IMPORTANT NOTE TO BUY BOOK: I suggest you choose PayPal as it is the fastest. You don’t have to have a PayPal acct. just click on it, then click on “Create an Account,” and you will be given options for any Credit or Debit card of your choice.


Date: May 1: BALD MT. PASS =  86″  – WOLF CREEK PASS = 46″



OPEN — Monday June 24: BALD MT. PASS- 28″


Snow plowing of the MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY began Monday-June 17th, and will likely take a week or more before the Scenic Byway is open. and I’ve got to add that the North Slope Rd. for one to do the AUTO-LOOP TOUR, promoted in my book, will likely have at least one difficult stretch, at Elizabeth Pass that is 10,235 ft. high– so best check with the Forest Service in Evanston or the Bear River Ranger station before attempting said road.

The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway is still closed –the chance for this week Sat. 6/22 is “very slim,” and most likely will be next week.

NOTE: The elevation of Hades Pass, “Gateway to the Grandaddies” is approximately the same as Bald Mt. Pass–so this pass–closed still– is an indication of accessibility to the Grandaddies from the Grandview Trailhead.

OPEN — June 18: WOLF CREEK PASS =officially with no snow.

The gate for the Hades Canyon Road to the GRANDVIEW TRAILHEAD is open but still only passable to the Splash Dam on Thursday, June 20th. Maybe to the Trailhead inside of a week, but even when the Trailhead is accessible, the trail to Hades Pass and the Grandaddies will be difficult, as attested to by the high runoff engulfing the bridge up from the Trailhead–seen below in 2011 on July 8th– so be patient. Check with the Duchesne Forest Service Ranger Station for current conditions –Tel. 435-738-2482.

The Duchesne River was expected to reach FLOOD STAGE (13.3 feet) by Thursday 6/20 , so the thaw is happening quickly. It is “comparable to June 2011 when the river reached f;ppd stage – 14.4 feet.”


HIGH UINTAS NEWSLETTERS – beginning on April 19, 2019

4/30/19 1:00PM, 30 minute interview on BYU Radio: CONSTANT WONDER then click on backpacking the Safe Way

BYU Radio’s Marcus Smith interviewing me on the CONSTANT WONDER show

KSL Outdoors podcast 4/20/19 Book announced

KSL Outdoors podcast 4/27/19 Cordell’s report 

KSL Outdoors Radio podcast 5/11/19 Cordell’s report from Promotory Point in 1869

At the 14 minute point I was introduced as having been the only now living who was there for the Golden Spike at Promontory Point 150 years ago….hear what I had to say about it.


May 18, 1st segment: 18 minutes introduction–I’m at the 11 minutes point.

May 18, 2nd segment: TIE HACKS “Unsung American Heroes” 20 minutes


Below is the TABLE OF CONTENTS: History, Legends & Life Saving Stories –


The hope for 2018  was to culminate the  backpacking season–doing the entire 106 mile HIGHLINE TRAIL — not the 76 to 80 mile trail all the guide books are wrong about.

I was to warm up and see if I was ready by doing: 

1.  A 3-4 day backpack up Main Fork, finishing explorations of the tie hackers, and getting to HELL’S HOLE BASIN.

Then, if that went well, do:

2. A 4 day backpack to NATURALIST BASIN…..


But, complete recovery from my 2017 back surgery…was causing trouble especially going downhill with a backpack….the JOLT causing acute pain.

But, then   3 months of chronic bronchitis  fouled up
the plan.  It  was worse than my 10 surgeries, 2 radiation treatments, and fight  defeating  peripheral nueropathy and matatarsilitis, as I couldn’t keep up my exercise program–and lost almost everything.

I went to work trying to get it back but found it was very slow.

When the Uintas thawed out I made an experimental trip to see how the elements of bronchitis, that were still hanging on, affected my problem with High Altitude Sickness, and found it was hurting me.


But I was at least trying and learning in my 83rd year, and wasn’t ready yet to have another FOREST GUMP MOMENT.

Then, ahead of schedule, I had a chance to go to the GRANDADDIES with Ted Packard and son Mike.

But, I had to let them go up the trail, leaving me to do it my way….as best I could, and told them to “not worry if you don’t every see me again!”  

That sounded a little shocking, so quickly had to qualify it, meaning….

…..”don’t ever see me again until you come back down the trail on the last day of the backpack!”

My pulmonary capacity was awful and  I had to rest too often, but had to push myself at least a few miles to where I could find water.  I experimented with a new bivy bag I think I mentioned I would use to save 1 lb. of weight, and with the rain that night found IT WAS AWFUL, but I survived the night.  NOTE: The first thing I did on returning to civilization was to give it to Deseret Industries!  I then used my poncho as a lean-to–the mosquitoes at night being no problem as the coolness of the night had them going inactive.

It was a struggle for me, and the JOLTS coming down painful for my back, yet came out of it feeling…




In the meantime all the rest of my time is dedicated to creating the unique book — now with 330 pages finished with stunning color,  incredible history,  believable legends,  life-saving survival stories, and…..
….. guidance for safe & enjoyable–auto, backpacking, horse & goat packing — forays into the
as well as also having complete guides for the Wilderness Area, as well as for the Western and the Eastern Uintas with information none of the present guide books have.



Click for:  Previous 
Including:  The precautions I will take in addition to the sat phone, and the SPOT Tracker
“Little Andy’s Olympics”
Backpack #3-2016 Aug. 21-30 On the HIGH UINTAS North Slope
HENRY’S FORK TRAILHEAD (9,426 elevation) To Gunsight Pass (11,803 ft.) >U-76 lk (11,482 ft)>U-75 lk (11,402 ft)
>“Little Andy Lake”–The Uintas highest lake at 12,302 ft.>U-74 Beard Lk (11,745 ft)>Trail Rider Pass (11,780 ft)
 >George Beard Basin: Geo.Beard Lk (11,420 ft), U-19 (11,420 ft)U-20  (11,417 ft), U-22 (11,430 ft)>
Back to Henry’s Fk Basin> G-98 lake (11,208 ft)>Cliff  Lk (11,443 ft)Blanchard Lk (11,164 ft) , Castle Lk (11,363 ft.), etc.
Note: All 12 lakes are above 11,000 ft. timberline
SPOT  Satellite Tracker link: SPOT
MADE IT!  Photo report under construction…..in the meantime listen to my report on 

Photo taken by new High Uinta Friend, John Sowell, at the Highline Trail east of Kings Peak, with Gunsight Pass in the background.  John, seen below was doing the entire  106 mile Highline Trail from Highway 191 between Vernal & Flaming Gorge to the western end on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.



 Cordell Andersen Photography, and the STORE
where many of my photographs from the High Uintas are available. If you don’t see in the STORE what interests you, but find it in the Photography,  or in one of my trip reports, 
let me know and I’ll advise the site manager to get it there. 


“Sunset over Milk Lake”
or a similar one a few minutes earlier as seen  below…

The photograph, printed on canvas, already purchased by my daughter, Mahana, is seen below decorating her living room



 YouTube Video 


INTRODUCTION:  While I’ve had to hunker down close to Utah Valley for most of the 2014 summer due to several emergencies–and forced to suspend the backpacking aspect of my High Uintas Wilderness Project until the summer of 2015 –in my 80th year, I’ve  kept  in shape focusing on mountains nearby–The Wasatch, where the pioneer founders did incredibly heroic  things some of which few if any know anything about–even in Provo & Springville, Utah.

Read on about my research and original exploration–abundantly photographed, that I guarantee will fascinate and help you appreciate what a bunch of tough guys did to make possible what we all enjoy today here along the Wasatch Front.

NOTE:  Concerning the interesting history of Utah Valley I will draw some on one of my previous posts inserted here and there in this photo/essay, but believe me we’ll get into new territory and discoveries never published before. 

Read below just a little about the founding of Provo, 
monument found in Pioneer Park, 5th West and 5th North in Provo.


In 1847, when the pioneers led by Brigham Young came into the Wasatch Front, there was some consideration given to settle in Utah Valley.  The area had been visited in 1776 by Fathers Escalante and Domingues who had established in their short visit a good relationship with the Timpanogos-Ute Indians.  The Utes of Colorado called them, “THE FISH EATERS,” due to much of their diet coming from the abundant fish (“speckled trout,” and suckers) from the clear waters of the streams flowing  from the mountains, and the then clear water of Utah Lake.   

These Catholic explorers named the valley,

“The Valley of Our Lady of Mercy of Timpanogos,” 

and in a letter to the King of Spain, said, it was….

“….the most pleasing, beautiful, and fertile site in New Spain.”

The priests promised the Indians they would return and establish here a Catholic Mission.  Can you imagine how different the history of Utah would have been if they had of done so?   
But they never returned.

Famous explorer and mountain man, Jedediah Smith,  passed through the valley in 1826 and described the lake as “Little Uta Lake,”  previously known as Timpanogos Lake. A year later Daniel Potts, another early explorer called it, “Utaw Lake.”  

Brigham Young had several reasons to choose the Salt Lake Valley as “THIS IS THE PLACE,”  a practical one being it would be just a little simpler during the first years of survival as there were basically no Indians there they would have to contend with.  There were in Utah Valley–the Timpanogos-Utes.  The same for north of the Salt Lake Valley up into southern Idaho, also under consideration, but there the warlike Shoshone Indians dominated.

So, in 1849 a group came to the valley, who were Mormons, but most of them “not called”  to do so by the prophet and described as rough, tough, independent, backwoods frontiersmen,   whose “foolhardiness”  reportedly “led to hot encounters with the Utes…”  and  who used “….. alarming tactics to mercilessly crush the Utes.”  
The Indians were upset with the settlers for killing wild game, leaving less for them, and they retaliated by stealing cattle and horses.  Eventually the conflicts “…culminated in the largest Indian battle fought within the present boundaries of Utah,”  on February 9-10,
1850, called, “The Battle of Provo River,” that occurred approximately between the Deseret Industries store  and shopping center to the east of north Provo.
Information from D. Robert Carter’s book, FOUNDING FORT UTAH
We can see in the first picture above, an artist’s depiction of Fort Utah, a wagon loaded with logs from which the fort was built, they needed timber products–for construction and fuel.  Then we see in the picture above  a large log cabin that served as the school, meeting house, and what we today would call a “cultural hall,”  and see the pioneers needed lots of timber.

In my research about Provo’s history, I then found an article from the Provo Daily Herald I insert below, discussing the Pioneer Village at  Pioneer Park in Provo…

…. and reading on I found a simple notation on the second page…….
 highlighted below….

Here we see it separated.

So, with that mention is born the subject I have been researching, trying to understand, and unravel in my several explorations into the mountains east of Provo. Carter states in his book FROM FORT TO VILLAGE:

The  “….population was growing so rapidly and the need for timber for building was so great that many of the relatively accessible trees in the canyons would soon be cut down.  Large stands of coniferous trees near the tops of the mountains and high up on the north facing slopes of the canyons beckoned.  In order to harvest these trees, lumbermen built timber slides on which they could expeditiously whisk logs to roads in the bottoms of the canyons where men could load them onto wagons…”.  (page 133)

Thus was born the subject, “PIONEER TIMBER SLIDES” and I became determined to find evidence of them,  hopefully find remnants, artifacts, and make a photographic record  to share as I felt it would be of interest to many, and inspiring to all of us.
 Also of great interest to me in “my golden years” was to  get some great exercise and keep my body alive and strong, to persist with the backpacking aspect of my HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS PROJECT in the summer of 2015– in my 80th year.

So I began scanning the mountains east of Provo and Springville….and wouldn’t you know it, I quickly came up with some leads…..that led me into the mountains you see below.

From North Provo we look East at what would be the focal point of my efforts–Y-Mountain, Slide Canyon, Maple Mountain, Maple Flats, and the little knobby hill to its west overlooking the valley–a little crest that the pioneers seemed to call, “Slide Mountain,”  and then further south towards Springville,  Buckley Mountain.

