Thursday, June 22, 2017

Reposting this because Facebook won't

I don't know what it is. Does Facebook have a filter for the word "God" now?  I tried posting this article several times and it kept saying "try again later", but then when I liked a couple of things it worked just fine. Anyway this is an interesting article I found in the Deseret News this morning called, "How Some Christians Find God in Bryce Canyon and Other National Parks".

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Ribbon in Your Hair- Tim O'Brien

I always like introducing people to this very talented singer song-writer. Tim O'Brien is well-known among bluegrass/folk fans, but a lot of people have never heard of him. The song The Ribbon in Your Hair is a wonderful tribute to true love. Here are the complete lyrics to the song.

Strollin' on the strand one day
Back in the fall of '49
The sun was sinkin' in the west
When somethin' caught my eye
And through the dim and misty light
I saw the ribbon in your hair
As you turned around I found true love then and there

We never even met that day
Fate kept you and I apart
And though I traveled far and wide
Your vision filled my heart
Through the dark and stormy nights
Deep inside I always knew
I'd find the path that would lead me back to you

Now as I behold your bright eyes smilin' back at me
It's as if by fate's decree that we have this love to share
You only have to take my hand
To take me back in time
To the picture in my mind
The way the twilight shined
Upon the ribbon in your hair

Now our home's a holy place
Bathed in love's abiding light
It warms my heart to hear you tell me
How it feels so right
And may all lovers be like us
And never rest until they find
The lasting love that can bring true piece of mind

Now, give it a listen, and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

John Muir--never attacked by a bear

Some hikers and others spending time in the wilds have an irrational fear of bears. Sure, a bear can kill you. Absolutely they can be dangerous. But consider famed naturalist, John Muir. Muir spent much more time exploring wilderness than most, if not all of us, will spend in our lifetimes. He encountered bears on several occasions, in some instances, he feared for his life. Yet to the best of my knowledge, despite those encounters, was never attacked--even though there were far more bears back then than there are now. He did, however, have some mistaken assumptions about bears. Here's one example:

"...We found our way easily enough over the deep snow, guided by the topography, and discovered the trail on the brow of the valley just as the Bridal Veil came in sight. I didn't know that it was one of the famous falls I had read about, and calling Chilwell's attention to it I said, "See that dainty little fall over there. I should like to camp at the foot of it to see the ferns and lilies that may be there. It looks small from here, only about fifteen or twenty feet, but it may be sixty or seventy." So little did we then know of Yosemite magnitudes!
After spending eight or ten days in visiting the falls and the high points of view around the walls, making sketches, collecting flowers and ferns, etc., we decided to make the return trip by way of Wawona, then owned by Galen Clark, the Yosemite pioneer. The night before the start was made on the return trip we camped near the Bridal Veil Meadows, where, as we lay eating our suppers by the light of the camp-fire, we were visited by a brown bear. We heard him approaching by the heavy crackling of twigs. Chilwell, in alarm, after listening a while, said, "I see it! I see it! It's a bear, a grizzly! Where is the gun? You take the gun and shoot him--you can shoot best." But the gun had only a charge of birdshot in it; therefore, while the bear stood on the opposite side of the fire, at a distance of probably twenty-five or thirty feet, I hastily loaded in a lot of buckshot. The buckshot was too large to chamber and therefore it made a zigzag charge on top of the birdshot charge, the two charges occupying about half of the barrel. Thus armed, thegun held at rest pointed at the bear, we sat hushed and motionless, according to instructions from the man who sold the gun, solemnly waiting and watching, as full of fear as the musket of shot. Finally, after sniffing and whining for his supper what seemed to us a long time, the young inexperienced beast walked off. We were much afraid of his return to attack us. We did not then know that bears never attack sleeping campers, and dreading another visit we kept awake on guard most of the night."

While it isn't true that bears will "never attack sleeping campers", the fact that Muir spent so many days, weeks, months, and years in the wilderness without any kind of attack should give us comfort as we make our forays into the wilderness ourselves. Using simple caution, such as safe food handling and storage techniques in bear country, learning how to avoid making bears agitated, and going prepared for an unexpected attack will all go a long ways to a safer and more enjoyable experience. That doesn't mean you won't ever find yourself threatened by a bear. John Muir was, and ended up not being attacked--but those encounters can still occur.
In Utah's Wasatch Mountains, it's rare to even see a bear and I only know of one attack.

This bear came into our picnic site at Yosemite.
We grabbed all the food we could and threw it
in our vehicle before he got too close. Then
we made a beeline for the vehicle.

There was still a skillet and stove and a few other things we couldn't
grab on our table. The bear got them.
He bit into the box of matches, but didn't find them too tasty.
I still have this box of matches preserved in a zip lock bag.

