Autumn Afternoon on the Alpine Loop


Life really is better Here
Apr 20, 2013
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After a long week, and while sitting at lunch and staring up at the red and gold mountains, my friend and I slipped out of work early... well, not as early as we wanted, as I got stuck on a call, but still early.
He needed to be close to home, so we tabled one plan and just drove up to another.
By the time we arrived he had less than an hour. I had told my wife I wouldn't be back until after dark. So this became a semi-solo wandering.

Given the golden glory I will get most of the explanation out of the way.

Mostly the locations here do not really matter. We were together on part of the Ridge trail or some portion thereof.
Once my friend left, I walked some of the trail out to Horse Flat, ran into too many people shooting pics with their kids or wearing camo and carrying guns... although I did run into a lady from Kentucky who was slowly hiking back so talked with her for a little bit.

Then I went off looking for some solitude.
I found it.

First, I was going to pull in and do a different part of the ridge trail, but this Nissan was struggling to backup? the rough drop down to the trailhead... so I just drove past.
Second, I tried this little canyon I had seen on the map, but after the trail along a tiny springfed stream started to pucker out and did not seem to ever lead to any good light without bushwacking through scrub oak, I decided to turn around.
Third time is the charm.
By now some of the light was fading, so I turned one corner and saw a beautiful meadow down below that was empty. I watched it for a while to make sure there wasn't any camo. It was starting to cloud up, but I figured I could drop in and explore and maybe sit around to sunset. It was fantastic and I was surely geeking out with the shadows and colors, but luckily out of view of anyone else except a few birds, squirrels and muleys that I scared out. Tons of elk and deer beds, but no elk, and sadly no bugling, which I had been hoping for.

The only problem was, as the shadows overcame me, and I was thinking I could sit down and wait for sunset, my battery was low, and I realized I had left my camera bag itself back up at the jeep and my couple of snacks.

Changed location then one final time, returning back to where we started the afternoon, where I sat down in the rustling wind, ate some snacks, drank my powerade, and sat mostly in silence.
MOSTLY because in my head The Rainbow Connection -Gimme Gimmes style was rolling constantly in me head, especially the end where he imitates Kermit saying "Yeah". The words may or may not have come out a few times.

Changing locations became fortuitous. Where I had been probably had very little light.

That is it for most of the dialogue, but this is the good stuff.

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First without color, then with color.

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Unfortunately for you all, or perhaps fortunately... I neglected to wear my Influencer costume. The spandex, sports bra and white trucker cap were lost, getting washed, or perhaps unpurchased. As well, there is a reason my name is Ugly. So you can insert the IG staring off into the distance pose into any of these shots as you like. Or photoshop them in with your mind's eye later.
#hikingwithuglyisnotugly ...
(tongue in cheek of course, not that I am not secretly jealous of perfect legs, nor would turn down any chance to just hike and take photos with hashtags.) :giggle:
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Of course the afternoon light was harsh, but the colors so good.
Thus another without color. Just imagine the gold and yellows!
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Green and yellow.
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Rainbow... this helped stick the song in my head.
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Almost New England Red and that Sky...
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Partway into the trees and I got a text. What the heck, I thought I had escaped cell service and fatherhood.
"I need some money to buy some pizza."
"Borrow some".
"From you?".
"Haha. Good luck. This is where I am..."
Sent my daughter a photo.
Got a :cry:.
Then got "Can you give us a ride back from the game?"
"Sure, but I won't be home until 8:45-9pm".

Onwards down into the color and peace.
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This to me feels like some of the quintessential Utah that most people skip over most of the year. The hot dusty part that in summer is just buggy, windy, where sage meets aspen. Here though, it was beautiful.
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Here is some scale.
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and some detail. The colors!
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As I sat there in the gathering twilight, with the punk cover song running through my head, and Kermit saying "Yeah". I started to finally see color and thought maybe it was just not going to happen. This was the feeling when I thought maybe I was in a wrong spot. So I took this and thought it was not for me tonight.
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Then the sky lit up more, and I unashamedly ran to a different meadow and came into this.
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Life is good Excellent!
Fall colors are fantastic, the temps are great, and I am headed out for a different place after work tomorrow.


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Hiker Trash
Jan 4, 2015
The infamous influencer costume! I'd chip in five bucks to make that happen. Nice photos and a great use of an early quit. Bravo!


Aug 18, 2018
Wow, wow, wow @Ugly - I'm smiling from ear to ear, fantastic photos and your story is great. It was meant to be- changing locations! Fall is my favorite part of the year. Thanks for sharing and hope you find another great spot today after work!


Life really is better Here
Apr 20, 2013
Wow, wow, wow @Ugly - I'm smiling from ear to ear, fantastic photos and your story is great. It was meant to be- changing locations! Fall is my favorite part of the year. Thanks for sharing and hope you find another great spot today after work!

Thank you. Even with all the kids soccer and coaching, I still tend to get out most in fall too... it's de best!

Today, barring real torrential rain is a great spot, and more challenging of an actual hike. (fingers crossed)


Aug 21, 2018
Fantastic Pictures! Beautiful lighting and color -- sometimes I get jealous of other people's backyards.
Many times I will forget or intentionally leave my cell phone behind and remember how peaceful things could be (even in my mind) at a time before they were common place. I still use an old flip phone to avoid the temptation of constantly looking at a smart phone, luckily my day job has not required me to convert.
Thanks for sharing your evening of (partial) solitude.
Mar 18, 2014
Holy Moly that light is fantastic! We don't get those reds out here in CO. Thanks for sharing.

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