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Posts Tagged ‘Wasatch Mountains’

In the summertime, the sun shines, the birds sing and the grass is green. Kids play out in the streets and in their yards until late in the evening. The sun does not set until late in the day, and even when it does, the light lingers in the sky at dusk.

As autumn rolls around, the leaves in the trees change color. They take on the most brilliant array of colors. The crisp evening air inspires romance and reminiscence of childhood memories of playing in piles of raked leaves. Pumpkins are carved, crops are harvested and parents prepare their children for another year of school.

The fall season eventually begins to wane, and here, in Logan, Utah, we taste winter sooner than the calendar foretells. Although the solstice is not until three quarters of the way through December, snow has already fallen several times upon Cache Valley. Coats and gloves, shovels and snow blowers, and even festive lights have been returned to circulation in preparation for another chilly winter season.

Yesterday (Nov. 23), a ferocious storm arrived on the coattails of a blustery, relentless wind. Schools closed early in anticipation of the cantankerous cries of old man winter. The howling wind blew snow in all directions but primarily horizontally. Those summer citizens, who revel in the sunny beauty that Cache Valley has to offer, may know that we see such storms, but it seems as though they may not fancy such frigid extremes.

After living in southeastern Utah, in a place where the sun never seems to go away and summer temperatures skyrocket, I find happiness in seeing blizzards such as the one that came yesterday. From the warmth of my home, I stood at the windows in awe of the spectacle that I beheld. Within an hour, the streets went from macadam black to wintry white. It seemed, at those moments, that if I saw a polar bear or penguins shuffling by, nothing would have been out of order.

I truly love the wide range of beauty that I have seen since I moved here. What a variety of adventures to be had! I’ve enjoyed summer hikes in Logan Canyon. I’ve enjoyed evening musicals and operatic matinees at the Ellen Eccles Theatre. I’ve discovered splendid venues for fun and affordable dates. I’ve seen the sun shine as it glistens on the pearly white, snowcapped Wellsville Mountains. Within the next few weeks, I will continue to explore the wonder of Cache Valley and eagerly report on my findings.

I must say, in light of the holidays, that I am truly thankful that I’ve been able to move to Cache Valley. I am undeniably grateful for all of the wonderful times that I have had here already, and I am sure there are many more to come. I say with confidence, to anyone who has the opportunity visit, or live here, this is a truly remarkable place. Thank you for reading…I will see you soon. Happy Thanksgiving!

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A few weeks ago, as I was making my voyage to Tony Grove, I drove past Wood Camp which is just beyond mile-marker 471, on Highway 89. Wood Camp is a tiny campsite adjacent to the Jardine Juniper trailhead.

“What is Jardine Juniper?” you may ask. After a little research in the Cache Trails guidebook that I recently attained through the Visitors Bureau, I learned that the Jardine Juniper is a roughly 1,500 year-old juniper tree. The amazing thing is that it is still alive.

I decided to make a trip to this natural wonder, the next Logan-Canyon-exhibition on my list of things to do. The hike is a 10-mile roundtrip in-and-out, with a loop at the top that offers two variations on approach and descent. I like to have company on longer hikes, so I took a friend to share the experience.

The beginning of the hike starts out in the typical lower elevation landscape of Logan Canyon. Before very long, the trail opens up into several aspen groves and a smattering of scenic clearings. Eventually, the majority of elevation is gained through a series of meandering, gradually inclining switchbacks that require only moderate exertion.

As the trail climbs up the mountain side, travelers will be met with dozens of breath-taking vistas. I was able to capture several photos of the Bear River Mountains and their accompanying valleys. After a little over two hours, we came around one final bend, and I knew instantly that I was looking at Jardine Juniper.

The entire hike was great, but the tree was epic. I’ve never seen a juniper tree anywhere near as large as this one. With every twist skyward you could imagine hundreds of years of bearing through harsh mountain conditions. The most poignant part about the spectacle is at the top of the tree, where one can clearly see that the tree is still alive, indicated by new growth.

After having lunch and capitalizing on photo opportunities, we signed the register at the end of the trail and headed back to Wood Camp. Along the way, we saw a handful of mountain-bikers climbing the trail. A couple of them mentioned they were getting a good workout. For those of you who enjoy a challenging bike ride, add Jardine Juniper to your list.

One thing I really liked about the Jardine Juniper trail was that it was not full of traffic. My friend and I were able to have a peaceful, serene and semi-secluded outdoor experience. I would recommend this hike to anyone with a moderate level of endurance and a love for exceptional, scenic beauty. If you decide to give this trail a go, maybe we’ll see each other out there!

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