Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I was reminded today of John Muir; and in some inexplicable way, I feel a great loss in never having known him. I wish he could have lived forever, this great man and defender of Wilderness.
"In all excursions, when danger is realized, thought is quickened, common care buried, and pictures of wild, immortal beauty are pressed into memory, to dwell forever." --John Muir
May I always remember to take a risk; especially when exploring the mountains. To find new, intriguing places and remember to share them with others.
Here's to our mountains. Explore them, enjoy them, and protect them.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I had to get the dogs out yesterday. I've been working more, and feeling like I needed to get out, and the dogs have been very patient with me. So we headed up Bowman Fork in Millcreek Canyon, with the intent of either going across to Alexander Basin and down the road, or around the south face of Raymond and down Porter fork.
But the snows were looking deep on the north face of Alexander cut-off trail, so I decided to bag that route. I've had bad luck in the past trying to get across the snow fields on the north ridge of Gobbler's. So we pressed on to Butler Pass, on the east ridge of Mt. Raymond.
It is, indeed my favorite peak. It stands so majestic over Big Cottonwood and Millcreek. Equally visible from both canyons, and like a sentry on the west ridge of the Crest. Different from all sides, like the different moods you can go through on a long day on the trail.
So I got to Butler Pass and was looking across Mill A Basin, and it looked like there was still a lot of snow up there. The pitch can be very intimidating at times, I'm sure it's at least 30 degrees in places, but I said, "Aw, screw it..." and we kept going across the basin, around the south side of Raymond, with beautiful views of the Stairs Gulch and the Salt Lake Twins...
Hit the snow field at the top of Porter Fork, and thought, "Hmmm... this might be a little challenging." Would have been nice to have an ice axe and something more than trail running shoes on my feet at that point; but to carry those things for only 10% of the total trail being covered in snow seemed a little silly. Then Franklin took a slide. He had turned around on the snowfield to check on me and slipped. Spun off a rock and started to slide into a log with branches sticking out. Scared the crap out of me. I sent the dogs on ahead of me and encouraged them to keep moving. I was alright. Just cold hands and ankles.
Wow, it's a long way down Porter Fork, is all I could think to myself. Moseyed down the trail for another hour, hit Yellow Jacket Gulch, the short-cut through the woods that links the bottom of Porter and Bowman, and back to the car. Beautiful 4 hour tour.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Frank, Artie and I hiked up the Terraces trail to the "Elbow" of the Millcreek Road. Just as we hit the road and the dogs had taken a quick dip in the creek, my friend Lori showed up with her dog Ofer and some friends of theirs. Artie thought the little boy, CJ, tasted very good and gave him some kisses. We walked down the road as a group, and got back to the cars just before the rain hit.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
My girl Artemis is checking out the garden boxes. It's good that I have my sweet dogs to keep me honest and somewhat positive. I've been a bit of a grump lately (to put it mildly), I think with working some overtime and worrying about what the future might hold for me. I'm a worrier, I can't help it. Always have been. Worry about money, so I work more. Worry about passing boards, so I study more. But at least I own it; whatever my problems or worries might be. I take ownership of my actions and work hard to get the most out of my situation. Fluffy doggie hugs make everything better, and worth it.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Back at it! After taking a month off for a foot injury, the dogs and I have gotten out the last couple of days. The Thayne's Canyon trail to the Salt Lake Overlook is one of my absolute favorites. The crowds tend to stay to the lower half of the trail, and we have the beautiful views and flowers all to ourselves (me and the dogs, that is). No moose seen today, although I did find some fresh droppings on the trail. Flowers are just starting to come out--the blue, wild Clematis are out, and the first "Wasatch White" Columbine. Made it back down to the trail head before the afternoon showers hit.
After taking a month off for a foot injury, I'm back at it hiking in the Wasatch Mountains. Three weeks in a walker boot, and one week in stiff soled shoes. The impetus to get at it again came about yesterday. I was volunteering for a local race called the "Wahsatch Steeplechase"--17.5 miles in the mountains just north of Salt Lake City. Towards the end of the race (there were only about a dozen racers still out on the course), we got a radio call that a man had been injured just above the previous aid station, near the "crags". This section of the race is tough-going over rocks and brush, and apparently he had fallen and heard a "snap" come from his knee.
There were several EMT's at the nearest aid station, Smuggler's Gap, and they managed to help the guy down to their aid station where they could get him settled down. After a quick evaluation, it was determined that he was going into early shock, and would not be able to hike down without considerable assistance, and potential further injury to himself or others. AirMed helicopter was dispatched to the scene, and I along with another EMT-volunteer decided to walk up the 3 mile section of trail (3,000 ft elevation gain, and quite slippery). We arrived at the scene just as AirMed had landed on the ridge.
The only landing zone that the helicopter could find was a further 300 yards up the ridge, with a rough trail. The patient was packaged up on a litter, given pain medication, and the 10 of us got to work. It took us almost an hour to carry this 250 pound, fifty year-old man up to the helicopter where he was flown to a local trauma center.
So, needless to say, my foot (which was either stress-fractured or had tendonitis from much running and hiking early this spring) is feeling much better. Experience of a lifetime yesterday. Definitely one for the books. The beer and pizza provided by the race director sure tasted good after all of our hard work!
a couple of you were having trouble viewing photos in my Shutterfly page: http://missyberkel.shutterfly.com, so i decided to post a few photos to a new page: "the adventures of missy b". unfortunately, this new site is a little different as far as posting the photos, but i can still link my shutterfly photos to the blogspot with a slide show if i want to. i'm not going to add all of the past photos to this blog, but if you want to see them, they're still on the Shutterfly site. i really enjoy sharing my adventures with everyone, and i hope you enjoy seeing the photos and hearing the stories. happy trails!