YouTube video (silent) ROCK CANYON & CONQUERING SQUAW PEAK…..The Weekly HEAVY DUTY WORKOUT for week of Sept. 25-30th & DAILY WORKOUT WINS MORE FRIENDS!

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THE DAILY WORKOUT WINS MORE FRIENDS!

My hike around town with pack on my back had more good hearted people stop to see if this old guy needed some help……Meet Kim & Bryce, who will get married this upcoming Friday, October 7th.
I thanked them, but gave again my explanation that I’m not an old homeless guy, rather an eccentric old millionaire–no, not in money, rather health & millions of blessings,  out to get his daily life prolonging exercise. 
God bless both of you in your upcoming new life!
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CHECK OUT THE  SPECIAL FACEBOOK PAGE: 
 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. 
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YouTube video
ROCK CANYON & CONQUERING SQUAW PEAK
“UNENDING VISIONS OF NATURE”
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Click link to see just the PHOTO ALBUM of this video.
The photographs in the album are of better quality.

YouTube Video: “THE GRANDADDIES” and photo/essay: Backpack #1-2015 GRANDADDY BASIN LOOP and SURVIVAL EXPERIENCE

NOTE:  None of the photographs  can be used  without written permission from Cordell Andersen.  
EMAIL:  [email protected]

Click here for:  A summary of the re-scheduled 
 Backpack #2 to the UINTA RIVER/LAKE ATTWOOD AREA and “Little Andy Lake”   


ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW SCHEDULE,  July 23-30.  

1.  RADIO INTERVIEW:  On Tuesday, July 21st,  at 3:25 PM  I was interviewed in a live BYU Radio program that some of you might be interested in called,  Top of Mind,  a daily, live news talk and interview show heard nationally on BYU Radio’s satellite channel (SiriusXM 143), online at www.byuradio.org/topofmind and via iTunes radio from 5:00-7:00 p.m. EDT.   Link to listen to :  INTERVIEW ….once there click on “High Uintas Mountaineering,” and it will move you to the beginning of the interview at 21:21 that lasts for about 21 minutes. NOTE:  By the weekend a critique of this interview will be posted here, adding needed information and details overlooked during the spontaneous interview.
2.  BACKPACK #2 :  The next day, Wednesday July 22nd I will drive to the UINTA RIVER TRAILHEAD and finish preparations to do the “failed” trip from a few days ago.
3. Thursday, July 23rd, I’ll head up the UInta River Trail, and do the trip described and pictured in the above link.  I’ll repeat it here:  UINTA/ATWOOD/GEORGE BEARD BASIN/”Little Andy Lake” 

NOTE:  This backpack is over….the summary will be converted into a photo/essay reporting this backpack area….give me a day or two to do it….hopefully by July 31st…..I’ll send a notice when done.  If you aren’t on the email list of “High Uinta Friends,” send me an email (to: [email protected]) with subject line: UINTAS and you’ll be added to this exclusive group.


Scroll down for the  Photo/essay: 
 BACKPACK #1-2015 to the GRANDADDY BASIN 
which includes an important 
SURVIVAL EXPERIENCE  steps of which could save your life too!

Photo/Essay ….Scroll down for YouTube Video
 “GRANDADDIES” 
…with extra photos and information not in the video which now includes prints of some of George Beard’s original photographs with his notations in the margins.
Also,  since the new blockbuster movie nowdays is:
“ANT-MAN”
I’ll insert a GIANT ANT!

YouTube video:  “THE GRANDADDIES”

For the photo/essay version of this YouTube video  click on: 

FOLLOWING IS THE IMPORTANT
 BACKPACK #1-2015 to the GRANDADDY BASIN 
which includes an important 
SURVIVAL EXPERIENCE  steps of which could save your life too!
Photo/essay with stunningly beautiful pictures, and
 many new WONDERFUL HIGH UINTA FRIENDS including
“MRS. AMERICA 1968-69”

PREPARATION:  June 12-14, 2015 
AT THE GRANDVIEW TRAILHEAD
I drove from the Bald Mountain Trailhead, where I had been for a week or so acclimatizing to the altitude, stopping in Kamas to do a post for my website, and on Friday, June 12th, drove over Wolf Creek Pass to the North Fork of the Duchesne River, and the Hades Canyon Road that takes one to the Grandview Trailhead.
This is where we used to park our cars to begin the 10 mile hike up to Hades Pass, and the Grandaddies–I’m talking about way back in 1952 when at 16 I made my first backpack into the Grandaddies, with Ted Packard, Charlie Petersen and others. I’ll tell that story in my documentary entitled:
THE GRANDADDIES
Part way up the canyon we stop to look down at what we used to call “Lightning Ridge.”  

 Another couple of miles and you come to Splash Dam and the shallow lake….above as it used to be, but this year something happened draining it leaving it as you see below.

Another couple of miles, just a bit short of the Trailhead,  you pass what we might call “THE HADES FALLS”  where coming and going we always stop for the “best water.” 


A very picturesque trailhead in a beautiful setting.


I was arriving at the Trailhead several days ahead of when I was to actually begin backpacking up the trail.  My purpose was to meet two old friends I hadn’t seen in like 55 years.  They were Kent, younger brother of one of my two original backpacking buddies, Charlie Petersen, and his sister Joan (Petersen Fisher).  
I went for the register to see if they were on the trail doing their day hike to Grandaddy Lake.

 Sure enough, there they were with a note for me.  
While waiting for them I went to work preparing my backpack, and observing others coming and going.. 


Then a family of backpackers came down the trail and began loading their pickup.  I grabbed my camera and headed over to say hello…..when all of a sudden I heard, “HEY, CORDELL!”
I got closer and recognized Mike Slater and his family, who I had met 2 years ago on this same trail.

Below is the picture of them from 2013….with the older son missing this year.  I suspect he is probably on his 2 year LDS Mission. 

Mike works for the DWR (Division of Wildlife Resources) in Springville, Utah.  What a great backpacking family!

A little while later I once again heard my name being called as Kent and Joan came down the trail into the parking lot…..and soon we were all hugging each other.

Now, it’s time to tell …….“The Rest of the Story.”

Way back, like 61 years ago, when I was between 16-17 and getting to know the Petersen Family, I began noticing Joan who impressed me as one great young lady…..but then I thought, 
“No,….. get control of yourself….she’s going to get fat!”
So Joan was forgotten……until 1968-69 when we were living in Guatemala and my mom sent me a newspaper clipping with a picture of Joan being crowned as MRS. AMERICA!

So, meet MRS. AMERICA 1968-69
Joan (Petersen) Fisher
She had just done an 8 mile day hike to Grandaddy Lake, and the next day would have her 76th birthday.   I told them the story of my goofy youthful misjudgment and how she had in that had a “narrow escape!” 
She is happily married to Byron Fisher, they living now in Salt Lake City.

By the way, Kent, at 70 looks also incredibly youthful and handsome!
We had a very pleasant visit which was a great start for yet another adventure in the Grandaddies….they reporting that Grandaddy Lake still had some ice, and there was a lot of snow on the trail down from the pass, confirming my decision to wait 2 days and head up the trail on Monday, June 15th.

NOW….LET’S GO BACKPACKING!
DAY ONE
Backpack #1-2015 “Grandaddy Loop”June 15-20
My objective in once again going into the Grandaddies was to complete my photographic collection of all the lakes in the Basin….at least all the lakes considered as serious fisheries by the DWR.   

 My first new High Uinta Friends, were  Brad and his son.

 New “friends” on horseback were Spencer Turnbow and wife from Hanna.

As I was shouldering my pack, Rance McGee and his 4 sons were getting ready for a 4 day backpack to Pine Island Lake.

I was ready, but….all of us should keep in mind the crucial regulations…..
……. the RULES OF THE GAME….AND OBEY!



MY BASIC PLAN OF ACTION
The  plan was to hike past  Grandaddy Lake, the High Uintas largest lake,  and on to Betsy, then down to Lost and Powell Lakes.  From there continue on down the trail to Rainbow, then to Governor Dern, and Pinto, and from there bushwhack up the mountain to Margo Lake.  After camping there a night, getting good photographs, and testing the fishing, I wold from there bushwhack up to what I’m calling Margo Pass and down to and around Pine Island and Lily Lakes. Then follow the trail back to Fish Hatchery Lake,  up to Betsy Lake and then retrace my route back to the trailhead, making a loop around the basin.


 A short  distance from the trailhead you come to this foot bridge which you see above on June 15, 2015.  You can compare the amount of snow and runoff with how it was back in 2011 seen below.

Here comes the Air Force McGee…… stationed in Omaha, Nebraska, 
Thanks for your service!





OF GREAT IMPORTANCE
Normally in June the mosquitoes aren’t out yet and so it’s a great time to backpack…….but SURPRISE!  
The mosquitoes are out and in some places with a vengeance, so go prepared with your 100% DEET REPELANT

NOW…..
…….UP THE TRAIL!  
No well groomed Pacific Crest Trails  for us tough Utahn’s!

Hey, you WILDERNESS RANGERS!  Where are you when we need you?

SPRING BEAUTY!  a tiny little flower 1/2″ in diameter.

 Meet BUDDY & RICKY FOWLER from Pleasant Grove, Utah

 From Hades Pass down….still snow on June 15th, but gone by June 20th

The Uintas are coming alive with all kinds of wonderful life forms….
……..slow down some and ENJOY these beautiful VISIONS OF NATURE!

 Heart Lake still with a little ice, but it disappeared fast.

 No ice on Grandaddy Lake….but overcast with storm clouds moving in…..so had to move fast to Betsy Lake…“fast” at my “stalking pace” which is pretty well top speed, and I literally prayed as I hiked that the storm would be held back giving me time to find a good camp site and get my tent up!


I quickly did a poor job putting up my tent with a few drops of rain already falling, and stuffed my pack inside and jumped into the chaos.  No time to cook dinner, no time to go for water….except for a small bottle I filled in a nearby swamp!

 It persisted like the 3rd World War all around me most of the  night!

 My new  “Life Straw” saved me as I could drink straight from the bottle of  bad water.
I borrowed  portions of other meals that didn’t require cooking, along with my supplements that filled my growling stomach….sort of!


DAY TWO 
From this day on I would see no other human being until Day Six.

The morning awoke with a warm sun and totally clear skies.  I piled everything outside to dry and to be organized, got water down at Betsy Lake, and…..

BETSY LAKE

……put my Gravity Works purifier to work and soon had breakfast, packed up and was on my way.  
This Gravity Works Water Purification system is one of the great developments in recent years for us backpackers!
No more pumping or squeezing, just put it doing the work, and go about preparing your camp, fixing dinner, photographing the local flora and fauna, or just relax and recover.

The best new development for 2015 is the OSPREY 65 Atmos Anti-Gravity backpack I’m using for the first time–with like a 40 lb. load just in the pack that I didn’t even feel–no pressure points and total ventilation and comfort!
For details on these two enormous improvements, or others at 
2015 GEAR/SUPPLEMENTS
My new LowPro photo waist pack held my photo equipment, my tiny radio, SPOT Tracker, Satellite phone, Colt .45 Defender, etc.  To cut down weight I left in my trailer  my 2 lb. special wide-angle lens, flash unit, teleconverter, and tripod, plus wadding slippers–eliminating like 6 pounds.
  
For future trips I will likely leave the waist pack, my professional photo equipment and my Colt .45,  and go with just my Pentax waterproof point and shoot camera as I just have to get the weight down at least 15-20 lbs. and have on my back a comfortable and easy to carry 25-30 lbs. rather than 45-50 lbs.  To  also loose my pot belly fat I’ll feel like an angel floating easily around the Uintas!
WHAT A WIMP…COMPARED TO ME IN 2003 WITH 83 LBS. OF LOAD FOR MY “EXPEDITION,” BUT FROM A THEN 67 TO NOW IN MY 80th YEAR MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE….FOR SOME STRANGE REASON!

THE SECOND DAY….the “most difficult” as my body was sore and stiff from the first hard day on the trail, but I couldn’t take time off to rest and recover, but had to keep moving! 

 At the junction, about half-way along the shores of Betsy Lake, we take a right and head down northeast on the trail to Rainbow Lake…..a trail system that crosses the Grandaddy Basin, to the Four Lakes Basin, and connects to the famous Highline Trail that will take one across the whole Wilderness Area.


 Hundreds of varieties of mushrooms are coming alive, along with the lichens, wildflowers and more.



Soon after you begin dropping down, you will notice that on the right you are close to an escarpment where you can get a great view to the southeast–East Grandaddy Mt. on the right.

We notice the Quaking aspens–THE QUEEN OF UTAH’S TREES,  sprouting their delicate leaves.


 And, what will these little sprouting buds become?  
Have you heard of a flower called STONE CROP?

This beautiful leafed bush will eventually produce bear food….wild raspberries. 

After coming way down we soon cross a stream that joins other creeks and becomes the West Fork of Rock Creek.

 Once down we come to another junction, this time the trail that goes to Palisades Lake, and from there continues on up to the Pine Island Lake area.
We continue on towards Rainbow Lake, but will soon come to Lost Lake.

There is a broad meadow area to the left called Brinton Meadows.
In such marshy areas are found many varieties of wildflowers, such as the White Globe Flower seen below……and an occasional moose!


 ……and always the Marsh Marigold, one of the first flowers to blossom.

 We soon come to another bridge crossing the creek that drains out of Brinton Meadows, and becomes the West Fork of Rock Creek.

Throughout the entire backpack, there were always deer and elk tracks–elk tracks you see above. It now seems as though there are more elk than deer, and once in a while moose tracks also.

 Then there’s the underbrush, or ground cover we see in the Uintas.  I hope to have it identified soon, but this early in the season, tiny flowers, that most hikers never notice, develop about 1/8th of an inch in diameter. After a lot of searching I so far pin it down to the HEATH FAMILY, with about 125 genera and 3,500 species, the one that comes closest is Kinnikinnick or Bearberry.

  NOTE:  I’ll be pleased to be corrected on this….so don’t hesitate to email me at: [email protected]

 We are seeing them here better than I have ever seen before.

Enjoy this rare and almost divine  VISION OF NATURE………that you have never seen before like this!
 Soon we come to LOST LAKE and move along its edge carefully to not miss the trail that takes off to POWELL LAKE, the spot seen below..
There is no sign, nor trail marker.  It is a bit over 1/2 mile to the Powell Lake going east.  In the documentary photo/essay, and eventually YouTube video, entitled 
THE GRANDADDIES,
 you’ll see a photograph of Powell Lake, along with all the others in the Basin.

…….and here another VISION OF NATURE I originally called TEXTURES OF NATURE, of a little different type….but it will be turned into something beautiful.

 Above we see the PUFF BALL mushroom, and below another life form that is more likely in the lichen family…..but I’ll be checking it out and will insert what I learn.

At the eastern edge of Lost Lake we get the “fisheye” view, and I set up my camp….dutifully at least 200 feet from the lake, and tried fishing, but came up with nothing.  That doesn’t mean there are none, so try it yourself and let me know how it went.
I was stubborn to use spin fishing and my beloved Colorado Spoon & Thomas Cyclone, when fly fishing would have turned the trick!

I got tired of having to camp 1/4 mile from the lakes or streams to be able to have my cooking fire, so…..
 …….. finally gave in and got a tiny stove so I could be as close as 200 ft.  So here I am cooking my first meal ….at Lost Lake…it was Beef Stroganoff
Soon I was chowing down while listening to the Golden State Warriors win the NBA Championship.  Interestingly I found ESPN Radio 700AM on FM radio 107.1 with perfect reception!

