Shameless ripoff of title from another oppo and leading with a picture of a Mountain goat from an epic hike... Its like we had the same minds lol.

This weekend though I had A BIT more planning than the aforementioned adventurer. Somehow I actually managed to stick almost entirely to my plan for the weekend and was very happy with all of my choices. Here is a quick rundown of my adventure followed by a bunch of photos:

  • Drive to Solitude Ski Resort via Guardsman pass from Park City.
  • Hike around 5 miles round trip up the mountain.
  • Epic round of disc golf at Solitude.
  • Set up camp at Spruces campground.
  • Hike 9 miles round trip to Desolation Lake from the North Fork Trailhead.
  • Make it back to camp just after sunset and cook up a nice camp meal.
  • Drive in the morning to Alpine Scenic Loop.
  • Hike 14.5 miles round trip to Mt Timpanogos from the Timpooneke Trailhead.
  • Drive the rest of Alpine Scenic Loop in the dark.
  • Make it back to my hotel after 2 hours of backroads in the dark.

It surely was an epic weekend and aside from the hike on Sunday taking a bit longer than I expected, everything was pretty much on schedule and went as planned. Pretty much all of my goals were met: See fall leaves, Hike past 11,000 feet, and build a campfire under some stars. The only thing that could have made the adventure sweeter was having my Miata for the journey, but hey the STi certainly did not disappoint!

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Now, my photo collection in some semblance of order:

I woke up Saturday around 8am to a herd of Antelope outside of my hotel window
My course for the weekend was set and I was on the road around 9am

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Around 11am I made it to the base area of Solitude. It was a beautiful drive getting there and maybe I will pull some dash cam footage. Colorful leaves up in the hills, epic mountain passes, and beautiful landscapes everywhere. But I was just driving instead of photo taking.
A pretty relaxed hike up the mountain for the start of my day; only about 2 miles and 1000 feet elevation gain for this hike.
Fall leaves were only patchy, it being early September. But hey, I dont really get any of that in Southern California!

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Around noon, I started an amazing round of disc golf and my hike across the mountain for all 18 holes. I had the whole place to myself aside from a few hikers and bikers.
It was truly a BEAUTIFUL day. Perfect weather, nice mountain air, and a great course layout

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I lost a driver on Hole 18, but otherwise it was the best round of disc golf I have ever played. At least replacement discs are cheap and I was actually able to get one down at the base area shop. Funny part was that I found the disc but it was stuck 50 feet up in a tree. Maybe it will still be there when I come back during ski season...
Made it back down to the car around 2pm, ready to head over to the campground and get a campsite. The STi performed beautifully all weekend and was super practical for all of my gear while still being supremely fun in the twisty parts. Plus with the AC on and some light music playing, I can drive comfortably forever.
First order of business at my campsite was LUNCH. I had a pastrami and pepper jack cheese sandwich along with a protein shake (homemade in a milk carton and some whey chocolate powder. Also some much needed gatorade and a side of fritos.

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Next order of business was taking sweet car photos for r/subaru and oppo

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Finally after collecting some firewood, setting up camp, and packing my daypack, I was off on another hike for the day. This time headed to Desolation Lake for a 9 mile round trip hike with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain. The goal was to make it up and back before sunset, but I brought along my headlamp and flashlight anyways. I left camp around 4pm.
Reached the top/lake at around 630pm! It was truly beautiful up there and well worth hike.
Was loving the fall colors and cooler air up there at around 9,200 feet.

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mMy last photo of the day before my phone died. I had a portable charger back at my campsite so at least I would be able to take more photos the next day. Things were very beautiful around sunset on that trail. I made it to the trailhead just before dark and hiked back to camp with headlamp for safety even though I didnt particularly need it to see.

When I got back to camp around 815pm I built a nice big fire and cooked a couple hot dogs over the open fire. While that was going, I cooked up a can of corn and a can of baked beans on my camp stove and then mixed it all together for a hearty camp meal. This was supplemented by more hot dogs as I sat around the fire along with some dark chocolate reeses and more fritos. That along with the reeses and protein bars along the trail earlier kept me well fed for the day’s activities. I eventually ran out of wood to burn around 1030pm and settled in for bed by 11pm.

I woke up around 8am and cooked up a breakfast consisting of a can of Chunky Mushroom and Swiss Burger Soup and a banana. Then I packed up camp and headed out towards the Alpine Scenic Loop a bit South of where I was on Big Cottonwood Canyon. Eventually, I arrived at the Timpooneke Trailhead for my next epic hike. At the trailhead, I fixed up a peanut butter sandwich to eat real quick and packed up the rest of my kit for the day.