Right down the front of the mountains, we will call Slide Mountain, I detected a pathway you see above.  Let’s begin quoting from D. Richard Carter’s book which is the only book that has a few brief mentions of the slides.  The following is from one of my previous reports: 

We are seeing above the lower portion of what I call Maple Mountain that rises up from Maple Flats, but this lower portion of the mountain, from the Flats down, is perhaps described in this quote:  
“Workmen finished the timber slide down Slide Mountain in November.  George A. Smith informed the editor of the Deseret News that the two-mile-long timber slide ran from the top of the mountain to the foothills below. ”   It was described as a “chute”  “.. consisted[ing] of small logs on the bottom and large logs on each side, making a sort of trough”   p. 133.
From the journal of John C. Dowdle,  we find a little detail, one reference saying, it worked admirably as far as tried.”  John and his brother  Robert, worked on the construction of the slide, harvested logs to be used as fuel and lumber, and slide them down the “chute.”  p.133

The above quotes led me to understand that it would be possible to find logs, planks, and support structures for the “chute,” along with square nails to hold it all together, such as I discovered in exploring and discovering remnants of the flumes used by the tie hackers to get their wood products out of the Uintas and down into Wyoming.

It all begin in mid-July and continued until early November for a total of 8-9 hikes, some of which have been reported on, but this photo/essay will combine into one report all the hikes from mid-summer, into the colorful Fall, and end with the drabness of early winter.  So as we proceed you will see views of all three seasons assembled into one report.

This is the sign just below the Y Trailhead….which is what I should have taken a picture of, but we see above the rocky crest in the middle-right of the photo is Slide Mountain, also see below from the trail’s beginning up from the Parking lot.

It is the trail t the Y, but the Forest Service designates it as the “Slide…Slade Cnyon Trail,” as it continues past the Y, up through Eagle Pass to the “First Meadow,” where a trail separates to the south going to Maple Flats, the main trail going on to Y-Mountain, etc.

There was a problem, leaving late it, became a struggle going up the trail as it was a swelteringly  hot 104 degress F.  This mother and daughter coming down were suffering and not in a good mood, and I was overheating myself and having great difficulty, especially with a pack on my back as I intended to make it an overnight stay.

A friend seeing this shot in a previous report….accused me of focusing to much on  the young ladies…..but believe me I was so delirious by that time I only noticed the SUN FLOWERS….that screamed at me…..!!!

The “SCREAM”  was……

Those drops of moisture on the stem….were from the sweat pouring off my face!  So I dutifully turned around and headed for the safety of my air conditioned car!


You might say …..but a quick   Googling of  “Pioneer timber slides” shows that I didn’t give up, but rather became the “expert,” or maybe “the only person in the world who cares about timber slides!!!”  BUT KEEP SCROLLING…YOU WON’T BE SORRY!

Of course you will also notice that, along with me, the only other entries in the search concern CHILDREN’S PLAY APPARATUSES…..
….lodging me squarely in the category of being like a “little child”  trying to live out my childhood dream!   Yet, what’s wrong with that?   Even in the movie RUDY, it is said:
“Having dreams is what makes life tolerable!”
If I don’t do it I’ll never be any good for you, for me, for anybody!”

So, a day or so later I was again starting up the mountain  early.


What a wonderful hike up the Y-trail along with tons of happy people.

The pictures tell the story.  Young and old, many families having a wonderful hike.

And seeing views of Utah Valley!

What a wonderful background for a family picture!

Eventually I got a call from the son of Dr. Kartchner who brought my first  4 children into the world….way back when the total pre-birth, birth, and post-birth bill was around $300 for each!  Ken wanted to talk to me about my nearly half a century of experience living and working among the Mayans in Guatemala….so Ken Kartchner became my hiking companion on one key hike.

These beautiful sisters also were hiking companions on one hike….smiles that will brighten anyone;s struggle up the mountain.


My objective was to go way up above the Y through Eagle Pass,  observing the pioneer timber slide coming down Slide Canyon, then on to Maple Flats and locate the launching site for the slide down the front of Slide Mountain.

Here we head up the trail from the Y towards Eagle Pass….as you can see this was late Fall after most of the leaves had dropped.  The high crest in the background is Slide Mountain.  Up there is where the launch site was for both the slide down the Canyon, and down the front of the mountain.

Looking up towards Y Mountain where apparently the Class of ’60 marred the mountain, we see an animal up on a ledge.  Soon we see others, and get quite close to Rocky Mountain Sheep, one we see below that would be a trophy.

Of course many of you know  that I can’t resist getting photographs of what I’ve called VISIONS OF NATURE, like the lizard, and……

…a couple of LDS missionaries on their Preparation Day.  Interestingly they are in the 

We are nearing Eagle Pass, with Slide Mountain  below the moon, illuminated by the setting sun on one hike.

At Eagle Pass we look back over the Y towards North Provo.

From a different angle we see Mt. Timpanogos in the background.

Looking down towards the West we see a pathway leading down to the foothills….it being the Slide Canyon Pioneer timber slide pathway….we will now explore more closely.

Google Earth, helps us get the bird’s-eye view of Slide Canyon slide down to the foothill road on the left, with the Y-Trail in view to the north.

From the foothills road we look up the canyon with the slide cutting  across the picture angling up, and below zoom in some on the pathway seeing in almost dead center a curious half-moon like area cleared above the pathway.

Below the half-moon cleared area is pointed at with the arrow.  

On Google Earth it all looks flat, but the cleared area is very steep as seen above  enlarged.

Now we will get down on the ground and hike up the pathway to see what we find.  The red mark is a SPOT Track indicating where the first photo was taken as seen below.

We proceed up the pathway and see where a little excavating was done .

Here from the previous shot up, we look down towards Provo.

We pick up a trail, crossed by the pathway.

From a little higher, where the pathway coincides with a rock slide, we look north at the Y-Trail.

Portions of the pathway widen as you see here.  No artifacts of any kind have been found so far.  Below we again look down towards Provo.

At the lower portion of the cleared half-moon area we take a SPOT Track with its icon noted below.  From this spot we get a good view of the Y-Trail and many hikers.

The pathway continues straight ahead in the photo.  The cleared area rises to our right and pointed out in the photo below.   We can’t decipher what its purpose might have been.

From this point we look up towards the Eagle Pass area where in a moment we will see the pathway as it comes down the steep canyon.

From this point I will head up to the top of the ridge to the south, looking back on the pathway as seen below.

We come over the ridge and drop  down to the foothill road and Bonneville Shoreline Trail, on our way to explore the lower portion of the timber slide that comes down the face of the mountain.

Along the way we find  some old wood, hoping that it might have something to do with the timber slides, but as we see, the nails in it are round nails invented in 1910.  Nails from the timber slide period would be square nails.   So this is nothing of importance in our search.

At about the point where we come to a hefty gate barrier, is the approximate area where the timber slide would have come down to the foothill road, and so we look up to see what is visible.

Once again, we quote from Carters book, FOUNDING FORT UTAH.
“John later wrote that part of the slide consisted of small logs on the bottom and large logs on each side, making a sort of trough.  To form the lower end of the slide, the laborers dug a ditch down the mountainside.  Concerning the efficiency of the slide, Dowdle stated, ‘Large logs as well as small ans [ones] would run with great rapidity….We would often start timbers at the top end of the slide an[d] it would run the entire [way to the] loading place with out a stop.'” pages 133-34

In the photo below we are likely seeing in the bottom portion what is described as “laborers 
 [having] dug a ditch down the mountainside.” 

Above Google Earth helps us again showing the portion of the slide we will explore, indicated by the arrows.

From the point of the SPOT icon, we look up and really can’t quite see anything, so we move a bit north to look at it from a different angle, and it pops out at us, shown by the arrows.

Again, this is likely the area described as having been dug out to form a sort of ditch.

We begin the struggle up the steep slope, with this shot of the adjacent ridge showing us the angle of steepness.  It wasn’t an easy climb!

Here we are looking down the area where accounts describe a ditch being dug.  Later when I come all the way down from the top, I’ll show pictures that show it a little better.

We now look up towards our objective, where the slide pathway coincides with the ravine, passing through what I call “The Narrows.”

Looking at the ridge to the north…..do you see it?   It is not a white spec of lint on my lens, nor on your computer monitor.  Let’s zoom in and see what.

Sure enough, I didn’t have to clean my lens.  It’s a hang glider.  These guys haul their gear all the way to the top of Y-Mountain and launch themselves out over the valley.

Some of my reports on the timber slides have been entitled WHERE EAGLES DARE (the title of a Clint Eastwood movie), and wouldn’t you know it, AN EAGLE SAILS INTO THE PICTURE  and I clicked off a shot!

Below we say “farewell” to the hang glider, and come back to Slide Mountain.
We are approaching the NARROWS.

Lots of VISIONS OF NATURE all around.

THE NARROWS, with the pathway going through the scrub oak from the right corner, crossing the picture to the Narrows…………

…..and coming down coinciding with the ravine.

The view looking down the pathway towards Provo.

It had been a late start and this was enough exercise for the day….still no arifacts, just beautiful views of Provo.

Still even had some ice left….a cold drink very welcome.

…..so with a parting VISION OF NATURE I had off on another exploration….

Fall and Winter must be coming as this Rock Squirrel is loading up on acorns and other good stuff.

Before heading back to Eagle Pass, let’s go a little further south to take a quick look at what was the first TIMBER SLIDE.  

I quote information that comes from “The Utah County Court Minutes, from February through July 1853.”
“Early in 1853, Alfred Walton, Jerome Benson, and a Mr. Wilson received permission from the Utah County Court to build a timber slide down the canyon located between the two peaks rising south of Slate Canyon.  This slide would be located conveniently between Provo and Springville.  In order for the grant to be valid the company had to build the slide during the coming season.  If the men constructed the slide, they could control it and have jurisdiction over the timber on the mountain above it..”  

This permission was granted first, for the area known as Buckley Mountain that has two peaks, with a ravine separating the higher on the north from the lower on the south.  So via Google Earth we fly south to Buckley Mountain.

These are the two Buckley Peaks, the highest on the left, the ravine coming down between them.  Now let’s zoom in and see what we find.

Above we see a Fall-Winter view, and below early Fall, very obviously showing a pathway coming down to the foothills.

Here we zoom in a bit.  I’ve noticed this for years when we lived in Springville assuming it was a trail to the peak, but now know that it is a pioneer timber slide pathway. The trail to the highest peak goes up a ravine further north called Buckley Draw that I show in one of my Comeback YouTube videos entitled something like

I insert the picture below to orient you where this is.  We are seeing the “Old Highway” 89 between Provo and Springville, with the Public Works Vehicle facility on right, and the rock quarry in the middle.  

Below, from Google Earth we look down on the lower end.

It then goes up the mountain.

After a grassy area it get’s in to the scrub or Gambles Oak and Maples.

It ends at the base of some cliffs.  The SPOT icon is where I got to, and sadly didn’t continue as I got really tired and didn’t feel well and headed back down–I actually had the  SHINGLES coming on from the day before without realizing it--making it necessary next year going back up there as one can see in the Google Earth view that there are some other pathways off to the side, and something in the shadows at the base of the cliffs.

As I approach the area, I see the steep pathway coming down to the hills, marked by arrows.

Approaching the climb up the hill.

Then comes a relatively flat area covered mostly with grass–the pathway not really visible.

Soon it appears going through thick scrub oak.

The deep leaves make it quite impossible to find artifacts, like square nails, except in clear areas, where I found nothing.

This is where I got to….and started feeling pretty cruddy to say the least….got some nourishment–kindly given to me by my son Lito’s (Cordel Ammon) father-in-law, Edgar Pacay, visiting them from Guatemala up in Worland, Wyoming a few days before,  and headed down the hill.

Lots of VISIONS OF NATURE all around!

The view from the turn-around point–or the “throw in the towel”  point, with Ironton and such down in the Valley below.

One can see that this timber slide wasn’t very long…about  a mile.  It doesn’t get up high where the timber is….unless the pioneers cleared it all out, dragging it down to the cliffs with oxen, or mules, in which case there would be stumps up above.  Have to check that out next Spring.