 I  took with for the first time my blood pressure cuff and found under varied conditions that my pressure was always good…..so in the future this will be left home and subtract 1 lb. from my load.

DAY THREE
From Lost Lake the trail takes you down to around 9,820 ft. elevation at the outlet to Rainbow lake, where FISH CREEK is crossed by a nice bridge. 
 This  creek drains a lot of the Grandaddy Basin then joins other streams and becomes the West Fork of Rock Creek, to eventually join Rock Creek just before emptying into  the Upper Stillwater Reservoir.

 Just over the bridge you come to this important junction.  We have come from Grandaddy Lake, and will be following the trail to Governor Dern Lake.  The “Rock Creek” trail goes down Fish Creek to join the Rock Creek Trail above the Stillwater Reservoir.  


A little further along the Governor Dern Lake trail, you come to a junction where a trail takes off to Bedground Lake (which I’ll include as part of the Grandaddy Basin, along with Allen Lake), and continues to the Four Lakes Basin, to Cyclone Pass on the East, and on the northwest joins the Highline Trail.


 RAINBOW LAKE
 A Rainbow Lake brookie.  Ricky Fowler who we met early on said he had fish for  dinner, and breakfast, one, that he released being 15 inches long.




 We come to the creek  ford between Rainbow and Governor Dern Lakes.  There would be another ford between Governor Dern and Pinto as the trail would come back on the east side of the lakes.  I decided to avoid two fords and rather bushwhack up the east side of Governor Dern which was mostly easy hiking as you see below.


GOVERNOR DERN LAKE
Brookie from Governor Dern Lake

 Easy bushwhacking…..the gut wrenching, totally fatiguing kind would soon come!


 Lots of coyote dung in the area..
Many factors play into identifying mushrooms….one of them  being having “gills” on the underside as this one did.

 The fords between Governor Dern and Pinto Lakes.  The one below would be fine, but you should always have a pole to steady yourself….especially for older people whose balance is not like it once was.

 One section of PINTO LAKE

PINTO LAKE  brookie

 Here we see the larger section of PINTO LAKE

 This water came out of the rocks and was considered safe to drink.



These signs are found a couple of hundred yards northwest of Pinto Lake

 These two signs were on the ground.  From here you have two choices:  One trail goes down into the Canyon of the Duchesne River…about 1 mile, then continues down river to the Duchesne Tunnel Road.

 The fork to the northeast we see below goes down, crosses the river and then up to connect to the Highline Trail.

There it goes to connect ot the Highline Trail.

Nearby is a stack of materials to be used by Forest Rangers to maintain the trails.

 This is the west end of Pinto Lake

 A Pinto lake brook trout

 This is the area of my camp near Pinto Lake.  It shows why the Forest Service has had to impose strict regulations against campfires.  All the trees are totally bare of the dry, dead branches that are common with all trees in the forest.  But these have been picked bare, like creating a desert for the wildlife in the area.  Some say such an area will take 50 years to recover to its natural state, but the truth is that it will take longer, even until a whole new generation of forest sprouts and grows.

DAY FOUR

Now we are preparing to navigate to MARGO LAKE.  The trail is supposed to take off from the western end of Pinto Lake, but as we will see it was hard to find, and quickly disappeared, thus the need of maps and knowing which direction to head.

 Above is my main map…a topographical map I made from the National Geographic CD/Rom collection, with the route marked, as well as mile & elevation markers.  I printed the 11″ x 17″ map on my own printer,  but not having waterproof ink, I laminated it on both sides and carry it rolled into a varnished paper towel tube.
 The DWR pamphlet (almost 30 years old) says Margo Lake lies  “1/2 mile west of Pinto Lake”…WRONG!  I had it as 1.3 miles on my topo maps to which you should add 15%, but that is in a direct route.  In addition it isn’t “west” but rather southwest up a steep mountain covered with forest and downed timber. 
 I started with a trail that had no signs or markers, which was soon blocked by downed timber, not having been maintained in many years–maybe not ever.

 I thought I was seeing a blaze on the tree in the middle, but never saw another one, so concluded it wasn’t a blaze at all.  The trail often just disappeared, and I would continue where I thought a trail should have been, and a couple of times found it, then lost it all together.

 As I struggled along, I entertained myself with photographs of the many wonders of nature I found everywhere.


This is the GLACIER LILY  or some call it FAWN LILY, one of the many beautiful VISIONS OF NATURE




Soon it was just a matter of bushwhacking up the mountain maintaining a southwest direction as best I could, while continually having to backtrack to get around dead-falls, and dead-ends.


Bushwhacking up a steep slope was very tiring for me in my 80th year, and I rested often, just flat out on my back……and looking up got a shot of our MODERN WORLD LEAVING ME WAY BEHIND IN ITS VAPOR TRAIL!



Once in a while I came to boulder fields requiring careful “boulder hopping” and good balance and keen judgement when choosing which rock seems safe….and won’t move on you, but always have a 2nd option to move to fast!

In the chaos of the jumbled geology of the Uintas, you can find even there the divinely graceful and beautiful wavy lines of creation.

Pinto Lake seen below and will soon disappear from view.

As we come up out of the closed forest, the panorama of the High Uintas looms to the north with Hayden Peak on the left, then Mt. Agassiz, and on the far right Spread Eagle Peak.

We zoom in on the middle section which is the Naturalist Basin, and see the waterfall that drains the bench where the Morat Lakes are found.

Soon my navigation works out and I approach MARGO LAKE at 10,430 ft. elevation with Mt. Baldy in view through the trees.  We zoom in below.

We take a series of 4 pictures put together later into this panorama of Margo Lake…..the last remote lake to be reached by me in the Grandaddy Basin, making my collection complete.

I will admit being totally fatigued with the bushwhacking up that mountain, that rather than the “1/2 mile” in the Fish & Game pamphlet, and my like 1.5 miles on the topo map, more than likely had done at least 3 miles, maybe 4, with all the zig-zagging here and there, and backtracking, time after time, to get around downed timber, and rock obstacles.  I had to rest and take my recovery supplements FAST!  I was feeling sickness coming on.

Set up my camp, and went for water…lots of it, and soon felt some relief.


So with the supplements and some rest, I felt a bit better and with my camera headed for the lake where I had seen BOG LAUREL in various stages of development that I hadn’t seen so well before.  So follows photographs of the various stages of this tiny, colorful VISION OF NATURE.  

ENJOY!












I was too tired to try fishing, so soon fixed some dinner and with night settled in for a warm night.  The heat of the valleys of the Wasatch was affecting the Uintas, and I had to strip down just to my shorts.  The extra clothing I had brought would also mostly be left in civilization for my next trip, saving another couple of pounds.

Made a satellite phone call to Laura, my special friend from 50 years ago, who after 30 years of silence, “against all odds”  is back in my life. 

I went to sleep, but at about 1:00 AM awoke hearing some animal playing with one of my empty water bottles.  Was it a coyote, as I had seen just outside my tent on the Middle Fork of Blacks Fork, and again near a Grandaddy Lake camp, or maybe another nocturnal mammal, like a Pine Marten, we had seen once come right into our camp.  
Eventually my curiosity got the best of me, and shirtless I opened my tent and got halfway out with my headlamp, and camera…..and for the next hour I slaved away trying to get pictures of a new friend  around 30 feet from my tent…A SNOWSHOE RABBIT…..you see below.  ENJOY!

Eventually I realized that outside it had got a bit cold, and there I was shirtless for all that time….and began chilling!  I knew that was dangerous for an old guy, whose immune system was weakened because of the fatigue from the previous day’s bushwhacking.  I closed down the effort and got back into my tent, put a shirt on, and took some supplements to prevent getting sick, and yes I prayed and kicked myself a time or two for having been careless.

DAY FIVE
The day dawned and I seemed to be alright and just had to try a bit of fishing in this remote, mysterious lake.

For a while, nothing, but all of a sudden a fairly large trout followed my lure, so I persisted….and eventually saw others, which I couldn’t identify, and then began catching some of them.


They first appeared to be rainbows, but then the one below had the slash under its jaw, like a native cutthroat.    I was a bit puzzled.


Once home, I emailed Roger Wilson from the DWR, and sent him a picture or two.  He replied yesterday saying:

This appears to be a Strawberry cutthroat trout, which is the cutthroat we stocked in the past in the Uintas.  These fish were taken as eggs from wild brood-stock in Strawberry Reservoir that were primarily Yellowstone cutthroat trout with some rainbow hybridization and perhaps a little Colorado River cutthroat influence.  We suspended stocking these fish in the late 1990’s because we wanted to utilized the native cutthroat in stocking programs in the High Uintas which is the Bonneville cutthroat trout in the Provo, Weber and Bear River Drainage; and Colorado River cutthroat trout in the remainder. 


The fishing foray had me returning to camp feeling sick, and very weak!


 HAD TO GET OUT OF THEIR & SURVIVE
The truth is that I really felt SICK and WEAK….too weak to be able to get out of there.  It was so bad I hesitated taking my tent down thinking I would have to camp out there for a couple of days…maybe taking my emergency anti-biotic treatment, and giving it time to work.
This was not a good place to be sick and too weak to hike with a load on my back.  I certainly didn’t want to create havoc in the family letting them know I had a serious problem.  I reflected on my friend Brett Prettyman, Outdoor Editor for the Salt Lake Tribune, who always believed I was doing wrong going alone on such backpacks into remote areas.  I replied to those concerns in a post on my website related to the Salt Lake Tribune article he published about me.
  
In fact I have always said I myself would be AGAINST ANYONE DOING THIS…UNLESS THEY TOOK ALL THE PRECAUTIONS  I TOOK!

THE SOLUTIONS?
I reflected on my recent posted article THE ANTI-AGING CHALLENGE and focused on the first of two points that have saved me many times:

ONE, I prayed with real emotion as though I was totally incapable of saving myself, that led me to the next point I explain in the article….

TWO, I exercised my faith to “take up your bed and get up and hike” recalling in my mind the recommendations I make in the article to overcome serious health problems, as though it was all up to me. So I did the following:

1.  Prepared a 20 oz. drink of two electrolyte replacers.
2.  I added to it 5 gms. of Calcium/Magnesium the importance of which I explain in the article.
3.  Along with that drink I swallowed 5 gms. of Glutamine, the importance of which is also explained.
4.  I also downed one DEFENSE PLUS tablet, and 6 WELLNESS FORMULA capsules, which  was to  be done at the first signs of “imbalance,”  plus my normal vitamin/mineral supplements. 
5.  Then,  knowing I had to add food to the supplements to avoid stomach upset, as well as drink lots of water, I quickly ate my breakfast of a Nutty/granola cereal with a rich egg nog mix as the milk.  
6.  I ended all of that breakfast with a couple of Exedrin (the cheap Walmart equivalent), and then….

…..I exercised my faith, packed up, shouldered my load, and carefully headed up the mountain. “Carefully” so as to not let the sickness know that it had a great chance to knock me down for the count!  I hoped to at least get down to the trail at the outlet of Pine Island Lake.


From Margo Lake, I veered to the left, or east, to avoid the steep cliffs on the west.  This was my “trail,”  out of there to civilization.



Soon, a lot quicker than expected,  I was at MARGO PASS about 10,600+ ft. in elevation–about the same as Hades Pass.  I never felt sick during that climb, nor weak, and then took off my pack and went down to get a few pictures out over the Uintas.



So here we are on MARGO PASS (my name, of course), looking towards Mt. Agassiz, and the Naturalist Basin.



We are zooming in again on the Naturalist Basin, this time showing the waterfall from the upper level and Blue Lake.


 We do an extreme zoom-in on the waterfall and Blue Lake, in the eastern shadow of Mt. Agassiz

Back to the south side of MARGO PASS, we look down on PINTO LAKE.


It worked out to be a mistake, but I headed straight down the mountain towards Pine Island Lake…..“mistake” as bushwhacking down on the lower level became very difficult and tiring…..of course I entertained myself as I moved along “carefully.” 



This mushroom shows the beginning of another important characteristic to identify mushrooms…a seeming  sqirt around the stem, in addition to “gills,” very possibly indicating this one is poisonous.
It took me a while, with frequent rest stops, but I was gradually getting around this quite large and picturesque lake.

Here we see another quite common life form…which I’ve got to work a little to identify.

As I was hiking I was sucking on some German Candies that Laura gave me.  Once on the backpack a High Uinta Friend saw me putting one in my mouth and was shocked…thinking that he saw me putting in my mouth what you see next….

Honestly, there is some resemblance to deer and elk droppings you see below!!!!
Hey, I’m a “weird old guy” but not that strange!

I finally made it to the trail, and then to neighboring Lily Pad lake, with the lily pads just beginning to develop.

Here is a Lily Pad brookie….a bit more colorful than other brookies caught–but the most colorful are still from Porcupine Lake in the Oweep drainage.

From the southeastern shore of PINE ISLAND LAKE we look across the lake to MARGO PASS, which you’ll notice, isn’t much of a pass…yet an important goal for me that day, June 19th.

Here we zoom in a bit on MARGO PASS, and for a relaxing moment soon have on a PINE ISLAND brookie.

But, I was feeling incredibly good, and soon headed down the trail towards Fish Hatchery Lake, where I thought it best to camp for what for me was a historic day.

Soon I could get glimpses of Fish Hatchery Lake, and moved along to the outlet and moved in for a panorama of the lake with my fisheye lens.

FISH HATCHERY LAKE

……and a FISH HATCHERY LAKE brookie.

I had hoped to get to Pine Island Lake to camp….then felt so good I kept going to Fish Hatchery Lake, and actually took off my pack at the southeast corner where the trail heads up the mountain…. but once again I felt so good, I thought, “What the heck…let’s go on to Betsy Lake!”  

Soon I was nearing Betsy and came to the junction where the sign pointed west to Mohawk Lake.
Some of you might have seen my topo map indicating that from below Pine Island Lake I was to leave the trail and bushwhack my way to Farney Lake, and from there on to Sonny and Marsell Lakes, and from there return to this spot on the trail.


But, as an old guy in his 80th year, I have learned my lesson that “bushwhacking” is really a bad option for me.  It’s just too hard and fatiguing, unless we are talking about above timberline and dealing with arctic tundra….that I can handle!  

But, no more bushwhacking in heavily forested areas…and besides I had already been to Farney, Sonny and Marsell Lakes and had good photographs of the lakes and their fish…so no need.


Soon I was to the sign pointing to Rainbow,  had completed my loop, and then found a good camping spot for my 5th night, having done twice as many miles as originally planned, and 100% more than I felt possible that morning–when I thought it impossible to do any at all.
What I talk about in my ANTI-AGING CHALLENGE article really works, in combination with sincere faith and prayer.

To this point I saw my first human beings since Day One.


DAY SIX
On Saturday, June 20th I was up, packed and on my way, first getting a shot of this colorful tree trunk (above) seen on the way in…which you’ll notice I will turn into one beautiful creation for my business card.

At that point I met my first of many new High Uinta Friends for the day….being:
 Jared, Ryan, Daniel & Jason.  They were on a 50 mile hike.


Then I met Phillip Danon and son, Ethan, on a day hike.  Later I saw them coming down and Ethan was happy to have caught 5 or 6 trout.


ALPINE BUTTERCUP


ALPINE BUTTERCUP

Next I met a family of day hikers:  Scott, and Becky Nilson, along with kids, Ella & Luke.  What a great family.


