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Home About the Vale News I almost froze to death on Saturday
I almost froze to death on Saturday PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 30 April 2010 00:00
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Robert Kirby wrote this in the Salt Lake Tribune Oct. 2, 2001.  Special thanks to the Tribune for allowing us to reprint them here.


Salt Lake Tribune
Oct. 2, 2001

I almost froze to death on Saturday. Like most of my recent near
death experiences, it began as a routine idea in Sonny’s head.
Sonny didn’t come right out and say, “Hey, lets go have our toes
amputated.” Our wives wouldn’t have gone along if he had.  It was
more like, “Lets go look at the fall colors.”
On Friday, we dragged some ATVs to Marysvale and booked ourselves
into a wonderful B&B. Moore’s Old Pine Inn was easy to find. Look for
the only building in town with a coat of paint more recent than the
Hoover Administration.
Innkeepers Katie and Randy Moore are ex-patriate Wasatch Fronters,
who several years ago chucked the 9-to-5 grind for the 24/7 labor of
playing charming hosts to a bunch of nuts.  
Marysvale annually attracts an army of ATV mounted loons. They come
to wander (at various speeds) hundreds of miles of trails through the
abandoned mining camps and breathtaking canyons of the Tushar
We rode up Beaver Creek the first afternoon. Judging from the colors,
we had hit the leaves just about right. There were pinks, yellows,
reds and greens, all in hues and shades worthy of Tolkien.  
We stopped and explored old cabins and deserted mine works, legacies
of Utah’s long fascination with minerals. We saw deer and hunters,
although never in the same spot.
Depending entirely on Sonny’s recollection and map reading skills,
we climbed high into the Tushar Mountains for hours, eventually
arriving at a point where we had to explain ourselves to Turkish
border guards.
Anyway, it was long and rough, but beautiful. It was also high. From
an overlook, we could see Marysvale, Japan, and several CIA spy
satellites far below.     
Overlook is an understatement. Anytime you can see people in their
homes by looking directly down their chimneys is way more than just
an overlook.
Things went bad on Saturday.  For one thing, it rained. And for
another thing, I forgot our rain ponchos (food, gloves, radio,
flares, and cyanide pills) back at the inn.  
Then the rain turned to snow, which sometimes happens when Sonny
takes you looking for pretty leaves ABOVE the #&%@! timber line.
It was pleasant at first, gentle flakes drifting through the deep
green of the woods. It was enough to move even a guy like me to
poetry. Robert Frost at first, of course.  But gradually with the
cold, it was more Robert Service.
Eventually, we were reduced to wearing garbage bags, eating pine
cones, and feeling our way down the mountain with the front tires of
our machines.
About the time I lost all sight of the others (and all feeling in my
feet), I finally had the first sensible thought of my own. Riding
along in the gathering gloom, it occurred to me, “What if that rock
over there was really a yeti?”
If discretion is the better part of valor, then bladder voiding
panic has to be the better part of getting the hell out of Dodge. I
am the only human being ever to break the sound barrier in four-wheel
I made it back to Moore’s Old Pine (Nuts) Inn well before the others
(and certainly before any yeti). I was showered, calmed and
conversant enough to defend my cowardice when they finally showed up.
Forget the fall colors. This is why a cynical Wasatch fronter falls
in love with Marysvale:
Sitting on the porch at dawn (with all your toes), watching the
passing traffic on U.S. 89 – two cars in twenty minutes, neither of
which completely blotted out the sound of a dog barking 50 miles away
in Sigurd.
Last Updated on Sunday, 18 April 2010 05:15