If you are interested in the digital BOOK for $19.95 click on the above link.
If your interest is having a PRINTED COPY OF THE BOOK, for $140 that includes sales tax, and UPS shipping, email me at: [email protected]. When we have accumulated a list of 10 or more interested, I will advise you so you can send me a check, and I will place the order with the printer — and in short order ship your book via UPS.
THE FIRST ORDER OF 10 WAS MADE, DELIVERED & SHIPPED INCLUDING FOR OUR FIRST MUSEUM & FOR A LIBRARY THAT ORDERED TWO and for 7 HIGH UINTA FRIENDS!
The first to get the book printed–on his own, was one of my Explorer-Scouts from 1962, Merrill Finlayson, who said:
“I have mine and am loving it! Nothing like holding a good book in your hands. Thanks Cordell!”
if you’re interested in seeing my ORIGINAL WEBSITE click on that link to bring back some great old memories & see some things not accessed with the new site, like my “Checkered autobiography,” and more.
Watch a 9 min. YouTube videodescribing the book, click on that link
CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS
THE HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS PROJECT
Sometime in September
Lecture/presentation — September 24 – Tuesday 6:30-8:00 — FREE
At the Sandy REI store,
230 West 10600 South, Suite 1700, Sandy, UTAH
“UTAH’S ALPINE WONDERLAND — THE HIGH UINTAS”
I will describe the history of the 67-year effort to create the book, & give a brief summary using a printed copy of the book, and show artifacts, plus demonstrating the value of the book for the upcoming winter & next spring.
I will describe the history of the 67-year effort to create the book, & give a brief summary using a printed copy of the book, and show artifacts, plus demonstrating the value of the book for the upcoming winter & next spring.
Lecture/presentation –December 10 – Tuesday 7:00 PM — FREE for the public at the monthly meeting of the
At the Provo City Public Library, Room 201, 550 N. University Avenue
The presentation will be a history-oriented 856 mile auto-loop tour of the Uinta Mountains demonstrating the mountains equal to or better than some National Parks.
HIGH UINTAS NEWSLETTER #20
“LAST GASP FOR THE HIGH COUNTRY”
DEAR HIGH UINTA FRIENDS,
I say “last gasp” as usually in late August and early September it is common for it to snow, with freezing temperatures almost always at night. The vegetation has turned brown, so scenery not so pretty, but the mosquitoes are gone. But, cold is common with hypothermia being a danger if one doesn’t go well prepared, as was the case with the Wetherton mom, and her daughter who were lost on just a day hike–as they didn’t go prepared—not warm enough clothing, no rain gear, no water-proof matches, plus not letting anyone known exactly where they were going
A massive search turned up nothing. Their remains were found 9 months later at the beginning of the next backpacking season. Their story is told on pages 347-349, along with crucial articles on hypothermia.
But we have to see what happened to 7-year-old NORA. Her and father Jake made it about 10 miles the first day and camped. The 2nd day they went on to Kings Peak as you see below, then made it all the way to the Trailhead that day, for a total of 28 miles in two days. In the book you can learn of Nora’s 11 year old sister Grace, and 13 year old brother, Isaac. Both of them did the 28 mile roundtrip in ONE DAY!
I was actually in the front seat of my car with the seat inclined and resting after my “ACID TEST BACKPACK” and was very tired–looking like you see me below.
An armed FOREST SERVICE law enforcement officer had stopped near Bald Mountain Pass in the Uintas, as apparently I looked pretty bad, and he approached with that question that woke me. I sat up and looked out the window–and seeing an armed officer, I thought, “What did I do wrong he’s after me for?” But, rather than pulling his guns and shouting, “Hands up!” he looked greatly relieved and was turning to leave–which had me feeling “greatly relieved,” when I opened the door to talk to him and we had one interesting conversation…..which I’ll describe in a moment, but first let’s remember a few things from the last post:
If you are interested in having a PRINTED COPY OF THE BOOK, for $140 that includes sales tax, and UPS shipping, email me at: [email protected] When we have accumulated a list of 10 or more interested, I will advise you so you can send me a check, and I will place the order with the printer — and in short order ship your book via UPS.
THE FIRST ORDER OF 10 WAS MADE, DELIVERED & SHIPPED INCLUDING FROM OUR FIRST LIBRARY THAT ORDERED TWO!
GET ON OUR NEW LIST
Email me indicating your interest so we can soon place our second order of 10, or 20, or 30 with the printer.
SUGGESTION: Encourage your library–school & public, to get onto their shelves a PRINTED BOOK or two, so many can have it available for research, planning a trip, or just for enjoyment, with the HISTORY, LEGENDS & LIFE-SAVING STORIES
if you’re interested in seeing my ORIGINAL WEBSITE click on that link to bring back some great old memories & see some things not accessed with the new site, like my “Checkered autobiography,” and more.
To watch a 9 minute YouTube video describing the book, click on THE BOOK.
THE “ACID TEST” BACKPACK to the
In recent years I have been plagued with a bunch of what I have called new “glitches,” which my boys smilingly tell me it’s “Just getting Old!” But, I’ve been pretty stubborn now in my 84th year about NEVER GIVING IN…….EASILY, insistent on doing experimental backpacks, such as the previous one to Scout/Lofty Lakes you can see by scrolling down. But, on that backpack I had one tough time discovering I still had a few serious vulnerabilities and even had a new one ambush me –so I had again in the drama of my backpacking–another Forest Gump Moment….
“I’m pretty tired and think I’ll go home now!”
Yet, afterward I felt better than I had before the trip, so off I go again……with another experimental backpack, we’ll call this time “The Acid Test,” to the Naturalist Basin, leaving from the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway Highline Trailhead–which by the way was filled to overflowing, as were all the trailheads.
