Posts Tagged ‘Mount Ogden’

“Keep close to Nature’s heart … and break clear away once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

The view out the window of my RV, which is parked in a friend’s Ogden, Utah driveway. — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day 2            

Mount Ogden from downtown Ogden. — Photo by Pat Bean

Once I crossed Rattlesnake Pass on Highway 84 in Northern Utah, I began watching for a sight I knew would lift my already high spirits even higher.

I recognized the canyon curve that would let me get my first glimpse of the Wasatch Mountains. My heart beat accelerated and my eyes dampened when these awesome peaks finally came into sight. It’s the reaction that always happens when I’ve been gone from the mountains for a while. It’s as if they share a piece of my soul.

I was raised in flat-country Texas, and was 14 before I ever saw my first mountain. Since then I’ve seen many mountains, but none that have left their mark so deeply on me as the Wasatch. The awesome peaks, which include Mount Ogden on which the 2002 Winter Olympic downhill races were run, are the western edge of the Rocky Mountain chain that stretches 3,000 miles, from northern British Columbia in Canada to New Mexico in the United States.


The view of Ben Lomond from my friend’s backyard. — Photo by Pat Bean

I first lived in their shadow in the early 1970s before returning to Texas. I missed these mountains so much that I jumped at the chance to leave my job at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to accept a job at the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah in the early 1980s. I then lived in their shadow r shadow for 25 years before I left them behind once again in 2004.            I’ve returned to visit them every year since, and each reunion has been precious to me. Now, as part of my road trip home, I will get to spend five days within their sight as I renew acquaintances with old friends. It makes for a slow start for my journey back to Texas but also the perfect start.

Book Report: Travels with Maggie is now at 44,372 words. Not much accomplished but it’s still moving forward.

The Wondering Wander’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: A Woman’s Story  http://tinyurl.com/97a9zr9 Eat the damn cake. This one’s for my women readers.

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 “Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!” – William Butler Yeats

Mount Ogden from 25th Street in Ogden. She holds a part of my soul. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

I’m in Ogden, Utah, in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains where I lived for a third of my life. It was a quick trip here from Lake Walcott State Park in Southern Idaho, where I’ve spent a leisurely summer volunteering as a campground host and enjoying Mother Nature’s daily gifts.

I know that when I leave Utah today this range of the great Rockies will be denied me for many months. And my heart is already feeling the loss.

Anywhere bluebonnets grow automatically goes on my favorite places list. Among them is Texas' Lake Colorado City State Park shown above. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I sold my home here, the one that got the Ogden Canyon winds each day as the mountains breathed in and out, seven years ago. I have no regrets. I’ve traveled all over the country half of each year, and spent the other half hopping between my children and grandchildren, most of whom are in Texas.

It’s been both great to spend time with loved ones, and great to travel this beautiful country of ours and take in its wonders. People often ask me what’s my favorite spot.

 It’s a question I find difficult to answer because immediately dozens of places pop into mind. I’ve found beauty in every state I’ve visited, and that now includes 47. My goal, since I’ve already visited Hawaii and Alaska, is to have visited all 50 of our states by the end of next year. 

Meanwhile, when I leave here tomorrow, I will leave a piece of my soul secreted away in the Wasatch Mountains that guard Ogden. .I trust the mountains to guard it well until I return and once again stand in their shadow. Just as I hope the bluebonnets of Texas will still remember me when I gaze upon them once again next spring.

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Mount Ogden as seen from 25th Street in Ogden, Utah. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” — John Muir

Travels With Maggie

I was born in Dallas, where the highest landmark around was a skyscraper. My first view of a mountain didn’t happen until I was 14, when my aunt and uncle took me on vacation with them to Sequoia National Park in California.

The high peaks, some still snow-covered although it was mid-summer, called out to me: You belong here, this is home. But it took another 10 years before I would visit them again, and just about as long again until I finally lived in their shadows.

I tell everybody that the only thing I miss since I sold my home, and got rid of possessions so I could live my dream of traveling the country in a 22-foot long RV, is my bathtub. That’s almost true. I miss the daily presence of the mountains, and one in particular more than any other.

Mount Ogden as seen from the backside. The far right peak was the start of the men's downhill ski race for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Mount Ogden, which stretches 9,570 feet toward the sky, was my backyard for over 20 years. I climbed the 10-mile round-trip to its top several times with Maggie’s predecessor, a blonde cocker spaniel named Peaches. She had 10 times more energy than Maggie ever did, but so did I in those days.

I learned to ski on Mount Ogden when I was 40. Her trails offered me peace after a stressful day as a newspaper city editor and land issue fodder for stories when I was the paper’s environmental reporter.

While she blocked me from enjoying sunrises, the golden glow cast on her by the sun sinking in the west frequently warmed my heart. She provided me with birds to watch, wildflowers to smell and, rippling streams that serenaded me on hikes.

Mount Ogden’s Snowbasin ski resort was also home for all the 2002 Winter Olympic downhill events. I walked the steep runs created for them with presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was then president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympics. Once, very slowly, I even skied the lower section of the women’s downhill run.

On first seeing Mount Ogden again, which I’ve done at least once yearly since going on the road seven years ago, she brings tears to my eyes, just as if she were my own mother whom I hadn’t seen for a long time. In a way that’s what she is.

Good mothers nurture their children. And Mount Ogden nurtures me.

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