The Epic Has Begun

September 21, 2016

We knew driving out to California with the Blueberry was a hit or miss on the success rate of making it the entire trip, but it was a risk worth taking. For Cam, the Blueberry has many great memories and stories behind it and this trip was going to add to those stories and man it sure has. We envisioned the blueberry sitting under the huge face of El Cap in Yosemite, parked along side the road in Lake Tahoe waiting for us to come back from a days worth of bouldering, being slopped on with cold cereal, dried fruit and bits of popcorn that fell from my beard. But what we ended up with was a dried up Blueberry under the hot sun of the Utah desert 12 hours shy of Yosemite and nearly 17 hours from home. What to do? We thought about this as we let the car cool down. We ran through options.... do we rent a car for a month (that tured out to be an expensive idea) fly back home and call it quites (to much gear would cost a fist full of cash and no way I was going back to Rochester MN right now) buy a minivan to continue on our path (my wifes really been wanting one)  or hitch hike (again, to much shit with us for any sane person to pick us up). One thing we knew forsure was we needed to get the Bluberry off the highway before dark. As we called around for a tow sitting outside getting killed by the sun, frustration grew into laughs. The laughter was about WTF do we do? I posted our situation on social media and got a couple encouraging pats on the back, people letting us know they have friends in the Salt Lake City area and also a few phone calls lending a helpful hand. We didn't want to be a burden to others so at this point we thanked them, but said we got this! Just before the tow truck arrived we thought of one another sweet option.....what about bugging my sister that lives in Durango CO and see if she could come get us, afterall it was only 7 hours away! The tow truck arrived to take the Blueberry to its possible grave in Grantsville Utah. During our drive in the tow truck the driver was very helpful and pleasant. Letting us know the size of Grantsville, what restaurants, grocery store, bars and the places to stay in the area. This included a population nearing 10,000, 3 restuarants, 1 grocery store, 1 bar, no hotels and a couple campgrounds 3 miles up the road from the graveyard where the Bueberry would likely lie. One area to rest for the evening that wasn't included in those places to stay was nestled inbetween a dead Ford Escape, a burnt orange corvette, an even older red corvette and of course the beloved Blueberry in the junk yard at Westside Auto Sales.  And of course we chose this option. After all it was free, close to our food, water, camping gear and provided a landscape of scrap cars, a mechanics shop and a cement wall. Before night fall we contacted my sister, in hopes she was available and willing to pick our stranded butts up. She was more then psyched, she said she would leave first thing in the AM the following day! Man were we releaved that she enjoys spending time with me! By now it's dark. we can only see silouhets of the mountains surrounding us and dim Grantsville lights about a half mile down the road. We took to a nice light walking pace into town to check out the local scene. We ended up talking to a couple employees working at the local "Guzzle Soda Shack". To our amazment they only served soda along with mixers. One could drive up with their car and order a cherry pop with chocalate sprinkes or crushed candycanes!!! After this got us in a tizzy, we walked down the main drag to the grocery store, Soelbergs Market, to check out what they had in store. We got excited about their deals on Utah Gala apples, .88 per pound!!, and a 15oz can of sardenes in tomota sauce for $2.50. We had to spluge and try the local cuisine of course. The walk back was the same as the walk into town. Flat, paved sidewalk with businesses and a sparadic houses inbetween. As we opened our can of smelly sardenes and set up our sleeping bags and pads on the hard pavement of the junk yard lot I heard a noise right by my feet the scared the shit out of me. I made a quick move for my cell phone light and pointed it at the noise. I just knew it was giong to be some desert rat, rodent or coyote that snuck up on me, but to my reliefe it was the junk yard cat, Emma, licking the fish I had dropped only minutes prior. Her fur as dark as the sky above us and green bright eyes in the relection of the cell phone light. She stuck around by us all night and into the morning. She frightned me more then once in the middle of my sleep. 1st scare was when Emma decided to cozy up with me on my sleeping bag. I tell you what, she again had me jumping, but this time up out of my sleeping bag. The 2nd time was being woke up by the whistleing wind, rolling over to my right to see those green eyes pearing at me about 20 feet away. Its never easy being in an unfamiliar area and being woke by a black cat trying to get snuggle time. We woke with the sun, and when I say we I'm talking about Cam and not the cat. Cam went for a 27 mile bike ride and I ran back and forth in the parking lot passing the same seven cars everytime (grey van, green 1957 chevy pickup, maroon ford lumina, white Subaru, blue Dodge Ram, white Bronco and a white utility van). This was to kill 2.5 hours of time we still had until the shop opened. At 9, the mechanics, tow truck drivers and owner rolled into the shop. The tow cost us $100.00 and they offered Cam $50.00 to take the car from us. It was a deal! We shook hands thanked them for a nice place to sleep and off to work they went. 

Our journey started in Rochester MN, and it was intended to end in Yosemite. Our destination has changed. We are now a few hours from heading to Durango Colorado! The plan is the same, climb, fish, bike, hike and photography. In addition to these plans I get to add spending time with my younger sister. 

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