Author Archives: Pitt

Thoughts in the Wind

Late last August Becky and I spent the night in a tent at 11,700 feet. We left the trailhead at 1pm when it was 75 degrees and gorgeous. When we arrived at out campsite, there was a standard alpine breeze and it was refreshing after our 4,500 vertical foot climb. I was tired but invigorated by the view of our objective for the next day. I thought it might be hard to sleep because i was so excited. But I figured I was tired enough that it would not take me long to fall asleep.

Bek saddle

Shortly before sunset, the wind picked up. It was as if all of a sudden it discovered that it was driving well below the speed limit so it stepped on the gas to over compensate for how slow it had been going earlier. It quickly became a steady  30 mph wind with gusts  up to 65mph. With each shake of the tent, I could feel my chances of sleep quickly blow off the side of the mountain and into the sky.

So there I laid at 8:30pm. trying to figure out how to fall asleep. I thought I would share the thoughts that ran through my head for the next 8 hours before my 4:34am alarm went off.
8:36pm – I bet I will be asleep by 9.
8:38pm – Do I have to pee? I just peed. No way I have to pee. Stop thinking about peeing. The more I think about it, the more I will have to pee. I don’t want to go pee in the wind again.
8:45pm – I can’t believe Becky is already asleep. I want to talk to someone. Should I wake her up? She would be so mad at me.
9:00pm – I wonder how many people camping around me are actually sleeping. It is so windy! I wonder how much wind it takes to blow away a tent with 2 humans in it?
9:45pm – I just heard Eliza giggle. I wonder if I can go sit it their tent and chat. I am bored.
10:08pm – Yeah I have to pee. Dammit. I am going to hold it until morning. I can hold it for 6 more hours right?
10:17pm – These earplugs are not doing anything. Who makes these things anyway? I know I just got a box of 20 for $3 but my fingers do a way better job at this.
10:32pm – Is the wind stopping? Nope. Not at all. Pretty sure this tent is going to rip in half!
10:46pm – Yep I have to pee. And If I hold it, I will never get to sleep. But I don’t want to pee in this wind again. It just vaporizes as soon as it hits the air. I feel like the risk of a mess is to high.
11:01pm – Fine I’ll go pee! Just stop thinking about pee!
11:03pm – (Now outside my tent in my underwear in the wind) Ahhh! it is so windy!
11:18pm – Maybe these earplugs are keeping me awake. I am going to take them out
11:21pm – (Now without earplugs) What is happening?!! I feel like I am going deaf! It is so loud!
12:03am- My mother in law would disapprove of this whole situation
12:37am- Is Becky faking sleep? No way she is really asleep.
1:05am – Did I just fall asleep? Nope. Guess not.
1:40am – “If I was you, I’d wanna be me too, I’d wanna be me too” THIS SONG
3:11am- You think Becky has slept enough that she wouldn’t be mad if I woke her up to make out? I am super bored!
3:43am – DAMN YOU PEE! I am not getting out of the tent again!
4:34am – Snoring.
I finally ripped myself out of the tent around 5:30 and enjoyed one of the windiest, but most incredible sunrises of my life. With hesitation we finally started climbing. And on about 1 hour of sleep, we summited, descended, and I drove the back to Utah. Finally getting to sleep around midnight the next night. Now that I am sitting here in my quiet bedroom,  I have to say that it was probably my favorite night of the summer.
summit GT

Summit Selfie


Itsy Bitsy Teeny Biggie

In America there is a fascination with things being big. My friend Tim visited from Australia this spring. He was told that everything in the USA was bigger. He confirmed to me it was true. We just love our stuff big. This is fine in a lot of cases. I am obsessed with quite a few big things. I love big mountains, big waves, big dumps (think snowstorm), big fish, and big burritos and corn dogs.  There is nothing wrong with finding something you love and wanting more of it. So why is it with our focus on large things, do we let the little things really control our lives and push us around. We are bigger than that, right?


My Nephew not feeling big after falling in the river. 

I run experiments on my kids all the time to test the effects of the little things. They are harmless, mostly pointless, but very entertaining.  I will make dinner and slide in ingredients that have some nutritional value. Something my kids are very much opposed to. You know basically anything that is green, grown in the earth, or not spent the last 18 months in a box. My goal is to hide these ingredients in things I know they can’t resist like cheese, cream in any form or fry sauce. But no matter how good I am and how much camouflage I use, my kids will always find the smallest  green spot, point at it, yell, and make an outrageous claim that I am trying to kill them.  The littlest thing can ruin a completely fine meal meant to nourish them and make them happy. What they don’t ever seem to understand is that I am only trying to help them a little. And if they would just look away for a second, they would not even notice and could carry on with their happy life of making fart noises at the dinner table.

