Surviving artifacts from various hitch-hiking journeys around USA/ Canada, circa 1989-1994. Annotations as recollected. Note: many more of these signs existed but are lost to the world as ephemeral creations.
First reflecting on Funiculars, Dave then reads works by poet friends from far-flung points including: Sohaib Ahmed recounting escaped love and lights, Adam Burningham examining towns atop streams, Amber Case on a languid roadtrip, and Robert Scales appreciating a sunrise and oblivion – plus music by guitarist Matt Harding and a rainstorm, crickets and cicadas from a porch.
Choose your transport for: Friendly Dehli Wanders – Postcard #71 (23:51, .mp3, 48MB)
As life goes… coming online brought devastating news. My dear comrade Rod Howard Ash passed away in his sleep in Provo, Utah. Memorial and burial already behind and his gaggle of admirers are bound for Diamond Fork hot pots to magnify his memory.
This sacred place is the last place i saw this wonderful man –,i was in rough shape and he whisked me, Marty, his son and nephew up to our “church”, yabbering & driving like Neal Cassady – effervscent with lifeforce & boundless energy & optimism. Of course his hair added another 6 inches to the 4 his creepers gave him. A natural diplomat, super conductor & connector with style & smile for days.
Im not sure why him and not me.
Will love him forever and will be in Utah during Memorial Day weekend for Mom’s body donor ceremony and will pay a proper tribute with tears & poems.
Thank you for showing me what boundless love looks like Mr. Ash. You are ours forever.
(Rod snapped this photo of me along the trail to the springs where we savoured so many happy times)
Note to self: add the other snaps from Rod’s camera that Diamond Fork day
Blurb: After inspiring thousands of minds as a University creative writing and philosophy professor, US Army veteran Larry Harper now spends even more time paddling forgotten box canyons, soaking in hot springs and hugging friends and strangers alike.
[curated & produced by pal/student Dave uncleweed Olson]
My pals in the defunct Provo, Utah band from the 1980s had a song called “The Devil Lives in Moab” and the Canyon Country Zephyr newspaper also had an article about Satan sightings in the area. With these facts in mind, i wrote a story about Satan living in Moab and (as the song dictated) sold hot dogs.
Then, for a spoken word performance of the story, i (and Marty Kendall) painted this mixed media mural on a refrigerator box. Along with a few others, it lived in my VW bus for many years and now it is gone.
Ahoy! Rarely shared artifacts from wonderful times rambling the mountains and canyons and parties and dumps of Utah circa 1987-8.
1) Me and Dane Christensen at the Moab dump which is clearly the world’s most scenic (note this may be my most popular photo on Flickr and been invited to join all sorts of *interesting* groups)
2) Me, barely 17 at the Fat Tire Festival in Moab (was this the first year?) Halloween Party dressed as Santa Claus. At that ti me i did not have an awsum beard so i though the disguise would let me wrangle beers. Totally worked. Note the Nun and Priest in the background blessing my effort and the fact that this is a film selfie taken before many of your were born. #oldskoool
3) Next is “Scenic Tours VWs” – a personal fave remixed over the year starting with a shot of Lin Ottinger’s infamous fleet of split-window/23 window VWs which would roam the Canyonlands long before the thrings of motorhomes, lycra-clad knuckleheads and 2 storey buildings came to Moab. Tis surrounded with other buses i’ve loved, admired, drove and encountered.
4) Back to Fat Tire Fest and Halloween where Brandon G Kiggins and I did the very bare minimum for costumes with drugstore purchases of Mr. T and, i dunno, some space warlord of some kind. I don’t recall bringing a bicycle that year, just a fake ID and a desire for chaos.
5) Mt. Timpanogos towers over Utah Valley (AKA Happy Valley) and is famous for it’s caves, a perpetual ice field, wild mountain goats and is a relatively easy day climb to the summit for hearty folks. Me and pals and brother Bob rambled up this peak from every direction, season and circumstance. Amazed and taken by the splendour at the top, i posed in naught but my tan hide and gazed at the valley below.
