6:28 PM

My family does not camp. In fact, I could go as far as to say that I am the only Smith family member who really does enjoy camping. I love the outdoors, I love hiking, and I love camping. I don't know how I learned to love such things, because I can't help but feel like my days in youth group cabin-camping did nothing for my love of nature. My future family will not suffer from the same empty and deprived childhood that I suffered from, SOHELPME.

JK, Mom. I had a great childhood.

I just have to move back to Minnesota to relive the first ten years of my life as Meryl Streep in The River Wild to feel like I didn't waste those years in the land of ten thousand lakes. THOSE LAKES NEED TO KNOW WHO'S BOSS AND I NEVER GOT THE CHANCE TO TELL THEM.

Moving on.

And I really am joking. No regrets, Mom. I'll just be way more tan than any other Smith ever now that I've turned my life around.

(and then I'll get melanoma and you'll say "i told you so.")

This trip to Moab went down with Sarah's Religion in the Environment class, and I must say that it added up to be a near-perfect weekend. SarKar and I snuggled on the car ride down, I slept under the Milky Way (and froze my toesies a little), and I was surrounded by really smart science-y people who provided for great stimulating conversation.

There was an awkward moment where everyone in our group thought that I was going to fall and kill myself while climbing on some rocks five feet from the ground. I was doing just great, but then one rock fell, then everyone came running and held their hands up to spot me like they just got their Silver Beaver, and cheering me on with peppy "you can do its!" and then I got self conscious. Followed by, "you should probably go back. it isn't safe."

And then I almost said a bad word.

Like those five feet will REALLY kill me.

We watched the sun kind of set in Canyonlands, followed by campfire stories. Although my burning eyes did feel like they were going to pop out of their sockets at any given moment, the evening was very quintessential. Stories were told, ("and there was a little green men covered in dust,") stupid jokes were told, ("what's green and has wheels? ... grass. I was kidding about the wheels part") songs were sung, ("yeahhhhh toast!") and even more stupid puns went down, ("this orange tastes so good because it's so a-peeling"). I loved being surrounded by such deep thinkers. We discussed the environment, what we wish we knew when we were fourteen, and deep Mormon and other religious doctrine. Heavy stuff, guys, heavy stuff.

In fact, I should add, that if I have learned nothing else from my time at BYU, I can walk away having learned a lot more about our Earth and how we can better care for it. I took an excellent environmental biology class last year, and my bff Sarah is president of Eco-Response club. Perhaps I only think I learned a lot, but in reality I'm only now just caught up with what every American knew five years ago. Just because every Utahn thinks that Global Warming is about as true as the moon turning to cheese... 

Sorry, that's a discussion for another time. Just recycle, or whatever.
Speaking of the environment, the great take-home message from this excursion is all about this cryptobiotic biological soil crust (according to Rick, cryptobiotic isn't the hip thing to say anymore). It's alive! Walking through this research site, I felt like I was carrying a newborn through a pit of lava, I was so afraid I would step on it and then I would be forever ostracized by my scientific peers.

So many intellectuals in one place, speaking in scientific talk that I could only pretend to understand... but really. I'm a Communications major, there's a reason for that. Everything was so fascinating, though, I just wish I could have taken notes on everything I learned (so much better than school!)

One of the greatest things of this weekend was having my cool cousin Derrick and his girlfriend MacKenzie on the trip as well. Just get this:
Sarah>>Derrick's Bio TA
Derrick>>MacKenzie's boyfriend
MacKenzie>>same Eco-Response club as Sarah
Sarah>>Lauren's roommate
Lauren>>Derrick's cousin

Such a small world. But really, four such wonderful people need to be friends. "That rock is rainbow underneath, it's a closeted rock! It's okay, rock, just embrace who you are."

For someone who feels fairly confident expressing herself in writing, I have a really difficult time gathering my thoughts on nature. I mean, it is the greatest natural high to hike and get tired, dirty, and tan and be rewarded with views of the world's greatest wonders. I was completely content - surrounded by the best people in the best scenery. Granted, when I say "fun" others say "nope" and maybe you think hiking is about as fun as going to the dentist, in which case I have completely wasted your time SO SUE ME. This is my blog.

I love Southern Utah so much. The landscape is so complex, and so intricately detailed. I love that the sand stone grips to your soles and you can practically walk horizontally shouting "PARKOUR PARKOUR!" ijustloveitallsomuch

Haha, there I went attempting to describe my experience anyway. I can't, though. It's like everything I feel is too deep, too spiritual, too personal to recount. I feel completely, utter bliss in the mountains. 

Sounds like religious kumbaya crap. Sorry.

[much photo cred goes to Rick Gill/Sar Kar's camera: aka all the pictures with me in them.]

Sarah: "Guys, I miss the good ol' days when we were kids and could run around and make up stories. Let's pretend." 
MacKenzie: "Okay, I'll be an eagle!" 
Derrick: "And I'll be a hermaphrodite! ... Sorry guys, I left my imagination in my childhood."

Mostly, I just love Sarah Karlinsey. She is a great bff and roommate. I'm pleased as punch that I get to be friends with that girl.

*post edit: I spoke with my bro on the phone tonight. As I told him about my weekend, he said to me, "Oh that sounds really fun! Especially the camping, I haven't done that in a while."
"Adam... do you even like camping?"
"Oh. That's a good point."

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