Mike IversonMusic, clawhammer banjo, and more...

Music, clawhammer banjo, and more...

A Good Time To Stay Home...

The Iverson family made the front page of the local section of the Ogden Standard Examiner this last Thursday! Unfortunately, the article had nothing to do with our music...

Wednesday afternoon, Shauna and I headed out to get a little exercise by hiking the Indian Trail just east of Ogden City. It seemed the perfect day to get out; cool temperatures, blue skies, no clouds in sight, and just a ten minute drive to the 22nd street trailhead. We were “dog sitting” Heather's big golden retriever and decided to take him and our lab/vizsla mix along to keep us company.

We headed up the trail and had made it up over two ridges and all of the switchbacks, and were within a couple of hundred yards of the top, when the unthinkable happened. As Shauna was stepping over the roots of a pine tree, she placed her left foot a little too close to the edge of the trail and it collapsed. As the left foot slide off the trail, her right foot then buckled as she tried her best not to tumble down the side of the mountain. I ran back and Shauna said, very calmly, "I think I just broke my ankle". Turns out she had heard the bones snapping as she went down. I could tell by the way her right foot was dangling from her leg that it was a serious break. Lucky for us, we were high enough on the mountain to get cell service and I immediately called 911.

Earlier, as we were leaving the house, I'd asked Shauna where the cell phone was. She told me not to bother with it ("who are you planning on calling anyway?"), but fortunately I insisted on bringing it...

After making the call, I stabilized her leg and we then prepared ourselves for the two hour wait it would take for help to arrive. What we couldn't prepare for was the sudden change in the weather. There's a joke about Utah's backcountry that goes, "if you don't like the weather, wait a minute". We soon found out that it's no joke, it's the truth. Within ten minutes, black storm clouds came boiling up over the ridges to south at an unbelievable speed. We were soon drenched in a rain that quickly turned into sleet and hail. We had plenty of water, but contrary to our usual practice, we hadn't brought any warm or waterproof clothing.

Tee shirts and shorts are not ideal when seriously injured, wet, and stuck on a mountain in freezing temperatures! I was worried about hyperthermia and shock and was doing all I could to keep Shauna warm. Ty (our dog) seemed to know what was going on and was quietly laying against us, doing his part to help keep her warm as well.

We held on like this until the paramedics arrived, at which point I grabbed the dogs and headed on over the top to meet up with our daughter, Meghan, who had linked up with the search and rescue crew that I knew was coming in from the other trailhead (Ogden Canyon).

The Sheriff Department, Fire Department, and Weber County Search & Rescue were all amazing. They quickly put together a large team of men to pull Shauna off the mountain (we were at the highest point of the trail) and we own them all our heartfelt thanks.

About an hour after I made it down the trail, the rescue team showed up hauling Shauna in what appeared to be a high tech version of a hunter's "deer carrier” (the one with the singe bicycle wheel). We then made the trip to the hospital in an ambulance where we spent the night at the hospital with the surgeon putting her ankle back together.  One titanium plate and nine screws later, Meghan and I were finally able to leave the hospital (sometime after one o'clock in the morning) and give Shauna a chance to get some rest.

Shauna is doing well, but still has to wait six weeks before she can even begin physical therapy. We appreciate the outpouring of love and concern that has come our way the last few days; it's good to know that you are loved...


A Good Time To Head South...

While the folks back home were dealing with torrential downpours, my family and I were having a great time enjoying the Torrey Cowboy Music & Poetry Festival and the incredible scenery of Capital Reef National Park. What could be better than four days of music, hiking and Utah's red rock country?

Brenn & Mike
We started off Memorial Day weekend at the Torrey Cowboy Music & Poetry Festival where I had the honor of backing Brenn Hill for a few songs at the end of his set Friday evening. It continued to get better as I reacquainted myself with old friends and made new some ones on Saturday. Blue Sage was joined by our good friend Ken Sager on mandolin for our set on Saturday night and the folks of Torrey were more than appreciative.

Crack Canyon
The day after the festival ended, we headed a little North East of Torrey to do some exploring around Goblin Valley. We started off by hiking a slot canyon (Crack Canyon), which turned out to be the perfect match for our abilities; if it were any tougher we might not have been able to make it back out again!

Goblin Valley
After Crack Canyon, we headed south to Goblin Valley. I guess it's officially called "The Valley Of The Goblins", but everyone who grew up in Utah calls it "Goblin Valley". We found ourselves in some of the most fascinating geography found anywhere on Earth.

All in all it was a perfect weekend with great music, great folks, great festival, and great hiking in the spectacular country found in Southern Utah's backcountry...