Heart lake was of course free of ice….days ago, with waters a bit turbid from the runoff.  Above it is East Grandaddy Mountain, which will be featured in my GRANDADDY documentary opening with pictures taken from up there when I bivouacked  there on my own version of the “Inteligel Bed!”


Up near Hades pass I met Ben Hughes, and his son Jesse.  Jesse, from Hades Pass,  wanted to climb up onto East Grandaddy Mt. for the view.  I told them some of my experience up there confiding that it is the most overwhelmingly beautiful mountain scene in all of the Uintas.  But recommended they do it from the other side, South Rock Creek, as I had done 3 times.


As it worked out, they did it from the Pass, and told me about it on the way down.  When asked what they thought about the view, Jesse’s faced lit up which said all that was necessary.  Later, they emailed me the following:


It was so good to meet you on the trail on Saturday when I hiked to the top of East Grandaddy with my Jesse Benjamin. We were shooting photos with disposable cameras with film (can you believe it?). We will send you a digital copy of our shots from the peak if you are interested in seeing what it looked like that day.

Looking over the Grandaddy Basin from the top of the mountain was a sublime experience. Jesse and I had camped in the Naturalist Basin below Agassiz when he was 14 and since we could see that basin from East Grandaddy it was the perfect way to bring the two trips together now that he is 17.
New friends from the trail,
Benjamin Hughes and Jesse Benjamin Hughes



Then I met Nick & Whitney Chatelain.  Whitney was on her first backpacking adventure.

Up near the pass I took a short-cut, then looked back to get a telephoto shot of PATRICK SVEDIN & his friend HEMP.

They came up where I was to exchange information, and get another photo.



A bit over the pass and down the other side I came upon a literal forest of White Globe Flowers, and couldn’t resist another couple of shots.



Down at the little stream where one can get good water, I rested a bit, and observed the parade of outdoor lovers working their way up the trail.




Then came THE NORTONS
MERRITT, TENNERY, SETH, MERRITT, & JUSTIN 
I’d met the father before, and we had a great conversation and Tennery wants to get me on her BYU Radio show.  We agreed that the JAZZ are going to have a great year in the NBA!

These outdoorsmen on horseback included a fellow from North Dakota who was surprised to find “pine trees” in Utah.  He was having an eye opening experience.




Heart leaf Arnica plants were sprouting all the way in.

Now on the way out, the flowers were in full bloom.


Finally made it to the Trailhead, and nearly filled up parking lot. Had done 6 days, doing somewhere between 26-30 miles.  I learned that for the future I had to get my pack weight down, and since I am sort of a prisoner of the “stalking pace” trail speed, will have to re-evaluate my future plans and focus on just those critical backpacks necessary for eventually putting it all together into a unique package like doesn’t exist on the High Uintas.

I was deeply grateful for the wonderful experiences had, and maybe especially for that “survival experience”  that had me remembering my own advice in my ANTI-AGING CHALLENGE: A Fun, Humorous, Tough but Wonderful Jounrey,  writing, and had me partnering up with the Lord in not only being saved, but ending up doing twice as much that day than planned for a healthy me.

I was soon on my way to Hanna and the Country Store and its potato slabs & friend chicken, but they were out so crossed the street to the CAFE.

….ending up with fries and a hamburger.

YouTube video: PREPARE FOR BACKPACKING, D-DAY, Into the Wilderness, SPOT Tracker link….


UPDATE June 23, 2015:  I achieved my purposes on the Grandaddy Trip getting to the last remote lake & others completing my photo collection of all the lakes in the Basin, and meeting many new wonderful High Uinta Friends….plus having one of those amazing survival experiences and of course photographing many new VISIONS OF NATURE I want to share with all.   
I’ll be working on for me an “epic” photo/essay (& then YouTube video) combining the trip with a documentary including all the lakes which I’ll entitle….. 
 THE GRANDADDIES
Note:  Be patient it will take me a few days….remember my excuse….
…..”I’m an old geezer in my 80th year with top speed… my ‘stalking pace!'”
YouTube video: PREPARING FOR HIGH UINTAS BACKPACKING  
June 6th “D-DAY”
I had to do my part celebrating this incredible day–and the GREAT INVASION AT NORMANDY..
..without it and its success the world today would likely be a very different place!
  Thanks for those incredible heroes…..and since I’ll be now disappearing  (another “D-day”) from civilization for nearly a month…had to do my part to celebrate….
For all previous posts CLICK ON:  

D-day (“Departure day”)
I think I’ve got taken care of all the loose ends to be gone until June 30th, and will leave today (Sat. June 6th) for the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway and Bald Mt. Pass or the parking lot of the Highline Trailhead–likely alternating back and forth for a week to acclimatize my old ( but  hopefully “youthfull”) body to high altitudes, as that has been a problem in recent years at the beginning of the backpacking season.
I will hit my SPOT Tracker when leaving American Fork, and tonight wherever I get to with my tiny travel trailer, and maybe another time or two, until
June 11th when I will leave for the Grandview Trailhead to see some friends I haven’t seen in more than 50 years.
In that area I will go to where I can have internet access, in Hanna or Tabiona, and program my Tracker for my first backpack.  If conditions are right that will be into the Grandaddy Basin.  If not, further east where there was less snowfall.
If interested click here:   SPOT LINK 

My first satellite phone call report to KSL OUTDOORS RADIO will be June 13 from somewhere..between 6:05-8:00 AM…likely after the news at 7:00.

THE “GRANDADDIES” & GRANDADDY LAKE–the Uintas largest
In the background from the left:  Mt. Baldy, Hayden Peak, Mt. Agassiz, Spread Eagle Mountain, etc.

YouTube video for MOTHERS DAY now available to all: DAZZLING VISIONS of HIGH UINTA BEAUTY!

HIGH UINTAS ACCESSIBILITY UPDATES 
MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY NOW OPEN….BUT..
……NOW Thursday leaving to  make a quick trip up there, and report with photos…….but this morning SNOW DEPTH UP TO 44.9″ 
CLICK ON ACCESSIBILITY…LATER TODAY FOR MY REPORT & PHOTOS
*******************
NO NARRATION…put on your favorite instrumental music & enjoy a 12 minute 
DAZZLING TOUR of our Uintas….It starts seeing the Uintas as did Jedediah Smith in 1825 from Wyoming, then shows views of the North Slope drainage’s, then moving west and up to the Highline Trailhead, then  around to the South Slope.

HEROIC 1953 PIONEER TIMBER SLIDES CONTRIBUTED TO MAKING PROVO & SPRINGVILLE


 YouTube Video 

 PHOTO/ESSAY 
HEROIC 1953 PIONEER TIMBER SLIDES….

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.

THE BEGINNING IN UTAH VALLEY

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.

THE EXPLORING BEGINS
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……

……..,“DON’T BE A MORON….TURN AROUND AND GO DOWN….AND GET AN EARLY START TOMORROW!  AND TAKE PLENTY OF WATER AS THAT SPRING NEAR MAPLE FLATS MIGHT BE DRIED UP!” 
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!

“WHAT A WIMP!”  

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!”
 and
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.


IT WAS 43 DEGREES COOLER!


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.


GREAT VIEWS OF PROVO….IF YOU & YOUR KIDS HAVEN’T DONE IT….DO IT…YOU WON’T BE SORRY



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 
UTAH POLYNESIAN MISSION in Utah Valley.


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.  

THE FIRST TIMBER SLIDE AUTHORIZED
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
 “FAKING NOT BEING A CRIPPLE–and GEOLOGY OF THE WASATCH”


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?  


THE “SEVEN PEAKS RESORT” REMNANTS & ARTIFACTS

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.


SO I LAUNCHED MYSELF DOWN….WAY DOWN…. TOWARDS PROVO!


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?

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

  THERE THE LEVIS ARE BELOW!  My 3rd pair of “TROPHY 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!”

..AND WITH A NEW PAIR OF DESERET INDUSTRIES LEVIS!
So, to 
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE IN!  
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.


and



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.”







KEEPING IN SHAPE – TRIP #3 REPORT & YOUTUBE VIDEO

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

ATTEMPT FINALLY MADE: report on it’s way…..soon:

Friday, July 25th- KEEPING IN SHAPE on Y-MT- Eagle Pass-Maple Flats-Exploring Pioneer Timber Slide down to Provo foothills
SPOT TRACKING...I’ll hit the OK button to begin, at crucial trail points, camp site on Maple Flats  & then at critical discovery points on the timber slide
UPDATE: FIRST ATTEMPT…. 7-23-14 …7:00 PM
BAD TIMING!
I had too much to do today and got a late start heading up the Y-Mountain trail at around 2:30 PM with temperature at 104 degrees F. I did a mile or so with 1,000 ft. elevation gain and even drinking some water started feeling a bit light headed.  Then it got interesting for this old guy…I started feeling like I didn’t weigh anything and my spirit was floating away from my body!  So I let wisdom take over and I “chickened out” and headed down the mountain.  I will leave that one SPOT track there and on Friday at around 6:00 AM start up the mountain and see if that works better….and able to keep my spirit from separating from my body!

  If all goes well I’ll hit the OK button at the Y, then at Eagle Pass, next at the spring half-way up to Maple Flats (there better be water there or I’ll be in trouble), then at Maple Flats where I’ll set up a camp–about where I was camped back in the 80’s when surrounded by echoing howls from a pack of coyotes (and by the light of the moon I got the big one), then when I begin locating remnants of the pioneer timber slide, I’ll hit the OK at key points as I explore the pathway down to the foothills, hoping to find remnants and artefacts….like square nails, etc.

This is where I used to hunt deer, backpacking in, and I never failed at getting my buck, until the last hunt when I got a coyote.


 ROCK CANYON….

…….. east of Provo hiked to keep in shape and  had an incredible experience in this  magnificent canyon with all its natural & human wonders!

This is where in my youth I would hunt cottontail rabbits and had great adventures.
6 MILES IN 6 MINUTES of VISIONS OF NATURE!
No narration, so watch in silent reverence 

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YouTube Video of Trip #3 Attempted Backpack to LAKE LORENA 

NOTE:  No narration…7 minutes….pictures only…

“Admire our magnificent Uintas & the Lord’s astounding creations in reverent silence!”

“A very quick snapshot–231 of them–of the effort”

For identification of flowers, “Friends,”  & simple details…scroll down for photo/essay
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UPDATESdaily with reports from friends on LAKE LORENA & ALLSOP LAKE inserted in those  portions of this post

7/15/14 reports from Chris (Allsop Lake), and from Kevin & Rich (Lake Lorena) including “Fishing report” 

new 7/23 Rich’s pictures of LAKE LORENA

REPORT:  TRIP #3 East Fork of Bear River & Lake Lorena

Scroll down to see the photographic report (150 images) & simple captions…
……names of flowers–
Now with quotes about the beauty & immortality of God’s creations from the book:
VISIONS OF GLORY

Plus new “Friends” & important details of
 MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES
&
“The Forest Gump moment”

As I headed east towards the High Uintas the weather looked ominous….except for a double rainbow.  Was it a sign?  Meaning what?
From American Fork it was like 88 miles following the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway to the North Fork Road, then a couple more miles to this sign where you go another few miles to the East Fork of Bear River Trailhead….100 miles from American fork.
Check out on the YouTube video some close-ups of the great GMC pickup from Nevada that looks like a Power Wagon. It will also have overall shots of most flowers & plants, and then close-ups.

NOTE:  Throughout this report I will be again  showing beautiful photographs of what I called in a YouTube video last year, VISIONS OF NATURE.  Today, July 17th I’m interjecting some quotes to help us appreciate such “visions,” from a book entitled:

VISIONS OF GLORY

It is a narrative of NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) had by one person who saw in his journey to the next life that many of these “visions of nature”  we appreciate and love so much from an area like the High Uintas, also exist in our future immortal life–so those of us who see so much beauty and inspiration in nature–are not wasting our time as it will also be part of our future life in the eternities.  Quotes will be recognizable as from said book by the font & color:  

WESTERN BLUE FLAX, Linum perenne
The whole area was a wonderful wildflower garden…even before getting to the Register…In this photos/essay I’ll identify most of the flowers for those who might be interested….hope there are a few because it is a painstaking effort to do so.

 SKYROCKET, or SCARLET GILIA, Ipomopsis aggregata
The Near Death Experience in VISIONS OF GLORY, had the author literally seeing his spirit leave his body  & make a journey into the “other world” where many things were witnessed and learned that help me appreciate more the “Visions of Nature” of our High Uintas Wilderness.  In one part he describes part of that “other world:”

“I found myself standing in a beautiful meadow.  There were fully grown trees nearby of many varieties.”

 MEADOW SALSIFY-Tragopogon pratensis

“A short distance away a blue lake reflected the beautiful arrangement of trees and bushes….

Reconnaissance Lake & Triangle Mt. inserted here to show a lake as mentioned in VISIONS OF GLORY.


WASATCH PENSTEMON, Penstemon cyananthus

“…..several varieties of fish in the lake.…with magnificent displays of flowers and flowering shrubs …of many varieties.”

SCORPIONWEED, Phacelia crenulata

“A narrow stream was flowing between me and the lake…….”

SPREADING FLEABANE–Erigeron diverens

“……(the) meadow and everything I was experiencing was here because the will of God had organized them….for God’s purposes.”


RICHARDSON’S  GERANIUM, Geranium richardsonii

“Even the flowers, when I bent to touch them or smell them, were worshiping God and expressing joy in their beauty only because I had thought to myself how glorious and beautiful they were, which expression they heard and understood.” 

  STICKY GERANIUM-Geranium viscosissimum

“It was a place God had created to be exactly what it was–to radiate beauty for the senses to behold.” 

 SILKY LUPINE, Lupinus sericeus
Here we see a close-up of the sign-in of Dave Cawley who had learned about Lake Lorena from my Dream List of backpacks, and made it there on 6/28/14 when there was good weather, and got some wonderful photographs you can see on KSL Outdoor Radio Facebook page–Lake Lorena is the third.  He states:  “Didn’t see another soul!” 

I expected no less on my attempt to get to Lake Lorena….how wrong could I have been?

Ready to go!


At the Trailhead the Forest Service has this display and description of the East Fork Fire from 2002, and an explanation of the Interpretive Trail that starts here and is 1/4 mile long.  You should zoom in and read about this event, evidence of which you will see during the entire backpack.
Covering the mountainsides is the dead timber from the fire, but notice the green vegetation and colorful flowers that carpet the forest floor….bringing back to life the area.

Foremost among the green carpet is the new “Queen of Utah’s Trees,” the QUAKING ASPEN, since 2014 the Utah State Tree..

The Quaking Aspen propagates through its root system that usually survives a forest fire and very quickly sends up sprouts to save the forest.
There are good reasons why the Aspen is now the “Queen”  of Utah’s trees. I say “Queen” as it is delicately beautiful, but resilent  and a wonderful “helpmeet” for the tough “manly” mountains.

 MOUNTAIN BLUEBELL–Mertensia ciliata

In the humid areas all kinds of wildflower are seen in addition to the Bluebell. Like the tall, long stemmed Monkshood.

MONKSHOOD, Aconitum columbianum

 YELLOW MONKEYFLOWER-Mimulus guttatus

NOOTKA ROSE, Rosa nutkana

GIANT RED PAINTBRUSH, Castilleja miniata

GIANT RED PAINTBRUSH, Castilleja miniata

The Bear River-Smiths Fork Trail takes off to the east.  It is often called:
The North Slope Highline Trail.

