One year when I was about six, Coy and Jackie Williams invited us out to a new place in the mountains to spend the Saturday before Easter. As I remember, our family got an invitation from them every Easter Saturday to go one place or another for an afternoon picnic. One year was Cedar Breaks, others somewhere up in Beaver Mountains, and I think we ended up in the place I’m about to describe a couple of times.
It was in the foothills northeast of town I believe, although I may have been confused because of my young age. The really cool thing about where we were going was the wild dirt road we got to travel on both to and from the picnic site. Filled with deep swooping gullies, the road would suddenly drop from beneath our speeding old station wagon, cramming our stomachs up into our throats each time the car made its sudden dive, then down through the seat beneath us as we flew up the opposite rise. One after another, the hills rolled out like a long poor man's roller coaster, filling our car with youthful screams of delight the whole way.
When we got up to the camping area we found a ton of huge granite rock mounds all over the place, just rough enough on their surface that we could creep up the sides to the top. We climbed everything in sight, and when we were bored with playing on the top, we scooted back down on our back sides. The granite was like a really course sand paper, and so, though it gave us great traction, it also did a terrific job of tearing the bottoms out of our pants.
While we waited for the food to be prepared, I was doing a little exploring around the creek, and found an unopened can of soda. I couldn’t tell what kind it was because I couldn’t read yet, but I knew it was pop, because I’d seen a lot of grown up people drinking the same flavor at the Fourth of July celebration the year before. It had a horse shoe shaped emblem on the side, and was kind of a yellow gold can. We didn't get much pop in those days, an occasional fountain root beer at Lund's Drug Store down on main, or a Shasta Soda whenever Mr. Sullivan came to fill our big fuel tank on the farm, so to find one just lying in the creek was a huge deal.
Anxious not to be found out and told I couldn't drink my treasure before eating, I popped it open, and guzzled it like I was dying of thirst. The first few gulps got past my gullet, but suddenly my raging thirst gave way to youthful taste buds and my whole system hit the skids. It didn't seem possible pop could taste that bad, and mid gulp I began to heave uncontrollably.
A few years later I was educated on the evils of certain kinds of pop they called “Beer”. Mine happened to be Coors, and fortunately for me, the good folks at Coors Brewing Co. had ruined my taste for their foul beverage forever. I honestly never had the desire to drink thanks to that experience, however, I have tasted it a couple of times since just to see if they had made any improvements….they haven’t…