Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Friday, July 28, 2023

Hips and Knees


Near Guardsman Pass Utah

During our trip last month to the UK, our travelling companions, who are about our age, expressed gratitude in a memorable way for the ability to travel actively.  They want to do as much as they can while their hips and knees still function.  Hips and knees might be a metaphor to some extent, but you get the point.  We’re appreciative to have reached retirement and still having some gas in our tanks.


No family trip would be complete these days without fishing.  Marco spent our first full day on this road trip near Beaver, Utah angling on the Beaver River.  Steve Dawson guided him on private property, and they hardly noticed the heat dome. I retreated with Gypsy the Wonder Dog and the overworked van refrigerator to higher altitude. They were shocked to learn that my car thermometer read 105F when I returned to pick the dude up. 


Puffer Lake at dawn, Fish lake National Forest Utah

The nights before and after, we boondocked at a cool 10,000 ft along the upper reaches of the river. This is nearby Puffer Lake from the air. I’m interested in seeing the aspen stands here in the fall.


In what feels like a homecoming, we followed with a stay in a dog-friendly rental in Park City.  Between summer and ski trips, we figure we’ve been there at least forty times. We indulged in our favorite hikes, shopping, patio restaurants, and (Gypsy’s passion) the library lawn which is a de facto dog park. This shot is actually from last year, but you get the gist. Park City is remarkably dog-friendly, and she was invited into (and given treats in) the Kuhl store and Fishwest, the fishing shop on Main Street.


Uinta Mountain cascade Utah

We spent two days in the Uinta Mountains, managing to find photogenic fishing spots (the grail) with not a soul around (a huge plus). 


Lupines at sunrise, North Kaibab Forest Arizona

We had two more days, and there wasn’t much deliberation before we decided to spend them in the North Rim Forest, halfway home and at a high altitude. I’ve been busy with other things, so this was my first trip there this season.  I’d missed it.  We found a couple of isolated, quiet camp spots, and even had the pleasure of a little downpour one afternoon.  After the huge snowfall last winter, I expected an impressive showing of ferns and flowers, but both were much more sparse than last year.  I did find one sweet field of lupines, at least.


North Kaibab Forest Arizona

Drone flight is complicated near the Grand Canyon – the Special Flight Rules Area extends into the National Forest and some research is required to see where aircraft are allowed.  Our first camp qualified, and I was thrilled to be able to see Vermillion Cliffs and Navajo Mountain from 300 feet above us. This should be fun in the autumn as well.

 That is, if our hips and knees hold out.

 There’s more in the Summer 2023 Gallery on the website.

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