American Vetch
WHITE CLOVER, Trifolium repens

 ALPINE PAINTBRUSH, Castilleja rhexifolia

SLENDER CINQUEFOIL, Potentilla gracilis

STICKY CINQUEFOIL, Potentilla glandulosa

BOG REIN ORCHID; BOG CANDLES, Platanthera leucostachys

ELEPHANTHEAD–Pedicularis groenlandica

New High Uinta Friends:
CHRIS WAREHAM and CHRIS VALENTINE
They were heading for Allsop Lake. I told them about the unique Native Cutthroat trout I caught there a few years ago, seen below:

Native cutthroat trout from Allsop Lake.  The Cathedral is in the  background.

REPORT FROM CHRIS & CHRIS: 7/15/14
Hi Mr Anderson!

Thanks for including us in your blog….we made it up to Allsop, and the rain started in earnest right about the time we arrived.  We had to reconfigure camp a couple of times as the thunderstorms moved through to find drier ground to set the tarp over.  We found a good spot in the trees and got bedded down, but not before getting pretty well soaked.  Got dry and slept great even with the weather.  The next day, caught a few of the native cutthroat that you told us about.  The fishing was really good!  Rather than try to make it up and over to Priord lake, we hiked back down (through the other couple of heavy storms) to the East Fork Bear River Trailhead, and decided to call it a trip.  We headed up to Evanston and had a big dinner :^).  It was a great time, with great scenery, and we’ll definitely visit again.

Good luck with the rest of your trip!

Best,
Chris

Wild strawberry leaves….saw no flowers yet as seen in Lakefork.

 SHRUBBY CINQUEFOIL-Potentilla fruticosa

ROSY EVERLASTING or PUSSYTOES, Antennaria rosea

ROSY EVERLASTING or PUSSYTOES, Antennaria rosea
Pink ROSY EVERLASTING or PUSSYTOES, Antennaria rosea
Coming down to the East Fork of the Bear River.  The Bear River has the distinction of being the longest river in the hemisphere–500 miles long– that doesn’t empty into an ocean.  It begins in the High Hintas, flows north into Wyoming, swings west making a loop through Idaho, and then flows back into Utah emptying into the Great Salt Lake.

 HEARTLEAF ARNICA-Arnica cordifolia


AMERICAN BISTORT-Polygonum bistortoides

SHOWY DAISY, Erigeron speciosus

Not identified…yet… tiny flower….number 318 photographed so far from the foothills to Kings Peak.
Zooming in on the very tiny flower…perhaps 1/8th of an inch in diameter or smaller.
RED CLOVER–Trifolium pratense

ARROWLEAF GROUNDSEL, Senecio irigangularis

The trail crews are doing a great job–thanks to Bernard Asay, Trail Supervisor for the Forest Service out of the Evanston Office. I’ll insert his picture below.

 FALSE DANDELION or PALE AGOSERIS- Agoseris glauca
Notice the leaves, compared to dandelions, two pictures down.
 FALSE DANDELION or PALE AGOSERIS- Agoseris glauca

COMMON DANDELION, Taraxacum officinale

TAPERTIP ONION, Allium acuminatum

LITTLE SUNFLOWER, Helianthella uniflora

Tie hacker stumps from the early period–1867-1880.

“Tie hackers” were lumbermen sent into the North Slope of the Uinta Mountains to work 12 ,months a year with their broad axes to  make millions of  railroad ties for the Transcontinental Railroad–first Irishmen from 1867-1880, and then Scandanavians from 1912-1940

About 2 miles from the Trailhead, there is a series of 4-5 ruins from the tie hackers.

Round nails weren’t invented until 1910, which are the ones found in all the ruins, so the ruins are from the 1912-1940 period.

The early period ruins have square nails, are smaller, and don’t have smooth interiors as all of these ruins do.

A fairly large tree grows  inside one large ruin….which has one assuming that the tree is as old as 100 years.

Early period cabins have signs of rock fireplaces, but this remnant of a wood burning stove further designates these sites as from the latter period.

This outhouse and garbage hole likewise identifies this site as from  the latter period.  In the early period garbage was just thrown out the door accumulating in front of the small cabins, and I’ve never found an outhouse hole in sites from the early period.
A stovepipe further confirms our aging of the site.

More stumps very rotted away are from the older period.  Further investigation would be required to understand the full historical picture.


Mt. Beulah 12,557 ft.


PARRYS PRIMEROSE, Primula parryi

ALPINE SHOOTINGSTAR, Dodecatheon pauciflorum

Finding safe ford of the Bear River where it broadens out and reduces the depth and strength of the current.

Good strong pole in hand and wadding slippers on I’m ready to cross the stream…carefully.

Just in case,  my camera and lenses are safely sealed in gallon sized Ziploc bags.

My topographical map indicates approximately where the crossing will be made…and from there begin bushwacking up the steep side of the canyon.

Here and there in the burned out area conifers are also seen coming up.

MONKEY FLOWER, Mimulus lewisii

It was slow going up the very steep mountain detouring constantly around downed timber.

The FIREWEED–Epilobium angustifolium–plant is springing up all over, and later on will look like what we see below.
FIREWEED–Epilobium angustifolium
Least chipmunk
 WHIPPLE’S  PENSTEMON, Penstemon whippleanus

The rain, threatening all day, begins to come down.

I put my poncho on covering me, photography equipment and backpack, and waited.  It slowed a time or two, but then kept coming down harder and the temperature dropped.
Just with a short-sleeved T-shirt and short pants, I soon began to chill and realized I had to get on more protection.  A lull in the storm let me quickly get pack off, find a long-sleeved shirt, rain parka, and rain pants, then with backpack on my  back again,  got my poncho back on and felt safe.  The three “killers” in the High Uintas are:  Hypothermia, lightning, and High Altitude Sickness.  One has to be prepared to survive all three.
As the monsoon persisted, now  approaching 7:00 PM, I had to become concerned about finding a flat piece of real estate to set up my tent to get through the night.

I could see up above me what looked like the top of the hill where I would hopefully be able to set up a camp.  It worked and soon, with rain still coming down,  I had to get my tent set up.  I covered my photo equipment and backpack with my poncho, and hustled to set up my tent.  Luckily I was protected with rain parka and rain pants as I did so, but still only one thing is worse than trying to set up a camp in the rain–that being, to have to pack up wet equipment in the rain.
Finally it was done.  I put my backpack in the vestibule area, and threw everything else inside and jumped in head first…..a bit of a problem as in my small one man tent it is almost impossible to get turned around inside.
It was CHAOS inside my tent, but I had got it done and was safe.  No cooked dinner that night.  Luckily I had filled my water container and was able to use one of my lunches that just needed water.
The rain persisted hard most of the night, along with lightning and thunder all around me.  The purple container you see to the left  is my urinal….making unnecessary going out for that, but I did worry a bit about maybe needing to do “Number Two?”

Approximate location on topo map of “Emergency Camp”

In the morning I waited for the sun to hit me and begin drying everything so I could continue….but it never happened, and finally I opened the vestibule to see a cloudy day.  My experience had me believing that when a day begins that way in the High Uintas, the day would just get worse from there on, so decided it wise for me to pack up and head down.

I just hoped that Mother Nature would hold off the storm until I was at least packed up. I had made about 1,000 ft. in elevation gain with about 600 ft. to go, but quite frankly I was worn out and didn’t want to put myself in a situation of greater risk.  So I hit my SPOT Tracker OK button, and began preparing to break camp.
I should have taken a picture of my tent set up, but was in a big hurry to get packed up before the rain hit…..but then clicked off a shot when ready to begin stuffing everything into my pack. At that point I all of a sudden heard a human voice:

“I KNOW YOU….YOU’RE CORDELL ANDERSEN!”

It was Kevin Rogers, who led a group of 7 who had struggled into the area during the downpour the night before and 50 yards off set up their tents.

Kevin’s cell phone picture….as I have heard from him, added more pictures further along, and have the promise of more pictures soon.

Once packed up I dropped by to meet my 7 new “HIGH UINTA FRIENDS,”  who were gathered around a campfire trying to dry out all their stuff.
Some of them knew me from my website, and had decided to one way or another get to LAKE LORENA.   Kevin for years had been a professional guide, but admitted that this was one remote area that had escaped him, as it had me.

We got talking about my nearly 1,700 miles of backpacking, beginning with my 27 day expedition in 2003 that had kicked off the HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS PROJECT, with many tough times when I had to be spurred on by Winston Churchill’s challenge:

But….had to admit that there had been times…..like the present one…when I had to add the word:  “EASILY!”
I joked with them about my several “FOREST GUMP MOMENTS,” and admitted that I was again possibly facing one of those times….even though admitting that each time, after surviving, recovery, and a Big Mac & Mountain Dew, I became determiend to “NOT GIVE IN” yet!
They started asking me questions….one being,

“WHAT ABOUT THE WEIRD EXPERIENCES YOU’VE HAD OVER ALL THOSE MILES?” 

I mentioned that the exact question was asked me in my Coalville speech, me qualifying it as:

MY MOST UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES:

I think I mentioned learning about the “tie hackers,”  being  “unsung American heroes without whom the West might not have been won,”  and “the liveliest if not the most wicked town in America!”  but then launched myself into my two BIG FOOT experiences from 2013.

Describing when coming down Little East Fork of Blacks Fork, when all of a sudden stopping to rest…….Big Foot appeared and we tried to communicate using gestures…..

Then his son appeared on horseback….and I recalled a couple of years ago that a sheep herder in the area had lost a horse, and it occurred to me that is why we don’t see footprints of Little Foot since he’s on horseback.  Then they began sort of making fun of us humans who need REI backpacks, and Golite sleeping bags, and Big Agnes tents to survive in the Uintas, etc.  Then they turned and headed into the forest.

All the time I was trying to manipulate my camera that I had set on a rock, hoping to get some photographs, and even video.

But, once they were leaving I went for the camera to make sure I was getting something, but knocked it off the rock, and the clutter of it falling….WOKE ME UP….FROM THE DREAM!

The fall actually broke my skylight filter…saving the lens, and I checked to see if maybe I had got some pictures from what was maybe….a real experience?  But, no luck!

It was just a dream, I told them, but…..maybe like the prophets of old…it was a VISION IN A DREAM giving me the idea that maybe there was something to the legend and I should keep an open mind.

I went down the trail with camera ready as always…..and then all of a sudden …..
HE CAME CRASHING THROUGH THE TREES…..AND HAD A RED T-SHIRT ON!

Back to reality…..I found it was ROB WILCOX, mountain runner, heading for Squaw Pass.  I told him about the dream I had just had…..and caught him expressing…..

“Maybe there’s something to it!”

I then went on to tell them what I related in Coalville, that a rare experience had been:

Seeing a PINE MARTEN that came into our camp checking everything out, but didn’t have my camera in hand to get a shot.

Then remembered my MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE

IN THE UINTAS

It happened in Crow Basin in 2011 you see in these pictures


Above Crow Basin, below Jackson Park

I was caught along the escarpment of upper Crow Basin in a rain storm, when attempting to throw my poncho up over my backpack lost my balance, fell backwards over a huge fallen tree catching my left foot in the roots and left hanging there with my whole load, convinced my ankle was broken.  Finally wiggled out of my load, pulled myself up and was alright.
I got my poncho on, and moved up to the edge of Jackson Park with rain pouring down, then the lightning hit and got real close.
All of a sudden a bolt hit with lightning and thunder at the same instant right on top of me that shook the ground……
……..and WAVY WISPS OF ELECTRICITY DANCED ALL AROUND ME!
It was real close to being my end….but since I survived it is remembered as my
GREATEST EXPERIENCE IN THE OUTDOORS!

We bid each other farewell, me wishing them,
 “God bless you in your attempt to get to Lake Lorena….and let me know how it goes.” 

So far I haven’t heard from them.

Just heard from them and will insert here the message and after it a couple of photos…although Rich hasn’t sent me ones of the lake, nor replied to my question about the fishing….yet.  Will update when able:

Cordell,


Glad you made it out ok! The weather held out long enough for us to get to the lake but my camera (phone) kinda died from all the rain. Rich (my friend in the orange fleece) took a bunch of photos. I have copied him on this email. Hopefully he’ll send you a few.  It was great to meet you and talk with you for a while.  

Best of luck on your adventures. KEVIN 


Hi Cordell,

Great to hear from you. I do have quite a few pictures and some good ones of Lake Lorena. I will get them off my phone and send them to you soon.

Thanks for the fun stories. Good luck on your next encounter with big foot!
Rich

FISHING REPORT FROM KEVIN: 7/15/14
The fishing was horrid.  In fact, my brother who was there with us is a Hydrologist and wanted to take samples of the water.  We saw no evidence of fish (other than dead ones) for 2 hours and he speculates an anoxic or hypoxic (they’re effectively the same thing) event took place in the lake over the winter due to the presence of algae on the bottom of the lake. Either that or the storm scared the fish into a deep hole.

Nevertheless, it didn’t make up for a rough night!  We left around 3 after another deluge that lasted from 2-3pm which was much more severe in volume and intensity.  One strike (lightning) hit above camp not more than 300 yards away (simultaneous flash & thunder). Thankfully, the weather subsided for the hike out and by the time we hit the trailhead, the sky was 60% blue.  Go figure!

Keep in touch!

Rich’es photos of LAKE LORENA follow: (Thanks, Rich)

Now I’ll continue telling the experience of going down to the river and back to the Trailhead.

I knew as I started down the steep, slippery slope that I couldn’t make a miss-step, so carefully I moved, zig-zagging all over the place to get around downed timber.

Do you recognize this flower?

Here’s the whole plant that you should recognize from its leaves….the monsoon caused the fluffy seed heads to become almost unrecognizable.  
I finally made it to the river that had risen due to the rains, and I couldn’t find my ford.
I finally found this log jam on the river and carefully made it across, only wishing I had with me a machete to clear out the branches that made it more difficult .

In one meadow I found a unique flower I had been looking for and got a few shots;

ORANGE SNEEZEWEED or OWL CLAWS, Dugaldia hoopesii

ORANGE SNEEZEWEED or OWL CLAWS, Dugaldia hoopesii

All the way the clouds were threatening….with drops falling at times, and then it started building.

Then with a BANG another monsoon broke loose, and I said a prayer for my friends up on the mountain……and hurried along towards the safety of the Trailhead and my little Cabin A trailer.

A thorny THISTLE had me thinking about my nearly 1,700 miles of exploring the Uintas, and had me concluding that in my 79th year I had to get my priorities straight and move on to the remaining phases of my HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS PROJECT.
So, in a sense I’m doing like Forest Gump when after 3 years of running around the country with a little group of followers, he stopped, and turned towards them.  One of them shouted, 
Quiet, he’s going to say something!” 
I know myself well enough to realize my backpacking days aren’t over with–as quite frankly I have gratefully been able to do better than I would have ever imagined possible just 18 months  ago when it looked like I was a cripple, but the reality is that I have got to move on to the concluding phases of my project before it’s too late.

I’ll have to admit that  failing at doing my DREAM LIST OF BACKPACKS has an interesting humanizing and humbling effect on me….that is a relief…..  lightening my load, and opening up the way to finally finish what I vowed I would do 62 years ago–share what I vowed to learn about the High Uintas with as many as I could reach.

As is happening already, my DREAM LIST OF BACKPACKS is blessing the lives of younger adventurers who can complete them all–and be blessed in the process.

At this writing I’ve already heard from several High Uinta Friends who soon will be heading for high adventure….getting to LAKE LORENA.   I just hope it won’t get too congested!

