In classic Utah fashion, in about two days we went from 55 degrees and rainy to 85 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. But that meant we could revisit the trail we hit a couple weeks ago and turn it into a whole loop (along with just about everyone else in the valley).
I have a hard time voluntarily going back into snow when it’s melted in the valley, so our last trip to Millcreek was at the end of February. But we scoped it out yesterday and the first few trailheads are all the way clear! I’d forgotten what a mood lift being in the mountains is.
These pics are from a new route on the Rattlesnake Gulch trail, with switchbacks and a grade of 8% (vs the 18% from the old trail). A good way to get back into it.
So far the first week of 2022 has seen my car battery dying, my dad getting eye surgery (planned; he’s doing great), and Doc and I waiting two hours for a covid test (he got exposed at work; we’re both negative). Like I said Thursday, it feels like a lot–but that’s why there’s nature. The winter sun was out in Millcreek and it was really nice to just let my body walk while my brain stopped THINKING so much.
I find that I get outside in the day less now that I’m working from home, so I’m going to try to change that this year. Even if I can’t get out in nature, I can get out in the neighborhood.
I think the upper canyons are at peak color right now–and a lot of the valley agreed with me, based on how many cars were on the road. But the trails themselves weren’t any busier than normal so we were able to get some Nature Rx (when we couldn’t hear the sound of traffic).
We did our traditional July “go up to the lake at 10,000 feet and cool off” day trip yesterday. Doc is on more meds (but we finally know what’s wrong, whew) so we took it easy and just did 0.7 miles to Scout Lake.
We caught the end of wildflower season…
But it was a cool 70 degrees and it was good to get out and see the world a bit.
…quote from Wallace Stevens, that is:
“A newly-fallen snow
At the end of winter when afternoons return.”
We hadn’t hiked in a few weeks and there was fresh snow and sun in Millcreek–always a mood booster, along with the lengthening days.
We went out to the Great Salt Lake yesterday to see the mirabilite mounds that had formed. The mounds were cool–I had no idea there were underground springs–but I was really taken by the lake (again).
Maybe it’s the pandemic and the fact we haven’t gotten out much, but the lake on a windy, unseasonably warm day was beautiful. It reminded me a lot of the southern Utah desert–that high-altitude, late winter light, the blue distances, the spaciousness.
I don’t think I’ve had enough coffee to keep pretending to be Terry Tempest Williams, but consider this your recommendation to visit the GSL in the winter.