Another shot of Rush Lake in Tooele County, Utah, with the snow-draped Stansbury Mountains in the background…from late February of this year.
I made this image, facing east on 9000 South, after exiting the I-15 freeway last Sunday evening, April 27, 2014.
There are all kinds of witty and hackneyed sayings and cliches about Change that I could use to introduce this post, but I will pass on all of that and just get right to the subject…my time in the Wasatch is quickly coming to an end. My family and I will be returning to the desert of Arizona and I will soon be embracing the challenge of viewing that desert through a camera lens…looking for and capturing a different beauty that I know is out there. While I will be living in a different location than the one I featured in my post Tribute to the Desert, from October of last year, I hope to find a similar desert-ed wonderfulness nearby…or within a not-too-long drive, anyway.
I made this image in late February of this year as I was exploring the area west of Salt Lake City, Utah…beyond the Oquirrh Mountains. It is looking south and east from the side of a road. Those are the Stansbury Mountains off to the right…so The Great Salt Lake is a few miles behind us as we stand here admiring the unusual clouds and plains and snow-covered mountains…..
Roughly sixteen miles south of Beaver, Utah, one can leave Interstate 15 and take Highway 20 east through the mountains, catch Highway 89 and continue south through Panguitch, Glendale, Orderville, Mt Carmel, and Kanab as one makes their way further into the high deserts of Arizona and beyond. This image is facing south from the side of Highway 20 and gives the viewer a nice glimpse of some of the finer things of a cloudy morning in early April…rolling fields of Sage, Cedar covered hillsides, and snow-covered mountains….
You might remember some earlier posts about Red Pine Lake…or Upper Red Pine Lake…but these images are from my first visit to the lakes when they were under snow. If you’d like to view the images from those earlier posts, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and find the Categories widget toward the right…and then click on Red Pine Lake. You’ll see photos from the Red Pine Lakes that I made in September and October of the past two years.
As I was gazing out over the lake, checking-out the mountains, and glorying in all that was around me, I noticed a couple of cross-country or back-country skiers heading across the lake. While this isn’t something that I would enjoy doing, crossing the frozen lake, I admired that they were out there partaking in the winter wonder that we find living near the mountains of northern Utah. This first image is the southern half of the lake. The upper Red Pine lakes are situated up and to the left of this image.
The below image is the northern half of the lake. There is a bit of a dam or retaining wall in the clear area to the immediate right of the large clump of trees…it is essentially in the middle of the image. The lake is a natural depression in the terrain and catches water from the seasonal rains and snow melt. There is also an inlet on the south end that catches the drainage from the upper lakes. While I do not know any of the specifics of the dam’s construction, I would imagine that it was built in the early 1900s as a means of preserving and releasing quantities of water for use in the metropolitan area down the canyon…as that was the reason other mountain lakes in the area were dammed.
The track that I took to the lake climbed the ridge to the east of the lake…the skiers took the lower approach, which is the one that I’ve taken on my earlier visits. The snow was quite deep and I didn’t have my snow-shoes, so I was just following the track laid by other skiers and hikers…but I would occasionally break through the compressed snow and find myself beyond my knees in the cold white stuff.
I didn’t stay to watch the skiers until they were completely out of my line of sight, but I did catch them as they continued their climb up the side of the mountain for a bit….
Part of the wonder in being out there in the mountains like this, regardless of the season, is the realization of how absolutely tiny we are as individual humans in the great expanse of our world. I know this is only a small representation of our relative size to the rest of the physical world, but I think it captures the notion very well.
In this image from April, 2013, you can see the early spring greenery on the fields and hillsides, while there is still a fine covering of snow on the distant Wasatch Mountains. Goshen is approximately 50 miles south of the Salt Lake Valley, in Utah County, and just a bit south of Utah Lake…the fresh-water lake that drains north via the Jordan River into The Great Salt Lake.
Hiking Butler Fork from the trail-head in Big Cottonwood Canyon up to Baker’s Pass on the ridge between Big Cottonwood and Millcreek Canyons provides magnificent views of the surrounding mountains…. From left to right, those are Dromedary, Sunrise, and Broads Fork Twin Peaks…all part of the Wasatch Mountains that provide the natural, eastern geographic boundary for the Salt Lake Valley in Utah, USA.