BACK TO REAL LIFE TODAY…..TEST TO SEE IF I CAN MAKE IT TO THE GRANDADDIES! “EYE OF THE TIGER!” Then THE HIGH UINTA TOUR to the MAGNIFICENT RED CASTLE AREA…..some say it is “THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OUTDOOR SCENE IN UTAH!” WHICH ONE MIGHT QUALIFY IN YOUR OPINION?

Up to Grove Creek Trailhead again to test me! The goal going up the front of the hills to the arrow way above me…..and on a hot day!

For you TRAIL RUNNERS, remember this competition.

Here’s my history from back 18 months ago when I couldn’t walk, or stand to take a shower. I WENT TO WORK, STEP BY STEP….UNTIL CONQUERING UTAH VALLEY. Would I be ready?

I had slacked off some time ago, and apparently lost my strength and endurance, so this week each day I was at Grove Canyon and each day pushing myself to do a little more, and it was hard, especially with the hot weather. But I wanted to go up the front of the mountain to the view spot.

MY SPINE WAS STILL DANGEROUSLY MISALIGNED AS YOU SEE HERE & WAS PAINFUL. I HAD TO BE REAL CAREFUL.

My SPINE SURGEON INSISTING I ALWAYS USE MY TREKKING POLES!

I had to always cope with my HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, so before starting had it finally down by around noon, and then on the trail checked myself periodically. Oxygen in my blood and HIGH ALTITUDE SICKNESS would be no problem, but had to get strong to have it working right above 10,000 feet.

As I climbed I checked on plants I was monitoring, and documenting their development.

This one hadn’t blossomed yet.

But had the problem of APHIDS, very tiny sap sucking insects, their ENEMY being the wonderful LADYBUG that during it’s life-span can eat up to 5,000 aphids!

This LADYBUG needed some help. A LADYBUG is about 1/8th inch long, making aphids smaller than 1/32nd inch long.

TO CONTROL APHIDS IN YOUR GARDEN YOU CAN EVEN BUY ON AMAZON.COM BAGS OF LADYBUGS!

This plant, the SMOOTH SUMAC, you will recall I used as one of the native plants to landscape our first apartment.

Here it is at full maturity.

There are a number of varieties of THISTLES in Utah, all pretty ominous with their prickly thistles.

This is one of the common ones.

This one a larger variety, that is especially beautiful with its purple flower.

Here we come to a new plant that is blossoming with its very tiny yellow/white flower.

We have zoomed in on the flower about 1/8th inch in diameter. You can now see its wonderful beauty.

Do you remember the beautiful Western Blue Flax?

Here is the flower that has developed into its seed producing phase.

This is another plant we started noticing early on, and then got back to it a month or so later….

… when it blossomed.

From blossoming, it entered the next stage producing seeds for propagation of another season. Isn’t nature incredible…..the wonderment of the Lord’s creations!

It’s been awfully dry lately, having us in a true desert environment, but nature hasn’t ended its beautiful array of color and magnificence.

See what I mean?

This little friend, along with us, is keeping a close eye on nature to make sure he isn’t bushwhacked from up above, or from below by other creatures.

Another plant has developed for us and has to perhaps be one of the very tinyest of powder blue flowers, we’ll zoom in on…..

Maybe it’s more a light purple in color.

This one surprised me, so I’m not sure what it developed from…..

.…..and always with one of the many varieties of grasses, also with it’s surprising fascination.

I’m not sure what this one was…..

…but can see it is pretty sharp…..

This one, with its beautiful green leaves impressed me and was photographed early on, and has now developed and shows us its tiny, but very beautiful flower in the following pictures….

To appreciate its beauty you have to zoom way in……..

……..and look inside to see the wonderful colors.

……and we can’t forget the development of CLIFF ROSE, from it’s beautiful flower, and it’s development……

With this one, we see all three of its stages…..

I had seen way up high a deer trail that angled across a very steep, rocky slope and decided to try it to get up to the top. Normal people could have managed it alright, but it got real dicey for me. It doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but it was much worse than it looks, and, coupled with me being pretty tired—you know, when your leg muscles begin to tremble with every step up….or step down.
With my trekking poles I have to continually lean into them, as a fall backwards could be more than dangerous, and I have always advised people on a steep slope you have to lean into the mountain, so that if you fall you fall into the mountain, rather than toppling down the steep slope–which for me and my misaligned spine, would be almost sure DEATH! Such a violent fall could easily shift the vertebrae’s and even cut the spinal chord producing death, or at best paralysis!

