Thursday, February 23, 2012


This photo, with the Great Salt Lake on the horizon, was taken this morning about a mile from my new house (notice Jake in the lower right of the picture):

The trailhead to this view is a five minute drive from the house--with no traffic lights between the two places. This is part of a hiking and mountain biking trail I've used for years. While living at my previous SLC house it was a good 20 minute drive across town, each way, making a 30 minute hike take well over an hour's worth of time. There's is also the option to hike for hours or even days from this spot as it's all wilderness going up into the Wasatch Mountains. I had my closest encounter ever with a mountain lion in this area about ten years ago. We were at most 30 feet away, and it was a BIG cat--at least 150 pounds.

Downtown Salt Lake City is viewable from this spot, though not in this photo--it's just to the left (and down).

Looking west the view is of the Oquirrh Mountains, the Great Salt Lake, and the Stansbury Mountains. All of these are located in the Great Basin--which stretches from here west, across Nevada to the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The Great Basin is the largest area in North America with no drainage to the sea--a feature that creates the Great Salt Lake, the Bonneville Salt Flats, and miles and miles of alkaline soil which is no good for farming.

This is an epic hike, literally in my back yard--and it's one of many.

It was cold this morning, and windy in spots--so at times it was bitter. My route up included me idiotically hiking up what amounted to a long ice ramp as the trail had frozen solid overnight, it was the most treacherous I'd ever seen the trail. I only fell once and felt it coming so it was an easy fall. It was worth it, though there was an easier way up, but once I'd started it seemed just as safe to keep going.

Friday evening update. Here's the view from the same spot, two evenings later. The brighter light in the sky is the moon:

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