Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sara's Visit Day Two: Timpanogas National Forest

It was a "just us girls" day. We lingered over breakfast, still hoping for a clearing sky as promised by the weather service. It stayed gray, so I packed a thermos of hot maple tea, cheese, cookies and assorted nuts, jackets and gloves, sent Sara to the empty house across the street to pick some tree ripened apples, and we were on our way.
I love going to Timpanogas; the jetting mountainsides provide wonderful backdrops for the seasonal changes below.

We stopped at Sawmill picnic ground and walked a bit after our long 45 minute drive.
Sara stopped and stared at the scenery overhead.

Doesn't see look like she was born for this seasonal scene with her red hair and green jacket?

We both wondered at the gaping hole on one mountainside. Sara asked if this area was near an earthquake fault line (only us Southern Californians would ponder that possibility.)

The answer: Yes.

It must have been quite a day when that house sized chunk of rock took a tumble.

As we drove higher, the color change became more pronounced.
The vistas became grander.
The road through the forest has lots of hairpin turns. Trail heads are marked, but not always immediately apparent when coming around a bend. I pulled over quickly when I spotted this trail, parked and we entered into an aspen grove via a semi-muddy narrow path.

It was utterly silent except the occasional sound of aspen quake. We saw a few moose tracks, but none were frolicking that morning.

The road through the forest is a narrow two lane affair with only occasional wide spots to allow parking.

Coming upon scenes like this resulted in me making a fast pull over, then the car doors would fly open and our cameras were switched on and raised as quickly as possible.

Then we stood still and took it all in.
Took another angle, then another and another...

Looking for the perfect photo composition: I think I found it with this shot.

What at a distance plants that appeared to be small brush were actually quite large trees.

Some clustered in rainbow-like color phases.

I had never seen color shaded acorns before. Aren't they usually just green, then butternut colored?
Apparently not.

A sign announcing that Cascade Springs was a mere seven miles up one way had me considering my options. It appeared to be down a roadway that lead through rather uncolorful topography. On the other hand....I had never seen Cascade Springs before.

What the heck...we had all days to explore the area.

I am so glad we did. The springs were amazing. An entire area of small waterfalls tumbling from one meadow like area to another, underground springs and snow melt combined to make streamlets wander swiftly through the land layers.

The colorful leaves added to the water's beauty.

The area had lots of vibrant red color changed leaves. Sara and I took lots of these kinds of pictures.

Interpretive signage informed me that the water was slightly warmer than normally be expected as the spring was being fed from two miles below the earth's surface. I had to find out for myself; a dip of my fingers proved that while the water wasn't warm it was definitely not as cold as the air around us. many beautiful sights all in one place.

The park service had built paths through and over the springs. I didn't hesitate to ask a photographer to shoot a picture of us two.
This was what the river looked like behind and below us from the bridge.

Walk, see, stop, shoot a picture....repeat.

After the Springs we headed back towards Mt. Timpanogas, where the view was the most amazing.

Focus on the fall colors...the red grove, or the golden aspen, or focus on the mountain with the wonderful snow etched stripes?

How to best frame the is SUCH a blessing to have the modern camera that lets me take as many shots as I want.

Then a turn to the left and there is another whole scene to consider.

Mountain snow lined stripes, trees in color banded stripes....I love it when the trees line up by color like that!
The mountain top clouds were being cloaked with misty veils; and each glance at them had me shooting yet another picture as the light and the shadows changed.
See the yellow aspen grove on the right? That give a good perspective to how large this mountain really was. The snow bed is there year around, and some say it is actually a glacier field.

Distant vistas white with snow, close up berries, equally white. Isn't it amazing how many colors berries come in?
Wouldn't white berries like these be wonderful in a bridal bouquet?

"Fall comes down from the mountain"
Sometimes it looks like fall comes down from the mountain via a winding path!
Where did all this color hide on top of the mountain before?
Did it seep out from the bottom edge of the rocky cliffs?
Or did the summer flowers melt into colors and run down the hillside?

In Provo Canyon we took another look at Bridal Veil Falls....
Wondered at the how it could be that the rocky layers could suddenly tip up at one point....

And I shot a picture of the Sara whose smile told me that she had had a most satisfying day!
(We drove home at around four...and upon seeing IKEA on the side of the freeway, Sara revealed that she had yet to visit my favorite store. Well that neglectful attitude was swiftly remedied: we swung in, shared a plate of Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce, mash potatoes and lingonberry soda and took a gander at all the colorful store products.
We had laughed together in the forest as we sipped our tea and munched our cookies while driving through the forest. Uber fit bikers huffed and puffed as they challenged themselves to bike up the steep hills; we knew we were having a lot more fun than they were.
We may not be cover girls for Women's Fitness magazine, but I think we really did have more fun doing the trip our way, cookies and Swedish meatball included!)


Pondside said...

What a beautiful part of the world you call home! Your day sounded perfect from start to finish. We've had a reprieve from the rain and are enjoying the same sort of gorgeous weather.
I've just done a catch-up on your posts - I'm so worry to read about your sweet Tig - we're still missing our Rosie. Doesn't the house feel empty when a beloved animal member is gone?

Lovella ♥ said...

Jill, No wonder your part of the world is a tourist destination. I always thought it was for a different reason and would have never considered travelling there until I knew you.
The last picture of Sarah is absolutely beautiful. Frame worthy.

ellen b. said...

Another great day out in the wild. Beautiful and interesting shots. You captured Sara well in that last photo.

Sara said...

Oh yeah! Our way was the best way to tour all that grandeur! You could start a little tour company and have a wonderful time like that almost every day...

Vicki said...

This makes me want to come back! We're already discussing it. :)

Love your new format, makes your gorgeous photos stand out.

Sara, you chose the perfect time to and the fall colors complement each other well.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

You do give the best tours!

Well...I have been to Ikea many a time...but have yet to eat anything there. So I am missing something?

Dawn said...

Gorgeous post!!!!
Glad you could reconnect with your friend.