Saturday, July 18, 2015

flower power

The plan for Sunday had been to get up early and head down to American Fork Canyon for a brand new and rigorous hike.  But when the alarm went off at 6 a.m., we both were all, "Blurrrgghh" and hit snooze instead, getting up an hour or so later to another beautiful morning.  H decided he wanted to go for a road ride and headed out for a couple of hours.  That left me to head on up to Alta to do my favorite loop - the one we did with our friend R about a month ago, less the spur to Sunset Peak.

Albion Basin 

Lupine and little sunflowers

Word has been going around that the wildflowers are peaking early this year due to the winter's low snow and the scorching hot June, so I figured it would be a good time to take some photos.  I got up there just a little after 9 a.m., nabbing a prime parking spot at the upper lot at Albion base.  There were a few other cars there but not the hordes I figured I'd come across later.

Death camas

As I started up, I saw more potguts (Uinta ground squirrels) than I've ever seen in one place.  Some of them, the smaller, younger ones usually, were pretty brave, standing their ground as I trudged up the hill.

Gentian (almost as tall as me)

There really weren't that many people out there at first.  I passed eleven people on my way up to Catherine's Pass and was only passed by three trail runners.  There were several hikers pausing on top of the pass, eating snacks and admiring the view.  But once I was going across the top towards Supreme, I only ran into one other person ("Is this Brighton?"  No, dude, this isn't Brighton) until I got back down to the Albion Basin campground.  There was also a young bull moose hanging out under the Cecret lift but I didn't get a photo because he was pretty far away.

More lupine and an unidentifiable white flower

Still more lupine

When I got back to my car, the lower lot at Albion was full and there was a big line of flower-peepers waiting for the shuttle.  I de-booted, texting H to let him know I was done, and then sat down to enjoy my post-hike beer.  The temperature was just perfect - high 60s and so pleasant in the strong sun - and I just sat there and grinned at the mountains.  I love Alta covered in snow best but it's pretty awesome dressed in green too.

Beer with a view

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