Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Another hiker, the only one we saw on the hike, volunteered to take our picture.

Another hiker, the only one we saw on the hike, volunteered to take our picture.

            “Collect moments, not things.” – Unknown

A Hike for the Memory Bank

When my oldest son, D.C.  graduated from high school in Utah, he joined the Army, which sent him to Hawaii. Then he got married, had three kids, made the Army his career, had many tours of overseas duty, and when he was stateside, he and I never lived in the same state.


The waterfall. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The waterfall. — Photo by Pat Bean

He finally retired, and lately we’ve finally been able to spend more than just a day or two together maybe once a year. Not only did I get to have Thanksgiving with him and his family this year, he and I found time to take a hike together.             It was great easy trail,  with a waterfall at the end of a loop, turtles sunning themselves on logs and a suspension bridge across a river. Mother Nature kept calling me to look at this tree or that plant.

But it will now be awhile before I see D.C. and his family again. Gypsy Lee, Pepper and I are back on the road to visit another child. When you have five kids, as I did way too many years ago, and they all scatter to the five winds, that becomes a way of life.

The turtles. When I tried to get closer they dove beneath the water. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The turtles. When I tried to get closer they dove beneath the water. — Photo by Pat Bean

That’s why memories are important. And the photos I took of the hike will bring them back many times. I hope you don’t mind my sharing them with you.            Book Report: Stuck again. It seems the closer I get to the end of Travels with Maggie, the slower I get. What’s up with this I’m asking myself.

Bean’s Pat:  The Leisurely Life http://tinyurl.com/d6n8vue After the storm, birds and sunsets


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 “People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Blue Mesa Trail in Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

Blue Mesa

Big old petrified tree trunks like this is why it’s named Petrified Forest. — Photo by Pat Bean

I appreciate nature best when I can get up close and personal with it. I had that opportunity when I left Route 66 at the top of Windy Hill and hiked the Blue Mesa Trail.

The paved loop path, just a little over a mile long, drops about 100 feet down to the valley floor. It winds among the stratified rocks that tell 200-million-year-old stories, just as the petrified logs along the trail bear witness to an ancient forest.

Blue Mesa’s layered rocks contain 200-million years of the planet’s stories. — Photo by Pat Bean

A few people passed me on the hike, but mostly I had the trail to myself. It was an opportunity to drink in the peaceful stillness and ponder the creation of this landscape in which wind, water and the passing years were the artists.

My canine traveling companion, Pepper, greeted me as if I had been gone those 200 million years when I arrived back at our RV. I gave her treats and thought to myself that life couldn’t get any better.

Bean’s Pat: http://tinyurl.com/br2wub5 Take a walk with Mountain Mae.

*This recognition is merely this wandering/wondering old broad’s way of bringing attention to a blog I enjoyed – and thought perhaps my readers might, too. The Pat on the back is presented with no strings attached. May 29, patbean.wordpress.com


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“I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” –Lillian Smith

Looking down from the Island at the Green River -- or is it the Colorado. The Green joins the Colorado near here. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Canyonlands: Island in the Sky

This park, located near Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point Utah State Park and Moab — all fantastic things on any bucket list — is a great escape from our chaotic lives. I try never to miss it when I’m in the area.

I’ve never been there when it felt crowded. It has a  tiny campground, in which I’ve both tent and RV-camped, spectacular aerial views of the Green and Colorado rivers and a fairy land of rock formations.

If you go, don’t miss taking the Mesa Arch Trail. It’s only a short half-mile hike but the view at the end is awesome. Have Fun.

Bean’s Pat: A Year on the Road http://tinyurl.com/79ba6la Al’s a full-time RV-er like me. This column is simply full of trivia, but check out some of his back columns.  While I write more about Mother Nature’s landscapes, he focuses more on the people who inhabit the landscape.

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Looking UP to the journey’s destination

The beginning of the trail UP to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

Up high looking down

View from the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

These photos were taken in 2007. 

“We have not wings we cannot soar; but we have feet to scale and climb, by slow degrees, by more and more, the cloudy summits of our time.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  

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 “Age is opportunity no less

 Than youth itself, though in another dress

And as the evening twilight fades away,

 The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.

             — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Me in April, 2007, with Angel's Landing in the background. I made it to the top that year and two more years since then. My heart tells me I'll yet be up there again, just not this May. -- Photo by Kim Perrin

*Travels With Maggie

I walked the Parus Trail today. This paved path that crosses back and forth across the Virgin River was just what my body, which has been trying to heal a sprained shoulder since March, needed.

Although dogs are allowed on this one trail in Zion National Park, I didn’t take Maggie because I wanted to walk farther and faster than she prefers these days.

While I’m certainly no just-hatched bird, Maggie is 13, which in human years makes her about 91. The vet says she is in pretty good shape for her age, for which I’m thankful. It’s the same thing my doctor said to me at last year’s annual checkup.

Maggie’s been my faithful but spoiled traveling companion now for seven years, and just my spoiled pet for five years before that. I rescued her from an Ogden, Utah, animal shelter when she was a little over a year old.

 Back then she was timid, too submissive and frightened at the sight of a broom. The shelter said she had been abused. Today’s she not afraid of anything and expects to be treated like the queen she thinks she is.

While I was never abused as a child, I did survive some rough times, including growing up in an alcoholic family, being frequently accused of having cooties by school mates in elementary school and a disastrous too-young marriage.

Daisies growing along the Parus Trail brightened my walk this day. -- Photo by Pat Bean

But it’s not who you were, or how you were treated growing up, that counts. It’s you are today. And if you’ve survived past your 20s, then the only person responsible for who you are is you.

Not sure why my mind got going in this direction. Maybe because I walked the easy 3-mile flat Parus Trail today instead of hiking the 5-mile steep and strenuous Angel’s Landing Trail that I always do when coming to Zion.

I could whine about disappointing myself, or be grateful for what I can still do. I’d like to say I was grateful, and I can certainly do that.

 But I whined, too. Who I was today, physically speaking, wasn’t who I wanted to be.

I guess age and health get a say in who we are at some point in our lives.

Dookie! Dookie! Dookie!

*Day 16 of my journey, May 4, 2011

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I found the brown seed pods of the yucca plant as beautiful in their own way as the tall white blossoms that would burst forth when spring finally came to Lathrop State Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Who can not hear the honk of wild geese flying overhead and not yearn to be up there with them. Not I. -- Photo by Alan D. Wilson


 “There must be a positive and negative in everything in the universe in order to complete a circuit or circle, without which there would be no activity, no motion.” John McDonald

Travels With Maggie*

Before leaving Lathrop State Park this morning, Maggie and I took a walk along the park’s Hogback Trail. The path was heavily dotted with juniper trees, some full of berries, and yucca plants full of left-over brown seed pods. The few oaks we passed were still leafless.

That’s because winter still ruled this 6,500-foot elevation Colorado Park, where sparse sprinkles of snow fell during the night. I suspected it would still be awhile before the yucca plants’ tall white blossoms showed themselves to the world.

Maggie and I startled a couple of deer as we came around the corner, although they took their time in scampering away, as if knowing we meant them no harm. Maggie has never shown an interest in deer. Her preferred animal to chase are lizards, to the point that she once followed them into a mass of cactus, with the expected result.

We also passed sandstone boulders, whose pinkish orange and pale brown hued surfaces showed patterns of their life long ago beneath the sea. Lichens added more color to the rocks and would eventually wear them back down to the sand they were before pressure glued the grains together.

It seems Mother Nature is always pointing out to us that life is indeed a circle, just as in Disney’s “The Lion King.”  The more I travel and observe the more I know this is true.

Back at the RV, Maggie and I drove around the park for one last look at this stunning place with twin lakes, Martin and Horseshoe, that sits in the shadow of the Spanish Peaks. If I hadn’t planned on meeting up with a friend at Zion National Park on the 29th, I would definitely have stayed longer.

The park’s parting gift to us was a flock of honking geese flying overhead. Maggie was already snoozing and didn’t hear them, but they sounded to me like the opening prelude to the day’s travel ahead. I was eager to begin the adventure.

