Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

I like to Run Insanely Long & Crazy Distances                                                                                                             Pony Express Trail 100

July 12, 2003

Saturday morning I did a solo 25-mile hike in the Uintas.  I attacked them from the South, starting at the Grandview Trailhead at 5:30 a.m., hiking up to Hades Pass, and then down in the Grandaddy Basin, full of lakes and timber.  I made my way up to the Four Lakes region, still felt great, so went all the way up to Rock Sea pass (11,300).  Wonderful views up there.  I didn’t see a single soul on the way up.  I turned around and went back the same way.  I didn’t push it too hard, went for the distance.  Four hours out and four hours back, made it to the car at 2 p.m.  Plenty of up and down, about 4,000 feet up overall.  The mosquitoes were pretty blood-thirsty…forgot the spray, so had to keep on the move, most of the time.  Great temperatures.
It was a great workout and I survived very well, not much soreness anywhere.  The knee was complaining somewhat the last five miles.  The feet came out great, thanks to a new pair of trail running shoes. When I reached the trailhead, a ranger was there.  She could tell that I was beat and asked if I went to Grandaddy lake and turned back (about an eight mile hike).  I informed her that I went all the way to Rock Sea pass.  “As a day hike?!!”  She was shocked and amazed.  Pretty funny.

March 8, 2003

Saturday was very warm, the warmest weekend of the year so far.  At 11:00 a.m., I left home and traveled to the north end of Cedar Valley, trying to find a route up to look over the copper mines.  I found the road to west canyon, but was disappointed to see signs warning of private property.  I parked the car and decided to head up the public road at least until reaching the gate.  It was a pretty valley, very peaceful without ATVer and shooters.  When I reached the gate, I decided to continue up West Canyon.  After awhile the melting snow on the road was deeper and the mud became a definite problem as I was reaching 6,000 feet elevation, forcing me to head back.  The run back to the car was nice, about a total run of six miles.  I didn’t feel very tired at all and wanted to find something else.   I drove further north, but it was evident that I would hit Camp Williams property and I had no desire to run up against Army guys.

I headed toward Cedar Fort and finally found a dirt road with no private signs that appeared to head up Four Mile Canyon.  Off I went.  The first mile or so was barren desert, but the road soon brought me up into the cedars.  The climb became steeper and I soon had a great view of the valley and could even see into Utah County.   But as I reached 6,000 feet elevation, again the mud became too annoying and I felt fatigued anyway, so back I went back with a nice run down, again a six-mile adventure.

February 8, 2003

The weather turned very cold during the week, so early morning runs just didn’t make sense.  Saturday turned out to be a beautiful, cold, sunny day.  In the afternoon, during the BYU-Wyoming basketball game, I decided to do a run through the foothills that separate Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain.  The temperature was great, upper 20’s near 30.  I was surprised how good the legs felt.  I was able to keep a run going almost the whole three hours I was out there.

My run started from home, and took me along the base of Lake Mountain, heading west.  I found a road that headed took me half-way up the western ridge, and then I bushwhacked to the top.  Much of the ridge scrub cedar had been thinned out and taken for firewood.  When I reached the top, I took in a nice view to the east of Utah County.  I next headed over the ridge and dipped down into a valley that I didn’t know existed.  It was a nice open valley with plowed farmland.  The road took me north for a mile or so and then headed me toward a canyon leading out toward Cedar Valley.  When I existed the canyon, I could see the Eagle Mountain city center off to the south-west.  I was amazed how much it has grown in the past couple years, even a chapel.  I headed north on the dirt road that connects Eagle Mountain to the Ranches, but I quickly found that to be dull as a car passed me by.  So I headed up a 4WD road taking up to the top a high knoll, giving me a nice view of Cedar Valley and the Ranches to the north.  

From there I headed north-east going up and down foot-hills, crossing a recently buried massive natural gas pipe line that extends clear into Salt Lake County.  It went up and down the foothills and required raping the ground for about 200 feet across.  They did attempt to help the environment by laying down straw and using burlap to help erosion areas.  Quite a project. 

Feeling great still, I decided to take a longer route and headed down a canyon, leading me to the edge of the Ranches…quite a community, with two chapels and a school.  With no desire to run roads, I ran a trail along the powerlines and then looped around heading southwest to spill out on a dirt road running south along the base of the ridge, giving me a view of Saratoga Springs, the huge Church farmland, and Utah Lake.  I completed the loop and then finished by running 2.5 east, back to home.  There were several groups along that road who were shooting guns which made me nervous going by.  One group was actually shooting toward the road, although a small hill was their backdrop.  I wish they would go further away from the communities.  It was a great run!

February 1, 2003

We were in a winter heat wave.  With the temperatures pushing toward 60 degrees, I had to go out and do a quick hike.  I had been battling a mile cold all week, but felt good enough to give it a try. 

