Thursday, November 4, 2010

Interesting Locations


International Peace Gardens:

I accidentally stumbled upon this while looking for the Labyrinth (see next area). It is actually a really cool place and I don’t know how I went my whole life without knowing it existed!

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Meditation Labyrinth:

This is so random, just stuck in the middle of a field it is cool though.

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Miller Park:

Super creepy by night, rather pretty by day.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mueller Park


As the Wasatch Front rapidly descends from Summer to Winter, (yes we don’t really get a proper fall) I have anxiously been waiting for a chance to not only get in at least 1 last hike, but also to get a good fall colors hike in. I tried this last weekend, and basically right when I got to Mueller Park the skies let loose and it started raining. Sigh. But today it was actually rather warm so we decided to give it another shot.

Mueller Park is located in Bountiful and is actually rather easy to find. Take the 2600 south exit, and continue east, 2600 south turns into Orchard lane, and will slowly turn from east to north. Take a right at 1800 south. Continue up this rather steep hill until to reach the sign for Mueller Park. Park on the neighborhood street and hike in. This way you avoid the day use fee, which I imagine is intended for camping. (during the weekend rain trip I noticed a ranger, during the weekday actual hike I did not just an FYI.)

There are 3 trails in the park. The first, just to the right of the ranger station is an easier climb but takes longer (this is the way we came down). The 2nd is a completely separate hike called The Kenney Creek Trail, which I am told is pretty as well but that will be another adventure. The 3rd, which is probably a good 1/4 mile up the road is apparently called the Mill Creek Loop Trail. This is the way we went up as we uhm, missed the first trail. I am glad we did as it is very pretty. The trail was a bit hard to follow at times with all of the leaves on the ground, so I am not even 100% sure we followed it properly, but we got to the top where it met up with the first trail so I think we did good. Anyway, long intro aside, on to the pics.

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My main goal of this trip was to catch some fall foliage shots so You might see quite a bit of that.DSC_0262 This is Kenney Creek, the trail head is just to the left of this shot.

DSC_0270 Here is the 3rd trailhead. There is a parking lot just below this point, a road further up and a restroom. Shown in the picture is a sign that read “Nature Trail” and an obviously abandoned information box. You know, I appear to have been spoiled by our national parks. I am used to actually having information on what and where I will be hiking, and what I should look for. Locally we seem to just fail on this aspect. This is why I try to be detailed in my posts.

DSC_0273DSC_0277 The creek.

DSC_0284 Fall isn’t quite over yet.

DSC_0290DSC_0297 DSC_0298 Did you know that the general rule of thumb for taking good forest shots is to not get the forest floor in the shot? Generally I agree with and adhere to this rule. However, this time of year I think the floor adds to the shot.

Just above this point the trail, or what we made of the trail joined into the other trail. After making a decision on which direction seemed correct to continue, we looked back and realized we would never find the trail again. So, failing to have lipstick available to find my way Labyrinth style, I took a stick and drew an arrow.

DSC_0338 DSC_0340 Hopefully this 2nd shot shows why I felt I had the need to do this hehe.

DSC_0305 DSC_0320 DSC_0322 Here you can see my intended destination, Elephant Rock. Unfortunately when we got a little closer we realized the trail was closed for some deforestation and gas line installation. I wish I had taken pics of it but it was just a little too sad, so we turned around and headed back down.

DSC_0335 Here is a decent shot of the expected view. I’m told it is much more impressive at Elephant Rock. I will get there one day, oh yes one day.

I found my arrow indicating to us how to get back the way we came, however we ultimately decided that both must lead down at least near where we parked, so we decided to continue down the main trail.

DSC_0348 The weirdest thing happened as I was framing this shot, I became aware of just how quiet it was here, and slowly started observing more and more moths fluttering around me. DSC_0356 It must be mating season. Seriously there were so many, none of my pictures quite captured this the way I had hoped they would.

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DSC_0379 DSC_0382 I love the random strip of Pines that Kenney Creek creates.

DSC_0385 Never really been inspired by a neighborhood before, however this shot does showcase the upper class neighborhoods we have around here. DSC_0391 Random trail Tunnel. This must be Terrifying in the summertime.

DSC_0399 I like how the colorful mountainside behind the bare trees almost gives you the illusion of looking at non bare trees.DSC_0403 DSC_0404 Angry chipmunk.DSC_0406 DSC_0411 DSC_0415 And we reached the valley floor again with the stream. DSC_0416

Like I mentioned the first trail appears to be easier to climb, but takes longer and we ran into a lot of other hikers and bikers on it. the 2nd trail (or where my adventure started) was a little harder to climb, slightly prettier, but also had not a single soul on it.

All in all I really liked this hike, I was disappointed it was cut short due to construction, but it was pretty. I submitted a lot of pictures that may not be my best work (due to the time of day and year), but is diverse as compared to my other work as this was the first real fall hike I managed to get in before all the fall foliage was gone.

So, going in blind and finding my own way in, I would rate the 1st trail with a perfect 10 out of 10 squirrels, the 2nd with 8. Considering the popularity of the trail, the fee or additional hike with no real information provided my final ranking will sit at 7 out of 10 squirrels.

squirrels 7