“IT’S A WONDERFUL WORLD!” Spring introduces to us UTAH’S STATE FLOWER-the SEGO LILY, maybe RATTLESNAKES, plus much more in my COMEBACK efforts — Then to the HIGH UINTAS TOUR, with LITTLE EAST FK OF BLACKS FK & and a mystic ENCOUNTER with BIG FOOT! Snow levels on passes & UINTAS ABOUT TO OPEN UP!

WOLF CREEK PASS – OPEN for several weeks… with .10″ of snow 5/23.

BALD MOUNTAIN PASS–Mirror Lake Byway..CLOSED-17.4″ of snow 5/23

THE SEGO LILY The Utah State Flower

On Saturday, May 21st, on a hike up quite high on the foothills north of Grove Canyon, I found my first SEGO LILY of this season. Before I got back to the parking lot, going cross-country I found at least a half dozen more of them.

During the First World War the flower became a symbol of peace. Karl E. Fordham’s poem “Sego Lily” portrayed the plant as an image of home, mercy, freedom, and peace for the men and women of Utah who were serving on the battlefields of Europe. The blooming stage is very short, at most two weeks. The bulb is sweet and nutritious and is the size of a walnut. It can be eaten raw or cooked as an emergency food. It tastes like a potato when boiled.

The Mormon pioneers made much use of this plant as a source of food. It is illegal to pick any wildflowers on Public Lands.

Next up – A WARNING!

As the weather warms in the Spring, snakes come out of their dens–THE ONE TO WORRY ABOUT IN UTAH OF COURSE IS THE RATTLESNAKE. To introduce you to the danger we all face now along the Wasatch Front foothills, I’ll tell you a story below the picture.

Back quite a few years ago, before my life among the Maya, when living in Provo, one Spring in the middle of May I decided to climb LITTLE SQUAW PEAK….just down the ridge north of Squaw Peak and Rock Canyon. As I approached the summit going between two large rocks I noted movement nearby–it was a rattlesnake that didn’t rattle as it was in the stage of shedding its skin to allow for more growth, and eliminate parasites. It actually struck at me, but missed. When sloughing off the old skin they are usually blind, and can’t rattle, but are aware of any danger, and will strike blindly. So NOW IS THE TIME TO BE CAREFUL.

In another few steps there was another from the other side, and when arriving at the summit there were several more–SO I CAN’T REALLY BRAG ABOUT HAVING CLIMBED LITTLE SQUAW PEAK! On my way down I was more alert and several times safely encountered more rattlesnakes. I had never before, nor since, encountered so many rattlesnakes in such a concentrated area, and the last time I found one in the foothills was when climbing to the Y, and it was a small one I captured as it was way back when it wasn’t illegal to kill or have a live rattlesnake–AS IT IS NOW!

Best mention if you find one in the wild, just leave it alone. During my 18th & 19th years when working at Dugway Proving Grounds as a hunter and trapper for the University of Utah, I captured several rattlesnakes and had them in my office in cages and they were very effective to scare off any visitors I didn’t want to see! The second they stepped into my office, they would hear the rattle and FREEZE!

There are about 7,000 people annually bitten by rattlesnakes in the U.S., most of whom get medical care quickly, with only about a dozen deaths yearly, one of whom could be you–so best not play the odds, and be very careful.

NOW INTO THE HILLS AGAIN–which I have to do every other day to help control my blood pressure, and keep getting a little stronger each time, as well as trying to get my BALANCE BACK, as I hope to actually be doing some BACKPACKING IN THE HIGH UINTAS SOON! A week from now I’ll show you my new LUMBAR WAIST PACK, and you’ve already seen last year my small 4.5 lb. backpack, all the rest being around my waist as you’ve been seeing in these reports.

My QUARTERLY VISIT WITH MY SPINE SURGEON, was this past week, and he continually seems amazed at what I’m doing, but INSISTS I USE MY TREKKING POLES ALL THE TIME! Of course, I KNOW BEST, so when it is 100% SAFE I PERSIST IN NOT BECOMING 100% DEPENDANT ON THEM. Follows a few pictures of the…….

WONDERFUL WORLD….

……even in the almost totally desert-like foothills of the Wasatch where I am blessed with high testosterone (I take daily Andro 400 Max for helping me have a good mood & recognize beauty in everything) and capable of recognizing…….

BEAUTY EVERYWHERE & FEEL GRATEFUL TO BE ALIVE!

SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME WITH THESE REPORTS, SO WON’T RACK MY MEMORY TO REMEMBER NAMES, JUST HOPE YOU ENJOY THE PICTURES I LOVE TO SHARE WITH EVERYONE INTERESTED.

Do you remember this one….that I used as a project for a LANDSCAPING CLASS AT BYU BACK IN THE 50ies?

If not, scroll down to the last post. The beauty of this bush will WOW you later when it matures!

I’ve mentioned previously the first white men to visit Utah Valley, they being Fathers Escalante and Dominguez in 1776 who in a letter to the King of Spain described the valley as,

” THE VALLEY OF OUR LADY OF MERCY OF TIMPANOGOS IS THE MOST PLEASING, BEAUTIFUL, AND FERTILE SITE IN ALL OF NEW SPAIN!”

As also mentioned before, they had a good relationship with the Timpanogos-Ute Indians and promised to return and establish here a Mission. If they had of done so, the history of Utah would be very much different than the way it worked out with the Mormons.

It was up here at the highest point of my hike, where I took the panorama of Utah Valley, that…

….. I found the first SEGO LILY.

Then on my way down cross-country, I was happy to find this UNIQUE WILDFLOWER we will see much more of soon.

This plant is just getting started. The middle shot shows the flower developing on the right of the plant. The 3rd picture shows the beginning of the blossoming process–THAT WILL ALSO WOW YOU!

Thanks to our loving & perfect CREATOR for all of HIS AWESOME VISIONS of NATURE and the WONDERS IN OUR BEAUTIFUL WORLD! MAY WE ALL BE DESERVING and APPRECIATIVE STEWARDS!

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Now, to the HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS at LITTLE EAST FORK OF BLACKS FORK & BIG FOOT

Once, way back in the beginning of my HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS PROJECT, I went to Google Maps of the High Uinta Mountains and all of a sudden I was seeing where there had been reported sightings of BIG FOOT or SASQUATCH. It indicated that most sightings were in the drainage of Little East Fork of Blacks Fork….and my interest was CAPTURED! Eventually making 3 backpacks into the area. I’ll sort of combine all of them into one trip I reported on my website as a photo/essay with lots of pictures and detail, going all the way up the drainage–ALWAYS READY WITH MY CAMERA, LENS CAP OFF, JUST IN CASE THIS “BIG FOOT LEGEND” had some truth in it! Then over Squaw Pass, and to Porcupine Lake in the Lake Fork Drainage.

In the background of this picture is Squaw Pass

For full information on how to get here, as well as topographical maps, fishing information, distances, etc. go to pages 224-231 of my BOOK–info about acquiring it will be inserted at the end of this post. The Preface to this Chapter 2, Section 8 of the book, is entitled:

“THE LEGEND OF BIG FOOT — SASQUATCH

In that writing is told the story of my sort of mystical encounter with Big Foot, his son on horseback, and them laughing at us civilized humans needing all the sophisticated and expensive gear to survive in the Uintas! If you are really interested I could say, “GET MY BOOK!” but I’ll sort of tell the story briefly along with the wonderful adventure I had in this often overlooked area.

AS YOU PROCEED UP THIS DRAINAGE THERE WILL BE SEVERAL FORDS OF THE STREAM NECESSARY.

As you continue up the drainage you will see many of what I call VISIONS OF NATURE, with many wildflowers, mushrooms, signs of Tie Hacker culture, some strange mounds I have since learned were left by glaciers, and much more. As you go southeast you will notice off to the west side of the canyon an above timberline level up above those pines where there are 7 remote lakes, none with a name–only numbers, and all have fish. You will have to use your maps and my book to guide you.

Here I am with 11,600 ft. high SQUAW PASS behind me.

I met a sheepherder from Peru going out for supplies. Their sheep were over the pass in the Oweep Drainage.

Climbing the pass over a very rocky trail, with spots of blood here and there from the herder’s horses.

Looking back down Little Fork of Blacks Fork canyon.

On the 11,600 ft. pass.

One critter that didn’t make it.

Looking down on Porcupine Lake in the Oweep Drainage.

Looking east from Porcupine Lake towards Porcupine Pass, 12, 260 ft. high

A shot of myself on PORCUPINE PASS on my 27 day/no-resupply backpack in 2003 to begin my HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS PROJECT. I’m looking down on Porcupine Lake.

This is a shot again of Porcupine Pass, with 13,000+ Mt. Wilson rising up in the middle, and a line drawn across the picture that was the pathway for Ted and me in 1962, somehow traversing that mountain to get to the saddle above the Red Castle area.

Here I am along the dangerous traverse getting a drink from a spring. You can see my Guatemalan shirt. Five years later our family left on our RISKY & BREATHTAKING PIONEER JOURNEY TO THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA!

Here we are on the saddle above the Red Castle area on that 1962 adventure. We would eventually camp high above Red Castle Lake on those vegetated cliffs on the right.

Here you see me dry skiing down the chute. You can also see an experimental backpack I made and fooled around with some.

…..and here goes Ted (Packard) going down the chute to first get to Upper Red Castle Lake. From up high we noticed fish rising on the lake and so wet a line….and WHAM! We were into some of the greatest fishing we ever found in the High Uintas.

A day or so later from our camp on the cliffs on Red Castle Lake, we hiked back up to Upper Red Castle Lake, and in the clear water noticed a school of Native Cutthroat trout, with an even larger one trailing behind, sort of like an outcast, or maybe the Leader herding his harem around the lake.

We became a little frustrated casting ahead of them as they ignored our lures, but then the wind picked up messing up our clear image of the fish, and I took one more cast where they had been…….and WHAM–THE HIGH UINTA FISH OF MY LIFE WAS ON!

He was very heavy bodied, almost like a large-mouthed black bass. I wanted to take him (or her) back to civilization whole, uncleaned to get an accurate weight for the 21″ native, so buried it in a snow drift intending to come back and get it the next day when we would hike back to civilization.

The next day as we approached the snow drift, a marmot jumped down off the snow drift. Marmots are vegetarians, but we found most of my trophy had been eaten by some critter. Only the the tail half was left, with all the entrails gone too. I carefully wrapped the half and we headed out, going down past Lower Red Castle Lake and swung around on the trail going over Smiths Fork Pass, and down through the Garfield Basin to the Center Park Trailhead and the car. Back home that, what we logically believed was the LIGHTER HALF, weighed 3.5 lbs. So we calculated that the whole fish would have exceeded 8 lbs.

Here I am at PORCUPINE LAKE, inserted with a photo from my “Expedition” I used it as the opening photograph on my Facebook page seen below (https://www.facebook.com/cordell.andersen )

Porcupine Lake is full of the most colorful eastern brook trout I have seen in the Uintas, but the whole area is scheduled for elimination of brook trout and the restoring of native cutthroat trout, along with several other such areas in the Uintas.

After camping one night on Porcupine Lake I headed back over the pass always with my camera ready for a hopeful encounter.

I was hiking down a rocky ravine, and I felt tired so sat down to rest.

I set my camera down on a rock next to me–always having it ready to get that BIG FOOT portrait–hopefully a FAMILY PORTRAIT! I dozed off when all of a sudden BIG FOOT appeared and seemed friendly, so I tried to communicate, asking him using sign language about a wife and children, but he didn’t understand, so then I tried asking what they ate? He made a movement like a prancing deer, then mimicked jumping on its back and made a wrenching movement like breaking its neck!

Then LITTLE FOOT appeared riding a horse, and I recalled that a sheep herder had reported missing a horse a couple of years ago in this area.

With this incredible scene I was very carefully–without frightening them–manipulating my camera next to me hoping to get the

“PHOTOS OF THE CENTURY!”

They communicated with each other, and pointing at my equipment were laughing, like saying, “These humans are so pathetic needing all this equipment to survive in the mountains. We get along just fine without any of that!” With that they turned and headed into the forest, me manipulating like crazy the camera with one hand, until almost out of sight, when I lunged for the camera to get a parting shot.

But, I didn’t get a good grip on the camera and knocked it off the rock and it CLATTERED DOWN INTO THE ROCKS BELOW–WAKING ME UP FROM AN INCREDIBLE DREAM! Or, had it really happened, and maybe my camera was full of the definitive proof not only of BIG FOOT, but also LITTLE FOOT!

I hopefully picked up my camera…now with a cracked skylight filter, and checked to see if I had got any photographs…..but luck wasn’t with me!

But, it was so real! I thought maybe it was like the prophets of old having a “VISION IN A DREAM” to get across to me that maybe there was something to the legend…SO I BEGAN MY HIKE DOWN THE TRAIL, MORE READY THAN EVER….WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN I WAS SHAKEN BY WHAT SEEMED LIKE A GIANT FIGURE COMING THROUGH THE LARGE TREES!

He was wearing a red “Striders” T-shirt and carrying a water bottle! And wearing running shoes on feet that were SMALL!……….not BIG FOOT!

It was ROB WILCOX, mountain runner, with his family camped down below. He was running to and from Squaw Pass.

I told him about my mystic encounter with BIG & LITTLE FOOT, and he reacted,

“Who knows? Could be!”

I camped a little ways down the canyon, and later Rob passed by on his way down from the pass to invite me for dinner. Sadly I had just had my dinner of dehydrated food, so had to SADLY pass on what I believe were CHICKEN DUMPLINGS!

Down the trail I met a great family on a backpack. GRANDPA MIKE ATKINSON, all of a sudden looked at me, and said,

“YOU’RE CORDELL ANDERSEN!”

He continued, “My brother and I saw on your website the writing about the ANTI-AGING CHALLENGE, you describing the solution to arthritis using cod liver oil. Both of us carefully followed the system, and…..

…… IT WORKED MIRACLES FOR BOTH OF US!”

SORRY THIS PHOTO IS OUT OF FOCUS, BUT JUST HAD TO USE IT AS IT TELLS AN INCREDIBLE STORY……Here we are seeing the rewards of having a big family on a backpack–LUCKY HE WAS A ‘TOUGH AS NAILS’ EX-MARINE!”

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 INDEX, AS 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

NOTE: You of course can take it on a thumb drive to your favorite printer and for around $190 have a printed copy as seen above in two volumes. My printer is COPYTEC in Pleasant Grove, Utah. They do a fantastic job.