Day 7 of the Journey, April 25, 2011

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A lofty observation tower provides a spectacular view of Niagara Falls. -- Photo by Pat Bean

What’s your favorite waterfall?


“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” — John Muir

Travels With Maggie

 There’s a large Barnes and Noble located on Interstate 15 between Ogden and Salt Lake City. I drove by it frequently when I lived in Utah. Well, not exactly by it. Whatever vehicle I was driving, as if programmed, always took the turn leading into the bookstore’s parking lot.

Gypsy Lee, my RV, does the same thing these days for waterfalls. In fact, it will even detour many miles for a view of falling water.

OK! I admit it. I’m the vehicle programmer. The four-wheels moving my dog, Maggie, and I along only go where I tell them to go. But rarely do they pass up an opportunity to let me walk the aisles of a bookstore – Back of Beyond Books in Moab, Utah, is one of my favorites – or gaze at the tinkling splash of falling water, be it the thunderous Niagara Falls or the less noisy Firehole Falls in Yellowstone National Park.

Multnomah Falls just off Interstate 84 outside of Portland, Oregon, is one of my very favorite waterfalls. -- Photo by Kevin Kay.

While books open up the world of reality and imagination to our minds, waterfalls unfold one’s soul to magic. While logic tells us it’s simply water falling from someplace above, it appears to be so much more. I see waterfalls as Mother Nature showing off, the equivalent of a rainbow in the sky.

More importantly, a waterfall’s symphony of water pinging off rocks and into a pool below never fails to calm my spirit. You should envy me if a waterfall’s wonder doesn’t touch you in a similar way, too.

Now here’s 10 of my favorite waterfalls to add to your bucket list.

Shoshone Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho.

Multnomah Falls, Highway 84, 30 minutes from Portland, Oregon.

Yellowstone Falls, Firehole Falls and Lewis Falls, Yellowstone Falls National Park, Wyoming

Niagara Falls, New York/Canada

Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park, Texas

Upper Emerald Pools’ waterfalls, Zion National Park, Utah

St. Mary’s Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana

Natural Falls, Natural Falls State Park, Oklahoma

Bridal Veil Falls, Provo Canyon, Utah

Bridal Veil Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

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Maggie leads the way during our Ogden Mountain bench trail hike ... Photo by Pat Bean

“True friends are the ones who never leave your heart, even if they leave your life for awhile.” Author unknown

Days 22-25

Catching up with the lives of old friends and renewing my bond with the Wasatch Mountains has kept me busy the past few days.

The Wasatch Mountains wore a misty hat the day we hiked the Ogden River Parkway ... Photo by Pat Bean

On my first full day in town, my friend Kim and I hiked an Ogden Mountain bench trail, one that held many memories for me. The mile and three-quarter loop was one I walked many afternoons to shake off the stress of my city editor job at the Standard-Examiner. 


Yellow and purple wildflowers brightened the trail this day, while scrub jays, black-headed grosbeaks and western kingbirds followed our passage. The scrub jay and grosbeak were the first for my annual bird list. Western kingbirds had followed me all the way from Texas to Utah.

A couple of days later, after a rainy day that left the mountain trails muddy, Kim and I hiked the Ogden River Parkway. We began the paved trail at Monroe Boulevard and followed it for a mile and a half to the mouth of Ogden Canyon. Western bluebirds, western kingbirds and mallards trailed along beside us.

Mallards along the Ogden River Parkway ... Photo by Pat Bean

Rainbow Gardens, both a gift shop and a restaurant, marked the end of the parkway, enticing us to stop awhile to browse and eat  before walking back to our vehicle. When my mother had been alive, this was her favorite place in Ogden to eat.  She always ordered the Gabby Crabby. I ordered the same in her memory.

From hiking, to staying up late one night drinking Jack Daniels and chatting in rapid pace with my friend Kim, to revisiting the newspaper where I worked for 25 years, to eating at familiar places, this visit seemed to be all about memories.

I’m glad I’m still making them. The past can be a pleasant place to revisit, but it’s not a place to live.

Copyrighted by Pat Bean

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