6) I wasn’t always nekkid atop Mt. Timp, on a windy day, brother Bob and I captured the successful summit attempt in front of the surveying shack which allows theodolites to calibrate Boyd Christensen correct me if i’m wrong here). Either way, a windy day but two ruggedly attired (exclusively from Deseret Industries thrift stores) disciples of Smoke Blanchard posed for a pic to send to our Dad (RIP).
PS Dane, Eli Morrison or Brandon Kiggins – do any of you have a recording of the Devil Lives in Moab by The (infamous) Trees?
This thing is the coolest thing i have ever laid my eyes on
and i promise to take great care of it, and i will post
photos of it when i am done shaping her back to working
Im so stoked my lil bro trev got a hold of you,
Ok my name is zac i am 19 in draper utah there is a pretty
long story behing the recent purchase of your bus, about 4
months ago me and a few buddies were just hangin out, now
this is the uncut family unkown story but its how it
happend, so in my friends house we were browsing the net
and came across your classified add i read it all through
and the end caught my attention, how it had bean everywhere
even held gunpoint, so i told my buddies around me they read
said ya cool whatever, so later on in the night we eat some
fun guy, so we laugh we giggle we find out the meaning of
life but the whole night i had the story in my head, so
after that night i knew i had to buy a bus and travel this
world, so after a few weeks of seaching classifieds every
night after work i see on craigs list the same impossible
to find FULL dome dream machine for sale in logan! so i
dream that night about it wake up and knew i had to get it
till my tax return came,so after i knew i was gonna go
look at it i tell trevor about it and he caught the vision
as well so we take the drive check it out already know ing
some background encouraged the buy, so we paid for it and
the next day drive up again with a few buddies, pushed it on
the trailer and took her home, so after about a week of
sitting around in it getting some of the bees out pictured
in my head what the classic made modern earthship will look
like, after 2 short months the inside has a fold down bed a
sink a dvd player with 2 screens and soon a sun roof, now
all this is just sitting in there loosly until everything
is ready to be perm placed,
This article appeared in Utah Adventure Journal and shares narrative history from my pal and backlands mentor Ron Lindley, who taught me and others about how to organize races, events, rides, and participate in a scene. Also Martin Stenger who was the fastest rider and hardest toker and fcking coolest guy around, Cindy who was a badass lady on a Klein and Charlie who ran a ski/bike shop in Park City. All these folks were important influence on a 17 year old renegade.
I added some comments and may yet do a follow up piece but, in the meanwhile, here’s a chunk from Ron, Martin and some snaps of Utah Mountain Biking and Hot Springs circa 1987-9.
Racer, promoter, trail builder, etc. Park City
After purchasing my first mountain bike back in 1985, I immediately started dreaming about racing. Not having any bike racing experience, I had grandiose delusions about how I would just get out there and set the World on fire. I started asking around about mountain bike race opportunities but there were virtually none at that time. One exception was a thing called “Bike and Tie” that I believe was produced by someone out of Park City. They had one scheduled for the Provo area in the summer of 1986, but it fell on the same weekend that I was immersed in studying for Physics and a Chemistry final and decided to give the competition a break by postponing my racing debut. Later that summer, I found out about a mountain bike race that was scheduled for the Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway and attended it with my riding buddy Brad Sorenson. Brad was literally the only other person I knew who owned a “mountain bike” at the time. I figured out early on during this race that I was not only a beginner at the sport, but that there were a whole bunch of really fast guys who were well equipped to leave me way, way back in the dust. I finished second-to-last in that first race (much thanks to my buddy Brad).
Even with that first dismal finish, I was hooked. I was also determined to get to a level where I could compete with all those aforementioned “fast guys”. My path to glory was made much easier the following summer as some really awesome people decided to promote some really awesome mountain bike races: most notably Tim Metos, Bruce Ewert, Charlie Sturgis and Brock (Hansen?). Tim started running the local Salt Lake City classic “Wild Rose” series, Bruce was responsible for promoting the unbelievably cool “Rustler Run” at Alta and Charlie and Brock put together Utah’s first really big-time mountain bike race Park City’s “Bonanza Bonzai”. These events really represent the starting point for the “golden years” of mountain bike racing in Utah.
