Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Guys" and "Places"

A friend recently wrote about the phenomena of "Guys"... how when you live in a certain place for an extended period of time you amass an army of "Guys" to do just about everything. People typically have a "Car Guy", a "Jewelry Guy", an "Investing Guy", and maybe even a "Fix-it Guy." I'd say that your doctor, dentist, and hairstylist could all qualify as "Guys" too. Overtime you come to depend on and, in many cases, implicitly trust these "Guys"... you return to them faithfully and usually recommend them to others (I've channeled at least two dozen people to my former "Car Guy" in Utah).

These "Guys" are one of the reasons that moving can really suck. You pick up your life and truck half-way across the country and you're back at square one. You eye all of your new service personnel with suspicion until they gain your trust, a process that may entail an awkward "dating" stage with several "Guys" until you find one that works for you.

I think the same is true for "spots" or "places." After living in an area for awhile, people usually settle on their favorite restaurants, burger places, concert venues, stores, ad infinitum. Often out of the way or lesser known, they are places you love to take others to, especially when they may not have known about them.

I've found this is especially true with the outdoors. When I lived in Utah, my friends and I had our favorite camping spots, hiking trails, ski/snowboarding resorts/runs, climbing routes, natural hotsprings, canyon firepits, etc. We found these places and developed our preferences over the course of years, and we always enjoyed sharing our finds with others. Sliding Rock was one of these places. It is a natural waterslide formed by the icy run off of Lone Peak in Alpine, Utah (see Melbo on the left). First shown to me by a friend's former girlfriend, it became a place I loved to bring people to (even after local residents gated off the trail).

Moving to the D.C. area necessarily entailed losing all the "Sliding Rocks" we'd found over the years. Our first month in Virginia we went camping and ended up pitching our tent in a commercial camplot because we didn't know where else to go. While it's taken a couple of years and a LOT of so-so recommendations, we've finally begun to find new "places" to call our own... and among them is a new Sliding Rock.

Just before summer break wrapped up last month, we sneaked off to some nearby mountains for a day with some friends and discovered White Oak Canyon, a gorgeous hike nestled in the Shenandoahs that has several impressive natural waterslides... including one that's even bigger and faster than our beloved Sliding Rock (see me on the right). While the search goes on to keep finding new "places" to replace those old "places" we left behind, finding something like White Oak Canyon almost makes up for the lack of respectable ski resorts any where in our vicinity. Well... actually, that might be stretching it a bit, but it was a nice find nonetheless.

Note: It has been pointed out that, embarrassingly, I failed to give proper credit to the individual who brought Melbo and I to White Oak Canyon... as such I'd like to publicly thank this kind GW International Law Review Articles Editor.

16 comments:

Hobby Horse said...

Very nice. Did you forget to mention the day (or days) that you escaped? Or was that Sabbath-day excursion to the tops of the mountains for communion another day?

Marc said...

Great Rob... you always have to go and run your big mouth and ruin EVERYTHING, don't you?!

Maui said...

I do have to admit that I have some fond memories of the old sliding rock even though I haven't been there in a long time. Nothing like peeing through your whitey tighties before jumping down the slide.

Mind Spew said...

This post made me homesick for the desert. I guess I can forego mountains for prairies, and heat for humidity, but nothing in Kansas even comes close to redrock wilderness. And I've looked. Some places are unreplaceable. Do you hear me, President Bush!!

BA said...

My new place in Eugene is my house. Sure it's beautiful here in Oregon but I hate umbrellas and it always rains, so what am I supposed to do.

Gargantus said...

well, you probably aren't old enough yet to choose where you want to live...

BA said...

Or smart enough.

Gargantus said...

or rich enough...

российская принцесса said...

That's EXECUTIVE articles editor for you (the only way would ever point out a correction like that is if I were really mad... like I am now).

P.S. See! Had my mother watched Kids, there may never have been photographs of me on line - or anywhere - like that.

Marc said...

Following that logic... I guess we won't be able to find any pictures like that of your kids online (or anywhere)?

российская принцесса said...

Not available for free anyway.

Sue Ellen Mischke said...

Wait a minute, you SLIDE down rocks that don't have some kind of protective slide-safe covering? Are they perfectly smooth? Doesn't it hurt your tushy? I'm not much of an outdoorswoman (unless you include North Ave. beach as the outdoors) so you'll have to excuse my ignorance.

Thanks for the plug. Those were the good ol' days when I actually had something worth writing about and the time to do it. Sigh...

Marc said...

Sue Ellen - Yup... you slide down on your keister. The rocks are generally pretty smooth and have a nice slippery layer of moss on them. Have yet to hurt my tush yet.

By the way... I'm still unconvinced on there being "beaches" in Illinois.

BA said...

I once cut my nipple on the sliding rock in Utah. That said I have pretty weird nips for a dude.

melbo said...

I can believe it BA, that water was COLD. I almost chipped a frozen nip myself.

blondemama said...

Oh Marc, I loved this post. I can totally relate because we have recently moved and don't really have our "places". Like you said, it is so great when you finally find "places" then it finally feels a little like home.