Several times in stepping up, my terrible balance problem had me teetering, not sure whether I would go forward, or fall backwards, and it scared the heck out of me–or SCARED SOME SENSE INTO MY THICK SKULL. IT WAS GETTING TOO DANGEROUS FOR ME TO CONTINUE, and so I carefully moved down the mountain.
Moving down had at times my right leg–which had died and lost all of its muscle, but with a lot of work I got it working again, although still far from being as strong as my left leg, but being trembling tired, it at times gave me the impression it could give in and collapse, as happened early on causing my devastating falls that hurt me real bad.

AGAIN CAUTION WAS A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH, and waiting for my BACKPACK TO THE GRANDADDIES became a priority–maybe until after a summer of getting stronger, and hopefully being able to see the GRANDADDIES ONE MORE TIME in late August after the mosquitoes are gone….and if I make that, SET NEW AMBITIOUS GOALS, all helping me persist with life while doing my darndest to accomplish more of something of importance, as I have tried to do all my life….SEE MY TWO BOOKS TO SEE WHAT I MEAN.

The overall experience had me BEING WISE, rather than STUPID, and making the decision I wasn’t quite ready for a 3 day backpack to the GRANDADDIES….YET!

It had me recalling how a year ago with my WALKER I had lengthened out my hikes to actually doing the Half-marathon distance of 13.2 miles all the way from American Fork to Alpine and back.

The night before I DREAMED I HAD FINALLY BEAT THE KENYANS IN THE COBAN INTERNATIONAL HALF-MARATHON…..USING MY WALKER!

MY DREAMS came into focus and I recalled another similar experience I write about in my MAYA BOOK HISTORY, which I’ll insert here for your enjoyment….it dealt with the lake I created on my plantation in Guatemala you see in this picture.

THE STORY:

Eventually we built our swimming area, seen here , and throughout all my years at Valparaiso I tried to keep up my record of always bathing daily in our lake, even once starting an ESKIMO CLUB that to be a member one had to make a dive daily into the lake even when the temperature dropped to freezing—4 times in 35 years!

I eventually installed electric lights in our “balneario” so when I had to bath at night I’d flip the switch and…..

.….take my dip in the dark of night—ALL LIT UP!
“Once when bathing late at night, waist deep in the water, I was ambushed by two guys with guns, but I was ready for them with my 9mm pistol underneath my towel, got the drop on them and they resisted so I had no choice but to shoot them. I then calmly walked home dressed quickly, got my pickup to load their bodies, and drove over past Tactic to a secluded spot and dumped their bodies—as I had been told by the Police and Army to do!”
This was another of many adventures among the MAYA—

THIS ONE IN MY DREAMS!

one of many such warnings given me that had me usually prepared to avoid such deadly encounters.

We’ll for NOW AT LEAST, this picture of me getting to the GRANDADDIES, will also have to BE IN MY DREAMS!

Although, don’t count me out for late August when the mosquitoes are gone!

To pump up for a CHALLENGE like “Getting to the Grandaddies” I watch a couple of the ROCKY movies, and will take the advise of Creed to get back “THE EYE OF THE TIGER!” Yes, as with Rocky, it was said he had “BRAIN DAMAGE” for thinking about becoming the Champion, and it could also be said about me that I have “brain damage” to be thinking about BACKPACKING TO THE GRANDADDIES in my 87th year, but I do claim to be “DETERMINED, but NOT STUPID!”

So, you’ll have to keep tuned into see what happens!

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The last stop on the TOUR was at the West Fork of Smith’s Fork. From there we travel 6 miles further east to the Smith’s Fork, and the CHINA MEADOWS TRAILHEAD. We are 32 miles from the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway. GET MY BOOK FOR ALL THE DETAILS.

This is the usual jumping off point to head to the RED CASTLE AREA, even though you should recall that I have suggested a wonderful way to get there would be from the East Fork of Blacks Fork Trailhead, and go up above timberline to Bald Mountain and follow that trail to Red Castle. From China Meadows, it will be 14 miles to Red Castle. GET MY BOOK FOR ALL THE DETAILS, INCLUDING TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS. For this TOUR I’ll use pictures from a backpack made in 2008 THAT WAS HISTORIC!