Now, up through  what I call,  the Eagle Pass area, as there are like 3 passages before getting to the first meadow.  We will first, as we work up the trail, look down into  the ravine for signs of the timber slide pathway that came down Slide Canyon.

Below we see the trail as we work to the first passageway.

Down in the ravine we see clearly the very steep pathway up out of the  gully.

Further along we still see the pathway paralleling  the ravine up the canyon.

We leave behind us the first passageway, with the valley far below.

We look up to what I call the second passageway of Eagle Pass.

We have now worked our way up the pass and can see across the ravine where the timber slide came down out of the pines up near the summit of Slide Mountain. I”ll insert here another quote from my previous report, which information comes from Carter’s book:

It then plunged down the steep canyon, just up out of the ravine.  I still can’t quite imagine how they could have actually built a  “… slide consisted[ing] of small logs on the bottom and large logs on each side, making a sort of trough”   down through these areas.  It wouldn’t have been possible either for a log to come down  the “chute” and make a sharp turn without jumping out of the chute or slide.  The description previously cited, saying, Large logs as well as small ans [ones] would run with great rapidity….We would often start timbers at the top end of the slide an[d] it would run the entire [way to the] loading place with out a stop.”   That description seems more likely to refer to the slide on the face of Slide Mountain,  and not this one in Slide Canyon.  However,  once down to the ravine, the logs could maybe make a run to the bottom with stopping.……. still  lots of questions,.

Below we also see that a trail, or pathway continues up the ravine, but it is not visible on Google Earth a couple of pictures below.

A couple of pictures below the same area is seen with the oncoming of the Fall, showing pine trees growing right out of the middle of the pathway.

Seeing the pathway coming out of the confers the pioneers were after, it reminds me what the report in the 2009 Daily Herald said: 
Saying “old timers” called them “red pine logs.”   but “red pine” trees are not found in Utah, but from Newfoundland west to Manitoba and south to Pennsylvania and in Virginia, West Virginia, and a few in New Jersey and Illinois.  The pioneers apparently were referring to  our Engleman & blue spruce and Douglas fir we see here in Slide Canyon. 

Below in the Pioneer Village we see some of those logs, but seemingly painted red in modern times, perhaps to fit the above description of “red pine logs.”   

Nonetheless one might say that it is just the ravine the water drainage created, but a Google Earth view  below seems to make it clear that man has his hand in it.

Google Earth shows a pathway coming down out of the pines, but which divides, the lesser going straight down to the ravine trail, the other curving to the left perhaps with a curve sufficiently large enough to keep the timber from jumping out of the chute.

We continue up the trail leaving Utah Valley behind us……and notice that we are being spied upon by one of the local beasts!

The “beast” is another Rock Squirrel.

Other VISIONS OF NATURE surround us….like the humming bird above, 
and below starkly contrasting visions coming out of the ground.

You’ll have to forgive me for reminiscing as I go up the trail….but these wonderful mountains gave me and my loved ones precious and unforgettable experiences that have enriched my life.

For example we see the ridge coming off of Maple Mountain where one deer season I bivouacked up there late Friday afternoon  knowing that hunters would be coming up the canyon in the morning.

Sure enough early the next morning I saw hunters coming up the Eagle Pass Trail, and a bit later the deer they were pushing came up the draw and stopped on the side-hill to look at me.  Still in my sleeping bag, I rolled over and took aim on a big buck and dropped him.  Then leisurely got dressed, packed up and went for him.

I didn’t get a picture of him, but just for fun insert a shot of  one from a hunt on the Henry Mountains back in “the good old days,” where I got him on the wrong side of the mountain, had to de-bone him, and with 150 pounds on my back, struggled up to the top and slid down the other side.

Here we are at what I call “the first meadow.”  
More memories!   One year I got up here late and in the dark laid my air mattress down on snow, snuggled into my sleeping bag and covered me with a poncho.  During the night deer were stomping all around me and I thought I’d get stepped on, and wanted to see by the light of the moon what was surrounding me, but the crinkling of the frozen poncho stampeded them and so never saw anything.  
 In the morning I was coming noisily across the front of Maple Mountain crunching through the frozen crust, when all of a sudden I saw a buck 25 yards ahead of me sort of spread eagled  looking  under branches to see what the heck was making so much noise.  I dropped to my knee and soon  I was dragging another buck down he Eagle Pass Trail and over the Y.

My son David, hearing of my success in this area, one year borrowed one of my  rifles, and got his first buck, and a while later called me from the highest home on the Provo foothills asking for a ride home with his first buck.

Well, let’s get back to our search…..Maple Flats is up there, and from there the objective was to find the launch site.

Ken Kartchner resting up a bit before climbing up to Maple Flats.

The trail takes off to the right of the large rock at the lower end of the first meadow.

It angles up the hill to the southwest, and is not maintained by the Forest Service as you see below.

The views are always wonderful, zooming down through the conifers at BYU.

In mid summer the vegetation on this north facing slope was lush to say the least….the trail often times disappearing under the thick vegetation.

The spring is about 3/4th of the way up to the Flats.

If you can follow the trail and not get lost in the jungle of vegetation, you will come to the spring.  As you can see it was just a very small flow, almost like a steady drip.  On earlier trips before I got up this far I had ran out of water, and so started carrying as much as a gallon, and so never needed to use the spring.  

Later in the Fall, as indicated by the dry leaves below, there wasn’t even a slow drip.  So, best not to count on this spring….and it is the only one on the mountain.

Monk’s Hood is just one of the hundreds of varieties of wildflowers one can see from Spring until late Fall.

We are now coming to Maple Flats with what I call Maple Mountain rising up to the east.  

Look-out….more memories fill my mind….but first I see a spec of something up above the forest to the southeast.

Believe me, it isn’t dirt on my lens, nor a spec of something on your monitor.  Let’s zoom in an see what we are seeing.

Sure enough we again are UP WHERE EAGLES DARE!  A Golden Eagle.

On my last trips in late Fall, Maple Flats, reminded me of my last deer hunt up here.  
The weather report was good, and there was to be a full moon, so I went prepared to sleep under the stars.  There were patches of snow, but I easily made me a mattress of straw and snuggled into my sleeping bag.  At about 10:30 I was startled by the  reverberating, echoing sound off the mountain of a howling pack of coyotes that seemed to be surrounding me with Bose-like sound!

I snapped to a sitting position, trying to sense exactly where they were.  The trail was just 10 yards to the west.  I grabbed my rifle, chambered a cartridge into my .243 rifle, laid it across my lap and laid back down…..waiting.

A little while latter I heard  the  pack coming towards me on the trail.  the moon was full and I could see pretty good.  All of a sudden there they were single file heading south on the trail.  I could see probably 10 of them, some in the middle obviously smaller, then came the big fellow last.  I raised my rifle and swung it with the pack targeting the big one, and squeezed off a shot.  I heard a yelp….and the pack scattered, but heard one struggling circling  me towards the mountain and then there was silence.  

In the morning I got up dressed, and following a blood trail soon found my prize, drug him back to my little bivouac camp and began skinning him.  David soon showed up and got a photograph or two for my memory bank.  

I had a taxidermist mount him for me, and soon he was with me on my way back to Guatemala to continue my work among the Mayans until 2002 when  I brought him back to Utah where he adorned my living room wall in Springville until 2013, along with the antlers from my first buck that had also been with me in Guatemala for all those years.  
Now no  room for either n my tiny Cabin A travel trailer, which is now my home, so things are getting spread around in the  family….but the memories remain with me, always as will the adventurous experience of discovering and exploring the Pioneer timber slides..

In the northern portion of the Flats a principle vegetation was Stinging Nettle you see above.  On my first trip, due to the hot weather, I went naturally in short pants, and a short sleeved T-shirt, so I all of a sudden was in big trouble.  Believe me, this was no joke.  I did what I could to persist, as you see below, opening up a couple of plastic bags and using my supply of black duct tape to protect my legs.

I made it over to the souther part of the flats you see below, that are startlingly drier than the north, but my leg protectors didn’t work too good, and so I headed home, and came again a few days later better prepared.

Looking south from Maple Flats where it drops off towards Slate Canyon.

From Maple Flats, the exploration had to go towards the west climbing a small hill the crest of which I am calling Slide Mountain, because the pioneers used that terminology, as well as Slide Canyon. So we are dealing with two pioneer timber slides in this area, with a third on Buckley Mountain to the south.
The red arrows show the path of my first explorations on Slide Mountain. as seen below.
The Google Earth view we see here is terribly deceiving as it is flat, and gives no warning about the steep mountainsides I had to deal with….which wouldn’t  have been too much trouble in my youth….but I guess I waited too long, now in my 79th year while doing all of this exploration.

So off I go into dense Gambles oak, maples and other deciduous trees and thick underbrush.
It took a lot of beating around, zig-zagging back and forth, looking for roadways over which logs would have been dragged by oxen or mules to where the slide began.

I finally started finding some cleared areas, and then found a pipe you see below.

But, as one can see it is a modern galvanized pipe, with a cap that seems to be aluminum, so wasn’t from the pioneer period.

Above you can see the size by comparing to my SPOT Tracker….which by the way I consider an essential technical and survival tool for explorers and backpackers.
The pipe is about 2-1/2 inches in diameter and has no markings except a sort of cross on the cap as you can see.

A little past the highest point on this hill, I found this aluminum toilet or latrine seat.  Once again, not from the pioneer period.

A little further to the northwest we found ruins of a cabin which in the first moment or two had my heart pounding….

In dating tie hacker ruins on the North Slope of the Uintas, you look for a number of factors, but a deciding one is NAILS.  This cabin had been put together by very large round nails which dated the ruin as being after 1910 and not of the pioneer period.

Further along I found this mess kit….likely from Boy Scouts, and not pioneers.

There were quite a few stumps like this one, and a few short logs like the one below…but……

….the cuts in the stumps and logs, were all made by chain saws……

There were large clearings and piles of branches and debri….but once again seemingly from modern times.  

One of the clearings led to the edge of the mountain where it dropped off steeply into Slide Canyon. There were stumps here too, large ones, but all cut with a chain saw.  Out of all the stumps, there was no sign of the large trees that someone had fallen.  How were they removed from the remote mountain?  


I have concluded that everything found on Slide Mountain thus far are remnants of    “… several plans since the 1950’s to build different kinds of resorts in the area,  the last being what was called THE SEVEN PEAKS RESORT  ….which originally applied for a special use permit to build a 3,010 acre year -round resort in 1988 centering on Maple Mountain.  Company representatives estimating at the time it would cost $26.5 million to build, which would feature a funicular railway, ski lifts and eventually a hotel.  But the Forest Service closed the project down in 1991.” 
 You can read about it at the following link:    SEVEN PEAKS.
NOTE:  The “seven peaks” must have been:  Cascade Mt., Squaw Peak, Provo Peak, Y-Mountain, Maple Mt., & the two Buckley peaks.

We finally came to the front edge of the mountain overlooking Provo.

Ken is having a bit of lunch where we found two old pipes you see below, that we called “anchor pipes,” believing that we had found the launch site for the timber slide.  He then decided to head back as he didn’t want to get caught by nightfall on the mountain.  

We said goodbye.

 Looking down on Provo, the anchor pipes aligning perfectly with 500 North St. 

Looking north from that spot towards Y Mountain.

Above we see a sketch of more or less how the two timber slides came off of Slide Mountain.

 I hiked down that ridge towards the southeast to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.  A 100 yards or so down I found this galvanized pipe with a reducer on the top.  Once again something modern.

I checked my print-outs to help orient myself, but as it worked out I didn’t pay close enough attention to details…….as we’ll see in a moment.

Down the ridge a ways I decided I was wasting my time and snapped a shot looking south over Slate Canyon at Buckley Mountain.

And, another shot at Maple Mountain to the east.

Looking again at my print-outs I concluded that the launch site was up this ridge and concluded as previously with Ken, that the anchor pipes area  was the launch site.

