Monday, August 16, 2010

Millcreek Canyon

This is my first entry for this blog and it will be my first "Things our family can do in Utah on a Sunday for under $20"
In the Salt Lake City area, if you aren't the going to church type there doesn't seem like a lot to do, especially if you're on a budget. In fact, it can seem that the entire city pretty much closes on Sundays.
So what's a "spiritual" as opposed to "religious" family of three to do???
Well, this Sunday, we decided to go up Millcreek Canyon. The drive alone is beautiful this time of year with a profusion of wild flowers growing roadside, the air cools the higher the elevation and the sweet smell of clean air warmed by the sun is heady. Keep in mind, that's without even getting out of the car!
We had brought our water bottles so decided to hit one of the simpler trails the Lower Big Water (.5 on the difficulty scale). We had a good laugh at ourselves when the 30 minute hike brought us out at the Big Water trail head about a hundred yards up road from where we started . But that's actually one of the nice things about the trails up there, apparently they all come back to a central point so there's not really a chance of getting lost.

For families with dogs, this is a dog friendly canyon and they even allow dogs to go off leash on the trails on odd days. Of course you need to be prepared to clean up after them so take some baggies and they need to be back on their leash in the public areas.
And just because some people don't seem to understand the concept of cleaning up after their dogs, let me just say that tying it up in a plastic bag and leaving it yes you heard me, leaving it there, does not count as cleaning up after them. I kid you not, I hauled out 5 bags of someone elses dog poop!

While the fauna we saw consisted of a couple of squirrels, the flora up there is diverse and amazing and I must admit, I got a little camera happy trying to capture all the pretties that I saw.
I recognized cranesbill, some member of the raspberry family, wild strawberries, columbine (although they'd bloomed a while back), wild roses, monkshood and some others but the majority of what's up there is a mystery to me. Such as this wee little fungi I found all by it's lonesome. One of my favorite things about going up in the mountains is how you can step off the trail and feel like you're the only person for miles. The sounds of other people are muffled by the rush of water, the schoosh of wind through the trees and for a moment you are completely alone.

But never too alone.

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