Friday, July 25, 2008

Rockin' time

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - July 25 -- I had never taken a lesson in rock climbing and had never seen it done in person. But there I was, being taught how to belay from a professional guide in Moab. After Brian, who had taken a college course in rock climbing, was done making it to the top of the 80-foot climb, I strapped the equipment around me to begin ascending. I only made it halfway to the top before succumbing to defeat. I felt pretty pathetic. Scott made me feel better though, telling me he was impressed on how well I did without ever trying the sport before. It was a little disappointing for me at the time, but looking back it was one of the highlights of the summer.

It's the west, so we can't walk or else we could die. We made signs - 'Heading West?' I thought we should've been more hip and written, 'Headin', but nevertheless we sat with our sign off the side of the road by a hotel near the outside of town. There was no action for an hour and a half, so we headed back into town where we picked up a couple of padlocks to lock our stuff up as we roamed around. A guy at the counter made a comment that we must be rich to be able to travel across America. It was an ironic statement because our funds are nearly depleted.

Scott and Amanda were waiting off the side of the road. They asked what we were up to and eventually invited us back to their house. We all hung out for about fifteen minutes before they had to go back to work.

'Okay, guys, I'll be back in about an hour, just pop in a movie if you want,' Scott said.

Brian and I were all alone in their house, watching Anchorman, a movie who's lines have monopolized our conversations at times during the summer. Scott soon came back and had us trail him in his 5-speed Subaru so he could return his work vehicle. We had only known each other for a short period of time, and he was already trusting us completely.

He brought us to a free dinner later that evening that a group of locals put on every night in the town park. The small group was dynamic, with older men mingling with younger guys and girls. There was a sense of passion for the outdoors that was hard to resist because of the warm vibe. 


They call it 'dumpster diving.' Going through the garbage of local businesses who throw out food that expired that day.

'We probably eat better now after we started dumpster diving because we eat whatever produce they throw out so it gives us a better balance,' Amanda said.

Once a store gets a new shipment of fruits or vegetable, they put all the old food in a box and throw it in a dumpster out back. There's nothing wrong with the food except it's not as fresh as the new shipment. Even packaged food is thrown out if the expiration date has passed. We snagged a bag of rolls that expired the same day as the dive. It may not sound like the most glamorous of ways to gather food for dinner, but after seeing how well it worked, I feel like a sucker for spending money on the same food they get for free.

Throughout this trip we have lived the lifestyle of many people, but none that viewed life with such simplicity. Scott and Amanda's passion was to be outdoors, rock/ice climb as often as they could and live with limited complications. 

Scott told us of Moab, 'It's a hard place to get rich, but an easy place to get by.'


Melanie said...

Brian and Denny-
Nicole and I (Melanie) loved meeting you and had an amazing time talking to you until 3 in the morning! We are so glad we have two new friends and hope it is not the last time we see you two. We hope you made it to Reno. We thought about you the entire day hoping you were doing well and made your goal to Reno. We hope to hear from you soon. Be safe and let us know how you are. Here is my email so you can let us know: Have fun guys!!!

Teresa, Bettendorf said...

I left for Texas on 7/23, visiting my grandkids. Just checking on you today and CAN'T believe you are through Texas and to Utah already! Great pics, glad you are doing well moving westward!

nathen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nathen said...

Less than a month ago you were both eating barbeque and drinking sweet tea out of a trash can in Alabama. Trying to figure out a way to get to New Orleans after your ride fell through. Two months ago you were in Maine. Now after a series of coincidences and good people, your almost to California. Some may call that fate, i'd call it life. It sure can be amazing if you let it.