It started out innocently enough, with Lolly asking Bud and me if we would like to ride out and see the lake on the four wheelers.
Sister Shelley said, “You can’t go out to the lake on the four wheelers anymore because they changed the law and you’re not allowed to ride them on the highway now.”
“I can get you out to the lake,” long-time-friend Matt chimed in. “We can go on my sand rail. It’s licensed”
My first warning should have been seeing the sand rail – a homemade dune buggy powered by a Corvair engine, equipped with roll bars and seatbelts for five. No muffler or windshield, though.
My second warning should have been the harnesses he strapped us all in with, tightening them securely to make sure they fit properly. Everyone was saying not to worry, that Matt was taking Jamie, his wife, with us and she would keep his driving controlled. Besides, she was the sixth passenger and didn’t have a harness so he would have to be careful.
I now know what the windshield of a car feels like – wind, sand, rocks, bugs and all. Four words of advice – keep your mouth closed.
I also know why the grandmother in Napoleon Dynamite was out jumping sand dunes when she broke her leg, and it totally makes sense. I am now a dune-jumping grandma and I loved it.
We had a wild ride out to the dunes and drove around and over them for a little while, with Jamie pointing to all the biggest ones for Matt to climb. Then Matt had us all get out to lighten the buggy and took us on some serious dune hopping one at a time. What a rush! He told me I can tell people I caught about fifty feet of air jumping one of them. (Check back for video – when Doug gets back later I will download it from his camera and post it.)
We all came back sandpapered faces, covered with fine red sand.
Sadly, I somehow messed up my pedicure from earlier in the day during the two hours of jostling around out there. The pedicure itself was awesome, with an hour of foot pampering which only included a few minutes of actually painting nails. I had hoped to keep it nice for as long as possible, but I guess four hours was as long as possible under the circumstances. Besides, it’s only one toe.
Doug and Lolly got their marriage license earlier today, Doug picked up his tux and left his ring to be sized, they got massages, I got the pedicure, Bud acted as chauffeur, and we all went out to lunch. I am now pretty familiar with St. George, and it is a very pretty city.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (literally), Lolly’s mom lined the coffin, handmade by an acquaintance at church, for Uncle Wally’s funeral tomorrow; her father and brother went up on the mountain with the backhoe and dug the grave. There isn’t actually a cemetery up there, but Wally wanted to be buried on his land and he sent away for the paperwork to dedicate part of it as a cemetery once upon a time, and, well, they’re just going to go ahead and do it and worry about the niceties later.
Wally died unexpectedly on Monday and seems to have been the family trouble maker. His obituary mentions how in his youth he was well known for the trunk full of dynamite that was usually in his car and the “community services” he provided with that dynamite. According to the family those services included annoying everyone and evading the police. It also mentioned his love for fishing, where he “developed his talent for exaggeration.”
We’re going to a funeral Friday and a burial up in the mountains. I wouldn’t miss it. But first we are going to Zion National Park to see some sights.