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I continue to take frequent walks around the neighborhood.  Here are a few recent photos from the suburbs of Salt Lake City.

The La Caille French-Belgian Restaurant in Sandy, UT. It's closed due to Covid-19 and they are using the downtime to perform renovations.   Never eaten there, maybe I'll try it in the future?

 

la caille LCC watershed.jpg

A few days ago my wife and I took a walk on the Quail Hollow Trail.  It's near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon (and the La Caille Restaurant grounds).

LCC watershed Kathy.jpg

Pudgy the Quail must have followed us home?

LCC watershed quail.jpg

I took another walk on 4/22/20 and saw quite a few young and old folks getting some healthy exercise in an encouragingly responsible way.  

Seniors playing pickle ball.

pickel ball reopening.jpg

Three adults coaching five youngsters through a soccer practice.

soccer reopening.jpg

A father and son shooting hoops.  

basketball reopening.jpg

I'm optimistic that America will get this reopening thing right!

Edited by JimK
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19 hours ago, JimK said:

I continue to take frequent walks around the neighborhood.  Here are a few recent photos from the suburbs of Salt Lake City.

The La Caille French-Belgian Restaurant in Sandy, UT. It's closed due to Covid-19 and they are using the downtime to perform renovations.   Never eaten there, maybe I'll try it in the future?

 

la caille LCC watershed.jpg

A few days ago my wife and I took a walk on the Quail Hollow Trail.  It's near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon (and the La Caille Restaurant grounds).

LCC watershed Kathy.jpg

Pudgy the Quail must have followed us home?

LCC watershed quail.jpg

I took another walk on 4/22/20 and saw quite a few young and old folks getting some healthy exercise in an encouragingly responsible way.  

Seniors playing pickle ball.

pickel ball reopening.jpg

Three adults coaching five youngsters through a soccer practice.

soccer reopening.jpg

A father and son shooting hoops.  

basketball reopening.jpg

I'm optimistic that America will get this reopening thing right!

Posting pics with people doing things outside and not social distancing is going to get everyone up arms.  

 

Me.  I could give a rat's  ass at this point.  

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Yeah the point of those photos in the previous post was that folks were getting some outdoor recreation, but still doing it responsibly.

4/23/20, I dusted off my son's mountain bike and took a one hour ride around the area today. It was fun and I'm interested in more biking to expand the range of exploration beyond my walks.

bike.jpg.f8b5dc9fefc5c7b6364278ed2febb698.jpg


I usually ride a hybrid at my home back East, so this fancy mtn bike took a little getting used to. I stuck pretty much to asphalt/paved surfaces today, but I might try some dirt trails as time goes on. This is a photo from a very upscale housing development above the gravel pit at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

748771708_biketavaci.thumb.jpg.1df3697d87b87c01d4178baef505e2ce.jpg



This project (Tavaci) was zoned for large single family homes, but I think the developer also has grander plans calling for a resort and commercial stuff. This spectacular structure looked too big to be a residence. I'm not sure if it currently serves as a sales office or maybe it's supposed to become some kind of community center?

1037982242_tavicibikehouse.thumb.jpg.4998403c3a24211ce94e64ee3466da23.jpg

 

Edited by JimK
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4/25/20 I took a two hour bike ride today down to the Jordan River Parkway Trail.

This is the mighty Jordan River near Midvale, UT. It starts at Utah Lake near Provo and flows north through the Salt Lake Valley to the Great Salt Lake. Four of Utah's six largest cities border the river: Salt Lake City, West Valley City, West Jordan and Sandy. More that a million people live in the Jordan River watershed.

2044774215_jordanriverparkwaywestjordan.jpg.9676fa86a6fd7384dbfafae68a782eef.jpg
 

There is a nice network of paved trails in this area. The Jordan River Parkway is a north-south system of trails that parallel the Jordan River, connecting 45 miles through Salt Lake County. The trail further connects to neighboring counties, allowing for travel to Utah Lake and the Great Salt Lake.

1788761257_jordanriverparkwaymidvale.jpg.ceecf05087403d3d33a33ada60948cd9.jpg


Weather for the next week here in the SLC area will be sunny with highs between 75 and 85 degs F. Hope the heat kills a few virus bugs!?!

jordan.thumb.jpg.eaa6230cc91ef1e605b3de6a2928fc11.jpg

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4/28/20:  I went back to the Jordan River Parkway Trail today and took about an 80 minute bike ride exclusively on the trail from West Jordan to Draper and back.  The trail has numerous connectors and you can vary the return route so it's not a complete repeat, but somewhat of a loop on either side of the river.  The sun was out and the temps were in the upper 60's this morning and not too many people.

