Yesterday my friends and I (Erika America, Tucker the Ginger, Griffin, and Griffin's friend Travis) hiked Stewart Falls. It was really beautiful, but it went by really quickly, because I was hyper-focused on playing my harmonica while trying to walk and breath and the same time.

It was definitely not what I remembered it to be...when I was 6 it seemed like the LONGEST FREAKING HIKE ever, when I was 10 I took 60 thousand pictures of individual flowers with my disposable camera, and at age 15 I just....hated everything. Nature, people, colors, etc. Now it just seems short...and covered with various animal poop. But, it was still really beautiful.

When we got to the top we noticed there were some places way up high that looked climbable. From the ground, it looked totally safe and like the best place anyone could ever choose to go. But as we started across the river, I was going through all of the horrific possible outcomes of hiking and climbing around a waterfall, but none of them stuck enough to keep me from doing it. Not even the one where I imagined how my head would crack open and where the pieces would go, or if I would just fall onto the rocks below.Griffin and I crossed the river, and started the
ascent. I was a smartypants and decided to wear the only pair of shoes with a hole in them. Not just on the canvas part of the shoe, but the rubber underbelly part of the shoe. So wee rocks kept poking my flesh.

I started to crawl up, holding onto rocks and trying to keep my walking stick from falling back down the trail. I kept slipping helplessly, since my shoes also had no traction whatsoever. If I hadn't had my Gandalf walking stick I wouldn't have made it. I'd probably be dead right now. But it was great, because Griffin grabbed the stick and just pulled me the rest of the way up.

Once we were up on the first level bit of ground we realized the next bit was going to be even steeper. We started to climb, but then we both stopped and looked at each other. Griffin said "....I'm kinda freaked out." I agreed, relieved (because I wanted to be hardcore, but I was actually terrified) and we decided to go the other way, which was infinitely better. We found a big old rock and sat on it and talked about what if we found a body.
On the way down, however, I slid almost the whole way (which caused my whole backside and legs to get all chalky-dusty-dirty). I almost slid onto some big rocks, but Griffin grabbed my walking stick again before I tore my pants open on the rocks. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have Griffin drag me around EVERYwhere with a walking stick from now on. Good idea, yeah?

The whole excitement of the falls wore off and we spent the rest of the way back to the car talking about Radiohead.

THEN. We decide it's a good idea to build a fire in my backyard and roast some mallows over it. It turned out to be a nice fire, because we just sprayed it with lighter fluid and it got HUGE. Somehow like 4 guitars appeared and we spent the next twenty minutes just playing. Then Sean and Asian Travis showed up, and Sean entered into his guitar-mode-stupor while we listened.

The fire started to go out, but luckily we had Griffin, who we now refer to as "Bellows" the Fire Organizer. Bellows' job is to organize and put all the logs in the most efficient burning places.

Somehow it turned into 3:30 AM. By then it was just me, Griffin, and Travis, having an hour long conversation about Pokemon.

I really think that Growlithe wouldn't make too good of a pet, Travis. Also, Golbat and Raichu are my favorites because I can own anybody with them. I think my least favorite is Jinx, because CREEPY can something be? Besides Mr. Mime, I guess. They're probably just equal. I'd never go near either of them though. They seem like they'd be Poke-rapists. I'd make my Raichu rip their faces off.

Travis then said for about the 3rd time (we didn't register nor hear it when he said it the first two times) that he wanted something to drink.

Got some Sobe drinks and smashed them together in the air Captain Planet style.

Griffin said that we should go up to the parking lot by the trail to the Y. It sounded like a grand idea and soon we were looking out over the valley, while a couple made out in a nearby car (at least it looked like it). Ick. We ended up all laying on the hood of Travis' car and staring at the sky. It's not as cliche as it sounds, because we talked about some weird stuff (of which I really don't remember). I was right in the middle of them, so the engine was right under my back, and it started to burn a LOT. But I didn't want to move. I just kept rearranging my position whenever it started to burn more. Eventually, I think I would have caught on fire.

