Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Snowy Wilderness Adventure

Robyn must really love me.  She goes on lots of adventures that always end up being more hardcore than the plan that I present to her in the beginning.

These hardcore adventures are not what Robyn signed up for when she married me.  The guy she married was nearly 300 pounds and lived a fairly sedentary lifestyle.  I loved nature just as much as I do now, but we never experienced nature that was more than a mile from where we could park.

Now that I've lost over 70 pounds, and I enjoy a more active lifestyle, my love of nature is no longer fettered by my girth.  So I take Robyn on various adventures.  Apparently, though, my zeal for adventures is much greater than my ability to accurately plan adventures.  An excellent example of this is our recent hike to Silver Lake Flat.

I have a book called 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles that has 60 different hikes within 60 miles of Salt Lake City. (Nice title, am I right?) It's a really great book because it explains how to get to the destination as well as how difficult it is.  I used it to find a great hike to Silver Lake.  The hike begins at Silver Lake Flat and ends at Silver Lake.  It was 4.5 miles round trip with a 1600 foot climb.  That is the plan that I presented to Robyn.  That's the amount of effort that she was sold on.

We drove into American Fork canyon and made our way to Tibble Fork Reservoir.

Wasn't Robyn so precious?  It was beautiful scenery, with a beautiful girl.
The lake was really pretty, but that's where our driving had to stop.  It turns out the road was closed.  Intellectually, I know that there is lots of snow in the mountains, but I don't stop and think about the fact that snow might cause roads to be closed.  Like I said, I'm inexperienced at this whole going on adventures thing.

But, we decided that a closed road wouldn't stop us.  So, rather than start our hike at Silver Lake Flat like we originally planned, we figured we'd just hike up the road and end at Silver Lake Flat.

There was lots of pretty scenery, and the pretty girl stayed with me the whole time.

As the road climbed, we occasionally got a view back at the reservoir.  Can you see it in the distance?  We climbed quite a bit above it.

Eventually, the road started to have some snow on it, but we persevered.

Robyn is a cute little snow walker.
 We had been walking several miles when a man came by on an ATV.  He had 2 grandkids with him, a boy and a girl both under 6 years old.  He passed us and we said "hello".

A few hundred yards later, we came around a corner, only to discover the man standing, looking at his four wheeler, while the two cute kids asked, "are we stuck?"  They definitely were.  I asked if he needed any help, and he very graciously said yes.  Together, he and I were able to pick his back end up and move it a few feet to be out of the big rut he was in, then I was able to push him out.  I can't imagine how long he would have been stuck there if we hadn't come along.  For that reason alone, I'm really glad that we went hiking that day.
This is not a great picture, but that's the rut his ATV left.  It's evidence that my story is true.
 After we got him out, he continued on his way.  He said they were headed to some cabins up higher.  A half mile later, we passed the ATV again.  It wasn't stuck, but he had wisely decided to park it right before the snow got really deep, and walked on to his cabin on foot.

Eventually, we made it to Silver Lake Flat.  I don't really understand the naming convention, but apparently Silver Lake Flat is another lake that is not to be confused with Silver Lake.
However, just because we found it, didn't mean we reached our destination.  The parking lot for the originally planned hike was on the other side of that lake.  We still needed to hike around it, to end at our originally intended starting point.

There was still plenty of time for selfies.  I was playing the part of the shoulder angel.

We probably should have worn snow shoes.

We made it to the trail head, and found this picnic table. What a perfect place to stop, rest, and eat food.  (These activities together are commonly known as a picnic.)

What a cutie!
So the entire hike turned out to be just over 8 miles with a 2000 foot climb.  It also had several miles through deep snow.  It wasn't exactly the hike that I sold Robyn on in the beginning.  It's a good thing she loves me.


  1. I'm glad that you guys are so adventurous. Now maybe you should come on some well-planned adventures with me.

  2. It is a good thing she loves you. And Todd and I would like to invite ourselves on some of your hiking adventures sometime.


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