As I drove down the canyon I turned to bid farewell to Mt. Beulah, grateful for the wonderful experiences the Creator has blessed me with in these incredible mountains that have blessed my life in so many ways…..and for the opportunities of sharing my experience with hundreds and thousands from all over….some of them thanking me for  literally “SAVING”  their lives through my frank sharing of experience and my suggestions how to go into the Wilderness safely.

I stopped near  Bald Mt. Pass to take a last shot of Hayden Peak & Mt. Agassiz, grateful for Ferdinand Hayden, and Louis Agassiz, and others like them,  who over a century ago paved the way for all of us to be blessed by this wonderful Wilderness.
A wonderful spot as the sign indicates, the drainage to the east being part of what becomes the Green & Colorado Rivers, fed by most of the streams from the North & South Slopes that drain into the Pacific Ocean, and the Provo River to the west draining into the Great Salt Lake, along with the Weber, and Bear Rivers–ALL OF WHICH, NORTH &  SOUTH, EAST & WEST, CONTRIBUTE 90% OF UTAH’S WATER!

PAGE FOR ALL RECENT 2014 POSTS

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DREAM LIST OF BACKPACKS-LAUNCH-SPOT Link–TOPO MAPS, etc.

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DREAM LIST OF BACKPACKS-LAUNCH-SPOT Link–TOPO MAPS, etc.


Click here for:
INFO ON “GLITCH” & PROMISES OF SURVIVAL & PREPARATION: GEAR & FOOD VIDEOS

COALVILLE SPEECH  & INTRODUCTION TO DREAM LIST

FINALLY READY TO LAUNCH SUMMER BACKPACKING
Feeling  better


Friday, June 13, preparations completed I left American Fork and drove to the Forest Service Ranger Station in Duchesne to get…. 
Accessibility info for the South Slope of the High Uintas, as follows: (for June 13th)

1.  GRANDVIEW TRAILHEAD (to the Grandaddies)……open
                             2.  ROCK CREEK (Upper Stillwater) TRAILHEAD….closed until further notice due to rock slides.
3.  LAKE FORK/MOON LAKE TRAILHEAD…..open
4.  CENTER PARK TRAILHEAD……unknown
                           5.  *SWIFT/YELLOWSTONE CREEKS TRAILHEAD….open
6.  DRY GULCH TRAILHEAD….unknown
7.  *UINTA RIVER TRAILHEAD…..open
*NOTE:  These drainage’s suffered micro-burst windstorms that knocked down many trees.  Crews have cleared the lower portions of these trails, and continue to work to clear the trails.

LAUNCH!
.  By Tuesday or Wednesday I will leave for Trip #1 from the Lake Fork Trailhead, and will post here the link so you can follow my trail on the SPOT Tracker website.
UPDATE Monday, June 16th:  The Duchesne area is experiencing a cold wave with high winds and nasty looking clouds, and it will get worse by Wednesday when a low of 37 degrees and high of only 60 degrees is predicted….with high country conditions much worse, but by Thursday conditions improve….when I will most likely leave the Trailhead for Backpack #1

SPOT TRACKING LINK FOR TRIP #1

We will now go directly to the Backpack Schedule for the 15 trips .

TO SEE THE COALVILLE SPEECH YouTube Videos, and all the Introductory information that has been posted here for several months, click on the following link:

For a good review of my efforts in the High Uintas, including some controversy and comments, plus links to Survival guidelines you must follow or never go alone…….and things a group should do too….go to: 

Salt Lake Tribune article

NOW THE DREAM LIST

Here is my  “DREAM LIST” of remaining backpack trips I want to make before hanging up my backpack and saying the HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS PROJECT “is finished.”  The list has now grown to 14, and will probably be added to.  I’ll start pecking away at them during the 2014 season, and hope to continue in my 80th year in 2015…and we’ll just see how long I can go to “NOT GIVE IN EASILY!”  and finally get the job done.  Due to sort of being an old guy I might have to contact Lance, or Alex Rodriquez and get some “performance enhancing” medications!!!
 We  will focus on the HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS–we see below  with 14 scheduled trips pinpointed:  Green Trailhead area, and Yellow the backpack area.

The 14 trips listed below add up to at least 21 of the greatest lakes re-visited, and 117 new lakes  tested for fishing,  photographed, and reported on with YouTube videos, photo/essays and on KSL Outdoor Radio.  I will have logged another 430  miles that will bring my total to a bit over 2,000 miles of backpacking in the High Uinta Mountains since 2003. These backpacks will also have me completing my goal of scaling all the 22 passes in the High Uintas Wilderness (actually 24 if we include what I call “East Fork Pass” at 12,165 ft. and Hades Pass, at 10,700 ft.)  plus getting to  peripheral areas that have escaped me. Depending on how it’s going I might just scale another couple of the highest peaks–like 13,219 ft. Mt.Lovenia, seen above in the 2nd photo on East Fork Pass.  Of great importance I will make it one more time to a couple of three or four of the truly beloved exotic wilderness areas in our incredible High Uintas Wilderness–UTAH’S GREATEST WILDERNESS!.
Soon I’ll start warming up for the backpack season with an occasional call to KSL OUTDOORS RADIO on Saturday morning.  Click on that link to listen online to Tim Hughes and Russ Smith and to access pod-casts of all programs.   During the backpack season I’ll be reporting from all the areas below with a sat phone provided by Russ Smith and Skycall Satellite.  

Trip #1 – LAKE FORK TRAILHEAD – to Upper Brown Duck Basin – Short-cut to Atwine, Clements,   Stewart, X-78,   Twin, Mud, Aspen, Island and Brown Duck Lakes – back to Trailhead.  10 lakes including some no-name lakes, 25 miles, 3-4 days 
            I’m picking up in this backpack  at least 7 off-trail lakes that most never see.
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest 
From Clements Lake we see here you leave the trail to seek more than half a dozen remote off-trail lakes.

Topo maps and elevation profiles For Trip #1-2024-15 UPPER BROWN DUCK BASIN

Trip #2 – LAKE FORK TRAILHEAD – to East Basin Pass/Basin, Horshoe, Picture, X-83, Three Lakes, Cleveland Pass-Lake, Squaw Basin-Squaw, Shamrock, Diamond, Mid, Rudolph, Tworoose Pass andLake, Lily, Kidney, Little Dog, Big Dog Lakes, and back to Trailhead.  16 lakes, 43 miles, 5-7 days.  
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest
          This loop takes me through the area where I have seen and heard the most elk, as well as making possible exploring one of the areas known for possible old Spanish mines, and the Lost Rhodes mine.  Also Tworoose Pass, 10,600 ft., one of the 3 scaled in this backpack, and  among the 4 in the Wilderness I have not yet conquered.
From East Basin Pass we head deep into the Wilderness through East Basin and on to Cleveland Pass where one night I was surrounded by elk and their musical sounds.

Trip #3  ROCK CREEK TRAILHEAD – Rock Lakes, Young, Anderson, Phinney, Ledge, Continent Lakes, Dead Horse Pass, Doug, Boot  and Reconnaissance Lakes, Allsop saddle, back to Trailhead. 10 lakes, 50 miles, 6-8 days  
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest
         This backpack takes me one more time to off-trail, above timberline,   mythical Continent Lake for a worthy photograph, then climb once more  Dead Horse Pass  (11,700 ft.) for yet another photograph of the magnificent scene.  I will  then backtrack and on to the spectacular, off-trail Reconnaissance Lake-Triangle Mt. area, that for for me rivals Red Castle as one of the most beautiful mountain scenes in Utah.  From there I will scale the 11,800 ft. Allsop Saddle to photograph this wonderful alpine scene where is born the East Fork of the Bear River.  The hike will take me up and down two  Rock Creek routes that I have never hiked  in the area, once again making possible exploring more of the  this drainage important  concerning the earliest white people in the Uintas–Spaniards as early as 1540, and the Lost Rhodes mine. I’m not a treasure seeker but have interest as an explorer and historian. 
The day dawns on this exotic scene.
Remote Reconnaissance Lake and Triangle Mt. one of the most beautiful scenes in Utah.

The time of day, different light,  elevation of view and angle  have the beauty evolve continually–from beautiful to breath-taking! 
Feasting on the scene’s magnificence at twilight!

I can’t hang-up my backpack until I experience this magnificent spot one more time!



Trip #4 – WEST FORK WHITEROCKS TRAILHEAD – Queant, Cleveland Lakes, Fox/Queant Pass, Crescent, Fox, Brook Lakes, North Pole Pass, Taylor Lakes.  7 lakes, 21 miles, 4 days,              This backpack will  take me over two of the last 4 passes I haven’t conquered yet:  Fox-Queant at 11,200 ft.,  and North Pole at 12,226 ft. (which actually is just slightly out of the Wilderness area, but close enough).  
Duchesne County Ashley National Forest
In the middle background is seen Fox-Queant Pass over which I will go to swing through the upper eastern Uinta River Drainage and then come back over North Pole Pass which is out of the picture to the right.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATION PROFILE Trip #4-2014-25 QUEANT-FOX, NORTH POLE PASSES. 

Trip #5 – UINTA RIVER TRAILHEAD – Pippen, Krebs, Chain and Oke Doke Lakes, Roberts Pass, B-29, Carrot, Allen, Allred, Roberts, Atwood, U-19, U-22, George Beard Lakes, Trail Rider Pass, Beard, U-75, U-76, Milk, Gilbert, U-79, Verlie, Rainbow, 4 no-name, Davis 1,2 Lakes, North Park, 4 Painter Lakes, to trailhead.  31 lakes, 78 miles, 8-10 days.  
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest
          I have been through this magnificent drainage 4 or 5 times but there are peripheral lakes in side canyons and basins that have escaped me.  Also I can’t rest until going back one more time to Trail Rider Pass, and 13,387 ft. Mt. Jedediah  (my name for this no-name mountain) that guards two alpine lakes where I have caught the largest Eastern brook trout  that easily would have been the Utah State record, and that year would have won the FIELD and STREAM Fishing Contest beating out areas, such as Canada, that have always been dominant for  brook trout.

From Trail Rider Pass looking back to the southeast, where we came from, we see on the far left Lake Atwood, then at our feet below the pass  on the left we see George Beard Lake where on my 27 day expedition I had the fastest fishing of the trip.  On 20 casts I caught and released 15 sassy wild brook trout.  I call this the George Beard Basin where two other above timberline lakes seen to the right have  escaped me on 3 hikes through the area, and they will be tested and reported on, along with a whole bunch of others on this long backpack.
Below, from Trail Rider Pass, we turn around and look north seeing this view of the very uppermost region of the Uinta River drainage with Kings Peak (Utah’s highest at 13,528 ft.)   dead center, Gunsight Pass on the right, and remote un-named lakes that sometimes produce huge brook trout.  A wonderful wildflower is seen below, “Old Man of the Mountains.”   
Here’s one of the huge brook trout….still alive in crystal clear water 36″ deep……..its length estimated at 28″……..

……. that would have quite easily been the Utah State record and winner of the Field and Stream fishing contest that year.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATION PROFILE:  Trip #5-2014-15 UINTA RIVER DRAINAGE. 

Trip #6 – EAST FORK BEAR RIVER TRAILHEAD – Lake Lorena. 1 lake, 9 miles, 3 days
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest 
               This remote, off-trail alpine lake is just outside the Wilderness Area but is enchanting to me for it’s beauty, isolation, and as the lake where the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (the Fish and Game for us old guys) netted the oldest brook trout recorded in the Uintas, it being 13.5 years old which is very rare for alpine lakes.  It was only 3.5 lbs, but nonetheless fascinates me and I hope I can make it up that mountain after fording the East Fork of Bear River. By the way, in its hay day, that brookie would have also likely  been a Utah State record.  Something in this mysterious 10,562 ft. high alpine jewel could again have a record Eastern brook trout.
This trip takes us up the East Fork of Bear River, the longest river in the hemisphere that doesn’t empty into an ocean–500 miles long flowing from here into Wyoming, then swinging through Idaho and back to empty into the Great Salt Lake.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  LAKE LORENA. 

Trip #7 – MIDDLE FK BLACKS FORK TRAILHEAD – G-72, G-74 lakes.  2 lakes, 20 miles, 4  days.  
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
         Those who know me will recall this being where I discovered, mapped, measured and photographed 14 tie hacker sites never reported on before, concluding it was a community of Swedish tie hackers.  But I’m going up there one more time to explore, photograph and test the fishing in  the two no-name, off-trail lakes that have escaped me in the upper reaches of the drainage. If you don’t know what a “tie hacker” is, go to my special page where you can access 14 YouTube videos and photo/essays on the subject. They will take you on a fascinating journey of these tough guys “without whom the West might not have been won!”
In the upper reaches of Middle Fork of Blacks Fork, we take the left hand fork up into a drainage and  a small glacial cirque at the foot of Tokewanna  Peak (13, 165 ft. high)  where there are two no-name lakes I will photograph and test for fishing.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  MIDDLE FK BLACKS FK. 

Trip #8 – EAST FK BLACKS FK TRAILHEAD – Little East Fork alpine lakes.  5 lakes,  20 miles, 4-5 days.  
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
           This will be my 3rd trip up the “Big Foot Trail,” where last year I had a couple of Sasquatch related experiences  (if you’re curious see my  YouTube Video #2-2013) .  I’m not going up there for that this time, even though if he wants to find me and give me a chance to take his family portrait, I’d love it,  but this time I will focus on the off-trail alpine lakes up high on the west side of the drainage.
The remote no-name lakes I’m after are up there above the pines and below those peaks.  I call this “The Big Foot Trail” as he (it?) has reportedly been seen a number of times in the area, and I mentioned several Sasquatch experiences on my summer trip in the area.   See below…do you see HIM?  

You’ll notice it was a bit dark…like as though I was having a dream?  See the YouTube video to get the “rest of the story.”

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  LITTLE EAST FK ALPINE LAKES. 

Trip #9 – HENRY’S FORK TRAILHEAD – Alligator, SawMill, Bear, G-10, G-39, Grass, Island, Henry’s, G-4, Blanchard, Castle, Cliff, G-98 lakes.  13 lakes, 28 miles, 4-5 days.  
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
            Once again I have been up this drainage going to Kings Peak several times, and even getting to the two most remote and mysterious lakes–Castle and Cliff, but there are a whole bunch of lakes that have escaped me I want to explore.  I do need to get a better picture of Castle Lake and Castle Mountain that guards it, and I have to get back to Cliff Lake as it was there that I had one of the two most exciting fish strikes of my freshwater experience.  It was early in the season with murky water due to the thaw.  While reeling in my Thomas Cyclone lure I was distracted looking at the scenery when all of a sudden an “alligator like” rush at my lure almost stopped my heart and splashed drops of water on me from 20 feet away!  I missed him (or her) but would like to cast into this most remote lake in the drainage just one more time.

This is remote Cliff Lake where I had the “alligator-like”  strike and have to try it once more!

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  Trip #9-2014 HENRYS FORK. 

