Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fourth of July

I spent the 4th of July weekend in the Uintah Mountains with my sister and her dog, Charlie. After the excitement of the Inca trail, I found myself purchasing gear for a backpacking trip. We were trying to do a trip to King’s Peak, which is Utah’s highest peak but that fell through and in hindsight I’m glad it did. I believe it is better that my first real backpacking trip was only 13.2 miles. Well, I consider the Inca trail a “real backpacking trip”, but this is the first one since I was a teenager where I carried all my own stuff.


We hiked up to Amethyst Lake, which sits about 10,740 elevation wise.  The hike is really not that hard although I did feel the elevation a little bit. It starts out pretty level with some minor ups and downs. Then a couple miles in the trail forks and we took the path up the mountain, which was the hardest part. It wasn’t super steep, but it was all uphill over a really rocky trail.  Then it leveled out again for a bit until we arrived at the meadow and lake below Amethyst. That’s where we made camp for the night.


 
We set up camp and rested a bit then we got up to explore again until it was time to make dinner.  In the morning we left camp after breakfast and hiked the last little bit to Amethyst Lake.  Then we packed back up and headed down the mountain.

 
 
 
Once we got down we put everything in the car and drove along Mirror Lake highway. It was a busy weekend. We had decided to camp one more night in a campground and we found a good place at the Trial Lake campground.   Then in the morning we packed up and went home.


 
The trip was fun. Again I’ve realized I don’t really love hiking (especially with the heavier pack) but I do like to be in the mountains and Amethyst Lake is just one of those places you can’t get to without using your feet (or a horse, if you have one).  I really wish I would have taken my book on the hike, but after putting my pack on, I didn’t want even a tiny bit of extra weight. We had some downtime that I could have used to read. We also didn’t light a fire the first night and I just really like campfires. I don’t know why, but sitting around a camp fire staring in to the flames is one of the most relaxing things.

 
It won’t be my last backpacking trip, especially after I bought some of the gear (although some I needed or has multiple uses) but I probably won’t do another one this year.  I am planning on a couple smaller day hikes when my family goes camping.  I don’t necessarily love hiking but I do like the views from the top and the physical activity is good for me.

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