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A SMALL HILL for YOU, A MOUNTAIN FOR ME I HAD TO CLIMB! COMEBACK GETTING BETTER….NO NEED TO FAKE IT ANYMORE — THE EAST FORK OF BLACKS FORK & SURVIVAL AT CRATER LAKE/EAST FORK PASS! — AN ADDICTION DEFEATED!

HIGH UINTA PASSES?

WOLF CREEK PASS OPEN for several weeks… with NO snow 5/20.

BALD MOUNTAIN PASS–Mirror Lake Byway..CLOSED-21″ of snow 5/20

But first, my persistent efforts to NOT GIVE IN….EASILY, but rather make some good strides away from not being able to walk anymore….like 18 months ago, and importantly, NOT “Faking I’m not a cripple,” that I once had to do, but actually making some progress in hiking again.

Now I have graduated from the several sets of stairs that helped me begin building back muscles, and NOW go every other day to the foothills and the Grove Canyon Trailhead, TODAY with the intention of not following the trail up the canyon, and switch backing up to the “valley view” spot, but rather go straight up the mountain.

Yes, I had to give in and begin using TREKKING POLES, that I used to say were for “WIMPS!” But now on smooth, secure trails, even where the slope up, or down is not extreme, and where losing my balance won’t kill me–like falling into a ravine to never be found, I’m weaning myself off of them, swinging them up behind me and hiking normally. This is actually also helping to straightening out my spine and reducing the normal pain I feel all the time when walking or hiking.

A LITTLE HILL FOR ALL OF YOU, was for ME, considering a while back I couldn’t walk, WAS FOR ME A GIANT MOUNTAIN I HAD TO CLIMB!

So here we are the arrows indicating my starting point near the trailhead and going up a trail you can see winding its way up to the ridge. The upper arrow is a bit deceiving, as it doesn’t make it look very far, which my aching muscles today–the day after–tell me it was a pretty stiff hike for this old guy in his 87th year. For this challenge I WOULD HAVE TO USE MY TREKKING POLES!

Along the way I noticed one of the real pretty bush type plants of the foothills is beginning to sprout. You’ll see later why I used it 63 years ago to actually be a major part of the landscaping of an apartment where we lived when first married. 

LATER YOU’LL SEE WHY IT IMPRESSED ME.

Soon I found this tiny cluster of yellow flowers on a long stalk and stopped for a needed rest and a photo shoot. To use my close-up lens and do it right would have required having a tripod to steady the camera, but I didn’t want to take the extra weight–already with 8 lbs.–with my Nikon camera and 14mm. x 400mm. lens, survival equipment, and a picnic lunch. So just took a bunch of shots hoping one would be sharp, and one was, even though I goofed on the background with photoshop. This flower measures about 1/8th of an inch.

I soon learned that the pathway worn smooth by hikers sliding down a quite steep section, was too steep and dangerous for me, so I had to detour off to the left following deer trails and zigged and zagged up until getting above the dangerous portion, then sort of on top of the ridge followed it up the mountain, and….yes I had to rest here and there, and so actually took longer to get to the view area, than it would have taken me to follow the trail up the canyon.

Here’s another quite tiny flower about a quarter of an inch wide, which I got with my zoom lens. 

There were times during the climb, especially in the beginning, when I decided it was too dangerous for me and my condition, but rather than giving up, just took an easier and safer pathway, taking longer, but finally made it to the viewing area and photographed this plant I hadn’t seen at lower elevations. 

With my fish-eye lens I got yet another panorama of beautiful Utah Valley, from on the very right the tip of the Point of the Mountain, all the way across Utah Lake with Mt. Nebo in the distance on the left.  When all is in bloom, and the sky is clear with beautiful clouds, I’ll insert the actual quote from Escalante & Dominguez in their letter to the King of Spain describing this valley as the BEST THEY HAD SEEN IN THEIR EXTENSIVE TRAVELS IN THE NEW WORLD.

Another Lichen garden impressed me. If you missed the discussion about Lichens, go back a bit and learn about this unique life-form, and even better get my HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS BOOK, with more complete descriptions of this incredible life form, 3,000+ varieties of which are found in the Rocky Mountain area.

The American vetch has been in bloom at lower elevations for some time. The Utah MilkVetch was first seen up here at the View area, but now is sprouting all over. 

This is the flower of the Milk Vetch, or Ladyfinger.  An extremely tiny yellow flower has sneaked into the picture at the bottom.

I had my picnic lunch and feeling much better than I thought I would, proceeded up the canyon some, but decided I would wait for another day to make it all the way to the water falls and bridge. 

In this photo you can see the trail cutting across the hillside from the left. 

Up high I also found another flower similar to the one first seen several weeks ago much lower, and got pictures of it and the whole plant, showing it is much different than the one on top, and smaller too. 

Then headed down getting a picture here and there, many more than I’m including here, and saving them for my own enjoyment once I start getting OLD! 

The variations in coloration of the Oregon grape plant always fascinate me. 

And, I’ll be anxious to see how this one develops with it’s thorny stalk. 

Once down in the bottom of the canyon on the trail I was impressed with vegetation coming into bloom. This one is seen in the following montage, on the bottom portion.

You Canadians should immediately recognize the leaf seen below. 

Soon the various varieties of THISTLES will begin blossoming with a beauty that has us forgetting the thorny side of the plants.

Dandelions have of course been out for a long time. In fact down in the valley in our lawns they are usually the first to bloom, and the last green plants before the onset of winter. I will soon do a report on this plant, but let me say it is the first plant or flower of any kind that I remember in my life as a child 6 years old. It was in Cincinnati in 1942 when I vividly recall noticing black people, who were properly called “negros” back then (the other “n” word always sparked a fight….sometimes to the death, except among them–I know what I’m talking about as I went to high school where 30% were African Americans), but we would see them in the parks wandering around the grassy areas picking dandelion leaves and going home with bags of them to take the place of expensive green vegetables.

I have since learned they are more nutritious than most of the vegetables, and so a portion of my garden is planted intentionally with DANDELIONS.

While resting and thinking about them, all of a sudden one of the Lord’s beautiful creatures decided I was right and dropped in for some nutrition. Do you notice how its long, elephant like snout dips down into the flower? 

 

This morning my private Sunday DEVOTIONAL had me hearing the celestial words “ALL THINGS BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL,” preparing me for sharing with you this INCREDIBLE CREATION OF THE LORD…..or if you prefer of MOTHER NATURE!

WOW! says it all.

Yellow and white seem to be quite dominant among the VISIONS OF NATURE, so a splash of ORANGE always attracts attention.

This is a plant shown in a post weeks ago, me saying it will be interesting to see its flower blossom. We’ll, I can now show you below.

So, down the canyon I went with my trekking poles up behind me and concentrating on walking a straight line, and doing so normally….as normal as an old RODEO CLOWN in his 87th year can do!

I think I mentioned that was one of my labels in Guatemala by a BYU Agronomy professor and friend, Keith Hoops, because we bypassed the use of alfalfa hay and silage, and rather had our cows on high protein pasture grass 24/7×365 days a year, LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!

I still love my nickname, RODEO CLOWN, as well as some calling me a MODERN DON QUIJOTE DE LA MANCHA!

I LOVE IT, especially my friend and LDS LEADER, Harold Brown, seriously gave me a nickname calling me a “MODERN AMMON!” That was due to my life-long love affair with the Native Americans–Mayans, Navahos, etc–See: https://www.guatemalanfoundation.org/

NOW INTO THE HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS, still on the NORTH SLOPE.

After the Middle Fork of Blacks Fork, for last week–we come to the next–the EAST FORK OF THE BLACKS FORK which is also FONDLY REMEMBERED. We are here leaving the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway to follow east the North Slope Road.

Following the signs, after about 25 miles you come to the TRAILHEAD. From the Trailhead, you can head in one of three directions. By the way, IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GET LOST…..GET MY BOOK with maps and all the info.

Nearby we see a lively VISION OF NATURE, a Red Squirrel that is lactating

My daughter, Mahana, is heading across the bridge and then will turn left to take the trail that after some steep climbing eventually comes into wide green meadow areas where it is a pleasure to hike….on the way to Bald Lake, or on and on to the Red Castle area.

I must add...IT IS A WONDERFULLY BEAUTIFUL WAY TO GET TO RED CASTLE, as you will see in the next picture or two.

See what I mean? Wonderful hiking as you climb up above timberline.

A COLORFUL HIGH UINTA LICHEN GARDEN!

Here, along the edge of the Uinta’s 2nd BALD MOUNTAIN, Mahana is looking down on Bald Lake full of feisty brook trout.

We will now backtrack to the trailhead and head up the East Fork of the Blacks Fork Trail.

NOW TO THE OTHER HIKE FROM THE TRAILHEAD…..it was to be for me my 2nd backpack to Crater Lake, and was done late in the season so hopefully the snow drift that prevented me from climbing up a chute to get on a saddle for the “PERFECT PICTURE!” It was about September 9th. It would be ONE OF MY MOST REMEMBERED BACKPACKS!

In the first couple of miles you see remnants of the Tie Hackers. About 1.5 miles from the Trailhead the trail divides, the left hand trail going up Little East Fork of Blacks Fork. We will cover that area next….and it will be exciting as it is an area where BIG FOOT has been spotted more than other areas. 

Soon you cross the river. What you will find, who knows, so be prepared to wade the stream.
NOW A PROBLEM: Towards the afternoon of my first day a light rain began. I set up my tent to pass the night, and realized I had a problem. I had already had a cancer surgery, and radiation treatment, as well as two Mohs cancer surgeries for skin cancer. Plus in the middle of 2004, my 2nd season of the Project, my right “motorcycle knee” had collapsed and there was an emergency temporary surgery, and I had pain pills prescribed by the doctor for that knee and also my “football ankle” that was beginning to cause a lot of pain. But, I had forgot my pain medications.

I felt like I had to go back and get them and then return to do the backpack. Since it had been raining there were a few drips inside the tent, but midway through the night they stopped. When I felt thirsty and tried to drink some water I found my water bladder was frozen. The drips had stopped because my tent with it’s coating of water was frozen over me like it was an igloo! In the morning I headed for home, got what I needed and returned, but had decided that I didn’t really need a tent–for sure no mosquitos anymore– and could save the weight and use my poncho, and bivouac bag as seen in the next picture. 

I made about 10-11 miles that first day of the 2nd attempt and set up my camp protected by some alpine firs as seen above, with 13,219 FT/ Mount Lovenia in the background.

Ahead was my pathway to 12,150 ft. pass I labeled EAST FORK PASS.

Here I was on the Pass, with Mt. Lovenia in the background. The weather again was closing in on me. Those of you who are sharp will notice the vegetation was green, so this picture was taken early in the season on a previous exploration. In September all would be golden-tan with winter coming on as you’ll see in the following pictures.

Do you remember from my posts who named this mountain and why? Yes, it was famous pioneer artist, photographer, naturalist and explorer, GEORGE BEARD, who named it after his beloved wife.

It was from up here where I got this photograph of THE SPINE OF THE UINTAS seen from here like no where else.

Below I’ll insert a set of three photos of this magnificent scene at different seasons of the Uinta’s short season.

It’s my buddy TED PACKARD seen in the lower panorama.

From East Fork Pass you actually go down towards Red Knob Pass, about 11,700 ft. in elevation. We see here the very most upper reaches of the Lake Fork Drainage on the South Slope.

This is the view from Red Knob Pass looking towards the Deadhorse Lake area.

And here we are looking towards my destination, Explorer Peak, with a sliver of Crater Lake seen in the glacial cirque at its foot. At the pass I put on my rain pants, parka, and poncho, and from here to the foot of Explorer Peak, I was constantly rained, and snowed on.

I set up my camp in the protection of some trees, as by then I was feeling sick….like the flu. I had a slight fever, and had the additional complication of a molar that was aching on my only good side, as the other side also had a dental problem. I couldn’t chew anything. My jerky was cut up in small pieces and put to soak as was everything I had to eat and swallow whole. I of course was prepared with pain medications, and with a complete emergency anti-biotic treatment that I immediately started taking–doubling the first dose to give it a good start.

The thought of getting up to Crater Lake had disappeared from my mind. I had to focus on getting well enough to get out of there and survive. As I rested for two days to give the antibiotic time to begin taking effect, I listened to the news on my small radio, and was hearing that snow was on it’s way. For sure I had to get out of there in two days.

I had a satellite phone, with an extra battery, but as I tried to use it, I couldn’t get a signal as I was right up against the mountain. I used up an entire battery trying, and then stopped trying to have enough battery left to get a call out once I was on my way away from the mountain. In my weakened state my big challenge was to climb Red Knob Pass, then keep going up to East Fork Pass, before dropping down.

Interestingly I had with me a READERS DIGEST with Reese Witherspoon’s beautiful smile along with a title: LAUGH MORE, LIVE LONGER! So I decided to record on my little recorder all the jokes and funny stories, and as I tackled the challenge of climbing over that big mountain, I would listen to all the jokes and funny stories and LAUGH MY WAY OVER THAT COTTONPICKING MOUNTAIN!

After two complete days of rest I began feeling somewhat better, packed up and was on my way. I knew I had to be careful, hike slowly, carefully and not give the sickness a chance to know it had a GREAT CHANCE OF KNOCKING ME DOWN FOR THE COUNT!

I got about halfway to the mountain and at the last large pines stopped to try the phone. I immediately got my buddy Ted Packard on. He said he would call the Forest Service and get the weather report for my area, and get back to me. A little while later he called and told me the Forest Service reported it was going to snow that night and to “STAY PUT AND DON’T MOVE OR YOU’LL DIE!” But, that by morning it would clear some when I could move.

I set up my camp and waited.

There was some sun showing through in the morning, so I moved towards Red Knob Pass, and got out my tiny recorder….

I literally laughed my way to Red Knob pass, but as I approached it, I began feeling sick, weak, a headache, but I had too keep moving up towards East Fork Pass, so I CONTINUED TO TRY MY BEST TO LAUGH MY WAY TO THE PASS...until the weather made my situation a bit desperate! 

As moved I took all but my last medications for pain and high blood pressure, and as I approached the pass, a blizzard hit me with winds like I had never experienced in the Uintas.

NOTE: You don’t see any blizzard in the photo…..I couldn’t take a photo in that deathly survival situation–so the photo was photoshopped inserting me, but I couldn’t figure how to photoshop SNOW & THE RAGING WIND!

I felt pain coming up my left arm, and pains and pressure on my chest like it would burst, plus nausea and worsening of the headache, and I got out my satellite phone…..luckily I getting Russ Smith from Skycall Communications on the line. He was about to leave for a commitment somewhere, but afterwards told me he recognized I was in a desperate situation, so not only kept me on the line, but also formed a conference call with the Sherriff from Summit County.