Trip #10 – MIDDLE BEAVER CK TRAILHEAD – Hidden, Beaver, Coffin, GR-143 and GR-177 lakes and Thompson Pass.  5 lakes, 26 miles, 4-5 days.  
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
             A couple of years ago I had a wonderful backpack up West Beaver Creek to Gilbert Lake,and  others up higher on the slopes of Gilbert Peak (Utah’s 3rd highest), but the even more exciting Middle  Beaver Creek drainage has escaped me, as well as Thompson Pass which will complete my scaling of all the passes in the Wilderness.
Here we are looking at the Northeastern slope of the High Uintas with the Beaver Creek Drainage in full view between the foot of the mountains and the dark line of pines, with Gilbert Peak, 3rd highest in Utah at 13,342 ft., on the right, and Thompson Pass and Peak on the left.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  Trip #10-2014-15 MIDDLE FK BEAVER CREEK BASIN. 
Trip #11 – MIDDLE BEAVER CK TRAILHEAD – no name lakes west of trailhead.  5 lakes,  7 miles, 2 days. 
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
          To the west of the Trailhead are a bunch of off-trail lakes that I just have to explore and photograph.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  Trip #11 WEST OF MIDDLE FK BEAVER T. 


Trip #12 – East Fk Blacks Fk TRAILHEAD – East Fk Pass, Red Knob Pass, Crater, Lambert, Oweep, Porcupine Lakes, Porcupine Pass, 3 no-name lakes in upper Garfield Basin, back to Porcupine and Squaw Pases and down Little East Fk to Trailhead.  7 lakes, 48 miles, 7-9 days. 
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
           Once again we are talking about an area I have been through a number of times, but have neglected peripheral lakes.  I did pick up Porcupine Lake last year, as well as Squaw Pass, but this time I will doggedly take the extra long route to  carefully accomplish for me some critical goals:  First, another time photographing the magnificent view of the “spine of the High Uintas” best seen from what I call East Fork Pass you see below, maybe even spending a night up there to get some unique shots, and then climbing 13,219 ft. Mt. Lovenia on the right. 
This is what I call East Fork Pass, 12,165 ft., the trail on the left coming up from the East Fork of Blacks Fork, with 13,219 ft. Mt. Lovenia in the right background and an un-named 13,000+ ft. peak in the middle background.  The trail then goes DOWN to Red Knob Pass.  This photograph was taken in mid-September 2006 on a trip to Crater Lake when I was rained on, then snow hit me and I became very sick….lying there for 3 days below Crater Lake while the antibiotic took affect, and then had to get out of there, but up here on this pass a blizzard hit me and due to my weakened condition things got complicated and I used my sat phone to call Russ Smith for help that developed into a conference call with Russ, the Sheriff of Summit County, and the Medic-Evac unit at the University of Utah Hospital.  To reproduce the scene I photo shopped myself into the scene, but couldn’t re-create the blizzard!  A sat phone is a must for me, as well as a SPOT Personal Satellite Tracker,  along with anything an old guy might need for emergencies–including stuff for minor surgery!  You must go prepared!  If you don’t do everything I do for emergencies,  including  consistent and effective physical preparation and conditioning, DON’T EVER GO ALONE, and these things should always be done for a group, like  Scouts.
Click for more SURVIVAL info.
 On another trip we see Ted Packard awe struck by the rugged beauty of the spine of the High Uintas from 12,165 ft. East Fork Pass looking west. Depending on the weather I might attempt to bivouac up here for some special photographs, early and late.

 Then on to the Uinta’s deepest, Crater Lake. 

A primary objective of Trip #12 is to get that “perfect shot” of the lake at the foot of Explorer Peak by bivouacking  up high on the ridge to the right.

Below is seen two other views of this exotic lake–The Uinta’s deepest at 147 ft.
I hope to bivoauck up on the high ridge to the right for the “perfect photo”

Here I am a few years ago attempting to climb up a chute to get to the ridge, but stopped by a huge snow drift.  I will make it from the other side this  time.

 Then on to Lambert Lake, and the Oweep drainage, doing my best to get to off-trail and very remote Oweep Lake.  From there I will proceed to Porcupine Pass, the Uinta’s 2nd highest at 12,236 feet, and over to the upper Garfield Basin and the 3 no-name lakes you see  below, located above North Star Lake you see to the right.


This  is the view to the east of 12,236 ft. high Porcupine Pass seeing to the far right North Star and Tungsten Lakes.  In the middle and left are the 3 no-name lakes that have escaped me but they will be photographed and tested for fishing this time if it’s the last thing I do, then back over the pass and down, then up and over Squaw Pass (11,742 ft.) and down “The Big Foot Trail”  to the trailhead.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:   Trip #12 CRATER-OWEEP-GARFIELD. 
Trip #13 – HIGHLINE TRAILHEAD – to Pinto, Margo, Governor-Dern, Rainbow, Range, and Jeff Lakes,   and back to Trailhead.   6 lakes,   24  miles, 4 days.
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest
             Hopefully, even a bit late in the 2015 season I will go into the Grandaddies one more time taking the Highline Trail entrance and pick up the last un-explored (by me) lakes in the area, several off-trail.
  Here we see the Grandaddy Basin from the south.  Trip #13 will be from the north, using the Highline Trailhead way up by Hayden Peak that is to the left of Mt. Agazzi seen in the middle of the  background.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  Trip #13-2014-15 GRANDADDIES FROM HIGHLINE TRAIL. 

Trip #14 – 2014 CHINA MEADOWS TRAILHEAD – RED CASTLE AREA -East Red Castle, Smiths Fork, Lower Red Castle, Red Castle and Upper Red Castle Lakes, then back to the trailhead – 5 lakes  32 miles, 6 days.
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest

            If I can survive all of the above 13 backpacks  I will want to do this one  (if need be in my 81st year!)  up from the China Meadows Trailhead on the North Slope,  following Smiths Fork,  named after my greatest hero among the mountain men, Jedediah Smith, and to the Red Castle area where I would like to fish one more time in the two lakes that have produced for me my record native cutthroat trout–East Red Castle, and Upper Red Castle Lakes.  It was in  the upper where in 1962, with my buddy Ted Packard, I caught an 8+ lb. cut, maybe with the one from East Red Castle even larger.  I’ll insert below  shots of the  area and then the two photos of the beautiful native cutthroat trout.  I will also photograph and report on Smiths Fork Pass Lake, above timberline near East Red Castle Lake, and on the trail south towards the pass that leads to the Yellowstone Creek Drainage.
From a good  off-trail vantage point this is the scene that takes your breath away once you get into the high country seeing Lower Red Castle Lake and Peak. 

The next photo below is taken from way up high to the right. 

 I’ll get to the fish pictures,  but first look at this incredible scene of Red Castle Peak, and slightly above timberline Red Castle Lake–the Uintas 2nd largest.  Below is the night view by the light of the moon.

Behind me, up at 11,700 ft., seen below,  is Upper Red Castle Lake on July 4th of that year–still frozen over and not fishable yet….so I’ve got to go back one more time.
But it was here in Upper Red Castle Lake in 1962 where I caught the very thick, heavy bodied native cutthroat trout seen  below–21 inches long.

  We wanted to take it out uncleaned to get an accurate weighing.  We buried it in a snow bank, but when we returned the next day only the tale half was left  which I hauled home. It weighed 3.5 lbs on a very accurate scale, and being the lighter half, without innards, we conservatively calculated its live, whole weight at over 8 lbs.

Next below, we go around to the east side of Red Castle Peak where we find this jewel of an above timberline alpine lake, East Red Castle Lake, where just after a snow storm one August I caught several huge natives, the beautiful cutthroat seen last was the largest.

11,135 ft. high East Red Castle Lake that produced this nice 20 inch long  cutthroat seen below.

To get a couple of good photographs I wasn’t able to release him, so cooked him in aluminum foil  then filled zip-lock bags to feed me for rest of the trip.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS: Trip #14-2014-16 RED CASTLE AREA
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SCROLL DOWN  FOR A “LAST NOTE” DESCRIBING WHAT WILL BE THE
 “LAST GASP TRIP!”
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              NOW TO GET US READY FOR THE 2014 BACKPACKING SEASON check out the YouTube video below, and get your order in for the “performance enhancing” supplements that have kept me going for 1,600 miles and hopefully will keep working for me in my 79th and 80th years…..and maybe on into the future?

Now that your’re  excited with this old geezer’s “Dream Backpacks,”  which you could do too,  begin getting ready right to love the 2014 backpack season with the PREPARE videos from 2012, ignoring the schedule aspects and focusing on PREPARATION.  When these videos were made I hadn’t had my hip replacement yet and was still struggling with pain which is now gone…so I don’t have any more excuses!

#9-2012 Part 1:  PREPARE or HAVE A MISERABLE BACKPACK….working out

and below
2012 PREPARE YouTube video  #9-Part 2:   PREPARE with PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENTS…that have worked miraculously for this old guy!


NOTE:  If you got this far you are possibly thinking I’m out of my mind to consider  doing all of this…maybe because of my age, maybe because I’m just a little guy whose nickname in my youth was “Little Andy.” 
 There were 5 “Andy’s” on the football team so I was designated as  
“Little Andy,”  who welcomed the challenge head on and laughed at the scoffers. 
 Let me  add that I have dreamed my end would come –tongue in cheek–in one of the following ways…anyone of which will be just fine with me–and a lot better than going out as a “couch potato!”  

1.  Backpacking in the High Uintas, 

2.  Running one more time in the International Half Marathon 
in Coban, Guatemala, or 

3.  After taking out a few of the Mexican Zetas Drug Cartel thugs in Alta Verapaz, 
Guatemala, I’m  finally  sent to my rest with a smile on my face!  

“DEATH BE NOT BORING…….I’ve lived well.  I’ve adventured 

widely.  I will not die poorly.”   by Jonathan Dorn


“NEVER GIVE IN ….. EASILY!”
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LAST GASP TRIP!

LAST NOTE:  Once all of the above is achieved–and I’m still alive & kicking,  I will likely tackle  last the most remote and hard-to-get-to lake in the High Uintas.   Jeffrey Probst, author of the best guide books on the Uintas describes “Thompson Lake”  as “the hardest”  to get to.  But, in my “1,000 Mile Whirlwind Backpack” slide show you can see that I made it to Thompson Lake, so for me there’s one more  difficult which is East Slide Lake, located on the east side of Oweep Creek up high in a side canyon.  It will take going up Lake Fork to Lambert Meadows, then proceed up Oweep Creek and off-trail  to Oweep Lake, and from there bushwhack down the side of the canyon to East Slide Lake.  From there, bushwhack down to Moon Lake and the Trailhead. 
From East Basin Pass we look across Lake Fork  & Oweep Canyons towards the side canyon where is found East Slide Lake.  The direct route would be from the Lake Fork Trail crossing Lake Fork, then Oweep Creek to bushwack up to East Slide Lake, but the problem is the cliffs of the gorge we see below.
If you want to be on my list of HIGH UINTA FRIENDS and receive notices of posts, speeches, SPOT Tracker links, etc. send me an email at:  [email protected] listing subject as:  “High Uinta Friend”

COALVILLE-SUMMIT COUNTY SPEECH YouTube videos & INTRODUCTION TO 2014 BACKPACKING


YouTube videos below….
SPEECH ON APRIL 22nd, 6:30 PM Coalville, Utah – Summit County Courthouse

Speech:  
“My love affair with the High Uintas–Its Mysterious Past  & Present”  
DONE…ONE GREAT EXPERIENCE  IN COALVILLE!

YouTube Coalville Speech:
PART 1: 
Love of outdoors…Checkered history….Introduction to Uintas…40 year detour among Mayans…2003 High Uintas Project born…27 day expedition…Beautiful Summit County…..Uinta’s Tie Hacker culture discovered….Ghost towns


  PART 2: 
Exploring the “liveliest if not the most wicked town in America”  ghost town….Gold Hill, flumes, artefacts….Mysterious Middle Fk. of Blacks Fk…..Suicide Park….“Most beautiful mountain scene in Utah!”….Glitches along the trail & repairs….“NEVER GIVE IN…..!”.…Faking it! … New life….NO PAIN!….Making a comeback…amazing statements about the incredible High Uintas!

 Part 3….
Survival “musts:” Sat phone, SPOT Tracker, maps —  Carter Road, Butch Cassidy —  a “mountain of gold” found!  — First white men to see Uintas —  Jed Smith —  Tie Hackers — Lost Rhoades Mine — Big Foot…SEEN!  & 
 “MY MOST AMAZING OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE!” 
All of this & more…….


 PART 4…..
Backpacking alone?  Stalking pace…Flume…Maps…Lightweight backpacking….Just eat fish? … Water purification…
…..BEAR protection…Make warning shots count!


 KSL Outdoors Radio –-Click on  PODCAST of the interview, Saturday, April 12th
 Forgive me for having the link to the wrong podcast for a few days.  GOT IT NOW!  At about  6:10 AM…..Note:  Excuse me for the poor quality of sound from my cell phone, and hoarse, raspy voice–likely because I spoke too loud–sorry!  But I think it is understandable.

click here to see  PHOTO/ESSAY:
SAVED THE WORLD….COULDN’T SAVE MYSELF!

Part I: 64 pages (eventually a book)
 My  22 year “VISION QUEST”
Inserted below is the title page..click on it to enlarge.
 If the above link doesn’t work for you, click below to go to the Page:
Autobiography: 0-22-yrs.

Scroll down to see highlighted in light yellow:  
PHASE II OF PREPARATION FOR BACKPACKING

Now…….. 

THE DREAM BACKPACKS FOR 2014-2015

 Each of the 14 plus the “LAST GASP TRIP”  with
 BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHS,
  IMPORTANT COMMENTS, and
TOPO MAPS and ELEVATION PROFILES 

NOTICE:  After my annual visit with my Cardiologist (3/18/14) I got his thumbs up  for my 79th year–
All systems are GO!

NOTE:  Check this post often until backpacking season as I will continually update and enhance, and,  as the backpack season approaches, dates will be inserted making possible you throwing together a quick trip to meet me on the trail as  happened at Crow Basin last year pictured below.  I’d love to have a bunch of these kinds of chance meetings. 

Darren & Ryan McMichael, and Tyler & Tom  Summerhays…and the old guy…easy to see why in my football pursuits as a youth I was called “Little Andy”

INTRODUCTION:  Those who know me will recall that in 2012 my career as a backpacker had seemingly come to a screeching halt at the end of 1,500 backpacking miles of struggle to “NEVER GIVE IN…EASILY!”  
In preparation for that “failed season” I did do 3 PREPARATION YouTube videos that in principle are valid…seen so far by 1,613 people….and are being re-issued as noted below.

Back surgery that Spring  (2012)  helped a little, but not enough, resulting in no backpacking in 2012.  I didn’t quit,  but did many painful miles trying to figure how to continue and tried to share what I was learning by producing  a  whole series of “COMEBACK”  and  “FAKING NOT BEING A CRIPPLE”  YouTube videos-seen by 1,467  people, which are all worth watching–especially if you’re struggling. If interested click on the YouTube Videos page and check them out. 

      By the early Spring of 2013 I was depressingly almost resigned to being a cripple, but gave the physicians one more shot. Hip replacement surgery at that time did the trick and 6 weeks later I was backpacking without pain for the first time in 30 years! I was blessed miraculously–literally with a NEW LIFE that led to an an incredible 2013 season documented through 8  YouTube videos.  

NO EXCUSES….
     Now,  with no excuses anymore, as hopefully everything has been replaced by titanium, transplants, held together with screws, reconstructed, or removed–except my brain,  I have come up with an incredible list of 14 backpacks I still want to do. They follow below inserted by trip numbers into a  Google Earth view of the Uintas,  followed by the numbered trips with important details, photographs, topo maps and elevation profiles, along with a re-issuing of my 2012 PREPARE YouTube videos, with links to two of them at the end of this post. The 3rd one: Gear & Backpacking Food will be re-done with important changes in key backpacking equipment for 2014.

