Friday, October 26, 2007

Utah hiking - things that seemed a bit odd

I had a good vacation in Utah and did a lot of hiking, had good weather, and enjoyed myself a lot. I will write about some hikes later but for now wanted to mention some things which seemed a bit unusual to me.

On the Widforss trail along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, I saw 2 women pushing/hauling a baby stroller. The trail prohibited bicycles but didn't say hikers only so they may have felt it was okay. The trail was not very good for pushing a wheeled vehicle and they had had to lift it over logs at least 2 times before that. Baby seemed rather fussy about the whole procedure, unlike backpack babies which were all dozing.

I twice saw people take dogs on trails where they were specifically prohibited in National Parks. Both times the dogs were well behaved but still should not have been there. Once a large golden retriever on a leash, the other 2 small dogs carried papoose style in packs. I understand the frustration of having a well behaved dog and not being able to hike because the dog can't be left behind but still the owners should have found alternatives.

I saw lots of IMO less then optimal footwear for rocks and drop offs including thongs and high-heeled, slick soled sandals and cowboy boots. The most unusual however was a women wearing mukluks made of artificial materials on a trail when the weather was tee-shirt warm. She was doing okay but I would think it was very warm in the mukluks.

Lots of people hiking, in some cases for a few miles, in warm weather with only a 12 ounce bottle of water apiece. All the Visitor centers, trail guides, etc. stressed taking lots of water. I would guess these people came without any personal water containers and just bought a single bottle each. I would hate to see the same thing in hot weather.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Another try at Utah canyon hiking.

I will be heading to Utah to try hiking again starting this Saturday and have 2 weeks to enjoy myself. I'm hoping for nice weather, the weather around Seattle has been unusually wet and cold for this time of year. I plan to start at Arches and go to Zion with many stops between, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, and any other tempting spots. Hopefully I will do better at hiking than the last time I was there when I found it too hot and route finding difficult. I might branch out to other areas if I feel like doing so.

I'm also hoping to see some nice fall colors in the mountains. On my recent trip to Yellowstone it was a bit early for the best colors. However, I was rewarded while camping the last night, I was near Hebgen Lake, close enough to hear the geese and loons. Near dusk, I heard an elk bugling, the only one I heard this trip. I cautiously ventured out to a clearing hoping for a better view but not luck. I'm aware elk can be dangerous at this time of year, I've seen the videos on the YNP site and I watched an elk tear up a small tree. I didn't see the elk but he began bugling again after I went back to my campsite.