As I was talking I was moving down as I had to get out of that blizzard. The sheriff said something about trailering some horses to the trailhead and coming for me, but I somehow got across that something quicker was needed. 

So they got on the line the University of Utah emergency helicopter service, and it was agreed they’d come after me, but I had to get down off of that mountain where they could land, or where I could survive on my own if it came to that. I had to get back to that little clump of alpine firs where I had camped coming in.

But they needed my coordinates, so Russ went to work to help me figure out how to do that with the sat phone, which I finally accomplished, and then the call was cut….

…… As I came down quickly in elevation I began feeling markedly better, and finally I got to my spot. I tried to call, but nothing, but set my phone on a rock turned on ready for a call. In about 30 minutes it rang, and it was the helicopter pilot telling me they were 4 minutes out and to put something bright on the ground so they could locate me. I put my bivouac bag out held down with rocks, and all of a sudden here the helicopter came.

I was waving my hands, but smart enough to not yell as you see people do in the movies. He flew right over me and disappeared. But I was in radio contact, and got them turned around and coming in lower, and they spotted me and landed. 

By then I was feeling great, thanked them for coming and just said, “Just take me down to the Trailhead and I’ll drive home!” They didn’t pay any attention, and hooked me up to their machine.

As they were doing so, I said, “Well, at least take me to the LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo as BYU’s game is about to begin!”
Don’t know what was wrong with them, but they didn’t laugh, shut me up with an oxygen mask, saying the oxygen in my blood was half of what it should have been, my blood pressure was sky high, and my pulse at around 135 even though I’d been resting for half an hour. 

They loaded me and my pack in and we were on our way! 

Flying over my beautiful High Uintas! 

At the University of Utah Hospital they wheeled me in and were all over me, my mirror image seen, if you look carefully in the ceiling thing. 

By the next morning all my vitals were fine, and Jesse came to pick me up, then we headed for the Trailhead and I drove my car home.
For sure I had multiple problems, but the one that overall seems to be now glaring, was that my weakness caused by several things had triggered THE SILENT KILLER–HIGH ALTITUDE SICKNESS. When I got higher and higher climbing that mountain, it got worse and worse, and when I came down 1,300 ft. in elevation I felt pretty good, even though my vitals still needed some attention.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have said, “To heck with climbing that cotton picking mountain, I’m hiking down the canyon to Moon Lake and from there have Jesse come and get me, then go for the car.” I could have likely made it fine, and saved the $1,000 the helicopter ride cost me (without my insurance it would have cost $10,000)!

SO GET MY BOOK AND LEARN ABOUT THE SILENT KILLER. I tell in the book the most prominent survival stories of this century, including 8 of my own, and I have been told by several that LIVES HAVE BEEN SAVED BY THE BOOK! 

FOR FULL INFORMATION ON THIS & OTHER AREAS, AS 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 SEQUEL…..

On that 2006 survival backpack, my “FOOTBALL ANKLE “ from a football injury in 1953 started giving me trouble–and actually finally wore out requiring surgery in early 2007 shown on the page I put together. 

After returning from the hospital, my kids came in the house finding THIS! They were beginning to panic, but Jesse noticed I was softly snoring and ALIVE. So, they quickly got a camera and shot this WONDERFUL PHOTO!

After months of recovery I all of a sudden was IN DEEP TROUBLE!

This was my first and last ordeal learning about the acute dangers of taking PERCOCET + AMBIEN and feeling WONDERFUL sort of for a time until realizing I had become addicted!

I went COLD TURKEY, suffered the pains of HELL for a week, I don’t think sleeping at all, but finally SURVIVED….AGAIN! — learning my lesson to never let that happen again. 

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

THE “COMEBACK” KID tries again….like for the 5th time! So, to control high blood pressure–EVERY OTHER DAY INTO THE HILLS to be inspired by SPRING COMING ALIVE! Then our tour of the HIGH UINTAS continues at the little visited MIDDLE FK of BLACKS FK & BOB’S LAKE, plus discovering a whole COMMUNITY OF SCANDINAVIAN TIE HACKERS!

Until today, May 5, 2022 I’ve done this FOUR TIMES! Each time after giving up due to problems, but then remedied with yet ANOTHER SURGERY to keep me going. To today 15 surgeries, plus two radiation treatments and becoming a cancer & heart attack survivor, etc.

All of a sudden by Fall 2020 I was in a wheelchair, and in November the 3rd back surgery but made me worse, then the 4th spine surgery to kind of fix me a little. But by mid-2021 my spine became DANGEROUSLY MISALIGNED as shown above on the left–a fall could paralyze, or kill me, so I carefully went to work again on ANOTHER COMEBACK as too much of me worked pretty good to accept the other dire alterative–but with great precautions.

But, now also with a dangerous HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE problem, but as explained in past posts, learning to reduce salt and sugar intake, but JOYFULLY LEARNING THAT 1-2 HOURS OF VIGOROUS OUTDOOR HIKING REDUCED MY BP for the TWO DAYS.

So….INTO THE HILLS every other day! Now forced to use the previously hated TREKKING POLES….thought previously THEY WERE FOR WIMPS! Now without them I’m maybe dead on tough foothill & High Uinta trails!

Do you remember CLIFF ROSE and its BEAUTIFUL WOOD? Up above the parking lot of the Grove Canyon Trailhead, on the right we see a whole forest of Cliff Rose, that we’ll visit later when it begins the SPECTACULAR BLOSSOMING STAGE.

NEAR THE PARKING LOT WE SEE A CLOVER PLANT....and LOOK FOR THE FOUR LEAFED ONE to bring me GOOD LUCK! Didn’t find one, but HAD GOOD LUCK ANYWAY!

This past week several hikes along the foothills, getting higher and higher. This photo zooming in on Provo Peak (on the left), then Little Squaw Peak, Squaw Peak, Y-Mountain, Maple Mountain, and Provo at their feet, with Orem, and then Pleasant Grove along the foothills of Mt. Timpanogos.

I was well rewarded with the first blossoming of WESTERN BLUE FLAX, upper shots at the entrance to Grove Canyon. Higher in the foothills, leading to the Uintas, they blossom profusely, and even are found in the lower High Uintas among the Quaking Aspen.

Another tiny wild flower seen already, but in upper left the sprouting of a new plant, and the Lady Bugs out protecting them from aphids and other tiny insects.

Near the Trailhead I found this plant beginning to blossom as seen below.

And, out now all along the foothills AMERICAN VETCH.

And, I discovered a WHOLE GARDEN ON A ROCK!

FUNGI form a symbiotic relationship (partnership) with ALGAE creating what we call LICHENS. The fungi and algae each fill a role in the survival of their partner and together fill a slow, but crucial role in the process of breaking down rocks and trees. It was said by an expert: “LICHENS ARE FUNGI THAT HAVE DISCOVERED AGRICULTURE.” Rocky Mountain Goats eat lichens as an important part of their diet. Over 3,000 varieties have been identified in the Rocky Mountains region.

More and more shrubs and trees are now blooming and will soon adorn our foothills with beautiful green colors.

This was one of the first wild flowers I found in the foothills, but way up Grove Canyon. It is now blooming along the lower foothills.

This TINY BLUE WILD FLOWER is one of the smallest. I should have had my Nikon camera with close-up lens to show you how beautiful it is. Maybe next time.

SORRY, THE FLOWER ITSELF OUT OF FOCUS. I’LL DO BETTER NEXT TIME.

By the next hike or so this one should be blossoming.

I’m getting higher and higher, far above the parking lot, but am aiming for getting higher up than ever before. No es una gran logro, pero tomando en cuenta que hace 1 ano y mas, NI PUDE CAMINAR, para mi es UNA GRAN BENDICION PODER HACERLO, Y PODER AGUANTAR EL DOLOR!

You might remember way back I got some pictures of this plant sprouting, and then later the one on the left. Here we see the whole plant to connect the two pictures.

From as high along the foothills as I have ever got to, I got this fish-eye photo of beautiful UTAH VALLEY gradually being decorated by nature with its many varieties of trees among our homes. Father’s Escalante and Dominguez were the first white men to record a visit here in 1776 and in a letter to the King of Spain called it the “most beautiful and fertile land” they had seen in all their explorations, including their swing up from Santa Fe, following the “Old Spanish Trail” to the Uintah Basin, and from there came by Utah Valley where they had a good relationship with the Timpanogos-Ute Indians and promised to return and establish here a Mission. But, they never returned. Can you imagine how the history of Utah would have drastically changed if they had of kept their promise? In my YouTube video on the Pioneer Timber Slides I give their exact quote and details.

Up high in the foothills I all of a sudden had a quite large bird soaring above me. Often we imagine we are seeing a Golden Eagle–and sometimes we are, but even my slightly blury pictures show us otherwise. We are seeing a TURKEY VULTURE, or BUZZARD, native to Utah, easily identified with a telephoto picture by it’s red head.

We are now back down near the Trailhead and begin our study of SAGEBRUSH so critical to the deserts and foothills of Utah. As the season progresses we’ll keep an eye on it and follow it’s development, some of which we observe in the montage above.

NOW ON TO WHAT’S LIKELY OF MORE INTEREST…..

THE HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS…STILL ON THE NORTH SLOPE

Our last tour was of the West Fork of Blacks Fork (of the Green River). This week I’ll show you a few pictures from two of my three explorations of THE MIDDLE FORK OF BLACKS FORK.

It is rarely visited as you will see, but one of the most important explorations as I discovered there more TIE HACKER RUINS THAN ANYWHERE ON THE NORTH SLOPE. My research showed nothing ever recorded or mentioned about this area by the scientists. So my 3rd exploration was to go back and forth as I went up the drainage to locate every site, get an accurate reading on each with my SPOT TRACKER, then measure and photograph everything. AND, OF COURSE END UP DOING A LITTLE FISHING AT BOB’S LAKE.

MUCH MORE DETAIL, INCLUDING TOPOGRPAHICAL MAPS, CAN BE FOUND IN MY BOOK, pages 204-207

A YOUTUBE VIDEO WAS MADE OF EACH OF THE ABOVE EXPLORATIONS.

One gets to the area by going down north on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway and turning east on the NORTH FORK ROAD with 20 miles to go to get to the road that is marked for the East Fork of Blacks Fork Trailhead.

At 20 miles from the Scenic Byway, you come to a junction and turn south on the road to the East Fork of Blacks Fork Trailhead, and shortly cross this bridge.

The junction and bridge is seen in the center of the picture. Shortly, as you can see, you will come to a gate that you go through. There are no signs, but believe me the road takes you to the “unofficial Trailhead,” I have named–a distance of about 2 miles….

As you can see…..SOMETIMES THEY ARE TOUGH 2 MILES!

….and sometimes you’ll have to park your car and hoof it to get to the “trailhead”

Believe it or not, THIS IS THE TRAILHEAD!

A short hike through the lodgepole pines has you arriving at a beautiful meadow with 13,165 ft. TOKEWANNA PEAK in the distance–one of the seven officially named 13,000+ ft. peaks in Utah. The 8th would be the 13, 387 ft. high Mount Jedediah–I named to honor for me the greatest of the explorers and mountain men of the West–JEDEDIAH SMITH, whose story I tell as a Preface to one of the sections in my BOOK.

On my important 3rd exploration, from this point I hiked to the right and went some downstream looking for signs of a tie hacker SPLASH DAM. Later I’ll explain what a SPLASH DAM was for the Tie Hackers.

Instead of tie hacker ruins I found a MONUMENT TO A UINTA LOVER —

SOLOMAN “SAM” LIONEL GALLEGOS

Then, up the drainage in search of beautiful VISIONS OF NATURE and the TIE HACKERS.

On the lower portion of the stream I did see two fisherman. They were the only two human beings I had seen on my three backpack/explorations, but they were just on a short day hike to fish. By the way, they are casting a spinner! Can you see it?

As I worked my way up the drainage I crossed a section of a rough intrusion that I had also seen on the West Fork of Blacks Fork. Once past that I entered a lush area of even more wild flowers than seen on the lower drainage.

I don’t recall seeing any area in the High Uintas with such a profusion of colorful wild flowers.

STICKING CLOSE TO THE STREAM I ALL OF A SUDDEN I FOUND PILES OF ROTTED LOGS, LIKELY FROM THE EARLY PERIOD. WHO KNOWS WHY THEY WERE ABANDONED.

Then I came to the first stumps from the tie hackers–almost completely rotted away indicating they were from the early period.

Soon I discovered ruins of a cabin–small, with rocks in one corner suggesting a fireplace, and found a square nail: ALL SIGNS OF TIE HACKERS FROM THE 1867-1880 PERIOD.

A RED SQUIRREL

In less than a mile I began finding stumps that weren’t rotted away, and a little further I entered a long section of more and more ruins. They weren’t all rotted away, were larger, no rocks inside, and had windows. No square nails, only round ones invented in 1910–all signs of the later tie hacker period from 1912 to 1935 when mechanization made obsolete the tie hackers.

One of the ruins seen middle left below, was the largest ruin I’d seen anywhere…..I recall it being 36 feet long, by 18 feet wide, and had signs of having had a rustic floor.

Nearby the large ruin I found two ruins with features that suggested they were sweat houses, used commonly by Scandinavians.

The scant history of the Tie Hackers from the early period is almost non-existent since that period was before the organization of the Forest Service, and most of the tie hackers were Irish lumbermen immigrants who didn’t know how to read or write, and so there are no journals, or letters to tell their story.

But the later period is completely different with the Forest Service beginning to keep records and regulate the tie hackers, who were almost all Scandinavians, mostly Swedish–who had the tradition of sweat baths.

What I was finding was a TIE HACKER SCANDINAVIAN/SWEDISH COMMUNITY. The large ruin was likely a dinning hall, also used for social activities, and maybe even a school, as it was common in the later period for entire families to be together in communities.

With my SPOT TRACKER I took readings on 14 sites as you see above. #1 was from the early period, and most likely a more thorough search of the area would turn up more signs from that period–in spite of much of it having rotted away.

Each railroad track….and in the beginning of the Transcontinental Railway there was only one track, but for EVERY MILE APPROXIMATELY 3,500 RAILROAD TIES WERE NEEDED–adding up to many millions needed. Without the TIE HACKERS the railroad(s) would have never happened, and without the railroad the “WEST WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN WON” so I justifiably call the “TIE HACKERS THE UNSUNG HEROES, WITHOUT WHOM THE WEST WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN WON!”

