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Sunday, November 15, 2009

JJ: Trippin' in '87 II: Rockrolled

Before Rickrolling was even a twinkle in God's eye, Rockrolling existed. Going to a high point, prying up a rock, giving it a start, and then watching it careen downhill somehow satisfies a very primitive human urge. A corollary of this is that the bigger the boulder, the greater the satisfaction spinning it downhill gives. Also, the bigger the boulder, the louder the crashing, the bigger the cloud of dust and debris, and the bigger the danger to those above and below. I was taught the art by Vic and practiced it on every high spot on cliff, canyon or mountain I could, and Bob & Don had carried on the tradition in Utah and Arizona. Well, hypothetically, anyway. For some odd reason, authorities frown on Rockrolling, maybe because things downslope from the fun get banged up. Once in a while it was even hazardous for the participants. Bob spotted a big slab of rock that teetered on the edge of a sheer drop. The gravel slope behind the slab was steep, but Bob figured he could crawl down, get behind the slab, brace his shoulders on the ground and his feet on the rock and tip it over safely, then enjoy the resulting turmoil. He miscalculated slightly. Everything went fine till the slab tipped over, but at that point the gravel under Bob started started sliding over the edge with it. Bob slammed his running gear into reverse and tried to crawl back up the slope, but was barely holding his own in the stream of gravel. Don, with a sudden attack of smarts, had kept back on solid ground after telling Bob that his plan was a little shortsighted. When Bob said "Give me a hand, Son!" he declined. That episode didn't end the rock fun, but Bob was a little more cautious after that. So. One of the things Bob took to Utah on his move was an old military style Jeep that he had modernized with a little Ford V8 engine and a cab, that he used for playing in the desert. He and Don decided to take Susan and I out to spend part of a day exploring the canyon country to the north of Lake Powell. Just a few yards behind Don's house was a wide canyon that ran down into Lake Powell. A gravel road from Big Water (originally Glen Canyon City, henceforth referred to as GCC) dropped into the canyon and led up into what was basically a wilderness of rocks north of lake Powell. This was the way we went. Sightseeing, of course, meant seeing a lot of rocks, some of which invited being rolled. I accepted some of the invitations and helped roll a couple, but since I have this aversion to sheer drops and tricky footing. I finally cowarded out, which led to teasing from Bob & Don and a muttered comment from Susan about being stuck with "One guy too scared of heights and two guys too stupid to be!" Amen! TBC (Me)