It involved the ORIGINAL THREE BACKPACK BUDDIES, who you see here Me, Ted Packard, and Charlie Petersen, the picture of us in 1954 at the end of a 14 day backpack crossing the entire Primitive Area.

Around 50 years later we went again together on what we called THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY BACKPACK to RED CASTLE. Here we are at the Trailhead.

Here we are at our camp the first night.

This was my “lightweight camp” not using a tent, rather my poncho as a lean-to, and sleeping quilt inside a bivouac bag. This is basically the system I will be using now in my 87th year to backpack again.

Red Castle Peak now comes into view.

Here I am early in my Wilderness Project, camping below Red Castle Peak. This picture was later printed in BACKPACKER MAGAZINE.

On our 2008 backpack, we are swinging around Red Castle Lake, to camp our first night at …….

….. EAST RED CASTLE LAKE.

On that prior trip, probably in 2004, I had caught this very heavy bodied Native Cutthroat trout in East Red Castle Lake. The lake now also has Tiger trout.

From East Red Castle Lake, we came down swinging around the peak, and climbed up to RED CASTLE LAKE found above timberline at 11,267 ft. elevation and have climbed up to near Upper Red Castle Lake to make my camp.

This is my favorite photograph of RED CASTLE LAKE & PEAK on the western side of the mountain, when on July 4th I found Upper Red Castle Lake still frozen over.

Here is Upper Red Castle Lake, at about 11,700 ft. elevation, where in 1962 Ted and I came over the mountain from Porcupine Pass, and dropped in on this high alpine lake and immediately began catching very large Native Cutthroat trout as I mentioned in a previous report.

To get an accurate weight we buried him in a snow drift to take him out uncleaned the next day. On returning to the snow bank all but the tail half had been eaten by some animal. Back home the lighter tail half weighed 3.5 lbs. so we calculated the live weight uncleaned would have exceeded 8 lbs.

RED CASTLE PEAK over Lower Red Castle Lake.

Another of the Peak and lake.

Ted took this picture at the end of our backpack of Charlie and myself. Charlie and Ted wrote the Forward for the High Uinta Mountains book.

I bid farewell to the High Uintas, until next week, with this beautiful scene put together for us by our kind Creator and Lord. Below you will find information about how to get the book, some are calling “THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS.” 

The 730 page digital book is a Guide for adventuring in the Uintas, but also with HISTORY, LEGENDS, the SURVIVAL STORIES OF THOSE WHO DIDN’T MAKE IT & WHY, plus my 8 SURVIVAL STORIES and WHY I’LL BACKPACK THIS SUMMER IN MY 87th YEAR, plus a detailed APPENDIX (among other things has the Anti-Aging Challenge writing), & 14 PAGE INDEXAS WELL AS TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS WITH ROUTES, DISTANCES & LABELS — get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTA MOUNTAINS, send me $20 (don’t be afraid of sending a $20 bill as we aren’t south of the border) along with your email address, and I will immediately email you the link to download the book with my permission to share once with a friend. Or, send $25 for thumb drive that will have the book, plus The History of it’s creation as detailed in a speech I gave at the Utah Valley Historical Society; plus my CHECKERED HISTORY & VISION QUEST–0-22 years. Send to: 

Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003

**********************************

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MY LIFE AMONG THE MAYA: Go to the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION’S website with the final addition from the movie which REVEALS THE ANSWER TO the……

..MOST IMPORTANT PERPLEXING QUESTION IN MY ENTIRE 50 YEAR MAYA HISTORY::

Check out the VERY LAST VERSION of the MAYA BOOK with

THE “MODERN AMMON’S” LEGACY!

Download free the BOOK about my life among the Mayans.

 If BOURNE is what attracts your curiosity…and it should, it will best be understood after going through the history where you will find it in Section 29, page 464. 

*********************************

OUTCOME of the ACID TEST? Up to BALD MOUNTAIN PASS in the UINTAS with OMINOUS SIGNS! I’ve said, “I’M DUMB…but NOT STUPID! …..So, WHAT HAPPENED? and THE FUTURE?

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL!

I spent a couple of days up around the Bald Mountain Pass in the High Uintas, but consistently had signs of High Altitude problems with low oxygen levels in my blood, as well as persistent High blood pressure, and terrible balance problems when encountering it difficult to hike across snow drifts on the trail..…so, for dumbly trying in my 87th year to actually do an overnight backpack, I’M STILL NOT STUPID, so backed off and will likely try again in a few days the…….

