Normally we’ve been pretty conservative when it comes to hiking. We find a trail and explore it at different times of the day and in different seasons. However, we decided to try out this trail, even after reading online that somebody described it as “one of the steepest trails in the Wasatch.”
We first tried the hike out on Thursday after work. The first part is really killer, but once you pass the first switchback it gets better, and then eventually levels out nicely for a while.
However, after we had gone for about 2 hours and made it to a beautiful high alpine meadow, we decided that in the fading light we should head back.
So, we came back on Saturday, arriving around noon. We made okay time up the trail, but it felt like it was taking a lot more effort for me to get up the trail! I was really getting worried that I wasn’t going to make it, but Brooke was amazingly nice (as always) and waited for me whenever I needed a break.
We made it to the place we had stopped off before in pretty good time. It was so amazing! I half expected Julie Andrews to come running over the crest of the hill and start singing! We took a lunch break, and continued on up the mountain. The views were getting more and more spectacular, but the trail was getting pretty steep. Eventually Brooke said, “wow!” ahead of me when she reached the ridge, and I had to run to see the amazing view!
We hiked past the knob, without knowing it, and then turned back around and made it to the top at 10,242 ft. above sea level. It was so amazing up there! We could see almost all of the Salt Lake Valley, and even beyond the Great Salt Lake to the mountains beyond. To the south we could see Big and Little Cottonwood, and the top of Timpanogos. And to the east, I would almost bet we could see Wyoming on a clear day!
When we decided it was time to go down, we started down the trail, but quickly realized that it was taking us the wrong direction! So, we had to cut across country to find the trail, loose it again, and then find and loose it again! We lost it about four times, and had to tramp across very awesome smelling sage and mint plants. Eventually we found the trail, and were no worse for the ware.
On the way down I thought about a passing comment in an audio book I have been listening to lately about the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. There was a very brief reference to a meeting in Yosemite Park between Roosevelt and John Muir, and the remark that Teddy was a bit disappointed in how little Muir knew about the animals, particularly the birds, that lived in the park, and how he was focused only on Trees and Rocks. This made me think about how outdoorsy people are usually either interested in animal and flowers on the one hand or forests and mountains on the other. Sometimes people (like me) switch back and forth.
But what is so cool about Brooke is that she is one of the few people that are unequivocally interested in both groups at the same time! One second she can be admiring the scenery and the clouds, the next she is taking pictures of me for the blog, and the next she is pointing out a butterfly or wildflower a couple yards from her feet. She is constantly absorbing it all (as you can tell from her pictures), because she really does love it all. It’s something you just have to admire in her.