The world is your oyster!: Just a Little Rain        

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Just a Little Rain

Last Saturday, something very exciting happened for BYU. We won the football game! It was a pretty crazy game and lots of my friends posted all up on Facebook about how fun it was to be there, even though they got soaked. (It started raining during the game.)

And ALL I have to say to them is, my goodness, you do look wet, mind if I share my story now?

Because you see, Stephen and I really like going on hikes. Utah has some beautiful hikes, it's a fun way to be outdoorsy and in shape without going running, and it doesn't hurt that we got engaged on a hike, either. So when he asked me on Saturday afternoon if I wanted to go on a hike, I said yes. 

We were on our way to hike Squaw Peak when Julie called. Nicole's mission call had arrived! She would be opening it in 3 hours. 

"We're not afraid," we declared boldly. After all, the sun was shining. It was barely 75*, perfect weather for hiking, and we were two in-shape (ish) people who could certainly make it to the top of a mountain and back down in 2 1/2 hours. Armed with our phones and water bottles, we set off up the mountain. 

Our hikes typically go something like this: 

Phase 1 - Optimism in togetherness
Phase 2 - Optimism in individual hiking
Phase 3 - Pessimism in individual hiking
Phase 4 - Elation in reaching the top 
Phase 5 - Energy and renewed optimism in the downhill slope
Phase 6 - Self congratulations in our completion of the hike.

Allow me to offer a more detailed description of these phases, in terms of this particular hike.


We hike hand-in-hand. We are both chatty and smiley. We are enjoying nature. We are enjoying one another's company. It's so much fun! Hiking is so fun! Whoa endorphins! I feel excited, optimistic, and a little bit euphoric.


The hiking is still fun. I am still appreciating nature and enjoying myself. I am no longer enjoying Stephen's company, though, because he has decided to plow ahead. I sometimes catch a glimpse of his red shirt through the trees. Sometimes he pauses and waits for me to almost catch up before taking off again. I am okay with this. Britney Spears joins me on my own personal hike. 


"The hiking is still fun," I insist to myself as Selena Gomez starts to serenade me. "The hiking is still fun," Stephen insists to himself as he stops to wait for me again. I vaguely remember a time in this very same hike where I tried to keep up with him. It's a vague memory because at this point, I have decided that if Stephen is going to be 8 miles ahead of me, I might as well take a break whenever I feel like it. So I do. And since I don't love running up mountains, but I do love walking up mountains, the hike starts to really be enjoyable again. 

It was at this point in the hike when we made a new friend - a rattlesnake!

He rattled at us because we were on his turf. Then he slowly inched off the trail to let us pass. We slowly inched around him. Stephen asked if my phone had reception, so I called my dad to check that it did. My dad was barely able to hear me, but he did hear me tell him that we saw a rattlesnake and we were on a hike. I hung up, put my phone back in my pocket, and we continued on our merry way. 


"It looks like it's going to rain," Stephen said, looking at the sky.

"Maybe we should head back?" I said. "We can't miss Nicole's mission call opening!"

"We'll be fine," Stephen said. "We're so close to the top. We seriously will be there in like another 4 minutes. And then it won't take long at all to get down." 

Famous last words, hissed our friend the rattlesnake. We didn't listen to him. We just kept going. 

Stephen was right; it really didn't take us long to get to the top. When you hike Squaw Peak, you climb up the mountain until you get to this meadow platform place, and then when you walk to the edge of the meadow, you get this awesome view, supposedly. 

I say supposedly because we actually didn't walk to the edge of the meadow and look out off of Squaw Peak and soak in the awesome view. Instead, we got to the meadow and were suddenly enveloped in a cloud.

The cloud swirled around us, spewing water on the meadow and picking up dead leaves to fling at us as we tried to take a picture of ourselves.

We took some pictures of the cloud, but I guess it was a little photo-shy, because instead of smiling for the picture, he started to rain. 


We started down the mountain, hoping the trees would offer some cover, but they didn't. We were literally soaked in a matter of minutes. It was kind of like being at a water park, except you didn't dress for success, so you're wearing normal people clothes inside of a water park. Also, that's not a very good analogy, because water parks are typically pretty fun. And you are trying to get wet. And you on purpose did not bring your phone to any of the fun watery places. 

I think for this hike I really need to split Phase Five into some sub-phases. 

