Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Another Hike: Mill Creek Canyon in Snow

I mentioned a few posts ago that we flew out of SLC to San Diego for Thanksgiving leaving the town just ahead of a blizzard.
When we returned home five days later, it was still snowing outside and the world was buried in white.
FOCIT Tate couldn't seem to take his eyes off the scene outside.

Just to give you one kind of idea of how much snow was out there.

(Man! That's a lot of snow!  Glad I have my own litter box inside!)

Another way of demonstrating how much snow we had gotten:
The traditional hand against the snow picture.
It was Monday after the Thanksgiving day weekend and I still had a day off from work.

There was a break in the snow fall and I decided it would be just the perfect thing to head up into Mill Creek Canyon (the one about five minutes from our house) and see how the snow had changed the landsc
Want to come along with me on my hike?
I promise you, it will get you in the mood for a Winter White Christmas.

Only a couple of weeks before I had photographed this road winding between bright fall colored trees. 

Ditto this road side stream.

The sound of running water is quite chilling, but nice.

The Scout campground and cabins now looked quite picturesque in the snow.

(This is the rest of the scene that is my most recent blog header.)

Do you remember seeing this bridge surrounded in autumn splendor?
Now I think I prefer how it looks in snow.

Come summer I think I shall attempt to wade here.

For now, jcrossing the bridge is a more daunting proposition.
Heck, even getting this close to the bridge is a real adventure.
The snow was above my knees, and I was wearing snow boots and jeans, not expecting to be pushing through such deep snow.

I dared not get too close to the stream edges; it was impossible to tell where I might sink in to a semi frozen bank and trip into the icy water.

In the mood for a picnic? 
Inside, back in the car, not here of course.

Christmas card picture worthy, right?

And there's a nicely flocked Christmas tree.

But other trees looked as though someone had gotten carried away with the spray on snow. It is just such a fine line between just enough flocking and way, way too much flocking. 
Even happens when the flocking is real snow sometimes, don't you think? cocoa with marshmallows would be good about now.
Wonder why I suddenly started thinking about marshmallow?

Each step was an adventure since I had no idea if the snow was on a path, or covering some bush.  In this case...well, I still don't know exactly what that thing was.

More traditional hand against the snow shot for the record.

I knew what this was: a fire ring.
It reminded me of a special kind of sponge.
Anyone else remember using those sponges that were briefly on the market?
(Either you do or you don't....I was bummed when they were no longer available.)

An icicle ruffle!

I wondered if the other footprints on this path belonged to a photographer as well.

I had a mad desire to drive home and get a Christmas wreath to hang on this bridge.

I had taken this same shot when fall leaves of every color speckled the rocks beneath the water.

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I wasn't kidding about the snow being above my knee.
Snowshoes are on my Christmas wish list after this walk.

Actually, this is the blog header shot.  Doesn't it look like a painting? 

Hiking back, another try at picturing the stone bridge just right.

This tall tree was a solitary blaze of color a few weeks ago.

The tree was just across from the Mill Creek Inn, a popular restaurant for romantic events. 
The one young woman who accepted a proposal here from a handsome Marine should consider re-visiting the place in winter some day.

The small bench out front, just big enough for two is not quite so inviting now.  Tiny twin trees seem to be watching over it, awaiting more romantic scenes in the future.

Since it was Monday, the restaurant was closed so I could take a bit of a peek inside.  I didn't get too close though...those icicles looked dangerous.

I was able to take the icicle picture from the safety of the decked out porch.

I personally had never seen icicles this long before.

Oh to be inside when the sun would hit the icicles; they must sparkle quite brilliantly in sunlight.

I'm still waiting for my invitation to dine here...hint hint...

Anyone recognize this stream sight?
One stream running sideways into another stream?

Yes, once again, the first hike I ever took here began at this trail head.
It is Porter Fork!

And across the way is the landmark that I never get tired of photographing through the seasons.

Sometimes the stream is surrounded by wildflowers, sometimes with colorful leaves and now with snow, of course.

I also never tire of how beautiful bare branches look etched in snow against the sky.

Just a tiny lingering bit of summer's wild roses, going now to late seed.

Seriously, I love photographing this thing.

It probably has a name....and I should plan to actually hike up to it next summer.

