Friday, July 29, 2011

Mirror Lake with the Bells

Last weekend we escaped the heat to join our neighbors, the Bells, for a day at their campsite on Mirror Lake.  The Uinta mountains are only an hour and a half drive away, and every visit leaves me thinking, "What am I thinking?!! I should be here every weekend!" Now if I could just get the yard to cooperate with that notion, life would be grand.

On the way up, we stopped at the Provo River falls on the Upper Provo River. The kids love scrambling around here, and Aldy wanted a picture. So good to see him like this, given that two weeks ago he was in a hospital bed.

The Bells have one of the sweetest hammocks ever. Doubles as a group swing. Very popular attraction.

Here is the crew down at the lake, enjoying the mild temperatures, and watching the entertainment.  That consisted of Jacob, doing his best survival guru impression, and showing how a log could be used as a handy personal flotation device.  Kid will be an adventurer some day, no doubt about it.

Sarah was a very persistent little fisherman . . . er, fishergirl?  Here she is telling Keegan, "I'll catch a fish for you, Keegan."  She could be a keeper, bringing home the fish and frying it up in a pan.

Keegan, bless his tender little heart, would probably make her let the fish go.  He loves creatures of all kinds, and if they are not too delicate, always manages to let them go after a proper period of confinement.

This girl, whoever she is (waaaay to old to be Kate, right? I mean, she looks so much older than the Kate I know, certain similarities -- smart as a whip, reading fiend, beautiful-- notwithstanding), wants a dog real bad. Swears she will clean up the poo and brave blizzards to walk him.  The only problem is that her mother is allergic, and, tragedy of all tragedies, we have recently learned that hypo allergenic dogs, so diligently researched by a certain pre-teen, are now clearly a myth.  Great. What is a fella to do?  Guess we'll have to make do with occasional visits.

How is that for a trail of flowers?  Little white fellas were everywhere.

The Bells do love their fishing!  Sarah was still hard at it when we left, with Tyler trying to help is sister understand the fine art of casting.  All in all, a great day. Thanks guys!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Almost Heaven, W . . .

yoming. Wind Rivers, Wyoming, to be exact.  (Sorry West Virginia, but you didn't stand a chance.)

We packed the kids into the lean, mean camping machine for a four-day camping trip over the July 4th weekend, and had this place almost to ourselves.

It was a killer campsite, just off the lake, with jagged peaks all around and a sweet tent site.

We have seen many a beautiful place in our travels, but this is about as good as a mountain range and a mountain lake can get.

The boys had a great time at the lake's only beach.

Kate was the brave one -- that snow does not travel very far before dumping into the lake, and boy did you know it from the first toe dip. She was undeterred -- at least until it came to the armpits. For some reason, that was a barrier even she couldn't break.

Will it float?  Happily, they couldn't get it dislodged, so we didn't have to find out the hard way.

King of the Stump. I have never seen someone so comfortable in bare feet on forest floor and rocky dirt as Keegan. You would think those feet were pure rawhide instead of the baby soft load of tickle that they really are.

The Highline Trail through the Winds, a roadless wonderland of wilderness, begins its 100 plus mile trek right here, along the Green River Lakes.

We didn't quite make the 100 mile . . . . er, two mile mark, before certain little legs gave out.  Luckily, there are some pretty fine resting spots along the way.

Keegan, however, wanted everyone to know that he went "extra" distance, and was "a champion hiker." So now you know. He is a real trooper, and such a joy to hike with, where every flower is a wonder, every stream a playground, every animal a friend and every insect or bug something to be "saved." I would like to give salvation like that (aka slow and torturous--though well intentioned--mauling) to a few million mosquitos we got to know altogether to well. That was the only downside to this otherwise Yosemite-esque local, though.

From this spot, the Green flows fully formed as the river that will create Flaming Gorge, Dinosaur, and Canyonlands, hundreds of miles away. The amount of rock it has carried away and buried in the sea is just staggering.

And yet as it meanders along the vast glacial valley of its ancestors, this river is a fisherman's ( and a photographer's) paradise.  Moose, beaver, bears and other creatures great and small live along its banks. Fish big enough to treat my kids legs like oversize worms surely lurk in the velocity of its current.

We were treated to three nights of spectacular sunsets, gourmet dinners, warm fires, more S'mores than anyone has a right to eat, and

amazing alpenglow in the wee hours of twighlight, by a lake so still that the only sound comes from big fish slurping up (possibly bigger) bugs before the dark of night. And then we were greeted by . . . .

this sunrise over our campsite. A thunderstorm threatened, so we quickly packed during the early morning hours and quietly took our leave, but without truly leaving.  The Green River Lakes will be with us for some time to come, I think. With any luck, we will find our way back here, either to backpack before our old legs give out, or to canoe a still lake in the peaceful evening, even if they do.