So up the ridge I went, back to the anchor pipes.

They certainly seemed to align with where the slide path went down the front of the mountain. I decided that I had time to follow the pathway down to Provo, rather than following the trail, that seemed to be the long way home!  Once again learning that our logic doesn’t always work out to be the truth.

This was the thinking, but shortly we’ll see how flawed our thinking can be by not focusing closely on details.


I had already found down the hill 10 meters another similar pipe following the exact same trajectory, so was convinced I was doing the right thing.

I took  photos of the unique, relatively old pipe with very large interior threads.

Nearby I found this debri, which would say something to the person who knew.

As seen below, while  I went down I photographed to the northeast, up the hill a bit and to my right. These dead trees could serve to orient me on Google Earth and from the Y-Eagle Pass Trail.

Here from my path down I shot directly to the north at the side of Y Mountain.

Above I am angling to the northwest with my camera.  Looking closely you can see to the right a sliver of the Y.  Below I came to a clear area, but  I couldn’t really find the slide pathway.

Following carefully that same line I all of a sudden found myself in a jungle of  Gambles oak and Maples, and it got pretty rough.

Maybe you’ve heard that old people have thin skin, and for sure I’ve been accused of being “thin skinned” in the other sense too!  With my thin skin I have scars all over my arms from the last 20 years of adventures.  I soon got out my fisherman’s gloves, as I had come with all the essential survival stuff.

As I proceeded down without finding the pathway, I sometimes got myself into tight spots running into steep drop-offs and cliffs, and lost time backtracking to get around them safely.  The sun was dipping low in the western sky and it was beginning to darken some  and it didn’t look  good!

Something had gone wrong and I was losing precious time.  I was having a difficult time, even with some light still….and the night would be with no moon!

What had gone wrong?  I was following track (6) starting at the anchor pipes.  If I had of looked more closely, and taken seriously those dead conifers on the edge of the mountain, I could have got straightened out, but it was too late.  Track (7) was the correct path.  Track (6) was wrong, got me into difficult parts of the mountain forcing me to get even farther off track and into time destroying tangles!

All of that now seems to me a great metaphor for life….we’ve got to understand correctly the starting point and get on the right path or we can get off course into all kinds of time and even life “destroying tangles!

Darkness was almost upon me and I was only halfway down the mountain!  Time to PANIC? Remember “panic” is a very frequent  killer!    Later I will do a survival post outlining the principles that saved me, and can save almost anyone who gets into trouble along the Wasatch Front, or whatever wilderness.

A plane flew by close….and….should I jump up and down waving my arms and screaming for help?

By then I was totally fatigued and my legs trembled as I carefully climbed up at times to get around something, or went down shakily seeking for secure footholds.  I didn’t think I had time, yet I had to avoid missteps, and so sat down at times for a few minutes of rest and calming prayer….and of course got into my backpack for some energy food and a drink, and especially for my headlamp into which I had inserted fresch batteries before leaving!  

I had weather-proof matches too, and my tiny bag of fail-proof fire starter from the Uintas.  If I had to I could hole up somewhere and get a good fire going…..and use my cell phone  to call home so nobody would worry and do anything stupid (in the Uintas or similar wilderness, it would have been a satellite phone).  In fact I had all the time in the world…..all night and the next day if needed, so no need to panic, and no hurrying that could cause a miss-step.  

The lights of :
The Valley of Our Lady of Mercy of Timpanogos,”  
spread before me like a million colorful jewels with a lake of gold in the distance and I thought,
 for sure this is
“…the most pleasing, beautiful, and fertile site in New Spain.”

On this steep mountain I many times remembered  rule  #1 on such a mountain to “always lean into the mountain” rather than going the other way and tumble out of control down the mountain to a tragic end!  Of course leaning into the mountain had me often times sliding downward on my rear end!

By about 10:30 I made it to the foothill road and soon was at my car.

Yes I was bloodied up some…but so what?

And, my pants?  Good thing I had on some tough old Levis from Deseret Industries, rather than my thin skinned  convertible mountain backpacking pants!

The 1st-from 2001  were ripped to pieces by gangbangers on Guatemala City’s main street who were trying to get at the money in my pockets…by the way I lost some pants, but WON THE WAR!  
Then the 2nd-from 2007 “trophy pants” came from a delirious and totally nutty me because of  a mixture of narcotics after my ankle reconstruction in 2007, when I ripped up my suit pants trying to get them on over my cast at 11:00 PM on a Thursday night to go to Sunday Church!!
This “SYNDROME” seems to repeat about every 7 years…..so I’ve got to watch out for 2021 in my 86th year!

MY TROPHY PANTS that saved my “trasero!”

So, to 
I was up the mountain again on October 20th.

This time I studied my previous attempts and the SPOT Tracks and knew where I had gone wrong and exactly where I had to go.

The red SPOT icon where the anchor pipes were WASN’T THE LAUNCH SITE.  I’m not sure what it was.  Remember, this flat looking Google Earth view shows a very steep slope DOWN!   From the anchor pipes I had to go over to the very edge of the canyon and follow  the line of dead conifers.  Follow them down and you’ll see vaguely a half-moon path with the slide path taking off down the mountain from the middle point.

Below it is enlarged and roughly penciled in with blue.  In the middle of the half-moon is one dead conifer.  Once there I was home free!

I should have had this figured out from the beginning, but….if I had of, how many great hikes would I have missed, how many  beautiful VISIONS OF NATURE would  I have never seen?  How many great people  would I have never met…  including on my very last hike, a very nice looking lady coming athletically up the Y trail who I recognized instantly and had an intuitive song leap into mind,
 “I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair!”
Yes, it was Jeannie, one of my 400 customers from REAMS Supermarket in Springville, whose names I memorized, associating with each something to remember them, and I had a wonderful chat with Jeannie and hope she sees this and sends me her picture in her running clothes so I can insert it here.  I can kick myself for not taking her picture then!

Sometimes in this life the “long, slow, uphill, winding path” gives us the wonderful experiences–good and bad, that make it all an incredibly  worthwhile journey!

Yes, those dead confers up along the edge of Slide Mountain would be my guide!

So I got up there and from the anchor pipes worked over towards the edge, and found and SPOT marked another modern pipe you see below.  I’d appreciate it if someone out there can email me and tell me what such pipes might mean.

I’m now over along the edge following the dead conifers, and getting a glimpse of the Y.

Now I’ve worked down to that one lone dead tree seen above and below, and I’m right in the eye of the half-moon, and hit my SPOT Tracker.

It’s sort of vague, but the picture below shows the portion of the half-moon that goes north marked by the red arrow.

Below you see more clearly without the arrow.

Here is the other half the goes south, above with the arrow, and below clear.

In the middle the slide path takes off down towards Provo.

Above are the SPOT Tracks:  (1) The “anchor pipes” at the red SPOT icon;  (2) White caped modern pipe;  (3) Lone pine; (4) north end of half-moon;  (5) & (7) Pathway take-off point;  (6) South end of half-moon;  (8) Down the path.

Here we go down the pathway.

Here I moved off a bit to rest and have a bite to eat.

 I had my gloves on, but still got bloodied up some.

Down we go!  Provo still a long ways down.

There were still some tough places!

As I do my best to follow the pathway down this very steep mountain, maybe I can quote again a description of the slide to help us figure out just how such could have been done.  I quote:
  I still can’t quite imagine how they could have actually built a  “… slide consisted[ing] of small logs on the bottom and large logs on each side, making a sort of trough”   down through these areas.    The description previously cited, saying, Large logs as well as small ans [ones] would run with great rapidity….We would often start timbers at the top end of the slide an[d] it would run the entire [way to the] loading place with out a stop.”   That description seems more likely to refer to the slide on the face of Slide Mountain. …... still  lots of questions,.

I had seen this coming out of the middle of the pathway on the survival hike down, but from far off to the side, and had hoped that it would be something significant, but it just worked out to be a steel fence post, not from pioneer times.  What it was doing there, who knows.  I saw another coming down the mountain away from the pathway.

The disappointing aspect of this is that in all my hikes I have never found any artifacts, i.e. pieces of the chute, square nails, etc.  I know  concerning the Hilliard Flume coming out of the Uintas and going 36 miles down into Wyoming, that once it fell into disuse, it was cannibalized and the reports on it say nothing is left.  But, as you will notice in some of my reports, I have found remnants, support structures, support braces, square nails, etc.  Here it was described as a “chute” built with  “… small logs on the bottom and large logs on each side, making a sort of trough”  and I was hoping to find something  in these slide pathways, launching sites, etc.  but have come up with nothing. To cannibalize these chutes and take everything down to Provo would have been almost as hard a task as getting them up here and building the timber slide.  So there’s a lot we need to understand…… somehow.

There are still some tough places ahead, but this time I had time on my side and so worked away at it carefully.

Below we see the pathway from way off to the side as I had to work around some cliffs.  I’ll insert some arrows pointing to the path.

Here’s another area where to get around  a very rough area with big drop-offs, I had to  climb up and then down through thick oak and maples  to finally get back to the path further down.  The next picture will have arrows pointing to the slide  and my separate path through a hard area.

We are now approaching what I called in the report on exploring the lower portion, THE NARROWS.

Once again my thin skin sort of created a little color for the report!

Below we are looking down from THE NARROWS.  Can you imagine logs going down a chute towards Provo.  I’ll insert a quote from a previous photo/essay addressing that point:
Large logs as well as small ans [ones] would run with great rapidity….We would often start timbers at the top end of the slide an[d] it would run the entire [way to the] loading place with out a stop.”   That description seems likely to refer to the slide on the face of Slide Mountain we are seeing here.
A log to go down at a 45 degree angle  all the way to the bottom without stopping could certainly qualify as being “whisk[ed]” down the mountain….at incredible speeds!  Concerning the Hilliard Flume in the High UIntas the Forest Service described it a “WILD RIDE” with water carrying wood products down into Wyoming at 15 miles/hour.  That journey couldn’t even come close to what this WILD timber slide ride was like!

We are now in familiar territory approaching the area described in Carter’s book, FROM FOR TO VILLAGE,  where  the “…laborers dug a ditch down the mountainside,”  to form a kind of trough which is what we see below in the lower portion of the pathway. 

Below we are entering that area, even though it is not so obvious as in the above photograph.

Above  are the SPOT Tracks from the website showing my trip down the slide, but apparently the SPOT Tracker was off some in about three places making the pathway look pretty jagged, with a bit of correction made below the way it should have recorded it.

So I have confirmed the pathways of the three slides in the Provo-Springville area of Utah Valley, showing once again that our pioneer ancestors did some incredible feats that boggle my mind, and make them real UNSUNG HEROES, just as was the case with the tie hackers on the High Uintas North Slope–which story I tell on my website with 14 photo/essays and YouTube videos.  

 Below I insert a  topo map of the two Provo slides, with elevation and distance profiles.

I end this report with another excerpt from a previous post, information from Mr. Carter’s book:

“Since lumbermen used the slide mainly in the winter, they labored under unfavorable working conditions.  Dowdle said at times the snow was from two to eight feet deep on the mountain.  Alexander P. Chesley, who helped cut and slide the timber, lived in such destitution that he had to wrap his feet in  burlap sacking in place of shoes.  Working in these dire circumstances presented at least one advantage.  Dowdle wrote, ‘By laboring in this manner during the winter we made a tolarable good living.'”

Without the contribution of these 
“pioneer UNSUNG HEROES” 
Provo and Springville might not have been built…at least not as quickly  and easily!

Special thanks to D. Robert Carter, of Springville, for his wonderful contributions to our historical knowledge with his two wonderful books about Provo, with a third coming out soon.  We see Mr. Carter below to the right at the Celtic Christmas held at the Pioneer Park. With him are friends Jon Clark, and Laura…..sorry about the quality of my smart phone camera.


I end quoting again the first white men to visit Utah Valley, they called:

“The Valley of Our Lady of Mercy of Timpanogos,” 

and in a letter to the King of Spain, said, it was….

