An "expedition" 3 years in the making

Ok, so my pal Seth Chase and I have been talking about going camping together for 3 years now. We finally picked a day to go not matter what. That day was last night. Circumstances suggested that the best course of action would be to go car camping! I had to smile at myself because I have been working so hard on doing more backpacking, but I really enjoyed this out-of-the-jeep campout.

Even packing for the event was easier, I just stuffed everything I could possibly want into my multi day pack and tossed it in the Jeep. That was much easier than the usual, methodical, almost OCD type of packing I usually do.

We took the right fork of the Hobble creek up and over into an Aspen grove in Ray's valley.

There were still some wild flowers in the area, a breeze carefully quaked the aspens, and the stars were out in their full glory.

Mostly Seth, his father Bob, and I just jawed-on around the fire and relaxed.

Sometimes we spend so much time planning and preparing and then trying to make the most of an adventure, that we end up ruining it. This camp out was a terrific reminder that keeping things simple can make expeditions so much more enjoyable.

All we planned for this trip was what we would eat, and the very general area of were we would be, and it all worked out terrifically.

Maple Lake Ala Impromptu

On August 16th I "up and decided" to go on an evening hike.I was planning on just going about 2 miles up the right fork of Maple canyon, but for some reason the mountain got inside of me and I just kept going.

The trail is steep and had ankle-breakers along its entire length. My trekking poles made a huge difference on this trip. Since I had planned to stay on the graded road and not get on the actual trail I had only worn my sports sandals, and not my boots. This greatly added to the difficulty of the trail - big mistake.

Yet I ended up hiking the almost 4 miles into Maple Lake, which during this time of year is actually more like Maple Pond.

I met several bow hunters along the trail. Some of them, fully equiped with riding and pack critters, were rather wide eyed when they saw me standing by the lake in my sandals, shorts, and small daypack.

One of them said "This is Utah county's hidden little secret." and I now believe him.

All along the way there were different types of wild flowers. I have yet to identify any of them, but they were quite beautiful.

The trail starts as a broad graded road, and then turns into a steep, rocky, yet well worn single track. Some of the trail is so overgrown on each side that you stop just short of simply having to bushwhack your way through.

From Maple lake you can see Spanish Fork Peak, and this evening I was favored with a beautiful sunset.

The decent is not an easy task. Rocks threaten to twist your ankle with every step (especially in sandals), my trekking poles saved my rear end more then once on the decent. Sadly, one of the poles did not make it out unharmed. It now hangs in my garage, a mangled version of its former self; though this is a sad event, I am certainly happy that my tail bone is not suffering the same mangleing.

I plan on going back to Maple Lake and finishing the trail to the top of Spanish Fork Peak, and enjoying "Utah County's hidden little secret" some more.

The Flaming Green

During the first week of August I spent one night in the Uintas and then 3 days on the Green River as it flows from the Flaming Gorge Dam. This was the second time that I made this trip and it was just as amazing as the first time I went.

The flaming cliffs of the Red Canyon tear into the blue ski above the first dozen miles of the river. The river winds along the path that it has so painstakingly carved from the red rock over the last several thousand years. The river controls its tremendous power with gentle care, demanding your respect with every bend.
Trout, that would leave leftovers, swim past the boat with clearly displaying their confidence in avoiding the Petty traps of man.

As the river continues, one can enjoy the comfort of well built and maintained camps, historical sites, and even a pay-phone, but the wild creeps in more and more as the miles continue.

The Red Canyon gives way to grass covered banks and views of the surrounding mountains, as Swallow Canyon slowly creeps up.

The 32 river miles from the dam to the Swinging bridge, just inside the Colorado border, give the floater a variety of water and land experiences.

This is an adventure that deserves all of praise that a simple writer can give.