I passed by three different golf courses on this ride.  This one is River Oaks and was pretty near where I started my ride.  There were golfers on each course, but not very many.

 

JRT flagstick.jpg

 

This is the Jordan River looking south.  It flows from south to north into the Great Salt Lake where there is not outlet.

jtr river.jpg

This is River Bend Golf Course and is where I turned around and headed back north to my starting point.  This course had some great views to the east and west.  I am a golfer and have not golfed yet in Utah, but besides borrowing my son's bike I might also borrow his clubs soon:-)

jtr south county golf.jpg

jtr jim.jpg

jtr bird watching.jpg

That's the entrance to Little Cottonwood Canyon as seen from the South Jordan area.  No wonder they have to do so much avalanche mitigation to keep the road open in winter - it's a steep walled sucker.

jrt lcc.jpg

Edited by JimK
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It was 85 degs in the Salt Lake Valley on 4/29/20 and we hiked around Dimple Dell County Park near Granite, UT:

 

dimple dell jim.jpg

dimple dell kathy.jpg

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3 May 2020:   No home improvement work today, all fun.

Took bike ride in AM around Hidden Valley Park in Sandy City, UT.  This was 90 minutes of mixed trails from wide asphalt, to narrow dirt, to everything in between.  They have relaxed the stay at home order here on May 1 and you can now recreate beyond your own county.  In the PM I took about a 100 mile scenic car ride with my wife to Provo Canyon.

A lot of plants are blooming.  Temps were again above 70 degs today.  Hidden Valley Park:

hidden valley park hvp.jpg

Closer to the Hidden Valley watershed.

hvp watershed.jpg

I took a walk over this nearby bridge to take a peek at this segment of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

hvp little willow creek bride.jpg

Back on the bike near Hidden Valley Park.

hvp pink flowers and bike.jpg

The trail eventually widened and was better suited to my low skill level.

hvp wide trail.jpg

I eventually went into the Sandy City suburbs on my return trip.  I had ridden along that contour trail on the lower portion of the mountainside in this photo.

hvp mountainside.jpg

 

Later today I took a drive to beautiful Provo Canyon and US Route 189.

provo canyon us189.png

I knew the Bridal Veil Falls was along this route, but I didn't know how super close it was to the highway.  What a treat!  This is the biggest waterfall I've seen in many years.

provo canyon tall bridal veil falls.png

provo canyon bridel veil close up.png

A beautiful section of the Provo River not far from the falls.

provo canyon river.jpg

We made a two mile side trip to Sundance Ski Area.  Very cool, I had never been here before.  It's in a narrow canyon off US 189.  That's a chairlift to the left in this photo.

sundance ski lift.jpg

A view of Mt. Timpanogos from Sundance Resort.

mt timpanogos at sundance.jpg

 

hidden valley park HVP .png

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6 May 2020, took another ride on the Jordan River Trail from mile 17 (Draper) south to mile 10 (Bluffdale) and back.  This is an area that transitions from suburban to rural during the course of the ride to Bluffdale.  Bluffdale is about 25 miles south of downtown Salt Lake City.

This is around mile 16 not far from where I started riding and the view is to the west at the Oquirrh Mountains. Oquirrh is a Shoshone Indian word for "wood sitting".  A portion of the old Kennecott Copper Mine can be seen to the far right.  It's the largest manmade excavation in the world.

JRT bluffdale start.jpg

Nearby farm country.  More of the big copper mine can be seen in the background.

jrt bluffdale farm.jpg

Baby lambs beside the Jordan River Trail.

jrt bluffdale lambs.jpg

I'm not LDS, but I admire some aspects of this church group.  They have an amazing network of churches here in Utah, usually one per mile, no exaggeration.  In this photo taken near Bluffdale, UT you can see three LDS church steeples, left, center, and far right.

jrt bluffdale LDS.jpg

UTA light rail extends more than 20 miles south of downtown SLC.  The Jordan River basin is a little deeper here than up north.

