What quote am I vibing? “I have but one word to say to you - I am very glad to see you. I believe in work and I believe in play. Play hard while you play; and when you work don’t play at all. That is good advice for children, and it is good advice for grown folks too. It is a great pleasure to see you.” Theodore Roosevelt (I definitely used part of this quote before. Sorry!)
Road Day: 33
Trails Hiked: Ensign Peak Trail and Overlook (Salt Lake City). .8 miles. Elevation Change: 374 feet. Surface: packed down dirt and gravel.
Heughs Canyon Trail (Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest). 2.1 miles (I think I did about 1.8 miles total - the map seems to indicate other than the information I have about mileage). Elevation Change: 702 feet. Surface: narrow rocky path, with some rock scrambling.
Did you know that Theodore Roosevelt was the only President to ever visit the Governor's Mansion in Utah? I did not either but my new friends pointed it out to me. He was here to defend a polygamist. He also said the quote above to a group of school children on that visit. The TR piece of this post is now done. 😛
Today I spent the morning working in my room, and then hopped in to Salt Lake City for lunch at Twist, on my friend Lauren's recommendation. Delicious food and great service. I parked up near the Church and Joseph Smith stuff, and walked about half a mile down to the restaurant. When I was initially driving into Salt Lake City, I was surprised by how warm and familiar it felt. It had a Scranton feel - not huge. It felt pristine and friendly, like nothing could be wrong here (can you tell I've been away from Scranton long enough to romanticize it?) But as I walked down several blocks away from the main tourist attractions, I was floored by the homeless population. Homelessness has been obvious to me across the country. It's not just a California problem, or even a "big city" problem. I wish we could figure it out.
After lunch, I walked back up to the tourist attractions, because I wanted to see what the Mormon life is all about. It's glittery. It looms large. The structures are beautiful. I finished out my work day in the cafe of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and then did a walkabout of the main events before heading back to my car, and driving to my first hike of the day.
Ensign Peak Trail and Overlook is a short but steep climb to the place where Brigham Young first overlooked the Salt Lake Valley and said "Dudes - this is it." Then a few days later, they planted an American flag there, and the rest is history. It was wonderful to be able to see the mountains, and the city, and the Salt Lake, although there was a lot of haze from the fires out here in the west.
After returning to my car, I drove to the trailhead for Heughs Canyon Trail and embarked on the craziest hike of the trip so far. This was long and steep, with some scrambling across rocks near the end. I've included a map for your perusal. I didn't finish what it denotes as the trail, but I got to a place where I couldn't make sense of what the trail was, and a hummingbird fluttered RIGHT IN FRONT of my face, as if to say "Turn back! Dragons be here." So, in light of her warning, and the daylight which was starting to linger, I gave in and didn't finish the trail. Success or failure, who can say. But, I didn't die from a rattlesnake bite or from falling down a rock ledge, so - just be happy.