Up to Grove Creek Trailhead again to test me! The goal going up the front of the hills to the arrow way above me…..and on a hot day!
For you TRAIL RUNNERS, remember this competition.
Here’s my history from back 18 months ago when I couldn’t walk, or stand to take a shower. I WENT TO WORK, STEP BY STEP….UNTIL CONQUERING UTAH VALLEY. Would I be ready?
I had slacked off some time ago, and apparently lost my strength and endurance, so this week each day I was at Grove Canyon and each day pushing myself to do a little more, and it was hard, especially with the hot weather. But I wanted to go up the front of the mountain to the view spot.
MY SPINE WAS STILL DANGEROUSLY MISALIGNED AS YOU SEE HERE & WAS PAINFUL. I HAD TO BE REAL CAREFUL.
My SPINE SURGEON INSISTING I ALWAYS USE MY TREKKING POLES!
I had to always cope with my HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, so before starting had it finally down by around noon, and then on the trail checked myself periodically. Oxygen in my blood and HIGH ALTITUDE SICKNESS would be no problem, but had to get strong to have it working right above 10,000 feet.
As I climbed I checked on plants I was monitoring, and documenting their development.
This one hadn’t blossomed yet.
But had the problem of APHIDS, very tiny sap sucking insects, their ENEMY being the wonderful LADYBUG that during it’s life-span can eat up to 5,000 aphids!
This LADYBUG needed some help. A LADYBUG is about 1/8th inch long, making aphids smaller than 1/32nd inch long.
TO CONTROL APHIDS IN YOUR GARDEN YOU CAN EVEN BUY ON AMAZON.COM BAGS OF LADYBUGS!
This plant, the SMOOTH SUMAC, you will recall I used as one of the native plants to landscape our first apartment.
Here it is at full maturity.
There are a number of varieties of THISTLES in Utah, all pretty ominous with their prickly thistles.
This is one of the common ones.
This one a larger variety, that is especially beautiful with its purple flower.
Here we come to a new plant that is blossoming with its very tiny yellow/white flower.
We have zoomed in on the flower about 1/8th inch in diameter. You can now see its wonderful beauty.
Do you remember the beautiful Western Blue Flax?
Here is the flower that has developed into its seed producing phase.
This is another plant we started noticing early on, and then got back to it a month or so later….
… when it blossomed.
From blossoming, it entered the next stage producing seeds for propagation of another season. Isn’t nature incredible…..the wonderment of the Lord’s creations!
It’s been awfully dry lately, having us in a true desert environment, but nature hasn’t ended its beautiful array of color and magnificence.
See what I mean?
This little friend, along with us, is keeping a close eye on nature to make sure he isn’t bushwhacked from up above, or from below by other creatures.
Another plant has developed for us and has to perhaps be one of the very tinyest of powder blue flowers, we’ll zoom in on…..
Maybe it’s more a light purple in color.
This one surprised me, so I’m not sure what it developed from…..
.…..and always with one of the many varieties of grasses, also with it’s surprising fascination.
I’m not sure what this one was…..
…but can see it is pretty sharp…..
This one, with its beautiful green leaves impressed me and was photographed early on, and has now developed and shows us its tiny, but very beautiful flower in the following pictures….
To appreciate its beauty you have to zoom way in……..
……..and look inside to see the wonderful colors.
……and we can’t forget the development of CLIFF ROSE, from it’s beautiful flower, and it’s development……
With this one, we see all three of its stages…..
I had seen way up high a deer trail that angled across a very steep, rocky slope and decided to try it to get up to the top. Normal people could have managed it alright, but it got real dicey for me. It doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but it was much worse than it looks, and, coupled with me being pretty tired—–you know, when your leg muscles begin to tremble with every step up….or step down.
With my trekking poles I have to continually lean into them, as a fall backwards could be more than dangerous, and I have always advised people on a steep slope you have to lean into the mountain, so that if you fall you fall into the mountain, rather than toppling down the steep slope–which for me and my misaligned spine, would be almost sure DEATH! Such a violent fall could easily shift the vertebrae’s and even cut the spinal chord producing death, or at best paralysis!
