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Month: September 2016

Arches and Canyonlands

Arches and Canyonlands

Work brought me down to Moab for a conference and I took the opportunity to squeeze in a couple evening runs after the conference activities wound down.

In Arches I did a loop up into Devil’s Garden. I was in a hurry and didn’t hit Dark Angel or Private Arch but I did hit a bunch of others. On the back side of the loop (the east side) there is a little sand to deal with but mostly super fun single track. It was a blast. I hit Landscape Arch, Wall Arch, Navajo Arch, and Double O Arch.

Navajo Arch. Such a peaceful spot - maybe my favorite on the loop. I could sit here all day
Navajo Arch. Such a peaceful spot – maybe my favorite on the loop. I could sit here all day
Double O Arch
Double O Arch

I hurried to my car, tore down to Delicate Arch, and charged up hoping to hit it at sunset.

About 1/4 mile up I realized I had forgotten my phone in the car. By the time I got up to the arch, I had missed the sunset magic by about 20 minutes. I still managed to get a nice picture though.

Delicate Arch (after the sunset magic)
Delicate Arch (after the sunset magic)

The next night I headed to the Upheaval Dome in Canyonlands.

I have gawked at it in the satellite images before and just had to see it. There is a loop that goes around it (unfortunately, around its outside mostly and not up on a rim/ridge) so I hit that. The Syncline Loop. I saw a couple people in the first 1/2 mile and then was completely by myself for the remainder of the evening. It was simultaneously exhilarating to have the desert to myself and spookily quiet. I had hope to make it back to the start to run the mile out to the overlooks for the sunset, but AGAIN missed it – this time by about 30 minutes.

Is this a warning or an enticement?
Is this a warning or an enticement?

 

Gazing up at the canyon walls on the east side of the loop.
Gazing up at the canyon walls on the east side of the loop.

 

I'm always amazed at the bursts of green in the desert - where ever there is water
I’m always amazed at the bursts of green in the desert – where ever there is water

 

I found a little grotto/cave with water seeping out of the wall. Very cool.
I found a little grotto/cave with water seeping out of the wall. Very cool.

 

Grotto from the opposite side
Grotto from the opposite side

 

Looking down the Syncline Valley, through The Breach, and down into Upheaval Canyon below
Looking down the Syncline Valley, through The Breach, and down into Upheaval Canyon below

 

Climbing out of Upheaval Canyon, looking back NW at the sunset lights
Climbing out of Upheaval Canyon, looking back NW at the sunset lights
Autumn Red Maple Explosion

Autumn Red Maple Explosion

I scaled  back plans to bag Mahogany Peak (via Grove Creek) today, and opted for the Grove -> Battle Creek loop. It never disappoints. My still faltering health did disappoint though. After 3-4 weeks with little to no running due to the cold+sinus infection of the century, I can still feel my lung capacity lacking and overall energy lacking.

Thankfully, autumn has hit and the maple trees were blazing red. Grove Creek was a bit more tame, but the Battle Creek side was breathtaking. I can’t imagine how they would with some late-evening alpenglow on them! In any case, stands of maple at the top of Battle Creek, up towards the Big Baldy Saddle (and on the Dry Canyon side of Baldy, which I can see from my house) are at peak red right now. In another 2-3 weeks, the aspens will start to pop, golden yellow. I can’t wait.

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Almost to the final glens before Grove Creek Spring
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The North Timpanogos massif from Grove Creek Springs
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Looking south at the top of the Battle Creek trail, Big Baldy Saddle in the distance
Johnson’s Hole and my Sinuses

Johnson’s Hole and my Sinuses

I have been out of commission for about 3 weeks with a cold turned sinus infection turned lingering cold. Yikes. I haven’t been this sick for this long in a while. Being sick in the summer is just cruel. Beautiful weather, but stuck inside.

I finally had to get out. I hit up Johnson’s Hole from Canyon Glen Park. I can’t believe I’d never been up there before. It’ll be gorgeous in the spring when the grass is green. I looped it up to the aqueduct roads for about 6.5 miles. It wasn’t that hot, but I felt pretty slow and low. Very quickly it became apparent that I am not as recovered from this illness as I thought I was.

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Johnson’s Hole, looking north. Little Baldy up ahead?
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Looking south down into Johnson’s Hole. Cascade Massif with the AWESOME fold in the rock layer you see while driving up Provo Canyon.