Saturday, July 7, 2012

Headed West

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.

This week's destination was Deseret Peak. Just slightly shorter than the Pfeifferhorn, at 11,031 feet, Deseret Peak features fantastic views. Unlike the other hikes I've done so far, this peak is not in the Wasatch range. Instead, it's part of the Stansbury Range, which is the easternmost mountain chain of the Basin-and-Range physiographic region. What that means, for those of you who don't research geological provinces in your spare time, is that Deseret peak is a lot more isolated than are the peaks in the Wasatch, providing better views.

The views are what made this hike worth it; the hike itself wasn't at all challenging. Whoever made the trail must have been paid by the mile. Almost the entire trail consisted of switchbacks, even when they were completely unnecessary. The trail zig-zagged back and forth across a cirque up until it hit a ridgeline. After that, the trail got less insultingly easy; I saw a few "weekend warriors" in their jeans and brand-name polos really gasping for breath as they climbed the ridgeline toward the summit. But overall, it was easy; even at the high altitude I never maxed out my heart rate.

That brings me to this week's Utterly Impractical Hiking Item Of The Week. This week's winner is a pair of horses. You may say, "they sound like very useful Hiking Items". And you'd be right... for the riders at least. For the rest of us, horses are a huge pain in the butt (pun completely intended). You see, horses, unlike dogs, don't wander off the trail to do their duty. And when you think about how big a horse is, and how narrow the trail is... Suffice it to say that I played a lot of hop-scotch.

Above: view toward the Great Salt Desert with the Bonneville Salt Flats in the distance
Below: looking northeast toward the Great Salt Lake

Next week's update should be significant, assuming the weather cooperates. I have a couple ideas rattling around in the old brain. If anyone would like to recommend a hike to me, I'd love to hear it. Just leave it in the comments or email me.

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