“….the most pleasing, beautiful, and fertile site in New Spain.”


l7th weather permitting

Click here for PREVIOUS REPORTS, PHOTO/ESSAYS & YouTube Videos

Trip #10 – Elk Hunt on Mt. Nebo from Monday Oct 6 on….report SOON!


NEW POST:  September 23, 2014
For nearly the last two months I’ve been going through another topical chemo skin cancer treatment……which I survived again, and with just a simple touch-up on a couple of small areas, I’LL BE A NEW MANas you see me  below, and by the way,
…..ready & excited to  “Not give in….easily” …
……by the way “80th” has a much better ring to it than 79th….so…..
…….“80th” will be the big year for me! 

With  Guatemalan friend Miguel, at the BYU vs. Houston game, invited by son David


So on Wednesday, September 24-25 I will take advantage of a couple of good weather days and once again be  UP WHERE EAGLES DARE  to finish my exploration of the pioneer timber slides that helped create Provo, Utah
This time I’ll take with Google Earth & SPOT Tracker print-outs,  and my own photographs to see where I’ve been, and exactly where I have to go to do a better job exploring  and  then  make a final report on this:

Fascinating and heroic pioneer endeavor–
critical to the building of Provo. 

This time I intend to camp-out Wednesday night right at the site where the timber slide down “Slide Mountain” began, and be able to check out nearby where the one started that went down “Slide Canyon.”  

 I hope to find actual artifacts, and other features besides just a “scar” and “pathways”  on the mountain. Using my cell phone I’ll actually send a message from up there along with a photo or two..
Then from the top I’ll follow the pathway down to the foothills….and report.

I of course will use my SPOT Tracker, programmed so any interested can follow me, clicking on: 
 Find Me at SPOT 

Fall is pretty well here as the Gray Rabbit Brush is in full bloom.  Looking up at my objective…the top of Slide Mt. where I hoped to camp….But I noticed that there was still too much foliage…..a problem to be able to find what I’m looking for.

My intention was to take this double deal, with my ticket from the BYU vs Houston game, up the mountain and have like a picnic rather than “lightweight backpacking”  food  but I had to take a gallon and  a half of water as I ran short on previous trips and the pack weight was just too much…..so it started being a bit tough!

At the 1st turn on the Y-Trail we look across at the timber slide pathway coming down Slide Canyon 

There were a few hikers….all leaving me in their dust! 
Of course I focused on the beautiful flowers as I struggled up to the 6th switchback.

 My hike up the mountain today (Wednesday, Sept. 24th)  will have to be considered  a warm-up as I found that my month and a half layoff for the chemo treatment  on my entire upper body–chest, back & upper arms,  effected me more than expected and wisdom had me coming back down the mountain.. So……EATING A LITTLE “CROW”..again…..to continue to work on getting back in shape and do the exploration  in a  week ….hoping for two days of good weather next week and giving  the leaves a little more time to drop  to make finding remnants of the timber slide easier–All before elk hunting when I head for Mt. Nebo on October 3rd (Friday)… 

UPDATE:  The weather report has everything trending down, maybe this exploration will have to be done later after getting my elk…quickly  (I’m being optimistic …of course) and before I head for Idaho & Wyoming mid-month, , or even until next Spring. 

 Hope you’re having a good laugh at this old geezer eating crow again.…but you can count on me not giving in easily.…but doing my darndest to achieve my goals…no matter what my age! 

I have a hard time getting used to being an old guy….and forced to work harder at getting and keeping in shape to be able to do this sort of thing….but it will be done …..just give me a little time and I WILL YET BE UP THERE WHERE EAGLES DARE!

Friday, Sept. 26th UPDATE:
So I’m back to training with 35 lb. pack on my back in the mountains near American Fork….the couple of following pictures taken during my workout on Thursday, Sept. 25th…...

.Then TODAY the 26th…..doubling my workout from yesterday, going up Grove Canyon until the trail swichbacks up high towards the front of the mountain  as seen below..

High up center is the summit of Mt. Timpanogaos

..now two days of rest and hopefully ……. Monday & Tuesday back up on Slide Mountain.

The weather moving in this afternoon (Friday), by tomorrow with a 25 degree drop in temperature, rain, and snow above 8,000 ft., but hopefully Monday & Tuesday improved when I will attempt my last exploration on SLIDE MOUNTAIN…..if the weather works out…I’ll continue my SPOT Tracks from Switchback 6, then at the Y and up the mountain, but with lighter load:  No .45 Colt Defender, no heavy professional photo equip…just point-and-shoot camera and cell, less water, light weight food, etc.
  I’ll cross my fingers…and do my darndest!.

NOW..Sunday night…looks like maybe a day hike on Thursday, Oct. 2nd?  Then elk hunting from Oct. 3rd on.
 Find Me at SPOT 

Remember a lot of OK Spots are alright as I often use the tracker to pinpoint certain areas critical in the exploration

Trip #4 Attempt: WHERE EAGLES DARE…searching for Pioneer Timber Slide….


This is the title of one of Clint Eastwood’s great movies.

 The weather is a bit questionable but will attempt  to do it on Friday & Saturday, August 1st & 2nd.

ATTEMPT #1 MADE:  Scroll down for photo/essay

NOTE: See at the end of this post, Who Google Search categorizes me with?

Friday, July 25th- KEEPING IN SHAPE on Y-MT- Eagle Pass-Maple Flats-Exploring Pioneer Timber Slide down to Provo foothills
I’ll hit the OK button to begin, & at crucial trail points

 I first attempted what was supposed to be an overnight backpack leaving on July 23rd and intending to be exploring for remnants of the little known “Pioneer timber slide” above Provo, Utah on PIONEER DAY.

The problem was that I had too many errands to run and so didn’t leave the Y-Mountain Trailhead until 2:30 PM when the temperature there was 104 degrees F.  So it quickly got real tough for this old guy.
Looking up WHERE EAGLES DARE on Eagle Pass…..by the way that is the name of a Clint Eastwood movie..

There were a few on the trail….very few….this mom and her overheated daughter sliding down the trail…without a smile on their sweaty faces….

This gal doggedly kept going ahead of me……

As I turned to admire what the pioneers had done to Utah Valley, I began feeling a  bit light headed…..spotting mirages down in Provo….and as I proceeded up the trail began to feel like I didn’t weigh anything….my body struggling up the trail and my spirit continually separating a bit floating behind!

The sun flowers glared a warning at me….saying, 

“Hey you dummy, get smart!”

So I let wisdom take over and I “chickened out” and headed down the mountain. There would be another day….even for this old guy…..and for sure going early would be better.

Two days later, July 25th I awoke at 6:00 AM and by 8:00 was on the trail in the SHADE.

 My Smart phone told me it was 61 degrees in Provo….43 degrees cooler!

There were many on the trail…..the smart ones coming down already, almost beating the sun.

A few were on the top of the Y enjoying the awesome view. 

A whole herd followed me, in fact I deduced that there were 3 or 4 mothers accompanied by their kids……

 ….one big brother helping little sister…

…and all having a great time seeing what the pioneers had started…and what the Brigham Young Academy in I 1875 was developing into!

I continued up the trail towards Eagle Pass….picture from a previous trip in the Fall as is the shot below of Rocky Mountain sheep above the Y.

This trip the prevalent wildlife seemed to just be frequent lizards.

Here we see a Google Earth view of the hike from the SPOT Tracker website showing the high point of the trip……and below the expanded view of the area……

….to  Rock Canyon on the north…..
….and from Eagle Pass zooming in on the BYU sports complex:  Track & Field on the left, the Marriott Center for basket ball, the Larry H. Miller Baseball Field, and the LaVell Edwards Football Stadium…WOW…AM I EXCITED ABOUT THE UPCOMING FOOTBALL SEASON!.

Looking down in a Fall photograph we see an old trail that must have been from the pioneers, and it continues up the ravine of Slide Canyon.  Was it also a timber slide pathway?  I show more of this at the end of this report.  
My research has turned up very little, just mentions of the “timber slide,”  but no details.  One of my reports of the failed attempt has already got me on the Google list concerning timber slides. 

Now looking up Slide Canyon, and as we will see a series of passageways through rough  points that has me calling the area up to the first meadow  the “Eagle Pass area.”  

 From the first “passage” the trail continues towards the 2nd……
….. with the arrow pointing at it from where the next couple of pictures will be taken.

Looking back to the 1st….and then zooming in on it. 

Now looking up the 3rd after which we eventually come to the first meadow.

And of course there just had to be a GOLDEN EAGLE!

We are almost to the first meadow and seeing the north side of Maple Mountain where I’ve got more than one buck…..in the “good old days!”  
…….like when working at Provo Steel & Supply in 1955 hearing that some of the guys were going up there deer hunting the next morning, I got off work around 4:00 quickly prepared my pack, hiked all the way up high above Slide Canyon and Maple Flats, and threw down my sleeping bag on a deer trail  with a good view of what would come up from below.

Still in my sleeping bag the next morning I saw the guys way down in the canyon beginning to come up the mountain.  Soon the deer paraded in front of me.  Still in my sleeping bag I rolled over, shot the biggest buck, then got dressed, packed up, gutted the buck and started the drag….saying hi to the guys along the way (they hated me for a while!), and continued down the switch-backing  trail through Eagle Pass  area, over the Y and down, all done in a matter of maybe 18 hours.  I can’t even imagine today how I ever did that….. the mountain must have been smaller back then! 
Then we come to the 1st meadow that also brings back fond memories:

One deer hunt there was snow on the mountain, but after work or school  I high-tailed it up here  and in this meadow with a bit of snow on it  threw down my air mattress and sleeping bag and covered myself with my poncho. During the long, cold night I heard deer snorting all around me–wondering if I wouldn’t get stomped on,  and tried to move to see as there was a good moon, but the poncho  was frozen and the crackling had the herd thunder off.

Next morning I continued up the trail and then traversed back around the mountain seen in the previous photos.  There was a thick crust on the snow and I was making all kinds of racket….but rather than scare off a buck, it got him curious and all of a sudden I noticed 20 yards ahead of me a buck sort of squatting down with his front legs flared out to look under branches to see what was making so much noise.  I dropped to my knee and with one shot dropped him right on the spot….another long drag proceeded and again we ate that winter….healthy “grass fed”  venison!

 The vegetation under the quaking aspens was lush….to say the least.

I had continued up from the meadows to see if I couldn’t find signs of pioneer timber operations, and soon came to a junction….that was almost missed.  The trail to the left is the Y-Mountain summit trail.  

To the right,  almost hidden by the vegetation, is the main trail to Slate Canyon and up to the Squaw Peak Road, and bushwhacking to Provo Peak.

The lush vegetation often had the trail totally hidden as it tunneled under the green.

There was an old logging road that traversed around the mountain that I used years ago, but it was so hidden by vegetation that there was no point in trying to photograph it,  but here is the map of the area, showing my SPOT Track where after resting I headed back down as I was almost out of water.

There I hit the SPOT Tracker OK button….and soon it lit up sending the signal to the satellite to trigger 10 emails sent to my friends, saying:  

Message:Trip #4 Fighting to keep in shape - exploring Pioneer Timber Slide from Maple Flats down to Provo foothills

 A midst the vegetation is STINGING NETTLE,  so watch out!

Back down to the meadows...and looking back we see the ridge that comes off the back of Y-Mountain.  It was up there where my oldest son, David, got his first buck, in thick fog,with my Browning lever action .243 I loaned him.  He dragged him down to the highest house on the Provo foothills and called me to give him a ride.

 Looking up towards Maple Flats, I began looking for the trail.  I had to find water soon, or head back.  I  just couldn’t remember where the trail took off and failed finding it.  In my youth I would have just went bushwhacking and got there, but…..the mountain had grown bigger in 30-35 years.

The spring was up there somewhere,  I since learned from my brother, Marlo, who had been up here in recent years, that on his last trip the spring was dry.  I had brought a gallon of water, but was almost out, so headed back to civilization

Since,  I did a Google Earth and Topographical map study with images that follow showing what I'm still determined to find and explore....IN A COUPLE OF DAYS.

