Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Y

I just read another blog about hiking to the Y. "Y" Not?
I was leaving a long comment when I realized that I should just post in my own blog. I have a habit of making long comments this one I thought deserved my own posting.

I hate the Y on the mountain. There is nothing good about it, it is ugly. If some kid did the same thing in the city, it would be considered graffiti and they would be arrested for vandalism. Why are there so many letters on the mountains of the Wasatch front? There are big enough cities below so I don't think it is for letting people know that we are here. I love the mountains and feel it disgusting to see them marred by huge letters. When I go hiking I pick up any trash I see and pack it out. I also get after people for littering, cutting trails(causes erosion) and marking trees. I know I have done all of these things in the past when I was young and stupid. Just because you made mistakes in the past it does not preclude you from doing the right thing now. I don't understand how the forest service could allow such a destructive thing to be done on their land. Maybe it is BLM, they seem to be far too relaxed. Maybe there was money exchanged or it was back in a time of ignorance. I don't think building huge letters on the sides of mountains would be allowed today. At least I hope not.

I have vowed to never hike the Y again. When you get to the top all you do is look at the city down below. I find this to be the same for those who hike to the top of Mount Timpanogos. The valley at the top of Timp is stunning, I don't know why you want to stare at an ugly city. I am happy that I have hiked to the top of Timp a few times. It is a good challenge. Now when I go I stay in the valley with emerald lake, it is a much better view there. When I go hiking it is to get out of the city I don't want to stare back at it.

Caveat: I will hike to the Y again if I have a backpack full of dynamite. With full compliance with the law of course. I would love to get funding and buy the Y from BYU or whoever you would buy it from. I would remove it from the mountain and replace it with scrub oak and grass.

I was having this discussion with my neighbor once and she became very upset that I would go against the church seeing how they built it. I told her that BYU was not the church, and the church was not BYU. She was either more offended or just confused by that comment. When I had this discussion with one of my friends his mother overheard. She became angry with us and told us that she and her mother helped to construct the Y. It was a great time and it was their way of showing their love and support for the school. Well, I recognize her feelings to be good and genuine but the activity was still wrong. History just means that it happened it doesn't mean that it was good.

I think we have the responsibility to be good stewards of the magnificent gift which God has lent us. The Earth. It is wrong to abuse animals plants and geography, the environment. If you want to call me a tree hugger to try and dismiss my argument with name calling, please do. It will only show your ignorance, besides some trees are probably more inviting to hug than you anyway.

I must admit that I kinda like it when they put lights on the Y for special occasions. It seems they are having a lot of special occasions lately. I think they could just get a spotlight with a stencil and shine it on the Mountain. They could get creative and have all kinds of stencils. It would be a lot easier and it wouldn't create any permanent damage.

I recognize that we are going to make an impact. Every creature does. When we have the ability to make such a large impact we need to be careful that we only do that which is necessary. Tagging Mountains is ugly and not necessary.


Blogger BrianJ said...

I like your idea of replacing the Y with lights. I hiked the Y once and was very disappointed--no one told me I would be hiking up a road the whole time. If you hike past the Y it gets very pretty--up around the mountain.

I have to disagree with the idea that the city is ugly. I like to hike Timp and look at the city below. If you can find nothing beautiful in the city you live, what does that say?

September 16, 2005 10:46 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I was not trying to say that the cities in Utah County were ugly and without virtue. It is a nice place to live. I do think that Orem is too commercial and looks like a strip mall. Some of the neighborhoods are nice though. What I was trying to say was the city in comparision to nature is not as beautiful to look at. I think that there are very well designed cities that fit into their surroundings in a beautiful way. Provo ignores their river and could have built the city in a way that embraces its' beauty instead of hiding it...I feel another post coming on.

September 16, 2005 11:20 AM  
Blogger Otto said...

Tree Hugger.

September 17, 2005 11:40 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

No comment

September 18, 2005 2:23 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

aaron--I posted a reply for you on my "Y Not?" blog before the thought occured to me to check out your own blog and post there.(duh) I can't say I agree with all your thoughts about Y mountain, but I respect your point of view. And I loved the idea of light stencils. Maybe they could do the Batman signal in blue and white? By the way, are you a Provo HS graduate? There seems to be a lot of them around here, especially ones linked to Chris at the Jolly Porter blog.

September 18, 2005 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Mel said...

good point Aaron, I never thought of it that way. I, like a lot of visitors i'm sure, thought to myself "hey there's a big Y on that mountain, cool?" It just goes to show how eniviromentally conscious I am

September 21, 2005 12:41 AM  
Blogger Otto said...

Aaron, I trust you know that I was kidding. We've had this discussion before, and I agree with you, except for the dynomite part.

September 23, 2005 12:27 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

So why don't you go up there in the middle of the night with a whole bunch of brown and green paint and just paint it out? Just like a big eraser. But if you do it wasn't my idea.

