I made plans. Rearranged them. Then altered them once more. There is always a detour somewhere, so I knew these plans were in no way solidified.
Thus I found myself on the road a day ahead of schedule.
By the time we arrived at the Shadow Lake campsites I was hungry and tired. Add in lacking signage for tent sites and bear hangs (which we later realized was due to the direction we arrived from), and water that required boiling for consumption…I was grumpy as heck.
After a quick pack-up of campsites, we meandered along the short hike to Egypt Lake for breakfast with a view. The water was pristinely calm, showcasing a flawless reflection of the mountains surrounding the lake. And what glorious mountains they were! The peace and calm offered a meditation of sorts, a chance to shake off the prior day and start anew.
It was going to be a 10-mile day. After leaving Egypt Lake, the trail almost immediately started going uphill. The ascent of Day 2 was more of a stair climb compared to the gradual ramp up of Day 1. I was partial to the stairs, the definite motion of going up. It gave me a straightforward sense of accomplishment.
We rolled up to Sunshine Village and I was filled with antsy enthusiasm. The type that makes you continually feel like you're about to pee your pants. Even after you just peed twice to make sure you really didn't have to pee. Am I nervous? Am I excited? Do I really just need to pee??
Last year the hounds and I catapulted into camping and hiking with a trip to Banff National Park, Canada. I was instantly obsessed with all of the above and knew I couldn't stay away.
Despite preferring the company of my dogs over humans, my desire to explore more of Banff -- especially the backcountry where dogs are not encouraged to go -- prompted me plan a group backpacking trip.
I’d categorize Utah is my freshy fresh 2017 love interest (the Supes are my local love and Canada is my big love). There are wonderful national parks in the state, but I’ve found that national parks only seem to have one or two relatively short trails that dogs are allowed to hike. National forests, on the other hand are prime time adventure dog real estate!
Know that your dogs are comfortable sleeping in your new tent. Seems obvious, right? Right.
I thought I knew this. Or at least kind of sort of maybe. They loved the tent we’d used up in Canada and had seemed cool with this one when I tried the initial setup in the backyard. Apparently all of that goes out the window in a new location.
This area was quite amazing. Completely different from the eastern side of the Superstition Mountains that I usually see. So many trees and the stream was flowing much more than I expected!
One of my favorite go-to hikes for a quick spin into the Superstition Mountains.
Garden Valley Loop
First Water Trailhead
We finally made it to a trailhead at exactly the right time to catch the start of sunrise during our hike!!