Thursday, June 28, 2012


I have been volunteering time with the UGA (Utah Golf Association) this spring and summer for various golf events. Tuesday I headed to Roosevelt for the eastern State AM Qualifying. I left about 11:00 am and would meet with Bill Walker (Executive Director of UGA) at the course about 3:00 pm.

I loaded my GPS so that I could cache along the way. Unfortunately, I only looked for one cache by Strawberry Lake. Just wasn't in the mood.  I got to the Roosevelt golf course by 1:00, had lunch and then went out and surveyed the course until Bill showed up. The course had a new superintendent, Jeremy who had only been working there about three years. Evidently, they had had problems with the former superintendent and others. The course was not in the best of shape. They were struggling with getting enough water to water the course and the former superintendent had sabotaged several holes.

The course had been marked to speed up play so Bill and I spent quite a bit of time making changes to holes #13, #14, #15. We remarked the red and yellow lines and put up boundary stakes.  Bill ran out of green paint so that evening we headed to Lowes in Vernal to buy more. I went ahead to the hotel, the Roadway Inn. Bill wanted to get another room but the place was packed since the Uintah Basin was experiencing an oil and gas boon. Bill and I had dinner and then I told him I was going to spend time with my cousin's, Dennis and Shelly Sorensen. I told him I would meet up tomorrow at 6:30am at the golf course.

Dennis and Shelly live in the area south of town where they can have horses. It is nice and peaceful. I could live in a place like that (if it wasn't in a desert).  I probably should have stayed with Bill at the hotel because I didn't go to bed until late. I had so much catching up on family issues that I forgot about time.

I rose by 5:00am so I could meet Bill at 6:30 in  Roosevelt but Shelly was up reading and we got to talking about the area and why prices are so high. Fuel is $3.74 for gas and $3.97 for diesel. She told me that the area had five 7-11 stores and they were constantly busy. Two of them by Neola were the top producers in the Western U.S. It is like the gold rush of the old west but now it is black gold that everyone is trying to get. She mentioned that even McDonald's is having to pay higher wages to keep up with the oil field wages. About $14 to $16 an hour.  If I liked the hot desert area, hordes of people, high prices and rift raft of every kind I might consider finding work over there. But I have come to enjoy the simple life. The rat race is not for me anymore. I enjoy moving at 70 miles an hour instead of 130 miles an hour.

After arriving at the course in Roosevelt (a little late), we did course set up. Bill Probst came and helped out with Starting and Check point time. There were not many rulings but we did have one DQ. The player was starting to putt out on the 18th hole and realized that the ball he had was not his. The brand and number were the same but the marking was a little off. So he DQ'ed himself. Golf is so different from other sports. It's hard to find such honesty in a sport. Had this player not said anything and played out, he would have qualified for the State AM on July 18th at the Salt Lake Country Club. There were six spots to fill and two alternates. Low round was a 71 (-1 par) with a playoff for three spots at 74.

After the tournament, Bill and I cleaned up and then headed home to get ready for the next tournament on Friday at the Homestead. This tournament I will not soon forget as the Church Camp fire in Argile Canyon produced enough smoke to block the sun and make it very hazy. I was driving down the main drag in Vernal Tuesday evening and wished I could have pulled off the road and taken a picture of a bright orange red sun set. It was unbelievable. Heading home on Wednesday evening the smoke had shifted more east so it wasn't a problem driving. I was so tired that I didn't take hardly any pictures but I did enjoy spending time with family and helping out with the golf event. I get a day of rest and then on to the next tournament.

Strawberry Reservoir. This guy was nuts to be out there. 30 mph wind.
White caps on Strawberry
Looks like an English country side and overcast
Smoke from Church Camp fire


Saturday, June 9, 2012

GeoCache Merit Badge

My friend Brad asked if I could assist them in Scouts by being a Merit Badge Councilor for GeoCaching. I told him sure and went to the required meetings.  Today, I ran up to Lodgepole Camp Ground up Daniels Canyon to teach the scouts what GeoCaching was and what is required to receive their merit badge. It was a great day and I enjoyed being in the mountains (gotta get out more). After explaining what geocaching was, I had the boys take my two GPS units and go find three caches up in the area. After finding the first one, I could not keep up with them as they ran to the next cache about .14 miles away - thru the trees.Good thing Jordon Farr (one of the scout masters) could keep up. I walked back to camp with the other three scout leaders.

I am going to have the scouts adopt my cache that is by our Church and follow the logs for at least 30 days so they can get the required credit. After the scouts graduate and move on the younger scouts will continue to monitor this cache. I will keep tabs on it but let them maintain it. It is really great to see others take an interest in this sport.

Breakfast time
Enough said
Scout Camp (I remember when I was in scouts...)
Brad relaxing in the sun
Ouch, my ankle!