I completed my longest hike of the year today – 12.2 miles. My previous best was 8 miles. The purpose of today’s hike was distance, not climbing. I can proudly say – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
The plan was to leave the house by 6a to get a jump start on the journey. I actually got up at 5a to check out the early light of dawn. I was able to capture the 2 photos below about one hour apart. The first was taken around 530a and the second was about 630 when we finally left the house.
We left the Bonneville Shoreline trail head around 645 and started the 1 mile, 580 foot elevation gain to begin the hike. We have hiked this section of the trail many times. While the first mile has a bit of climbing, trail levels out from there on.
While it is definitely my most photographed hiking landmark, it is always amazing to see it on every hike. It is so big. The photo above does not illustrate well its size. I was focusing more on the “blanket” of green surrounding its base.
We stayed on the trail for about 4 miles. It was then that we discovered the find of the day – Johnson Hole.
Johnson Hole, also referred to as Johnson Bowl, is the enormous field of green that is hundreds of feet below the trail. The term bowl is a pretty good descriptor.
We felt like we had been transported to Ireland. The greens, the fields, the rocks, the hills, were all breathtakingly beautiful. We spent some time taking pix here.
Ann had to be finished her portion of the hike today by 840a. So we hiked down into the hole and wove our way down the trails to meet her ride at Canyon Glen park. She left at about the 5 mile mark.
I was tempted at this point to climb back into the hole and explore the network of trails that lead in and out of it. However, I stayed disciplined to today’s objective of getting distance over climbing. So I hike back up a portion of the trails we just came down, so I could hook back up with the trail that heads deeper into the canyon toward Nunn’s Park and Bridal Veil Falls.
The trail paralleled the Provo River, several hundred feet below. The river is swollen from the warm weather and the snow melt.
I hiked about a mile and a half before I passed Nunn’s Park below and came to Hwy 89. The falls was on the other side of the road and the only way across at this location was to cross the road. I safely made the mad dash across and I found a pseudo path down from there into the Bridal Veil area.
Once I hike past Bridal Veil Falls, I decided it was time for some breakfast. So I found a picnic table in the park and rest my feet while I made some Mountain House Scrambled Eggs and bacon, one of my favorite freeze-dried meals. It felt good to be resting, and it felt good to eat!
I know I have mentioned it before, but I LOVE MY JET BOIL. It heats the water so fast.
While I sitting at the table eating my breakfast, I noticed there was an area about 50 feet away where there were butterflies flittering around. When I was done eating, I grabbed my camera and macro lens went to check them out.
Of course, once I had the macro lens out, I founds lots of critters flying around.
On every hike right now, I am seeing new wildflowers that have blossomed. There were a lot on today’s hike.
The trip back after breakfast went mostly fast except for the mile 10 to 11. That mile was a 680 foot climb back up to the Shoreline trail.
I must confess, that when I hit the climb at mile 10 of the hike, I was tired. After about the first tenth of a mile, I found a shade spot and sat down for a few minutes. While there, I heard rumbling coming deep from the canyon. Then it became louder and I could see 4 helicopters coming down the canyon.
I grabbed my camera and took some pix. I later learned that they may have been National Guard copters called in by the Governor to the unrest in Salt Lake City pertaining to the killing George Floyd. The Governor deployed the Guard around 5p.
***UPDATE – I heard from a friend that she had them close to her house early in the morning, so they may have just been on a training exercise.
I successfully completed the climb out of the canyon. It was slow going, but I made it. Once back on the Shoreline trail, I made good time on the final 1.5 miles back to the car.
I was so happy to make it back to the car!
I quickly took off my pack, which was killing my shoulders and then I took my hiking boots off because my dogs were barking. My feet hurt. I have medical issues with both feet and this hike tested their limited.
I am totally thrilled with today’s hike and I saw some remarkable sites. I feel good that I accomplished the longest hike of the season and am counting today as a good training for a climb up Mt. Timpanogos this summer.