Phase 5A - Panic and adrenaline in running down the mountain
In which I was still trying not to get wet or muddy, and adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and I believed (erroneously) that the trees would provide some protection from the elements. 
Phase 5B - Anger at Stephen and sassiness in running down the mountain
In which I started to blame Stephen for this predicament, and he started laughing at me and apologizing, and I realized it was futile to try to not get wet, and I also realized that my phone was soaked and would probably be no help if either of us got struck by lightning or bitten by the rattlesnake from earlier or smashed by a falling tree, and I started sassing Stephen and this conversation happened:
 Him: Heather, I want to go ahead and apologize....
Me: Shut up. Don't talk to me.
Him: Huh?
Me: I'm s-so, m-mad at you right n-now.   
Was it really his fault? Let's be honest, no....but I was feeling a teeny bit sorry for myself and believed that I deserved to have someone to blame for the whole predicament. 
Phase 5C - The First Fall
I did not feel as enthusiastic as Stephen did about the battle we were fighting against the mud, wind, and rain. I didn't love that my socks were completely soaked. I wasn't thrilled that my shoes would probably never be the same. I was sad to see my phone looking like it took a dip in the Great Salt Lake. I dreaded looking in a mirror and seeing the mess that all of the rain had made of my face. 
Stephen, on the other hand, was as happy as a duck. He was a little nervous about the rattlesnake, and a little nervous about the possibility of electrocution, and also a little nervous about flash flooding. (He kept saying things like, "Heather, I don't want to rush you, but we kinda need to hurry it up because in weather like this there's danger of flash-flooding, and I really don't want us to get caught in a flash flood....") Other than that, though, he was loving the adventure and already planning how he would tell this story later on. 
But all of that enthusiasm evaporated pretty quickly when his feet slipped out from under him and he landed with a splat in the mud. "Okay. This isn't fun anymore," he said. Being the good wife that I am, I took a picture. 

Phase 5D - The Second Fall
I was definitely trying to be careful more than speedy in our descent - hence, the frequent (very kind) reminders from Stephen about flash floods. It's hard to be careful when you are essentially walking down a muddy slide, but I was grabbing onto trees and plants whenever possible to steady myself a little bit.
At one point, I was holding onto a tree with both hands and trying to step around it to avoid a huge mud puddle, when one of my feet slipped. In my head, I knew it was game over, but I couldn't go down without a fight! My hands clenched the tree trunk. My feet started running, trying to get a grip anywhere on the muddy bank. 
And then, I fell, still hanging onto the tree. My whole right side splooshed into some mud. My elbow smacked against the root of the traitorous tree I had thought would save me. 
Stephen ran up the trail and picked me up. "Are you okay?" he asked. His enthusiasm was back. Somehow, seeing someone else fall does that to you. It's okay. I understand. I felt the same way when he fell. 
I kind of wanted to cry as we stood there in the torrential downpour, and Stephen laughed and wiped my hands off, one finger at a time, on his shirt. But then I also kind of wanted to laugh. And I also wanted to take a picture. So I guess both of our enthusiasms were back, and we continued down the trail. 

Phase 5E - The Return of Enthusiasm and also some Apathy
In which we realized we were already muddy and drenched and we really didn't care about trying to stay clean or dry, and all we cared about was getting down off the mountain. 
Phase 5F -  The Last Leg
In which we were finally out of the woods - not out of the rain, but out of the woods, and walking on flat ground towards the parking lot, still getting pelted with rain. We saw an old man with an umbrella walking towards the mountain. I don't know why. I didn't ask. I hope we weren't the last people he would ever see in his life....
Phase 5G - The Drive Home
In which we tore up a cardboard box in the trunk of my car to put on the seats so we didn't ruin them, and also in which we realized that neither of our phones were working, and we had barely 15 minutes before Nicole opened her mission call. 

This is when we are usually congratulating ourselves heartily for a hike well done. This time, we were blaring the heat and discussing all the things we I wanted to be eating right then: a Krispy Kreme donut, hot chocolate, a funnel cake, Awful Waffle. I wanted everything. I was convinced that all of those things were essential to my happiness.

We didn't have time to stop by our house, so we just showed up at Kelly and Dahl's house. I'm sure they wondered why a homeless hag and her husband were knocking on their door, but when they recognized us, they let us in and gave us a towel to shiver in while Nicole continued on with her mission call opening. Yes. She had already started. I guess we all know where Stephen and I belong on the totem pole....

Anyway, Nicole is going to Everett, Washington! She will be fabulous. I can't wait for her to write home about all the Twihards she brings to the gospel :)

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