……and as evidence that LIFE ISN’T ALWAYS FAIR, it is a fact that the volumes of very large books that document the Transcontinental Railroad construction, and the TV series HELL ON WHEELS, NEVER MENTION THE TIE HACKERS! Only one or two episodes of HELL ON WHEELS show wagons arriving with railroad ties, but we are never told where they came from, or who made them. Yet, one of those HELL ON WHEELS ghost towns, BEAR RIVER CITY, was labeled in a newspaper, “The Liveliest, if not the most wicked town in America!” which story I tell in my BOOK, and a suggestion has been given that it could be made into a GREAT WESTERN MOVIE, featuring Sherriff Tom “Bear River” Smith who became famous for trying to stop “the bloodiest fight between white people in the history of Wyoming.” He went on to Abelene, Kansas where he was killed in a shootout and became President Dwight Eisenhower’s hero–every time he came home to Abelene he would go to the cemetery and place flowers on Tom’s grave.

NOW, LET’S GO FISHING!

We head for Tokewanna Peak. There are portions where the trail just disappears. Even the WILDERNESS SIGN was lost in a jungle of vegetation. The best way to get to Bob’s Lake is to follow the stream, and when it divides, keep to the right and follow it up to the lake. The other fork goes to the left up to where there are a number of small lakes, two with numbers: G-72 and G-74. Both had been planted experimentally with brook trout in 1984. A follow up survey in 1986 showed winterkill for G-72 and stocking discontinued. G-74 is much shallower, but showed it still had wary brook trout, and was aerially stocked in 2018, with plans to stock on a 3 year cycle.

WE ARE GETTING CLOSE TO OUR DESTINATION…JUST UP AND AROUND THE SNOW BANK TO THE LEFT.

Here we are at BOB’S LAKE. It looks small, and certainly isn’t big. Another view below is better.

On my first visit in 2008 I didn’t know what kind of fish to expect, but cast away with my Thomas Cyclone, and WHAM! It felt like I had a large, very strong fish on. He wasn’t all that big, but strong as he was a TIGER TROUT, that once for once, are pretty strong.

On my first two trips to the area I had only seen a footprint of one human being, but didn’t see him or her. On that last trip I was down the canyon, and all of a sudden SURPRISED BY THE FIRST HUMAN BEING BACKPACKERS SEEN!

They were a handsome couple: Mike & Nicole from Germany – they met in Switzerland. Apparently they had heard something about my previous reports and so were on their way to a

GREAT WILDERNESS ADVENTURE.

From there I headed for civilization at Mountain View, Wyoming, and was cleaning and organizing all of my equipment.

For some reason I had taken out of my Nikon camera the memory card you see to the left with it’s wealth of photographic documentation of likely my most important exploration. But in preparing for my next move, I all of a sudden COULDN’T FIND IT! I meticulously went through everything, including every nook & cranny in my car, and in my trailer. But, NOTHING!

I was literally sick, but had no choice but to prepare to GO AND DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN! NO SMALL ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR A 77 YEAR OLD TIRED MOUNTAIN MAN!
At the Rest Area I took my pot and utensils into the rest room to wash them, and as I was doing so I all of a sudden heard something drop onto the pot bag on the floor. I looked down, and……

..THERE MY MEMORY CARD WAS, seemingly HAVING DROPPED DOWN FROM HEAVEN as an ANSWER TO MY DESPERATE SEARCHING & PRAYERS! WOW, HOW GRATEFUL I WAS, so headed for the Maverick Convenience Store

& CELEBRATED WITH A BIG MT. DEW & A DONUT!

THE BOOK IS A TRIP GUIDE with updated information, topographical maps with routes & distances, and MUCH MORE–like a GUIDE TO DO A 856 MILE AUTO-LOOP TOUR of the HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS, with HISTORY, the LEGENDS, the SURVIVAL STORIES OF THOSE WHO DIDN’T MAKE IT and WHY, plus CRITICALLY MY 8 SURVIVAL STORIES & WHY I’M STILL HANGING AROUND...and IMPORTANTLY MY ENTIRE WRITING ON THE ANTI-AGING CHALLENGE….look at me at 83 compared to Bill Gates at 63!

FOR FULL INFORMATION ON THIS & OTHER AREAS, AS 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

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

PASSED THE 86 YEAR GOAL & ON TO 87 –“LEAVING NO TRACE!” in GROVE CANYON — ON TO TOURING THE HIGH UINTAS WITH SHORTEST ROUTE TO DEADHORSE & CRATER LAKES–Utah’s deepest at 147 feet, NOW WITH SPLAKE!

MY GOOD DEED FOR MY 86th BIRTHDAY ON APRIL 19th

The Law: LEAVE NO TRACE!

I CELEBRATED MY BIRTHDAY WITH A HIKE UP GROVE CANYON…and AGAIN FOUND IN THE STILL BLEAK LANDSCAPE SOME GREAT……

…..VISIONS OF NATURE

BEGINNING with one you’ve seen BUT WORTH SEEING AGAIN…..

….A JEWEL STUDDED CONGLOMERATE –-My “QUEEN OF ROCKS”

A new OREGON GRAPE PLANT sprouting
….and a tiny HEAVENLY WILDFLOWER...so tiny most hikers don’t notice it.
….and another of the more than 100 varieties of FOOTHILL WILDFLOWERS I have photographed and identified in the Wasatch and High Uinta foothills. Also so tiny most miss it and I had to use my Nikon camera to get this shot.
This WILDFLOWER was photographed several weeks ago way up high along the trail in a spot warmed by the sun, but it is now sprouting down lower along the trail.
I failed to give this photo the depth of field I needed, but it is another of the early beauties in the canyon. I’ll get a better picture on the next hike.
Here’s one near blooming that will be a beauty I’ll photograph on my next work-out, not classified as a wildflower, rather a shrub.
THEN WE COME TO ONE STILL MOSTLY DORMANT–ONE THAT MOST WOULD FIND SORT OF DRAB & UGLY….BUT you’ll see for me it was BEAUTIFUL–SCRUB OAK, or correctly, GAMBLES OAK.

Me calling it “beautiful” would have many calling me “CRAZY” for which I’m proudly known–even a BYU Agronomist/Animal Husbandry professor who visited me on my dairy in Guatemala began calling me a “RODEO CLOWN” because we didn’t use neither alfalfa, nor silage–both staples in the dairying industry in Utah. I rather showed him our lush pastures–a grass with 23% protein, the same as alfalfa, with our cows pasturing 24 hours/day, 365 days a year….and me laughing at him like a RODEO CLOWN…..

ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!

I still love to call myself a RODEO CLOWN!

ON THE LEFT IS SCRUB OAK BEGINNING TO SPROUT ON MY LAST HIKE. IN THE MIDDLE IS THE WAY IT WILL COME TO LIFE WITH REAL STUNNING BEAUTY, & ON THE RIGHT THE GREEN THAT WILL SOON DECORATE OUR BLEAK FOOTHILLS.
I CONVERT SCRUB OAK INTO BEAUTIFUL RUSTIC FRAMES. The stunningly beautiful picture in the frame is of TRIANGLE MOUNTAIN & RECONNAISSANCE LAKE, considered by me as ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OUTDOOR SCENES IN UTAH. It is located off-trail in the Rock Creek Drainage of the High Uinta’s South Slope.

AGAIN ON THE LEFT WE SEE WHAT NORMALLY WOULD BE SORT OF DRAB OR ROUGHLY UGLY SCRUB OAK, but on the RIGHT WE SEE HOW I WOULD TURN IT INTO BEAUTIFUL FRAMES I WOULD MAKE FOR MY FRIENDS in a TINY WOOD WORKING SHOP IN A SHED when we lived in Springville, Utah.

Here we meet another sort of unattractive tree/shrub that decorates the foothills. It is called CLIFF ROSE, which soon I will show you how UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL IT BECOMES . Next, below I will show you what I do with its elegant wood disguised with its rough bark–which WOOD IS ALSO STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL as you see below what I do with it.
Here we see one of the legs of a coffee table I made for my daughter. I’m sure you can now imagine creating with it other VISIONS OF NATURE, like lamps, etc.

SO, my BIRTHDAY PRESENT for me was to again get way up the mountain with a beautiful view of Utah Valley–and get just a little stronger, with slightly improved balance–preparing me for the HIGH UINTAS come summer…in my 87th year.

A BIG PART OF MY PREPARATION IS TO SOLVE THE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE PROBLEM. Part of that was forced on me during my year+ of being a cripple and losing 32 pounds, but I have now noticed some of it coming back. So, I experimented with myself and learned that after eating EXCESSIVE SUGAR>>MY BLOOD PRESSURE WAS HIGH FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS. Even more so did my BLOOD PRESSURE GO UP FOR TWO DAYS AFTER EATING EXCESSIVE ITEMS WITH SALT like you see to the right below..so I grabbed some of the things responsible for both problems, and…..

….. BURIED THEM IN MY GARDEN PLOT TO FERTILIZE MY: DANDELIONS & the Guatemalan “Miracle Weed” MACUY.

Soon I’ll get around to telling you all about those two items and my diet.

……and my BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR ALL OF YOU has been the MAGNIFICENT VISIONS OF NATURE ….I have shared with you in this post…..now I want to share with you some of the

HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS.

THIS WEEK WE’LL CONTINUE OUR TOUR AROUND THE WILDERNESS AREA, HEADING FOR THE WEST FORK OF BLACKS FORK (of the GREEN RIVER) with our first target being DEADHORSE LAKE we see below.

Below we will look at a map showing the area accessed on the NORTH SLOPE ROAD, the junction with the West Fork road about 18 miles from the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.

FROM THE JUNCTION YOU GO ABOUT 5 MILES EVENTUALLY COMING TO A CROSSING OF THE RIVER WHICH SOMETIMES CAN BE DIFFICULT DEPENDING ON THE TIME OF YEAR AND HOW HIGH THE RIVER IS. YOU’LL SEE AFTER A FEW SCENICS THAT I HAD TROUBLE.
ONE CAN STOP AND CAMP MOST ANYWHERE with WONDERFUL SPOTS CLOSE TO THE RIVER WHERE HUNGRY BROOK TROUT ARE WAITING FOR YOU.
THE SCENERY IS WONDERFUL, BUT HERE, AS WAS THE CASE ON THE East Fork of Bear River, THERE ARE SIGNS OF FOREST FIRES IN THE PAST….SO BE VERY CAREFUL.
WE HAVE NOW COME TO THE CROSSING OF THE RIVER. AS YOU CAN SEE IT IS LATE FALL, EVEN WITH SOME SNOW ON THE MOUNTAINS ALREADY, SO THE RIVER IS LOW. I CROSSED SAFELY BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE REALIZED I HAD A PROBLEM YOU SEE BELOW.
I THOUGHT I HAD GOOD ENOUGH TIRES, BUT THIS WAS THE SECOND TIME IN AN ISOLATED AREA I HAD TIRE TROUBLE–THAT LEFT ME WITHOUT A SPARE, SO I HAD TO CAREFULLY GET BACK TO CIVILIZATION. I THEN GOT A MUCH TOUGHER TIRES, AND JUST TO BE SAFE I ALWAYS CARRIED 2 SPARES– & WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT……. I’VE NEVER HAD ANOTHER FLAT!

THE TRAILHEAD IS ABOUT ANOTHER MILE FROM HERE, and THEN FROM THERE A 7.5 MILE HIKE TO DEADHORSE LAKE. BUT LET ME MENTION RIGHT HERE THAT ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE CANYON THERE ARE HALF A DOZEN SMALL ISOLATED OFF-TRAIL, SELDOM VISITED, LAKES YOU CAN SEE ON THE ENLARGED SECTION OF THE MAP BELOW.

FOUR OF THE SIX HAVE TROUT, 2 WITH BROOK, AND 2 WITH NATIVE CUTTHROAT TROUT.

FULL INFORMATION ON THE LAKES IS FOUND IN MY BOOK WHICH YOU CAN GET FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS AT THE END OF THIS POST.

HERE WE ARE AT DEADHORSE LAKE. THE HIGHLINE TRAIL ZIG-ZAGS UP TO THE PASS ON THE UPPER LEFT FROM WHICH I’LL INSERT A PICTURE PREVIOUSLY USED–BUT WITH A PURPOSE.
THE TURQUOISE COLORATION IS DUE TO GLACIAL TURBIDITY AT A CERTAIN TIME DURING THE SUMMER. DEADHORSE LAKE has TIGER & CUTTHROAT TROUT.

In the right center of the photo is seen EJOD LAKE. Small and not very deep, but has Cutthroat trout the reproduce naturally.

From Deadhorse Lake, to get to CRATER LAKE, you backtrack down the trail to a junction with the West Fork trail, and you continue on the HIGHLINE TRAIL climbing RED KNOB PASS from which, in the photo below, we look back towards Deadhorse Lake and Pass. The weather is a bit tough–which photo, along with the next, were purposely included so you’ll l always be warned that the weather in the Uintas is usually unpredictable….or maybe predictable as it almost always rains some daily…..usually in the afternoon. SO ALWAYS GO PREPARED FOR RAIN WITH A PONCHO THAT WILL ALSO COVER YOUR PACK–unless you have a rainproof cover for you pack as I do.

Once again this picture and the next were taken in the Fall, with the frost having turned the green grass to gold. Deadhorse Lake is in the upper center of this picture. Deadhorse Pass to the upper left of the lake.
FROM RED KNOB PASS WE ZOOM IN ON EXPLORER PEAK with a sliver of CRATER LAKE VISIBLE IN THE GLACIAL CIRQUE .

From the Pass you zig-zag down some and then go off-trail crossing arctic tundra to the base of Explorer Peak where you can camp in the trees along a nice creek that comes out of the lake. From there you can climb up to wonderful CRATER LAKE, which is Utah’s deepest lake at 147 feet. Traditionally it has had brook trout, but a few years ago Tiger trout were planted to help keep the population of brookies down–and let some grow bigger, and provide some tough fishing. Then a couple of years ago 700 SPLAKE–a cross between brook and lake trout were planted. I haven’t heard how they have done, but they have the potential of growing real big and should do great in Crater’s clear, deep waters.

With this photo we have come FULL CIRCLE from where I started this week on my FACEBOOK PAGE. Here I was attempting to climb up a chute to get up on the saddle for the ONE “PERFECT PICTURE” but a snow drift, seen in the previous picture stopped me. But I still got a pretty good picture of this……

ONE LAKE IN THE HIGH UINTAS NO ONE SHOULD FAIL TO GET TO.

