Sunday, April 16, 2006

Personal Holiday...

April 15 is almost a holiday for me, and not because of Easter. On this fine day, the forest service opens the trailhead gates that have been closed for the winter. Typically, I proceed to romp around the countryside in (mostly) reckless abandon. This year, it came on a Saturday. I again procured the copiloting services of my roommate, Kevin, in search of offroading adventure.

Unfortunately, the forest service appears to be closed on weekends... all the gates around town were locked, despite having a sign next to each of them declaring the opening date.

Not that I diddn't play a little anyway.

Even their roadblocks can provide entertainment.

For the past year or so, the always-open offroading spaces around Pocatello are being blocked and/or posted "No Vehicles". I don't know why this is happening. With these signs and roadblocks, the freedom to enjoy the countryside in my preferred fashion is quickly diminishing, making offroading an increasingly difficult sport to enjoy.

Not that it's all bad. The picture above was taken at the entrance of one of my former offroading haunts, in the same cul-de-sac as one of the above-mentioned gates. Last spring, boulders and signs were put at the entrance to discourage offroading. As you can see, the roadblocks do not provide any great bar to entry... but the rocks do provide some playing utility in and of themselves.

It also provides some satisfaction: "Ha! I drive on your roadblock! Ptooey!"

Off the Beaten Path...

After squeezing through the most difficult three weeks of my education, I took a few hours to go offroading and enjoy the scenery. My roommate joined me as copilot and cameraman. We paused at our turnaround point to record our progress.

A view further up the ridgeline. You can just make out the snow on the trail on the right that would prevent our progress.

Pocatello beneath us. Literally, this time.

My roommate is new to offroading and thought the steepness was "crazy". Here's the view out the window during our descent:

A "V"alley view

My roommate spent his time standing on the floorboards during our descent.

While spellchecking this post, I noticed that "trial" and "trail" are different by the juxtaposition of just two letters. Hmmm. Maybe I can use that in a gospel lesson or talk someday.