Tuesday, August 25, 1998
Tara And Ethyl Cop Altitude: Parts I & II
A Wasatch Fugue In 3 Parts. [In which this being Parts I & II]
PART THE FIRST: Getting There Is Most Of The Fun.
Ethyl's Gomermobile pulled up to Tara's work. Ethyl was feeling pretty good. The airport was close, everything was styling. Tara is a-bustle and now's set to go.
"So Ethyl...when's the flight?" he asked brightly.
"Gee Tara, lemme look!"
"Happy Faces" turned to "OhShit" real quick, when our two Nimrods discovered that the plane took off in 10 minutes and they were still in the People's Republic of Santa Monica. Exit to the smell of burning rubber.
Somewhat later, it's dark outside the plane. And it stays dark until dawn, when Gawd Turns On The Lights. Morning has broken, and it's time for 29 fun miles. One after the other. And so our two hapless runners play CMFM up over Scott's Peak to Brighton. In Brighton they each have a Pepsi, just like on TV. Then its 14-1/2 fun-miles back to the car. Damn fine, those fun-miles.
"Gosh, Tara, that was fun! Whaddya wanna do tomorrow?"
"Hell, Ethyl...I think we ought to run backwards on the course for 19 miles, then turn around and head back to the car".
Gosh, wish I'd thought of that, but perhaps it would be better to run backwards forwards. It turned out to be a good idea. Right after that Ethyl took a "Come-To-Jesus-Fall" on the trail. Huh, don't recall my thumb looking like that when I got on the plane, either. Ethyl's Eyore slippers were scuffed but still smiling. It was turning out to be a big day.
Sure enough it was. A special day with fuzzy rainclouds, enough mist for everybody. Uphills are steep in this part of the world. Tara was scampering from mudslide to washout. Ethyl was feeling every one of those special moments. His drool bib was getting a workout. His Kool 100 drooped in the mist. He wondered what Cindy Crawford was doing right then.
On the way back they got to look at all the places they'd gone off route. Gee, that crest is steep, huh? And these sheep turds look bigger up close. Makes you wonder where's Uncle Baz when you need him. But all the fun couldn't happen on Saturday, they still had Sunday to look forward to.
Sunday morning, coming up saw Ethyl pumping French Roast through a 3mil drip-feeder directly into his brain. The Eyore slippers were missing some eyes and teeth. The fur was missing in patches. It was time to whipsaw over BearAssPass and go up to Dog Lake, maybe farther. Something about 24 miles. "Maybe in your dreams, buckaroo" thought Ethyl. He felt like Gawd had drop-kicked his tiney hiney through the Goalposts of Life, but the clock had run out for this doggie at 20 miles. Ethyl was freeeeeee, free-falling...falling yeah.
After he cratered, Tara molded Ethyl into the car-seat using the 99-cent HappyMeal pooper-scooper. His white outfit was still unwrinkled. Ethyl rearranged his face and was glad this weekend was over.
PART THE SECOND: SOLO
Two weeks later, Tara couldn't come to Utah and play. Ethyl went without him. In this incarnation he was accompanied by the bewitching "Giftshop Turquoise", but she wasn't showing up until Friday evening.
That meant on Friday, brain-dead zombie that he was, Ethyl ran by himself. He had to laugh at his own jokes. He had to smell his own farts. Which was worse? He staggered a short and merciful 28 miles. Back at the motel, Monica's problems put him right to sleep; refreshed to pick up "Giftshop Turquoise" at the airport.
Saturday found Ethyl heading up the Upper Big Water Trail...Last stop, the finish line [woo-woo!]. It was sunny. No rain. No come-to-jesus falls. He was a legend in his own mind. The aroma of mystery and intrigue hung over Ethyl as he steamed over the Last Big Hill and rolled into Midway, Where The Finish Is. A Mexican wedding paid no attention as he showered in the parking lot of the Post Office. Life was Good, So far.
Sunday found Ethyl on the jeep road, starting from 20 miles. Life is full of Surprises, and today was going to be spent wasting an hour looking for an Obvious Junction. Fun. It wasn't too hot, so all his brains didn't vaporize out there. When he got to mile 36, he told the patiently waiting "Giftshop Turquoise" that the Fun Was Over For That Day. No sense in getting lost again on the next 14 miles and missing the Big Bird back to the Great Satan, now was there?
Next: PART THE THIRD: the Final Struggle.