FOR FULL INFORMATION ON THIS & OTHER AREAS, AS 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

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A NEW GLITCH–among the many since beginning my High Uinta Wilderness Project in 2003–slowed me down a bit, but I’VE GOT TO KEEP MOVING & found marvelous new VISIONS OF NATURE I want to share with all of you, as well as — THE HIGH UINTA TOUR that CONTINUES to the North Slope’s EAST FORK OF THE BEAR RIVER where I had to use my .45 Colt Defender!

REMEMBER TO HELP IN UKRAINE @: RED CROSS AID TO UKRAINE

TO COMPLETE MY HIGH UINTAS PROJECT-Churchill and his “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE IN!” forced me—from 2003 to 2022–to go through 15 surgeries, 2 radiation treatments & become a “CANCER SURVIVOR” as well as discovering wonderful nutrition supplements — all revealed in my HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS BOOK, on pages 616-649, the opening page below……to awaken your curiosity!

NONE OF IT WAS EASY, and I HAD TO LEARN TO ENDURE A LOT OF PAIN–actually worse today & I’LL CONFESS, as I do in Appendix 5, that 4 or 5 times I had what I call my……

“FOREST GUMP MOMENTS”

Discouraged with life–wouldn’t you know it, BECAUSE OF A WOMAN!he started running all over the country for 3 years and had a following of odd-ball types that ran around after him…..and all of a sudden in the middle of the Arizona desert he stopped and turned towards them. One shouted, “QUIET, HE’S GOING TO SAY SOMETHING!” They expecting some kind of prophetic utterance…..but with heads hung low they all had to find someone else to worship–since FOREST WENT HOME!

BUT, IN MY CASE, I SEEMED TO SOLVE EACH “GLITCH” WITH ANOTHER SURGERY, OR MIRACLE SUPPLEMENT–like Dandelions, AND MADE ANOTHER…..surprise, surprise……..

There were 4 COMEBACKS & now working on ANOTHER!

Since not being able to walk a year or so ago, with a dead right leg, and a misaligned spine that should have killed me–I’ve been doing my darndest–interestingly one of my favorite series on TV, “DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN,” had SULLY, her–mountain man/adopted by the Cheyenne–boyfriend & later husband, had an accident and couldn’t walk–just like happened to me. His self-therapy followed mine and we both learned to walk again— but me now in my 86th YEAR have to sort of…….

….FAKE NOT BEING A CRIPPLEagain!

BUT, thanks to the Lord, I’M GREATLY BLESSED WITH DOING A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF IT…..LAST WEEK MAKING IT WAY UP GROVE CANYON as shown in my last post (scroll down if you missed it) …..

….. but last Friday, my blood pressure was sky high and it took me all morning to get it to near normal–by taking another dose of medication, then 30 minutes later checking the pressure, and then taking a double dose, etc., etc. until getting it near normal and then preparing to GO ALL OUT UP GROVE CANYON…..but at the trailhead REALITY SET IN (as I’m not completely a “dunderhead” — my MAYA BOOK explains that @ https://www.guatemalanfoundation.org/), and after a hike along the foothills I decided:

“I’M PRETTY TIRED…..I THINK I’LL GO HOME NOW!”

…… and NOW WORKING ON SOLVING THE GLITCH, while being careful with short daily exercise efforts–several times a day— at the stairs, etc. and finished the week with some magnificent new VISIONS OF NATURE I want to share with all of you…. I’ll insert below:

These are the best of my VISIONS OF NATURE for this week, every one of them with a different creation process. Keep your eyes open and you’ll be rewarded, and it makes the hike a lot easier. You will notice that this old guy sees beauty in the order of nature–like flowers, plants, and wildlife, but also I even see beauty in the chaos of nature that helped in the creative process shown by these rocks, and on a huge scale the High Uinta Mountains that first were layers of different materials laid down in the ocean, then in gigantic earth movements were uplifted many thousands of feet, then erosion processes beginning with water carving out gullies, ravines, and canyons, and especially in the Uintas with glaciers creating the canyons like the one I show below with the East Fork of the Bear River and Allsop Lake, etc., and leaving beautiful mountains forming the spine of the Uintas, and the chains of mountains between the drainages on the North Slope and others on the South slope. You’ll notice later that I even see beauty–not just in the living trees, but in the dead ones. If you don’t recognize beauty all around us –YOU NEED TO TAKE A TESTOSTERONE BOOSTER! The one I use is ANDRO 400 MAX, that makes a noticeable difference in my mood, attitude, energy and ability to recognize BEAUTY!

NOW TO THE HIGH UINTAS — THIS WEEK FOCUSING ON THE EAST FORK OF BEAR RIVER TRAILHEAD

So far this season–IN PREPARATION FOR THE HIKING & BACKPACKING SEASON– we’ve checked out the lakes accessible from the famous HIGHLINE TRAIL as far as Dead Horse Pass. Then we learned about the TIE HACKERS with a trip of discovery up the Main Fork of the Bear River to HELL’S HJOLE BASIN and learned about famous pioneer artist and photographer GEORGE BEARD. Then we went a little further down the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway to the CHRISTMAS MEADOWS – STILLWATER TRAILHEAD and saw how to get to some wonderful lakes in West & Middle Basins, then up a trail to the east and the AMETHYST BASIN with it’s beautiful lakes. Now we continue down the Scenic Byway to the NORTH SLOPE ROAD and head east, where in a mile or two we turn south on the road to the East Fork of Bear River Trailhead to learn about two separate drainages and lakes, as well as see ruins of the Tie Hackers

This is the TRAILHEAD. Very visible in the background are the evidences of a huge forest fire here years ago, with Forest Service displays giving us great information.

A forest fire–a terrible chaos of nature, soon has nature giving life to the survivors, like the Indian Paintbrush flowers, but you also see other vegetative heroes coming to the rescue.

And, these Yellow Monkey Flowers, but you will mainly see a tree that comes back quickly first and saves the burned areas. It is the UTAH STATE TREE, the QUAKING ASPEN we see sprouting from it’s root system that survives the fire…..

THE QUEEN OF UTAH’S TREES — THE QUAKING ASPEN

May be an image of nature and tree

So, up sprouts from the ashes our UTAH QUEEN of trees, the QUAKING ASPEN.

And soon it becomes a whole forest of trees that protects from erosion, and provides for the much slower-to-sprout evergreens that over many years will reforest the mountains. In fact, in my BOOK I tell the story of one QUAKING ASPEN with the same root system–the same living organism–in the Fish Lake National Forest that is considered to be the largest living organism on the planet earth. For many years the Utah State Tree was the Colorado Spruce, but all of a sudden an Elementary School took the initiative to do what was logical and right and have the QUAKING ASPEN become our State tree, a very worthy QUEEN! I relate the details of that story also of course in my BOOK–YOU’LL SEE THAT MY BOOK IS NOT JUST A GUIDE BOOK FOR FISHERMEN & BACKPACKERS, but each section is prefaced with HIGH UINTA MOUNTAIN: HISTORY, LEGENDS, & SURVIVAL STORIES>>>>

>>>>THAT HAVE SAVED LIVES!

Here we see the more recognizable beautiful Aspen tree with it’s strikingly beautiful white trunk.

May be an image of tree and nature

….and here a few showing how majestic they become.

We are now past the burned area and see in the distance rugged MOUNT BEULAH which we’ll be going by shortly.

Along the trail we see a lot of ruins of the Tie Hackers, including evidences of outhouses, garbage dumps, and in the cabins higher doors, plus windows–all evidences that they are from

the 1912-1935 Tie Hacker period.

If you look for nails, you will find only round ones that weren’t invented until 1910. No square nails like we found in Main Fork in our last report on the early period of Tie Hackers–1867-1880.

In the area of these ruins is where you can ford the river, and bushwhack your way off-trail up to Lake Lorena–which is not in the Wilderness area, but is a “wilderness lake.” All the info is in my BOOK.

As I moved up the canyon I passed a herd of free range cattle, and a little later I lie down to rest a bit to be awakened all of a sudden by a CHAROLAIS BULL.

The bull wanted to move his cows up the canyon, and I was blocking his way, and HE HAD FIRE COMING FROM HIS EYES, SNOT DRIPPING FROM HIS NOSTRILS, AND SMOKE BELLOWING OUT OF HIS EARS WHILE PAWING THE GROUND READY TO CHARGE.…so I had to fire a warning shot and he swung away from me as you see here.

This was one of the two places and times when I had to use my .45 Colt Defender to scare off a possible attacker. The other time was with a mama moose when I carelessly got between her and her young one.

Soon we come to a fork in the trail — the right hand fork crosses the river and goes up a long canyon to Priord Lake that we saw from a saddle from the Rock Creek Drainage to the westseen again below:

Here I am viewing Priord Lake from the saddle climbing up from the Rock Creek Drainage. Also in this above timberline basin is Norice Lake. Another lake is accessed from down the trail where you can bushwhack your way to this lake–Lake BR-44. Once again, info in my BOOK along with topographical maps.

From that trail junction you soon begin to climb quickly, with the river cascading down the canyon.

Then you come to the high country. The saddle from which the Allsop Lake picture was taken is seen in the far left upper center. It was at the foot of that saddle where the remains or Eric Robinson were found, 5 years after he went missing.

As we move up the basin we view the beautiful ELEPHANT HEAD FLOWER, and get a great view of a special mountain called THE CATHEDRAL.

And, soon we come to ALLSOP LAKE that has Native Cutthroat Trout.

ALLSOP LAKE as seen from the saddle above Reconnaissance Lake and the Rock Creek Drainage. Canyons like this one were gauged out by glaciers many years ago. Note: A friend provided me with this photo. I’ll have to confess as an old guy my memory has failed me temporarily not remembering his name. Please forgive me.

One of Allsop Lake’s feisty Native Cutthroat trout excited to see me come after him.

I got him, and then released him to grow a bit more. The strain of cutthroat trout is a bit different here, with the golden yellow color.

Here’s the trip information at the time when I lived in Springville up to May 2013. The backpacking distance is round trip.

FOR FULL INFORMATION ON THIS & OTHER AREAS, AS WELL AS TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS WITH ROUTES, DISTANCES & LABELS — get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTASsend 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

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UPDATE 4/3/22: WAY UP GROVE CANYON — “VISIONS OF NATURE” blossoming/being REVEALED — Tour of the HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS continues — to HELL’S HOLE BASIN & discovering “The UNSUNG HEROES without whom THE WEST WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN WON”

UP GROVE CANYON AGAIN–THIS TIME GOING FARTHER THAN I EVER THOUGHT I WAS CAPABLE OF…..THANKS BE TO THE LORD!
OREGON GRAPE one of the first plants brightening our hills and mountains.
THIS ONE WAS TOO BIG TO TAKE HOME & PROCESS–IT WAS THE WHOLE MOUNTAIN SIDE!
LOOKS PRETTY BARREN STILL, BUT ZOOMING IN WE SEE SIGNS OF LIFE!

FOR ME UNENDING MARVELOUS…..

“VISIONS OF NATURE”

WE’LL TAKE A PICTURE OF THIS ONE EACH WEEK TO SEE HOW IT DEVELOPS.

LAST WEEK I GOT TO THE FACE OF THE MOUNTAIN WHERE YOU SEE WAY BELOW US A WINDING TRAIL RIGHT CENTER…..AND FELT GREAT SO KEPT CREEPING UP THE MOUNTAIN!

I GOT TO WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE TRAIL GOING UP TO THE V SHAPE IN THE CANYON WHERE THERE ARE WATERFALLS, THEN A BENCH WITH A PLAQUE ABOUT SOMEONE WHO LOST THEIR LIFE UP HERE YEARS AGO, THEN A BRIDGE, & INTO THE ASPENS…..I’LL GET TO THEM SOON! A YEAR AGO WHEN I COULDN’T WALK, I WOULD HAVE NEVER BELIEVED I’D BE BLESSED WITH DOING SO MUCH–EVEN THOUGH ADMITTING IT IS ISN’T EASY!

WE NOW CONTINUE OUR TOUR OF THE HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS, following the descriptions in the book pages 175-176.

GET THE ONLINE BOOK SO YOU’LL HAVE MUCH MORE DETAIL, INCLUDING TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS.

To get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTASsend 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 a 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
pages 175-176 of the HIGH UINTA BOOK
THERE ARE NO SIGNS AT THIS TRAILHEAD, AS IT IS ONE OF MY “unofficial” ONES. TO HELP ORIENTE YOU I’LL INSERT BELOW A GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF THE ROAD YOU TAKE TO THE RIGHT, GOING DOWN TO A CIRCLE WHERE YOU SEE A CAR.
WE SEE MY CAR PARKED DOWN WHAT I CALL “THE HILLIARD FLUME PATHWAY” CONSTRUCTED IN 1870 BY THE “TIE HACKERS.”

Along with getting you the 5 miles to the HELL’S HOLE BASIN & ITS LAKE, I will introduce you to the “UNSUNG HEROES WITHOUT WHOM THE WEST WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN WON–THE TIE HACKERS.”

In the 1860’s the Transcontinental Railroad was being built crossing the U.S. and in 1867 millions of railroad ties were needed to get it across Wyoming and Utah. Irish immigrant lumbermen were hired to work 12 months a year in the North Slope of the Uinta Mountains with their broad axes to make railroad ties. They became known as “THE TIE HACKERS!” Without their railroad ties there wouldn’t have been a Transcontinental Railroad–yet in the history books about the construction of the railroad, tie hackers are never mentioned, nor given any credit.

MY BOOK HELPS REMEDY THAT HISTORICAL ERROR, AS I DISCUSS THEM, THEIR HEROIC EXPLOITS, COURAGE WORKING RIGHT THROUGH THE WINTERS, THEIR GHOST TOWNS–one of them called, “The liveliest, if not the wickedest town in America,” another site named “SUICIDE PARK,” AND HOW THEY GOT THEIR TIES NORTH INTO WYOMING. One way was described in a Forest Service display on the Whitney Road a mile or so north from the Hells Hole Trailhead, taking off up to the west. Said display has weathered away and is today illegible, but I got the following picture back in the early days of my UINTA PROJECT.

The Hilliard Flume takes off from Gold Hill, to the west of the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, accessed up the Whitney Road. The history books say no remnants remain of the flume, as by 1880 it fell into disuse, the materials cannibalized by ranchers and others, or rotted away–EXCEPT FOR WHAT I HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED–ALONG WITH MUCH OF THE HISTORY IN MY BOOK, in YouTube VIDEOS ACCESSED FROM MY WEBSITE & IN THIS WEBSITE REPORT.

