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
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.


…….. 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.
No narration, so watch in silent reverence 


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
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:

Plus new “Friends” & important details of
“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:


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


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:
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.

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!


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

 SHRUBBY CINQUEFOIL-Potentilla fruticosa


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.

Notice the leaves, compared to dandelions, two pictures down.

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:


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… 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,


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


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 …..

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.



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……
It was real close to being my end….but since I survived it is remembered as my

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:


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!

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;



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!

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