We had cooked burgers in the pan. He pretty much licked it clean.
The bottom line is that a healthy respect for wildlife and a knowledge of their habits will help keep the rare bear encounter from becoming a life-threatening event. Learn safe techniques before you need them and you will be prepared, even if you never need to use them. And keep having the adventures. They are what make life worth living.

Monday, June 12, 2017

I like it French...

I decided to do an experiment today. I wanted something to go with our dinner of crock pot roast and baked potatoes, so I tried out a new recipe--french bread. I had never actually made french bread before, so this was an new experience. See, the way I look at it, is if you can't get away to have some experiences, like maybe Malibu or something, you've gotta make those experiences happen where they can happen. In my case it's right in my own little abode.
The bread went together pretty well, the only glitch being that the stated time for cooking was 35 minutes, and when I checked on the bread at 28 minutes, it was a little darker than I would have liked. I had rushed getting it in the oven, only letting it raise for half of the stated 30 minutes--mainly because it was getting a little later than I'd like to have dinner. That was my only critique I got from my wife Ann, who said that it needed to raise a little longer. Good thing I didn't wait too long though, because right after we finished eating, the power went off.
All in all though it was pretty tasty, and not nearly as hard to make as I would have thought.
Meet the new Bosch...same as the old Bosch (Who fans will get it.)

Rolled out and ready to go

As I said, a little dark, but still tasty

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Baby Come Back by Player--just a great song

This is one of those songs that you used to sing as a kid when you were sad. I guess you could sing it as an adult too. Just a great lost love song.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The sad lessons of life and death

It was bothering me all day. A story in the news yesterday about a young man, Siaosi Brown, age 22, who was killed when he slipped trying to cross a waterfall in Bells Canyon. So sad that a life was taken away that young. So sad that it happens nearly every year in that particular canyon that someone takes a risk they shouldn't take and loses their life. I know that risk, because a few years ago, I was tempted myself.
The water in that area in some places flows through narrow channels, narrow enough that someone with enough ability could jump across. Wanting to get onto those rocks on the other side makes the temptation that much stronger. You want to see if you can do it. That is your only thought--making it across.

The day I nearly tried it, I sat there and looked at it for fifteen minutes trying to decide if I could do it or not. The thing is, the rocks that you want to jump onto across the narrow stream are sloped. The water, especially during spring runoff, is swift and the channels, more like water slides than you could possibly believe. One slip and you are in the water, being pushed along with nothing to grab onto--no way to stop yourself before...
There is a drop off. It isn't extremely high--nothing like Yellowstone Falls, for example, either in height or water volume. But falling off of that 30-40 foot falls is enough to hurt you badly, so that you would likely be unconscious by the time you hit bottom and end up drowning.
Yellowstone Falls
After fifteen minutes of trying to find a safe way to cross that day, I gave it up. There is risk, and there is stupid risk. A person can have a lot of fun without succumbing to the temptations of stupidity. As for me, choosing not to do the stupid, has kept me alive for many more adventures. Turning back when I wasn't sure of my actions preserved me for many more hikes, camping trips, and picnics.
I would like to encourage those reading this to never take unnecessary chances when it comes to waterfalls, and be careful around water in general. A few years ago there was another such accident when a young man tried to wade across Big Cottonwood Creek during runoff. Don't let it be you.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Sometimes this is the only thing that works

The Indian flute music of R. Carlos Nakai. Sometimes is the only thing that can portray how I feel.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Hiking: Broads Fork

I hadn't been up on the Broads Fork trail for at least ten years, so I thought I'd give it a shot this morning. After all, it's Memorial Day weekend and the crowds would be huge on most of the trails, or so I thought. Lake Blanche being highly popular, and from the same parking area, I had already made up my mind to do Broads to try and have less company. As it was, I ended up being the first one on that trail, even starting as late as I did, which was 8:11. No one passed me on the way up, and as I was going down, I only saw six people. Not quite what I expected, even from the Friday of a holiday weekend.
The trailhead is accessed at the bottom of the S-curve in Big Cottonwood Canyon.The trail itself was moderately difficult. It starts out pretty steep right out of the parking lot, but levels off here and there along the route. Being alone, I had a lot of time to think and take whatever pics I wanted. The sky was overcast so I didn't quite get the contrast in my photos that I would like, but it was still a lot of fun trying to get good shots. When I'm hiking--especially alone--I mess around with my camera a lot as you'll see from the pics below.
I got up to the bowl just before 11:00, sat down and ate my lunch, and looked at the Beautiful scenery. I had been surprised at how little snow was on the trail below, but I was not surprised at all at how much snow still remained on the peaks. I was halfway tempted to hike through it over to where the stream was cascading down, just to see if I could get some good shots, but I had told my wife that I would be home by three and I had a stop or two to make along the way home so I decided against that idea. I took some pics, then headed back down.
My wife said if I wasn't home by three, I'd be sleeping on the
couch. I was happy to.
It was a great hike. I highly recommend it for those who want a trail with some scenery, but that isn't as popular as some of the other nearby trails.
A glimpse of the Oquirrhs across the valley.

