Saturday, March 27, 2010

52 weeks in the foothills: week 13

This week included three sure signs that spring is taking hold in the foothills: ran a real loop with minimal mud and no snow, meadows on the ridgeline are turning green and I saw a mountain biker.  A real loop is a loop consisting of established trails--no trudging through snow.  Now that the snow is gone, off trail runs are avoided because they can damage the plants and the newly exposed rocks are hard on the ankles.  

Enjoyed watching the snow blow off the top of Timpanogos after the Thursday/Friday squalls.  Saw some kind of bird that ran down the trail in front of me for what seemed like a 1/4 mile before it decided to veer off to the left and hide in the bushes.  It was in front of me long enough for me to get out the camera and snap a slightly blurry picture.   Stephen's tree on the water tank road is ready to bud.  

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

52 weeks in the foothills: week 12

Had the most scary experience I've had on a trail since, well, ever, on Saturday afternoon.  I'm jogging along going down a ridgeline when I hear this rustling sound behind me to the left.  I thought it was just birds in the bushes but it was bigger and sounded like something sliding.  I must have thought I was about to ride a snow slide down the hill because the first thing I did was check my feet to make sure I was on mud which was kind of funny because the snow was only a few inches deep there in protected pockets.  By the time I was composed enough to look behind me, I saw a dust devil spinning some leaves around.  So apparently a dust devil formed right by my as I was making my way down.  Crazy.  

Saturday ended at about 6400 feet at the start of the crossover to Dry Creek Canyon.  Where it gets flat up there the snow got deep and soft.  Snowshoes would have been good.  Running shoes not so much.  Someone had walked it and I'm guessing they did it earlier in the morning when the snow was still firm.  

Turns out I lost the ability to operate a camera this week.  Monday I got a few shots on a quick jog up to the radio shack.  That was good.  Wednesday I got to the ridge top on the gun range trail and realized the battery was at home.  Not so good.  Saturday I deleted all the pictures on the card and shot some more.  That was good for Saturday but not so good for Monday's pictures which were unceremoniously deleted.  The good news is that it all looked about the same:  dry hard dirt down low, then snow and mud. 

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Monday, March 15, 2010

52 weeks in the foothills: week 11

We have spotted green plants growing in the foothills.  They've probably been there for more than a week but that's ok.  Pretty much the same as last week:  dirt, mud, snow.  Though the mud and snow were a little higher than last week.  

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

52 weeks in the foothills: week 10

Ho hum.  Another week of starting in the dirt, passing through the mud, sloshing through deep wet snow and then repeating the process in reverse to get home.  I guess it will be a month or so before the upper trails are passable.  Until then, enjoy some pictures that look a lot like last week, and the week before that and the week before that...  

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Monday, March 01, 2010

52 weeks in the foothills: week 9

Snow and no contrast early in the week and then mud on Friday.  Wednesday I got out in the tail end of that little storm and ran in the fog with 4 inches of new snow on a hard crust.  The crust was hard enough to run on and with the new snow it was a good day to be off trail.  Except for the lack of contrast.  It was impossible to pick out little rollers or bumps in the snow and confusing to run in.  The picture of Timp doesn't include Timp.  Kind of like that day we went to see Mt. Rainer but didn't actually see Mt. Rainer.  

Wednesday was warm and sunny so I stayed low by the Mt. Timpanogos storytelling park to avoid the worst of the mud.  That was moderately successful as the pipeline road was pretty firm and the Provo River Parkway trail was just fine.  The picture with the text on it shows the radio shack where I usually shoot the mountain and canyon.  

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