Tag Archive | hiking

Time To Reflect – Alta

The first storm of the winter dumped several inches of snow on us last night and with temperatures due to plummet into the 20’s tomorrow it looks like hibernation time. I’m definitely not a cold weather person and have little interest in winter pursuits. I feel no strong urge to run outside and make snow angels or build a snowman. At least not these days. The older I get, the less I’m inclined to climb into cold-weather clothing and go hiking on snow-covered trails. I feel I have nothing to prove now. I’ll leave that to the younger generation.

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Instead I prefer to use this time to go through the photo files and reflect on all the things that we’ve seen and done in the past months. The highlight of the year was our trip to Utah and, going back over some of the images from that journey, I realize that I took a photo for almost every mile that we traveled, over 3,ooo miles in total.

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One of the side-trips we made while staying in Salt Lake City was to Alta and in particular the Albion Basin situated in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains. Alta is known for its ski slopes but in early September it’s also a lovely place to go hiking.

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We had heard of a 1.6 mile trail leading up to Secret or Cecret Lake as it is sometimes spelt, and despite having a few misgivings regarding the altitude and the fact that I hadn’t done any really strenuous hiking in a long time, we decided to give it a try.

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The scenery was spectacular and even though autumn hadn’t really got going by then, there were already patches of brilliant color along the way.

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The trail started out nice and easy but after crossing over a little stream things got rather more steep and rocky. Naturally it was like a walk in the park for my daughter (who was wearing flip-flops) and her husband, but after we’d been going for just over 30 minutes I started to feel the pressure to keep up.

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Alta

We took a break to watch someone taking the hard way up then continued on, passing several people who had already made it to the top and were on their way back down. They all told us how lovely it was at the lake, that the view was well worth the effort and that “It’s not much further!” And they kept telling us that even after another 20 minutes of climbing.

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My daughter took this picture of me as I stayed close to her husband who was leading the way.

I should probably mention here that a few years ago I had a bit of a medical emergency involving blood clots in my lungs and legs and, although I have been quite active ever since, I wasn’t sure if this aging body was going to make it to the end of the trail, especially when we took a wrong turn along the way and found ourselves at rather an impasse, at least as far as I was concerned. I had just reached the point where I had to sit down and tell the others to go on without me when luckily someone coming back down the trail pointed us in the right direction and with supportive coaching from the kids and several stops along the way with orders to “take slow, deep breaths” we finally reached our goal.

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It wasn’t all that big, as lakes go, but it was a welcome sight nonetheless. Bathing is not permitted so we had to stifle the urge to jump into its clear waters and after sitting on the rocks for a while and taking a few pictures we started back down to the parking lot.

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I have since Googled the trail to Cecret Lake to find out more about it and came across a quote that said, “There is nothing difficult about this hike. It is suitable for small children and seniors. This is more of a stroll than a hike.” I beg to differ but then that’s just me. I felt a definite sense of achievement at having made it there without collapsing.

Snowy Range Scenic Byway

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On a recent road trip to visit our daughter and her husband in Salt Lake City, a journey of 3,250 miles round trip, we made a slight detour to visit Snowy Range in Wyoming, the second forest road in the USA to be designated a National Forest Scenic Byway.

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Following the road over the Medicine Bow Mountains we were greeted by a magnificent view at every turn and although it was too late in the year to see the many wildflowers that grow there, it was still a spectacular sight .

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The highest point in the range, Medicine Bow Peak, reaches 12,013ft, towering above many beautiful, clear lakes such as Mirror Lake and Lake Marie.

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Snowy Range Pass

There are several hiking trails but as we were on something of a schedule I restricted myself to a short walk across the Libby Flats which can be seen from an observation deck.

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For anyone who has more time to spend in this gorgeous area there are plenty of opportunities for camping, horseback riding, fishing (there are something like 70 fishing spots, 60 of which are brook trout lakes) and picnicking, amongst other things.

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