To get to Hell’s Hole Basin, from the edge of the parking circle in the Google Earth view, a trail crosses Hayden Fork, and goes east between two hills towards Main Fork of the Bear River. Main Fork was crucial for the Hilliard Flume as water was needed for the flume, so the HOWE FEEDER FLUME was constructed taking water out of Main Fork, said flume coming between the two hills, then downstream it added its water to the Hilliard Flume. As you do the short hike to Main Fork, keep an eye out to your left and you should see what I picture below–unless it is all rotted away since it was way back in the 1870’s, with most of it today gone–EXCEPT IN MY PHOTOS WHICH ARE THE ONLY ONES PUBLISHED OF THIS GREAT EFFORT.

AS YOU GET CLOSER TO THE ROAD THAT PARALLELS MAIN FORK, KEEP LOOKING TO YOUR LEFT and YOU SHOULD SEE A CUT IN A SIDE HILL THAT WAS THE PATH OF THE FLUME.
HERE WE ARE SEEING THE PATHWAY OF THE FLUME FROM UP ON THE HILL WITH THE TRAIL IN THE DISTANCE–UPPER LEFT CORNER.

THEN YOU COME TO A ROAD–A CLOSED ROAD–AND CONTINUE SOUTH, and AS YOU GO LOOK TO THE AREA BETWEEN THE ROAD AND THE STREAM AND YOU’LL NOTICE A LEVEL AREA PARALELLING THE STREAM--IT WAS ALONG THIS LEVEL THAT I BEGAN DISCOVERING RUINS OF CABINS, SUPPORTS FOR THE FLUME & PLANKS.

RUINS OF CABINS, STUMPS, ETC. FROM THAT PERIOD, OVER 150 YEARS AGO, ARE MOSTLY ROTTED AWAY and even more so now than when I took these pictures more than 10 years ago.
CABINS FROM THAT PERIOD (1867-1880) CAN BE IDENTIFIED BY: MOSTLY ROTTED AWAY, SMALL SIZE, NO WINDOWS, & ROCKS FROM CHIMNEYS AS THEY DIDN’T USE CAST IRON STOVES. OF GREAT IMPORTANCE IN IDENTIFYING RUINS FROM THAT PERIOD ARE THE NAILS–SQUARE NAILS as you see below. Round nails were not invented until 1910.
GRADUALLY I BEGAN FINDING REMNANTS OF THE FLUME, FIRST WITH BRACES OR SUPPORT STRUCTURES, ALWAYS WITH SQUARE NAILS–80 tons of them were used in the construction of these two flumes.
AND I FOUND PLANKS FROM THE FLUME, MOSTLY ROTTED AWAY–and MAYBE TODAY GONE. THERE ARE FOREST SERVICE REPORTS ABOUT THESE FLUMES BUT NO AVAILABLE PHOTOGRAPHS I KNOW OF , EXCEPT MINE.
EVENTUALLY THE PATHWAY OF THE FLUME GOES UP THROUGH MEADOW AREAS WITH A CHAIN OF SUPPORT STRUCTURES.
HERE ARE REMNANTS OF THE DIVERSION DAM WHERE THEY TOOK WATER OUT FOR THE FLUME. This picture and the next are courtesy of my friend Albert Richens.

To get to HELL’S HOLE BASIN, continue up the road until it takes a sharp turn ending in a gravel pit. The trail takes off from there and climbs up to Hell’s Hole Lake that has native cutthroat trout waiting for you.

Here we meet famous pioneer artist and photographer, GEORGE BEARD and his wife LOVENIA. You dedicated High Uinta lovers might recognize her name, as George gave it to the first 13,000+ mountain you come to on the Highline Trail as you go east past the Deadhorse Lake area and come to the Lake Fork Drainage. See it below.

Majestic 13,219 ft. high MOUNT LOVENIA with in the foreground what I have named East Fork Pass, 12,150 ft. one of the highest in the Uinta Mountains. It is at the head of the East Fork of Blacks Fork of the Green River from where you can see the most impressive view of the spine of the High Uinta Mountains I’ll show you below:

There is more information about GEORGE BEARD in my book, but best add here that he is famous for naming, and having named, important Uinta lakes: First, in 1906 a government surveyor asked him which was the largest lake in the Uintas? He pointed to one on the map, and said, “This is the grandaddy of them all!” That name stuck as GRANDADDY LAKE and consequently THE GRANDADDY BASIN with it’s 26 fishable lakes. Way east in the Uinta River Drainage, near Trail Rider Pass is found BEARD LAKE, where I caught an eastern brook trout that would have been a Utah State record if I could have got it out to civilization to be weighed and measured. Then following the trail from said pass towards Lake Atwood, you come to above timberline GEORGE BEARD LAKE where on my 27 day expedition I had the fastest fishing, at the head of an alpine basin I have named GEORGE BEARD BASIN. More details and maps showing all these locations in my BOOK.

GEORGE BEARD’S connection to HELL’S HOLE BASIN is mostly because in a visit he made here he wrote:

“HERE I SAW THE LARGEST GRIZZLY I HAVE EVER SEEN!”

REMEMBER, YOU MIGHT FIND INTERESTING THE BOOK ABOUT MY HALF CENTURY

“IMPOSSIBLE DREAM” IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYANS, with information at: https://www.guatemalanfoundation.org/

3/26/2022: CHALLENGE to hike & backpack again — More “VISIONS OF NATURE” — NEW HIGH UINTA FRIENDS! — WEEKLY SNOW DEPTHS IN UINTAS — Final segment on HIGHLINE TRAIL west: Featuring THE ROCK CREEK DRAINAGE –THE BOOKS — Remember UKRAINE & the RED CROSS……..

DAILY THE STAIRS &

THEN EVERY FRIDAY UP TO THE FOOT OF TIMPANOGOS HIKING UP GROVE CANYON, EACH WEEK A LITTLE FURTHER UP THE CANYON & HIGHER ABOVE UTAH VALLEY

MY GOAL THIS WEEK TO GET UP TO THE THIRD LONG SWITCHBACK WHERE THE TRAIL OVERLOOKS THE VALLEY & TURNS UP THE CANYON HIGH ABOVE THE CREEK.

THE SECOND SWITCHBACK TOOK ME HIGH ABOVE THE CANYON WHERE I HAD GRADUALLY GOT A LITTLE FURTHER EACH WEEK. THE COUNTRY-SIDE STILL PRETTY BLEAK, BUT WITH WARMING TEMPERATURES WE SHOULD SOON SEE SOME BUDS APPEAR & THEN GRADUALLY GREEN WILL EXPLODE ON US!

FINALLY MADE IT & SAT DOWN FOR MY PICNIC LUNCH and NEEDED REST.

ALL PRETTY “MICKEY MOUSE” BUT CONSIDERING A YEAR AGO I COULDN’T EVEN WALK–WITH NO MUSCLES IN MY LEGS THAT HAD ME LOOKING LIKE A HOLOCAST VICTIM & NO BALANCEI FEEL MORE THAN GRATEFUL FOR BEING BLESSED BY THE LORD WITH FOR ME “MIRACULOUS” PROGRESS & VERY REAL HOPE FOR SOME KIND OF “EXTREME LIGHT WEIGHT BACKPACKING” IN THE HIGH UINTAS!

GOING DOWN, WITH STEEP DROP-OFFS ALONG THE WAY, HAD ME HIKING VERY CAREFULLY USING MY TREKKING POLES & IT WAS EASY TO IMAGINE HOW OLD GUYS LIKE ME–WITH POOR BALANCE– ON SOME HIGH UINTA TRAILS TO PASSES, COULD LOSE BALANCE & FALL OUT OF SIGHT TO NEVER BE FOUND! DOWN LOWER I CAREFULLY LOOKED FOR THE ROCK WITH A FOSSIL FROM MY LAST HIKE. I FOUND IT AND at home WASHED & VARNISHED IT–SEEN BELOW.

IT CLEARLY ISN’T A SPRING OFF OF SOME HIKER’S PISTOL FROM MODERN TIMES, RATHER A LIVING ORGANISM TURNED INTO STONE OVER THOUSANDS OF YEARS. IMAGE WHAT IT WAS!

NOW I’LL TELL YOU OF A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE & MY TERRIBLE GOOF!

SOON AFTER FINDING MY ROCK I WAS RESTING A BIT WHEN A TALL GOOD LOOKING HIKER, WITH HIS BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER, CAME DOWN THE TRAIL–STOPPED & SPOKE:

“YOU’RE CORDELL ANDERSEN!”

I was pleased to learn he was one of my “HIGH UINTA FRIENDS” who I had never met, but he followed me on my website, and had even driven to 444 Elm St. in American Fork, to give me $20 and get the link on his computer my HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS book, but nobody was home. I told him to just send a $20 bill in the mail along with his email, and I’d immediately email him the link and told him he could share with a few others as MY INTEREST is to get it spread around to help ALL HAVE GREATER AND SAFER ADVENTURES IN THE UINTAS. We talked some about my struggles, etc. and he did give me their names–but I goofed by not jotting them down on my smartphone and taking their picture–as an OLD GUY my memory is slipping. I think I remember the names, but to not completely embarrass myself, best wait until I hear from him, and then I’ll introduce him to everybody.

WOW! I remembered right! I received his letter and $25 in the mail today with a nice letter and request for a thumb drive with the book. My High Uinta Friend is: JEFF JOHANSEN, and his daughter is KARA. In my note I even got the SEN right, easy for me because I’m also an SEN Andersen. We are both either Danish, or Norwegian, in my case a little of each. I even had an ancestor who was KING of Norway for a short while in the 1200’s until he was poisoned!

Thanks, Jeff, for the order. I’ll get it in the mail today, and hope to meet you tomorrow (Friday)–as I understand it won’t be raining–on the Grove Creek trail between 2:00 and 4:00. Best not send the thumb drive, but take it with me tomorrow in hopes we meet–so I can get that needed photo of–YES, the “GOOD LOOKING” hiker & his “beautiful daughter.”

GET THE BOOK FOR DETAILS IN PREPARING YOUR SUMMER ADVENTURES!

NOW TO CONTINUE OUR MINI-TOUR OF THE HIGH UINTAS

First just a simple mention of the SNOW DEPTHS in crucial places (posted weekly here–later by the day) :

BALD MOUNTAIN PASS…..3/26 = 37.3″ of snow

WOLF CREEK PASS……3/26 = 43.5″

HEWINTA on the North Slope……3/26 = 26″

THE TOUR will first take us to “THE WILDERNESS AREA” – Utah’s greatest Wilderness.…so far we have reviewed lakes accessible from the Norths Slope’s Christmas Meadows Trailhead–which logically we should have held off on until after the Grandaddy of Uinta’s Trails we have been reviewing taking you to lakes accessible along the Highline Trail . We have seen the Wilder/Wyman/Packard area, Naturalist Basin, Carolyn, Bedround & Allen Lakes, Cyclone Pass and Sea Lion & Thompson Lakes, & The FOUR LAKES BASIN, taking us to Pigeon Milk Springs. From the Springs we head east climbing first ROCKY SEA PASS (11,200 ft.)……

Mahana, my daughter along with me on a Goat Packing trip with Clay Zimmerman, on the way to ROCKY SEA PASS in 2005.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PASS MAHANA FIRST EXPERIENCED SNOW!

…… that early in the season has a large snow bank on the eastern side–so be careful. See details & topographical maps on pages 168-173 of the HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS book.

In this first segment of the HIGHLINE TRAIL we will review the upper reaches of the Rock Creek Drainage. The lower reaches will be mentioned when we swing around to the South Slope. From here below the pass to the east, we head north to swing around the large basin, and 1.7 miles from the Pass come to a junction where the actual Highline Trail goes down directly in a mile to cross Rock Creek where there’s a trail 12 miles long coming up along the creek from the Trailhead, but following the actual Highline Trail you climb out to meet the trail–that we will now follow swinging around the upper reaches of the Drainage.

We first come to the Huntley Ponds, seen above, that have brook trout, and just a little further Brinkley Lake with Mt. Ostler way to the north on the north side of the spine of the Uintas.

Another mile north we come to another junction, with one trail heading down across the basin passing by Black, Ouray, Jack & Jill Lakes and continues on to join the trail that circles the upper reaches. We will rather take the left fork to visit Rosalie, Uintah, and Margie Lakes, then swing up above timberline passing by Glady’s Lake, and then drop down to Lightning, and Helen Lakes. Before dropping down to Lightning is where I left the trail and climbed off-trail up to the Ostler Saddle to get a picture of Amethyst Lake already seen. Below, we are looking at the Ostler Saddle over Lightning Lake.

LIGHTNING LAKE with the OSTLER SADDLE in the background.

From between Lightning and Helen Lakes we follow the trail down some and bypass a basin to the east–that you can climb up into it and from there climb the saddle to see on the North Slope Priord Lake.

PRIORD Lake is where is born one of the tributaries of the Bear River on the North Slope

MANY YEARS AGO I MADE A CRUDE PANORAMA–combining three photos- of the Priord/Norice Lakes basin, I’ll insert below to give you an idea about how spectacular the scenery is.

FROM THAT little side-trip, WE FOLLOW THE TRAIL JUST PAST THE NEXT POINT OF THE MOUNTAIN and after crossing THE FIRST STREAM COMING DOWN FROM THE BASIN, you can climb northeast on the south side of that mountain point which is basically Triangle Mt., and in about 1 mile of easy climbing come to what some of us have called:

ONE OF THE TWO MOST BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN SCENES IN UTAH, TRIANGLE MOUNTAIN and RECONNAISSANCE LAKE.

FROM HERE YOU CAN ALSO CLIMB THE SADDLE TO THE NORTHEAST AND SEE ALLSOP LAKE WHERE THE EAST FORK OF THE BEAR RIVER IS BORN. In the cliffs above Allsop Lake were found the bones and equipment of Eric Robison, Australian adventurer who was supposed to be following the Highline Trail 5 years before when he went missing.
HERE IS WHERE MAHANA CAUGHT HER FIRST TROUT & OBVIOUSLY LOVED IT!

FROM RECONNAISSANCE LAKE YOU CAN WANDER DOWN THROUGH THE BASIN VISITING BENCH LAKE (on the way up), BOOT, DOUG & JODIE LAKES, and then find the trail where one comes from Jack & Jill Lake, and soon the other, the actual HIGLINE TRAIL that has cut across the basin, and on it follow it around the point of the next mountain to LEDGE LAKE, where also is found the junction of a trail coming up 16 miles from the Rock Creek Trailhead. From there follow the Highline Trail about 1 mile north to DEADHORSE PASS, but I recommend along that one mile cut across a short stretch of arctic tundra to visit CONTINENT LAKE, you see me fishing in below.