I had got my pack weight down to under 30 lbs. by leaving my Nikon camera with wonderful 18-400mm. zoom and fish-eye lenses, and Glock 43 home, as well as saving another 8 oz. by using my lightest weight trail running shoes seen below–used last in the Uintas in 2016 on my successful 6-day backpack to finally get to Little Andy Lake in the eastern shadow of South Kings Peak at 12,302 ft. elevation making it the highest lake in Utah.
I also saved 1 lb. leaving my tent home, rather using my poncho as a lean-to, and putting my sleeping pad and quilt inside my waterproof bivouac bag–I’ll insert a shot later.
For photos I just took my tiny Pentax point and shoot camera.
I did obey my rules, especially for a solo backpacker, having my SPOT Personal Satellite Tracker, and satellite phone—you’ll see me using in a moment–from Russ Smith & SKYCALL SATELLITE, and had photocopied pages 163-164, and topographical map from page 167 from my book to guide me, and left copies also with my family so they would know exactly where I would be going.
I had with me my oximeter to be able to manage my High Altitude Sickness weakness that has plagued me as I’ve got older, as well as other emergency stuff needed by a worn-out old mountain man/explorer. Everything is outlined in my book as precautions everybody should take to achieve theGOAL:
NO DEATHS IN THE UINTAS THIS YEAR!
It was a parade of backpackers leaving the trailhead, and I took a photo of a beautiful family group you see below.
Of course, I gave them a business card or two with information about my eBook. Down the trail, I talked to quite a few others always mentioning my book–with everyone showing great interest, and eventually was overtaken by a large group on horseback with pack animals, and told them that in my book there is a short section about……..
…….MY JOHN WAYNE LOOK-ALIKE HORSE ADVENTURE on the Fox-Quean Pass Trail in the Whiterocks Drainage.
By that time I had already made the satellite phone call for an interview that would be aired Saturday morning on the KSL OUTDOORS RADIO program from 6:00 to 8:00 AM.
In just a moment I will say more about that interview and have a link inserted to the Podcast–which in my opinion is very telling, and worthwhile listening to.
I soon got to the WILDERNESS AREA BOUNDARY, and a little, further along, made a SPOT track to be able to locate it on the map. By that time some problems were surfacing that I hadn’t expected quite so soon. The oxygen content in my blood was fine, so it wasn’t High Altitude Sickness, but mainly it was stabbing pain in my lower back and left buttock–the injection in my spine the Dr. had given me, as well as my normally effective over-the-counter remedies, weren’t working anymore, plus by that time my chronic bronchitis was hitting me and I was wheezing and very tired.
I went a little further and then decided to camp–similar to what you observe above, and see how I felt the next day. I of course had my 98% Deet insect repellant, but mosquitos were not much of a problem, having mostly gone through their life cycle, and with the coolness of the night, they disappeared.
For whatever reasons I wasn’t having any fun!
The next morning I tuned in to KSL Radio on my tiny Grundig radio and listened to KSL OUTDOORS RADIO with Tim Hughes, Russ Smith, and Navi. By clicking on that link you can listen to the podcast, entitled “Crappy Fish AreDying….” but the entire first 10 minutes is the interview with me. I told them about my previous experience, and then feeling I had to try one more time to do the best I could and see how it went.
Tim then asked me what steps I took, nutritionally and otherwise to have kept going this long. I got talking about my exercise program during the winter, and was beginning to tell how in the winter I would hike around town every day with a pack on my back, with Tim mentioning walking into a Walmarts that way would have people imagining all kinds of weird things…..but then I lost the signal, which ended my side of the conversation. They went on with a very worthwhile discussion about the book, and the experience of old guys still being active, and even REVEAL FOR THE FIRST TIME WHERE I HIBERNATE IN THE WINTER!
What I didn’t get to were all the details seen below included in my book, revealing ALL MY SECRETS:
This 33-page article, with photographs, reveals everything thing I have done to transform myself from what you see above in 2002, to what I was in 2015, and again later in that article comparing myself to Bill gates who was 63 when the picture was taken.
I had wanted to mention CHAPTER 5 & APPENDIX 4 WITH ADDITIONAL DETAILS…..and of course APPENDIX 5 mentioned above.
THEYARE EASILY WORTH ALONE THE PURCHASE PRICE — EVEN OF THE PRINT VERSION!Someone with an inside track with BILL should convince him he needs THE BOOK!
As I was losing the satellite signal I was talking about how I walk around town every day with a pack on my back……….
I think I was saying I was mistaken by many as an old homeless guy and once in a while cars stop and……..they offer me money, a ride, or half of their sandwich. I tell them,
Of course that’s a joke as I would have to find a way to sell a thousand times more books!
For Mormons who will understand……
Once, a fellow after stopping to see if I needed help, confessed he did so because, he said,
“I thought you might be one of the three Nephites, and would become a witness against me in the FINAL JUDGEMENT! —so I stopped….JUST IN CASE!”
Of course, I didn’t deny anything……SO
MAYBE I AM AND YOU’D BETTER BUY MY BOOK…JUST IN CASE!
After listening to KSL I then decided to get going, but ran into my first problem: My lightweight trail running shoes fit me like a glove, but the foot problems that were supposed to have stopped me in 1994, made necessary having my blister foot socks, then one thick one for cushioning, but without my 3 foot long shoehorn–For Old Guys, it was almost impossible to put on my shoes!!!! It wore me out doing so, but I finally got them on, then had some breakfast and packed up to continue towards the Naturalist Basin, but it didn’t feel any better than the day before and…..
……when one has a gut feeling and you’re not enjoying yourself, you’d better pay attention, otherwise, it just doesn’t make any sense.
So, again…..with two strikes against me this summer, I concluded again…….for the last time(???)……
The way I felt it was going to be hard to go back up the trail….a gradual climb all the way to the trailhead, but I knew I could make it, slowly. While the day before I felt pretty good and enjoyed talking to people on the trail, all of a sudden I hoped to avoid social contacts, and with my frequent rest stops moved far enough off the trail to not have to talk to anyone–NOT EVEN TO SELL A BOOK!