Looks like I haven’t worked hard enough, so will remedy that starting today–after FATHER’S DAY CELEBRATION, and do more for a few days and then…….do my darndest to COME FULL CIRCLE from my 1st BACKPACK TO THE GRANDADDIES in 1952–70 YEARS AGO described in the PREFACE to my BOOK, which you should all have to……

……GUIDE YOU ENJOYABLY & SAFELY IN YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURES:

NOTE: While testing myself, and hoping my vital signs would normalize, I read from the beginning my BOOK, and….even myself found it inspiring and encouraging to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE IN, NOR GIVE UP…..EASILY! I promise….YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

The 730 page digital book is a Guide for adventuring in the Uintas, but also with HISTORY, LEGENDS, the SURVIVAL STORIES OF THOSE WHO DIDN’T MAKE IT & WHY, plus my 8 SURVIVAL STORIES and WHY I’LL BACKPACK THIS SUMMER IN MY 87th YEAR, plus a detailed APPENDIX (among other things has the Anti-Aging Challenge writing), & 14 PAGE INDEXAS WELL AS TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS WITH ROUTES, DISTANCES & LABELS — get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTA MOUNTAINS, send me $20 (don’t be afraid of sending a $20 bill as we aren’t south of the border) along with your email address, and I will immediately email you the link to download the book with my permission to share once with a friend. Or, send $25 for thumb drive that will have the book, plus The History of it’s creation as detailed in a speech I gave at the Utah Valley Historical Society; plus my CHECKERED HISTORY & VISION QUEST–0-22 years. Send to: 

Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003

**********************************

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MY LIFE AMONG THE MAYA: Go to the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION’S website with the final addition from the movie which REVEALS THE ANSWER TO the……

..MOST IMPORTANT PERPLEXING QUESTION IN MY ENTIRE 50 YEAR MAYA HISTORY::

Check out the VERY LAST VERSION of the MAYA BOOK with

THE “MODERN AMMON’S” LEGACY!

Download free the BOOK about my life among the Mayans.

 If BOURNE is what attracts your curiosity…and it should, it will best be understood after going through the history where you will find it in Section 29, page 464. 

*********************************

MID-JUNE 2022 — THE ACID TEST: THE 1st OVERNIGHT BACKPACK IN 4 YEARS, AFTER NOT BEING ABLE TO WALK 18 MONTHS AGO & STILL WITH A MISALIGNED SPINE! IN THE MEANTIME I’ll leave the previous post, but report quickly the OUTCOME OF THE TEST! >>>>The last foothills report, then >>>>THE HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS North Slope tour–also now on my FACEBOOK PAGE–WITH TONS OF HEROES & FISHING! MANY AMAZING SITES of the UNSUNG HERO tie hack’s ghost towns: Then to WEST FORK of SMITHS FORK named for MY HERO “JEDEDIAH SMITH” & his story,–– then off-trail to BALD LAKE & fishing, as well as BEARTOWN & Tom “BEAR RIVER” Smith’s story!

I will drive up to the Bald Pass area on Wednesday, June15, check the oxygen level in my blood for High Altitude problems, more common for those more vulnerable, then sleep in my car, and if all looks good, will do the same small hike I wasn’t ready for last year–to FEHR LAKE, using ultra lightweight backpacking techniques (as I can’t put more than 5 lbs. on my back, rather the remainder in 3 waist packs) get to Fehr Lake and spend the night there, hopefully eating a brook trout or two. The next day return to the Trailhead and home to process the experience and report here and on Facebook, then the goal of THE GRANDADDIES–coming FULL CIRCLE, 70 YEARS AFTER MY INTRODUCTION TO THE GRANDADDIES when 16 in 1952!

****************************

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MY LIFE AMONG THE MAYA: Go to the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION’S website with the final addition from the movie which REVEALS THE ANSWER TO the……

..MOST IMPORTANT PERPLEXING QUESTION IN MY ENTIRE 50 YEAR MAYA HISTORY::

Check out the VERY LAST VERSION of the MAYA BOOK with

THE “MODERN AMMON’S” LEGACY!

 If BOURNE is what attracts your curiosity…and it should, it will best be understood after going through the history where you will find it in Section 29, page 464. 

