“Hey there’s some people on the side of the road!”
“Pick ’em up!”
I realize taking life advice from Jim Carey films may not be the best idea in the world, but it does make sense every now and then. For instance, when driving the canyons on your way to and from shredding… it might just be a good time to consider that quote. Yesterday as I was making my way back towards civilization I saw a lonely figure with a pair of skis and a thumb sticking out. It’s been my policy for the last couple seasons to pick anybody hitching a ride up if I’ve got the room. Why not? It might just turn out you meet a new riding buddy or at the very least have someone to chat with during the drive.
Garrett was stoked that I picked him up. “At least 15 people rolled right by without even slowing down” he told me. This made me feel pretty good about my decision to pick him up… clearly I am a much better human being than those jerks. We began to chat about the mountains and the coming storm, and finally the conversation got a little more personal. My passenger told me that he was crashing with his brother for the winter as he had last season… and that’s when he laid a crazy tale on me.
Turns out that Garrett had himself one hell of a season ending injury. He dropped an inbounds cliff at Solitude and took a hit on some rocks- a heavy hit. Heavy enough to break his right femur, shatter his tibia and dislocate his collarbone! Some folks finally found him and he was Life-Flighted to an area hospital to repair the damage. The bill for the day’s events? A staggering $39,000! That included the $10k chopper ride… wow. Luckily for him he was still covered under his parents’ insurance policy and ended up paying less than a G to get patched up.
“Yeah, the whole time I was just pissed that my season was over. I was telling the people ‘this sucks’ and they were like ‘don’t worry, we’ll get help.’ No, this sucks because it’s supposed to dump tomorrow.” That might seem pretty crazy to some people, but there are a lot of us who know exactly what he means… bones will heal but it REALLY sucks to miss a Wasatch powder day. Garret went on to explain that the real bummer of the event was when the guys in the chopper cut his pants and jacket off to assess his damages. “It was a real nice kit, man… can’t find that jacket in my size anywhere now.” Selah, amigo.
I dropped him off at his truck and headed home. There’s a good chance I’ll run into him again at Brighton and maybe even make a few turns. Perhaps someone new to ride with, or maybe an isolated meeting of two random dudes. Either way his story entertained the hell out of me and was better than the usual AM talk radio (yeah, I’m getting old) jibber jabber that often accompanies me on my way home. So next time you see some people on the side of the road, do what Harry and Lloyd would do: PICK ‘EM UP!