 On my last hunt up there I got to Maple Flats that had spotty snow, and set up a bivouac camp.  There was abundant straw from the tall grass and I made a thick mat of it and laid  down my  sleeping bag under the stars.  
At around 11:00 PM I was shocked to a sitting position by reverberating echos off Maple Mountain of a howling pack of coyotes that seemed to  surround me!  There was a good moon, so I just laid my .243 Browning across my waist and laid back down..  The trail was just 10 yards below me.  Soon I heard them coming by, sat up and squeezed off a shot at a  big shadow that trailed last.  There was a yelp….and then I heard him struggling,  circling around me…and he stopped.
Soon the howling returned echoing off the mountains, but a much subdued, quieter, and sort of lorn-full chorus.  Apparently there would be an opportunity for another male to take over the pack.

In the morning I found him 30 yards from my camp, and in the process of skinning him out, David showed up to see how I had done. The mounted coyote was with me down in Guatemala for nearly 20 years.  Now, no room for him in my tiny Cabin A trailer, so he's  on my son Nephi's wall.

Had great memories on my hike!

What is ahead of me this week?

In a couple of days I'll leave even earlier and head back up there with more water, and tough energy supplements and see if I can't get the task accomplished.  Following are Google Earth views showing what I'm looking for.

Below  in shadows it's  hard or impossible to see...just a little top right.

It begins to appear faintly as we proceed down the mountain.

It becomes very distinct again.

 Further down it disappears again  on Google Earth.

This view taken in the Fall of 2012 it is seen quite distinctly near the foot of the mountain approximately in the vicinity seen below on Google Earth..

 It ends in this vicinity along Provo’s foothills.

Below is an enlargement of the beginning up near Maple Flats of the slide pathway area.

  It shows some roadways, or ditch-like structures that need to be explored.

Likewise there is another pathway coming out of large trees to the northwest of the end of the Maple Flats trail as seen below in dead center.These would be descending into the steep ravine.

They are seen in the middle top of this image
and enlarged below.

They go down the ravine, disappear in shadows and rough areas, and then reappear in the lower section as seen below.

I’m likely biting off much more than I can chew….and hope some young archaeologist will take up the interest.  It would be a fascinating study for someone–in the meantime I’ll be considered the expert on Google Search…see what I mean below.

I headed back towards the valley with less than 20 oz. of water left.  Between the Y and the Trailhead, some hikers first congratulated me for being a good backpacker, but apparently I looked pretty bad so they offered me some needed  water and kindly gave me 3 slurps from their water bottle.   On arriving at the car I didn't have intentions of trying it again.....but after a couple of days I'm determined to give it one more try.

I'll post the SPOT Tracker link and when that attempt will be, on Thursday, July 31st .

But what am I  associated with?

So, my activities place me squarely in the 

…..but before you laugh too much about my life…..remember that ….
“The Kingdom of heaven is for those who become like little children!”

2013 FIRST TRIP–Mirror Lake Scenic Byway and Piedmont Ghost Town

Click below to see previous post:

“Opps…I forgot a matter of life or death”…More of Spring…and KSL podcasts, plus links to Comeback photo/essays and videos 

Note:  I have added to the above post an important letter with links from our friend Dean Mitchell at the DWR.  Go back to check it out.



May 25-27th

NOTE:  A correction can be found at the end, along with a comment about my sanity!

For a number of years I attempted to always be one of the first to drive the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway but apparently for the 2012 Season, due to back surgery on May 24th and the attempt to avoid becoming a cripple I got slowed down,  but I did make the trip on May 19th with my daughter, Mahana. Following is a photo of the Provo River Falls, and then one on Bald Pass on that day, May 19th, 2012. 
Provo River Falls (above ) — May 19, 2012– Bald Mt. and Pass (below)

Provo River Falls (above) —  June 28, 2011 — Bald Mt. and Pass (below)

Bald Mt. and Pass on June 5, 2010


The trip with my compact “Cabin A” trailer began at the Western “Gateway to the Uintas” in Kamas, UTAH where also begins the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway which opened on May 25th.
 No attempt will be made in this brief photo/essay to identify the sprinkling included of the first wildflowers of the season.

 The increased elevation had my bag of potatoe chips inflated to the bursting point.

 You can back up and compare the snow depth with other years, 2013 with much more snow than the 2012 season, but less than 2010 and 2011.
 Mt. Hayden is seen directly down the highway as we begin the descent to  the snowed-in Mirror Lake junction.
 Of course the road in to the famous Highline Trailhead is still snowed in, and will be for another couple of weeks–depending on the weather.
 From the snowbound High Uintas we descend north towards Wyoming and Evanston and then take I-80 East about 20 miles to Exit 24 that has us on a gravel road that leads to the Piedmont ghost town.

 We will travel 7.5 miles south on this well maintained road.

 We parallel Muddy Creek which as will see is well known in the pioneer history of the West.
 Most of this 7.5 miles has us passing through lands of the Guild Ranch.  As we will see the Guild family was the second to settle in Piedmont in around 1865, and continue in our day.

 Here we see a panorama of MUDDY CREEK.  Read below how historic an area we are seeing.

 We are heading south and see in the distance the snow covered peaks of the High Uinta Mountains.
 Ruins of the area’s pioneer past can be seen all along the road.
 Soon we see the prominent “beehive” charcoal kilns of Piedmont, Wyoming 140 years ago a historically important town of around 200 for a short time with the Transcontinental Railroad running down its main and only street.
 The historic site has been fixed up since I first visited the area 4 years ago.  Very interesting explanations about the importance of the area are now available to the visitors.  I’ll insert them below and encourage you all to read and learn about this important era of our country’s development.

 I’ll zoom in on some of the important explanations, like THE FIRST RESIDENTS, and BUTCH CASSIDY, the most famous Mormon train and bank robber, and CALAMITY JANE!

 Moses Byrne, the founder in 1857, along with his wives (Catherine who lived in Piedmont, and Anne, who lived in Ogden) were all converts to Mormonism from Europe (England and Italy) who migrated to Utah in 1854.  I’ll relate more of the interesting history in the upcoming book.
 The Guild family joined the Byrnes  in Piedmont in 1864.  Marie Guild and Catherine Byrnes were sisters from Piedmont, Italy.  The Guild family focused on ranching and to this day are the owners of the area ranch land that includes the ghost town.  Their ranch is centered a couple of miles southwest on the road that connects to the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway at the Sulphur Reservoir.
 With the Union Pacific Railroad station there where needed water was abundant, as well as wood and charcoal, the community grew to around 200 with  a General Store, two story hotel, school, post office, livery stable, newspaper and four saloons.  The tie hacks in the Uintas provided wood for the kilns, other wood products, and used Piedmont as an entertainment and supply center.  Soldiers from Fort Bridger also used it for rest and recreation on the weekends.

 Below is the interesting story of the charcoal kilns, and the production of charcoal used in the smelters in Utah and other areas.  Read on and learn about something I certainly didn’t know before.

 The large building seen above was the school. 
 I had come for another visit focusing on Memorial Day as I had noticed that the cemetery which you see further along was still being used some.  I had noticed dried up flowers that had recently been placed on several of the grave sites, and there were burials in 1996 and 1998.  I had photographed in 2009 all the tombstones and done a study showing that of the 25 legible names 28% had either been still-born or died before reaching the age of 4.  Another 28% died before the age of 15.  Apparently the pioneer life was no easy task!   I wanted to learn more and thought I’d maybe meet someone on Memorial Day.

 The above two photos I had taken in 2009 on my first visit as well as several that follow.
 There are NO TRESPASSING signs which I respected and so took these shots from the road.

 I learned that this home, nearest to the kilns, and with the cemetery in the background was Moses’ Byrnes home.

 Another view of the Moses Byrne’s home.
 The cemetery was my target area.  I parked near a road that led to the cemetery and waited, but dozed off a bit, awakening as a 4 x 4 pickup slipped by me and went up the road.  I got my camera and recorder and hiked as fast as I could towards the cemetery.
 There I met Kelly Crompton Bussio and J.D., her husband and had a fascinating conversation.
 Kelly’s first husband, Brent Crompton, was buried in the cemetery in 1996, after he lost his life in an airplane accident in Montana in which Kelly was left paralyzed from the shoulders down.  Kelly’s mother-in-law is Fae Byrne Crompton a direct descendant of Moses Byrne.  She is still alive, around 87 years old, living in Orem, Utah and Kelly promises me I’ll have an enthusiastic visit with her.  Fae was born in Piedmont and lived there until graduating from high school–which is another fascinating story soon to be told.  I will be calling her in a day or so.
 J.D. is Kelly’s current husband who brings his wife yearly to decorate her deceased husband’s grave you see below.  The Byrne family will have their annual Family Reunion next week in Robertson, a ranching community to the east on the road to Mountain View and Ft. Bridger.  Part of their reunion is making the journey to Piedmont to decorate the grave sites.
 Kelly was kind enough to tell me some crucial stories that I was able to record and will write about, as well as what I learn from Fae.  Below is the tombstone of Moses and Catherine Byrnes.
 In 1998 another of Fae’s sons, Craig, was also buried here, being the most recent.  It is now a family rule that to be buried in the cemetery one has to be a direct descendant of the original settlers.
 I hitched a ride back to the main road with J.D. and Kelly and finally got into one of my photos–look carefully and you an see me.
 Kelly gave me permission to walk in among the remaining buildings and so I made a quick swing checking them out, along with this antelope that went ahead of me.

This was the school with one teacher handling 1st through 8th grades.
 Square nails, as I explain in other photo/essays identify this as a site from the 1800’s as round, wire nails we know today weren’t invented and produced until 1910.
 Square nails were seen everywhere.  There were also round ones, indicating repairs done after 1910 and up to 1940 when the end came for Piedmont.

 I couldn’t  resist a shot with a fish-eye lens.  Sorry for not getting it all in focus.

 At the corner of the above ruin was the plaque you see below.

 This one had a plaque too, still in good condition.

 The 3rd home’s plaque didn’t fare as well as the others, and apparently is lost to history.

 Many more ruins are just piles of rotting logs.
 The cattle have taken over most of the ruins using them for shelter.  The school ruin even has a cattle feeder trough built into one side of it.
 If you have taken the time to read and learn about PIEDMONT I’m sure you will feel well fed in learning just a little more about our pioneer heritage.  I hope to include  more interesting facts into my writings. I’ll do another post in a few days based on the recorded interview with Kelly at the cemetery on Memorial Day (May 27th), and then with Fae and her husband on May 30th getting a host of good historical information.
A few friends and family have wondered about my sanity with this new solitary life, but I talk to a lot of people as mentioned, and am never alone as my son Jesse out of compassion gave me a companion, as seen below–WILSON!  Me and Tom Hanks have a lot in common!


My last post was:

SURPRISE…A NEW GLITCH! A New Surgery Monday–April 8th

It all boiled down to my left hip being all worn out, resulting in painful bone-on-bone, leaving me no choice but to go for a new surgery.  If you didn’t see the X-ray showing that, click on the above link, then come back for my report on:


I had forgot to tell Dr. Jackson that I wanted the ball end of my femur–to mount on something and have like a trophy– he was to saw off to replace with titanium, and asked him about it afterwards, but he said it was too late and besides I wouldn’t want to see it as my bone was so hard they had to use something like a chisel and hammer to take it off in 4 pieces.  I’m exaggerating his description for sure, but didn’t get the “trophy.”  Dr. Jackson did a great job in the 2 hour surgery and came to see me when I couldn’t even begin to lift my left leg without help to get down and go for my first walk.

Above are the BEFORE, on the left,  and the AFTER to the right.
The 2nd day I early walked for 3 laps and felt great, but by the afternoon the pain blocker began wearing off and my vision of soon backpacking began to wain.

