A tale of two Garths. Chapter 46. Those frogs are NOT green!
“I’ll take the corned beef hash and eggs. Eggs over medium. With sourdough toast, a large orange juice, a side of bacon, and a large cup of coffee with cream please,” I told the old, weathered waitress in the casino restaurant. During Garth’s and my relationship I had noticed a gradual change in myself. My once rock hard abs were starting to turn a little mushy, and my ass had spread a bit. Who is this size 9 woman I’ve become? I asked myself while listening to the sweet sound of slot machines beckoning me to drop in just one quarter. You will not get my quarters! You won’t, you evil demons from the land of change.
“You guys missed out on an AWESOME night last night!” Adam told Garth and I as I waited patiently for the meal I knew I shouldn’t be ingesting.
“Why? What happened?” Garth asked.
“Dude, we got hammered on Goldschlager and danced to Super Freak with some 70 year old chicks,” Jonathon reported.
“It was the best night EVER!” Adam told us with a giant grin plastered on his face. If I hadn’t woken up to Adam tripping and falling over our luggage in the wee hours of the morning drunk off his ass, I think I would have questioned if they had gone home with the over the hill hussies.
But my morbid curiosity was soon derailed when our waitress returned with my big boy breakfast. And of course I felt guilty about eating it the whole drive to Zion National Park (with a stop off for shoes of course). It wasn’t that I was guilty about eating. It was that I was guilty about eating crap. I had worked very hard to get the body I needed for auditions and now I was letting it all slip away. And it wasn’t just my body. Some people pick career over love. In this case, I wish I had been one of those people. But hindsight is 20/20 right? And boy was my hind becoming a sight.
As we pulled into Zion my breath was literally sucked out of my body. I was in awe. Have you ever been to a place that made you feel really small and insignificant in the whole scheme of things? Well if you haven’t, go to Zion. Driving through the park was overwhelming. Staring at the Towers of the Virgin made me feel like a speck. In all our lives we have so much going on and it’s all about us. But when you stand in a place like this you realize the earth doesn’t really care. The daily grind, the things we feel are SO important, that next party, that next audition, just don’t matter. We will come and go, but Mother Nature is the one with the real power. It’s very humbling. Line by line carved by wind, water and shifting earth ran through the walls of the canyon. Each line telling it’s own story of years gone by. I stood there at the bottom of one of the canyons realizing it took so much history, and so much time just to get to MY line. And it wouldn’t stop there. Someone in the future will be looking at my line probably wondering the exact same thing. First they’ll look up and see the line from Zion’s first settlers that were there 12,000 years ago. Settlers who tracked mammoth, giant sloth, and camel across southern Utah. Then they will see the line belonging to the Virgin Anasazi, who were farmers. Then onto the Paiute people. And then the line from the 1860’s belonging to the Mormons. Then there were the flash floods and fires that destroyed towns and burned crops. And lastly there was my line. Our line. Where four stoners stood gazing at the heavens until one called out, “Lets climb this bitch!” And climb we did. Three miles up through a trek known as Emerald Pools. That sounds so nice doesn’t it?
The hike started off nice enough. On the lower trail of the hike one could see young children, baby strollers and people in wheelchairs. This is going to be so easy. I thought to myself. How in the hell am I supposed to work off all that damned corn beef and hash this way? Wait… was I just lapped by a granny in a hover round? Oh I don’t think so!
We followed the Lower Trail to the Lower Emerald Pool, which is located at the base of a cliff. Two small streams spread across the cliff face and trickle into the pools. The trail leads behind the falling water. The view was astonishing really. As we passed the Lower Emerald Pool there were signs posted for all humans to NOT touch the water in the pools. That’s right. No touchy, touchy. So we hiked and swerved and curved and eventually lapped the hover rounds and strollers as we climbed a steep route to connect with the Middle Trail. So long suckers! But before I started really patting myself on the back I probably should have taken into account the steep trail that continues up the canyon up to the Upper Pool. The Upper Pool is larger, with a high waterfall coming into it from a towering cliff. That’s where I started huffing and puffing and getting passed by the chubbier members of our group. What the fuck? Have I really gotten THAT out of shape? This is ridiculous! And that’s when I turned on…THE TERMINATOR! I started pumping my arms and legs like some spasmodic Duracell Bunny gone haywire. Must beat them to the top! Must beat them to the top! *Huff. Puff. Huff. Puff. Wheeze. Grab the side of a cliff* I think I’m going to pass out. But sure enough, as soon as I sat my corn beef-eating ass down the super freaks were passing me with smiles in their faces.
“How you doing Stace?” Jonathon asked, passing me without so much as a whimper with Adam trailing right behind him.
“You don’t look so good. Do you need some water?” Adam asked me while handing me his bottle.
“I’m fine! I have my own water thank you very much!” I snapped.
“Well we’re going to go on ahead. We’ll meet you at the top.” And they both marched off full of left over Goldschlager, and apparently some of the Chutzpa that rubbed off on them from the septuagenarians the night before.
Once I had finally reached the top of the mountain I was exhausted. I…just….water…. There I was surrounded by pools of water and Zion Nation Park wouldn’t let me touch any of it. All I wanted was to rub some nice cool water on my hands and on the back of my neck but I was surrounded by a handful of other tourists I didn’t know, and could tell by looking at some of them that they just couldn’t wait to report someone like me to the Ranger office. So I sat until my internal temperature eventually went back to normal. Meanwhile the guys were taking pictures and finding caves to pee in. By the time I came back around to enjoy the view I had come to the same conclusion as I had before I took on the mountain. I was truly just a very small speck. A very small speck with a camera. It wasn’t great, but it was going to have to do. So we all took pictures of each other, the scenery, and I personally took pictures of a bunch of frogs. Maybe it was the weed, maybe it was the exhaustion, but I swear these frogs were a pinkish silver color. I have tried to look them up for you here on the web to show you a picture but alas, I can’t find anything to compare to it. But I don’t care what anyone says, or anyone thinks, those damn frogs were NOT green.
It took us a little time to get back down the mountain but the whole day was so worth it. We all climbed back into the Cadillac and made our way out of the park when I noticed one glaring fact. No matter what we were doing, or where we were driving, I always got the shitty seat.
“Hey! Why do I always have to sit behind the driver? I demand a new seat. We have driven from California to Utah and you all have rotated seats yet here I am behind the driver. I feel like I’m in the penalty box. Did I do something bad?” This just made my companions laugh. And that’s when we decided that the seat behind the driver would officially be known as “The Penalty Box.” If you pissed any one of us off, you went into the box. If you’re cranky? Get in the Box. If you passed gas, you and your unwelcome ass had a one-way ticket to the Box. So we had a deal and we had all agreed on it. And as we drove on through Zion I looked out the window at the view. I didn’t really see all that much because you see…once again, I was in the Box.
To be continued…