September 23, 2005 2:30 AM  
Blogger BrianJ said...

I thought you might find this history interesting ( Isn't it nice to see the BYU and Berkeley can agree on something?

September 23, 2005 3:31 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I have been without internet access for a while now. It stinks

Otto- I knew you were kidding. You are always kidding. I say dynomite for emphasis. I am sure there is an appropriate method.

Anna- I don't live in Utah.

Brian- Thanks for the history. That was interesting.

Mel- Is that you or a different Mel?

September 27, 2005 7:41 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

You could make a special trip if its that important to you.

September 28, 2005 12:26 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

I disagree with your vow to "never hike the Y again". I think you should plan many more trips to the infamous letter and as you do with other trash along the trail, pick up a little piece of it and pack it out. Problem solved. Or, if you are worried about it being replaced. I just watched a great show on PBS about non-violent protest. It worked for Ghandi.

September 28, 2005 2:12 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

There you go you could get really really skinny and walk around in a loin cloth, um, on second thought, better not.

September 30, 2005 3:08 AM  
Blogger david said...

This reminds me of the hippies in Santa Cruz who proudly drive around town in their cars that run on vegetalbe oil.

Think about it for a minute Aaron. Its called "Y Mountain". It HAS to have a "Y".

I like the Y on the mountian. But thats it. I hate all the other ugly sloppy letters pasted all over the mountains in UT. They should all go except for the Y. For some reason the Y just "works" and none of the others do.

Some things are just great by themselves in singular. But they aren't feasable beyond any scope greater than themselves. Like the hippies who drive around proudly in their vegetable oil burning cars. "That's great Mr/Mrs/Miss (hard to tell the diff) Hippy, I'm so proud of you for driving a car that uses no gasoline, but guess what, its impossible for the whole world to switch to vegetable oil cars, not feasable, not doable, won't happen.". Its just like the Y mountian. It looks great all by itself, but as soon as all the other mountains started getting letters it was as ugly as a hippy in a vegemobile.

October 04, 2005 3:29 AM  
Anonymous marci said...

Whoa,Nellie! Your sister is seriously looking into running her car on vegetable oil! Why? Because, the answer to preserving the resources we still have is many answers. While not every option is perfect, we must do something. And to do nothing and continue as status quo is irresponsible and selfish. So, I say, "more power to you" to all the Santa Cruz, Midpines, and dare I say Provo Hippies, together we can make a difference. Do what you can and support those who do. Marci

October 05, 2005 12:25 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

There are many ways to view the world. My view works for me. Your view built from your experience probably works for you. We might both be seeking the same thing, but taking different paths to get there.

October 05, 2005 12:40 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I'm with you Marci we want a bio-diesel vehicle as well (and by the way, Hi). And Aaron it was supposed to say BYU on the mountain and they only got around to doing the Y before the project was curtailed (don't ask me why they didn't start with B maybe it had something to do with getting it centered) so you should be grateful that they only did the Y instead of complaining about it.

October 05, 2005 12:43 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

They ran out of money or realized the error of their ways. It doesn't change the fact that it was a bad decision to put the Y up there.

It is simple. Live in cities and fill them up with concrete and bricks, whatever. We should have beautiful spaces that make us feel good and happy to be alive. We need wilderness for this same purpose as well. Keep the mountains as wilderness.

October 05, 2005 1:10 AM  
Blogger david said...

remember... Big Sister is always watching ;)

If you end up converting your car into a vegemobile be sure to add the in-dash potato slicer. Driving behind those cars always makes people hungry for fries. If you want to drive your car on vege oil, or biodeisel, or ethanol, or anything else that works, that's fine with me and I support you full-heartedly. I love invention and ingenuity- its great to see what people come up with. My point was simply in regards to scalability, and I think vegemobiles are a good example of something that works fine on a small scale. And if it works for you, then by all means, do it. But realize vegemobiles are a scientific experiment at this stage, and it shouldn't be expected, or even desired, that large portions of the population take part in an experiment, for that would truly be irresponsible and selfish of the inventors. But for those people who do take part in the experiment- more power to you, I hope you succeed- I'd much rather smell french fries on the highways than burining deisel.

October 05, 2005 12:45 PM  
Blogger BrianJ said...

anna--actually, that part about "BYU" being the original plan is incorrect. The truth is that the mountain was supposed to say, "BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE TO OR THEFT OF ITEMS LEFT IN YOUR VEHICLE"

October 05, 2005 2:15 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Now that would be an eye sore.

October 06, 2005 1:59 AM  
Blogger david said...

Sorry to get so off topic Arron. But after Marci said she was seriously looking into vege oil cars I thought I'd read up on them some more. Its pretty interesting technology if you haven't read about it. Hard to belive until you see it (or smell it).

