Dipping into the archives again…January 8, 2012…an uncommon beauty….
Another visit to the archives brings this image from a hike I took on the Sunday before Thanksgiving two years ago. Exactly four weeks prior to this day, I was sitting atop that summit in the distance, Mt. Raymond, admiring the view of the canyons and mountains around me…360 degrees of wonderfulness…and a fantastic experience rivaled by few others….
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.
I made this photo while on the way to Red Pine Lake near the end of December, 2013. You can click here to see a strikingly different image of the same location that I made in September, 2012. If you cross this bridge and follow the trail to its end, you will find yourself near the three alpine lakes of Maybird Gulch. I have only made the trip once in my three years here in the Wasatch…a short foray into the area that found me hopping unsteadily from one treacherously snow-covered boulder to another around the lower lake. It was rather nerve wracking and I haven’t been back…but I will get there again in the warmer months when the green mountains are more suited to exploration.