For one of the frequent rest stops, I was off the trail quite a ways when I heard voices of hikers coming down towards me. I didn’t even look that way when all of a sudden a loud voice said,
I twisted around to see who it might be. I didn’t recognize a good looking young fellow, with another who looked like his father and asked, “Who am I talking to?”
He was Landon Sheffield, and said he had bought my book a couple of weeks ago, and was really enjoying it. From the book, he had recognized me.
I tried to have a conversation, but felt miserable and not myself but did the best I could, but my heart wasn’t in the conversation. Please, Landon & father, forgive me for not feeling well when we met on the trail.
A few drops of rain then started falling, and I said, “I’d best get going to keep from getting wet,” and squirmed around to get on all fours to stand up.
One of them said, “Can we help you get up?”
Wow, I thought, did I look that awkward, like as though I was an old man? I thanked them but said, “I’m fine,” and then grabbed my backpack to hoist it to my shoulders, when again one of them said,
“Can we help you haul your pack back to the trailhead?”
I was stunned and thought, could I look that bad? and again thanked them but said I’d make it fine, said goodbye and was on my way. But in those moments I assumed I must have looked worse than I felt, and recalled an old friend, Carl Jacob–always very active and enthusiastic but who had a heart attack followed by bypass surgery and I went to visit. I was shocked as all of a sudden he looked like an old man, and repeatedly asked me the same question about mutual friends in Guatemala. He had suddenly become an old man and didn’t last long after that visit! In that terrible moment on the Highline Trail, I……
……..ACTUALLY–FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE FOR A WHILE–FELT LIKE I WAS AN OLD MAN!
I gratefully made it to the trailhead, and my car, but felt too tired to immediately drive home, so drove to where I could park in a little shade, ate and drank something, swallowing some of my recovery supplements, and tilted the seat back to get a good rest.
Then a while later awoke to,
“ARE YOU ALIVE?”
and–feeling much better, got into a nice conversation with the Forest Service Officer.
I remember him first mentioning that on seeing me in my car he feared I was dead–and told me how grateful he was when he saw me sit up. Seeing he was from the FOREST SERVICE, I wanted to make a connection with him, and gave him some advertising sheets on my book with a brief description, then mentioned one long-time Forest Service employee and friend from Kamas who had purchased a thumb drive, and then I described my efforts to help the Forest Service by donating thumb drives with my book to employees from their offices in Heber, Kamas, Bear River Ranger Station, Evanston, Vernal and Duchesne.
I then zeroed in talking about SAVING LIVES, and as I would be telling a survival story from the book, he would mention the names of those involved and then begin relating another survival story that would have me jump in to mention the names of those he was talking about.
For years he had always been one of the first responders–with his search dog, when hikers were reported missing, and I mentioned that all those stories were in my book, as well as my recommendations for SAFETY, and told him about my backpack with a satellite phone, SPOT Tracker, etc. and he then gave me some interesting information, saying,
“The SPOT Tracker has already saved 3 lives this summer in the Uintas!”
Soon I was in Kamas getting some good food, and headed for Salt Lake to return the satellite phone to Russ Smith.
I made it home and hit the OK button on my SPOT TRACKER to let those interested know I had made it safely. I again feel better for having made another experimental attempt, but so far this year there are two strikes against me in my persistent efforts to NEVER GIVE IN....and I’m not doing so EASILY, but like I said,
“When you have a gut feeling, you’d better pay attention, to NOT STRIKE OUT!
I’ve made it clear that what we see below will still be me! If not I WON’T LAST VERY LONG.
One has to keep moving, and with that in mind I have to FEEL PROFOUNDLY GRATEFUL FOR MY 16 YEARS OF THE “HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS PROJECT,” THAT HAS KEPT ME MOVING FOR MORE THAN 2,000 MILES OF EXPLORING THE UINTAS GIVING ME 16+ YEARS OF LIFE I MIGHT NOT HAVE OTHERWISE HAD!
So, if you see someone who looks like he’s an old homeless guy walking around American Fork–most likely with a bright orange T-shirt, but NOW WITHOUT A BACKPACK AS I HAVE to GIVE MY BACK A CHANCE TO HEAL, so just jogging/walking, stop and say hi to me and share half of your sandwich, remembering……Maybe…….
……I’m one of the three Nephites? — and you’ve got to buy the eBook, before it’s too late–JUST IN CASE!
Of course……if that were true–even as a joke, that would obviously indicate I intend to be around for quite a while–and with MY PERSISTENT WORKOUTS, along with all my MIRACLE SUPPLEMENTS, plus DANDELIONS, PURSLANE–all of which you can learn about in my book,and I now, rather than planting squash, radishes & lettuce, I’m cultivating around my tiny Cabin A in addition to dandelions and purslane, the “miracle weed from Guatemala–MACUII” all coupled with….
….. the incredible boost soon to my ego of BYU BEATING UTAH on the gridiron, who knows what miracles will be witnessed in my 85th year!
MY EXERCISE PROGRAM & THERAPY IS WORKING SO FAR & I’M OPTIMISTIC FOR THE FUTURE–maybe it’s the MAQUII!
ANOTHER EXPERIMENTAL BACKPACK TO HOPEFULLY OVERCOME VULNERABILITIES to THE NATURALIST BASIN—seen below. Will be from August 9 to 12th leaving from the Highline Trailhead. For details see in the book, pages 163, 164 & 167. Click on the following SPOT to go to Spot Website and see where I am every day. I’ll do the last track when I arrive back home on Sunday or Monday.
To view the 9 minute YouTube video that reviews my eBook, click on the TITLE, rather than the play triangle.
A HIGH UINTA FRIEND Talks frankly about the eBook
Hi Cordell & High Uinta Friends:
I would be flattered for you to use my words to promote this great literary work you have created. I have been totally impressed at the volume and specific content of the book. Your writing style is very friendly as I feel like we just met on the trail as you are sharing your knowledge with me in an informal but helpful way. This kind of practical education can save lives and make a trip into a great memory, rather than a nightmare……...follows is my initial letter earlier today:
Hello, Cordell!, I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your book! I pull it up on my computer and spend 2 or three hours a day going through it, and it takes me 7 to 10 days to get completely through it. I have done so twice. Thanks for taking the time and effort to put this all together, it is epic!!
