Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Great Western

It's Memorial Day Weekend, looking at the weather all week at work drove me a little nutty.  Rain/snow at 40% chance in the Uinta's or rain at 20% south of Utah County.  Even late Friday I didn't have a clue.  I swung by an outfitter for a map of the southern Wasatch.  My target became anything off Spanish Fork Canyon aka Highway 6.  It's an hour, odd, drive and if I see a bunch of snow there I can day trip it and be comfortable.

The Great Western caught my eye.  I've searched the internet for anything on this trail.  It lacks, horribly.  I saw I could hike north or drive south.  I hiked north.  The GW isn't all hiking, one can go off highway vehicle style in many areas, hitch a horse, and even drive a car.

I turned in at a rest stop to check my map and sure enough I was 1/4 mile from the trailhead.  I thought about driving up the dirt road however, the first stream crossing looked more like a jeep adventure.  I chose instead to park and hike.

7 stream crossings total as I got on to single track dirt bike territory.  I followed up to Strawberry Ridge.  Thinking, so this is why my Dad likes to hunt around here.  Rolling hills, loads of sage and Aspens, perfect for a big buck.  By the way, he hasn't gotten a deer for a few years.

Knowing this is my first time out this summer, every mile I hike out, I have to come back.  This trail doesn't make any loops. I also kept an eye to the sky.

I stopped for water at Second Water creek.  It was the first good flowing stream in 6 miles.  The meadow looked good for camping.  I headed to Third Water Creek and noticed nothing but hammocking sites.  I'm on the ground this weekend.  I looked at the map, noticing there would not be much ground dwelling sites for 3 or more miles, I doubled back.

At the top of an unnamed rise, I dropped the ruck and took a side trail.  A top the mountain (?) I saw Mt Nebo to the south, Mt Timpanogas to the north, and potential communication towers in between.  My phone was in the ruck, arugh. On my way up I caught a moment glance with a bulk elk in velvet.

I took my time getting to the meadow noted before.  When I did I scoped a spot out and set camp, cleaned up and did some writing.  As I finished my supper of crunchy knorr side garlic noodles with a side of Caribbean spiced tuna, a couple of runners came up the creek.  It's 1 1/2 miles to the nearest road.

Besides a lazy afternoon, I set out a solar panel to recharge a device that goes flat just by looking at it.  This is a small hand held ham radio.  I scanned for any 2 meter contacts then for a radio station.  The first station was Local Satilite Christian radio.  I left it there and enjoyed some older radio worship tunes.

Tomorrow, I'll reverse my direction, put the sandals  (Xeroshoes)for the creek crossings and possibly head south, camping along the road side.

For now, I see a little gold on the hill above and pink in the clouds.  I ready for rain and more so to stretch out to sleep.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Bell's Canyon Falls

This is a popular place to come to, I have no idea why I am alone right now.  This is a quick hike, less than an hour, up one of the many front canyons of the Salt Lake Valley.  I'm sitting here trying out a new pair of hiking sandals, more like getting ready to tape a few blisters.  My feet stuck to the Xeroshoes material.  No mater, blisters happen occasionally.  Soon my feet will toughen up for more punishment.
It hit me late last night, I'm soon on another adventure in about 2 months.  I'll see waterfalls, mountain peaks, Alpine lakes, and hopefully meet some of the PCT thru-hikers as they've crossed over their 1100 mile marker south of Lake Tahoe.  Mean while, I'll be crossing my 65 mile marker.
I want to dream big, PCT big? May be.  For now, I'll hike my weekender stuff, hit a few 30 to 50 milers , and perfect not getting sore or getting blusters.