Monday, August 8, 2016
HOW-TO-GUIDE: Uinta Lakes Micro-adventure
Sometimes you don't have time for a full-blown adventure. No matter. Follow these seven easy tips and begin your journey toward outdoors expertise.
1) Preparation, preparation, preparation. Dig up a couple apples, a bag of sausage crumbles that's been sitting in the fridge for a suspiciously long time, and a half-eaten, half-stale tube of Pringles. Throw them in your backpack and pack up the rest of your gear. If you're doing this while half asleep at 4:30AM, all the better. Don't worry, you won't forget anything.
2) Scout out your route. Do exhaustive research on the area you're heading to. Namely, grab your map while filling your car with gas and look for places you haven't been before.
3) Don't forget about the red tape. A true veteran never carries cash, and tends to forget about the permit fee. No problem - just don't get caught. You'll pay double next time. Probably. Moreover, the trailhead is so busy you have to park a mile away and roadwalk to where the trail starts.
4) Choose your campsite carefully. Hike past the crowded, and beautiful Wall Lake. Climb over a beautiful pass and survey your kingdom. Throw down your shelter in a marginal spot right right as it's getting dark. Make sure you're camped close enough to the trail so night-hikers can wake you up with midnight conversations about laissez-faire approaches to dog training (see Tip #5)
5) Sleep soundly. Conveniently forget that you've had a giant Slurpee two days in a row and probably have developed a mild caffeine dependency. Wake up at midnight and toss around for a couple hours with a throbbing headache. Sleeping at 10,000 feet is great for ones head anyway.
6) Pay attention. As you saunter down the easy trail, be sure to stare off into space and miss the turnoff to a trail that may or may not exist. Neglect to realize this fact until you've gone a mile up a different trail. Stand there for fifteen minutes trying to decide whether it's worth a heinous bushwhack down a steep slope.
7) Respect the law. Hitchhike back to your car within eye-shot of a USFS ranger. He's too engrossed in his conversation with a tourist to care. Hopefully.
Sometimes the adventure isn't perfect. But at least it's an adventure. A micro-adventure.