We are headed into Red Castle lakes next week, Aug 1, 2 & 3. We go to Red Castle every summer, and it has always been in July except for this year. This will be our 28th consecutive year of being there with my boys. Several years we have been there more than once. I am now 67, but my three sons have been my hiking buddies since they were 6 years old, and it has been one of the great things of our lives. It has kept us close and also kept us as best friends. We love the Unitas! We have been to several other basins in the Uintas, but Red Castle has been the favorite. We now have some of my grandsons, and sometimes granddaughters, who are coming with us, and that makes it that much better.
I have been following you for about 5 years now, and I have a great deal of respect for your methods and skills! The Uinta trails are challenging but rewarding, and we are just so excited to get up there each year. Your experiences are valued, and we now look at what you have to say about an area after we look at a map, and your experience helps us make a decision about whether we go there or somewhere else. And we love the histories you have come up with. That is one great book!
Thanks for all you do in sharing your experiences in this jewel of the mountains! Hope to see you on the trail one of these days!! I wish you a long and happy life!
Thanks Again! Lon W. SorensenRETIRED
Thanks, Lon, for your great endorsement
SCROLL DOWN TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOOK & SEE THE LIST OF ALL THE “HIGH UINTAS NEWSLETTERS”
NOW TO THE FIRST BACKPACK REPORT……
…………A BACKPACK DESIGNED TO UNCOVER MY VULNERABILITIES to determine whether I could safely continue backpacking/exploring
PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF SAVING LIVES THE GOAL:
NO UINTA DEATHS
In recent years I have had increasing problems with High Altitude Sickness, but with the help of an Oximeter I have learned to manage the complication, by checking myself at every rest stop and when the oxygen in my blood drops below 90 I rest a little extra until it gets back into the 90+ range.
My emergency kit also has always Diamox, a prescription medication that helps the body aclimatize.
In the last couple of years, all has been complicated with chronic bronchitis, further complicating my lungs ability to absorb oxygen, plus a slightly high blood pressure problem, thus I take extra caution and monitoring myself, including with a
blood pressure cuff, and also have extra blood pressure medication, as well as Nitro Glycerin in case of a heart event.
Adding to the complication of “aging” is lower back issues having had two back surgeries since 2012, fusing my last vertebrates with titanium gadgets in there to hopefully keep everything lined up properly–but in the last year or so acute, piercing pain in my left upper buttock has caused me fits. A few days before the backpack the Dr. gave me a special injection into my lower spine to hopefully help–but as I left home to head for the Uintas it hadn’t kicked in yet.
Part of my emergency kit was over-the-counter pain medications: Excedrin for the daytime, Ibuprophen for the night. A principal item in my supplement bag, as it has been for 40 years–anti-inflammatory gel caps of Cod Liver Oil, that has saved me from arthritis, also giving effective relief from both lung pain and back pain.
As I have had to do since 2003 when I started my High Uintas Wilderness Project, I have had to go prepared for any of the complications mentioned, plus whatever else might cause trouble for an old guy. So, the weight of my load: Backpack, and photo waist-pack, came to around 37 lbs., including 2 lbs. of water.
Above we are seeing a lake named on the topographical maps, Picturesque Lake, but not on the DWR’s radar. It is the first lake one comes to and is part of the Boy Scout Camp. North of it you come to Scout Lake.
I had to be very careful on the rocky trail–especially on the first backpack as it takes some time to get your mountain legs in tune with the mountain—BALANCE being literally a matter of life and death
On my second day I followed a group of Boy Scouts leaving the main trail and climbing up where one gets a great view of Bald Mountain, and down below to the south, the Mirror Lake area.
I had with me a thumb drive with my book and I wanted to get it into the hands of a Scout leader, so picked the one in the gray sweatshirt and got into a conversation about my book and gave him the thumb drive. Others gathered around to hear about the book, and how important it is to save lives. Some of those lost over the years have been Boy Scouts, so this was of prime importance for me.
Then I got back on the trail and soon was hiking past Scout Lake you see below, with Mt. Agassiz seen on the middle right.
I was now carefully hiking past Scout Lake, and began climbing the very rocky and steep trail to Lofty Lake, found up near timberline at about 10,800+ feet. I know that for most of you out there who are backpackers this will all sound pretty wimpy, but in my 84th year, with so many complications and glitches I was working to overcome, maybe some of you will understand.
I stopped and talked to many on the trail–all of them day hikers–with just small day packs, most who seemed to be very understanding….and when hearing I was in my 84th year,
I even got some FIST BUMPS!
Actually, the oldest hiker/backpacker I have ever met in the Uintas was 82 years old Ed Slater, who you see below with his nephew on Gun Sight Pass in 2004. I was 68 at the time.
NOTE: Hey, Ed, you’d be 97 today. If you’re still around, let me know. I’ll send you a thumb drive for FREE!
They were on their way to Kings Peak to leave there a little brass tube with the ashes of Ed’s brother. Their camp was at Dollar Lake and they were day-hiking to the peak.
PAUSE: It’s 10:00 AM and getting hot outside, so I’ve got to leave this for an hour or so and get outside to get some exercise hiking over to the Fresh Market for a well deserved treat. Back in a bit!
I had no choice but to go very slow seeing way up in the distance the pass I had to reach to get to Lofty Lake.
Just recently I had some complications that worried me–dull throbbing pain in my middle-right back that would hit me in waves when I least expected them, and my doctor did his best to try and figure it out: Suspecting liver/kidney/gall bladder problems, I went first through ULTRASOUND, then BLOODWORK, next a HILDA SCAN at the Nuclear Lab in Provo–injected with a radioactive isotope into my blood, and then the scans that took nearly 2 hours; Next a CAT SCAN with iodine injected into my bloodstream. Everything seemed normal, so I just upped my intake of Cod Liver Oil gel caps–3 of them 3 times a day.