Broads Fork, like all the local streams, is a raging torrent.

The upper portion of the trail is extremely Beautiful.
From this point a trail forked to the right. I suppose it went
further up, but vanished beneath the snow.

No selfie stick needed!

The ant crawled up just as I took the shot.

Flowers just beginning to appear. The key is for size comparison.

This is my favorite shot of this particular trip.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The call of the mountains

I sit and wait. High in the mountains, the snow still measured in feet, tries to melt to accommodate alpine sojourners for a short summer, hiking, backpacking, or fishing. My time is not yet, but soon. Soon I will be breathing faster in anticipation of once again being in the forest, among the cliffs, high in the Wasatch, Uinta, or any other mountain range I can get to. Already, I feel the pull of the timberline, and the call of the fresh air.
I don't have my new hiking shoes yet, but my old ones, still breathing--even more so with the extra holes that are working their way through the outer fabric--will still carry me up onto the wind-scoured peaks and ridges on trails likely used for millennia, first by wild animals, then later, by Native Americans, before finally becoming trails for throngs of people wanting, like me, to just get away and see some country--the high country.
Part of the Mt. Nebo trail
The view from Kings Peak is what it's all about
Eagles and hawks live here among the cliffs. Marmots, and pikas abound in the rocky scree. I long to watch the raptors circle the peaks, hoping for a tasty meal, perhaps of a pika or marmot. The freedom of flight is magnificent to watch.
And then, for me, there is God. When John Denver penned the words, "you can talk to God and listen to the casual reply" in his hit song, Rocky Mountain High,  he was without knowing it, penning the path of my life. So often I have poured my heart out to Him, when I'm in some far away, remote place.
Hiking in the off-season has its risk and rewards too.
This is an October hike to the Notch in the Uintas.
There is always danger in nature. If not to the rodents, to those who venture in. No one knows when something might happen that could keep them from returning home. A fall, lightning strikes, getting lost, bear attacks--those are all part of the risk of heading out into the wilds. They are part of the thrill. If you don't put yourself out there, you don't live a life--and I don't mean just in the outdoors.
So I await my next adventure. It is always calling me. This life is too short to ignore it. So get up. We're burnin' daylight.

Hawk on the Lone Peak Trail.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I'm Not in Love - 10cc

I'm Not in Love by 10cc is perhaps one of my favorite songs ever. The reason being is that to me it seems like the words of the lead vocalist mean the exact opposite of what he's singing. When he says "I'm not in love" he's really desperately in love, and when he says "that doesn't mean you mean that much to me" what he's really saying is "You are all I've got. Don't ever leave me".  The feeling behind the song is strengthened by the background vocalist saying, "big boys don't cry" over and over again. The guy is definitely head over heels in love and that's what makes it so wonderful. Because love is. The actual story of the writing of this song is awesome and can be found here: clickety-click

