Fortunately I don’t use my typing fingers to hike

I hiked to the Y yesterday!

In case any of my readers aren’t familiar with the “Y,” it’s a giant white letter Y on the mountain nearest Brigham Young University, dating back to the days when everyone in our part of the West marked their school’s territory with giant letters on mountains.  Or maybe it’s just a Utah thing.  Starting in Southern Utah and on up through the most northern parts of the state, you’ll periodically see letters on hillsides.  I think the nearest one to the “Y” is the “PG” for Pleasant Grove two towns north. I’m pretty sure the Y is the largest, highest, and most ambitious of any of them.  In the early days of BYU they had an annual bucket brigade up the mountainside to resurface the Y with fresh whitewash, but now it’s covered with whitened cement. Here are some pictures.

Dean and I try to set aside every Friday evening to go on a date, but the last two Fridays he’s taken Mabel skiing and then Isaac on a Scout campout, and this week is unusually busy for us, with things going on every night but Monday.  (I try to believe that being this busy is unusual for us, because I’m a homebody and don’t like to feel busy.)  So I snagged Monday as our one chance at a date, and I wanted to hike if the weather was good.  I’d hiked the Y a couple of times years ago and never liked that hike because it’s steep and shadeless, and on a summer day it’s grueling.  But:  if you’re looking for a perfect evening hike in cool Spring weather, THIS ONE IS IT.  You have a fabulous, ever-widening view of Utah Valley the whole way up, so if by chance you have to stop and rest every five steps, you’re completely distracted from your burning lungs and the excruciating pain in your legs.  Then if it’s getting dark as you’re descending, you can watch all the lights in the valley come on.   So, even if you’re  grossly out of shape and only recently recovered from serious anemia, you just might, step by mincing step, actually make it up to the Y.  (The Y itself is no big deal.  It’s really the view and the wide, smooth trail that make the hike worth it.)

And, yes, today I’m a little sore, but if I curl up in a fetal position and hold very still, I hardly notice.

P.S. While we were hiking I did joke to Dean, “I’m doing this for NieNie,” but then I had to explain what I meant. And I just tried to find the link about NieNie’s hike, but her site won’t link to specific posts, but you can search her archives (here’s a link to her site) for the August 17th 2009 post and, oh, look, I just made myself cry.

Completely unrelatedly, Rose brought home a little poem from kindergarten that goes:  “A little yellow cup, a little yellow frill, a little yellow star, and that’s a daffodil.”  I’d never heard that one.  Cute.

Update:  According to Wikepedia, Utah borrowed the hillside-letter trend from California. It figures.  And the letters are found all over the West and Southwest:

(Map from Wikipedia)

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10 Responses to Fortunately I don’t use my typing fingers to hike

  1. Kristina P. says:

    I went to Provo High, and graduated from BYU, and have never been to the Y.

    Well done, my friend!

  2. Erin says:

    My husband and I have been trying to come up with ideas of fun outdoor activities we can do together, and it’s not easy since I’m a homebody like you and don’t really like being outdoors. It’s kind of ironic that, in our town, you can DRIVE to the “C” on the mountain. 🙂

  3. mary says:

    In St. George they still do the bucket run for the big “D” on the mountain.

    And great job on your hike! I haven’t been hiking since I decided I hate hiking.

  4. marymary says:

    It’s actually just a “G” for Pleasant Grove, which used to confuse me to no end (“Geneva?”), and we always joked that they should put one on for Lindon too, and then from North to South, starting at the University of Utah, the letters along the Wasatch Corridor could spell, appropriately, “U-G-L-Y.”

    • zstitches says:

      I really, really, really, really want Lindon to get a letter now. (I think I might have heard that joke before, but I’d forgotten it.)

      • Lili says:

        Mary said exactly what I was gonna say 🙂

        • the MomB says:

          When I was at BYU almost half a century ago, there was a joke going around among my classmates from American Fork that Pleasant Grove had only a G on the hill because they didn’t want to advertise the condition of most of their high school girls….
          Not a terribly funny joke, eh?

  5. Anneke says:

    I am inordinately proud to be from the state with the most hillside letters in the union. Even better is the per capita rate – if Wikipedia figures are accurate, it looks like Montana has one hillside letter for every 8,784 people, while Utah makes 55,691 of its residents share one letter.

  6. Hannah says:

    I live near an “M” for Colorado School of Mines. Maybe I should hike the “M”. Hmmm. Now you have me thinking about it.

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