Friday, July 18, 2008

Utah Trip: 8,000 Foot Trail & Wildflowers

We started our hike along the Mid Mountain Trail, aka the 8,000 Foot Trail, up in The Canyons ski resort. The trail is shared by mountain bikers and some hikers. I expressed reservations about going because I'm severely allergic to all plants poison — ivy, oak, sumac — having broken out in severe rashes every year of my youth and hospitalized twice. Saying I break out when I see a photo of said plants is just barely a joke.

[The time I looked down and found myself in the middle of a poison oak patch while trying to get the "perfect" shot of a bridge along Highway 1 in Big Sur, CA also came to mind. I raced to a local drug store, stripped to my undies in the parking lot, and washed myself with a prophylaxis and two gallons of water. It worked.]

I was assured that the trail is very wide and I would have no contact with the vegetation. Except that the trail was quite narrow and I was routinely in the bushes and plants to let the bikers go by. These pics are about where the path was at its widest. I didn't get a rash, so all's good!

I brought my camera to take pictures of the view. Imagine my surprise when we found ourselves enjoying some of nature's finest fireworks. The only one I could name was the columbine.

We were huffing and puffing from the exercise and altitude. Then, about 2/3 of the way over, we spotted a sign that gave us hope!

We stopped at the Red Pine Lodge for lunch and the food was really good. The lodge is between a gondola lift from the bottom and two chair lifts that go further to the top in ski season. It took us 50 minutes each way from the car to the lodge.

And we spotted someone's wayward parrot.

Mel, Rick, and I stopped to take a break on our way back and enjoyed the view looking down one of the ski slopes (a black diamond or two, I'm sure) with Kimball Junction far below.

These three pics turned out the best so I've posted them at a larger size. Click to engorge.

I never made it to Thanksgiving Point so this was my flower fix.


ArichNY said...

BEAUTIFUL pics! Sounds like a great trip!

Mark H said...

Lived in SLC 8 years and NEVER took a hike up Parley's Canyon at K. Junction....that's close in, and beautiful. Thanks for reminding me of what those dry forests look like. Great place for lunch, eh?