      I’m doing my best to  lead the way with CRUCIAL PREPARATION by my example.   I have hiked every day this year, during Jan. with a 45 lb. pack on my back, Feb. with a 50 lbs.,  March with  56 lbs. and now in April with 60 lbs…..at least around a big block or more daily, regardless of the weather!  I’ll admit it’s not very much every day, but because of my age if I miss a day I immediately start feeling my body stiffening up and I get real cranky–so seems like there’s no rest for me……. ever!  

That has the good folks of American Fork, Utah stopping and offering me handouts assuming I’m  homeless with everything I own on my back, or they say “Are you alright?  (I’ll admit I must look pretty bad!)  Could we give you a ride?”  

I finally got a shot of this happening (04/07/14).  A white van slowed and almost stopped as it passed me.  Then from down the street it came backing up and stopped opening the door, with these good kids offering me a ride.  

  I tell them, exaggerating and fibbing  a lot, saying,  “I’m an eccentric millionaire….not a weird old guy!”     I then give them a business card and mention my HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS PROJECT  explaining,   “I’m doing my darnedest to make good on my dreams in my 79th, & 80th year,  to get it all done–and if I’m still alive by then I’ll come up with a NEW  DREAM LIST,”…..…a prime one already added at the very end of this post entitled “The Last Gasp Backpack!” 

 Now I’ve added some jogging to my training regimen and  also  taken a page out of my autobiography that describes  me walking the rails between 8-14 years old.   I eventually could walk the entire mile to our home, and could jump from side to side,  all without falling.  That honed  my balance skills and prepared me as a successful football running back and for mountain climbing.  I need that desperately now as something has changed a tad in recent years!

So, along with my urban backpacking, jogging, and in May, as explain below,  mountain climbing,  I go to the railroad two blocks from where my Cabin trailer is  parked in American Fork,  and work on getting my balance on track (pun intended).  As an old guy the first few times I could only take a step or two before falling, but by the end of the 50 yards I could do up to 15 steps, and the next time 20 without losing my balance, now up to 40, etc.  I’ll do this every other day and hope to get my balance back so I won’t fall  into a ravine and have happen to me  what probably was the end of  Australian  backpacker, Eric Robinson,  in 2011 who has never been found in his backpack across the High Uintas Wilderness.  I’ll keep working on KEEPING ALIVE and take all the precautions Eric ignored!

Sounds like a lot?  …..Yes, it  takes a lot for an old guy to keep alive and moving,  
but I’m just not ready yet to accept the other option.

Frankly, I’m now just doing the minimum for maintenance, but do add 5 lbs. every month to my load, and in my training don’t normally use the hip belt to force my shoulders and back to get stronger. Then when the season is upon us, usually with lighter loads,  I’ll quickly be able to build on the foundation of strength & balance, and develop endurance and stamina.  I’ll be able to love being on the trail and focus on the beauty that surrounds me.

SPRING:  Phase 2 of Preparation
I will persist in hiking a around town, now in April with 60 lbs. on my back. By May, when the mountains begin turning green, I will add to my workout regimen one two day backpack each week climbing a mountain in the Utah Valley area.  I will focus first on climbing those I haven’t climbed, first up:  SQUAW PEAK
Cascade Mt. in the left background, Squaw Peak is seen dead center, with Rock Canyon to the right and then almost visible Provo Peak covered with snow, then Y Mountain, all to the east of Provo. 

 I have already climbed Cascade Mt., Provo Peak, Y-Mountain, and, above Maple Flats, what I call Maple Mt. Remaining in this area to be climbed is Squaw Peak, and the two Buckley Mountains. between Provo and Springville.  These comprise the Seven Peaks that years ago was to be a recreational area , but now reduced to a water park by that name in Provo.  

 I will make each an overnight backpack to break-in new equipment, and to test my physical abilities, and get stronger. Those two will be followed by an overnight backpack to Maple Flats exploring the pathway of the pioneer timber-slide down to Provo’s foothills, as mentioned in one of my Comeback YouTube videos.  I will report on these efforts that will start  as Spring begins to turn the Wasatch Mountains green  For these overnight hikes I will begin using my SPOT Personal Tracker and post links here. 
Note:  Actually I’ve already started once a week doing  a fairly long hike up canyons near American Fork, that lead towards Mt. Timpaganogos, recording with camera the birth of spring in the Wasatch.
 Then on June 1st,  when Skycall Satellite and Russ Smith will deliver to me the satellite phone for the backpacking season, I will move to the fringes of the High Uintas to do research and exploration, especially in the far eastern end of the Uinta Mountains at Dinosaur National Monument, and the famous Butch Cassidy outlaw hideout at Browns Park,  until the thaw permits beginning my schedule as outlined below.
      My first High Uintas backpack (date depending on the thaw) will  undoubtedly be carefykkt slow, the next following with only one or two days of rest in my little Cabin trailer  preparing, including driving down where I can get an internet connection to program my SPOT tracker for the next trip, and once a month make it back to American Fork to do  what’s necessary to keep the Guatemalan Foundation going.  With only one or two days between backpacks I’ll  avoid losing my physical conditioning and acclimatization to high altitudes and save a lot of travel expense. 
  
 I will persist as best I can and hopefully  continue  getting  stronger  
“PICKING UP THE PACE,  LENGTHENING  MY STRIDE & 
STRETCHING THE DISTANCES!”

Here you see me on East Fork Pass with 13,219 Mt. Lovenia in the background, which I will likely climb during my Trip #12  through this magnificent area that shows the spine of the High Uintas like nowhere else.

At the end of this post see  possible reactions to these  quixotic  plans.

LAUNCH for 2014….DREAM LIST:REAL or TONGUE IN CHEEK? .. NEWS: Speech in Coalville, “Couldn’t Save Myself,” Phase II of Preparation



HUGE GLITCH!!!...June 3, 2014
The MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY has been open for more than a week and the Uintas are thawing out…..moving closer launch of my backpacking schedule…. but……….I made a huge miscalculation accepting a chemotherapy treatment for skin cancer from neck and shoulders up….& .am suffering the burning pains of “hell”  for it and working on recovery just as quick as possible……all will be informed when that is behind me and High Uintas Wilderness Project begins for this summer….hopefully as soon as the thaw opens up the high country trails!


PROMISED YouTube Videos on:  
 SURVIVAL & Preparation 3: GEAR/FOOD
Because of the chemo therapy I have been suffering through…I’ve been set back a couple of weeks.  For my advice on Survival and what I do and recommend everyone  do for your safety & also my changes in gear and suggestions on food…please go through the 4 parts of my speech at Coalville.  Check out the summary that heads each part for the items that interest you most.  You’ll notice that Parts 3 & 4 have specific mentions of these items. 

FINALLY READY TO LAUNCH SUMMER BACKPACKING
Feeling & looking better


Friday, June 13, preparations completed I left American Fork and drove to the Forest Service Ranger Station in Duchesne to get accessibility info for the South Slope of the High Uintas, as follows:

1.  GRANDVIEW TRAILHEAD (to the Grandaddies)……open
2.  ROCK CREEK (Upper Stillwater) TRAILHEAD….closed until further notice due to rock slides.
3.  LAKE FORK/MOON LAKE TRAILHEAD…..open
4.  CENTER PARK TRAILHEAD……unknown
5.  *SWIFT/YELLOWSTONE CREEKS TRAILHEAD….open
6.  DRY GULCH TRAILHEAD….unknown
7.  *UINTA RIVER TRAILHEAD…..open
*NOTE:  These drainage’s suffered micro-burst windstorms that knocked down many trees.  Crews have cleared the lower portions of these trails, and continue to work to clear the trails.

By Tuesday or Wednesday I will leave for Trip #1 from the Lake Fork Trailhead, and will post here the link so you can follow my trail on the SPOT Tracker website.

We will now go directly to the Backpack Schedule for the 15 trips .

TO SEE THE COALVILLE SPEECH YouTube Videos, and all the Introductory information that has been posted here for several months, click on the following link:
COALVILLE SPEECH & INTRODUCTION TO 2014 BACKPACKING

For a good review of my efforts in the High Uintas, including some controversy and comments, plus links to Survival guidelines you must follow or never go alone…….and things a group should do too….go to: 

Salt Lake Tribune article

NOW THE DREAM LIST

Here is my  “DREAM LIST” of remaining backpack trips I want to make before hanging up my backpack and saying the HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS PROJECT “is finished.”  The list has now grown to 14, and will probably be added to.  I’ll start pecking away at them during the 2014 season, and hope to continue in my 80th year in 2015…and we’ll just see how long I can go to “NOT GIVE IN EASILY!”  and finally get the job done.  Due to sort of being an old guy I might have to contact Lance, or Alex Rodriquez and get some “performance enhancing” medications!!!
 We  will focus on the HIGH UINTAS WILDERNESS–we see below  with 14 scheduled trips pinpointed:  Green Trailhead area, and Yellow the backpack area.

The 14 trips listed below add up to at least 21 of the greatest lakes re-visited, and 117 new lakes  tested for fishing,  photographed, and reported on with YouTube videos, photo/essays and on KSL Outdoor Radio.  I will have logged another 430  miles that will bring my total to a bit over 2,000 miles of backpacking in the High Uinta Mountains since 2003. These backpacks will also have me completing my goal of scaling all the 22 passes in the High Uintas Wilderness (actually 24 if we include what I call “East Fork Pass” at 12,165 ft. and Hades Pass, at 10,700 ft.)  plus getting to  peripheral areas that have escaped me. Depending on how it’s going I might just scale another couple of the highest peaks–like 13,219 ft. Mt.Lovenia, seen above in the 2nd photo on East Fork Pass.  Of great importance I will make it one more time to a couple of three or four of the truly beloved exotic wilderness areas in our incredible High Uintas Wilderness–UTAH’S GREATEST WILDERNESS!.
Soon I’ll start warming up for the backpack season with an occasional call to KSL OUTDOORS RADIO on Saturday morning.  Click on that link to listen online to Tim Hughes and Russ Smith and to access pod-casts of all programs.   During the backpack season I’ll be reporting from all the areas below with a sat phone provided by Russ Smith and Skycall Satellite.  

Trip #1 – LAKE FORK TRAILHEAD – to Upper Brown Duck Basin – Short-cut to Atwine, Clements,   Stewart, X-78,   Twin, Mud, Aspen, Island and Brown Duck Lakes – back to Trailhead.  10 lakes including some no-name lakes, 25 miles, 3-4 days.  
            I’m picking up in this backpack  at least 7 off-trail lakes that most never see.
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest 
From Clements Lake we see here you leave the trail to seek more than half a dozen remote off-trail lakes.

Topo maps and elevation profiles For Trip #1-2024-15 UPPER BROWN DUCK BASIN

Trip #2 – LAKE FORK TRAILHEAD – to East Basin Pass/Basin, Horshoe, Picture, X-83, Three Lakes, Cleveland Pass-Lake, Squaw Basin-Squaw, Shamrock, Diamond, Mid, Rudolph, Tworoose Pass andLake, Lily, Kidney, Little Dog, Big Dog Lakes, and back to Trailhead.  16 lakes, 43 miles, 5-7 days.  
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest
          This loop takes me through the area where I have seen and heard the most elk, as well as making possible exploring one of the areas known for possible old Spanish mines, and the Lost Rhodes mine.  Also Tworoose Pass, 10,600 ft., one of the 3 scaled in this backpack, and  among the 4 in the Wilderness I have not yet conquered.
From East Basin Pass we head deep into the Wilderness through East Basin and on to Cleveland Pass where one night I was surrounded by elk and their musical sounds.

Trip #3  ROCK CREEK TRAILHEAD – Rock Lakes, Young, Anderson, Phinney, Ledge, Continent Lakes, Dead Horse Pass, Doug, Boot  and Reconnaissance Lakes, Allsop saddle, back to Trailhead. 10 lakes, 50 miles, 6-8 days  
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest
         This backpack takes me one more time to off-trail, above timberline,   mythical Continent Lake for a worthy photograph, then climb once more  Dead Horse Pass  (11,700 ft.) for yet another photograph of the magnificent scene.  I will  then backtrack and on to the spectacular, off-trail Reconnaissance Lake-Triangle Mt. area, that for for me rivals Red Castle as one of the most beautiful mountain scenes in Utah.  From there I will scale the 11,800 ft. Allsop Saddle to photograph this wonderful alpine scene where is born the East Fork of the Bear River.  The hike will take me up and down two  Rock Creek routes that I have never hiked  in the area, once again making possible exploring more of the  this drainage important  concerning the earliest white people in the Uintas–Spaniards as early as 1540, and the Lost Rhodes mine. I’m not a treasure seeker but have interest as an explorer and historian. 
The day dawns on this exotic scene.
Remote Reconnaissance Lake and Triangle Mt. one of the most beautiful scenes in Utah.

The time of day, different light,  elevation of view and angle  have the beauty evolve continually–from beautiful to breath-taking! 
Feasting on the scene’s magnificence at twilight!

I can’t hang-up my backpack until I experience this magnificent spot one more time!



Trip #4 – WEST FORK WHITEROCKS TRAILHEAD – Queant, Cleveland Lakes, Fox/Queant Pass, Crescent, Fox, Brook Lakes, North Pole Pass, Taylor Lakes.  7 lakes, 21 miles, 4 days,              This backpack will  take me over two of the last 4 passes I haven’t conquered yet:  Fox-Queant at 11,200 ft.,  and North Pole at 12,226 ft. (which actually is just slightly out of the Wilderness area, but close enough).  
Duchesne County Ashley National Forest
In the middle background is seen Fox-Queant Pass over which I will go to swing through the upper eastern Uinta River Drainage and then come back over North Pole Pass which is out of the picture to the right.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATION PROFILE Trip #4-2014-25 QUEANT-FOX, NORTH POLE PASSES. 

Trip #5 – UINTA RIVER TRAILHEAD – Pippen, Krebs, Chain and Oke Doke Lakes, Roberts Pass, B-29, Carrot, Allen, Allred, Roberts, Atwood, U-19, U-22, George Beard Lakes, Trail Rider Pass, Beard, U-75, U-76, Milk, Gilbert, U-79, Verlie, Rainbow, 4 no-name, Davis 1,2 Lakes, North Park, 4 Painter Lakes, to trailhead.  31 lakes, 78 miles, 8-10 days.  
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest
          I have been through this magnificent drainage 4 or 5 times but there are peripheral lakes in side canyons and basins that have escaped me.  Also I can’t rest until going back one more time to Trail Rider Pass, and 13,387 ft. Mt. Jedediah  (my name for this no-name mountain) that guards two alpine lakes where I have caught the largest Eastern brook trout  that easily would have been the Utah State record, and that year would have won the FIELD and STREAM Fishing Contest beating out areas, such as Canada, that have always been dominant for  brook trout.

From Trail Rider Pass looking back to the southeast, where we came from, we see on the far left Lake Atwood, then at our feet below the pass  on the left we see George Beard Lake where on my 27 day expedition I had the fastest fishing of the trip.  On 20 casts I caught and released 15 sassy wild brook trout.  I call this the George Beard Basin where two other above timberline lakes seen to the right have  escaped me on 3 hikes through the area, and they will be tested and reported on, along with a whole bunch of others on this long backpack.
Below, from Trail Rider Pass, we turn around and look north seeing this view of the very uppermost region of the Uinta River drainage with Kings Peak (Utah’s highest at 13,528 ft.)   dead center, Gunsight Pass on the right, and remote un-named lakes that sometimes produce huge brook trout.  A wonderful wildflower is seen below, “Old Man of the Mountains.”   
Here’s one of the huge brook trout….still alive in crystal clear water 36″ deep……..its length estimated at 28″……..

