all bets are off

October 20, 2008

We had a family reunion at Zion National Park this last weekend, been there since Thursday, and we got back late last night. It was awesome, we did lots of hiking, some biking, quite a bit of hot-tubbing, and really good general site-seeing. It’s only been like 12 hours, and I want to go back.

On Saturday, Me, Kim, Maddy, Ian, and Holden, along with my brothers Mike and Rob, hiked up Angel’s Landing (link has great pics of the hike from the park website).


Do you know Angels Landing? It’s an outrageous hike, involving like a 1500 foot elevation gain in 2.5 miles, and hiking 1500 feet above the valley floor on a sliver of rock wall about 5 feet wide, holding onto chains or nothing. Great place to take the kids. Or, if she’s at all freaked out about the kids falling off a cliff, the kids AND the wife.

The first two miles are just a strenuous hike to Scout Overlook. Then it’s on up and into thin air, up one big Hillary Step. Maddy and Mike stayed at Scout Overlook. In this picture, my right leg is a half inch from a 1500 foot vertical drop. Maddy is smiling only because she doesn’t know. When someone mentioned the drop, she got very very mad at me.


Which brings me to today’s point.

Kim and I have always maintained that, should one of us shuffle off this mortal coil before the other, we would remain solitary. That is, no re-marrying. We have never asked this of one another, nor expected it. It’s just what we’ve always said.

Until Saturday.

After the hike, which Kim wanted to do but was NOT excited to take the kids on, she modified her commitment somewhat. In the event that I should die in some normal way, in a car accident, or after a lengthy illness, or at the hand of an angry wife, she would not re-marry. Again, not something I’ve asked her to do, or her me, just how we feel, from our easy, healthy, relatively worry-free vantage point.

BUT, here’s the new rider to the bill, her special “earmark,” if you will:

If I die doing something STUPID, like road biking down American Fork Canyon too fast, or skydiving, or in an avalanche in the backcountry, or riding the kid’s Ripstick down a steep hill, or, for example, HIKING ANGELS LANDING AND FALLING OFF AND DYING, well, then all bets are off, and she will marry someone else out of spite for me.

All I can say is, if she calls you soon after the funeral, be on your guard. I’ll be haunting you.


13 Responses to “all bets are off”

  1. KanyonKris Says:

    About 5 years ago I visited Zion. It had been more than 10 years since I had last visited. I thought I remembered the place, but I was wrong. The immense scale of the place blew me away.

    And Angle’s Landing (yes, I’m going to keep misspelling that word) is insane. Really, why hasn’t it been shutdown? The Park Service is liability averse, so how does that “hike” (really a 4-class scramble) still exist? I don’t know, but I’m glad it does. I hiked it solo a few years back after a canyoneering trip and enjoyed it, but couldn’t believe they’d let any Joe Tourist up there.

    FYI, it’s also worth continuing up the West Rim trail for a peek into Phantom Valley – quite a sight.

    Although my wife hasn’t said the words, I believe she has a similar “if you die doing something stupid” clause in our marital contract.

    I’ve told my wife I have no interest in being remarried. She’s great and I don’t want to do the marriage thing over again. But if she leaves me with the kids, I don’t know if I can handle it alone. I tell her this is her reason for living – imagine me taking care of the kids: The basic (unhealthy) meals, clothes worn until rags, hair unkempt and cut short, baths once or twice a month, the house a mess. I think with this motivation she can survive any life-threatening incident.

  2. steve Says:

    Getting up Angel’s Landing is my new goal in life. Great park, incredible views, relatively easy access if you count 5-6 hours in a car with 5 children, 2 under 3 years old. I too have no interest in re-marrying. My wife keeps eyeing me like she would like an upgrade. Maybe I’d better downgrade the life insurance.

  3. bikemike Says:

    if i moved four thousand miles from where i live now, i could see russia from house.

    no kidding, man, jealously doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the way i feel when i see the pictures you and Elden put up on a regular basis. all i see on the east coast of florida is the wind kicking my ass up and down A1A.

    at least you enjoy your surroundings, i’d be mad if you complained about it and showed pictures like these. freaking amazing.
    do people really have a desire to go anywhere else in the world when you’ve got this stuff in your backyard?

    give Elden a big hug for me, i think he needs it now.

  4. cheapie Says:

    we went to arches and canyonlands this spring and froze. wish we’d have been able to dress like y’all are.

    btw, beautiful family.

    p.s. that’s a euphemism for “your wife is cute.”

  5. Eber Says:

    scary coincidence – some dude plummeted 300 ft to his death across from angels landing Friday night. I talked to some of them on the wall (must have been just before it happened). We were on the ride (just after we say you and the fam). Cic almost ran over a tarantula and shouted – I rode back to check it out when one of the lower guys on Touchstone hollered down asking what it was. I said just a big spider – bad omen for them.

    Moral of the story – don’t be forcing Kim’s hand – keep it safe.

    Ob another note –

  6. Eber Says:

    as I was saying…on another note (sorry about the premature submit). I have a killer Zion hike for you (take me with you when you go) – Bridge Mountain Arch. I have been stymied now 4 times (including last Saturday with the wife – although we made it 3/4 of the way this time). There is no trail – randomly placed cairns, a mix of Class III and IV scrambling & climbing (a 30 ft chimney just before the arch – I haven’t made it this far, but seen some killer pics). The arch sits half way up the canyon wall and overlooks the area just below the junction). This time we were stopped by lack of daylight and water – had to turn around or risk being the second and third casualties in the park that weekend. I have mastered the route now and could get us there – just need a group who is ready, willing, and able.

  7. Shelle Says:

    I can’t stop laughing thinking about Kim remarrying out of spite. That is hilarious! You two were made for each other!

  8. mark Says:

    Dug, I’m not too worried about your wife calling me. Besides, didn’t the mormons quit doing that about 100 years ago?

  9. KanyonKris Says:

    Eber, I’d be game for an assault on Bridge Mountain Arch. I know a few friends who’ve done it – let me know if you need additional intel.

  10. Rob (dug's brother) Says:

    oh come on. It’s sinful to declare skydiving or the ripstick stupid. I HAVE seen you scamper around cliff edges though, and I’m too lazy to learn to bike well enough to keep up, so I have to concede those two.

  11. Firm and Undaunted Says:

    Don’t you just love Walter’s Wiggles?

    We were just down in the Subway and that is worth doing as well.

  12. 6clarks Says:

    Will I be seeing that family picture on a christmas card?

  13. Rich Says:

    Fortunately I am too lazy to do anything stupid so my wife doesn’t have to practice the pork barrel marriage contracts.

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