Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Memory Grove

Mar 26, 2008
From The Archives

Current mood:adventurous

Part two of my nature day weekend.

After hiking up and down Ensign Peak, and getting all the crap out of my lungs. (side note: seriously, I hacked and coughed and flubbered the whole way up Ensign Peak, but was perfectly fine after resting at the top. I guess it helped to exercise some.) We then decided to take a walk through Memory Grove.

Directions: Just below the capital. If you seriously can’t find it, Google map it.
Of course this is never as easy as it appears. The defunct hard wireing in my brain mixed up the two aspects of Memory Grove and I took us towards the entrance to Gravity Hill rather than the entrance to the park itself... so after some adventuring in the avenues, and readjusting my bearings we enter the park.

Of course there is the beginning section, which is basically a War Veteran monument park. Really pretty place to just chill and hang and have a picnic, while being surrounded by monuments that seem to have been stolen from just about every major human era you can think of. Okay that was snarky, true but snarky. They are really cool none the less.

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Meditation Chapel (greek)

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I forget what this is called, but looks Roman.

No Image but there is an Egyptian Pillar as well. :)

On a side note, the park seems to have recovered just fine from the random, out of no where tornado we had back in 99. Not the video I was looking for, but it gets my point across. I know this is a major segue, but its been a topic lately I have been thinking about and discussing, as ridiculous as it seems to non Utahans to have freaked out as much as we did over what was it a class 3 tornado... we don’t get tornado’s in metropolitan areas, and it was just very random and extreme to all of us mountain folk.

Back to the topic at hand. After this area we head down the Memory Grove trail. Past what we used to refer as the alter, which apparently has just been named the Austin Stairs. The erected a giant stone atop the alter/drinking fountain that states Austin Stairs. wooooo.


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The Austin Stairs (formerly referred to as the alter (see next pic))

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One of the 4 Pentagrams that are in each surrounding corner of the Austin Stairs. Still wonder why we referred to it as the alter?


We then traveled further down the trail towards what we have always referred to as the witches hut.

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The Witches Hut.

I am certain this was not an actual witches hut. In fact due to all the man made waterfalls and bridges and tubes within City Creek, I personally think this was once a water purification station, or maybe a mill. Of course maybe some degenerate witch lived here. Who knows. I was unable to find ANY information on the web regarding these ruins. I did however run across this... short story.. which while juvenile, is an interesting story and provides more folklore than even I have heard of this place. Also helps to explain the interesting energy vibes that exist during dusk.

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One of the cute bridges over City Creek


Back down the trail. Now this trail, this is what I would call an easy trail. You have 2 options. Easy, and SUPER easy. You can take the paved road to the left, or the foot path to the right. Both of which a fairly flat and easy to walk down. Both stay relatively close to City Creek. Random useless act for today's writings: Most of City Creek is in fact located directly BENEATH Salt Lake City. It comes down this canyon, though this park and then disappears underground (manmade) at Brigham Young Park. When the Mormons built the new conference center, the waterfall was their way of bringing City Creek back to the city a little bit anyway. Also interestingly enough, City Creek is the body of water that caused the Salt Lake floods of 83.


Thank you Mr scientific. Moving along the trail, which is far prettier than Ensign Peak trail, as its wooded, and has a creek running next to it. After passing a few bridges and man made waterfalls we pass this pipe.

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The weird thing about this random pipe is we could hear the sound of the creek emanating from it. it was also a good 50 yards or so from the creek. I just thought it was random.


We continued up the trail and it did begin to incline. Not sure time wise but my guess is maybe 20-30 minutes in depending on how fast you walk. We went uphill a bit and crossed this rickety old bridge?

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I don’t know if it is still considered a bridge when it stays against the side of a cliff... which happens to overhang a man made waterfall? Either way. it was a little weird, then directly after, it appears someone needs to ADD to the rickety old bridge because there is a very small ledge you had to side step across that had a short 20 foot drop off into the creek.


The trail continued to... dissipate. Not quite the word I want, it seemed to be less beaten, and had smaller clearances to the trees. My comment was it started to look like a hobbit trail. It then proceeded to arrive to a cliff next to another waterfall. The trail itself started to zigzag up around the cliff, and fork off. This was about the part we decided we were done. So we turned around and went back the way we came.


Final Analysis. Easy Easy Easy hike. Very pretty. Combination of Nature, and man made artistic monuments, strewn not just in the park park, but throughout the trail as well. Downsides: Popular, and also an off leash dog trail. watch for plops, and smells of wet dog in areas.