……. that would have quite easily been the Utah State record and winner of the Field and Stream fishing contest that year.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATION PROFILE:  Trip #5-2014-15 UINTA RIVER DRAINAGE. 

Trip #6 – EAST FORK BEAR RIVER TRAILHEAD – Lake Lorena. 1 lake, 9 miles, 3 days
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest 
               This remote, off-trail alpine lake is just outside the Wilderness Area but is enchanting to me for it’s beauty, isolation, and as the lake where the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (the Fish and Game for us old guys) netted the oldest brook trout recorded in the Uintas, it being 13.5 years old which is very rare for alpine lakes.  It was only 3.5 lbs, but nonetheless fascinates me and I hope I can make it up that mountain after fording the East Fork of Bear River. By the way, in its hay day, that brookie would have also likely  been a Utah State record.  Something in this mysterious 10,562 ft. high alpine jewel could again have a record Eastern brook trout.
This trip takes us up the East Fork of Bear River, the longest river in the hemisphere that doesn’t empty into an ocean–500 miles long flowing from here into Wyoming, then swinging through Idaho and back to empty into the Great Salt Lake.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  LAKE LORENA. 

Trip #7 – MIDDLE FK BLACKS FORK TRAILHEAD – G-72, G-74 lakes.  2 lakes, 20 miles, 4  days.  
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
         Those who know me will recall this being where I discovered, mapped, measured and photographed 14 tie hacker sites never reported on before, concluding it was a community of Swedish tie hackers.  But I’m going up there one more time to explore, photograph and test the fishing in  the two no-name, off-trail lakes that have escaped me in the upper reaches of the drainage. If you don’t know what a “tie hacker” is, go to my special page where you can access 14 YouTube videos and photo/essays on the subject. They will take you on a fascinating journey of these tough guys “without whom the West might not have been won!”
In the upper reaches of Middle Fork of Blacks Fork, we take the left hand fork up into a drainage and  a small glacial cirque at the foot of Tokewanna  Peak (13, 165 ft. high)  where there are two no-name lakes I will photograph and test for fishing.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  MIDDLE FK BLACKS FK. 

Trip #8 – EAST FK BLACKS FK TRAILHEAD – Little East Fork alpine lakes.  5 lakes,  20 miles, 4-5 days.  
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
           This will be my 3rd trip up the “Big Foot Trail,” where last year I had a couple of Sasquatch related experiences  (if you’re curious see my  YouTube Video #2-2013) .  I’m not going up there for that this time, even though if he wants to find me and give me a chance to take his family portrait, I’d love it,  but this time I will focus on the off-trail alpine lakes up high on the west side of the drainage.
The remote no-name lakes I’m after are up there above the pines and below those peaks.  I call this “The Big Foot Trail” as he (it?) has reportedly been seen a number of times in the area, and I mentioned several Sasquatch experiences on my summer trip in the area.   See below…do you see HIM?  

You’ll notice it was a bit dark…like as though I was having a dream?  See the YouTube video to get the “rest of the story.”

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  LITTLE EAST FK ALPINE LAKES. 

Trip #9 – HENRY’S FORK TRAILHEAD – Alligator, SawMill, Bear, G-10, G-39, Grass, Island, Henry’s, G-4, Blanchard, Castle, Cliff, G-98 lakes.  13 lakes, 28 miles, 4-5 days.  
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
            Once again I have been up this drainage going to Kings Peak several times, and even getting to the two most remote and mysterious lakes–Castle and Cliff, but there are a whole bunch of lakes that have escaped me I want to explore.  I do need to get a better picture of Castle Lake and Castle Mountain that guards it, and I have to get back to Cliff Lake as it was there that I had one of the two most exciting fish strikes of my freshwater experience.  It was early in the season with murky water due to the thaw.  While reeling in my Thomas Cyclone lure I was distracted looking at the scenery when all of a sudden an “alligator like” rush at my lure almost stopped my heart and splashed drops of water on me from 20 feet away!  I missed him (or her) but would like to cast into this most remote lake in the drainage just one more time.

This is remote Cliff Lake where I had the “alligator-like”  strike and have to try it once more!

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  Trip #9-2014 HENRYS FORK. 

Trip #10 – MIDDLE BEAVER CK TRAILHEAD – Hidden, Beaver, Coffin, GR-143 and GR-177 lakes and Thompson Pass.  5 lakes, 26 miles, 4-5 days.  
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
             A couple of years ago I had a wonderful backpack up West Beaver Creek to Gilbert Lake,and  others up higher on the slopes of Gilbert Peak (Utah’s 3rd highest), but the even more exciting Middle  Beaver Creek drainage has escaped me, as well as Thompson Pass which will complete my scaling of all the passes in the Wilderness.
Here we are looking at the Northeastern slope of the High Uintas with the Beaver Creek Drainage in full view between the foot of the mountains and the dark line of pines, with Gilbert Peak, 3rd highest in Utah at 13,342 ft., on the right, and Thompson Pass and Peak on the left.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  Trip #10-2014-15 MIDDLE FK BEAVER CREEK BASIN. 
Trip #11 – MIDDLE BEAVER CK TRAILHEAD – no name lakes west of trailhead.  5 lakes,  7 miles, 2 days. 
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
          To the west of the Trailhead are a bunch of off-trail lakes that I just have to explore and photograph.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  Trip #11 WEST OF MIDDLE FK BEAVER T. 


Trip #12 – East Fk Blacks Fk TRAILHEAD – East Fk Pass, Red Knob Pass, Crater, Lambert, Oweep, Porcupine Lakes, Porcupine Pass, 3 no-name lakes in upper Garfield Basin, back to Porcupine and Squaw Pases and down Little East Fk to Trailhead.  7 lakes, 48 miles, 7-9 days. 
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest
           Once again we are talking about an area I have been through a number of times, but have neglected peripheral lakes.  I did pick up Porcupine Lake last year, as well as Squaw Pass, but this time I will doggedly take the extra long route to  carefully accomplish for me some critical goals:  First, another time photographing the magnificent view of the “spine of the High Uintas” best seen from what I call East Fork Pass you see below, maybe even spending a night up there to get some unique shots, and then climbing 13,219 ft. Mt. Lovenia on the right. 
This is what I call East Fork Pass, 12,165 ft., the trail on the left coming up from the East Fork of Blacks Fork, with 13,219 ft. Mt. Lovenia in the right background and an un-named 13,000+ ft. peak in the middle background.  The trail then goes DOWN to Red Knob Pass.  This photograph was taken in mid-September 2006 on a trip to Crater Lake when I was rained on, then snow hit me and I became very sick….lying there for 3 days below Crater Lake while the antibiotic took affect, and then had to get out of there, but up here on this pass a blizzard hit me and due to my weakened condition things got complicated and I used my sat phone to call Russ Smith for help that developed into a conference call with Russ, the Sheriff of Summit County, and the Medic-Evac unit at the University of Utah Hospital.  To reproduce the scene I photo shopped myself into the scene, but couldn’t re-create the blizzard!  A sat phone is a must for me, as well as a SPOT Personal Satellite Tracker,  along with anything an old guy might need for emergencies–including stuff for minor surgery!  You must go prepared!  If you don’t do everything I do for emergencies,  including  consistent and effective physical preparation and conditioning, DON’T EVER GO ALONE, and these things should always be done for a group, like  Scouts.
Click for more SURVIVAL info.
 On another trip we see Ted Packard awe struck by the rugged beauty of the spine of the High Uintas from 12,165 ft. East Fork Pass looking west. Depending on the weather I might attempt to bivouac up here for some special photographs, early and late.

 Then on to the Uinta’s deepest, Crater Lake. 

A primary objective of Trip #12 is to get that “perfect shot” of the lake at the foot of Explorer Peak by bivouacking  up high on the ridge to the right.

Below is seen two other views of this exotic lake–The Uinta’s deepest at 147 ft.
I hope to bivoauck up on the high ridge to the right for the “perfect photo”

Here I am a few years ago attempting to climb up a chute to get to the ridge, but stopped by a huge snow drift.  I will make it from the other side this  time.

 Then on to Lambert Lake, and the Oweep drainage, doing my best to get to off-trail and very remote Oweep Lake.  From there I will proceed to Porcupine Pass, the Uinta’s 2nd highest at 12,236 feet, and over to the upper Garfield Basin and the 3 no-name lakes you see  below, located above North Star Lake you see to the right.


This  is the view to the east of 12,236 ft. high Porcupine Pass seeing to the far right North Star and Tungsten Lakes.  In the middle and left are the 3 no-name lakes that have escaped me but they will be photographed and tested for fishing this time if it’s the last thing I do, then back over the pass and down, then up and over Squaw Pass (11,742 ft.) and down “The Big Foot Trail”  to the trailhead.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:   Trip #12 CRATER-OWEEP-GARFIELD. 
Trip #13 – HIGHLINE TRAILHEAD – to Pinto, Margo, Governor-Dern, Rainbow, Range, and Jeff Lakes,   and back to Trailhead.   6 lakes,   24  miles, 4 days.
Duchesne County, Ashley National Forest
             Hopefully, even a bit late in the 2015 season I will go into the Grandaddies one more time taking the Highline Trail entrance and pick up the last un-explored (by me) lakes in the area, several off-trail.
  Here we see the Grandaddy Basin from the south.  Trip #13 will be from the north, using the Highline Trailhead way up by Hayden Peak that is to the left of Mt. Agazzi seen in the middle of the  background.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS:  Trip #13-2014-15 GRANDADDIES FROM HIGHLINE TRAIL. 

Trip #14 – 2014 CHINA MEADOWS TRAILHEAD – RED CASTLE AREA -East Red Castle, Smiths Fork, Lower Red Castle, Red Castle and Upper Red Castle Lakes, then back to the trailhead – 5 lakes  32 miles, 6 days.
Summit County, Wasatch National Forest

            If I can survive all of the above 13 backpacks  I will want to do this one  (if need be in my 81st year!)  up from the China Meadows Trailhead on the North Slope,  following Smiths Fork,  named after my greatest hero among the mountain men, Jedediah Smith, and to the Red Castle area where I would like to fish one more time in the two lakes that have produced for me my record native cutthroat trout–East Red Castle, and Upper Red Castle Lakes.  It was in  the upper where in 1962, with my buddy Ted Packard, I caught an 8+ lb. cut, maybe with the one from East Red Castle even larger.  I’ll insert below  shots of the  area and then the two photos of the beautiful native cutthroat trout.  I will also photograph and report on Smiths Fork Pass Lake, above timberline near East Red Castle Lake, and on the trail south towards the pass that leads to the Yellowstone Creek Drainage.
From a good  off-trail vantage point this is the scene that takes your breath away once you get into the high country seeing Lower Red Castle Lake and Peak. 

The next photo below is taken from way up high to the right. 

 I’ll get to the fish pictures,  but first look at this incredible scene of Red Castle Peak, and slightly above timberline Red Castle Lake–the Uintas 2nd largest.  Below is the night view by the light of the moon.

Behind me, up at 11,700 ft., seen below,  is Upper Red Castle Lake on July 4th of that year–still frozen over and not fishable yet….so I’ve got to go back one more time.
But it was here in Upper Red Castle Lake in 1962 where I caught the very thick, heavy bodied native cutthroat trout seen  below–21 inches long.

  We wanted to take it out uncleaned to get an accurate weighing.  We buried it in a snow bank, but when we returned the next day only the tale half was left  which I hauled home. It weighed 3.5 lbs on a very accurate scale, and being the lighter half, without innards, we conservatively calculated its live, whole weight at over 8 lbs.

Next below, we go around to the east side of Red Castle Peak where we find this jewel of an above timberline alpine lake, East Red Castle Lake, where just after a snow storm one August I caught several huge natives, the beautiful cutthroat seen last was the largest.

11,135 ft. high East Red Castle Lake that produced this nice 20 inch long  cutthroat seen below.

To get a couple of good photographs I wasn’t able to release him, so cooked him in aluminum foil  then filled zip-lock bags to feed me for rest of the trip.

Click for TOPO MAP and ELEVATIONS: Trip #14-2014-16 RED CASTLE AREA
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SCROLL DOWN  FOR A “LAST NOTE” DESCRIBING WHAT WILL BE THE
 “LAST GASP TRIP!”
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              NOW TO GET US READY FOR THE 2014 BACKPACKING SEASON check out the YouTube video below, and get your order in for the “performance enhancing” supplements that have kept me going for 1,600 miles and hopefully will keep working for me in my 79th and 80th years…..and maybe on into the future?

Now that your’re  excited with this old geezer’s “Dream Backpacks,”  which you could do too,  begin getting ready right to love the 2014 backpack season with the PREPARE videos from 2012, ignoring the schedule aspects and focusing on PREPARATION.  When these videos were made I hadn’t had my hip replacement yet and was still struggling with pain which is now gone…so I don’t have any more excuses!

#9-2012 Part 1:  PREPARE or HAVE A MISERABLE BACKPACK….working out

and below
2012 PREPARE YouTube video  #9-Part 2:   PREPARE with PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENTS…that have worked miraculously for this old guy!


NOTE:  If you got this far you are possibly thinking I’m out of my mind to consider  doing all of this…maybe because of my age, maybe because I’m just a little guy whose nickname in my youth was “Little Andy.” 
 There were 5 “Andy’s” on the football team so I was designated as  
“Little Andy,”  who welcomed the challenge head on and laughed at the scoffers. 
 Let me  add that I have dreamed my end would come –tongue in cheek–in one of the following ways…anyone of which will be just fine with me–and a lot better than going out as a “couch potato!”  

1.  Backpacking in the High Uintas, 

2.  Running one more time in the International Half Marathon 
in Coban, Guatemala, or 

3.  After taking out a few of the Mexican Zetas Drug Cartel thugs in Alta Verapaz, 
Guatemala, I’m  finally  sent to my rest with a smile on my face!  

“DEATH BE NOT BORING…….I’ve lived well.  I’ve adventured 

widely.  I will not die poorly.”   by Jonathan Dorn


“NEVER GIVE IN ….. EASILY!”
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LAST GASP TRIP!

LAST NOTE:  Once all of the above is achieved–and I’m still alive & kicking,  I will likely tackle  last the most remote and hard-to-get-to lake in the High Uintas.   Jeffrey Probst, author of the best guide books on the Uintas describes “Thompson Lake”  as “the hardest”  to get to.  But, in my “1,000 Mile Whirlwind Backpack” slide show you can see that I made it to Thompson Lake, so for me there’s one more  difficult which is East Slide Lake, located on the east side of Oweep Creek up high in a side canyon.  It will take going up Lake Fork to Lambert Meadows, then proceed up Oweep Creek and off-trail  to Oweep Lake, and from there bushwhack down the side of the canyon to East Slide Lake.  From there, bushwhack down to Moon Lake and the Trailhead. 
From East Basin Pass we look across Lake Fork  & Oweep Canyons towards the side canyon where is found East Slide Lake.  The direct route would be from the Lake Fork Trail crossing Lake Fork, then Oweep Creek to bushwack up to East Slide Lake, but the problem is the cliffs of the gorge we see below.
If you want to be on my list of HIGH UINTA FRIENDS and receive notices of posts, speeches, SPOT Tracker links, etc. send me an email at:  [email protected] listing subject as:  “High Uinta Friend”