Several times in stepping up, my terrible balance problem had me teetering, not sure whether I would go forward, or fall backwards, and it scared the heck out of me–or SCARED SOME SENSE INTO MY THICK SKULL. IT WAS GETTING TOO DANGEROUS FOR ME TO CONTINUE, and so I carefully moved down the mountain.
Moving down had at times my right leg–which had died and lost all of its muscle, but with a lot of work I got it working again, although still far from being as strong as my left leg, but being trembling tired, it at times gave me the impression it could give in and collapse, as happened early on causing my devastating falls that hurt me real bad.
AGAIN CAUTION WAS A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH, and waiting for my BACKPACK TO THE GRANDADDIES became a priority–maybe until after a summer of getting stronger, and hopefully being able to see the GRANDADDIES ONE MORE TIME in late August after the mosquitoes are gone….and if I make that, SET NEW AMBITIOUS GOALS, all helping me persist with life while doing my darndest to accomplish more of something of importance, as I have tried to do all my life….SEE MY TWO BOOKS TO SEE WHAT I MEAN.
The overall experience had me BEING WISE, rather than STUPID, and making the decision I wasn’t quite ready for a 3 day backpack to the GRANDADDIES….YET!
It had me recalling how a year ago with my WALKER I had lengthened out my hikes to actually doing the Half-marathon distance of 13.2 miles all the way from American Fork to Alpine and back.
The night before I DREAMED I HAD FINALLY BEAT THE KENYANS IN THE COBAN INTERNATIONAL HALF-MARATHON…..USING MY WALKER!
MY DREAMS came into focus and I recalled another similar experience I write about in my MAYA BOOK HISTORY, which I’ll insert here for your enjoyment….it dealt with the lake I created on my plantation in Guatemala you see in this picture.
Eventually we built our swimming area, seen here , and throughout all my years at Valparaiso I tried to keep up my record of always bathing daily in our lake, even once starting an ESKIMO CLUB that to be a member one had to make a dive daily into the lake even when the temperature dropped to freezing—4 times in 35 years!
I eventually installed electric lights in our “balneario” so when I had to bath at night I’d flip the switch and…..
.….take my dip in the dark of night—ALL LIT UP!
“Once when bathing late at night, waist deep in the water, I was ambushed by two guys with guns, but I was ready for them with my 9mm pistol underneath my towel, got the drop on them and they resisted so I had no choice but to shoot them. I then calmly walked home dressed quickly, got my pickup to load their bodies, and drove over past Tactic to a secluded spot and dumped their bodies—as I had been told by the Police and Army to do!”
This was another of many adventures among the MAYA—
THIS ONE IN MY DREAMS!
—one of many such warnings given me that had me usually prepared to avoid such deadly encounters.
We’ll for NOW AT LEAST, this picture of me getting to the GRANDADDIES, will also have to BE IN MY DREAMS!
Although, don’t count me out for late August when the mosquitoes are gone!
To pump up for a CHALLENGE like “Getting to the Grandaddies” I watch a couple of the ROCKY movies, and will take the advise of Creed to get back “THE EYE OF THE TIGER!” Yes, as with Rocky, it was said he had “BRAIN DAMAGE” for thinking about becoming the Champion, and it could also be said about me that I have “brain damage” to be thinking about BACKPACKING TO THE GRANDADDIES in my 87th year, but I do claim to be “DETERMINED, but NOT STUPID!”
So, you’ll have to keep tuned into see what happens!
The last stop on the TOUR was at the West Fork of Smith’s Fork. From there we travel 6 miles further east to the Smith’s Fork, and the CHINA MEADOWS TRAILHEAD. We are 32 miles from the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway. GET MY BOOK FOR ALL THE DETAILS.
This is the usual jumping off point to head to the RED CASTLE AREA, even though you should recall that I have suggested a wonderful way to get there would be from the East Fork of Blacks Fork Trailhead, and go up above timberline to Bald Mountain and follow that trail to Red Castle. From China Meadows, it will be 14 miles to Red Castle. GET MY BOOK FOR ALL THE DETAILS, INCLUDING TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS. For this TOUR I’ll use pictures from a backpack made in 2008 THAT WAS HISTORIC!
