February 17, 2017

Looking for Utah landscapes

 

 


 

 

 

Tom and Anton were good buddies who had been on multiple ski trips with each other over the years, but had never gotten to enjoy summer adventures together before, nor been able to include their wives, both of whom had heard so many stories of their husbands’ friend. Lauren and Anton had camped in this goldmine of a spot several times before, but never quite like this. While the mountain biking mecca of Moab offers plenty of dispersed campsites throughout the town’s vast perimeter, depending on the time of year or day of the week, it can be a struggle to find a location that offers the isolation craved when venturing out for a desert adventure. This particular spot in Mill Canyon is far lesser-known however, and through a series of top secret directions provided by an inthe- know friend, they had lead the rest of the group to what would be their home base for the next two days.

 

 

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It wasn’t the first time during the week they found themselves surprisingly happy outside of their comfort zones, traditional roles and known locales. The very trip itself, a leisurely five-day road trip starting in Utah’s Uinta and Wasatch Mountains, where autumn’s vibrant leaves were exploding with color, was out of character for everyone in this group.

 

 

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A little off the beaten path, the Uinta Mountains are often overshadowed by the neighboring Wasatch range, where most adventure-seekers visit to take in the world-class skiing and mountain biking. But with peaks ranging from 11,000 to 13,500 feet and alpine lakes abundantly dotted throughout the area, it was the perfect locale to kick off their journey :

Providing a stunning backdrop and zero crowds.
 

 

The next day, they woke up early. Under normal circumstances, none of them would’ve likely found themselves waking up before dawn to load the boats on top of the Jeeps, driving 30 minutes up a wandering mountain pass as the sun’s early light began to break, and venturing out onto a pine tree-rimmed lake in the wobbling boats.

the chilly water, acting as a crystal clear mirror to the surrounding forest and towering peaks.

their echoing voices as they cheered on Cima, Lauren and Anton’s dog who refused to be left on shore and had swam out to join them; and that light! A thin layer of clouds acted as a barrier to sun’s strong rays, allowing that morning golden hour to last much longer than usual.

 

 

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The next day found the group back in more familiar territory, mountain biking countless miles of single track through Park City’s perfectly maintained trail system. While riding was nothing new to them, the location was, and it lived up to all expectations. The blanket of aspen and maple trees peaking with color left a glowing aura beneath them.


 

 

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This experience only strengthened what Tom already believed:

" Always go. And take your friends with you."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Therein lies the beauty of adventuring with friends. The sharing of new experiences, secret destinations, knowledge and perspectives so greatly enriches our lives. The encouragement, be it in sport or in spirit, makes us stronger

 

 

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Sponar
About the author
Anton Sponar
I grew up in Aspen Colorado as a ski racer. I raced through college as well as a year in Europe. After college my father and I started Ski Arpa Cat Skiing in Chile. I am still owner/operator as well as an acting guide in the summers. In the winter I am a ski Guide in Aspen Colorado and try to freeski as much as possible. I am also a member of Mountain Rescue Aspen.
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