A Farewell Hike
The last hike we took before leaving was in another unexplored pocket of Dixie National Forest. It was absolutely gorgeous landscape but the best part was spending time with our friend Terry before we headed out. Terry is one of my favorite humans to hike with and he has vastly improved my hiking experiences since I first moved to Utah. Thanks to him I’ve learned how to properly get lost, notice the first flowers budding, find interesting rocks, and most of all, to wander. To Tom’s occasional exasperation I’ve found another person eager to walk around the same formation for 10 minutes taking photographs. Finally, both Tom and I have enjoyed walking with someone quick to laugh and appreciative of our senses of humor. So as amazing as this last adventure was, it was all that much better to have another chance to spend it with Terry.
There were many beautiful sights on the hike but the characterizing feature of the day’s walk seemed to be meadows. The pale, washed-out sage meadows of southern Utah are a love of mine and will usually result in an exclamation of excitement, but finding the less common vibrant grass meadow is a downright joyful experience. As it happens, we were in an area of the mountains that had multiple lush, green plains full of new growth fed by recent snowmelt. In addition to the fir-lined open spaces we were constantly in view of some stunningly beautiful mountains, still flecked with remnants of white. Oh – and the sweet smell of ponderosa trees and piney firs filled the air for most of our walk. While it was still too early for the aspens to have leaves the whole scene was definitely of Spring in the mountains.
As is common when we’re exploring, one of us picked the general destination and we selected forest roads and places to stop and walk by consensus. We chose well: our multiple walks brought us through the aforementioned meadows and healthy ponderosa/fir forest all the way to an overlook of Red Creek Reservoir that I had scoped out a few weeks ago. We followed this up with a walk along the ridges to the north side of Bear Valley which featured some spectacular views over the expanses of silver green sage and shimmery-blue springs in the basin below. The only downside of the day was realizing that we’d like to hike in about 5 other places we came upon – but those will just have to go on our list.