From here it is just a short hike to DEADHORSE PASS.

HERE MAHANA IS ON 11,700 ft. high DEADHORSE PASS.

Below is seen DEADHORSE LAKE with it’s turquoise colored waters from glacial turbidity common on the North slope in high altitude lakes, along with another view of the Lake as our concluding photo of this post, plus one more….

AT DEADHORSE LAKE IT HAD RAINED IN THE AFTERNOON, THEN STOPPED, AND EVEN THOUGH THE LIGHT WASN’T GOOD I WENT STALKING AS I HAD SEEN NICE HOOFPRINTS OF A GOOD MULE DEER.….. and ALL OF A SUDDEN HE BOLTED WITH ME TRYING TO HOLD MY TELEPHOTO LENSE STEADY & CREATED AN INTERESTING ACTION SHOT.
MAHANA, ON THIS PACK-GOAT TRIP BECAME THE FIRST GUATEMALAN TO HIKE THE ENTIRE HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS AREA!

GET THE ONLINE BOOK & PREPARE FOR MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE & SAFE ADVENTURES.

To get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTASsend 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. Send to: Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003

And remember, the 570 page book,

A 50 YEAR “IMPOSSIBLE DREAM” AMONG MY PEOPLE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA,

…….that is now finished “completely” with one more page added with a portrait of each of my TWO FAMILIES.

TO SEE A DESCRIPTION OF THE ONLINE BOOK & BE ABLE TO GET IT ON YOUR COMPUTER, go to: https://www.guatemalanfoundation.org/

REMEMBER: Each Wednesday on my Facebook Page–by evening I will have a new post in Spanish with a historical review each week of photographs of that 50 year experience–eventually with THOUSANDS OF PHOTOS, many never seen before — and of course every Saturday a post & report like this one of my

CHALLENGE & the HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS!

ACUERDENSE QUE CADA MIERCOLES PARA LA NOCHE PONDRE EN MI PAGINA DE FACEBOOK UN NUEVO REPORTAJE HISTORICO DE MIS 50 ANOS ENTRE LOS MAYAS–AL FIN CON MILES DE FOTOS NUNCA VISTAS ANTES….DE CADA UNO DE UDS.!

IN THE MEANTIME HELP IN UKRAINE @: RED CROSS AID TO UKRAINE

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My email address is: cordellandersen@hotmail.com

“RED DAWN” & MY YOUTH — UKRAINE–An ATROCITY (horror & wickedness) because of ABSURDITY (insanity & idiocy) — but, THEY NOT GIVING IN–NOR WILL I! PEACE IN THE HILLS with PURPOSE — More VISIONS of NATURE & Dr. W. Kenneth Hamblin — BACK TO THE HIGHLINE TRAIL accessing beautiful areas!

I describe in detail in my Maya Book an ATROCITY in Guatemala because of important people believing an ABSURDITY, pages 442-456, and in a sense followed Clint Eastwood’s advise from his movie,

THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES, on page 555, part of what he said was: “Remember, when it looks bad like you’re not going to make it, then you have to get mean! I mean plumb mad dog mean! Because if you lose your head and give up, then you neither live nor win. You have to be a guerrilla fighter and take the fight to the enemy!” You’ll have to read my book to see how I became very honest and frank in telling the history–which some important people are supposed to study carefully……the full 569 pages–with lots of beautiful photos…… go to: https://www.guatemalanfoundation.org/

Now we have to mention the Atrocity going on in:

UKRAINE

THE HEARTBREAKING ATROCITY IN UKRAINE & THE COURAGEOUS “NOT GIVING IN” WILL OF THE PEOPLE BRINGS TO MIND SOMETHING FROM MY YOUTH.…….

….. in Provo, Utah (1952) there was fear of a Chinese invasion of the west coast & I remember vividly us guys from the neighborhood planning on heading into the mountains with our deer rifles and becoming guerrilla fighters–and we loaded up on extra ammo–cheap Army Surplus 30-06 cartridges– to be ready. Years later our dream happened in the movie RED DAWN!

TODAY THAT IS HAPPENING IN THE COURAGEOUS FIGHT BY THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE…..THOUSANDS, INCLUDING GRANDMA, GETTING THEIR AK-47 & WILLING TO FIGHT and DIE RATHER THAN GIVE IN!

IN 1967 THAT WAS IN PART MY MOTIVATION TO GET OUT ON THE FRONT LINES IN GUATEMALA TO OPPOSE THE CUBAN/COMMUNIST EFFORT TO TURN THE COUNTRY INTO ANOTHER CUBA–YES, I ARMED MYSELF TOO, and OVER THE YEARS GOT BETTER WEAPONS, after having a DREAM, “seeing me fight off and win against the guerrillas with a Baby Browning .25 which kept jamming with me struggling each time to unjam, then to fight on to win–then the Army arrived to collect the bodies and an officer hearing about how I eliminated the attackers advised me to get rid of the Baby Browning and get larger caliber weapons of the “BEST BRANDS,” which I did including with David’s help, a sub-machine gun!”

BUT OUR MAIN EFFORT WAS TO WORK TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF POVERTY & IGNORANCE THAT HAD OPENED THE DOOR TO THE “GUERRILLA WAR!”

THE “ATROCITY” in Uktraine, now with me a bit older–has at least MOVED ME TO DONATE TO THE RED CROSS TO HELP WHICH I RECOMMEND ALL OF YOU DOING TOO! AND ALSO–for me–WORK HARDER TO GET IN SHAPE–for the High Uintas, and keep alive long enough to finish my reports with thousands of pictures from Guatemala, and/or to be a guerrilla fighter sneaking down the face of Mt. Timpanogos to make devastating hits on the enemy–I can at least be a good snipper!

SO I PERSIST DAILY WITH MY STAIRS AT THE AMPHITHEATER/JOGGING BEHIND MY WALKER, & ONCE A WEEK UP TO THE FOOT OF MT. TIMPANOGOS & GROVE CANYON you see in this shot a couple of miles from my Cabin-A.

AND, AS YOU SEE BELOW I’M ALSO WORKING ON KEEPING FROM GAINING BACK THE 30+ LBS. I’VE LOST DURING MY BACK-ORDEAL–GETTING MAD AT MYSELF FOR BUYING COOKIES & OTHERS SUCH STUFF and ALONGSIDE OF MY CABIN–BURYING IT IN MY GARDENING PLOT ALONG WITH ANYTHING THAT WILL DECOMPOSE–to produce for me my Guatemalan “Miracle weed-MACUY”

Burying what my body doesn’t need to fertilize my MACUY
THIS WAS MY GARDEN OF “MACUY” IN 2021. IT WILL BE BETTER THIS UPCOMING SEASON WITH ALL THE STUFF I ADD TO IMPROVE THE SOIL. I’LL SHOW YOU–NEXT WEEK–HOW I EAT THE NUTRITIOUS LEAVES–SHOWN BY AN ANALYSIS OF ANACAFE in Guatemala to be more nutritious than any of the domesticated vegetables we now have to pay too much for!

AND, YOU CAN SEE I’M TAKING MY GOALS SERIOUSLY–NOW, BY ADDING A LITTLE WEIGHT–NOT ON MY BACK THAT WOULD HURT ME, RATHER WITH WAIST PACKS loaded with my picnic lunch, water, emergency stuff I always take–even on these simple hikes–THE WEIGHT YESTERDAY COMING TO 8 LBS.–most of it my professional NIKON CAMERA AND ITS GREAT (but heavy) 18mm. to 400mm. ZOOM LENS, but has me thinking for the High Uintas I might have to sadly sacrifice that and just go with my smart phone–at least to begin with, but as I get stronger I’m sure I’ll soon be lugging my Nikon again to get great photos of VISIONS OF NATURE to share with all of my friends.

ACTUALLY FOR BACKPACKING IN THE UINTAS I WILL HAVE MY 4.5 lb. SURVIVAL BACKPACK (shown on my tiny backpack last summer–scroll way down to see it), PLUS THESE COUPLE OF WAIST PACKS, PLUS A NEW LUMBAR/WAISTE PACK I’LL SHOW YOU LATER–THAT WILL MAKE POSSIBLE GOING FOR SEVERAL DAYS IN THE HIGH COUNTRY IN MY 87th YEAR.

I WASN’T ALONE ON THE GROVE CREEK TRAIL, BUT ALSO MET A COUPLE OF BACKPACKERS WITH THEIR MOM!

I’M GRADUALLY INCREASING THE DISTANCE TOO–YESTERDAY HIKING ABOUT A MILE UP THE CANYON--FOR A TOTAL OF 2 MILES round trip! I’LL ADMIT IT TIRED ME OUT, BUT IN A MONTH I’VE AT LEAST TRIPLED MY DISTANCE, & HELPING TO MAKE THE CONSTANT BACK PAIN ENJOYABLE WAS THE CONSTANT EYE OUT FOR MORE “VISIONS OF NATURE” YOU’LL SEE BELOW WITH A NEW FLOWER BLOSSOMING. IT’S NOT MUCH, BUT I’M MAKING PROGRESS as is THE SPRING!

ANOTHER LITTLE TRICK, TO MAKE WHAT FOR ME IS PAINFUL PROGRESS, IS UNSELFISHLY WORKING ON HELPING TO KEEP OUR BEAUTIFUL OUTDOORS LITTER-FREE BY PICKING UP THE GARGAGE ALONG THE TRAIL, or along the STAIRWAYS!

TAKE ALONG WITH YOU A SHOPPING BAG & MAKE A LITTLE COLLECTION OF ANYTHING NOT NATURAL! BENDING OVER A FEW TIMES ON EVERY HIKE WILL ALSO BE A BLESSING FOR YOUR BODY!

“LEAVE NO TRACE!”

GLANCE UPWARDS TOO….and ZOOM IN ON THE “VISIONS OF NATURE” ABOVE YOU & BELOW YOU AT YOUR FEET…..& BE REWARDED WITH CLOSE-UP VISIONS of FASCINATION & BEAUTY!
WITH EACH OF THESE JEWELS OF NATURE & MANY MORE YOU’LL FIND–IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY, TRY AND ENVISION & IMAGINE WHAT WERE THE EARTH PROCESSES THAT CREATED THEM & HOW MANY YEARS DID IT TAKE? AND, HOW ABOUT THE INCREDIBLE ONE WE SEE BELOW?

WOW! IS WHAT COMES TO MIND WITH THIS CONGLOMERATE BEAUTY–each of those different colored rocks was once a part of a layer created by the rivers washing different materials into the sea forming sedimentary layers, eventually uplifting them above the ocean, then turning each layer into stone, followed by another cataclysmic earth process breaking it all up into pieces and then the water in the bottom of creeks and rivers gradually wearing off their sharp edges turning them into rounded stones that then, in another earth creation process jumbled them together in yet another layer that turned it all into stone that was then broken up by more catastrophic earth movements followed by gigantic uplifts moving it all thousands of feet higher creating……for example the High Uinta Mountains, then with erosion processes–like glaciers, and rivers carving out canyons, and valleys, etc., etc. WOW!

HERE’S ANOTHER EXAMPLE TO STIR OUR IMAGINATIONS WITH HOW IT WAS CREATED, somehow with rocks of a different age and process being inserted into the sedimentary lays as they were forming.

My fascination with rocks & minerals began in 1954 as a freshman at BYU when for a year I was a Geology majoralong with Ted Packard and Charlie Peterson–my original two High Uinta buddies–I ending that year with a graduate class in GEOMORPHOLOGY, I being the lone freshman along with 15 graduate students–and Dr. Rigby graded using the curve– and how grateful I was to get a C!

Later my first commercial project as a freelance photographer in the 1960’s was photographing all the rocks and minerals for Geology Professor, Dr. W. Kenneth Hamblin, who used them as the basis for his first book, now in its 9th edition–which photographs made him famous, and rich. Two of his books are available at Amazon and seen below:

Go to AMAZON for interesting details, like, “The Ninth Edition continues to offer a stunning and sophisticated art program that is virtually unmatched by any other geology text.” His textbooks for many years, originally and maybe still with my photographs, have been used by universities all over the globe.

Dr. Hamblin passed on in 2009 at the age of 81.

I might add, when he would bring me a new collection to be photographed, we would talk and once I asked him if he fished or hunted. His reply,

“Hobbies are only for people who don’t love their profession!”

MY SECOND–and last– SIGNIFICANT PROJECT AS A “FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER” was my 3rd exploratory trip to Guatemala in 1966, but first to the Izapa archaeological site in Southern Mexico with Garth Norman getting for him with night-photography the picture(s) he used to make himself famous–of the TREE OF LIFE STONE (see the MAYA MOUNTAINS BOOK). A few months later, with my entire Family, we made our 4th exploratory trip lasting 75 days, then gave away my 4″x5″ professional cameras, and prepared our move made the next year…..me becoming for the next 35 years what I have sometimes called, “A TROPICAL TRAMP,” other labeling me as a “RODEO CLOWN” and others a “MODERN AMMON!”

THIS IS MY SELECTION PROCESSED of the many COLLECTED SO FAR OF ROCKS FROM MY EFFORTS TO CLIMB STAIRS & HIKE GROVE CREEK CANYON. I’ve washed them, then varnished them to bring out their beauty, which you can do on the trail by just wetting with water a rock you envision as beautiful, with one more below, followed by one from my recent hike with a fossil.
NOTE: If you object to me varnishing them to create stunning beauty, think how all of that beautiful natural wood in your house would look, if it wasn’t finished with a protective & beauty enhancing coating of varnish, polyurethane, etc. ? (I actually use polyurethane).
IT’S FASCINATING TO NOTE HOW SOME OF US SEE BEAUTY IN WHAT IS REALLY “THE CHAOS OF NATURE” chaos being a disorderly mass, yet we are intrigued by it and see in it beauty. By the way, IF YOU DON’T, you should take regularly a Testosterone Enhancer (like Andro 400 Max), which, among other things improves your mood and ability to appreciate beauty.
ON MY NEXT HIKE UP GROVE CANYON–Friday, March 25th–I’LL BRING THIS ONE HOME, CLEAN IT UP & PROCESS IT TO SEE BETTER WHAT WE’VE GOT and LIKELY INSERT IT BELOW.

NOW TO THE HIGH UINTAS & MORE AREAS ACCESSIBLE FROM THE HIGHLINE TRAIL

OUR LAST AREA VISITED WAS ALLEN LAKE. From there you can go northwest to hit the trail or just bushwhack your way 1/2 mile north to get to the FOUR LAKES BASIN, first coming to Daynes Lake you see below but taken from half-way up to Cyclone Pass, with a lightning storm over distant Bald Mountain.