As I struggled up the steep trail I would be wheezing along and at times a cough would come out of nowhere! It wasn’t the gurgling kind of sudden cough that had been High Altitude Sickness on the Garfield Basin trail in 2011. Checking my oxygen level–I determined it wasn’t that, rather just my chronic bronchitis for which the Dr. said there was no cure–so I had learned to manage it, like other glitches.
Balance worried me as many times I came close to falling, and so I took extra precautions. Then my right knee that for more than 30 years I had called my “motorcycle knee,” but which became titanium in like 2008, but for the first time in years started slowing me with sharp, knife-like jabbing pains.
By this time I was up to a saddle from which I had a great view of the Mirror Lake area seen above, including the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway climbing towards Bald Mt. Pass. To the north, I could look down into the Ruth Lake area, and there was a trail that headed down into it.
On dropping down a bit to that saddle, the jolt down began causing sharp pains in the left-lower back which worried me as from there it was a hike down all the way to the trailhead.
I stopped to rest and get an energy bar into my system when a couple came by and headed up towards the pass–that by that time for me seemed like a million miles away.
Sounds again sort of wimpy, but I was achieving the purpose of my backpack, TO UNCOVER MY VULNERABILITIES
& to determine whether I could safely continue backpacking/exploring,
WHILE KEEPING FOREMOST IN MY MIND:
THE GOSPEL OF SAVING LIVES–especially mine! THE GOAL: NO UINTA DEATHS
So, I had to be brutally honest and really had no choice but to remember
Kenny Rogers, the Gambler, as well as my friend, Forest Gump after he had been running around the country for 3 years, with a little rough looking group of followers. He stopped and looked towards them, one of them saying, “Quiet, he’s going to say something,” they expecting some kind of prophetic utterance, he rather saying:
That is pretty much how I felt at that moment,,,,,and, after a rest, heading back down the steep, rocky trail, I became even more convinced my decision was the right one as numerous times my BALANCE became a dangerous problem. I was always able to catch myself and with a little agility left, save myself from falling.
As I carefully continued down–to experience as little as possible the jolt of stabbing pain in my back (by then I was maxed out with Excedrin) and maintain my balance, it had me more aware than ever how easy it would be for an elderly person, or anybody that hadn’t developed yet their “mountain legs,” to make a misstep on a dangerous mountain trail and fall into a ravine. They wouldn’t have a chance to get out their SPOT TRACKER, turn it on and hit the 911 button, much less dig out of their waist pack their SATELLITE PHONE, turn it on, get a signal, and make an SOS call for help.
Of course if they had of been checking in daily with a SPOT tracker, or similar device, friends at least would know today where they had been the day before and make finding them possible. Otherwise…….……..THEY WOULD JUST BE LOST & NEVER FOUND…..
…….such has been the case of many, like Melvin Heaps who disappeared on a day hike in 2017 and still never found, or the Boy Scout, Garrett Bardsley, who disappeared in 2004 and has never been found.
I carefully headed down the trail, convinced that–especially, in my present state of BALANCE, it wasn’t fair for me to continue at high risk, and perhaps create a giant problem for loved ones and others.
I made it down to the trailhead and eventually home………grateful for having discovered my vulnerabilities, and realizing what I had to do–or not do, to be part of the GOAL of
ZERO DEATHS IN THE UINTAS for this year.
Most of them are pretty well inferred in the discussion so far but I have to finish with something very positive:
While not feeling all that well on the experimental backpack, the truth is that for having got carefully some great exercise, I NOW FEEL SO MUCH BETTER THAN I DID BEFORE THE BACKPACK, and I am energized with my future seeing that by pushing myself carefully and learning to manage the glitches I can improve a lot and yet have backpacking in my future–even in my 84th & possibly 85th year.
But, I have to sacrifice some things, to be able to enjoy more backpacking in my future…. now with another planned for August 8-12 to the Naturalist Basin. It has to be long enough to carefully develop my “mountain legs,” and I will have to use some wisdom for it to be possible, like getting my pack weight/load down from 37 lbs. to around 25-27 lbs.
Below we see my beloved NIKON CAMERA with the incredible TAMRON 18 x 400 mm zoom lens, along with my NIKON FISHEYE LENS, plus close-up & polarizing lenses, a couple of extra batteries, plus extra memory cards, and of course my 9mm. Glock 43 and extra magazine with +P Grizzley ammo, along with the waist pack, all weighing around 7+ lbs.
Those 7 lbs. will have to go, and could be replaced by my 6 oz. point and shoot camera, that also does video of good quality.
……or, just my smartphone that takes great pictures and uses no space at all.
That would leave me with only 30 lbs. of load for a 4 day trip, and I know I can eliminate a few more lbs. and have a pack on my back that I won’t even hardly feel, and make balance much safer, and agility and endurance much more possible.
I already have enough great photographs for a lifetime, and now have to focus on……
THE SCOUT-LOFTY-KAMAS LAKES LOOP from the Pass Lake Trailhead will be done as an experiment to see how I adjust to high altitude and see if my back pains will permit me to continue backpacking or not, I have been given a shot in my spine, but which hasn’t taken effect yer, but I hope it will by the time I get to the trailhead later today (Thursday) It will be done between Thursday, July 18th to Sunday, July 21. In my book, you can see the details of this backpack on pages 449-451. The Preface to this section is about the SHOOTOUT AT SCOUT LAKE in search of the Lost Rhoades Mine.
There were 4 tracks with the SPOT TRACKER, but the 2nd one didn’t work–as I turned it off after the 1st of 3 shots taken at the satellite rather than leave it on for the full 20 minutes–so FOR ONE DAY THERE WAS NO CONTACT FROM ME……the lesson is to make sure and leave the Spot Tracker with OK message, ON FOR THE FULL 20 MINUTES TO MAKE SURE ONE SHOT GETS TO THE SATELLITE. The last was just made back safely at my Cabin in American Fork, Utah.
