It was beautiful weather this past Sunday and I decided to get out in it! I started out on Sunday not knowing where I would end up. My usual hiking partner, E., wasn't with me. So I embarked "not knowing beforehand where I should go..." It was a cool, crisp day and the sky was a bright blue. I knew that I wanted this day to be a part of my memory. As I drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon, I saw some cars parked in front of a sign. I decided to check it out!
It was a really cute picnic area, with lots of mossy rocks in ledges and the creek rapidly flowing in the background. It was a great find for a barbeque with the family someday, but not much of a hike. I kept moving.
Next, I came to a much bigger parking lot. I parked my car and entered the Trailhead area.
This is a beautifully paved road by the creek which I assume is Mill Creek. It has several paths that branch off from the main trail.
I decided to take the trail that goes to Lake Blanche. It was only 2.8 miles. That was perfect. I didn't have any water or hiking shoes, but that seemed like a do-able distance. And the backdrop of Twin Peaks looked so pretty. I set off.
I walked and walked. I met a few people coming down. I kept asking, "Did you get to the lake?" They all said "No, we thought it was around 2 miles, but we never saw one. We gave up and came back." I kept walking. I saw some beautiful stuff! Like this:
But no lake. Did I take a wrong turn? I was really getting thirsty too! I ran into more people coming down who had talked to some other people who said the lake was still waaaaay up there. I kept walking. I was fixated on seeing this lake. The scenery only got better. It spurred me on!
I really wish I had the internet on my phone b/c I could have punched in Google Earth and maybe have gotten some coordinates to where I was and how much further this darn lake was. But I'm so old school! Heck, I still have an MP3 player instead of an ipod.
I started going up some extremely steep terrain and I started to feel my system kind of shutting down. I just knew that it couldn't be far, though. It was just before 5 pm. I had been going since 3:30. I needed to see the lake! More people came down and some said I was near. I kept stopping more and more to get my breath. I felt winded and weak. Two ladies came by and I asked them how much further to the lake. They said it was fairly close but it would take them about an hour to get back to the lake from where we were. Well, they obviously weren't avid hikers, it's true, but an hour? Plus they said they were the last ones to leave the area. No one else was up there. OK, that was kind of scaring me. I've heard the stories of the gung ho hikers going too far and ending up getting lost, stranded, hurt, or even worse. I didn't want that to be me. Not today. I struggled on a little more and then I decided to give up. I turned back and made it down the hill in really quick time, leaving the ladies I talked to far behind. It made me wonder how really close I actually must have been. So, while I didn't see the lake, I did see this:
So I'm not disappointed in my hike at all. Maybe next time I'll be a little more prepared and know a little bit more about the trail I'm taking.
Isn't that the way it is with life? We all basically start out on a course called our life's journey! As we progress along the journey we run into hardships, obstacles and things that aren't really clear. We'll all complete the journey somehow, but some will reach their desired destination and others won't. Maybe it depends on just a few things like preparation, good direction, resources or strength. I've decided that whatever has been my lot on my journey, the one thing I can be is grateful! I can be grateful for the beautiful things I experience on my own journey in life! Maybe it isn't exactly what I had expected, hoped for or planned. But I can't deny that there have been and are many beautiful things that are in my life every single day! Why should I regret or be sorry for what I might not have done or achieved? There is too much abundance in my life for self-reproach!
I am almost always up for a new experience for my taste palette! I consider myself rather adventurous and unencumbered from culinary prejudices and assumptions. So when I heard about this great new restaurant called El Jaripeo in Salt Lake City on Redwood Road, I was rather interested! I hear that people drive for miles from all over the state to get this authentic Mexican food. Now, I hear this term "authentic" Mexican food tossed around a lot. I hear my fellow gringos talking about how they can really appreciate the authentic food and that they don't succumb to the poor imitation, the generic and the counterfeit stuff thrown out to the public at Taco Bell-esque type lunch counters. They brandish about their superior knowledge of what a good Mexican restaurant should look like, and what the food should taste like! I've heard that you want to go to the small, little establishments to get a really authentic chalupa or burrito. And generally, I listen! I really feel like they know what they are talking about...up to a point!
I'm just not sure what they might think about El Jaripeo! This is, in my opinion, a truly authentic Mexican Restauraunt. Granted, it's food from a specific province of Mexico, Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. The people In Oaxaca are country folk, even indigenous. They live in one of the most rugged and isolating terrains in the country, but also boast a major resort on its coastline called Huatulco. With that in mind, what kind of foods would be found in that region? Well...grasshopper, for one thing. The children run around the fields and collect them for their families. To cook. To eat. They are toasted and put into food as protein and tasty treats! Hey, I'm not knocking it....After all, John the Baptist had them! Hopefully HE was able to toast them too! Well, that is one of the esteemed dishes served at El Jaripeo and people are raving about it. Another interesting dish served here is Mole. What? You heard me....Mole in a sauce..Also the cactus dishes are another specialty that people rave about. I'm very curious about this place and I MAY just venture out. I'll let you know if I do.