**************************

VISIONS OF NATURE…..FROM LAST WEEK:

FIRST, A COUPLE OF HIKES ALONG THE TIMPANOGOS FOOTHILLS & HIKES UP GROVE CANYON WITH TONS OF WONDERFUL

“VISIONS of NATURE”

JUST STICK THE BAG IN YOUR POCKET TO TAKE HOME….& HOPE IT DOESN’T LEAK!!!!

DO YOU REMEMBER THE ABOVE PICTURE FROM ONE OF MY FIRST HIKES UP GROVE CANYON? I SAID WE’D NOTE LATER WHAT WAS TO DEVELOP. So, below HERE IT IS.

MORE WONDERS OF NATURE & SIGNS SUMMER IS HERE….WITH A ROCK SQUIRREL OUT OF HIBERNATION.

NATURE AT WORK WITH MORE SPIDERS IN ONE SCENE THAN WE’VE PROBABLY EVERY SEEN BEFORE.

BELOW, WE SEE HOW IT WILL DEVELOP AS THE SUMMER PROGRESSES.

LOOKING UP AT THE CLIFFS ABOVE US WE REMEMBER

“CLIFF ROSE,”

THAT I TOLD YOU WOULD HAVE A SPECTACULAR DEVELOPMENT AS SEEN IN THE PANELS BELOW.

NOW WE COME TO ANOTHER FOOTHILLS PLANT WITH ITS MAGNIFICENT DEVELOPMENT OVER THE SUMMER…..IT IS:

SPIDER MILKWEED

AND NOW BLOSSOMING

MEADOW SALSIFY

AND, FOR ME ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF OUR FOOTHILL WILDFLOWERS…..

STEPPE SWEETPEA

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NOW TO OUR HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS TOUR on THE NORTH SLOPE

Last time we had got to the East Fork of Blacks Fork Trailhead with wonderful options for some of the best outdoor experience you will ever have. Now ON TO THE WEST FORK OF SMITHS FORK, along with some of the best TIE HACKER SITES IN THE WORLD!

I’M READY TO GO….CAN’T CARRY ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT ON MY BACK….so have on my back only a tiny pack with poncho (also used as my shelter), air mattress, rain parka & fishing equipment — weighing 5 lbs. THEN TWO WAIST PACKS IN FRONT with Nikon camera & accesories, and in the other crucial survival stuff. AND BEHIND MY LUMBAR WAIST PACK with sleeping quilt, and other equipment. TOTAL WEIGHT FOR A SEVERAL DAY BACKPACK=about 20 lbs. (1/4th of that my Nikon camera and lenses).

As I was heading for what I call “JEDEDIAH SMITH COUNTRY” this scene in Heber bid me a LUCKY FAREWELL!

For details, get THE BOOK, but we head for Kamas, and then up the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, then down to the North Slope Road and east to the Blacks Fork River. At the junction to the East Fork of Blacks Trailhead, turn north. In a mile or so you come to this sign pointing east to the Hewinta Guard Station.

But I suggest you take a little detour keeping on the main road for a mile or so, and visit the OLD BLACKS FORK COMMISSARY GHOST TOWN–of course of the TIE HACKERS! See my book for details.

Then return to the Hewinta Road and turn east crossing the river. The road ahead is narrow, with a few rough spots, but not bad. Just be careful of logging trucks.

If you keep a sharp eye out, you will notice in this 6 mile stretch several tie hacker ruins. Check them out and see if you can date them: OLD PERIOD FROM 1867-1880, or NEW PERIOD FROM 1910 – 1935?

At this point and sign there is a road that heads north. In a couple of miles you will come to the Wyoming border, and at that point on the left is:

As Tie Hackers got too old to make railroad ties, or became obsolete due to mechanization, some of them , most of whom didn’t have families to help them, couldn’t take it and this tiny memorial is to them, with 3 marble plaques–which you’ll have to move aside the vegetation to see–Commemorating our “unsung hero’s” lives.

Back at the North Slope Road, just a bit past the junction is this sign to the creek. Up stream is the Tie Hacker site, called The Steel Creek Commissary, where two cabins were dismantled, one of them reconstructed behind the Bear River Forest Service office, and another at the Forest Service office in Mt. View, Wyoming. To get to the archaeological site, continue a little further to the road to the Hewinta Guard Station, and a short distance you come to a road turning towards the site.

On the Forest Service steel post on the right–after you get stuck in the mud–the sign WARNS YOU YOU COULD GET STUCK! Best park and walk the few hundred yards to the site.

