Saturday, June 18, 2011

Landscape and a Lake

Yesterday was a great day. I went down to the Timpanogos Temple with my mom and sister Tara for the wedding of my cousin Anna. It was so awesome to be there and to see lots of my extended family! Congratulations to the happy couple!!!

Later that afternoon Brooke and I went hiking up in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Lake Blanche Trail. I guess that we have recently got the hiking bug. I wonder what could have inspired that

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At first, I thought that I was going to die. I quickly figured out that while Brooke and I can go the same speed over a gradual incline or flat ground, I end up going a lot slower when it’s steep.

We didn’t take many pictures on the first half of the trail, but once we had gained some elevation we had to take out the camera to get some pictures of the amazing view!

Brooke in the MountainsTaylor looking at the view

About half way up we noticed that the pine trees were giving way to birch. Just above where we took these pictures there was a big grove where a large group had set up camp. Brooke was so jealous and wanted to go camping with them!

Long Way to go

However, we decided that while chatting with campers might be fun, it would be even better to make it to the top of the mountain and to the lake that we were looking for. At about this point we ran into a couple on their way down who told us that the end was about 20 minutes up the hill (actually, it was more like an hour, but that’s okay. I was glad to hear that we were almost there!)

Cute TreeIMG_3130

After a while we made it out of the tree line and found out where winter had gone. He hasn’t left, he’s merely retreated to his mountain stronghold!

The Great Salt Lake!

Once, we looked back and noticed that you could see all the way to the Great Salt Lake! I was amazed how high up we had gone.

Sundial PeakFrozen Lake Blanche

Finally we made it to the top to see the lake! To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Here it is almost the height of summer, and the lake was still a frozen pond. I guess that just means we’ll just have to come back when it looks more like the picture below.

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[Picture from Flicker]

Taylor in the Snow

After we left the lake, we quickly figured out that no matter how hard climbing up a steep snowy field had been, going down it gracefully was nearly impossible. It took us about half the time to go down this area, but most of that was accomplished by sliding down on our rear ends!

Stunning Sunset

On the way down our cold and wet rears and tired legs were rewired by a series of stunning sunset vistas. We made it to the parking lot five hours after we had set out and just as the light was almost gone. We did look at the trailhead sign, which had this interesting notice on it, along with other information. [Lions and Snakes and Lightning, Oh my!]

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At first I have to admit that I was slightly chagrined that it took us three hours to reach the top when the trail was only 2.8 miles. Averaging less than 1 mph. That means that if we were going any slower we would have been going backwards! However, I took some solace in the fact that we nearly doubled our altitude during that time! (SLC is just over 4,300 feet, and the lake was at about 7,000!) In fact the internet guides I looked at today said that the trail should take about 4.5-5 hours, so we’re well within the target range.

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As I was hiking on the trail I was pondering (which I frequently do on such trips - maybe that’s why I enjoy them so much?) about the symbolism of the “straight and narrow path.” I thought to myself how interesting it is that, while it is clearly defined in terms of width and direction, there is no mention of whether the path is steep or level, or whether it is long or short. I guess that things like that are left up to us to discover for ourselves as individuals.

All in all, I guess that the following quote rings true after days like yesterday.

Muir Quote

3 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh...that is beautiful! I wish I could have gone along with you guys!!

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  2. so much snow! The temple was awesome yesterday. I am so glad you guys are taking advantage of the nature here!

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  3. What an awesome hike and beautiful destination. Your pictures and narrative are excellent, and I only wish I could've gone with you. You and Brooke have a love of nature that is inspiring, and I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us! Fun!!

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