Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I almost bought a new car

Ben and I were walking the streets of Ephraim one afternoon... just passing time, when we came upon a striking 1975 Ford Thunderbird parked on the side of the street. 8 mpg, 7.5 liter V8, 220 Horsepower, all luxury. For sale 1000 dollars.

This being Ephraim, the car was unlocked, so we climbed in and felt all the luxury that the Ford motor company could pour into a car at the time. Green plush seats, Wire thin steering wheel, more space than my Thai house, and plenty of room in the back for all the ladies we were sure to pick up.

We popped the hood just to marvel at how an engineer could possibly fill up all the space on the front end of a vehicle and both had to take a step back. Somehow they filled it. I did, however notice a coffee can with hoses coming in and out of it. Upon closer inspection under the hood I noticed many hoses that just seemed to end. Maybe this was Ford's idea of keeping emissions down (put the nasty exhaust out into the engine compartment, not out the tail pipe), but it seemed a bit fishy to me. An engine like this has power to spare, but I need my hoses to go places.

Crying and in fits, we walked away from the deal. We probably couldn't have made it back to Seattle in this thing, and when it comes down to it, the Eurovan is a bit better to sleep in.

Megan is posting lots of photos

Megan opened up a photo posting account on Smugmug. It makes me miss thailand very much to look at her photos.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

When Life is Like a National Geographic Article

Let's see. It has been something like 100 days since I last posted, but never mind all that. Lots of stuff happened. It was cool. I came back to the states late June. Worked in Seattle in July. Saw lots of people which was excellent. Then went to Utah to my favorite place for the month of August. And here I am back in Maple Canyon.
Like most trips, the thing you go for (in this case climbing great cobbles) is tons of fun, but it is the small side things that impact me the most. In this case, it is rest days that find me getting my slice of culture.

Thursday, August 23. Zip Code 84642. A Derby like none other.

[driving to Manto with the Temple on the hill] I'm down here with my friend from Thailand, Ben, and was joined on this seemingly normal day by my buddy from Salt Lake, Dan. Showers were taken at the Snow College Gym in Ephraim (pronounced ee-frm), chatted with Megan in Thailand at the College Library, $3.81 8" pizzas at the Pizza Place, filled up water and the fridge in Mt. Pleasant, BBQ turkey sandwiches in Moroni (mo-ro-nai) -this is the Turkey Capital of the US, and then an evening visit to the town of Manti (man-tai) for the Sanpete country fair. After stumbling through the blue ribbon entries of cabinets made from picket fences and 6 ton castrated Steers, we made our way to the main event for the evening: The Sanpete County Demolition Derby.
I have been to a few Demolition Derbies in my life. The most recent being a wonderful smash up time in Wyoming a few years back, but this was a bit unusual. I am in the heart of Mormon Country, and therefore alcohol is rarely consumed. As we carefully selected our seats in the bleachers (trying to find to rowdiest looking crowd) we noticed that not a single person had a beer in hand. How can you possibly have a smash up derby without at least a few High Lifes?
This is how:
1. Hold the Derby under the gaze of the Disneylandesque Manti Temple
2. Forget about overall safety and allow the flipping of cars.
3. Sit in front of people who seem to know every single driver by name and who are the top picks.
4. Place dollar bets on every round.
5. Have God smite thee for taking wee nips under the bleachers.

Round one: I placed bets on car 73 and 76 because the obvious winner to be, car 69 (complete with bad-ass flame paint job), was snatched up by Ben in preslection. 73 had her rear tires blown off and radiator involuntarily flushed so she was out (yes, she was the only woman driver in the Derby). 76 was completely flipped upsidedown by 69. He crawled out the back window and was o.k., but there went my dollar. The next two rounds went about the same for me and my cars.
However, we were anxiously watching a coming lightning storm approach from over the mountains. Round three ended, and no sooner did it start raining... it proceeded to hail. I've never actually seen dime sized hail before, but here it was. A quick 5.10 move brought us below the bleachers to get out of the coming onslaught. We and the rest of the crowd were found giggling and yelping as hail pelted us through the cracks.
We missed the "show-box" derby with smaller Japanese cars because we were under the bleachers but when we emerged we saw some of the most beautiful light I have ever seen.
Picture a lit up cathedral perched on a hill over you, with red and yellow clouds swirling around it. Down the valley crows feet like bolts of lightning streaked the black clouds with a boldly lit demolition derby full of cheering Americans in the foreground. What a moment!

The finals found me losing money once more, but it didn't much matter. We had lived it: The Sanpete County Demolition Derby 2007. 19 cars entered. 4 flipped upsidedown, 18 unable to drive of the course, and one upset god that we were indulging in it all.

Oh yeah. Below is a movie of wonderful smash up action taken by Dan's cell phone. This is about as loud as it really is.