Sunday, October 05, 2014

Annual fall trek to the Silver Fork

Ron and Carol Lee have organized a fall two-day hike over the mountains for the last 13 years.  We have been lucky to join them the past few trips. Each year we start in Park City, hike over to Big Cottonwood Canyon, and spend the night at the quirky little Silver Fork Lodge.  It is actually more of a restaurant than hotel, but there are seven, very basic rooms upstairs.  Sure beats having to camp and the food at the restaurant is excellent.

We took a different path this year, starting on Rob's Trail, near the Canyons ski area. We had eleven hikers and four others who were meeting us at the other end.  Seems that some people have those job things.
 The weather was sunny and perfect, but there was some snow at the higher elevations from the past few days.  Glad we weren't hiking in the rain and snow!
 Most of the early part of our trek was in thick forest, but the sun found ways to sneak through.
 Here we have Randy with his lovely wife Karen, celebrating the Murdock ski run.  You do have to hike up to ski down, and trust me, it is a lot steeper than it looks.
 The aspens were still pretty and the mountains way off in the distance are snow capped.
 We went from Rob's trail to Ambush and finally up the Crest trail.  Every time we were on the north side of the hill, we were hiking in the snow.
 We went past Desolation Lake.  We debated what gave it that deep color.  Thoughts ranged from the mining minerals to my useless suggestion of agricultural runoff. Somehow I don't see much fertilizer being applied at the top of the mountains.
We made the turn down into Big Cottonwood Canyon on the Bear Trap trail.  It was scenic, but steep as hell.  Quite a bit was still slick with light snow, so my cartilage-less knee was getting a bit pissy.
As always, we spent a good hour in the Silver Fork's hot tub before gathering for a great dinner.  A couple of people stayed up watching the baseball playoffs.  That caused an unfortunate delay.  One of our couples headed to their room, only to discover that they had locked themselves out.  Did I mention that this was a tiny little hotel?  Now all the employees had left and there was no one to let them in. They ended up sleeping on the sofas in the TV room.  Every year we seem to have something interesting happen. 

We lost a few hikers for the trip back to Park City, some because of work and others because of aching body parts.  Nine of us headed back on the less scenic, but quicker path straight over and down to the base of PCMR (now Vail Canyons South?)  A nice hike on another perfect day.

This is a great group of people to do this trip with.  We get in about 20 miles of good mountain hiking and then enjoy an evening away from normal life.

Thanks Carol for getting us all together!
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