Sunday, August 31, 2014

It's a Sign

I was just intrigued that the drive-in on Mirror Lake Road had listed halibut first---followed  by footlongs, tacos and Isn't halibut fish?

The world's best?  Could they possibly be full of their own self-importance?
Or did we miss the opportunity of a lifetime?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mirror Lake in the High Uintas

 Mirror Lake is 53 acres in size and sits at an elevation of 10,000 feet. Because of the shape of the lake, it is bigger than it first appeared. Snowmelt made for a squishy hike on the trail that encircles the lake. Some of the trail had boardwalk, but sometimes, even it was covered in puddles. (Should have worn my boots!)

That same moist soil supported thousands of mid-June "spring" wildflowers.

We recognized the ones above as the same trout lilies we so admire in a woodland in south Georgia.

The lake is home to three kinds of trout: rainbow, brook and tiger.

There were large, noisy squirrels in the woods around the shoreline.

And  birds we did not know. My best guess is this is one of the 940 different sparrows that popped up on a search.

This one was a flicker (woodpecker) but has orange on its tail feathers. Ours have yellow.

 Little streams rushed in to to replenish the lake's cold water.


While the weather conditions did not create the mirror on the lake, it was certainly a scenic and beautiful place. At one time while we were hiking, the wind came roaring in a rather alarming way, since we were on the far side of the lake from our car. It was calm as quickly as it had come.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Driving Up to Mirror Lake

We had heard  Mirror Lake was well worth the drive up into Uinta Mountains from our campsite. The added benefit of an altitude climb on a scorching day at our camp was all it took to convince us we should "take a little wander." We drove maybe sixty miles round trip.

We don't see many of these signs in our neck of the Florida woods.

 We found this curious: a run of water out of the hill. It was lined in concrete.

We stopped at a 1-table picnic park just to explore. It looked like a really good place for a bear or a moose. We had it entirely to ourselves and saw neither, but it was worth the stop as it was so scenic.

Our picnic spot was higher up on a rock by the Provo River.

I cannot remember a more pleasant place to picnic. Again, we had it completely to ourselves.

Bright, lime-green lichens grew on some of the boulders.

I rinsed our plastic plates in the rushing river.

I collected a small rock or two for our grandson who likes to put them in trucks and trains and pockets.

There was a small stream that spilled noisily down the hillside and joined the river.

 As the road climbed higher up, the river was in a deep canyon.

We walked down to the lovely and more popular Provo River Falls just off the highway.

Before we arrived at the lake, we went over Bald Mountain Pass, elevation 10,715 ft. It is the highest point on that highway and the highest paved road in Utah. All of Mirror Lake Road is closed in the winter, due to heavy snow.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Special Day

Thirty-eight years ago today, we said,  "I do."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Tate Barn Near Soldier's Hollow

Soldier's Hollow, Utah was a venue for several of the 2002 Winter Olympic competitions. We went to see the historic Tate barn near there.

It was originally built by Francis Tate in 1902 of local materials as a dairy barn. In 1961, it became part of Wasatch Mountain State Park.  

It fell into disrepair and collapsed during a heavy snowstorm in 1997. It was rebuilt and served as the entrance to Soldier's Hollow during the Games.

Nearby was an exhibit of pioneer homes and how they progressed from little more than a lean-to to a cabin.

The "car" was out back, but there was no garage.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Really Big Show of Shoes

One of the more unique sights in Park City, Utah is the Shoe Tree. It is actually several trees --willows, I think--with interlocking branches. As we drove into Old Town, I spotted it from the main road. I was curious and, before we abandoned our parking spot in the afternoon, we went in search of the shoes. 

What we found was a small park with a stream running through it, along with a sidewalk and bike path--and SHOES! There must be hundreds of them that have been thrown up into the trees.

Though we did not find a sign to explain it, online I found that the tradition began in the 1970s as a ritual to the snow god, or perhaps after a few adult beverages. Now, there were also many children's shoes. One pair still had the Walmart tag on them, purchased for this specific purpose. I guess that showed they were a virginal sacrifice.

There is a story online of a woman a few years ago who decided the shoes were 3D graffiti, and proposed to the city council that it all be cleaned up. Apparently, the people nearly ran her out of town for messing with what they called their "funk."

And right in the midst of the shoes was a bird's nest!  I guess they were sole-mates.