UTA light rail near Bluffdale JRT.jpg

As pretty as Utah is, the land has not gone unscarred by development.  Gravel pits and past or present mining operations dot the mountainsides every few miles.  I suppose these facilities fuel progress and supply many jobs, but they're not so pretty.

jrt bluffdale gravel pit.jpg

The sign marks the Galena/Soónkahni Preserve, Draper, UT, at 250 acres, it's the largest Jordan River preserve in Salt Lake County. The site features the Jordan River meanders, sand bars, and oxbows, riparian and wetland habitat, and drier upland habitat. The property includes an archaeological site with dwellings and artifacts ranking among the oldest known in Utah.  Native Americans including the Shoshone frequented this area in the past.

jrt bluffdale preserve.jpg

Edited by JimK

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Are the LDS churches in Utah really ugly? All the ones I can think of are cinderblock boxes.

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36 minutes ago, Benski said:

Are the LDS churches in Utah really ugly? All the ones I can think of are cinderblock boxes.

Just above I posted a photo from the internet of an interesting LDS temple in Wasatch foothills near Draper, UT.  We probably should be calling them temples, not churches.  Not sure I'd call the Draper temple beautiful, but it is striking, especially when lit up at night.  Most of their temples are a much more utilitarian, low slung, rectangular design like the building to the right in above photo.  They probably have a system down to keep construction consistent, cheap and durable.

Also, many of the locations of numerous temples along the foothills are in areas of high value real estate and surrounded by large homes.

Edited by JimK

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5//9/20, I continued my exploration of the Jordan River Trail (JRT) today. I rode 15 miles from mile 11 to about mile 3.5 and back again. This is a very beautiful section of the JRT about 30 miles south of downtown Salt Lake City and about 15 miles north of Provo, UT.

This is a view looking to the east of Thanksgiving Point Golf Club near Lehi, UT.  The JRT crosses that bridge in center and goes to the right (south).

jrt thgvg pt golf club.png

 

There is still snow in the mountains all around the Salt Lake Valley.  This is the view to the west.  It was another beautiful 70 degree day in the area.

jrt thgvg pt west biker.png

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On May 7 Salt Lake County, UT moved to "Moderate Risk" with respect to public health orders.  For retired recreationalists like my wife and I that meant we were free to venture farther from home for sightseeing and such, while still practicing the 6' social distancing rule.  At the same time many state and national parks in Utah are reopening. 

So yesterday, 13 May 2020, we decided to take a very scenic, but long day-trip to Goblin Valley State Park.  As the crow flies, it's about 50 miles west of Moab in southeastern Utah.  The roundtrip for us was over 400 miles!  But it was a low stress and very rural route and the weather was great with a mix of sun and clouds.  The highest temps we experienced were in the state park where it was about 80 degrees.  Driving over Soldier Summit (elev 7477') it was in the high 50's.   

 

From our location near SLC this trip was a lot of driving, but when we got there I just about lost my mind with photo opportunities.  This place was one of the weirder geological oddities I've ever seen with thousands of sandstone goblins or hoodoos ranging from 5' to 500' in height.  It felt like you were in the middle of a giant sand castle that was going through a slow motion act of creation and erosion all at once.  It seemed so crazy-fragile, like only compacted dust was holding up giant, round sandstone boulders weighing thousands of pounds.  I couldn't believe we tourists were allowed to scramble all over every inch of the place.   Parts of it would crumble underfoot or turn to dust when you scratched it with your fingernail.  This was the place where some boy scouts got into trouble back in 2014 for pushing one of the formations over:  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ex-scouts-leaders-who-knocked-over-ancient-rock-get-probation-n56596

I can see that someday they will have to manage visitors and keep folks to a designated path, but for now it's the wild west.

Sorry for the big photo blast, but I can't help posting a couple dozen pictures.  Goblin Valley State Park, UT is really wild!  IF YOU CLICK ON THESE PHOTOS THEY WILL ENLARGE.

Prelude:

Driving from SLC to Goblin Valley SP includes about a 125 mile stretch of US 6 from Provo to Green River, UT.  This is desolate, but wide open country that I find relaxing to drive.