It involved the ORIGINAL THREE BACKPACK BUDDIES, who you see here Me, Ted Packard, and Charlie Petersen, the picture of us in 1954 at the end of a 14 day backpack crossing the entire Primitive Area.
Around 50 years later we went again together on what we called THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY BACKPACK to RED CASTLE. Here we are at the Trailhead.
Here we are at our camp the first night.
This was my “lightweight camp” not using a tent, rather my poncho as a lean-to, and sleeping quilt inside a bivouac bag. This is basically the system I will be using now in my 87th year to backpack again.
Red Castle Peak now comes into view.
Here I am early in my Wilderness Project, camping below Red Castle Peak. This picture was later printed in BACKPACKER MAGAZINE.
On our 2008 backpack, we are swinging around Red Castle Lake, to camp our first night at …….
….. EAST RED CASTLE LAKE.
On that prior trip, probably in 2004, I had caught this very heavy bodied Native Cutthroat trout in East Red Castle Lake. The lake now also has Tiger trout.
From East Red Castle Lake, we came down swinging around the peak, and climbed up to RED CASTLE LAKE found above timberline at 11,267 ft. elevation and have climbed up to near Upper Red Castle Lake to make my camp.
This is my favorite photograph of RED CASTLE LAKE & PEAK on the western side of the mountain, when on July 4th I found Upper Red Castle Lake still frozen over.
Here is Upper Red Castle Lake, at about 11,700 ft. elevation, where in 1962 Ted and I came over the mountain from Porcupine Pass, and dropped in on this high alpine lake and immediately began catching very large Native Cutthroat trout as I mentioned in a previous report.
To get an accurate weight we buried him in a snow drift to take him out uncleaned the next day. On returning to the snow bank all but the tail half had been eaten by some animal. Back home the lighter tail half weighed 3.5 lbs. so we calculated the live weight uncleaned would have exceeded 8 lbs.
RED CASTLE PEAK over Lower Red Castle Lake.
Another of the Peak and lake.
Ted took this picture at the end of our backpack of Charlie and myself. Charlie and Ted wrote the Forward for the High Uinta Mountains book.
I bid farewell to the High Uintas, until next week, with this beautiful scene put together for us by our kind Creator and Lord. Below you will find information about how to get the book, some are calling “THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS.”
The 730 page digital book is a Guide for adventuring in the Uintas, but also with HISTORY, LEGENDS, the SURVIVAL STORIES OF THOSE WHO DIDN’T MAKE IT & WHY, plus my 8 SURVIVAL STORIES and WHY I’LL BACKPACK THIS SUMMER IN MY 87th YEAR, plus a detailed APPENDIX (among other things has the Anti-Aging Challenge writing), & 14 PAGE INDEX, AS WELL AS TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS WITH ROUTES, DISTANCES & LABELS — get an online copy of this book, some have called THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UINTA MOUNTAINS, send me $20 (don’t be afraid of sending a $20 bill as we aren’t south of the border) along with your email address, and I will immediately email you the link to download the book with my permission to share once with a friend. Or, send $25 for a thumb drive that will have the book, plus The History of it’s creation as detailed in a speech I gave at the Utah Valley Historical Society; plus my CHECKERED HISTORY & VISION QUEST–0-22 years. Send to:
Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MY LIFE AMONG THE MAYA: Go to the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION’S website with the final addition from the movie which REVEALS THE ANSWER TO the……
..MOST IMPORTANT PERPLEXING QUESTION IN MY ENTIRE 50 YEAR MAYA HISTORY::
Check out the VERY LAST VERSION of the BOOK with
THE “MODERN AMMON’S” LEGACY!
Download free the BOOK about my life among the Mayans.
If BOURNE is what attracts your curiosity…and it should, it will best be understood after going through the history where you will find it in Section 29, page 464.