Friday, October 19, 2012

Big Water Trail, Millcreek Canyon, Wasatch-Cache National Forest- October 2012

When we as a family have a whole day to spend together, which is rare, we make the best of it. We did an afternoon hike up the Big Water Trail in Millcreek canyon. It has gotten much colder in just the last few days, and the sun is heading south, meaning winter is just around the corner. We headed up and all of us had jackets on. As we climbed, we eventually got in the sun and had to shed the layers. All the leaves are off the Aspens, I suspect from the last storm. And that they have had very little water, so I am sure they were done a while back. As we climbed, we got a nice walk through the forest, just enjoying being able to just get out and walk this trail. My daughter is getting really strong, and is becoming a stronger hiker every time we go. We made it up to the junction for Big Water/Little Water trail, and my daughter was cold and tired. So we decided not to go to Dog Lake, as we were running out of sunlight, and the temps were dropping fast. The hike out was pretty chilly to say the least, and all of us were very happy to finally reach the car and get the heat going. NWS is calling for a pretty big low pressure which could be the first substantial snowfall for the season. I may get one or two more hikes in this year before we are snowed in and I start snowboarding for the season. We will see what the weather gives me. More to come..........

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oktober Family Fun- Bells Canyon, Wasatch-Cache National Forest- October 2012

I have really been away from home all summer. I mean literally. I was only home 3 weekends all summer because I was out building my portfolio for photography. So I have taken a few weekends off to spent some quality family time. Last weekend was Cornbelly's on Saturday for my daughter, and Oktoberfest for the whole family on Sunday.My Mom and Grandpa Bob were in town for a visit! So much fun!
This weekend we did the Living Planet Aquarium on Saturday because of the weather. Sunday, as a family we decided to go hiking. We settled on Bells Canyon since the parking at the trails was packed up Millcreek Canyon. It has been almost a whole season since I have been up there, so was wondering how it did over this hot, dry summer we had. The colors were outstanding, as well were the temps for Mid-October. We made the quick jaunt up to the lake, then hopped off the main route to look for some good spots to shoot some family photos. After the photos, we made our way around the lake and to a spot that my daughter likes to climb on the granite boulders that have come out of the canyon. The light was awesome, and it was such a nice day. I did not bring my fishing rod because I was spending time with my family, but I did see them rising out there, may have to sneak a quick trip up there in before the snow flies. It was an awesome day with the family that I love so much! Few more days hiking and we will be on the snow! More to come.........

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hidden Lake, Uintas- September 2012

After getting our first snowfall of the year in the higher terrain, we received a ridge of high pressure that melted it all off. So after discussing our destination with Chris, we decided to head into Hidden Lake in the Watson/Notch area of the Uintas. We arrived in the afternoon to find the Crystal Lake trail head emptier than I have ever seen it. We were smiles ear to ear at the chance that we would have no one out there, and to have an area all to ourselves. We got the packs on and headed in. The first section to Cliff Lake is very steep, and was a good warm up for sure. Cliff Lake is very picturesque, we stopped to look at it for a minute to catch our breath from the steep climb, then moved on. The next lake on the way up was Petite Lake. Very fitting for the name. Then we moved up to Watson Lake. At this point you climb a slight ridge, then drop down to Clyde Lake. This was one of the first views you get of all the surrounding peaks and the divide which we were to go over. After a few minutes at Clyde, we moved on to Three Divide Lakes. As we rounded the shoulder of Mt Watson, we began a series of small drainage crossings which seemed to go on forever.

We finally got to Peter Lake, and we started our decent bushwhacking our way in. We finally through the trees got a view of Hidden Lake, and we made our way down to the east side. We scouted around for a spot to set up shop, and found one near the outlet, that was pretty sweet. We go shop pitched, and the second half of our party showed up, Collin and his wonder dog Barley. We decided to get camp set because the days are much shorter now, and we knew we had two full days to explore out there. As dusk set in, we got our fire going, and made dinner. The moon was nearly full that night, and it gave me a chance to see where I could shoot some night shots without the moon affecting them. As the midnight hour started rapidly approaching, we all made our way to the warmth of our tents. I awoke to the sounds of birds singing in the trees in our camp. I had frost on my tent when I first climbed out to greet the day. Collin and Chris got up and we all made coffee. Soon the sun was blazing over the ridge, and we got it together and decided to see where a source of water was coming from, possibly a backcountry pond. As we crossed the big meadows, isolated cells were coming in from the west, and gave us a brief shower which I put on my rain jacket for and did some exploring back to camp. Soon the skies cleared, and we gave it a shot at fishing Hidden Lake.

They were rising, but no matter what you threw at them, they rejected everything. I even had one swim and surface right next to my fly, and not even pay it notice. After a frustrating couple of hours dusk started to set in, and the wind was now cold, so we called it for the day and headed back to camp for dinner and a beverage. Night came once again, but this time not as cold. Collin packs in a carbon fiber 6-string to pick at, and we listened as he jammed out his tunes. After a while my friends got tired, and I still had about an hour of shooting left before my image would be done. I retired shortly after they did, and found sleep not much later. Sunday I awoke to clear skies, slightly warmer temps, and a light breeze moving around the basin. Collin and Chris got up not too much longer after I did, and we once again go the caffeine train going again. We decided to head up to Three Divide Lakes and Clyde to fish them on the way out. We quickly broke camp, and then made the climb to the pass. At the Middle Divide Lake, I landed a very small brookie. I can't believe that guy actually went for my fly. We moved on down to Clyde Lake, and there our luck changed dramatically. Second cast I had a nice brookie on the line. Chris and Collin had similar luck, and we fished Clyde for a couple of hours. It was great up there, and they were attacking it off the top just like I like it. After a bit, we decided to push for Watson, then out to the car. We chilled in the meadow at Watson for a while, just soaking up the sun, and relaxing, which was the whole point of getting out this weekend. We finally made it to the car, where we had some tasty beverages, toasting a great weekend in the mountains. This may be my last Uintas trip this year, weather depending. It is now October, and the nights are going to get colder, and the days shorter. It has been a good season backpacking this year. Maybe one more adventure, and of course gonna get out for some day hiking for fall colors. Stay tuned- Enjoy the slideshow!