Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Old Ephraim's Grave

12 mile hike?  No problem.
{We're the Likin' Hikin' Ladies and we're tough.}
On this day 7 hiking friends made the trek to
Old Ephraim's Grave.
We logged 27,385 steps averaging 27 minutes per mile reaching an elevation of 7,318 feet.
The hike provided a moderately long loop (we won't talk about a steep dirt road!).
Our journey began off Right Hand Fork past Camp Lomia.  About 0.4 miles hiking along the creek we passed the mouth of Ricks Canyon which is also the end of the return route.  We continued on to Willow Creek trail.  From there we hiked through beautiful aspens, enjoyed beautiful flowers, and scenic views.
These fallen aspens reminded us of the game Pick-Up-Sticks.
Kathryn did a great Vanna White impression showing us the tree sculpture. 
We saw lots of butterflies of all colors and sizes along the trail.
The beautiful Sky Rocket flower.
Yellow Monkey Flower
In 1999 the Forest Service constructed a new trail off Willow Creek, called
Ephraim's Cut-Off,
providing a shorter route.  Apparently Jordanne and Laurie thought
this would be a great place to make faces at one another.

Speaking of Willow Creek...
Did you know the trail up Willow Creek was the original wagon road over to Bear Lake
before the present Logan Canyon road was developed?  Yep, it's true.
This big rock might be a sweet reminder for some of the Ladies
of a recent hike to
Willow Creek - Little Cottonwood. 
Does the word "Lost" ring a bell?
They should have turned left when they turned right. 
But never fear...
Our fearless leader, Nan, soon found them. 
Today we were all together and hiking in the right direction
The route eventually became a bit steep with several cairns marking the way as we gained elevation.
It takes a bit of creativity and a whole lot of energy to climb up here and build a cairn.
We were thankful someone did because they lead the way up a fairly steep incline.
In time we came to the sink hole of all sink holes, at least on our hikes.
It's hard to miss not only because of its size but the sink hole is immediately off to the left of the trail.
We have a favorite sink hole we snowshoe to in the winter and play in the snow.
This is NOT it!
However this impressive sink hole has a depth of 120 feet. 
No we did not measure the massive hole in the mountain but read about it later.
We were a little nervous to stand too close but we couldn't help but be
drawn to its size.  After tossing in a few rocks and taking pictures it was time to move on.
Nan never tires of pulling out the dreaded dyer's woad.
In fact, she has set a good example for us each to follow.
We would much  rather see the lovely Columbine flower and they were out in
abundance today.
Some of the ladies have phone apps that help us to identify distant mountain peaks.
Here we are looking off into the distance at the Naomi Peak area.
We could also see the tower on top of Mt. Logan peak.
There is so much to see and enjoy on our hikes. 
Is it any wonder why we love hiking so much.
At this point of the trail we descended the mountain entering into a small meadow.
We knew the monument was just ahead. 
 {Laurie used her handy dandy phone app notifying us of miles we had hiked.}
We were happy after hiking 6 miles to finally make it to the monument. 
We stopped to rest and
enjoy lunch while Nan shared the story of
Old Ephraim.  
We laughed at being the only ones at the monument and within minutes there was a crowd.
We didn't mind.  It's always fun to meet people and hear their stories.
Reaching our destination on most hikes means the difficult part is behind us.
Not so on this hike.
The most grueling part is the 1.8 mile dirt road immediately after leaving the monument.
It seems to go straight up in places.
Kathryn wasn't feeling well and we were able to hitch a ride for her on a 4-wheeler.
We were happy to meet up with our dear friend near this sign a short time later.
Both were a welcome sight!
At this point we turned west and began a pleasant descent of almost 3 miles back to the junction of
Ricks Canyon.
We couldn't pass a tree in distress without stopping to help.
A fallen aspen landed on this little pine tree bending it over. 
The ladies jumped to the rescue.
We're cool like that. 

Chalk this hike up to another day spent with great friends and great hiking!