When I first saw them a few years ago I didn't believe they worked, I thought it was a gimick, so I read a lot about them. Sure enough, you can power your car on vegetable and/or animal fat oil. And sure enough, it smells like french fries. I just didn't think you could do it where it got cold, but now some people have figured out how- necessity is the mother of all invention.

Best of luck Marci if you do it. And sorry I was so flipant in my original post, my mouth runs faster than my head sometimes, espeicially if something sounds funny. (And I think foot in the mouth disease runs in the family.)

October 07, 2005 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Marci said...

Appoligy accepted. I guess I get a little defensive about the hippie/ Santa Cruz issue because I relate to them more than you may realise. Anyway,I understand the "say it because it's funny", it does run in the family (We're all just so darn funny!).

Ya, we've been trying to figure out what we're going to do about getting a new car. We need a bigger one, but don't want a gas guzzler, so I was thinking about the biodiesel and then a friend came over and said a mutual friend has converted his car to biodiesel and it got me all psyched. Now we just need the money, to save money.

Don't know how much blogging I'll have time to do, but this has been fun. If I do have time, I just may start my own! (Tim is rolling his eyes.)

Aaron, thanks for letting Dave and I go off on a tangent. As far as the "Y" goes, I have mixed emotions. I loved it as a kid. I still remember the first time I hiked up to it. It was a real sense of accomplishment for my mall schlepping self. Which is why maybe it is a good thing. If the "Y" is the one thing that will get the lazy off their butt and into the mountains then perhaps it ain't so bad. It's kind of like all the development in Yosemite: It sucks. But it makes it so people that otherwise couldn't can come and enjoy it and hopefully leave with a commitment to save the beauty. And as the "Y" is to Y Mountain, the developed part of Yosemite is only a small fraction of the entire Park. So, what is that saying "sacrifice the part to save the whole"? Is any of this making sense? It's getting late and my brain isn't feeling like thiking, or being funny (obviously).
Oh, why do I not like it? Because it's an eyesore and reminds me I'm in BYU-land.(no offense)

October 08, 2005 2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is interesting to note how differently the same thing can be seen by different people. Yes, in one respect the 'Y' is an eyesore. But look at it from my point of view. I travel a lot for work. When I am driving home and I see the 'Y' on the mountain it helps me judge how much farther I have to go to be home. Home where I am loved and accedpted for who I am, weeds (reference to your other blog) and all. Home, where I will find people that I love and cherish. Home, where I am comfortable and safe. Home.----Mom

October 09, 2005 12:02 PM  
Blogger Lorien said...

I'm way late in this conversation, but as a kid I was always proud that the Y at least looked nice and big and was on a pretty mountain. If you're going to do it, go all out. No little stick letters on a lame hill here, no sir. A big, bold Y with sariffs and all! When I was little my mom always told me about how when she was a girl she wanted to rollerskate down it, but then imagine her disappointment when she hiked to it and saw it wasn't as smooth and pretty as she thought! And I remember looking at it while I ate Spaghettios at Grandmas. It's kind of nostalgic to me.

But I agree with you, the mountain would look much nicer without it. (I'll go hug a tree when I'm done blogging) At least they keep it maintained.

October 24, 2005 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree the "Y" is an awful thing to do to a mountain. It should be removed. And quite frankly, Provo, Orem and most of your Utah cities are quite ugly. Sorry, but I like cities that have a continuity in architecture. Let's take Provo for example. You have the downtown with the quaint old buildings. Then you have the huge New Skin building with this new architecture all fancy dancy and stuff. all doesn't fit.

But just because I find the majority of Utah cities unattractive don’t mean that the people in them aren't nice (once you get past the huge chip on their shoulder).

And I have never been to a state with more beautiful women in the world.

Oh and one more thing. Veggie cars rule. I think we should all have them. I mean, with Exxon gouging us in this time of need...over 9 billion in profits this past quarter! They profited on the disasters of Katrina and Rita while people were dying! Who want to really support that!

November 16, 2005 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Connor Boyack said...

It is wrong to abuse animals plants and geography, the environment.

Then I guess we should tear down all our houses, office buildings, bridges, sports stadiums, community centers, chapels, and everything else that has altered plants and geography... We could be tree people, and build nests to sleep in! Yeah!

August 31, 2006 12:12 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Don't inflate my argument into something that is weak and easy to tear down. That is a straw man .

Did you miss that I also said:
"I recognize that we are going to make an impact. Every creature does. When we have the ability to make such a large impact we need to be careful that we only do that which is necessary. Tagging Mountains is ugly and not necessary."

So yes, just like the squirrels and the birds, etc. we will make some impact, we are part of the universe also. I was not discussing the impact of buildings etc. as you have attempted to attack me on. I was merely stating that the "Y" is an unnecessary and ugly intrusion on an otherwise beautiful mountain.

August 31, 2006 1:03 PM  

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