Hiking on Pioneer Day | The Geneva Convention: Hiking on Pioneer Day

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hiking on Pioneer Day

I just came back from spending a couple of weeks in Utah. It's where James is from, and where his family lives, so although in my first 21 years of life, I spent exactly 24 hours there, in the past year, I've spent roughly a month in the Beehive state. (See previous visits here.)

On this most recent trip, I was around for "the biggest holiday of the year", known everywhere else as Thursday. In Utah, that Thursday was Pioneer Day, celebrating the day the early Mormons came over the mountains and decided that this patch of desert next to an extremely salty lake would be their paradise.

It's easy to question their judgment back then, but so many years later, it's a gamble that appears to have paid off. And much like the original Pioneers intended, it does sometimes feel like a different country than the one I live in.

But I digress.

The point here is that (according to James) two types of people live in Salt Lake City/Utah generally: Mormons, and non-Mormons who really like being outdoors. His family falls into the latter category, and although I can't say I fit into either of them, in the spirit of broadening my horizons and family togetherness, or something, I ventured forth with them for a good old fashioned Pioneer Day hike.

Hiking on Pioneer Day
Duck PondUtah Wildflowers
Big Cottonwood Canyon
Big Cottonwood Canyon
Birch Forest
Birch Forest
Birch Forest

Hiking is still not my favorite thing. We might as well get the bad stuff out of the way first, which includes the fact that I somehow got a sunburn despite putting on SPF 70 (twice!), and that after three days in Utah the altitude was still far too much for me. We stopped multiple times all the way up. I distinctly remember telling James to take my pulse, as it was running far too fast for me to count.

Fortunately, the good stuff is more numerous: we started the day at Silverfork Lodge, which serves a Huevos Rancheros that will totally take this girl up a mountain and back, impending heart attack or no. The scenery is unparalleled, especially that forest of birches. I didn't think something like that could happen outside of a movie set. The lake, ducks, and wild flowers were also fantastic. In addition to all this, we had the trail mostly to ourselves, which is always nice when the purpose of a hike is to get lost in nature.

All this to say that I'm still not much of a hiker, and god help James if he ever manages to bring me camping, but this wasn't bad!

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