Midnight Rider

The last several days have been very long and busy. This evening is the first time I’ve had to myself to just relax and gather my thoughts. On Wednesday of last week I drove up to Sandy to pick up Chris, who’d broken his ankle the previous weekend while canyoneering in the North Fork of Robber’s Roost Canyon. He couldn’t drive, but he wanted to hang out at the Hunt’s house this weekend for a barbecue on Saturday and Shantel’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday. He stayed with us Wednesday and Thursday nights, and Friday when I got off work we all piled into the truck and headed to Sigurd.
That evening Cortney and I hopped on two of his 4-wheelers for what I thought would be a quick ride. We rode straight from his house to South Cedar Ridge Canyon, which is west of I-70 in the Pavant Range. On the way there, before getting to the mouth of the canyon, we crossed a creek a couple of times. The first time was easy–the water was pretty shallow. At the second creek crossing, I’d been lagging behind Cortney so I didn’t see him cross it, but he had stopped on the other side and was turned around to look at me. He hollered, “It goes like this [holding his hands vertically a few inches apart], then like this [holding hands a couple of feet apart], and then back like this [hands back to a few inches apart].” The water was muddy and it didn’t look that deep, and it was only a few feet wide, but I put my feet up on the fender and gave it some gas. It really was about two feet deep! We kept riding up the canyon as it narrowed, and the road turned into a narrow ATV trail, then even that disappeared. We crossed the creek three more times before reaching the end of the ATV trail. During one crossing it actually started floating Cortney’s 4-wheeler downstream. It was perhaps not as deep as our Price River crossing a few weeks ago en route to Beckwith Plateau, but the water was much swifter. We parked at another crossing that looked too rough and began hiking up the canyon toward a geocache that hadn’t been found since October 2008. We had to cross the creek on foot several times, often with some backtracking to find easier spots to cross. We made it to the cache with much more effort that I’d been expecting, but it was really fun. Although we’d parked the ATVs 0.57 miles from the cache as the crow flies, our total hiking distance ended up being 2.12 miles. Here are some photos from our adventure.
We had a pretty relaxed evening. Some of the Hunt’s family members from out of state showed up, and they were staying there at the house so they could be there for Shantel’s graduation. The following day, there were a lot of preparations for the barbecue. They had it indoors in Richfield, instead of in their yard as originally planned, because of wind and rain in the weather forecast. Following the barbecue and the clean-up, we all headed back to Sigurd and the after-party began. Several of us sat around the campfire in the back yard and had some drinks late into the night. Not surprisingly, I slept in very late the next morning. Since I had to work this week, I left after dinner, but Traci and the boys stayed there.
Before we all left Price to go to Sigurd last week, my water heater had been leaking. I’d shut the gas off and turned the water supply valve off before leaving town, but when I got home last night the floor was even wetter than a couple of days earlier. Apparently the shutoff valve didn’t actually work. ­čÖü I needed a shower, so I turned the water and gas back on and let the water heat up, which took about an hour, then I shut off the gas and took a shower. When I was done and dressed, I shut off the supply valve once again and drained the water heater using a garden hose running to the floor drain in the laundry room. Although the supply valve was letting a trickle of water into the water heater, the leak was apparently high enough in the tank that no more water was leaking out of it. I left the hose hooked up so that the trickle of water would just run into the floor drain.
Today on my lunch break I ran to the hardware store and bought a couple of 3/4″ pipe caps. I shut off the water to the house, cut the copper pipe going into the water heater, unthreaded the other end near the water supply valve, then capped it off there and turned the water back on. When I got off work this afternoon, I cut the other water pipe from the water heater, disconnected the gas line, and hauled the heater upstairs and out to the driveway. I looked at new water heaters here in town, but the hardware store only had one. Not just one model, but one gas water heater, period. It didn’t have dimensions printed on the outside of the box, but I really need something that will fit the existing exhaust vent because I don’t want to put another hole in my chimney. I decided that, since I’ll be going south tomorrow to see Shantel’s graduation ceremony and pick up Traci and Chris and the boys, I’ll stop at the Home Depot in Richfield and get a water heater there. Since I will be getting home late tomorrow, it will be Wednesday evening at the earliest before I have hot water again. I always run into problems when doing plumbing projects, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being Thursday.

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