Friday, June 6, 2014

Fresh & Salty Lakes: Lake Blanche & the Great Salt Lake

Next stop: Salt Lake City. We couchsurfed with two former COE instructors, one of whom is also a former colleague of Dave. They are wonderful people, and it was fun to see how much we have in common – now we need to find a way to move them back to Ithaca (hint hint).

Lake Blanche is an alpine lake in the Twin Peaks Wilderness of the Wasatch National Forest. The super popular day hike is roughly 7 miles round-trip, with only ~2,500' of elevation change to get up to 8,000ish feet. Perfect for a warm-up and acclimatization hike.

The trail felt pretty easy. Conditions were perfect - an early start gives shade for the hike up and avoids the afternoon mountain clouds. We hiked from the trailhead to the lake in roughly 2 hours.

We explored the lakes for a while...

not a postcard... yet

...then Dave took off to scramble up the cirque, while I set up naptime in a small grove of aspens.

Flying down the trail back to the car, my mind wandered and I rolled my right ankle. Wrapped on a compression bandage, tightened up the boot, and limped down the trail, with Dave taking my pack. Fortunately, it seems to be a very minor sprain, and by wrapping it up so well, I think I dodged a bullet!

We hit up three other Salt Lake City landmarks:

(1) The Church of Latterday Saints (LDS) Temple

(2) The Great Salt Lake

(Yes, they have a retail store in Salt Lake City!)

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