This is a train near Soldier Summit, notice the greenish dirt in the left hillside?  Does it have copper in it?

goblin valley train best 13 may.jpg

US 6 cuts through Price Canyon east of Provo.

goblin valley price canyon 13 may.jpg

The big rock in upper center is called Balance Rock.  This is on the outskirts of Helper, UT.

goblin valley balance rock helper 13 may.jpg

Entering Goblin Valley State Park.  By this point the weather turned beautiful.

goblin valley state park sign 13 may 2020.jpg

The first mind-blowing sight in the park is The Three Sisters formation.  I guess these are about 100' tall.

goblin valley 3 sisters 13 may.jpg

Another angle.

goblin valley 3 sisters 13 may close up.jpg

This is a view of Goblin Valley from the observation point parking lot.  There is a couple square mile area to explore here.  Many of those "goblins" are the size of a large house.

goblin valley observation point 13 may.jpg

Looking north from the middle of the valley.

goblin valley north view 13 may.jpg

It's a wild place to take a stroll and you probably wouldn't want to be here in the middle of the summer - too hot and dry.

goblin valley south view 13 may.jpg

Three baby sisters?

goblin valley baby sisters 13 may.jpg

Precariously perched rock.  This place seemed so fragile, like you could topple that rock with a couple karate chops to the belt.

goblin valley precarious rock 13 may.jpg

This looked like some sort of time portal...

goblin valley time portico 13 may.jpg

and reminded me of an old Star Trek episode.

city on the edge of forever.jpg

This girl was super excited.  It was like the world's largest playground/sandbox.

goblin valley girl on rocks 13 may.jpg

This cave piqued my curiosity.

goblin valley cave 13 may.jpg

View from the inside.

goblin valley cave interior 13 may.jpg

My wife was also captivated by Goblin Valley State Park.

goblin valley kathy red 13 may.jpg

Obligatory shameless tourist photo.

goblin valley jim rock 13 may.jpg

There were about 40 other people exploring the valley with us.  Social distancing was easy.  We brought our own food and only stopped once for gas on the trip.

goblin valley jim and kathy 13 may.jpg

goblin valley kathy hill 13 may.jpg

The land of giant mushrooms.

goblin valley mushrooms 13 may.jpg

This is in another part of the park near a campground.  I called this no-see-ums hill because some kind of insect bit me three times here.  It felt like a mild bee sting, but I couldn't see what did it.  

goblin valley noseeums hill 13 may.jpg

These yurts are normally rentable for overnight stays, but they were not available due to covid.

goblin valley yurt 13 may.jpg

This is a panorama shot of part of Goblin Valley.  Very cool place.

goblin valley pano 13 may.jpg

 

Not sure if this video will work:  https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMJt9EH3Kwk6qT2k3sQBm5Uq5HZ_0VPGYZe4VkB

Edited by JimK
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A couple photos from recent days:

Sunset over Salt Lake Valley

sunset.jpg

Three tractors in Granite, UT

three tractors Granite, UT.jpg

 

 

17 May 2020, Had an unusual double activity today, first time to do biking and snowshoeing on the same day.

Went bike riding on the Jordan River Trail in the AM from about mile 25 to 30 and back.  This was mostly through the town of Murray, UT.  Lots of tight turns in the trail with many Sunday strollers and a suburban/urban feel.  Not so great for riding, but still interesting. I took it slow on the mountain bike.

Scenic pond beside the trail in Murray.  It's so weird to still see plenty of snow in the Wasatch, while it's been over 70 degrees in the valley almost every day for the last month or more.

17 may jrt pond.jpg

Amphitheatre waiting for an audience.

17 may amphitheatre.jpg

Family of geese, there were three chicks hiding in the grass.

17 may geese.jpg

Believe this is a cormorant bird, stays under the water for 10-20 secs at a time looking for food.  It's a medium large black bird.

17 may comorant.jpg

It's been very warm and dry for over a month here.  This was a fresh, but small brush fire beside the trail.

17 may fire.jpg

 

Then around 4PM my wife and I went snowshoeing up at Guardsman Pass near Brighton ski area in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Temps went from 82 in the valley to 64 degs up on the pass.  The road over Guardsman Pass to Park City was still closed and when we came to the closure gate at about 9000' there was a good 2-3' of snow on the road.  It was a good place to snowshoe...in shorts😀

17 may selfie.jpg

Representing Washington DC sports teams.  

17 may shorts.jpg

This is a panoramic photo of the upper part of BCC.  Brighton ski area is to the left, Solitude is to the right.  Lots of snow cover still on north exposures.

17 may bcc pano.jpg

Edited by JimK
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Photos from late May 2020, Salt Lake Valley.

The Wasatch Front got three or four inches of new snow on 23May20.  Meanwhile down in the valley it will break 90 degrees several days this week.

