I have never hiked alone. And that is something that I have been wanting to do for the longest time. I like doing things alone sometimes. It makes me feel cool and independent. I take walks by myself. I have gone to cafes by myself, have been on planes and busses by myself, have visited new towns alone, have taken myself to dinner…I have done many things on my own. It is nice, and I feel like everyone should occasionally do things by themselves. I learn the most about myself when I have to brave something alone. I also learn that strange and creepy men often hit on me when I brave something alone, so I guess there’s one downside to it.
I had no work or school for most of this week, and it was fine until Friday. Friday was rough. I have come to realize that, unless I am on a trip, I cannot have more than one day without some sort of commitment, whether that commitment be school or work. I begin to go crazy and feel like I need to be somewhere and that there needs to be deadlines. It’s weird, I know, but I run on deadlines now. I guess years of school have done this to me. Setting my own deadlines is hard, though. It has to be someone else giving me a deadline. I am a slave. I have also realized I am a masochist because I am forcing myself to suffer through graduate school and, although I hate deadlines and all the stress that school brings, I thrive off it.
Anyway, Friday I was losing my mind. Even though I had things I should have been doing, I couldn’t do them. Zach suggested I go hiking on a trail that a wonderful person named Judson gave me directions to. (Side note: everyone needs a “Judson” in their lives. They are the people that somehow have the ability and power to solve almost all your problems. It’s quite amazing, really.)
The trail was the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Orem. Judson’s directions on how to get to the trailhead were perfect, and the parking lot was completely empty when I arrived. The trail was wide most of the way, and was only steep at first. I was a lonely woman and only came across a few people on my 2-hour hike. I also played leap frog with a city worker in a city truck, who was doing something with the water tanks that are on the first part of the trail. (Please note that when I say I played “leap frog,” I don’t mean the actual game – I mean I kept passing him, and then he kept passing me. I thought I should make that clear.) After the first half mile, I was completely alone.
Do you want to know what I learned from hiking alone? I absolutely loved it! I thought about all kinds of things. I sang both in my head and aloud. I danced. I took selfies. I was silly, and it was fun. It was also easy, considering it is impossible to get lost if you stick to the main trail. It is also close to the city – I had cell phone service the entire time, so if any strange and creepy men were to appear and start hitting on me, I could call for back-up. Or whatever else I could possibly need cell phone service for. Let me make it clear that I have T-Mobile, which means that if I had cell phone service the entire time everyone else should be able to, as well, considering T-Mobile is the worse.
Anyway, Zach and I have decided to recreate this blog and write it together about all the outdoor adventures we take, so be prepared for new and exciting things! I know you could probably care less, but I will act like you do.
March 27th, 2016 – Easter Sunday. We woke up before the sun to spend the holiday with nature.
Zach and I picked up Mary at 4:30 am and we headed off for a long (and slightly creepy), but beautiful hike up Mount Wire, which is above the Living Room trail. A couple evenings prior to our hike, Mary and her friend hiked the same trail and saw a mountain lion and fresh kill. The kill was still there that morning – a dead, mutilated deer. I kind of wish I took a picture of it, because it was gruesome and people like gruesome.
Needless to say, we were all a little nervous hiking in the dark, knowing there was a mountain lion in the area. Of course, mountain lions are in many mountains, but seeing its dinner and knowing there was one around made it even more terrifying. There are many parts of this hike where you are surrounded by trees, and many of the trees had not grown their leaves back yet from the winter; in the dark, that made it all the more eerie. Mary even played music on her phone to calm us down. At one point, "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons came on the radio, which actually felt appropriate.
Getting to the top was a little challenging near the end, because of the snow and ice, but we made it. At the top, there is a tower that, from what I have read, used to be used for telephone transmission between Park City and Salt Lake City. It is now just a tall, metal tower. We climbed it, which was both a good and bad idea. Good because climbing towers is fun, and the view was amazing. Bad because it made us even colder, being far from the ground and the metal being cold on our hands. It was all worth it, though – we saw the sunrise over the mountains, and it was such a beautiful way to spend Easter morning.
The hike is 4.1 miles round-trip. It is rated as "moderate" by my AllTrails app, and that is about accurate. It was very cold and snowy at the top, so during this time of year it is a good idea to dress warm (I had forgotten gloves – oops!). I would do this again for a sunrise hike. There was no one on the trail or at the top, which made it peaceful. It was worth getting up at 3:30 in the morning!