I was deeply impressed by all the medical staff who took care of me, and as I did while at Reams Supermarket, did my best to learn everyone’s name and took pictures of most.  Below is the 13″ x 19″ card I made and posted today  (Thursday the 18th, one week after being released) at the hospital.
I’m grateful for the visits made by my family, for my brother, Marlo, who brought me a walker on loan, and for Jesse who picked me up and took me home.

The instructions called for use of the walker for 6 weeks–but after using it on Thursday and Friday, I could lift my leg without help, and the walker just got in my way so was gratefully stored in a corner of the living room.  Dr. Jackson didn’t chew me out today for that, just smiled and said he had expected such, but to be careful–NO BACKPACKING FOR 6 WEEKS!

The instructions ordered me to not drive for 3 weeks, but there were urgent needs and so the next day I carefully tried it and since I drive with my right leg have continued.

Now to the ‘NEW LIFE:”  
My last 5 children, I have been a Mr. Mom to for the last 20 years, have grown up and I am proud to say they are becoming independent.  In all of that my remaining assets have been exhausted and so I will grow up too and go independent in a way to accomplish best my purposes:  First, finishing my High Uintas Wilderness Project with research, investigations, and explorations all around the Uinta Mountains and up into Southern Wyoming.  Second, while doing so persist in managing as a volunteer the Guatemalan Foundation and our altruistic projects among the Mayas in Guatemala.

To do so I will go mobile in my tiny 7′ x 11′ self-contained travel trailer, pulled behind my upgraded car, a Ford Explorer.  Since I was a young kid I dreamed of one day having a “cabin in the mountains,” but my 40 years helping the Mayans didn’t make me rich, so that dream was

forgotten a long time ago–until one day recently


It is a 2006 model so inexpensive enough to handle, but doesn’t look used at all.

The spacious and well equipped kitchen, dining/living room and bathroom.
As you might perceive, I have modified it for my needs, building into it drawers, and shelves for my large 13″ x 19″ printer, my flatbed scanner, and with my high end laptop with unlimited access to the internet, I will be able to get to work and doing more than I have been able to do all these years.  Under the cabinets on the right I will soon install two more storage batteries connected to solar panels on the roof.  Everything is cushioned underneath and for travel held securely in place with bungy cords.

Of course I will be in abundant contact with the Satellite Phone from Russ and Skycall Satellite, plus my SPOT Personal Tracker, and reports each Saturday morning to Tim Hughes and KSL OUTDOORS RADIO.
The FIRST REPORT will be heard this Saturday, April 20th between 6:00-8:00 AM.
Click on the highlighted link to take you to KSL Online, or tune in to 1160 AM or 102.7 FM

I will also be in contact with the world with a high end cell phone that will give me unlimited internet access when in my mobile unit.

I will appreciate any comments, questions, or suggestions–and maybe an occassional invite for  a first class hot shower!!!!

PREPARE OR ELSE…–Part 2: Overcoming Obstacles with Supplements– “THE HOLY GRAIL!”

This is the earliest opening in my experience
The NEW OBSTACLE I mention in Part 2 has me putting on hold Part 3.  Give me a week or so.
UPDATE:  April 20, 2012  Scroll down to see what the specialists concluded and the treatment that will have me overcoming the “obstacle” and  backpacking still in my 77th year. 
May 16th UPDATE:  “overcoming the obstacle”  got a bit more complicated, so it looks like the “backpacking still” will mostly be this old guy doing it in my 78th year!  “I’m going under the knife”  as there is too much of me still working pretty good TO GIVE IN!  
May 17th UPDATE:  On May 24th I will undergo surgery for my  “degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis.”  That translated to High Uinta geezer English is:  “I’m a worn out old guy!” Recovery can take as long as 12 months, but  knowing me, the Dr. thinks I might be ready to backpack by August 24th. I’ll apparently be in the hospital at least 3 days, then a week or so of bed rest at home, and then gradually get back in shape and hope to at least do what I have listed as my first trip for this summer.   I will do my darndest and see how it goes.   While I recuperate and recover I’ll be doing all the research I need to put all this together, but before the surgery I’ll do PART 3:  GEAR so that it might be in time to help all of you with a suggestion or two.. and  then I’ll keep you updated on things like the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway opening, and do some YouTube videos and photo/essays on a few of the fascinating historical aspects of the Uintas you probably don’t know about, etc. 
In the meantime entertain yourself and be overwhelmed seeing the Lord’s beautiful creations–with my two updated complete collections of wildflowers and flora, many you’ve never seen before, divided into two parts: (no sound, so put on some  great music and enjoy)
YouTube video #10–WILDFLOWERS OF THE FOOTHILLS (117 varieties)
YouTube video #11–ALPINE WILDFLOWERS and FAUNA OF THE HIGH UINTAS (204 varieties)
Eventually they will all be presented in a photo gallery  identified with common and scientific names and other information.
Photo/Essay:  #9-Part 1:  BACKPACKING  2012–SCHEDULE and PREPARE OR ELSE…….!
YouTube Video #9-Part 2: Overcoming Obstacles with Nutrition/Supplements

Photo/Essay: with links to all the imporant stuff
 #9-Part 2: Overcoming Obstacles with Nutrition/Supplements
Here I am again to give you a few tips about how you can have a great backpack or two this summer..
NOTE:  Down near the end of this post I talk about a new obstacle to me accomplishing my goals.  One possible solution is discussed.    This is an incredible discovery, so check it out  carefully when you get to it.
Remember in Part 1 we talked about heavy duty work getting in great physical shape….or else…..or have one tough time that just could be a nightmare if you’re not willing to put in the effort to be strong.
In this segment, Part 2,  I will focus  on overcoming obstacles with nutrition and supplements—that one mature friend has called “the Holy Grail” for us older guys.  As you will notice it also took a couple of surgical reconstructions. Of course there is also a YouTube video.  It is a bit long  but 17 minutes  is a good investment that could mean enjoyment, or misery–or life and death.  So take the time and get prepared.

In my case it all began in 1953  when I was on a suicide mission at Provo High School  to become the smallest player in the history of the NFL, but in a vicious game against West High school I got wiped out and for 50 years limped with my “football ankle.” 
  Then at 45 I was becoming a cripple with arthritis from the “football ankle” up my right side to my shoulder and arm.  I was getting desperate, but then one night heard a radio interview with Dale Alexander.  Pay attention, this is critical for many.
He saved himself, his 80 year old mother and others from being  cripples.  His treatment was so effective he became known as  the “Cod Father”  His Cod Liver Oil.
He discovered that taking 2 tbls. of COD LIVER OIL 30 minutes before eating in the morning, and 30 minutes before dinner and keeping it up for 6 months has your arthritis GO AWAY. It worked miraculously for me. Then for maintenance you take a tablespoon full (4 gel caps) once a day in the morning—FOREVER
  Two years after the initial miracle I quit for a month and the arthritis all came back. I then started it again, and at 4 months the pain left me and has never returned, except when doing extreme exercise, but increasing the dose solves that problem.  I must add that my body stiffness felt when I get up in the morning very literally is felt dissipating in about 10 minutes after taking my cod liver oil.
At the same time I was successful at losing 30 lbs., no small matter to say the least.  Part of that was jogging and eventually running half-marathons, but that brought back pain in the ankle and metatarsilitis in the balls of my feet, and a rheumatologist told me to stop running, and forget backpacking. 
 I added Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM to my cod liver oil, and made  modifications to my running shoes and hiking boots, with an incredible combination of inserts.  
 did 14 consecutive International Half-Marathons between my 58th and 72nd years 
By then I was in the middle of my High Uintas Project and by 2006 the football ankle wore out and my ankle was reconstructed with 3 screws and a tendon transplant.  
Of course I kept working out even with the cast on my leg and ankle, and kept backpacking  using a lightweight boot that gave my ankle support, but gradually moved to a lightweight low cut boot, and now just a mountain running shoe with one additional insert.
Along that  30 year trail I also had to begin coping with my “motor cycle knee,”also on my right side,  after an accident, and a knee operation followed by the doctor’s advice to forget jogging and backpacking.  Of course  the cod liver oil, and Glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM  helped me ignore his orders and keep going using a knee brace, but a year after the ankle surgery in 2007, my knee wore out and it was either become a couch potato, or back to surgery for a complete knee replacement.  

So I got a titanium knee, did some intensive therapy—all of which  was quite painful, and as you can see it looks horrible, but the important thing is that it works and I’ve kept on backpacking
For many years of normal living I only took 2 gelcaps/day of cod liver oil for maintenance and it was enough.  But, now  I take 6 in the morning as I’m dealing with major joint and arthritic problems while doing 7-8 miles,  3-5 times a week in my work. I take 2 more with my noon meal, and 1 prior to going to bed.  I also persist at taking 2 capsules of Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM in the morning, and 2 at mid-day, and in addition also need 2-3 Excedrin, or better its Walmart equivalent that is much cheaper, and when in the midst of a heavy day repeat it at mid-day.  With that I now head into the high country with no knee brace, and my lightweight, but great quality mountain running shoes.


Here I’ll only mention what I begin with every day—it is DEE’S CEREAL,  .  You can hit the pause and read the benefits of this great cereal.  I will only mention that its claim to be “Heart Healthy”  is no joke as I have also in the last 10 years or so had to deal with a couple of heart conditions.  Several related emergencies I survived and describe  in two  of my Survival stories on the website.  You will notice I mix in cinnamon as studies have shown it helps control blood pressure.  I mix it with dhyrated milk, and sugar and put it to soak overnight so it needs no cooking.  You can hit the pause button and see what else is said about this cereal which in Utah can be found in the cooler section at your supermarket.
Now to the nutrition supplements I use and why.  All of them together add up to my MULTI-VITAMIN/MINERAL  and MORE.

 First is WELLNESS  FORMULA.  A powerful herb combination, and antioxidants known to provide energy, protection from stress, and support for the immune system.  Normally I take 1-2 twice a day, depending on how tough the day is.   If you begin feeling imbalances in your well-being (like  coming down with a cold, flu, etc.) you should take 3-6 capsules of the WELLNESS FORMULA every 3 hours.  So you should have an extra bag of these for emergencies

 First is WELLNESS FORMULA.  A powerful herb combination, and antioxidants known to provide energy, protection from stress, and support for the immune system.  Normally I take 1-2 twice a day, depending on how tough the day is.   If you begin feeling imbalances in your well-being (like  coming down with a cold, flu, etc.) you should take 3-6 capsules of the WELLNESS FORMULA every 3 hours.  So you should have an extra bag of these for emergencies

 Next is STRESSCARE Another herbal multivitamin/mineral/antioxidant and immune system support specifically when under physical stress such as backpacking. When working or backpacking I take 2 twice a day.  

 Then comes CHORELLA   a super food considered the secret of longevity among some of the oldest people on earth. Click on it to learn more.

CoQ10   It is a vitamin-like compound essential component of cells and is necessary for mitochondrial energy production. Years of research has shown that CoQ10 supports healthy cardiovascular and immune system functions in addition to its vital role in energy production. I take one in the morning and another mid-day when backpacking.

 VITAMIN D3  is another crucial nutrient, especially for older individuals where natural levels of nutrients are lower than they should be.  It is necessary for bone health, immune wellness and plays a crucial regulatory role for many bodily processes.

 DHEA This is the “Mother hormone” for both men and women as it converts into whatever hormone the body needs and is essential to keep your body in proper balance. Some have called it “the fountain of youth,” levels of which are known to fall precipitously with age, and with low levels common among those who suffer from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and chronic fatigue. I take just one 100 mg capsule to begin the day.  

SUPER B-COMPLEX with vitamin C and Folic Acid – B-vitamins help convert food into energy—obviously crucial for a backpackers and others involved in intense physical activity. I take one each morning


Above you see me in 2003 leaving on my 27 day “expedition” with 81 pounds on my back and around my waist.  A mile down the trail I added 2 lbs. of water (1 quart).  This was a monumental effort similar to doing a a half-marathon a day, and sometimes a marathon  for 27 days and 236 miles.  This required special conditioning and athletic nutrition without which it would have been a nightmare.
I trained for it for years on my farm in Guatemala doing 4 miles of rolling hills 2-3 times a week with a 100 lb. bag of fertilizer on my back.  If you’re not willing to train big time, don’t attempt it!