I start to wonder how we get this way as humans. We develop pickiness and let little things start an avalanche of drama.  I am just as bad as my kids. Food does not get under my skin. I will eat anything that is not going to give me a parasite. But my wife can attest that I have plenty of quirks that most people would look at as so trivial. My guess is that we just lose trust in the universe and begin to think that everyone has a hidden motive to try and beat us down or screw us over. Where in reality it is all in our mind and we love to turn little things into big things. Bigger than they really are or should be.

As we continue down a head spinning political arena over the next few months, the picky little things continue to pop up and grow into big things for about 48 hrs. But in the large scheme of things, they are no more than green spec in a large delicious feast that can potentially give you a full belly and smile on you face.

Can You Sense It?

Typically when I walk into a public restroom, my mind is focused on one thing. TOUCH AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. If you think too hard about all the potential creatures living on the floor of a truck stop bathroom on I-15, you get a little lump in your throat. If you stand and stare at the shiny, silver flush lever on the urinal and everything that it has seen in its lifetime, you might start to get a little dizzy. But when you approach the sink, covered in little pools of water, a small pile of soap under the dispenser and crumpled up paper towels that are overflowing the garbage can, you just get that nice anxious feeling inside. You know,  where you want to just leap out the door and get the hell out of there.

I am not a clean freak by any means. I am not a germaphobe. In fact most people consider me to be quite liberal in my hygienic practices. But I have spent a lot of time on the road this summer which means a lot of time away from the safety of my own private bathroom. I have noticed that there is an  increase of automatic sensors in public restrooms. You know the ones that flush for you, or turn on the water for you. I suspect it is to help remedy the anxiety described above. I can just imagine the sales pitch from the representative of the top bathroom sensor company.

“You see here bud, I can get you set up with the whole package. Urinal, soap, sink , towel and toilet sensors. To keep your bathroom cleaner, healthier and maintenance free.”

In theory, it sounds great, I can go to the bathroom where hundreds of other people go to the bathroom and not touch anything but myself.  But there is just one problem. I like to call it the “senseless sensor shuffle”.  You all know what I am talking about. It is like the sensors get a mind of their own. And they want to ensure you know that they are in charge of the general hygiene of the population.


Let me walk you through a scenario:

You are at the toilet, no where near being done with your business, the toilet flushes. You are a little scared, but composed. You walk to the sink to wash. Hold your hand under the faucet to get them wet. Water comes out. You slide your hand under the soap. Nothing. You do it again. Nothing. You wait for the person next to you to move so you can have access to their soap. Swipe your hand under the second soap. Success! Lather. Hopefully for 20 seconds or more but you are already getting anxious to get out of the bathroom because this is just taking too long. You put your hands back under the faucet. Nothing. You pull them back and repeat. Nothing. You move them side to side. Nothing. Now you are waiting for the person next to you to finish because you can clearly see that their faucet is working. Standing, staring at yourself in the mirror, with nice soapy hands thinking about how rich you would be if you could invent something that would make you never have to go to the bathroom again and save you the embarrassment these sneaky sensors have caused you. Finally your turn. You place your hands under the sink! Nothing! You pull your hands back, close your eyes and say a little prayer in your mind to the Deity of your choice. Slowly you slide them under the faucet and like a volcano that has been dormant for thousands of years, it erupts! Spraying hands clean of all soap as well as your forearms and the crotch area of your pants. You quickly move toward the paper towel dispenser next to the over flowing garbage can, wave your hand under it aaanndd? Nothing.  Forget it! You give your hands a shake, spreading water on the floor and wall next to the door and bust out into great wide open using your foot to kick open the door like a secret The Rock in any of his fantastic movies.

Of course the anxiety level is compounded when supervising a 2 year old during this entire process. I know people are worried about the future of this country right now. But as long as the people that invented those bathroom sensors don’t get put in charge, we will have hope for a brighter future.