I am very behind on posting, I apologize! This one will probably be short, since I am behind and I am bogged down with work.
Two weeks ago, Zach and I decided to take a short hike near Provo. We have yet to explore many of the trails near Provo, so we were excited to take an adventure. After some researching, we decided to traverse to Pleasant Grove, Utah to hike Battle Creek Falls. It is apparently called Battle Creek Falls because there was some kind of battle between Mormon pioneers and Indians around that spot (I do not know the details). It is a short hike, and not too strenuous. Alltrails.com says it is 0.5 miles out-and-back, but it seemed to be more like 0.5 miles one-way (1 mile total). Either way, it was short! It was beautiful, and I was definitely not disappointed.
It starts at Kiwanis Park, which is nice. I would not mind even coming back to this park to relax sometime. It is an easy hike, and once you get to the large waterfall, it is breath taking. Zach and I continued hiking past the waterfall, because the trail continued. We eventually turned around after another half a mile, but the trail looked like it continued for a long ways. As we hiked past the large waterfall, we found several smaller waterfalls. The entire hike was splendid.
I definitely recommend this hike. I feel like many people can do it, whether it be little kids or older folks. I would not mind doing it again – it would be a good hike to do on weekdays if I ever wanted to take a short hike.
It is starting to be that beautiful time of year! For those of you who are new to my hiking obsession or to me in general (shout-out to the new friends I have made over the past few months), let me introduce you to my purpose and goals of this blog.
This idea started last spring. I was trying to gain more appreciation of life – especially of my post-Florida life (also known by me as my "Second Utah Life"). For those of you who do not know, I was born and raised in Utah. When I was eighteen, I was sick of Utah, so I moved to Florida for four years. After finishing school, I was given the opportunity to attend graduate school in Utah – an opportunity I could not pass up, even though I slightly wanted to. Thus, my return to Utah occurred, and I needed to find a way to enjoy it – to see it from a completely new view. Before I left Florida, a former professor of mine I admire dearly said to me, "I think you will find you will enjoy Utah this time. You will see it in a new perspective." (Please note, this is based off memory – his words may have been slightly different.) Well, seeing Utah from the top of the mountain is one way of seeing it differently, right? Thus, my hiking journey began.
I had hiked a few times in my younger years, but I was never an avid hiker. Therefore, last summer was an intense experience for me, since I hiked many trails and was out in nature just about every single weekend. I even had the amazing experience of hiking in Hawaii and Yellowstone! Below is the list of all the hikes I accomplished last summer. I should have done a better job of keeping track of these; the blog, unfortunately, died the last few weeks of my hiking season. I believe I included all the ones I did not write about, though, and the ones that have do have a blog post are linked to its respective post. The bolded ones were my greatest accomplishments last summer. Some of these trails I did more than once.
The Living Room Trail (Utah)
Donut Falls (Utah)
Grandeur Peak (Utah)
Point Reyes National Seashore (California)
Waterfall Canyon (Utah)
Cecret Lake (Utah)
Birdsong Trail (Utah)
Red Pine Lake (Utah)
Pfeifferhorn Peak (Utah)
Iron Canyon Trail (Utah)
Mount Timpanogos (Utah)
Diamond Head (Hawaii)
Manoa Falls (Hawaii)
Lulumahu Falls (Hawaii)
Deuel Creek Canyon (Utah)
Farmington Creek Trail (Utah)
Uncle Tom's Trail (Yellowstone)
Mount Diablo (California)
Davis Creek Trail (Utah)
Now, for the good stuff. I plan on doing the same routine – go on at least one hike a week. Here are the Utah hikes I definitely want to accomplish this summer:
Of course, this list is not exclusive. I am up for just about any hike! I have a few solid hiking friends, and now that my husband is living in Utah I have a regular hiking partner. However, if you want to hike with me, hit me up! Even if I do not know you, I would love to meet with you and hike with you (along with my hiking buddies, of course). If you have any suggestions or recommendations of hikes to do in Utah, or have any pointers to provide me, let me know.
Happy trails to you all!
Some Utah chick
Utahn at heart, but part of my soul belongs to the Oldest City (St. Augustine, Florida) and the ocean.