As you might have noticed I approach backpacking (and the work I do at Reams) as I did running a half-marathon.  It could be argued that carrying a 30-50 lb. pack at elevations over 10,000 ft.for 5-6 miles  is actually more difficult than running a 13 mile half marathon.  So you should approach it, and its recovery each day similarly. Below are a few glimpses of the challenge.

Freshman orientation from Earlham College, Indiana on their 19 day backpack trip in the Uintas.

 The Scott’s on the trail to Middle Basin up the trail from Christmas Meadows

 Mahana climbing East Grandaddy Mountain for the view of a lifetime.

 Bushed  after a backpacking day equivalent to running a marathon!

You need marathoner’s supplements to do it right and enjoy it.

  ENDUROX-EXCEL builds endurance, increases fat metabolism, and helps maintain healthy immune function. One investigation showed it to increase a marathoner’s performance by around 15%. I find myself clearly more alert and energetic taking 2 tablets each morning just before going to work, or beginning my hike for the day..

CALCIUM-MAGNESIUM  A few years ago RUNNER’S WORLD reported a study showing that the mineral marathon runners lose most is calcium. The same for backpackers.  Thus, 5 gm. ( teaspoon full) is added to the energy drink I mix in the morning and drink at about noon.  Again in the afternoon 5 mg is mixed with my recovery drink (Endurox R4) after work or backpacking is finished.  Then again at night mixed with HGH stimulant before going to sleep.  This is also available in capsules.

 ENDUROX  R4 –  this is a carbohydrate Protein formula usually used for recovery and “coming back stronger.”  I mix it in the morning (on the trail only the powder with no water in my mixer bottle) to add water half-way through my day at lunch time to begin the recovery process for the remainder of the day, and another one on finishing hiking for the day for recovery. .  To the Endurox I add Calciumn/Magnesium as explained above, and also extra Glutamine as mentioned below. 

GLUTAMINE powder  capsules  is an essential amino acid with an important role in muscle development.  Under extreme exercise, especially for older individuals, levels are depleted and need to be replenished to avoid muscle breakdown.  RUNNERS WORLD reported that marathon runners who took 5 gms. of Glutamine after a race were able to avoid getting sick. I have certainly found this so in my own experience—thus these ingredients are added to my energy and recovery drink (Endurox R4 already has enough Glutamine for average people–I add 1 tsp for being an old guy with special needs).  You can also get this in capsule form to avoid having to mix with a liquid.

 SPORTLEGS  is designed to support your body’s lactate energy system  to help minimize muscle soreness.  When backpacking I take three to begin the day and two on finishing the day’s hike to help recover and eliminate muscle soreness.

 NO VITAMIN/SUPPLEMENT BOTTLES – of course I don’t take backpacking all these bottles and containers I’ve been showing you, but have a bunch of labled  Ziploc bags for each take, plus a few extra of certain key supplements for when I might need to increase the dose, such as with WELLNESS and COD LIVER OIL.

As shown here I take a few wide mouthed plastic mixer bottles, actually free left over from your chocolate drink snack, etc.  Just remove the labels and you’re ready to go.  They weigh nothing, so you can take a few extras in case you need them.

To the left is my Dee’s Cereal mixed in the evening for the next morning’s breakfast.  Another staple is eggnog mixed with dehydrated eggs, milk power, cinnamon and sugar (I take the powder mixed in a ziploc bag, and then mix it in a bottle like to the right–which as pictured has the FRS drink in it rather than eggnog).  I have a couple of eggnogs every day which is the most delicious menu item always.

During the day, on the trail, I have a pack of FRS chewsin my pocket.  This is promoted by Lance Armstrong, and NFL’s Tim Tebow, and me.  
It is a mix of essential vitamins, plus Quercetin which is a powerful all-natural antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables.  Once in a while in my work I begin getting tired and grumpy towards the end of my shift—and sometimes outright sick..  I quickly pop 2 FRS chews in my mouth and within 10-15 minutes am able to cheerfully finish my day.  On the trail I often have made the last few miles to my camping spot, or to the trailhead on the back of a couple of chews.  FRS is also available in tubes of powder to mix with water as seen a couple of photos back.

 RESVERATROL  this supplement contains the ingredient in red wine that is reported to be beneficial for one’s heart and longevity.  One is taken along with the dinner meal.
 CALCIUM-MAGNESIUM s taken 30 minutes before retiring..  This is a great aid to avoid Irritable Leg Syndrome,  leg cramps, and aid to sleep better.  It is taken along with HGH (Human Growth Hormone) stimulator made up mostly of amino acids. Once again HGH becomes very deficient in elderly people that contributes to bringing on old age.  .  I will be experimenting with the tablet form pictured here, but usually use a powered form by Goldshield and pictured below.
IBUPROFIN – due to joint and leg pains as explained I take 2-3 ibuprofen at night to help me sleep better.

 MY GOOD LEG! – around 35 years ago a small piece of shrapnel lodged in my leg above the knee.  When the doctor worked on removing it he said I would maybe have trouble with that leg when getting older. I was horrified seeing him cut into my muscle cross-grain down to the bone to find it..  Sure enough a few years ago I began having hip pain on that side and gradually it has got worse encompassing the whole leg,  sometimes weakening and almost collapsing.  Sleep at night has become very difficult.  Increasing the dose of cod liver oil to 3 at noon, 3 in the afternoon and 3 at night helped some, but not
 My search for a solution had me discovering a product, D-Ribose,  that sounded like it could help.  I was willing to try anything  so got a bottle.
 “D-RIBOSE”  is essential for synthesis and production and storing of energy for skeletal muscle and heart tissue, and aids in recovery and is a powerful antioxidant cleaning up free radicals that multiply with intense exercise.  The dose was 5 capsules twice daily, which seemed like a lot so I went with 2. twice a day, but felt no change.

 Then one day at work I had my leg almost collapsing every few steps and got real worried. At break I took 5 capsules and went back to work with the pain and weakening gone. It must not be arthritis or the cod liver would have solved it, so I’ll get it checked out soon, but in the meantime I’m sticking with D-Ribose, no matter what the cost.
 D-RIBOSE capsules  Powder
For more information go to:  END FATIGUE and HEART SMART CELLULAR ENERGY
Another one that caught my eye was CURCUMIN C3 COMPLEXfrom the Tumeric root that “benefits joints and other tissues by helping to neutralize free radicals.”  Alone it didn’t make much difference, but in combination with D-Ribose, it has me hustling around doing my 7-8 miles 4 times a week while unashamedly admitting that it is with a bit of a limp.
Within a few days I will have it checked out by the doctor and see what the heck is going on.

UPDATE:  April 20, 2012  A few days ago I had Dr. Richard Jackson, who had done my knee replacement, check me out.  His X-rays revealed the problem was with my lower back, two vertebra’s squeezed together and  pinching the nerve causing pain down my leg.  The next day they did an MRI on my back, it all boiling down to me having what they called:  “degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis.”  That translated to High Uinta geezer English is:  “I’m a worn out old guy!”
So apparently the shrapnel wound doesn’t have anything to do with it.

I’m down for a day or two, but far from  out  as this morning I was seen by Dr. Joseph Richey and given a shot of cortisone at the tail end of my spine that will have me by Monday hustling around Reams Supermarket and preparing for my High Uintas Project with Friday-Sunday off  each week  from now until August to do research in all the areas surrounding the Uintas, and then in August  peck away at the 4 adventurous trips outlined in Part 1 of this series on Backpacking.  
However I will persist using D-Rebose as it sounds like a perfect addition to keep this old geezer from “giving in” and plow forward  until the job is done.

NOTE:  This was not included in the YouTube video.
I can’t really end this without another word about nutrition–the kind that will cost you nothing, but give big results. THIS IS NOT TONGUE-IN-CHEEK!  Their incredible nutritive qualities are going to help keep me above ground and hustling.
 that I have called the “Spinach of the Weed World.”  Others have called them“The Gourmet Weed.”  Of course you have them all around your home, at the park, and also in the High Uintas Wilderness,  at all but the extreme elevations.  They come and go but if they are around where you’re hiking or camping, think seriously about them.  The leaves and the flowers can be used  to increase the nutrition of your soup, or whatever. They can also be eaten raw as a salad. They have amazing nutritional qualities as the links in my photo/essay will demonstrate.
 Here you see me  adding dandelions to a pot of macaroni soup.  THEY HAVE AMAZING NUTRITIONAL and  MEDICINAL VALUE. ranked in the top 4 of all green vegetables, and the 3rd food in vitamin A content, only topped by cod liver oil and beef liver. The flower and leaves are high in the Vitamin B’s, and effective for dealing with stress. Also rich in potassium, iron and calcium, with medicinal benefits to cure high blood pressure, hepatitis, etc. and rich in enzymes to aid digestion. Of ALL VEGETABLES dandelions rank 9th best.  I eat a handful daily, some in a salad, and more just slightly cooked along with swiss chard.  For incredible information go to my website.
 PURSLANE which you have among your flowers, and all over your vegetable garden.  You likely even HATE IT!  Below you see this old enemy–soon to become a cherished friend, and a shot with some cleaned and ready for my salad.  This will help you be healthier down in civilization as it is not found in the High Uintas.

Purslane has 6 times more vitamin E than spinach, 7 times more beta-carotene than carrots, and is rich in vitamin C, glutathione, riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, tryptophan, and has more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy plant. It is also rich in protein.   Purslane  may have positive effects on the brain and may aid in such conditions as depression, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and migraines. For other medicinal uses see: MEDICINAL    American Indians used the plant as a poultice for burns, juice for earaches, tea for headaches and stomachaches.  For more information click on WONDER WEED.  It has a very bland and agreeable taste.  I usually eat it as one of the ingredients in my “rainbow salad” each day.  It can be added to soaps and other cooked dishes.  Purslane is not a High Uintas Wilderness weed, but grows all over the world.  I discovered it in Guatemala where it is called“verdolaga.” 

 REDMOND CLAY — I go nowhere without Redmond Clay–which is a fine powder called “bentonite.” It will solve any intestinal problems, and works as a healing agent for wounds, rashes and burns. You just take some of the powder in a Ziploc bag, and when you feel you need it, mix as a paste in a small plastic bottle or Ziploc bag. You then take a generous spoonful, and down it with water. For wounds, spread the paste on and cover with Saran wrap or such. Learn more at::  http://www.redmondclay.com/    You can get it at: REDMOND CLAY–  For one of my many experiences with it go to: EXPERIENCE NEAR CRATER LAKE and MORE 
You can buy this in a bag at Good Earth in Provo, or Orem, Utah  cheaper, for about $7.00.
Well, that’s about it. I imagine many of you will be impressed that it’s all pretty complicated and maybe expensive. But, once you get the routine down, it’s more than simple–and believe me IT’S A LOT BETTER THAN THE OTHER OPTION!  You also end up saving a lot of money by eliminating some of the less healthy food options, and you’ll save a bundle having less health problems.  Don’t get me wrong as I have been caught eating at McDonalds once in a while, and, as I say in my LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING photo essay and elsewhere, I love Taco Bell, and how can you not like Mountain Dew?
Of course I’ve have found that it is far better to stick with what is giving me the health, energy and enthusiasm I need to NOT GIVE IN, and stick with what has become a passion that keeps me above ground and breathing—not only breathing, but hustling around fully engaged in living and enjoying REAMS and all the wonderful customers and employees, and of course the fascination of our Creators incredible swath of color and beauty we call the High Uintas Wilderness 
Now, INTO THE UINTAS TO SEE IF I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT OR NOT–or just so much HOT AIR! I’ll be posting reports, and you should listen each Saturday from 6:00 to 8:00 KSL OUTDOORS RADIO and get my satellite phone report from Aug. 4th  on–most likely in the first half hour of the show.  Go to:  KSL RADIO ONLINE.