Once again, with information I’ve given you in previous posts, or in my BOOK, you can date this site.

Above is seen–tipped over– one of the few outhouses I’ve seen in Tie Hacker ghost towns. If you look closely down to the right in middle of the ruins you will find the outhouse hole all filled up, and nearby the lid to the one-holer. BE CAREFUL WITH THE FILLED UP HOLE….IT MIGHT BE QUITE DEEP!

On that main side-road you will soon come to the HEWINTA GUARD STATION, that on my first trip was being lived in, so I knocked and was lucky to meet BOB & TERESA FASCINELI. By the way, the cabin was built by the Tie Hackers in 1927, and with a few modern updates is still in use.

They live most of the year in Green River, Wyoming. Teresa was then, and at least up to 2016–when I ran into her on the Kings Peak Trail on horseback, works the summers as a Wilderness Ranger using a horse. They were the first to really open my mind to the history of the Tie Hackers, for which I’ll always be grateful. It has made my High Uinta explorations much more interesting and worthwhile, which history in my BOOK, makes it one of the few publications that tell their story and gives them the credit due.

Up the same road a mile or so, you come to what we’ll have to call the “UNOFFICIAL WEST FORK OF THE SMITHS WORK TRAILHEAD.”

At this TRAILHEAD, you can’t miss the first Tie Hacker ruin. Yes the tie hacks are “heroes” but if you didn’t know, my real OUTDOOR HEROE’s name was given to the nearby river–SMITHS FORK of the GREEN RIVER. While still a teenager living in California, my father gave me and my brother, Marlo, a book entitled, HIDDEN HEROES OF THE ROCKIES, and prominent in it is the young man, JEDEDIAH SMITH, who replaced Tarzan as my REAL HERO!

In my HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS book, I give a summary of his life–which all by itself is worth the purchase price of the BOOK. On pages 236-242 of my book, among others tells his story. Let me just list briefly a few things this young man who in the main section about his life I call him, “THE MOUNTAIN MAN OF ALL MOUNTAIN MEN!”

  1. He re-discovered South Pass so critical in the development of the west.
  2. Was the 1st man to reach California overland from the American frontier–an amazing journey following basically Interstate 15, attacked by Indians loosing almost all of his men, and all of their horses, then crossing the Mohave Desert on foot.
  3. The first to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains following basically the route of U.S. highway 6 to Utah.
  4. The first to cross the length and width of the Great Basin.
  5. The first to reach Oregon by a journey up the California coast.
  6. Smith, Sublette and Jackson were the first to take wagons to the Rocky Mountains.
  7. He survived the three worst disasters of the American fur trade, the last left him almost alone among 40 dead companions.
  8. He was the first to lead a team of fur trappers on the North Slope of the Uinta Mountains,
  9. He WAS UNIQUE among unbelievably tough mountain men and explorers, famous for CARRYING HIS BIBLE and “DIDN’T USE TOBACCO, LIQUOR, NEVER SWORE, AND STAYED AWAY FROM LOOSE WOMEN!”

Author Dale Morgan in his book about Jedediah, said: “Jedediah made the lone wilderness his place of meditation, the mountain top his altar, and he made religion an active, practical principle, from the duties of which nothing could seduce him. His firm belief that faith must find expression in works emerges……”

He did all of the above and more from the age of 21 when he signed on as “a hunter” with one of the first expeditions to the Rocky Mountains by Ashley and Henry in 1822, then in 1831, as Morgan says to end his book, “……he fell under the spears of savages, and his body has glutted the prairie wolf and none can tell where his bones are bleaching, he must not be forgotten!”

I am doing my best to not let him be forgotten, and have named in his honor the 5th highest peak in Utah calling it MOUNT JEDEDIAH–13,387 ft. high, down the ridge from Kings Peak, and guarding the tiny lake given my name as a youth, “Little Andy Lake.” (page 242) I’ll insert Mt. Jedediah’s picture below.

May be an image of nature, mountain and lake

TO NEVER FORGET MY HERO OF THE CONQUERING OF THE WEST I named 13,387 foot high–5th highest mountain in Utah–

MOUNT JEDEDIAH

It is down the ridge from Utah’s highest, Kings Peak, and at the head of the Uinta River’s Painter Basin, with Trail Rider Pass on the left. The lake is U-75 where I have caught huge brook trout, but even a larger one was caught in Beard Lake up near the pass–that would have been Utah’s record by far. The lake named for me, “Little Andy Lake” is up much higher at 12,302 ft. high we see below.

