I went walking with a group of 12-75 year olds in a river. We were reenacting the Mormon pioneer trek. My ancestors, as well as many of the people who I was with, crossed America and settled in the Rocky Mountains in the 1840s-1850s. In modern times, Mormons like to take technology and comfort away from their children on occasion and make them do hard things. We gathered together for an educational and inspirational meeting about the purpose of our event and then we drove in dozens of BMW’s to the Boise River. (BMW=BIG MORMON WAGONS/ often a minivan or Suburban) I had 2 children attending the event since they had to be at least 12 by the end of summer to be able to participate. We had purchased our best thrift store pioneer gear for them and many of the youth/adults were also dressed in 1800’s garb. There was a lot of excitement and fear.Excitement cause you were with your friends and fear cause it was going to be COLD in the water. One boy said: “I didn’t even know I was coming, I thought I was going to the store!” I chuckled seeing how his mom had potentially tricked him. Although the elements were not harsh on this February day like the event we were reenacting, they had to cancel the original place of crossing as rains had made it impassable 2 days before. On Saturday, the temperature was probably about 50 degrees and sunny. In the water, it was a different story. It was painfully cold. This river crossing was to kick off an event Mormons call “trek.” Trek wasn’t something that was done when I was young so this was my first time being involved. There will be a 3 day hot and sweaty walk/camp in the summer which will be the main event for trek.
This was one of many groups.
Well one of them is not, but we still have 5. So… It was off for our first Boise bike ride. The weather has been fantastic so we hit the road. I was the designated safety monitor from the back to make sure my youngest didn’t end up down a ravine. As she braked quickly once right in front of me, I almost did. 🙂 The biking trail was a lot of fun. There were all sorts of characters whizzing past us on their Saturday fitness activity. The majority were pretty respectful as I had a pretty unstable biking companion and I enjoyed hearing the birds singing. It was like everything had come to life. As we were going at a pretty leisurely pace, I was reminded of a conversation I had with one of my best college friends several months ago. We were in Budapest and they had bikes to rent so I said I wanted to go biking. My friend had flown in from Russia to hang out with us. He informed me that he would not be biking anytime soon. “It was basically for losers.” I chuckled and told him that if he ever came back to Utah to visit me that I’d require him to get on a bike. He then conceded that he would do it, but under no circumstances could I put a picture on Facebook so that our other friend would see it. The reason being is that our friend has a very fancy Jaguar and I suppose the accoutrements that go along with it and they both got their MBAs together at the same time. So, the one without the Jag definitely doesn’t want to be seen on a bike. Russian culture is very flashy so a bike would be way too much for losers. It was funny to think of the cultural differences as we pedaled today and remember his funny bike bias.
Once upon a time, my mom went to the Super Bowl. It’s a funny story cause she could care less about football. It was a long time ago in the eighties. My aunt was a huge football fan so my mom got dragged along as a sidekick a lot to Rams games as my aunt was a season ticket holder. Through that channel, they got tickets to the Super Bowl. We always enjoyed hearing about the interesting characters they would sit by at the games and so we were super excited for her to go to the big game. We knew we would get a sweatshirt when she got home, but it was a sweatshirt of the losers. (THE BRONCOS) Fast forward a few decades, I enjoy football. I enjoy the camaraderie, but I really have no idea what is actually going on. Neither one of my brothers played football. They were not exactly hefty. My dad’s sport of choice was walking mountainous terrain and emerging when he was good and ready. This usually involved great distances. It turned off my mom quite early in their marriage so she has always refused to walk/hike with him. My dad and I have had some good hikes together from an early age to now when he has dramatically slowed down. You don’t have to be fast to hike, genetically special, or anything like with football. However, this weekend I will turn on my tv. I will enjoy some nachos, wings, and probably some Coca Cola. I won’t know what is going on during the game and I won’t care who wins, but I’ll enjoy a bit of this classic American past time.
Growing up Mormon, beards were frowned on unless they were on our ancestral heros. Jesus and Brigham Young for starters… We were always taught to be well groomed and having a beard was culturally a bit fringy. My own non-Mormon dad never sported any facial hair. He was an early riser and took care of that. When I was dating my husband in the late nineties, I once spotted him on the University of Utah campus with the makings of a beard and I was not having it. Fast forward to today and beards are all the rage. Until recently, I lived in Portlandia suburbs for 8 years, but I didn’t really know it was a thing until last year when I was at Nordstrom in Salt Lake City shopping for shoes and every one of the workers had a beard. A light bulb went off in my head that this is TRENDY!?!?!? I am always late to the party. Several years ago, my husband grew a beard and it made him look very professorish, but it didn’t last long. He also was sporting one when we reunited in Idaho at Thanksgiving after our home on the market/job separation. His daughters quickly informed him to get rid of it. It was gone a few days later cause ultimately it was itchy. So… I have to say I used to hate beards….. Now, I’m sort of coming around to the trend. For the record, not everyone looks good with it though. 😉