Saturday, May 29, 2010
Over the mountain, part one
I ran away from home when I was just 14. It was a very bipolar and yes somewhat Asperger's thing to do. Keep in mind that no one knew my conditions back then. And I didn't just run away once, but the first time was the most major and life threatening.
I didn't just pack a bag an run away to a friends house. I did decide I wanted to go to my mother's house in Fort Pierce, Florida. But I didn't hitch hike, no I felt that would be too dangerous. Instead I thought I could walk the days, hide out at night and go the entire 2400 mile trip that way. And I started off by hiking over the Wasatch mountain front.
The Wasatch mountain range stretches about 160 miles from Utah's north border southward. The hike took me two days and I made it ten miles, up over the mountian and into the town of Morgan on the other side.
I left to escape my stepmother and her abuse, yes I was rather desperate and severely depressed. I felt no safe haven, so I left. But this isn't to get into the details of her.
I thought I planned it pretty carefully. I would leave on the first day of summer vacation, very early before anyone got up in the morning. Well, I had to wait for Dad to leave for work, he would be up the earliest. I had this little blue flower pattern suitcase and a bright orange hunters backpack. I put some clothing and what I thought were essentials into them. I took my yearbook, a few comics, pencils and a notebook. I also packed in some home canned fruits into the backpack. I didn't stop to consider that going over a mountain with glass jars wasn't the brightest of ideas.
I had most of what I needed ready to go as I lay in my bed and listened to Dad go through his morning ritual. I even heard his old white pickup rumble out of the driveway. Then I went into action. I gathered up my things and headed out. I was so sure that the shortest way to anywhere was a straight line and thought it would be quite an adventure in the process.
Getting to the base of the mountain took longer than I anticipated. The mountains are so large they make themselves look closer than they really are. But I got to them inside of an hour. Then I found paths to lead up through the brush oak at the base. Now it really looked like it would be an easy trip, after all, there were hiking trails. Hiking trails are a good thing right?
Spring runoff was still in full run, meaning that snow up top melted and filled little streams running down the mountain. They then feed creeks and small rivers out to the Great Salt Lake.
I came across a campfire at a point in the path that spread out to a circular clearing. It still smouldered, telling me I wasn't alone on the mountain. The black dirt path led around a corner of sorts and started to follow one of those little streams up ward. The path became narrow and the dirt loose. About twenty feet below the creek bubbled away. I looked up the path and thought it didn't look too bad and started along it. I made it about ten steps before the path fell away from under me.