That was my nature day. What started as a I need to get out of the house and do something in nature day ended in some fun adventuring. We have also decided to attempt to do a hiking day at least once a week. Not only for the nature fix, but we could really use the exercise once in a while too. :)

Didn’t have the squirrel system then, but would go with an 8 out of 10.

squirrels 8

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ensign Peak

Mar 25, 2008
From The Archives

Current mood:accomplished

Winter was long and dreadful. I was beginning to feel more cooped up than Oprah’s vajayjay. I decided I need some nature so I started looking around for new hiking trails. I found this random website. I searched by my local zip. I found a trail named Ensign Peak. Since it has been, o I don’t know how long since I last hiked I went for this trail because it was relatively short, and was marked as "easy". Easy. Easy if you happen to still be a 14 year old with tons of energy and not a thing wrong with you. Alas I am getting ahead of myself. Inna Minuten Bitter.

After doing my online research, and sitting around for a while longer I head out.

Directions
Quick drive down to the capital, (head east)
over to east capital blvd. turn left (north)
Up the hill to N. Sandhill turn right. (west)
drive right around the church
first left and there is the trail head.

I include these directions if you decide to head out there. And it is not as easy to find as it would appear. So we start up the trail. Just a few feet up there is a turn off that goes up the hill towards what at first appeared to be a small hilltop cemetery. Naturally I was drawn to this. So I bounded up this aways.

Not a cemetery, rather just a few short.. cement pillars. But even this really short, less than 5 minute hike provided an exceptional view.

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Downtown as seen from a peak that has a name which I forget.

Those of you who don’t like to veer off the path, don’t fret. You don’t have to go back down the hill to return to the main trail. Continue following the path and the link up again 20 yards ahead or so. Now back to the trail, you know, as that website formerly announced as "easy" Its not quite easy. Granted, I am not that young viral buxom lad I used to be, I work a desk job, I drink, I don’t exercise, oh yea, and I smoke. But even with all that aside, I definitely would not consider this to be an easy trail. Memory Grove, now that is easy. (see next blog) and as I wouldn’t go so far as say this was advanced, I would definitely consider this trail to be moderate. There were several really steep inclines, loose rocks, and a few spots with sheer drop offs. YIKES! Also if I am going to review a trail, and someone reading this might take this information and decide to go for a hike with it, I think I also need to include it is not a spectacularly beautiful trail.

However, the trail is short, and really the end resulting view is what you’re after.

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Now this. This was worth it.

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And so was this. (yes that is the great salt lake out there)

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Close up of downtown.

From this peak you can see All the way from the Wasatch Mountains, the Avenues to Sandy, clear out to the Oquirrh Mountains, West Valley, Magna, etc. To the great salt lake , Bountiful, etc.

As you can see from the photos, since it is still early spring the infamous "Just like Jell-O it slides down the mountains into the valley at nightfall" Salt Lake smog is still a reality. I didn’t make up the quoted name. There is a local meteorologist whom every single winter makes that insipid Jello-O analogy when speaking of the smog. Only in Utah.

To sum everything up this particular trail was short. Probably a 20-30 minute hike (up), and had a fantastic ending view. (which according to that site is best seen at sunset.. however.. I don’t think I would like to hike down with it being too dark). Downfalls: It is a bit of an adventure to find, and is not a particularly naturerific trail. I haven’t created any reference system yet, but I’ll give this trail 5 squirrels out of 10.

Stay tuned for my trek through Memory Grove in me next blog. No, My day of Nature Assimilation isn’t over yet. (but this blog is)

Well I’ll be. The original source of the Squirrel Rating system has been discovered. hehe.

squirrels 5

After a few years of doing some local hikes I would like to update my original ranking to 7 out 0f 10. Yea, the hike itself was not impressive, but the view at the end makes it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Photographic Adventure (Downtown SLC)

Mar 9, 2008
Current mood:artistic

I don't know how many of you are aware of the ANGST I endured attempting to purchase my new camera. It was painful. I agonized for weeks over which one I should get. I decided on the Nikon D40. Mostly due to the convenience of it including all the accessories I really wanted right now. (body, lens, telephoto lens, carry case, memory card, etc.) and the fact that it takes SD cards. Memory cards I happen to already have all over the place. I am very happy with my new camera, it just takes amazing pictures and is a lot of fun. My current default pic was taken with it. and yes, it was not cropped, a double exposure, anything. Just a basic understanding of how a SLR camera works and what you can do with it.

Anyway, there are quite a few fascinating buildings downtown. SO we went sightseeing in downtown salt lake today. I totally felt like a tourist. hehe. I didn't play with any of the advanced settings on the camera this time, I just stuck with auto, and let it decide on the shutter speed and aperture for me. Anyway, here are some of the images I took of some of my favorite buildings.

The Salt Lake County Courthouse

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The Salt Lake Library

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The Cathedral Of The Madeleine

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The Masonic Temple


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I forget the name of this church


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    • taliea i love the photos.....
      hope u love ur new camera...

      • 2 years ago