Since I was a Utah County native, I naturally felt like there should be at least one race somewhere in the Utah Valley area that could draw the best Utah racers that these other events did. Working with Brad, I started looking for a good place to conduct a race. After lots of searching we found the perfect spot: a Boy Scout camp in Payson Canyon. Hence the “Bike-o-Rama” was born in 1988.
This Bike-o-Rama enjoyed a 4-year run and was a real turning point for mountain bike racing in Utah. After a so-so first year, the race just exploded in its second year and with that success a new partnership was formed. This partnership was between me and an opportunistic mountain bike enthusiast named Bob Walker. Bob’s vision was to develop and series of races in Utah that would rival the old C.O.R.P.s Series in Colorado. He got me excited about the idea and I joined Bob to help him create the “Utah Fat Tire Festivals” series. This was the first N.O.R.B.A. sanctioned, state-wide mountain bike series (which has eventually evolved into Ed Chauner’s very successful Intermountain Cup series). Bob and I promoted a few races ourselves but also formed a coalition of promoters from Logan to Cedar City to broaden the scope of the series. We even persuaded the Canyon Country Cyclists (mainly Bill and Robin Groff) to promote Moab’s first big time mountain bike race, “Moab Rocks,” and add it to the series. Things eventually fell apart with Bob and myself and Ed stepped in and saved the day…the rest is history.
My recollection of the “golden years” of mountain bike racing would not be complete without mentioning a few names of some really special racers who earned my respect and admiration for there incredible talent and strength. The top of the list would have to include the following: Martin Stenger, Glenn Adams, Mark Smedley and Jeff Murray. These four guys were the first super stars of Utah mountain bike racing. Other truly notable racers included Rich Perrier, Cyndi Schwandt, Todd Henneman, Tom Noaker, Scott Lung and Jeff Osguthorpe. I’m thinking of many others but they’re too numerous to mention here. These were the people who were making the podium not only at local races, but national races back when they involved thousands of athletes.
I hope this brief look back sparks some fond recollection for those who were there to witness the proud beginnings Utah’s mountain bike racing heritage. For those who weren’t there but love to race, just take pride in the fact that Utah has hosted some of the best local racing anywhere in the World, and it still does today!
From Martin Stenger (now a brewmaster in Sun Valley i heard)
Slingshot team rider, Salt Lake City, Moab, Boise…
On what was attractive about mountain biking early on:
“A lot of the community spirit and grass roots; racing was what you get, it was part of mountain biking. There was a lot of community spirit. Coming from a road racing community, where people were competitive and didn’t hang out much, there was a kind of camaraderie among good-natured people that attracted me.”
“There was no exclusiveness. Everybody was there together; the accomplishment was finishing.”
“That was part of the motivation, to get to the top before the beer was gone.”
Really enjoyed this article. Scanned a few flashbacks from that era to share from various excursions around Utah circa 1987:
* Canyonlands Fat Tire Festival (1987, Moab)
* Ride to Diamond Fork hotspring
* Rustler Run (Alta)
* Time trial races in Park City
* Moab’s Slickrock trail before suspension (incl poker run at Fat Tire Fest)
Team White Salamander representing featuring Ron Legend Lindley, Gabe Alps W. and a young hippie named Weed with cameos by Brad Sorenson and Pyper.
With my right hand, I gripped on to the side of the cliff. There wasn’t much to grab on to. The rock was red and sandy. I was perched on the tiniest of ledges which is sleek with the fresh rainfall. Below me was a waterfall that dropped off 12 feet or so. Down below, Marty was bobbing up and down in the swirling pool.
The rain had picked up now. Large branches and small trees that we’ve passed hiking just a day or so ago were now shooting off the ends of the waterfall — torpedoing, javeling their way towards Marty.
He tells me to throw down the second pack. I’m grasping it with my left hand. As I hang out over trying to lean to get enough leverage to throw it over the lip of the waterfall — so it doesn’t get caught right underneath in the froth. Instead makes it out to the pool where Marty can grab it before it rockets down the river and meets the torrents of water. I gripped hard. The harder I grip the less there is to grip. I heave and I tried to swing with my left arm through the strap at the top of the backpack and bent over. Continue reading Escalante Flashflood – From Community College to Canyon Bottom (un-edited draft)