Let go, Literally

I got “LET GO”. Or was it “RESTRUCTURED”. Or “LAID OFF”. Oh wait, I remember now. It was “GETTING CANNED.” Regardless of the term they told me or how I describe it when I talk to people, I can’t really help but get a smile on my face, puff out my chest and feel like I have accomplished something. Yeah you heard me right.  Being let go and subsequently mentally letting go just feels good.

Laid off

I had a really sweet role at an outdoor company for the past few years but nothing lasts forever and they restructured the company at the end of May. The initial response of everyone that I tell is a frowning face, with a furled brow and an immediate apology. I think they are confused when I return the response with a smile, a high five and a statement that usually includes the word “stoked” about 7 times.

In todays world, losing a job or throwing a curve ball in your career path is heavily frowned upon and usually considered a bad thing. I beg to differ. In fact, the week following my “DISMISSAL” I was more stoked than I had been in a longtime. Not because I hated my job or the people I worked with. But because the future is uncertain and that is exciting. You know when you go on an adventure or a first date or try a new restaurant, there is something that gets your heart pumping. it is the unknown that lies ahead. And thanks to my being “CANNED” I got to feel that feeling about how I will spend most of my waking hours in the future.

My first decision was to take the “advice” from that day from my former boss and the poor HR representative from the corporate office that had to come tell the 15+ people that day that they were being LET GO. “I am sorry Pitt but we are going to have to LET YOU GO.” That term bounced around in my head for a few hours until the lightbulb finally went off. Let go, I can do that. I am going to let go of the more common reaction to what just happened to me. To the expectations of those around me and what i should do next. To the worry and scurrying about trying to find the next job.  I am going to slow my roll and enjoy what was just handed to me.

When climbing with my wife, there is one thing she always does when she reaches the top of a climb. She pauses and says, “Hold on, I am going to take in the view from here for a minute”.   I think to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that.” It is so easy to get caught up in moving on to the next thing. The next project, the next adventure, the next step, the next job. And once you get to the next thing, you spend most of your time wishing you were still on top of that climb, enjoying the view.


One of my first views after letting go

No, I don’t have a lot of money saved. My 401k has just enough in it to pay for one ski pass and an overpriced burger from the lodge.  But if I wait until I have more than that, I will miss some things that are happening right now. There will always be jobs to be filled and emails to be sent and paychecks to collect. But there may never be another summer to freely chase adventures with the family and catch up with long lost friends or even just spend an entire afternoon playing monopoly with my six year old.

So for all of you that are asking me how the job hunt is going or what I am going to do next. I have one response. “Hold on, I am going to take in the view from here for a minute.”

– Pitt

House Remodel

Here are some amateur before and after photos of our house remodel. We bought the home from the original owner; the Mrs. lived here for 42 years. We were very impressed with the superb condition it was in. There are many things we loved about it when we first walked in–the floor plan, the large, bright windows, and we like the use of space. It is 2900 square feet. 3 bedrooms, 2 bath on the main floor and two-thirds of the basement is an apartment. Our family fits nicely in the space we have now, with potential to take back the apartment space if we ever want it. We also love the fact that it has central air (a first for us), attached garage, and “master suite.” The updates were mostly cosmetic, with some minor upgrades to the electrical. We are really happy with how everything turned out, not really wishing we had done anything different at this point.












Some details: We did not do this on our own. Our very talented contractor and friend Pat Larsen from American Fork headed up the project and did the work for us. One of our favorite features is the concrete countertops, Whitestone Concrete in SLC is the way to go if you’re wanting to do concrete. And thanks to Uncle Val for the beautiful work on our hardwood floors.

Grit – Adventure #4

Since I have become a father I have been constantly thinking about what is the most important lesson I can teach my children. There are so many great qualities you want your kids to have. Love, Charity, initiative, integrity, positive attitude. All are qualities that we admire in our loved ones and heroes. All are qualities that I hope to develop and then pass on to those that I am responsible for.  Through my pursuits outside, I have come to realize there is another quality that I really admire but gets mentioned much less in the descriptions of those we look up to. It has many names, perseverance, toughness, go-getter, badass. Really what it is though is just plain grit.

The climb

If you Google grit (let’s be honest no one looks it up in a Webster’s dictionary anymore), the first definition is “a) Small, loose particle of stone or sand.” You know the stuff that causes you to fall to your death when walking across a stone slab. Or the stuff you find in your teeth and the corners of your eyes after a long day in the desert. It’s the stuff my wife complains about finding in the sheets when I crawl into bed pre shower after a day in the mountains or at the beach. Grit in this sense, gets a bad reputation. But if you look at the other meaning of grit, it is one of the most valuable things in the world.




