Friday, November 6, 2015
With our summer hiking experience up in Northern Minnesota under our belts, we have felt more confident on taking the kids hiking with us on longer trips that are further away from "help" so to speak. One of my favorite fall hikes has been in our plans for awhile but with our busy schedules, it kept getting bumped until finally one afternoon when our oldest got out of school early, we made it work. It is still a beautiful hike but several weeks past peak leaf season.
The hike is along the river seen in the satellite picture that I use for my header of this blog. In fact, the bottom left side of the U in the river is where we hiked. There is a small state park there that preserves the area from development and there is a fine two-mile hiking trail there to enjoy that few rarely do. Nine times out of ten, I have the trail all to myself and this time was no exception. The trail starts at a low area on both sides of the river where the Mormons crossed it on their way west to Salt Lake City and it is named after one of their members.
As is typical in winter here, it was an overcast day but there was still enough fall left in the air that coats were quickly shed once we got underway. The trail goes up and down the river bluffs following along the river and only sometimes deviating to find an easier crossing of some of the many side streams that are dry this time of the year.
The trail goes from the Mormon fjord of the river along it to a bridge which crosses into our small county seat town. I walked most of the way with my wife, kids and mother-in-law but due to our late start, the sun which finally made an appearance was quickly going down. It was either turn around for everyone or everyone but me would continue on into town and play at the park while I hiked back and drove our vehicle into town to meet them. The kids were in favor of the latter so I hiked back.
On the hike back, the sun was shining on the opposite bank of the river while I was hiking in the shadows of the river bluffs which made for really beautiful scenes. I found myself stopping several times to take pictures of the river and the sun lit far bank. Because all I had was my phone, I found myself taking panorama pictures since the app makes it as easy as pressing the button and sweeping your phone in an arc to capture the scene. It is the best way to take a picture that comes close to feeling like I actually am there... like I was.