Monday, October 24, 2011

Bells Canyon- October 23rd, 2011

I was really in the mood to just go for a walkabout on Sunday. The kind where time does not matter, and you immerse yourself in nature and just forget about everything going on in the world for a bit. I found myself not having been up to Bells Canyon since July back up there to see what fall had brought. Wow! The colors were amazing still, and the trees were still holding their leaves. I headed up to my spot to get a pano of the canyon, and soaked up some very warm late October sun. My biggest surprise was how full the res still is this late in the season, it is usually pretty much drained by now, but not this year, still pretty full up there. After a bit, I saw the lake start to boil, and I knew it was time to go fishing. I arrived at the spot and on my first cast- blam! I had a 17" Cutty on the end of my line! Wow! These guys got huge this year! After fishing for a while, I decided to head up canyon towards the bridge that crosses over the creek on the way to the falls. The colors were spectacular! I saw the biggest paper wasp nest I have ever seen while I was bushwhacking the creek. Evening light was awesome and lit up the trees. I got a very nice shot of the horizon when the sun went down, and I achieved my goal of getting away and letting it all go for a few hours. Hiking is so therapeutic. Winter is rapidly approaching, so it is day like these that are a bonus this late in the season. Enjoy the pics!

Monday, October 17, 2011

San Rafael Swell/Little Wild Horse Canyon- October 2011

I wanted to make it down to the desert one more time this year before the snow flies, and I have not spent a lot of time in the San Rafael Swell. My friend Muskie has spent a lot of time in these canyons, so we decided to make a last minute trip on Friday down there for some camping and hiking. We got to the T Junction that goes into Temple Mountain right about sunset, so we headed for the closest site to relax, have a few beverages and get some sleep after the long drive. It was a nice site, a few too many ATV's for me, but I did not care. The night was awesome, stars, big red rock walls, and the moon to boot. Around 11 pm this family drives in with their Camper and truck with ATV's and asks if they can set up shop in the lot next to us. Being neighborly we said that was ok. Around 12:30 we both crashed out. I awoke to the most terrible noise around 4 am- they were running a generator not 50 ft from my tent. Muskie woke up and was pissed! He walked over and turned it off. Thank you Muskie!

We finnally got a few more hours of shut eye, then got up. After coffee we overhear those inconsiderate people saying they were only running the generator so their microwave would have power. Microwave? really? We needless to say bounced to a new spot by 10 am. We found one of the sweetest spots I have camped in. It was like a huge balcony overlooking the swell. We pitched shop, got some sun, the headed into Little Wild Horse Canyon. This was an awesome hike! The narrows in here are amazing! There is one section that was a bit tricky, but manageable. We just enjoyed being in there and we wandered near to the road that would allow us to make the loop, when we encountered a section that was too dangerous for Muskies dogs. So we turned around at about 3.4 miles to head back to camp. We had a beautiful sunset, and an orange moonrise to compliment the beautiful place we were in. This was a really relaxing trip, lots of photos, and being in a semi-new place for me. Unfortunately this is probably my last trip this year, as the snow flies and my time between work and school is gonna get hectic. Enjoy the photos, stoked to have gotten out one more time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

American Fork Silver Lake- American Fork Canyon- September 30th- 2011

I had gotten some insider information that the colors up American Fork Canyon's colors were popping. I decided that Friday I would head up for a day hike, since I had not been to this lake in a few years. I made it up the gnarly road, I have a Honda Accord, and it was slow going. The road is pretty rutted out. So I suggest a 4x4 truck or subaru for sure. The last time I went up there it was freshly graded, but it seems that the runoff this year trashed the road. I finally arrived at the trail head, and it is such a beautiful area. The trail starts out in a nice grove of aspens, then starts to climb the drainage. I was taking pictures of the weirdest spider I have ever seen when a huge Bull Moose came charging out of the trees. Yikes! I ran up the trail as fast as I could. After about 10 min I realized I had put quite a bit of distance between that big guy and me. I turned around and there was a Canadian Thistle blooming right off the trail. On I climbed, just enjoying the scenery. After the stream crossing the views really opened up. Got some great photos. After a few switchbacks, there I was, at the lake.

All the locals I talked to at Tibble Fork Res said there were no fish up there, but I had heard otherwise. As soon as I took a seat lake side, one jumped right in front of me. I gave it my best, got a couple of hits, but did not land anything. So I am not sure what is in there, they looked like brownies to me, but hard to tell. After the sun started cresting the ridge, I put away the fishing pole and played with the camera. The light up there was amazing! I kind of lost track of time and realized that I needed to head down. The hike down was awesome! The colors, the clouds, it was really breathtaking. I made a pretty swift decent, crossed the stream and was loving this hike. As soon as I passed the wilderness boundary sign, a Moose cow and her calf walked right out in front of me. Yikes again! I made a large circle off trail up and around her, as I did not want this day to end with me getting trampled. She watched me closely, but did not pursue me. Got to the car and bounced down the road and headed home. Awesome day up there, love that place. Good times! Enjoy the photos!