I’LL CREATE A NEW POST WITH A REPORT BY Thursday afternoon, July 25th.
THE eBOOK IS A STEAL AT $19.95 WITH 1,600 COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS, 106 TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS TO EVERY KNOOK & CRANNY, and 14 MAPS to guide you on the 856 mile AUTO-LOOP TOUR, or any of the many portions thereof–showing the UINTAS EQUAL TO OR BETTER THAN SOME NATIONAL PARKS!
THUMB DRIVES WITH THE BOOK — available for $25 —
shipping, handling & sales tax included—THEY MAKE GREAT GIFTS!
Send a check to Cordell Andersen at 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003
THUMB DRIVES for $20 if you come by my place to pick one up, but email me when you’re coming, so I’ll be there. I’m not at the house, rather in the funky little white travel trailer parked to the west of the house.
Click for podcast: KSL OUTDOORS RADIO July 6:Russ Smith at the 5:00 minute point tells a funny story about Charlie Jennings in which I was involved, he then plugs the eBook telling an interesting experience with a woman from Texas, purchaser of my book that led her to him for a satellite phone for her dream trip to Red Castle. I then call in towards the end of the segment to participate in the conversation.
Scroll down to access the HIGH UINTAS NEWSLETTER of your choice
UPDATE ON THE HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS for JULY 10, 2019
Below is seen Bald Mountain & Pass on Monday, July 8th –only one car in the Trailhead parking lot–scroll down to compare to June 24th–2 weeks ago.
The Crystal Lake Trailhead parking lot was filled up with cars. There were no cars in the Mirror Lake Trailhead parking lot.
At the HIGHLINE TRAILHEAD–parking lot, now with no snow compared to two weeks ago–there were quite a few cars, but far from being filled up. Below is the crude register showing the last hikers to sign in for 2018, and the first from 2019, on June 29th–the first only on that day, the second intending to go to “Deadhorse Pass” which would have been impossible at that time with all the snow on the trail and on Rocky Sea Pass.
ONE OF THESE DAYS I’M GOING TO TAKE INITIATIVE TO SUPPLY THIS–THE GREATEST OF TRAILHEADS IN THE UINTAS–WITH A PROPER REGISTER AS OTHER TRAILHEADS HAVE.
EXPLORING THE SPRING CANYON/TRIAL LAKE ROAD intending to get to each of the lakes and report. I had discovered this road during my research for writing my book and made a quick, late Fall, trip which pictures are in the book, along with maps of the area.
I came to the first junction, with a “jeep road” leaving the main road to take me 2.5 miles–near Lambert Lake (A-2), but within .6 of a mile the road became just too rough for my old Ford Explorer, so I turned around and returned to the main road. In my book I showed a picture of one of the secondary roads, called “jeep trails,” like the one below.
I continued up the main road, and tried two more “Jeep trails,” and eventually turned around each time and returned to the main road. I knew how to drive on these roads and keep from hitting my oil pan, but it was very hard on my 19-year-old Ford which I couldn’t afford to ruin–as I have envisioned it would have to be my last car–which makes me sound kind of old–which I proudly admit to since I’m still exploring and backpacking in my 84th year!
I had to likewise, in my tie hacker explorations, park the car and hoof it when my road degenerated into what I have called the worst road of my experience, seen below.
I did see coming in on one of those bad “jeep trails” a couple of ATV’s, each loaded with camping and fishing gear, which also of course would be possible in a tough jeep, or one of those big, brawny pickups many have today. So, there are ways to get to all the lakes in the Spring Canyon area, but I finally cried “UNCLE!” — deciding to rather save my old Ford Explorer and leave it up to the younger generation. I more comfortably decided to check out the areas up the Scenic Byway, already reported on, and in coming back down the Byway, decided to explore another area not checked out before:
THE SOAPSTONE BASIN.
Previously I had ignored the area as there are no lakes or streams involved, but did know that said road, 14 miles from Kamas heads south to climb Soapstone Pass, and then drop down to the Wolf Creek Pass highway, U-35. It ended up being a great drive through beautifully forested areas, with green meadows and tons of wildflowers–with quite a few campers enjoying the cool weather and beautiful mountains. I’ll insert a picture or two for your interest.
The first mile of the road is paved. 1/2 mile along it is an RV Dump Station, then a YMCA Camp, and a Forest Service Guard Station, the road by that time turning into dirt/gravel, but passable for any vehicle.
The red highway you see below in the upper portion is the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, U-150.
The red highway in the bottom portion is the Wolf Creek Pass highway, U-35. Lots of beautiful forests and meadows, and likely very good deer/elk hunting country.
The Pass is 3.5 miles from U-150, then 2 miles down to U-35, a total of only 5.5 miles
IMPORTANT NOTE TO BUY BOOK: I suggest you choose PayPal as it is the fastest. You don’t have to have a PayPal acct. just click on it, then click on “Create an Account,” and you will be given options for the Credit or Debit card of your choice..
THUMB DRIVES WITH THE BOOK — available for $25 — shipping, handling & sales tax included:
Send check to Cordell Andersen at 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003
Click for podcast: KSL OUTDOORS RADIO July 6: Russ Smith at the 5:00 minute point tells a funny story about Charlie Jennings in which I was involved, he then plugs the eBook telling an interesting experience with a woman from Texas, purchaser of my book that led her to him for a satellite phone for her dream trip to Red Castle. I then call in towards the end of the segment to participate in the conversation.
Scroll down to access the HIGH UINTAS NEWSLETTER of your choice
Click below to see a short YouTube video : A great Introduction to the unique digital book
HADES CANYON & THE GRANDVIEW TRAILHEAD
“GATEWAY TO THE GRANDADDIES”
When the gate was opened there were 10 cars waiting to get to the Trailhead. Monday a Wilderness Ranger hiked through the snow to the Grandaddies, and found the lakes free of snow and fishable. There are a few trees and lots of water on the trail. Many are heading for the high country.
