August 05, 2003


Wife and I have enjoyed another day in the alpine wilderness just East of Salt Lake City. Today's adventure: After a morning of laying vinyl floor tile (what … that’s not what you do on your vacation?), we made the 3-mile hike to and from Brighton’s Twin Lakes.

The sky is a different color of blue here. It is a brilliant, crystalline blue, bordering on cobalt, the happy product of high altitude and low humidity (as in all my posts, click the pic for a larger image).

It literally throws sunshine at you, this sky, and brings all you see into sharp relief.

Under that sky lie the meadows around Silver Lake, which are rich with summer’s wildflowers, and the lake's wetlands, which offer a wholly unique and striking juxtaposition: the clear, bracing mountain water, lapping at the flowing texture of the cattails and grasses, which give way to the reaching greens of the evergreens and aspens.

It’s a wonderful, beautiful place, all the more amazing for its proximity, with these vistas slumbering only 20 minutes from the pace and commerce of Salt Lake City. I grew up here and visit often, yet with each return I’m surprised by the beauty … it’s as if the normal nature of memory is turned on its head, with the substance of the thing being more grand in reality than is the memory in reflection.

I’m always surprised, too, that more people aren’t swarming the hills, and with each visit I calibrate my internal barometer of usage: “Are there more people here now than the last trip? Is this busy or slow for a week day? How much trash did we retrieve?”

I know the rapidly growing population of Salt Lake will continue to find this place. It’s simply too near, too easy, and too beautiful, and Salt Lake’s birth rate is simply too high. But I also hope all those seven- and eight-year-olds I see tromping into Target and McDonald’s and down the Silver Lake trail will know a blessing of nature when they see one, and that they’ll offer proper stewardship of its resources. True, a part of me doubts they will, but Salt Lake seems to be doing well so far, and there are plenty of folks around who love the mountains to offer sound counsel.

But in the end, that’s the central issue. It’s a long way from Detroit, this place. I hope the people of Utah will keep it that way. In the meantime, we’ll continue to hike, taking all the sun the sky can throw our way, fingers crossed.

Posted by Avocare at August 5, 2003 12:38 AM | TrackBack

Are you Mormon?

Posted by: Scooter at August 5, 2003 09:38 AM
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