MOUNT JEDEDIAH is the shadowed mountain on the far right, with Beard Lake at its foot, and Lake Atwood in the distant/middle of the photo.

Our hike to BALD LAKE will follow the route on the above map south until we hit the North Slope Highline Trail, we’ll see in a moment.

But, first we soon are seeing another Tie Hacker site along the trail.

Eventually coming to one with an old Model T-Ford pickup–which by the way I have been told it is now GONE!

Soon after passing the HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS sign, we come to a very important site of what was called…..

….a SPLASH DAM.

The Tie Hackers did most of their work in the winter when they could move the railroad ties more easily using sleds. They would be accumulated behind the SPLASH DAM, waiting for the Spring run-off, when the reservoirs would fill with the ties covering the surface. When all was in readiness, the Tie Hackers would BLOW THE DAM WITH DYNAMITE, and with a……

…..SPLASH!

……..the ties would be washed downstream, herded along by the Tie Hackers who would follow them north into Wyoming where they would be picked up by workers from the Transcontinental Railroad construction.

We have now come to the North Slope Highline Trail, and just a little to the west we leave the trail and go cross-country towards the mountain with snow–which is Bald Peak, and from where in a past report I pictured my daughter Mahana viewing the lake from up above.

The MAHANA picture was taken a week before from up there where the snow drifts are. I’ll insert it below.

At this point it is best to remind all that perhaps a good, if not the best way to Bald Lake is from the East Fork of Blacks Fork Trailhead, as done by my daughter and I–as described in what I call on my website Trip #4. That way is also a great way to get to the Red Castle area, rather than going up Smith’s Fork 14 miles. Each way has it’s advantages. Below the title picture I’ll insert a couple of pictures of this wonderful route to Bald Lake, and to the Red Castle area.

From the East Fork of Blacks Fork Trailhead, it is a steep climb up above timberline–during that climb I took the Title shot looking down on the East Fork of Blacks canyon. Once you make the climb, it is then wonderful hiking to Bald Mountains and Lake, and on to the Red Castle area.

But, back down the trail, and out to the North Slope Road you have a choice to make. You can return the way you came, back to the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, 26 miles, or go north 27 miles to Mountain View, Wyoming, and from there return to Utah on Interstate 80 going through Evanston. Or, if you are doing the 856 MILE AUTO-LOOP TOUR OF THE UINTA MOUNTAINS, head east thru China Meadows, etc.

If you choose to go through Mountain View, don’t miss going to the Forest Ranger Station to see the Tie Hacker cabin that came from the Steel Creek Commissary.

Also if you’re going this way, you could also turn off I-80 at the right point to visit another site connected to the Tie Hackers: THE PIEDMONT GHOST TOWN as mentioned below, with full details in the BOOK.

PIEDMONT is a very important ghost town, with kilns used to make charcoal with tie hacker wood. It actually grew at one time to around 11,000 people, even with a hotel where Butch Cassidy once stayed with his gang, and many other fascinating stories, some of which I tell in my book.

You can see in the distance, across the creek, the cemetery and I couldn’t resist so made a visit and photographed every headstone, and a bunch with no name markings. My study showed many children who died in their infancy, indicating that the pioneer life wasn’t easy.

I was surprised noticing that it was still being used, and so made plans to be there on MEMORIAL DAY 2013 to hopefully meet someone from Piedmont–living or dead.

And I actually did meet the woman who had buried her husband there in 1996. She was Kelly Crompton Bussio, and through her I met her mother-in-law, Faye Byrne Crompton, the then 87 year old Matriarch of the family living in Orem, Utah. Faye was raised in Piedmont until graduating from high school, and is a direct descendant of Moses Byrne, founder of Piedmont. All of course explained in my book.

From Piedmont you can return to I-80 and follow it to Evanston, or using my book as a guide, follow County roads to the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, and just a mile or so north you should visit this….Historic turn-out.

Or, if you continue to Evanston, you can return to Utah following the MIrror Lake Scenic Byway, and 10 miles south of Evanston you will see one of several turn-outs with fascinating history, like the one about BEAR RIVER CITY or BEARTOWN, which was described in pioneer times as the site of the “bloodiest battle among white men in the history of Wyoming,” and “The liveliest if not the most wicked town in America!” All connected to the tie hackers.