For guidance & suggestions, see my YouTube video on “THE GRANDADDIES”
Apparently, this year will not be as bad as in 2011 when on July 8th we could get to the Trailhead, but the trail bridge, up from the trailhead, on that day was as seen below.
You can also call the Forest Service in Duchesne to check on conditions. Their telephone is (435)-738-2482.
OTHER UPDATING FROM THE FOREST SERVICE IN DUCHESNE:
Other trailheads are accessible on the South Slope, such as Rock Creek, Lake Fork/Moon Lake,Swift Creek and the Uinta River. Even the highest trailhead–10,400 ft. elevation– in the Uintas, THE CENTER PARK TRAILHEAD, up Hell’s Canyon is open, but there is water everywhere so be careful.
The crews of Wilderness Rangers will now be able to go to work clearing the trails.
BALD MOUNTAIN PASS
Open since the weekend – pictures below on Monday,June 24, 2019
The Pass is 10,759 feet high–about the same as Hades Pass, “Gateway to the Grandaddies.”
Hayden Peak & Mt. Agassiz and area where the Duchesne River is born.Mirror Lake, elevation 10,050 ft., was still covered with ice–but beginning to break up, Grandaddy Lake is about 10,300 ft. still covered with ice.
CONFESSION: Please forgive me, but I just noticed that I goofed and missed in my book Mirror Lake. Wow! It likely isn’t the only flaw, but–like they say, “Nobody is perfect!” Please let me know of other mistakes so that I will come closer to perfection in edition 2.
CANCEL THE CONFESSION: I did include Mirror Lake but did not include it in the area covered by the Mirror Lake Trailhead that was the last segment of the Wilderness Area. Rather I included Mirror Lake as part of the Western Uintas including in the Index.
The HIGHLINE TRAILHEAD at Hayden Pass, 10,380 ft. high, Monday June 24th.
The short road in to the Trailhead was still buried in snow. Even though the weather in Salt Lake City is heating up, with 90+ degrees this week, it likely will still be a cou[ple of weeks before hiking the Highline Trail comfortably–like mid-July.
THE NORTH SLOPE SCENIC BACKWAY A few days ago there was a problem at Elizabeth Pass, but that has now been worked out and the road is open to the east.
The Provo River falls on June 24th–yesterday. It will quickly become a raging torrent of water as the thaw picks up steam.
HIGH UINTAS NEWSLETTER – beginning on April 19, 2019
HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE TRAIL OR ON AN ADVENTUROUS BACKWAY SOON!
IMPORTANT NOTE: I just found a website that gives a complete SUMMARY–from my old website– OF MY 3 EFFORTS TO FINALLY GET TO“LITTLE ANDY LAKE,” meeting Teresa who screamed, “NO, YOU’RE DEAD,” the meeting of Jake Hirschi & kids & more. To go to it- click on: LITTLE ANDY LAKE, I’M DEAD? & JAKE & KIDS
IMPORTANT NOTE TO BUY BOOK: I suggest you choose PayPal as it is the fastest. You don’t have to have a PayPal acct. just click on it, then click on “Create an Account,” and you will be given options for any Credit or Debit card of your choice.
SCROLL DOWN FOR ACCESS TO ALL OF THEHIGH UINTAS NEWSLETTERS, and TO SEE THE INCREDIBLE VARIETY OF INFORMATION IN THE BOOK.
COUNTDOWN TO UINTAS OPENING– SNOW DEPTH ON KEY PASSES Date: May 1: BALD MT. PASS = 86″ – WOLF CREEK PASS = 46″
CLOSED — June 20: BALD MT. PASS-32″
OPEN — Monday June 24: BALD MT. PASS- 28″–
NOTE: I MADE AN EXPLORATORY TRIP TODAY AND WILL GET ON MY WEBSITE A REPORT WITH PICTURES LATER TONIGHT (Monday) OR TOMORROW. I’M RIGHT NOW TRYING TO FINISH A YouTube VIDEO TO PROMOTE THE BOOK. ONCE DONE i’LL GET THE PHOTO/REPORT ON THIS WEBSITE, INCLUDING THE STATUS OF THE GRANDVIEW TRAILHEAD.
Snow plowing of the MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY began Monday-June 17th, and will likely take a week or more before the Scenic Byway is open. and I’ve got to add that the North Slope Rd. for one to dothe AUTO-LOOP TOUR, promoted in my book, will likely have at least one difficult stretch, at Elizabeth Pass that is 10,235 ft. high– so best check with the Forest Service in Evanston or the Bear River Ranger station before attempting said road.
The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway is still closed –the chance for this week Sat. 6/22 is “very slim,” and most likely will be next week.
NOTE: The elevation of Hades Pass, “Gateway to the Grandaddies” is approximately the same as Bald Mt. Pass–so this pass–closed still– is an indication of accessibility to the Grandaddies from the Grandview Trailhead.
OPEN — June 18: WOLF CREEK PASS =officially with no snow.
The gate for the Hades Canyon Road to the GRANDVIEW TRAILHEAD is open but still only passable to the Splash Dam on Thursday, June 20th. Maybe to the Trailhead inside of a week, but even when the Trailhead is accessible, the trail to Hades Pass and the Grandaddies will be difficult, as attested to by the high runoff engulfing the bridge up from the Trailhead–seen below in 2011 on July 8th– so be patient. Check with the Duchesne Forest Service Ranger Station for current conditions –Tel. 435-738-2482.
The Duchesne River was expected to reach FLOOD STAGE (13.3 feet) by Thursday 6/20 , so the thaw is happening quickly. It is “comparable to June 2011 when the river reached f;ppd stage – 14.4 feet.”