23 may 3 inches new snow.jpg

 

Hard to see, but later same day I watched these two hang gliders float above the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon for about 30 minutes while I was taking a walk.  One is upper center, the other is center right in this photo.

hang gliders 23 may.jpg

 

Mt. Timpanogos (11,752') from Lehi, UT, 24 May.  Higher elevations in the Wasatch Mtns received new snow the day before.

mt timpanogos from lehi 24 may.jpg

 

Click to see panoramic view from Neff Canyon trail head near Millcreek, UT.

neff canyon pano.jpg

Edited by JimK

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I've been working a lot around my son's house in SLC making a retaining wall and some related improvements.  But today 27 May 2020 took time off to play some golf at nearby Old Mill Golf Course.  Nice public course in the foothills with great views and a lot of vertical change in some of the holes.  This was the first time I played golf in Utah. 

Naturally I borrowed my son's clubs.  Some time I have to make a dedicated post about all the toys I've borrowed from him this winter/spring:-)  Downtown SLC is in the far right background to the north.

old mill golf course clubs.jpg

First hole, looking west:

old mill golf 1st hole.jpg

Mtn view, ridge to left is entrance to Big Cottonwood Canyon, ridge in background is entrance to Little Cottonwood Canyon.

old mill mtn view.jpg

Regarding social distancing, I paid in advance online.  Reported at first tee no more than 15 mins before tee time.  No practice green and no driving range allowed, made it tough since I hadn't played since last year.  Played with three others I did not previously know.  They were friends with each other, but not family and each drove their own golf cart.  I carried my bag and walked, nine holes only, in two hours flat.  $15.  Good time, pretty day.  I didn't score well, but had a enough good shots to bring me back again in the near future:-)

 

Edited by JimK
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On 5/27/2020 at 6:44 PM, JimK said:

I've been working a lot around my son's house in SLC making a retaining wall and some related improvements.  But today 27 May 2020 took time off to play some golf at nearby Old Mill Golf Course.  Nice public course in the foothills with great views and a lot of vertical change in some of the holes.  This was the first time I played golf in Utah. 

Naturally I borrowed my son's clubs.  Some time I have to make a dedicated post about all the toys I've borrowed from him this winter/spring:-)  Downtown SLC is in the far right background to the north.

old mill golf course clubs.jpg

First hole, looking west:

old mill golf 1st hole.jpg

Mtn view, ridge to left is entrance to Big Cottonwood Canyon, ridge in background is entrance to Little Cottonwood Canyon.

old mill mtn view.jpg

Regarding social distancing, I paid in advance online.  Reported at first tee no more than 15 mins before tee time.  No practice green and no driving range allowed, made it tough since I hadn't played since last year.  Played with three others I did not previously know.  They were friends with each other, but not family and each drove their own golf cart.  I carried my bag and walked, nine holes only, in two hours flat.  $15.  Good time, pretty day.  I didn't score well, but had a enough good shots to bring me back again in the near future:-)

 

Great Pics Jim  ! You have me ready to move out west for sure ! Looks so Beautiful !!

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On 5/30/20 I did something that was memorably touristy.  I went swimming in the Great Salt Lake.  This is not something local Utahns normally do.  The Great Salt Lake is a weird place.  As you know it's a terminal lake, approximately 75 miles long and 25 miles wide.  Streams and rivers flow into it, but nothing leaves except through evaporation and that makes it five times saltier than the ocean.  It's a good habitat for birds, bugs, brine shrimp, and sail-boaters, but not much else.  Parts of the lake smell like a salt marsh on a bad day:-)  In short, the Great Salt Lake looks pretty, but might best be enjoyed from a distance.  Nonetheless, it was 92 degrees out and I was looking for a new way to get cool.

I accessed the lake from a location off I80 about 15 miles west of SLC.  This is the site of a semi-abandoned concert hall called The Great Saltair and there was plenty of free parking nearby. 

great saltair 30 may .jpg

 

I had to walk about 1/2 mile across the beach to get to the lake shore, where this photo was taken looking back at Saltair. 

30 may close to GSL.jpg

 

Just as I approached the water a wind/rain storm blew over.  It was pretty ferocious and scared all the other crazy tourists off the beach.  I had to hunker down and lay on the ground during the worst 10 minutes to evade stinging sand and very low visibility.  It was mostly a wind event, but the brief period of moderate rain felt good after many dry and warm weeks here in the Salt Lake Valley.

