Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice Hike...

Another lovely hike tonight, the same as last week on the Pipeline Trail, but this time I brought my friend Rebecca, who had given me crap about never inviting me.

It was another cool, beautiful, night on a lovely trail with a great friend. There were two marvelous findings along the way. First, the penstemons were out in full force. Last week I saw a single penstemon, this week there many along the rock band towards the end of the trail. That section of the trail, with with it lichen covered rocks is already beautiful, but all the beautiful blue penstemons made it even more lovely tonight.

Our second treat for the night was super cool. As we sauntered down the road we encountered a bat, a lone bat, that put on quite a show for us, darting back and forth across the road and hovering just over our heads so we could get a really good look at him. Eventually he landed on a tree and seemed happy to pose for a photo op. Not easy to get a picture of, he was small, the light getting dim, and we couldn't get too close for fear of him flying off. I did manage to get one fairly clear shot, that zoomed in and cropped it wasn't half bad.

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.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

To the snow zone again...

Took another little hike up the Millcreek road today... wanted to see how much snow melted since we finally had a few warm days. Quite a bit of the road cleared the last five days, so I walked a bit further than last time, enjoying the sunshine and taking lots of pictures of the little things along the way....

One of the bigger snow banks...

The same spot 5 days ago... quite a bit has melted

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Don't spill the beans!

I'm not a "morning" person, especially when I am up late, which being a "night" person is a lot of the time. Last night I decided to head out to 10:30 movie, so I was a bit bleary eyed this morning. I stumbled down the stairs toward the kitchen, to brew some coffee of course, and I spied something brown on the floor. A coffee bean. Hmmm... that's weird. I did buy a bag of coffee last night, maybe the bag had a leak I did not notice when I carried it into the house. I turned the corner into kitchen and there are more beans on the kitchen floor. On the counter I find the bag of coffee I bought last night, laying there open with more spilled beans.

I am a little confused. Has our ghost been busy? Did Sarah have a late night party? I walk back upstairs to ask Sarah if she knows why there is coffee everywhere, but she is not in her room. Perhaps she got up early and made coffee? But why would she have left such a mess??? Besides, the grinder wasn't out and the coffee pot was cold.

I follow a trail of coffee beans into the den, where I find Sarah buried under a blanket on the futon couch. On the coffee table next to a dirty ice cream bowl is a pile of coffee beans. In the bowl is a small pile of chewed up beans. I asked Sarah why she made such a mess with the coffee. She mumbled that it wasn't her, it must have been Daisy, our dog. Then she sat up and I saw that the couch was also littered with coffee crumbs. It appears that Sarah must have been in the mood for a late night, sleepytime snack! Yum... (Eek)

She did occasionally sleep walk as a child. The time she tried to brush her teeth with peanut butter is a family legend. But I did not know she was still a sleepwalker, although apparently this is not news to her college roommates. I think the coffee bean incident is one more for the family story book.

Her burning question this morning.... She says she goes through life doing her best not to embarrass herself while she is awake, but how the heck can she keep from embarrassing herself while she is asleep?