The only people I saw were the die hard sporty types.
They had parked at the gate that leads up to the top of Mill Creek Canyon.
The road up is changed into a snow shoe/Cross Country ski run in winter.
I had to laugh...there was a new born baby mewling inside this snow carriage.
Mom and Dad were planning of CC skiing with their newborn.
From the kid's wails, I think he/she would have rather stayed in the womb...or gone to Hawaii instead.
Silly parents. Wouldn't it have been more fun to cuddle the babe before a warm fire, singing lullabyes and perhaps decorating the baby's first Christmas tree?

The whole two hours I was in the canyon there was snow flakes dusting me, and fog fought with sunshine, making distance vistas look soft and mystical.

I still don't understand how snow can cover running water like this.

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Can't you picture a one horse open sleigh being trotted across this bridge?

A snow hamburger bun for those who wish to use the grill to make an imaginary snow hamburger.

Isn't the snow covered bit on the side of the bridge and the curved snow build up on the fencing facinating?

Take a closer look!

Wispy branches dangle between me and the stream.

With the leaves cleared, more of the landscape can be seen.

Just so you can know that Mill Creek Canyon is also part of our National Forest.

Another favorite scene to photograph.

Isn't this (rabid?) dog a beauty?
Actually I watched him nosing around in the snow at a distance and was quite amused at his snow trimmed muzzle and whiskers.  His owner was enjoying skiing along with him,

One last shot of the Canyon landscape...

Then  a quick drive home, where the snow lady is nearly up to her bustle in snow, and my across the street neighbor's lacy house trim looks like it was somehow made from snow too.

Today, a week later, the snow is almost all gone.
I still have not had my fill of snow; this girl is hoping for a White Christmas too!


RH (aka Lucy) said...

Oh man! It is so beautiful. Wish I was there. And the Mill Creek Inn? I'd stay there anytime...even sans proposal. I'm beyond even wanting the prop. anymore. I'll take a room with a fireplace and a good snowstorm.

Vee said...

Each and every one is worthy of a Christmas card.

What I find remarkable is that you are out in the middle of it, even wishing to decorate it all further. I'd be back at the cozy home with the pretty cat. And now I'm so glad that my parents were the same way.

The restaurant is beautiful, but those icicles represent some serious heat loss along the roofline. I'm sure that they're well aware of it and do stay away from them...they're treacherous.

Lovella ♥ said...

Oh man is right. We have nothing but rain here now. It is pouring and 10 C. There is no snow in our future. . but I guess that is the way it is living in Canada.
The icicle pictures were my favorite. It brought be back to my childhood when we would break those huge things off the house. Since then. . .more insulation has been added to most homes.. . so we don't get to see that kind of energy wasting beauty.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

From sea to no time! What beauty you have documented...for the rest of us to see from our non-snowy locales. I think you live in the perfect spot to get in the Christmas spirit.

Islandsparrow said...

A winter wonderland! Send us some of that snow - we're getting the backside of Europe's snowstorms - and it's all rain and wind!

ellen b. said...

How wonderful to see all these snowy shots from the heated comfort of my family room!! Just gorgeous. Good for you and your adventurous spirit in heading out in the wild to shoot these shots for us to see. I will have to show Katie these great photos of the restaurant where her Marine proposed to here. Just fabulous... Blessings...

Vicki said...

So beautiful! Our temperatures have fallen to below freezing at night...aren't we entitled to a little snowfall?? Of course, the daytime temps have reached 55-60, so I guess it would vanish in a hurry. The temperature is falling rapidly again tonight; I'm glad I had on my fleece pull-over while I studied your snow pictures! Brrrrr!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I can't believe I was fortunate enough to go along with you on your two hour hike today. Wow!!! The photography skills you possess are amazing! Being a winter lover myself, you can imagine how excited I was to see these pictures. Not just one header picture, but many possibilities in this group of pictures. And yes, I remember the round sponges. Made me smile when I read of your memory of them in the middle of this post. I did not know that they had stopped making them.

Thank you for sharing real beauty with us today. I am sure hot chocolate tasted good after your long hike.

Vicki said...

I just had to come back for another blog-visit with FOCIT Tate...he is sooo adorable! Doc thinks so, too...he wants to come for another visit just to cuddle with the kitties! :)