Grit is hard to describe because in every person it is a little bit different. To some it is determination, others it represents perseverance. And when it comes to our hobbies, people call it passion. Regardless of how you define it, it is a word that we use to describe someone we admire. I recently took Emmett on his first backpacking trip. It was my idea, I sold him on it and the night before I could see the uncertainty in his eyes. I knew very well that this trip could go either way. A complete success or we might never get out of eyesight of the truck. Emmett is almost 6 and has never hiked much over a mile before. I tried to lower my expectation and ensure that we just have fun no matter what.

On the last day of the trip as we packed up our backpacks and said goodbye to a new important place for us, I teared up thinking about how well he had done and what his little mind and body had accomplished. 3 days, 15 miles, 3200 vertical feet and countless moments of laughter and stoke.


Some of us get crazy ideas in our head and there is some strange force that helps us to make them a reality. Some call it determination, perseverance or passion. I call it grit. Now that my son is almost 6 I see his personality and passions developing each day. And no matter what drives him in his life, I hope that he has the grit to make his ideas accomplishments.

– Pitt



North – Adventure #3

My dad never travels anywhere without his trusty yellow legal pad. No matter what trip he goes on, there are always notes jotted down on the legal pad. Sometimes it is an itinerary, other times it has his gear list. But this time it became the rule book. We had been staying at a lodge on Makoop Lake, Ontario for about five days. To spice things up, everyone was putting money into the pot for a little competition. And on his legal pad, Dad wrote down all the rules: Biggest pike wins $10. Biggest walleye wins $10. Most fish caught wins $20. As if catching 75 fish a day was not enough motivation to enjoy the day on the lake.

Dad sans legal pad, in his element.

Dad sans legal pad, in his element.

When I put my 10 bucks in the pot with the 9 other men in our group, I did not know that the next day would be the greatest day I would ever have with a fishing rod in my hand. My partner in crime for the day was my brother in law Eric. I knew that regardless of how may fish we caught, we were going to have a great day. Eric is always 100% in and willing to explore and look for adventure. The sun rose at 4:30am so we were not the first boat out on the water, but we were the most ambitious. We took off to the North looking for adventure.

"Roads, Where we are going Marty, we do not need any roads"

“Roads? Where we’re going, we do not need roads”

No frills. Just the facts. This sign greets you once you land at camp.

No frills. Just the facts. This sign greets you once you land at camp.

Makoop Lake is only accessible by float plane. There is only one place to stay on the lake. Makoop Lake Lodge. It becomes a private lake for those that make the journey. There is something special about being someplace far away from any other humans. Seeing places that you are sure are only ever seen by less people than can fit on a city bus. When you see wildlife, you are pretty sure they are as excited about seeing a human for the first time as you are about seeing a wolverine for the first time.

We are easily distracted from fishing by awesome things. Like giant beaver lodges!

We are easily distracted from fishing by awesome things. Like giant beaver lodges!

10 hours later we returned to camp to report on one of the greatest days of my life. 202 fish caught between the 2 of us. Break that down and we caught a little more than 1 fish every 3 minutes. In between the outrageous amounts of walleye and northern pike, we witnessed a wolverine take a swim, countless bald eagles, discovered a gorgeous waterfall, and did not see another human being.

Fish # 103

Fish # 103

In todays adventure world it feels like everyone gets pulled to “hotspots”. Depending on the type of adventure you desire, it is easy to only look at the famous places. I am always intrigued in finding places that no one else have ever heard of. Or have looked over it on a map and written it off. When you do this, you run the risk of missing so many special places. Thanks to my dad, I now know not to overlook places like Makoop lake. It is one of those places that you drift off to when you are sitting at your desk and your phone won’t stop ringing, or the email won’t stop piling up. A place of solace, wilderness and unbelievable fishing.

The eternal sunset of the north.

The eternal sunset of the north.

Bugs in Canada have the power to blind you if you are not careful.

Bugs in Canada have the power to blind you if you are not careful.


The crew. Old and new

The crew. Old and new


I only posted this picture because my wife loves to see me in Carhartt overalls.

I only posted this picture because my wife loves to see me in Carhartt overalls.