HIGH UINTAS NEWSLETTERS – beginning on April 19, 2019
The eBook becomes the only one with updated information on 630 lakes and more than 1,700 color photographs & maps showing the Uintas like never seen before…..EQUAL TO, OR BETTER THAN MANY NATIONAL PARKS
It was bound to happen, and he always quoted Jonathan Dorn who said:
“DEATH BE NOT BORING–I’VE LIVED WELL, I’VE ADVENTURED WIDELY, I WILL NOT DIE POORLY!”
His dreams listed his #1 option as
Backpacking in the Uintas!
His ashes to be spread between Kings Peak and Guatemala.
In recent years many he met on the trail learned about his:
BOOK–of all High Uintas books
They all advised him:
“GET TO IT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!”
Did he pay attention to the advise?
We are happy to announce that he did, and
the e-book is now finished, except for the index, and updating the information on all the 650+ lakes with the Division of Wildlife Resources–both of which will be accomplished in January 2019.
THE BOOK WILL BE AVAILABLE BY SPRING.
The E=BOOK is a literal
Encyclopedia of the Uinta Mountains,
677 pages long, but won’t fill-up the shelf in your library rather just occupy a little space on your computer–unless you decide to print it yourself which you can easily do–and to save printer ink, just do it in black & white and see the colors on your computer, or just print those pages of most interest, like for an adventure you are planning in the Uintas–especially important the topographical maps with routes plotted and distances inserted.
The 93 articles covering History, Legends, & Survival Stories, with others in the Appendix–will sometimes have you smile, sometimes give you a good laugh, sometimes have tears fill your eyes, but will always inspire and fill your heart with gratitude to the Creator for having given us this magnificent swath of beauty we call THE UINTAS.
The easily understood
Rules to Avoid Tragedy & Enjoy Safely your adventures,
are worth their weight in gold and will have your
ADVENTURES COME ALIVE & WILL SAVE LIVES--MAYBE YOUR LIFE!
Oh, and by the way, Little Andy, hasn’t expired……yet!
So, I’m still alive and doing my darndest to
NEVER GIVE IN, NOR GIVE UP…. ……Easily!
I’ve had one heck of a time with a bit oflower back-left buttock pain,but mostly solvedincreasing my intake of cod liver oil, plus gradually strengthening the right muscleswith special sit-ups daily with an 8 lb. barbell in each hand, plus of course flexibility exercises, 40-50 complete push ups–rather than the tons of phony ones I used to do, and my daily hikes with a 35 lb. backpack–now, with the cold, done at the Fitness Center in American Fork.
I am having one difficult time overcoming chronic bronquitis that hit me last winter, and persisted through the summer making high altitude a special problem–as explained in previous posts, but gradually being overcome — once again I’m helped with increased intake of cod liver oil, plus an extreme version of my Wellness Formula explained in theAnti-Aging Challenge article––with an updated version, now with photographs in the Appendix of the book.
Signs of progress are positive, even though the Dr. says there is no cure, rather just ways of managing it–but one way or another I will be backpacking during the 2019 season, after the book is published, and, being en e-book–I will be able to update it with a couple of three explorations in the Uintas that are pretty ambitious. DON’T COUNT ME OUT YET!
I’ll say no more for right now, but updates will first be posted this summer on this website.
The hope for 2018 was to culminate the backpacking season–doing the entire 106 mile HIGHLINE TRAIL — not the 76 to 80 mile trail all the guide books are wrong about.
I was to warm up and see if I was ready by doing:
1. A 3-4 day backpack up Main Fork, finishing explorations of the tie hackers, and getting to HELL’S HOLE BASIN.
Then, if that went well, do:
2. A 4 day backpack to NATURALIST BASIN…..
But, complete recovery from my 2017 back surgery…was causing trouble especially going downhill with a backpack….the JOLT causing acute pain.
But, then 3 months of chronic bronchitis fouled up
the plan. It was worse than my 10 surgeries, 2 radiation treatments, and fight defeating peripheral nueropathy and matatarsilitis, as I couldn’t keep up my exercise program–and lost almost everything.
I went to work trying to get it back but found it was very slow.
When the Uintas thawed out I made an experimental trip to see how the elements of bronchitis, that were still hanging on, affected my problem with High Altitude Sickness, and found it was hurting me.
But I was at least trying and learning in my 83rd year, and wasn’t ready yet to have another FOREST GUMP MOMENT.
Then, ahead of schedule, I had a chance to go to the GRANDADDIES with Ted Packard and son Mike.
But, I had to let them go up the trail, leaving me to do it my way….as best I could, and told them to “not worry if you don’t every see me again!”
That sounded a little shocking, so quickly had to qualify it, meaning….
…..”don’t ever see me again until you come back down the trail on the last day of the backpack!”
My pulmonary capacity was awful and I had to rest too often, but had to push myself at least a few miles to where I could find water. I experimented with a new bivy bag I think I mentioned I would use to save 1 lb. of weight, and with the rain that night found IT WAS AWFUL, but I survived the night. NOTE: The first thing I did on returning to civilization was to give it to Deseret Industries! I then used my poncho as a lean-to–the mosquitoes at night being no problem as the coolness of the night had them going inactive.
It was a struggle for me, and the JOLTS coming down painful for my back, yet came out of it feeling…
I CAN STILL DO THIS–JUST HAVE TO FOCUS ON CAREFULLY
STRENGTHENING MY BACK, & DAILY HIKING AROUND TOWN WITH BACKPACK thru ANOTHER WINTER & SPRING.
WITH 2 A DAY WORKOUTS, POSITIVE SIGNS FOR ANOTHER COMEBACK ARE ENCOURAGING FOR MY 84th YEAR.
In the meantime all the rest of my time is dedicated to creating the unique book — now with 330 pages finished with stunning color, incredible history, believable legends, life-saving survival stories, and…..
….. guidance for safe & enjoyable–auto, backpacking, horse & goat packing — forays into the
HIGH UINTAS MOUNTAINS
as well as also having complete guides for the Wilderness Area, as well as for the Western and the Eastern Uintas with information none of the present guide books have.