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hiking: Yellow Fork Canyon

I have been on vacation this past week and due to life's circumstance, haven't had much of a chance to get out and hike. Friday, I made arrangements to do so. I had limited time and wanted to go someplace fairly close to home. I also wanted to go somewhere I'd never been. I had heard about Yellow Fork Canyon in Utah's Oquirrh Mountains earlier in the week, and since I hadn't done much hiking in the Oquirrhs, decided to give it a shot.
Let me say that first of all, I had a hard time finding it. It wasn't hard to find, it was just that I had a hard time finding it. I had not been able to find details as to directions to the trailhead, and the closest thing to details was "just follow Rose Canyon Road to the end and you'll find it". But that had been a few days before I left. When I arrived in Herriman Friday morning, I had no idea where Rose Canyon Road was. I stopped in at McDonald's and asked there if anyone knew where Rose Canyon Road was. No one did. I was having trouble getting my phone to connect to the internet for some reason, and I couldn't look it up.
I left McDonald's and since I already had some idea of where Yellow Fork Canyon might be, I drove around looking for Rose Canyon Road. I came across a road called Rosecrest Road and thought to myself that maybe I had it wrong and that the real name of the road I was supposed to be on was Rosecrest, not Rose Canyon. After driving up and down Rosecrest, I decided that it couldn't possibly be the right road, and after several attempts to get my phone to work, it finally did and I was able to GPS it to Rose Canyon Road.
Once on that road it was just a matter of following it, because the trailhead truly was at the end of that road. Unfortunately, I was unable to figure out where you would normally get on Rose Canyon Road because from Rosecrest, my GPS took me through subdivisions etc., to get there, which isn't the best route. And I was planning on noticing on the way out where the road began, but got a text from my sprinkler installer saying that my "son", which was actually my grandson Jack, was trying to help them and was getting in their way and could I deal with it because they were about to start using the trencher and didn't want him to get hurt. So I was busily trying to get a hold of Ann, so that she could tell Rebecca to go and get her son and that made me forget to notice where Rose Canyon Road began. I'm thinking though that if you get on 134th South in Herriman and head west that you won't miss it. And if you get out there and can't find it, use your GPS!
Once at the trailhead, there are several directions you can go. There's a map there, but I stared at it and tried to figure it out, and couldn't really do so. I noticed that part of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail ran through the area though. I chose a trail that went to the left, across a wooden bridge. This trail ended up following the ridge line, thus, it was the harder trail, but got me up high a lot quicker than any other direction would have done, and thus was a blessing in disguise. The trail was rocky and muddy, both because of the recent torrents of rain we've received. The rocks looked like what you see when all the soil has been washed away around them, so the water must've run down that trail pretty good.
Right after I left the trailhead, the trail started up the ridge.
I liked the way the light was shining on these moss-covered scrub
oak trunks.

A lot of flowers are coming out right about now.
After a while of walking the ridge, I began to wonder if I would ever come across a trail that would lead me down into Yellow Fork Canyon, which was to my right. I kept looking and walking, occasionally leaving the trail to look off to the side, taking pics.
Looking southeast
To me this kind of looked like a landscape on Mars if Mars had any plant life

View to the south

A bit to the northwest.

The mixture of clouds and sunlight allowed for some interesting views.
I saw this lichened rock from a distance and further away it looked like crop circles to me.
The views are great, and I could tell that if I had more time in the day to spend hiking that getting up higher would be even better. After about an hour and a half, I found an old road that headed down into the canyon. The trail on the ridge continued up and I decided that I would come back on another day for more exploration. Certainly with all the private property in those mountains, largely due to Kennecott and others, I had spent far less time exploring them than I would have liked. Incidentally, there is more access to the Oquirrhs from the Tooele side of the range.
This is where I turned right and went down into the canyon.
As you can see, the trail continues up along the ridge.
I continued down the road into the canyon below.
While the ridge line trail had been muddy, the road was even muddier.

Another canyon had opened up that led down into Yellow Fork, and I followed the road through this canyon down to the junction with Yellow Fork.
In the middle of the pic is the clearing where the road came down from the ridge.
The trail in the foreground is the trail in the bottom of Yellow Fork Canyon.
The canyon bottom was an entirely different experience than the ridge line had been. At the junction, I noticed that the trail continued on up and marked that one down too for further exploration. So many hikes, so little time!
Deer tracks were everywhere in the fresh mud.
There are a lot of deer along this trail system, and while up on the ridge, I had spotted some on a distant hillside. Tracks were plentiful in the mud.

The canyon bottom trail will definitely be the shadiest and coolest.

I saw this shelter someone had made.
It was a good nine feet tall.

One of many picnic areas. The rest didn't have tables.
One half mile from the trailhead, I found a group of picnic tables, and considering the scrub oak and other lower elevation plant life, and how wood ticks like that kind of brush, I composed a little poem in my head:

If you're gonna have picnics
Watch out for wood ticks.

A pretty little stream flowed near the picnic grounds.
Not a real extensive poem, as you can see, but very informative. I think I'll put that on a poster.
I arrived back at the trailhead and shucked my pack and my jacket, then went over to look at the map again. I still couldn't figure it out. I will have to look the area up in my map book that has quadrants of the entire state. I was actually doing pretty well on my handheld GPS until the batteries died. Oh yeah, always replace your batteries before you go. I would've, but I thought that there was no way I could get lost at this place so I didn't worry about it.
I would recommend this hike, especially the lower portion through the canyon, for anyone desiring an easy, kid-friendly hike. I would possibly wait for the trail to dry up if I was taking small children up there, and I would probably avoid the ridge with younger kids. 
All in all, while it wasn't as spectacular as some hikes I've been in, it was quiet and peaceful and I only saw a few people, all of them on the canyon floor. It was a good opportunity to get out and explore some place I'd never hiked before. It was a chance to unwind, and to think, and I never turn down that kind of activity.
For those interested in the extensive planning going on for this part of the Oquirrhs: Clickety-click