I again hiked up Lake Mountain, behind our house.  I was determined this time to go all the way to the radio towers at the top.  I started at 5,100 feet elevation.  The road was pretty muddy in spots but there was still slushy snow in Israel Canyon.  Small streams of water was flowing in the road and occasionally could be heard down in the bottom of the stream bed.  With the mild temperatures, this was a T-shirt, shorts hike, until the top which was very windy.  The occasional muddy footing slowed the pace down, but it was still a good workout to the top.

The top was incredible.  Paul, Ed, and I came near the top a month earlier and should have taken the extra fifteen minutes to go to the top for the view.  I could see all of Utah County from up there.  It was an incredible view, with a totally different perspective looking down from the west.  I was amazed how large the Alpine/Cedar Hill/Highland are looked…packed with houses.  The top was at 7,700 feet elevation, so the hike was a 2,600 foot climb, pretty steep.  The run down was fast, and the eight-mile adventure took about two hours.

Oquirrh Moutains

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January 25, 2003

Saturday morning a group of us participated in a strenuous ten-mile hike in Ophir Canyon, in the Oquirrh Mountains.  This was a repeat of my Monday trip, with a goal to go all the way to the top.  Victims included myself, Ed Johnson, Pablo Riboldi, and David Hansen.  We hit the trail at 7:30 a.m. with snow flurries for the first hour.  I was concerned about slick trails and my worry was confirmed as David Hansen fell down right after getting out of the car.  The starting temperature was about 30 degrees. Two inches of additional snow had fallen since Monday.

We started out tentatively, going up the South Fork 4WD road.  David hiked in boots, and never broke into a run during the hike, but traveled fast.  Ed and I got the pace going, but would stop to wait for the others.  I had bought another pair of “feet snow chains” for Ed to use and he offered them to Pablo, which greatly helped.  Pablo was then able to join in the runs.  We cruised through aspen groves and desert landscapes, waiting a couple times for David to catch up.  The road became steeper so I hung back with David. Ed and Pablo kept the pace up.  We covered the three miles to Halls Basin in about one hour and fifteen minutes, climbing 2000 vertical feet.

We then discussed how to reach a nearby summit. David Hansen, of course, helped us understand that the only correct strategy was to head straight up. David pulled us to the top, a 9830-foot unnamed summit on the Tooele/Utah counties border, about a mile northwest of Flat Top Mountain, and south of Dead Ox Pass.  This climb was tough.  I felt the elevation and became fatigued.  We had to dodge scrub brush, and find footing in snow.
The clouds blew out and we had beautiful sunshine, with views into Salt Lake County to the northeast (Herriman), Utah County to the east (top of Timp poking through the clouds), and Tooele County to the west.  We decided to take another route down from the summit and ended up plowing through some challenging stretches of knee-deep and waist-deep snow to Halls Basin.  We found another cabin, a bigger one which was unlocked and very nice.  We recovered from the snow hike, changed socks and prepared for the run down.

The rest of the way was a quick three-mile run.  We finishing at 11 a.m, David arriving about 15 minutes later.  The vertical feet up for this event was 3,100.  We all survived well, stayed warm, and had a great time.

January 18, 2003

On Saturday I did a solo 13-mile out-and-back hike/run through Broad Canyon in the Tintic Mountains.  This mountain range is 22 miles to the southeast from my home. The run in was via a full moon, pretty cool.  I reached the pass at 7,000 feet near sunrise (very nice) with a great view of Timp off in the distance.  I hit packed snow and ice on the way up, but I stopped to put on “foot snow chains” (cool cables from REI that wrap onto the bottoms of your shows).  I was amazed at the excellent footing, even on slick ice.  Near the top I took a mile side trip to Hot Stuff Mine, trudging through unpacked foot-deep snow.  It was sometimes packed down by lots of game (deer, elk, etc).  The mine was blasted closed, just a hole.  The run down was quick, and I reached the car at 9:30 a.m.  Luckily, it wasn’t stolen.  Not a human to be seen the whole time.  Temperatures were nippy, in the mid-20s.

January 4, 2003

This hike was costly.  While scouting out this hike earlier in the week, I punctured my oil filter, lost all my oil and seized the engine on the Stratus…a total loss.  Luckily the car insurance covered the loss, minus $1,000 deductible.

Paul Hansen, Ed Johnson, and I participated on this run.  We did a 12-mile route up and over Lake Mountain, which is the mountain on the west side of Utah Lake near my home.  The elevation climb was about 2500 feet over a seven-mile stretch.  The trail was a 4WD road, about 8 miles of which was packed, dry snow.  Footing was excellent, the packed snow felt great to run on.  Temperatures were 25-30…still pretty pleasant. We all stayed very warm.  We completed the run in 2.5 hours.  We had to shuttle a car, but arrived home by 10:30 a.m.  It was a good work out.  Afterwards we hit the pool.

 December 28, 2002 – 15  miles

Three weeks went by and I felt ready for another hike.  We had a great 15-mile hike/run. Participants were: myself, Ed Johnson, Pablo Riboldi, and Paul Hansen.  We hiked in the far southwest corner of Zion National Park, through Huber Wash, petrified forest, and Coalpits Wash. 

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