I got inspired the other day to find places in Google Earth I’ve been, marking points that have special meaning and memories with cryptic phrases. 60 years from now I can puzzle over these points and try to remember what memories go with the points and phrases. (If Google Earth still runs on my computer in 60 years… if not I’ll puzzle over my own silvery, impressively long, arm hair.)
My best friend from the 8th grade on, Paul, and I took 6-day college outdoor rec. backpacking trip to a Utah canyon with about 8 other people.
38° 4’46.01″N, 109°44’23.05″W
One night we found the most perfect tent spot in existence… a packed red sand pad. In the middle of the night it rained and a waterfall showed up to smooth the pad. It was not happy with our tent. We scrambled around on red rocks a lot and one of the few film photos I have is one of Paul kicking back on a rock looking at the sun going down. I think I still have red sand in my backpack. That stuff just won’t come out.
I was very awkward around people, but I felt socially empowered for the first time in this group, and that got me moving down the shy but chatty personality path I’m on today, and I’m much happier with myself than I used to be. I remember Paul and talking with one of the girls about U2 on the van ride home, and I always think of this whenever I hear U2.
A crush on a girl in the group got me involved in cartooning, then onto the college newspaper full-time, and interested in internet media/journalism. Back then an online student newspaper was about as blog as it got. A newspaper-crew party led me to my fiance in college. We became detached over time, and in a rash decision I moved to Boise and eventually things reset. That led to my great life and great job here. Internet media became blogging, and here I am doing a little from Boise. I got ProClarity rolling with it as well and we’ll see what comes out of that.
It’s weird how a spot on a map shared with a good friend can have a traceable impact like that.
Sometime after the trip Paul took a break from school, then moved to Seattle with his fiance Tina. I don’t see him much anymore. Coincidentally he just finished up his student teaching, got an award on his exit exams, and even though he’s had some trying times he still rocks on…
Paul, remember this point?