Friday, July 06, 2007

worth getting out of the car

July 4th is prime season for outdoor recreation. Raft traffic on the Provo River was heavy. Parking lots flowed on to the highway. Further up the mountain the crowds thinned some, our roadside views of Robert Redford land mostly unobstructed. Sundance is as dreamy as you might suspect- meadows and cabins and forests of pine and aspen. We trust starry-eyed accounts of the renowned outdoor theater and wouldn't mind visiting for the wine festival. If only the the preserve were looking for WWOOFers we might work our way into symphony tickets. Alas.

On up the road into the Uinta National Forest we "ohh-ed" and "aww-ed" at distant patches of snow. Aslin and her cousin were reluctant to leave the car. One because parade marching with a saxophone is exhausting, the other because she doesn't like hiking, never has enough energy for it and isn't strong enough. "I don't want to complain, so you shouldn't ask me to do it," she reasoned. (This despite last week's rock climbing determination and love.)

A mile up the American Fork Canyon, we hit First Falls, not ideal for climbing or wading, but perfect for throwing rocks if you didn't want to hike in the first place.

Still miles from Timpanogos Summit, we hit the second falls and a wonderland of moss. A two-second toe test of water temperature relayed alpine frosts and kept Aslin and I balancing on the rocks.

Downhill, easier than up, allowed for the possibility that the hike wasn't so bad after all. Our first cactus-free hike in about 5 months.

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