30 may storm gsl.jpg

 

The sun came back out and I set up my camp chair in 6" of water.  I did enter the water and went swimming two times.  At the end of the day my hat, shirt and swim suit felt like tin foil they were so crunchy with dried salt.

30 may gsl jim.jpg

 

This fellow was determined to try to get a good photograph of that sailboat.  He's standing in about 2' of water even though he's 300 yards offshore!  I think the deepest this huge body of water ever gets is about 15'.

30 may gsl photog best.jpg

 

This is looking towards the west.  The water felt like about 80 degs very close to shore.  A couple hundred yards out it got colder, maybe 72 degs.  Also, it got clearer and rather nice for wading the further out you went.

30 may gsl family.jpg

 

Off topic, this is a sunset photo of the Salt Lake Valley from a couple nights ago.

slc sunset may.jpg

A little later on the same evening, with a little zooming the Great Salt Lake can be seen along the horizon.

1005352864_sunsetandlake.jpg.fb4f950cfef39e1f15cc1890adffaf42.jpg

 

29 May 2020, this is my wife's idea of a good place to get cooled off.  That's Big Cottonwood Canyon Creek.

big cottonwood creek.jpg

This is an Episcopal chapel near Brighton ski area.

camp tuttle chapel.jpg

Hiking nearby.

31 may jim hike.jpg

This "cowboy" was taking a chance going this close to wild moose for a photo along the Big Cottonwood access road.

31 may moose.jpg

Edited by JimK

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Here are about 20 photos from the first half of June 2020.  These will illustrate some great diversity of terrain and activities available in early summer in Utah.  I'll identify some of these photos as panoramic shots.  If you click on them they will enlarge.

These are a couple of shots from a favorite nearby county park called Dimple Dell.  I like to bike and hike here and it's usually very lightly trafficked.  It's a couple miles west of the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

dimple dell wasatch view.jpg

dimple dell creek ford.jpg

On June 9th I did probably my last skiing of the season.  There had been about a foot of new snow in the previous couple of days in the high Wasatch (rain down around SLC) and I went skinning at Alta.  I climbed to the top of the Wildcat chair (~1200' vertical) and took a nice run from there.  This is a pano shot.

9 june wildcat pano.jpg

This is Bear Paw trail under the Wildcat chair.  That is the Alta base area and Goldminers Daughter Lodge below.

9 june bear paw.jpg

Selfie on Bear Paw.  First time skiing in the month of June!

9 june bear paw selfie.jpg

On June 10th my wife and I made a looong day trip from SLC to Bryce Canyon National Park.  It was about 550 miles roundtrip.  Totally worth it.  This is a pano shot of The Natural Bridge.

10 june natural bridge.png

Another pano shot, this is Rainbow Point, elev 9115'.

10 june rainbow pt pano.jpg

And another pano.  THE Bryce Canyon is in the center, upper Inspiration Point is to the right.

10 june THE bryce canyon pano.jpg

This is a pano from Upper Inspiration Point.  Had to climb about 250' vertical to get up here.  Good thing I trained the day before at Alta:-)

10 june upper inspiration point.jpg

On the return drive we stopped briefly at Butch Cassidy's boyhood home.  Snuck a selfie into this photo.

10 june waving selfie at butch's.jpg

It's not all fun out here.  I spent quite a few days building retaining walls, walkways, and widening the driveway at my son's house in SLC.  This included digging up and relocating part of his in-ground sprinkler system.

12 june vince's driveway.jpg

On June 15th I took an 80 minute bike ride out by the Great Salt Lake.  It's nice and flat there, but I choose a cool morning because it can also be very hot and dry.

15 june great salt lake.jpg

I'm pretty sure this buckle in the roadway happened back on March 18 when there was a 5.7 mag earthquake in Utah and the epicenter was about two miles from this spot.  We felt a darn good shake and rattle for about 15 seconds at my son's house about 30 miles away that morning.

15 june earthquake crack.jpg

On June 16th I went on a really fine hike near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, up a trail called Bells Canyon.  It's super popular and always crowded.  This weekday was cool and a little overcast and I started about 920AM and it wasn't too busy.  I may have passed about 75 people in 2.5 hours.  This trail has it all including passing by a nice reservoir about 20 minutes into the hike.

16 june bells canyon res.jpg

I was told there was a beautiful waterfall a couple miles further up the trail and so I went for it.