This hike to Bedground and Allen Lakes, then to the Four Lakes Basin and over Cyclone Pass, is all a side trip from the Highline Trail we will get back to in our next post, but first well climb Cyclone Pass (11,150 ft.) to pay a visit to two quite isolated lakes. First, from the pass we see Sea Lion Lake off to the southeast.

FROM 11,150 ft. CYCLONE PASS: AS YOU CAN SEE, THE HIKE TO SEA LION LAKE ENTAILS 1.3 miles of DIFFICULT “BOLDER HOPPING”

BELOW WE ZOOM IN ON SEA LION LAKE.

Remote THOMPSON LAKE, seen below, is our main objective, also entailing “boulder hopping” but I felt it worth the risk as there were some reports it could have “monarch” brook trout, which didn’t work out that way in 2003, but MIGHT TODAY!

From CYCLONE PASS we descend into the FOUR LAKES BASIN. We’ve seen already Daynes Lake, and below we see DEAN LAKE.

DEAN LAKE is the deepest (44 feet) with brook trout and grayling. It is the northern-most lake in the Basin. From here we backtrack past JEAN LAKE we see below, with DALE LAKE –the smallest of the 4, located in the center of the basin.

JEAN LAKE we see below is very near the trail from which this picture was taken. On the far right we see CYLONE PASS. On the far left we can see a sliver of DEAN LAKE, pictured above.

JEAN LAKE

On the south side of Jean Lake we find the trail, and follow it around the point of the mountain and in 1.5 miles we come to the HIGHLINE TRAIL, and follow it northeast for 1/4 mile and come to Pigeon Milk Springs that produces ice cold, pure water, but with a glacial whitish hue–called, “glacial milk.” Our next post will take us up and over the mountain to the east. Information on this area, including topographical maps, is found on pages 164-168 of my HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS book.

To get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTASsend 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. Send to: Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003

For the latest & to download the final version of my book,

A 50 YEAR “IMPOSSIBLE DREAM” AMONG MY PEOPLE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA,

go to: https://www.guatemalanfoundation.org/

I’ll see you again in a couple of days when we’ll follow the HIGHLINE TRAIL to the Rock Creek Drainage, and then on Wednesday–y luego en miercoles ver el primer reportaje de mis 50 ANOS ENTRE LOS MAYAS, que mayormente seran fotos–muchas fotos.

IN THE MEANTIME HELP IN UKRAINE @: RED CROSS AID TO UKRAINE

**********************************8***************

Update: March 6, 2022– SPRING AMBUSHED by WINTER –VISIONS OF NATURE Wildflowers replaced by FASCINATING ROCKS — LEARNING TO HIKE CONTINUES for an OLD CRIPPLE called by Gringos visiting in Guatemala, a “RODEO CLOWN” — why I was proud of that! — THE HIGH UINTAS lakes with Arctic Grayling.

WINTER VIEW OF THE SPINE OF THE HIGH UINTAS from the North Slope Road. Kings Peak, 13,528 ft., Utah highest, is the highlighted peak left center. Red Castle Peak is on the far right. Gilbert Peak, 13,448 ft., Utah’s 3rd highest mountain on far left.

My last post was a bit premature welcoming SPRING with the first wildflowers. Snow this week can have us focusing on what the cold won’t hurt–THE BEAUTIFUL ROCKS of our exercise area–the foothills of the Wasatch–the one below, nestled in new snow, is my FIRST VISION OF NATURE treasure and reward found this week….

WHAT WERE THE INCREDIBLE GEOLOGICAL PROCESSES THAT CREATED THIS JEWEL OF NATURE — A TYPE OF CONGLOMERATE COMPOSED OF ROCKS OF DIFFERENT TYPES CREATED EACH BY DIFFERENT CATASTROPHIC GEOLOGICAL EVENTS & THEN JUMBLED TOGETHER IN ANOTHER INCREDIBLE EARTH CREATING PROCESS.

….followed by a few others collected on my recent walks in the hills and along the creek–as I learn to hike again. In my freshman year at BYU in 1954 I was a geology major, planning on finding riches in the West Utah Desert and becoming rich. Geology fascinates me as it should all of us and the HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS is a geologic treasure as I show you in my BOOK. I am grateful to see and appreciate BEAUTY in the VISIONS OF NATURE–including these magnificent rocks.

This rock should have been photographed with the layers horizontal as they were laid down underneath the ocean, or a large lake–as level, parallel layers, each from a different season with contrasting conditions that washed distinct types of materials to form each layer that eventually under great pressure and the right temperatures were turned into hard rock.
This is what we call a CONGLOMERATE, a jumbled up mixture of layers formed under the oceans, then in cataclysmic earth processes were broken up, some rounded by the rushing waters of streams, and then all lumped together and solidified. IMAGINE THE EARTH PROCESSES THAT FORMED THIS KIND OF ROCK & HOW MANY YEARS IT TOOK, ETC.

WOW! says it all.

I’ll insert below a picture of my recent collection–THE BEST from the last month or so…..

I washed and cleaned them up. Then varnished them to bring out their beauty.
AND, DON’T FORGET THE FOSILS, THIS ONE PERHAPS BEING THE WING OF A BIRD.

Below Iwill insert a page from my BOOK, a magnificent collection of rocks from the HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS.

BY THE WAY, THE BRIGHT YELLOW ISN’T GOLD, RATHER LICHENS of which there are many thousands of varieties in the Uintas which I talk about some in my BOOK.

EVENTUALLY I’LL FIGURE OUT HOW TO PUT THEM TOGETHER TO CREATE A MAGNIFICENT VISION OF NATURE, such as I did creating with SCRUB OAK from the foothills an incredible frame you see below embracing a wonderful view of TRIANGLE MOUNTAIN & RECONNAISSANCE LAKE, off-trail in the Rock Creek drainage of the Uinta’s South Slope, a rival to RED CASTLE as “THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OUTDOOR SCENE IN UTAH.

He’s a “RODEO CLOWN” said an Animal Husbandry professor from BYU, visiting my Las Victorias Dairy in Guatemala.

The complete story is told in what simply we can call THE MAYA STORY . GO TO THE FOUNDATION WEBSITE TO GET THE link to download it free: https://www.guatemalanfoundation.org/ . The visiting professor first asked, “Where are your alfalfa fields?” I replied, “Rather than use alfalfa, and silage, the staples of the U.S. dairy industry, we have our cows on high quality pastures of an African grass with 23% protein–similar to alfalfa, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!” I continued, “We took over a bankrupt dairy, eventually purifying our milking herd using artificial insemination to produce pure Jersey cows, and increased daily production per cow from 3.5 liters to 16.5 liters, the best in the country.”

Since we didn’t have alfalfa or use silage he began calling me a “RODEO CLOWN.” I loved it as……..

I LAUGHED ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!

Two of our cows and a heifer defeated in a Livestock Show the Central American Grand Champion of the Jersey breed. We see them above shown to us by my three kids: Julie with the new Champion “MAJA,” David with 2nd place, “MILADY,” and Richard “Dito” with 3rd place, “WALESKA”

ALL THE DETAILS OF HOW I BECAME A “RODEO CLOWN” WITH THE CHAMPION JERSEY COWS OF ALL OF CENTRAL AMERICA, & FOR MANY YEARS SUPPORTED MY FAMILY as well as 39 fulltime employees and their families-all the while that making possible me dedicating all we had to have projects that it was said,

“SAVED THOUSANDS & AIDED MANY TEN’S OF THOUSANDS OF MAYANS GET AN EDUCATION……as well as stimulate the organization of a WORLD-WIDE HUMANITARIAN SERVICE!”

Click on this link to READ & SEE THE DETAILS OF THE MAYA STORY https://www.guatemalanfoundation.org/

NOW ON TO MORE GLIMPSES OF THE HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS, seeing wonderful areas accessed from the HIGHLINE TRAIL: This week, two lakes with Arctic Grayling: CAROLYN & ALLEN LAKES

From our previous point along the Highline Trail, 4 miles from the trailhead at the junction with the Naturalist Basin trail, hike two more miles (and 1/2 mile before the junction with the Four Lakes Basin Trail) , look for a trail taking off through a meadow to the south and hike 200 yards to Carolyn Lake that has brook trout and hungry Arctic Grayling like you see below. Usually they are caught using artificial flies as they have small mouths, info on Page 164, with the topographical map on page 168.

From Carolyn Lake, backtrack to the Highline Trail and follow it 1/2 mile to a major junction where a trail takes off to the southeast. The trail leads to the Four Lakes Basin and from there continues all the way to the Grandaddy Basin. But, 1/2 mile down said trail, there is another junction with a little used trail–a shortcut– heading south that in about a mile hits the main trail to the Grandaddy Basin, and at that point is found small BEDGROUND LAKE, you see below, reputed to have very large brook trout and Grayling.

From Bedground pretty well due east towards the mountain and in about 3/4 mile you come to ALLEN LAKE where it has been said the “Utah State Grayling record will be caught.”

Let me say a word about Allen Lake before going on to the theme of “the record Grayling.” When I first visited Allen Lake I found the Forest Service sign that told the story of the lake and its name, but it wasn’t legible, so I scraped it producing what you see below:

The next time I visited the posts had rotted and the sign was on the ground, so I propped it up. Later some friends purposely went in there with tools and bolts to do a proper job putting up the sign in honor of Floyd R. Allen, Forest Ranger who was killed by lightning here in 1938.

The “unofficial Utah State record Arctic Grayling” was caught by my buddy Ted Packard in 1962, seen below, when we were taking a group of 22 Explorer Scouts on a two week backpack. We had all climbed King’s Peak and then come down over Trail Ryder Pass to Lake Attwood and were spin fishing using red & white Daredevil lures and all of a sudden began catching huge Artic Grayling–which we had never caught on lures before.

THE DAMAGED PICTURES CAME ABOUT WHEN AT THE CHAIN LAKES MY CAMERA FELL IN THE WATER AND WAS RUINED, BUT SOME OF THE FILM WAS SORT OF SAVED AS YOU SEE HERE.

But they were large with big mouths. My largest was 18-1/2 inches long, seen on the right, then Ted caught the largest that measured 19 inches long that would have, and still would be a Utah State record–if we could have got it to civilization and had it properly weighed and measured. The present State record is 17-1/4 inches long caught at Big Dog Lake — South Slope Uintas in 1998. Mine would “also be a record” Grayling. Steve Clark, one of our Explorers is seen in the background also with his Grayling.

GET THE DIGITAL BOOK & BEGIN MAKING YOUR PLANS FOR GREAT ADVENTURE

To get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTAS, 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. Send to: Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003

March 2022 — FIRST SIGN OF SPRING — WORKING ON COMEBACK at 86 — High Uinta HIGHLINE TRAIL 2nd area: NATURALIST BASIN — MAYA BOOK reports ATROCITIES

GROVE CANYON — TIP OF MT. TIMPANOGOS –Still seemingly in WINTER SLEEP
PURPOSELY, with CAUTION, DOING STEEP, ROCKY TRAILS
TO AVOID FOR ME A DEADLY FALL — USING THE HATED TREKKING POLES

FINDING SIGNS OF SPRING WITH THE 1st FLOWERS

THESE ARE THE TINY PLANTS & FLOWERS THAT MANY DON’T SEE — sorry for the flower being out of focus! But, I’m sure you’ll get my point.
I’M THERE TOO…..HONEST, DOING MY DARNDEST ONCE A WEEK! The other days on the stairs, and/or jogging behind my walker!

NOW FOR ANOTHER GLIMPSE OF THE HIGH UINTA WILDERNESS with the 2nd area along the HIGHLINE TRAIL…..after last week hiking the side-trail down to WINDER, WYMAN & PACKARD LAKES. From Packard Lake you can go off-trail up towards Mt. Agassiz to get to the trail to the next area…..or do the long way following the trail back to the Highline Trail, then head east for 1.5 miles.

THE NATURALIST BASIN

The section on the WILDERNESS AREA begins in my book on page 154 and goes to page 409. The part on the Highline Trail in this section will describe the trail just to Deadhorse Pass and Lake, page 173. The description of the lakes in the Naturalist Basin is on pages 163-164. The topographical map, with trails and distances in the Basin is on page 167. The TRAIL TO THE NATURALIST BASIN is found 4 miles from the Trailhead. 1.1 miles along the trail that takes you north, is the FIRST IMPRESSIVE SIGHT: THE WATERFALL COMING OUT OF THE MORAT LAKES.

DON’T OVERLOOK NEAR THE FALLS THE BEAUTIFUL “BOG LAURELS”

THE TRAIL TAKES YOU BETWEEN THE MORAT LAKES. Morat 2 is on the east and is a shallow lake. To the west is MORAT 1, THE BEAUTIFUL LAKE WE SEE ABOVE. From there you can continue to climb up along the wonderful waterfall we see below that comes out of BLUE LAKE.

THIS IMPRESSIVE WATERFALL COMES OUT OF BLUE LAKE WE SEE BELOW,.

GUARDED BY MT. AGASSIZ WE SEE BLUE LAKE, STILL WITH SOME ICE ON JULY 4th. FROM HERE YOU CAN MAKE A SWING UP EVEN HIGHER AND AROUND AND DOWN AND VISIT–and fish in other lakes in the Basin: LECONTE, SHALER, JORDAN & EVERMAN following the suggested route on the topographical map, then back to the Highline Trail. The loop to explore the Naturalist Basin is approximately 7 miles. ALL THE INFORMATION & TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS YOU’LL NEED FOR YOUR ADVENTURE ARE FOUND IN MY BOOK:

To get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTAS, 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. Send to: Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003

Next week we’ll visit the next wonderful areas accessible along the HIGHLINE TRAIL: CAROLYN LAKE & Arctic Grayling, then ALLEN LAKE–named for a Forest Ranger who gave his life there–and I’ll give you the details. About Allen Lake it was said the record grayling would be caught there.”I’ll show you THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN & WHERE IT DID!

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MY LIFE AMONG THE MAYA BOOK — along with 50+ years of adventure, as well as a lot of exciting history, it importantly demonstrates cases of VOLTAIRE’S statement about “absurdities” and “atrocities!”

Click on this link to READ & SEE THE DETAILS OF THE MAYA STORY https://www.guatemalanfoundation.org/

A ONE PAGE STORY Click to download to help one understand the BOOK. It’s from the heart warming and insightful TV series:

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