Tiffany contacted me back in September last year, prompted by a blog I wrote at the time about the guy who made a list of “100 Things To Do Before You Die”, and then unfortunately died when only about halfway through his list. (I am just over halfway myself now, so am being as careful as I can be at the moment! Don’t want to tempt fate too much!)
Well, what a coincidence. She wrote again just a few days ago, wondering how I was doing and where I was. I had forgot that she had said she lived in Salt Lake City, and I emailed back telling her that I would be arriving there in two days.
She sent me a list of a few things we might like to see in Salt Lake City, and suggested that there was a friend of hers that I might like to meet too. From her list of possibilities I was very keen to see Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine, a Rio Tinto copper mine, which Tiffany claimed was the biggest pit in the world. I was slightly sceptical, having worked in the SuperPit in Kalgoorlie, and seen the amazing iron ore mine at Newman, both in Western Australia.
Susan and I had a last few hours at Bonneville, and took a ride out to the start of the Special Course, where all of the newer riders, and slower vehicles usually compete. Unfortunately we were too late in the week, I think, and there was nobody there, but we could at least give the RV a run along the course!
Two hours of driving took us to Salt Lake City, and we booked into an RV park near the city. We discovered that there was a free shuttle bus into the city centre, and that evening went to see the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir practicing.
The next morning Tiffany came to collect us, and took us to meet her friend Clay Egan, who is an amazing guy. He had a motorcycle accident just over 15 years ago, hitting a horse in the middle of the road late at night. He fractured several vertebrae, and damaged his spinal cord, and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. He has no use of his legs, and about 65% use of hands and arms, and yet lives an incredibly active and adventurous life. He is involved in the amazing sport of rockcrawling, which involves taking 4-wheel drive vehicles over the most rugged terrain. He competes at a professional level, with no concessions given to the fact that he has to drive a vehicle modified to suit, and is very highly ranked in the competitive sport. He works as a motivational speaker, is putting together his own TV show, and considering his own line of sporting goods. He also recently just done a skydive! He really is a very inspirational guy, and great fun to hang out with too. You can read more about Clay here:
Clay, and his friend Tom took us all up to the Kennecott mine, where I had to admit, it certainly does look like the biggest man-made excavation on Earth, as the mine info claims. I really enjoyed seeing the place, and felt quite nostalgic watching the familiar CAT 793 trucks on their endless cycles up and down the main ramp.
We went for lunch afterwards, and then back to Clay’s house, where I insisted he show us his skydive video. What an impressive attitude to life. I had so many questions for Clay, and could have spent hours chatting to him and Tom, but time ran out, and Tiffany dropped us off at the RV park and headed off to her next charity event. She too is very motivated and inspirational, and you can read more about her here:
Many thanks to Tiffany, Clay and Tom for a fantastic day out!