16 june bells canyon hike.jpg

This was close to a five mile roundtrip hike with about 1500' vertical climb.  It was steep near the waterfall, but it's an impressive falls with a lot of volume.  There was a 100 yard cascade below this main drop.  There was also a smaller drop above this big one.  Next three photos are panos.

16 june bells canyon waterfall pano close.jpg

 

16 june bells canyon med view pano.jpg

Lengthy cascade below big falls.

1082433776_16junebellscanyoncascade.thumb.jpg.c7850841d8ab08fbfa24a2292549d590.jpg

This is a view looking back up Bells Canyon on my return.  There was more shade on this trail than most I have hiked in Utah.

16 june bells canyon flower.jpg

As I was finishing up the last half mile, enjoying the views of the valley and thinking I'd done alright for a fairly strenuous hike.  Then this troop of about ten kindergarteners went by.  It reminded me of times out here when I've been skiing a hard run only to have some young kids blow by me like it's a green circle trail 🙂

16 june bells canyon kids.jpg

Edited by JimK
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I think I will be heading East in a week or two.  Drove West on Jan 25, 2020.  Time to go home.  The current plan is to camp for three nights with my wife along the drive across the country and stay self-contained.

Meanwhile, here are some Utah photos from the last half of June.

This is on the Big Cottonwood Canyon access road about 4 miles up from the mouth of the canyon where the road gets pinched by cliffs.  Took this photo while biking up there.  No place for a car to stop here.

bcc pinch car.jpg

Passed a cute little doggie-biker on the Jordan River Trail near Draper, UT.

JRT Yorkie.jpg

At a cemetery in Cottonwood Heights there are two interesting and heartwarming grave markers of twin brothers hanging out for eternity as best buds.  They died about ten years ago just two months apart at age 64.

floyd and lloyd.jpg

Discovered this cute micro-park near mouth of BCC one day while biking.

sunset park over wasatch blvd.jpg

Went back later with wife to watch a pretty sunset here.

sunset over wasatch blvd.jpg

Goat farm beside the Jordan River Bike Trail.  That one little fella is playing on a skateboard ramp:-)

goat farm.jpg

Some nearby wildfires made for a very smoky day over the Wasatch on 28 June.

fire smoke 28 june.jpg

Much clearer view from Ferguson Canyon water tower.  The Great Salt Lake is about 25 miles to the west in the far center background.  Pretty steep little bike ride to get up here.

ferguson canyon water tower.jpg

Finally got my picture taken with a really popular guy out here.  They have his statue all over the place and nobody's messed with him as far as I know - the Sinclair Dino.  We could both use a good face washing.

dino.jpg

Overview of the Old Mill Public Golf Course.  Played it once, might try it one more time before I leave Utah.

old mill golf overview.jpg

The golf course was named after this nearby historic mill, now abandoned.

old mill overview.jpg

Edited by JimK

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I took a 4th of July road trip from the Salt Lake City (SLC) area to Mirror Lake, UT with my wife and son. Mirror Lake is normally about 80 or 90 miles east of SLC, but we took a really cool, if slightly longer route to get there; cool in more ways than one. Up around Mirror Lake, elevation 10,050' it was 66 degs at 2 PM. When we returned to the SLC area at 5 PM it was 95 degs!

From the Cottonwood Heights/Holladay area we took Rt 190 up Big Cottonwood Canyon, then just before arriving at Brighton Ski Area we took a left onto Guardsman Pass Rd (only open in summer) to climb over the Wasatch Front. This is the view of Brighton's Millicent Lift ski terrain from Guardsman Pass Rd. The area they call Scree Slope on the trail map is that big rock pile in the upper center.

 
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My son is standing at Guardsman Pass, elev 9717'. Some of Deer Valley's upper lift terminals are in the left background. This view is looking towards the east and Mirror Lake is about 60 more miles out in the distance.

 
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This is few miles east of Guardsman Pass on a very steep and curvy road (open in summer only) descending to Heber City. We dropped a huge vertical, maybe 4000', in a much shorter distance than we'd climbed up Rt 190 in Big Cottonwood Canyon to get to the pass.

 
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Same area, we caught a peek of Mt. Timpanogos to the south, elev 11,752'.

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This is where we came from looking back west up towards Guardsman Pass from the Heber City area. Somebody's flying Old Glory for the 4th of July.