Before I was burned alive, an idea went through my head, and before I had any time to think about how lame it was, I blurted it out. "GUYS LET'S HIKE THE Y." Travis groaned and said "I'm not doing that," and Griffin said "Good idea! Let's go." So we started to hike and within five seconds I regretted my idea completely. My legs were all like "SHUT UP AND DON'T MAKE ME DO THIS" and my head was all "I'm going to explode!" and my hands were all "I'm going to get all tingly and weird!" Plus I was insanely thirsty, because I was smart and wandered around the grocery store without getting a drink, so we just drank some mountain dew.

Somehow this drawing expresses how I felt.

On the first switch back we saw a wee rabbit in the middle of the trail. It was SO FREAKING CUTE. I began to chase it, but it hopped off into the bushes. Okay so the bunny wasn't actually as terrifying and creepy as I drew it. I was trying to draw big shiny cute eyes but they turned out looking frightening instead.

After it disappeared, in my mind I imagined that it went and latched itself onto a GIANT mothership bunny, along with all the rest of her 100 rabbit babies, all mulling around her back and latched onto her fur, while incinerating a bear.

We considered what it would be like if there really were a massive rabbit covered in little bunnies, and decided that it was very similar to barnacles on a whale. Griffin actually imagined them as barnacles with wee bunny ears.

THEN. A big fat spider crawled across the ground right in front of me. It was HUGE. Massive. It's legs, if spread out, would have been the size (almost) of my palm. Possibly even my face. It was jet black, too, which made me even more icked out. Also, it ran really REALLY fast! I whined about the fact that spiders exist for a while. I admit, I was whining most of the way up. It was probably really annoying. But it was the only thing keeping my entire body from shutting down.

We only got to the 3rd switchback before we all decided that what we were doing was stupid for how tired we were. It was about 5 AM by this time, so we perched on the fence lining the trail and looked at the valley as lights began to turn on and the sun began to rise.

I don't know how long we were there before the weird history man appeared out of nowhere. We were sitting, not really talking much, when an old guy came walking up behind us, and leaned on the fence to look at the valley.

Weird History Man: What year was this valley settled, huh?

Us: Uh....18...something....44? 47. 47?

WHM: Well, no, but it was settled in 1849, two years after Salt Lake was settled by the Pioneers. It wasn't easy for them either, since there was a hostile Native American tribe that used to be right over by where Macey's is now. You know, that grocery store you guys shop at. They eventually got the land when the tribe scattered. Lots of fighting, though.

Us: Oh, wow. Cool. Really? By Macey's? Crazy.

WHM: And right over there was where Fort Utah was.

Us: Really? Cool....

WHM: Well, there's your history lesson for today!

With that, he turned around and walked down the trail, leaving us all especially weirded out. But seriously, he appeared OUT OF NOWHERE. Just some guy. We decided he was actually probably 400 years old, the only solution our tired brains could understand. Maybe it was just me who decided that...I don't remember. He probably just teaches Utah History at a middle school or something. The 400 year old theory sounds way better though. I should have said "Yeah? Did you fight them natives yerself?" and he would have given me a look that meant that I knew his secret and then we'd share a bond.

We then decided to go to Griffin's house and eat breakfast. We got back to the parking lot and noticed that the make-out car was still exactly where it had been when we left, trunk open and everything. We thought there were probably some dead people in there. Breakfast at Griffin's.

It was delicious and cereal-y. I don't remember the time period from when I stopped eating, to when I woke up on Griffin's table's bench. My eyes kept trying to shut without letting me finish my food. Me and Travis stumbled out, and he took me home, while (I think) I talked about dinosaurs.

Also... I still made it to work! Except I was miserably tired all day and I don't remember anything. I'm not even sure what I accomplished. But it was worth it.

Love, Hannah