SUV though." By the time I got there, Copper and his girlfriend had come out and they were already looking for the keys. They weren't finding any keys. How could they not find any keys? What the heck happened to my keys! We looked everywhere and I was now out of ideas.
We walked in to the casino and thought we might want to inform security about the car. The instructions were that the car was not to move and would not be accessed until tomorrow. We were getting a hotel for the night. My dad would be coming in the morning with a trailer to tow my car back home. My phone rang. It was Copper. I was hoping he had found the keys but was trying not to be too hopeful. We had already looked really good. He said he was outside by my car and they didn't have anything to do that night. They were offering to drive us back out to where my car was stuck to see if we could find my keys! SWEET. Copper and his GF RULE. I started to ask the security guys if I could borrow a flashlight but then realized they would likely say no. This is one of those times it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Just as I had started to ask for one I saw them on the wall. "What was that?" Asked the security guard. "Nothing. Nevermind." I said. He went back to his work, I swiped a flashlight and Trent and I said bye.
I wish I could type a happy ending at this point. Close it all up and say we found the keys out on the flats where I had jumped into the Jeep. Sorry, another sad paragraph. No happy endings. We looked for a good hour to no avail. I have to say though, Copper and his girlfriend (MAN, I wish I could remember her name! I feel bad.) were the coolest people I have met in a while. They really were good people and good friends. I am in their debt. We talked for a while and they made us promise to come to Speed Week back at the Salt Flats in August. They would be down here again from Idaho for that week and wanted to hang out. They dropped us off at the motel we were planning on staying at and we said goodbyes. We headed back to the tow truck shop and checked the pickup one last time before getting a room for the night.
We found the Motel 6 down the street. It was about a 10 minute walk from the Peppermill. We were blessed with a room without a working air conditioner but they gave us 50% off to make up for it. It actually was very nice outside so we just opened the windows which let in the noise of our next door neighbors arguing as well as the cool air necessary to actually get some sleep. I guess it was a toss up. We decided to leave the windows open. By now it is 3:00am and I am pretty tired. I plopped down on top of the bed and fell asleep. I didn't want to bother with the sheets or anything because I was too tired and it was still too hot.
Next morning things started looking up. My dad found my spare key fob and was able to buy a battery for it so we could get into the car when he arrived. We got some breakfast and headed back to the car to meet my pops and to see if the car and our gear was still around. Thank goodness everything was exactly as we had left it. I was half worried somebody had found my keys but was hiding them from me. Possibly somebody at the gas station. I wasn't sure if we had said something about having $10k worth of gear in the car or not. So I was scared somebody might try to steal it/the whole car!
We got the car towed home ok. The ride home wore the tires out a bit on the insides but not too bad. We got our gear out and I took Trent home. What a day. Another friend Tony was also coming over so we could do some work on his car. I told him what had happened and we hung out for a while. Ate some Cheerios. You know, the normal stuff... What a weekend! I guess it was time to check out the images we got and see if it was all worth it!
We never found my keys. I seriously don't know where they went. We searched EVERYWHERE. It just doesn't make sense.
The images turned out alright. Nothing super awesome. At least I have a story to tell my kids later.
The next morning was Memorial Day. We hiked Bell Canyon to the waterfalls which was pretty tough. Pictures were so so. Hightlights of the evening included taking family pictures by the falls for some people. I met a pretty cute chick that gave me a phony phone number, and I packed too much. Mostly just a good hike. It really was a crazy weekend.
Now back to the sore feet. I ran to the store to pick some stuff up before leaving to hike up the Mill D trail so I threw my daily kicks on. I forgot to switch shoes and had to hike in them. Feet started to blister about 1/4 of the way up so it was a nice, painful experience. The pictures were better this time. Highlights: We both forgot jackets. There was still snow up there so we were FREEZING. Oh and hiking back down in the dark sucked. Trent was the only one with a headlamp so I had to manage behind him stepping on rocks I couldn't see in my shoes that were hurting my feet. My feet still hurt. Did I mention my feet are sore? I'm such a complainer.
Now that the great experiences from last week are off my chest... Today was my little brother's B-Day. We celebrated by going golfing and roasting hot dogs and s'mores up Millcreek Canyon.
I guess that is it for now. Thanks for reading my novel. Today's entry was a large portion. You have had your fill. I didn't really proof read this bastige so forgive me for mistakes.