Friday, June 17, 2011
The call of the odd....
Last time I posted pictures from a hike I kinda got a hand slapping from a friend, who commented about how I'm always bragging about my hikes but never ask anyone to accompany me. So why is that? Am I anti social? (maybe LOL), a jerk? (I hope not), or just a bit intimidated by people who are in better shape then I am? (yes, cuz I hate the thought of slowing anyone down). Maybe a bit of all those things, although I think the real issue is more the "call of the odd day".
Millcreek Canyon, is one of the few places with good hiking that you can take a dog. Dogs are forbidden in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons for watershed reasons. It seems silly to me, but that's the law. Consequently, the "dog people" of the valley all descend on Millcreek Canyon, which has caused it to have it's own set of dog rules. While dogs can be in the canyon any time, they can only be off-leash on certain days... the "odd" days. To remember this, my mantra is "Dogs are odd." When I get home from work Daisy usually looks at me and says "let's walk mom". Should I happen to remember that the day is odd, I will choose to take her up to Millcreek for her walk. A nice walk for me, a nice walk for her... I call this the "call of the odd day"... it is often a very spontaneous event, a "why walk the neighborhood streets or the park when in 10 minutes I can be on trail" moment.
I didn't plan on a hike Wednesday, but weather was so nice and the house so quiet when I got home from work that I heard the call of the odd day loud and clear. I had thought I had done all the shorter after work type hikes, but the other day a friend had mentioned hiking at Burch Hollow. I've hiked and biked the Pipeline trail west from there many times, but realized that in all these years I'd never hiked it east to Elbow Fork. Now is great time for that hike because the road is still closed at the winter gate, which means I can hike the 2 miles to Elbow Fork, and then walk the 2 miles back down the road to my car. A great option for evening when you don't wish to be caught out in the darkness, as the road would be fine to navigate should you hike late and lose the day light.
It proved to be a very pretty nice hike. I can't believe that in all these years I had not done it before. Uphill, like all the Millcreek hikes, but not super killer uphill. The trail wound through deciduous forest, through a few pretty creek drainage's, past a nice overlook or two and then followed a very pretty cliff band of lichen covered rock up near Elbow Fork. The birds were singing and the wild flower abundant. Only downside was having to play chicken with the mountain bikers coming down the trail, as the Pipeline trail is popular with the bikers.
For those paying attention to the snow melt and out raging creek, Millcreek is moving along pretty well. At one spot just below Elbow Fork the water is nearly lapping over the road.