Sunday, June 30, 2013

Alta / Cecret Lake Hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon 6-30-2013

This weekend I decided to venture off to Alta and see if I could get an early glimpse of the wildflowers coming in.  I think I was a week or two early, but none the less I was greeted with a wonderful walk.

The shuttle bus that takes you from Alta to the trailhead at Cecret Lake isn't operational, so that meant I had to hoof it.  It has been unseasonably warm and while I was expecting cooler temperatures up in the mountains, it was still in the upper 70's / low 80's.  I decided to take the service road -- a dirt road that is the long way to the lake.  There were plenty of opportunities to see wildflowers, even though they aren't all 100% in.

The dirt road is about a 2 mile easy walk to the trail head.  Upon reaching the trail head you have another .6 miles before you reach the lake itself.  The last .1 miles of the hike is the hardest, almost a straight ascent up. There are some fantastic views up there and the lake was pretty much deserted.  With the road being closed and most people not willing to walk the nearly 3 miles to the lake probably took a hit on the number of visitors.

The lake (a pond by midwest standards) was pretty much deserted, and was plagued with some annoying flies.  It was hard to relax there without having to constantly swat at them.  I did get a wicked sunburn up there though.

I decided to take the trail back to the parking lot and that was a lot faster.  It easily took about 75 minutes to get to the lake and I was back at my car within 40 - 45 minutes.  Going downhill is so much nicer.

Enjoy the photos...

Snow on the trail in late June?!?!?

Pretty Flowers

Rock climbers near Cecret Lake

hiking down from Cecret Lake

Cecret Lake

Me, at 8500+ feet

Me, at 8500+ feet

Me, at 8500+ feet

Meadows full of flowers

I'd love to run this.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

West Wendover 6/16 Trip

On Sunday, June 16th, I decided to take advantage of a free room opportunity at Wendover Resorts.  Since I gamble a bit and am on their loyalty program, they send me free weeknight rooms from time to time.  This summer they have been more than generous.  I decided to stay at Montego Bay this time.  I wanted to be closer to my favorite buffet and I usually have good luck there.  Also, the Montego Bay is generally priced about $10 more than their normal rooms so I wanted to see if they were truly worth it.

I left Sunday morning at about 9:30 and arrived a little after 11.  Despite running in the morning, I didn't feel particularly hungry.  I hit up the sports book and studied the baseball odds.  I found some games I liked, but didn't have to put a bet on them right away.  I wound up playing video poker (I am hooked to deuces wild these days).  After a bit I hit up the buffet for my usual inhale as much food as I can lunch.

After eating it was close to 3pm and I had been unable to find a game of poker at the Nugget.  I put my bets on some baseball games (two bets for $25 each, winning one, losing the other) and headed up to my room.  I was pleasantly surprised with the size.  The last time I stayed there the room seemed a little dated and the TV was off-kilter from the beds.  This time the room was perfectly coordinated.  The shower was big, nice privacy for the bathroom... and just huge...

I wound up hitting the pool for the first time in Wendover.  They have a pretty basic pool -- nothing fancy, but they did have 3 jacuzzis which I took advantage of.

After sitting in the pool for a few hours I walked across town (about a mile walk) to the Rainbow and had their buffet.  Usually their buffet is just as good as Montego Bay's but this time the food wasn't well maintained.  Perhaps it was because I was there somewhat late (about 8pm for a Sunday).

At this point I was down about $60.  While I had had good luck with the video poker, I was getting nickled and dimed.  I also quickly stopped into the Peppermill to try my luck on Shari's "hot" slot machine but it gobbled up a $20 before I could sneeze.  Just before bed (around 11pm) I did get hot and won a $60 payout on a max bet deuces wild with a royal flush.  I was walking around, putting in $5 and leaving with a few extra bucks.  By the end of the night I was about even again.

I also got pretty lucky on the heads up texas hold'em.  Usually it gobbles up $20 bills but this time, I'd put in $20 and double my money in pretty short order.

On Sunday morning I woke up and did a 7 mile run.  I had been warned of rattlesnakes in the field outside of town, so I did keep close to the residential area as well as stayed on the ATV trail.  It was too warm to venture out too far, and I did miss a turn and got a glimpse of some roads that I normally don't get a chance to see.

Before leaving, I hit up the buffet and bet on 3 baseball games ($25 bets, losing 2, winning 1).  I wound up probably losing $80 total on the whole trip.  Overall not to bad and I had a great time.

Enjoy the photos.

breakfast at Montego Bay Buffet

The room

something I wound up not using.

the pool



My hot hand

The new facade on the Red Garter

Wendover Willie says hi

Logging some miles.

Scobie Park. Needs a drinking fountain

Dessert anyone?

Another free night... hmmmm.