 
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We made an obligatory stop at the nearby Heber Valley Creamery for some fresh ice cream.:Cristmassnow:

 
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Nice view of Timp from the creamery.

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Skipping forward about 50 miles this is a scenic overlook on Rt 150 about five miles west of Mirror Lake. We broke out our camp chairs and had a picnic here. The temperature was 66 degs. We probably picked the busiest day of the year to take this scenic drive, but up here social distancing was easy and beautiful. This is a panoramic shot, if you click on it, it will enlarge.

 
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Same spot, this view is to the west, we are probably at about 10,500' elevation.

 
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If you think the above views are nice, we also had Bald Mtn (left), elev 11,942', right behind us to the east.

 
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This is one of the many smaller lakes on the approach to Mirror Lake.

 
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It was an unbelievably gorgeous place and day for a drive.

 
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Another picturesque lake along Rt 150.

 
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This is the elusive Mirror Lake. We went down by its shoreline, but it was anticlimactic. It was so crowded there that we left without getting out of the car. This trip was about the journey, not the destination, anyway. Hayden Peak (elev 12,479') is in the left background.

 
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On the return trip we took a slightly different way home and instead of climbing back up Guardsman Pass we went past the Jordanelle Reservoir. I think that's Deer Valley's Bald Mtn to the right.

 
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I went swimming briefly in the reservoir at this spot where temps were about 85 degs, water maybe a brisk 72. Nice!

 
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This is back in the Holladay, UT area. That is Old Mill Golf Course. Temps were 95 degs at 5 PM. We had a nice drive and successfully escaped the heat. Total distance traveled about 220 miles.

 
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Later in the evening we watched a chaotic, but fun display of miscellaneous fireworks popping off throughout the Salt Lake Valley:

 
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Edited by JimK
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My fun and games in Utah are over until next winter.  On 19-22 July 2020 I completed a 2,200 mile road trip from Utah to the Wash DC area. This was unlike any car trip I've ever made before. My wife and I took four days to make the journey. Due to Covid-19 threat we camped three nights in primitive sites and carried all our food and drink supplies with us. Our only retail interactions were with gas pumps every 500 miles.

I offer special praise for truckers! They continue the business of moving goods and equipment across America at a rate that seems equal or greater than their normal volume. Meanwhile, summer car traffic was definitely lighter than typical, except for a decent number of RVs and trailers. The high ratio of trucks to cars was especially noticeable in rural stretches of interstate highway in the midwestern US.  The trip left me with a strong sense of  appreciation for these essential workers that so many of us rely upon for delivered goods in these crazy covid times.

Another observation from the trip is that many states are taking advantage of reduced summer traffic levels to do maintenance work on their highway infrastructure. We encountered more "road under repair" conditions on this trip than seemed normal, especially in Wyoming, Illinois and Indiana.

Echo Lake, UT near the northeast border of UT and WY. So long Utah, where we've been living since February. Interstate 80 is to the left. We spent two full days driving on I80.

 
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Heat lightening over Sutherland Reservoir SRA, western Nebraska.

 
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Primitive tent campsite at Sutherland Res, NE. Shortly after this picture was taken a three hour rain and wind storm passed over the area, including 40 MPH wind gusts. We stayed dry in our $35 Walmart Tent. It's an amazing piece of gear for the money. Somebody in Bangladesh has cheap tent making down to a science. First night of camping.

 
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There were literally thousands of wind turbines along I80 in Iowa.

 
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That wind turbine blade is longer than two normal 18 wheel trucks.

 
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Dry camping in Lake Macbride State Park near Iowa City, IA. Second night of camping. We had no rain this night, but the next morning I got soaked taking the tent apart in a downpour. We had partial sunshine later that day and took a one hour lunch break to dry out the tent beside the empty State Fair Grounds in Bloomington, Indiana.

 
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This photo says it all about my respect for truckers in these covid times. Notice highway maintenance work ongoing as well.

 
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Last C-17 flight at 930PM over Wright-Patterson Air Force Base campground, Ohio. Third night of camping. It stormed later this night too. We saw more rain in four days traveling across the country than four months in the Salt Lake Valley. The lump you see in the bottom of our tent is a humongous air mattress we borrowed from our son in SLC. Worth its considerable weight for decent sleeping.

 
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There is a squadron of C-17 military transport aircraft at WP-AFB. We were woken at 730AM by a loud recording of reveille on the base the next morning.

 
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Then it was home sweet home to the green hills of the DMV.

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