Below is an old photograph of the town, and in the bottom photo, if you’ll note the two skylines, you’ll see it is the exact location of the town–where it is said, “There are no artifacts.” But of course I found a few, as well as learning the whole story that includes………

…..the life story of the man who became President Eisenhower’s HERO, TOM “BEAR RIVER” SMITH. Tom, as the Marshal, tried to stop the “bloodiest battle” and was wounded, but was nick-named “Bear River” which comes out of the Uintas and passes near the town. From there he went on to be the Marshal in Abilene, Kansas where he was known as “The Bare Knuckle Marshal,” and was finally killed in a shoot-out with crooks. It is said that every time President Eisenhower visited his home-town, Abilene, he would go and put flowers on Tom’s grave. It has been said from my brief recounting of the history in my BOOK, that it would MAKE A GREAT WESTERN MOVIE–and A TRUE ONE!

I hope and pray that you have enjoyed this post, and if so, let others know what I’m doing my darndest to share with all interested.

FOR DETAILS, INCLUDING TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS, ABOUT THIS HIGH UINTA TOUR & SUGGESTED BACKPACK/EXPLORATION, PLUS AN 89 PAGE GUIDE TO DO THE 856 MILE AUTO-LOOP TOUR, & MUCH MORE…..

GET THE BOOK!

The 730 page digital book is a Guide for adventuring in the Uintas, but also with HISTORY, LEGENDS, the SURVIVAL STORIES OF THOSE WHO DIDN’T MAKE IT & WHY, plus my 8 SURVIVAL STORIES and WHY I’LL BACKPACK THIS SUMMER IN MY 87th YEAR, plus a detailed APPENDIX (among other things has the Anti-Aging Challenge writing), & 14 PAGE INDEXAS WELL AS TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS WITH ROUTES, DISTANCES & LABELS — get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTA MOUNTAINS, send me $20 (don’t be afraid of sending a $20 bill as we aren’t south of the border) along with your email address, and I will immediately email you the link to download the book with my permission to share once with a friend. Or, send $25 for thumb drive that will have the book, plus The History of it’s creation as detailed in a speech I gave at the Utah Valley Historical Society; plus my CHECKERED HISTORY & VISION QUEST–0-22 years. Send to: 

Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003

THE PLAN IS TO THIS WEEK KEEP WORKING ON GETTING STRONGER & DEVELOPING MY BALANCE WHICH I LOST ALMOST COMPLETELY–and by EARLY NEXT WEEK DRIVE UP THE MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY, CHECKING UP ON THE BALD MT. PASS HOW MY OXYGEN LEVEL IS–and if it’s a bit low, camp out in my car for a day until it normalizes.

THEN DO THE SAME HIKE I TRIED LAST YEAR TO FEHR LAKE–just a half mile, but THIS TIME GET PAST THAT ROCKY AREA I WASN’T READY TO DO YET–BUT AM NOW and GET TO THE LAKE AND CAMP, EAT A FEW BROOK TROUT, and return the Trailhead.

IF THAT GOES WELL, I WILL LIKELY DO ANOTHER OVERNIGHTER perhaps from the PASS LAKE TRAILHEAD TO SCOUT LAKE.

I WILL THEN REPORT WHAT FOR ME ARE MONUMENTAL ATTEMPTS AS 18 MONTHS AGO I COULDN’T EVEN WALK & HAD NO MUSCLES LEFT IN MY LEGS.

IT’S NOT MUCH, BUT I ACTUALLY NOW SEE A BIT OF MUSCLE–ENOUGH TO GET SORE AFTER A GOOD HIKE, SO PROGRESS IS BEING MADE! I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A PICTURE WHEN MY LEGS WERE SHOCKINGLY JUST BONE!

THEN I HOPE, BEFORE JULY & THE ONSLAUGHT OF MOSQUITOES, TO DO A HISTORIC BACKPACK TO….

THE GRANDADDIES!

THE HIKE TO HADES PASS & DOWN TO THE LAKE MIGHT TAKE ME ALL DAY, BUT I WANT TO SEE ONE MORE TIME THE AMAZING SPAWN OF THE NATIVE CUTTHROAT TROUT UP THE 3 CREEKS ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE LAKE & REPORT HERE WITH SPECTACULAR PHOTOS!

THEN? WHO KNOWS…..BUT SET ANOTHER GOAL & DO MY DARNDEST and REPORT!

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