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Kit for the day:

  • 3L of water in my water pack
  • 0.5L of gatorade in a water bottle
  • 2 protein bars
  • 1 banana
  • 4 dark chocolate reeses
  • 1 pouch of tuna
  • Another pastrami and pepper Jack sandwich
  • Wool hat for the summit/emergencies in my bag
  • Wool Darn Tough socks on my feet
  • “Safari” wide brim hat on my head
  • Sun glasses on my face
  • Short sleeve shirt and shorts (breathable materials)
  • Sun block
  • Bug spray
  • No headlamp or flashlight (foreshadowing)
Just took a picture of the sign at the trailhead for my map. I was also using the AllTrails app which is great since it will show the trail, elevation at all points of the trail, and a GPS marker of where you are at. This was handy for the times that I went off the trail and had to find my way back.

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My hike started at about 1145am and was immediately beautiful. It was going to be a long 7.2 miles and 4,600 feet of elevation change to the summit. So I just took lots of pictures to distract myself from that daunting fact and hoped that I would have the supplies to make it there and back.

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The views increased as I climbed further in altitude. I was finally able to see the peak impossibly far away around 2 miles into the hike. With over 5 miles and 3500 feet to go, the reality of my endeavor began to settle in.
A couple more miles and another 1000 feet of elevation gain later, I felt so close yet still so far away from the summit. I had drank a bunch of water and ate my banana and the tuna at this point.

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One of my unintentional detours led me to a truly epic area. I had to scale a rocky hill to get back on the trail but it was worth it for the amazing views
Once back on the trail, I had my first run in with a mountain goat!
I was finally getting somewhere, only now 1500 feet from the summit and another 2 miles to go. My knees were still feeling good, I still had some energy, and the 10,000+ feet of elevation was feeling not that bad. Every step uphill was another step closer to victory.

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Another mile up and almost 1000 feet gained, I had reached the saddle. It became very windy up there and it was getting late. I was surely low on water and still had much more to climb. Due to the high altitude, I was feeling quite more tired than expected and was really struggling at this point. I was very near the verge of quitting and heading back down. The views here were amazing and I already had a great weekend. But after a protein bar and some rest, I pushed myself to make it that last grueling mile and to keep going. I knew it would be a struggle and I contemplated quitting the entire way up.
That spec at the top was the final destination. The scrambling sketchy looking trail is the wild way up there. Every step was pain, exhaustion, and a fight to make it just one step further.
I finally fucking made it! I literally teared as I made it to the top. Not usually do I have an emotional reaction to completing a hike but just due to the mental/physical turmoil in making it there really overwhelmed me to make it. It was truly beautiful up there. Although it was also fucking cold in shorts and a short sleeved shirt!! I was so thankful I brought the wool hat.

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My photos just do not do this hike justice. It was purely magical. I ate my pastrami sandwich and some reeses at the top along with half of my gatorade. It was now 5pm and I had 0.5L of water, 0.25L of gatorade, 2 reeses, and a protein bar for my 7.2 mile hike to the bottom. I had about 3 hours before it would be dark so I figured I could just make it.
Right after I began my descent, I ran into this guy again! I will just assume it is the same goat because then that means he followed me up to the summit and we hiked down together. What a friend on my solo hike!
Found the last remnants of the previous winter. This must have been some DEEP snow on a North facing slope at the bottom of a cliff. It was September and I cant imagine it had snowed since April.

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It became darker as I made my way down the hill but that led to some great views as well.
Chasing the sunset down the hill, with water running lower and my tiredness increasing. Slowly but surely I would make it....

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As darkness settled in on my last mile of the hike and I ran completely out of water, gatorade, and food, i took my last picture before switching over to using my phone with dwindling battery life as my flashlight. I guess it was only a mile downhill so I would have eventually stumbled my way out of there alive. But it was surely a harrowing bit of hiking due to those conditions. I was finally almost there!
In pitch blackness around 845pm I made it down to the car and chugged some water, ate more reeses, made myself another protein shake, and munched on some more fritos. I had made it! Full success was had and my day and weekend was complete.

I survived my 14.3 mile hike and had an epic story to tell at the end of it all. My weekend was a great success and everything was exactly what I could have wished for. The drive home from there were 2 hours of pretty uneventful trekking home. It was a pretty interesting drive in the dark to complete the rest of the Alpine Loop, being that it was super narrow and pitch black out. The oncoming cars were scary but it was not too long before I was on the highway cruising back to my hotel.

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I now sit here trying to rest up for work to begin again tonight and reveling in the glory of an epic adventure. Till next weekend for the next one!