(In honor of Jared’s upcoming wedding, but not at all in the way you’re thinking! Read on.)
Grant spent a great deal of time dirt trail biking with Jared, Ruth’s older brother, building jumps and surviving crashes, which continued on to surviving snow boarding jumps and crashes, then rock climbing which ended up with Jared going to Emergency and subsequent surgery, and then they both learned how to play guitar to fill the healing hours. They would listen to the recording and then figure out how to duplicate it, with a few tips from Jared’s dad who is a classical guitarist. They actually got quite good and I loved to listen to them play and sing “Ball and Chain” (Social Distortion) or “The Man Who Sold the World” (Nirvana). Once his cousin Mike (who also suffered a serious injury on the bike jumps), was flying in for his company’s BYU recruiting and they planned to go snow boarding. Grant and Jared where jumping fences on their little bikes and Grant misjudged the frozen ground, resulting in a shin gash. I felt so badly he probably wasn’t going to get to go boarding with Mike, but with hope eternal, asked the doctor who was stitching him up if he could, and the doctor said, “Sure! … Just bring him back and I’ll stitch him up again.”
There are five big “outdoor” events that Grant should cover, and this is your reminder: the time you, Jared and Justin Burgon spent the night in the hut you built, complete with stove, on the mountain with the cougar waiting to eat you; the time you biked the Oregon trail from Wyoming to the coast with various Olsen clan; the time you biked around the Provo to A.F. Canyon loop alone in the dead of winter and actually had to stop for shelter at the Mutual Dell caretaker’s cabin; the time when you, Ray and Spencer survived the whiteout from the avalanche on Timp; and the time when you and Mike (again) almost died from exposure on Hood. I used to have a full set of pictures of the avalanche, which were surreally beautiful, but they’ve been pilfered over the years, and wouldn’t retain much of their glory anyway in the photo-the-photo process. I told Justin after the cat adventure that I felt badly because his parents would probably never let him go into the mountains with Grant again, but he said not to worry, he didn’t need their opinion for him to determine he’d never be going again!
Grant got his Eagle the previous summer on the verge of turning 18, and invited the littlest Scouts to help him clear part of the Great Western Trail on the face of Timp (runs from Canada to Mexico, and is 90% complete). He really didn’t care to get his Eagle but luckily for us (the parents who couldn’t), he had a Scout leader who convinced him, Mark Bezzant (one of then UVSC V.P.’s). Mark took the Deacons up to Scout Camp which is just into the pines at the base of the Grove Creek Springs basin, on Grove Creek trail, to camp the night before. Grant had to work so he biked up just as it was getting dark, arriving in a lightening storm, the steam from the exertion rising from him as he pulled into the camp, and the boys said they thought he was a ghost. (Reported by Mark.) The next morning he dropped down home on his bike to pick up his bobtrailer (of Mike fame) with food to meet them back up on the trail where they did the work. The deal was we couldn’t hold an Eagle court, so he got it sans any fanfare. (One of his badges was for doing something that would change the course of the ecosystem. I was the merit badge counselor, so maybe we “cheated” since it was not anything you could deem “green,” but he got it from the pond they built by diverting the water near their hut on Baldy.)