Thursday, July 2, 2009

Where I Live

These are just some photos of the area around which I get to spend my time. We as a family do a lot of outdoor activities so we see a lot of the country in which we live. These are just some of the photos of things we find pretty cool.
This rock is pretty inconspicuous as it sits above the road and just down from the parking lot of our "main attraction" THE WORLD'S LARGEST INTERMITTENT SPRING. The intermittent spring is pretty cool in its own right, but it just doesn't compare with Wee Wee Rock (I didn't come up with this name). It is just an ordinary limestone cliff most of the year. In the spring when the water table is high enough this perched water table (I think that is what it is) spouts water from the fracture in this cliff. The cliff is 40 or so feet high and the water fall is around 10.

This is the Intermittent Spring of which I mentioned in the paragraph above. This is taken in the fall when the spring really intermits. The water ebbs and flows about every 20 minutes and you can climb to its head and watch. Water doesn't completely stop flowing in the lower stretch (as seen here) but it is definitely NOT flowing from the upper pool. This is a deceptive picture because I am looking across Swift Creek Canyon at the spring. The cliffs are well over 200 feet high in this photo. The spring runs just over a 1/4 of a mile. There is a trail up the left hand side that most people can climb--my kids have done it quite a few times.

This is a view down Swift Creek from just below the Intermittent Spring. There are quite a few landslides in this area (it is quite steep) as well as avalanches, and this flat is the result of a landslide that blocked the stream in the 90's. The landslide is actually just below this area, but it formed a lake that has silted in. The decrease in stream gradient allowed for the huge deposits of gravels and cobbles in this area.

A look (south westerly) down Salt Creek (Thomas Fork) in the fall, just above Allred Flat Campground. The fall is really pretty here! Actually there isn't an ugly time of year here. By March, though, as the snow is starting to leave and the idea of spring happening everywhere but here gets to you, it can be a little depressing. We have had snow on the valley floor past the middle of April the last two years. Great water years, but a little depressing!

As you travel north from the above picture you head over South Pass and into Star Valley. This is another fall shot, obviously, but of the view from the parking area at the top of the pass. You can see Mt. Wagner in the background.


This is an early spring shot of Cottonwood Lake, one of our families favorite hang outs. The trout (brook and cutthroat) love midge patterns in the film all evening long. We catch a lot of dinners here. There used to be a sawmill at the far end of the lake. It is now a picnic area and parking lot. The lake level was raised by a small dam (10-20 feet or so) when this was used as a log pond.


This is a view down the North Fork Strawberry Creek looking at Haystack Peak. This my favorite hike I've found (though upper Swift Creek is also quite pretty). We took family pictures up here last fall. The spring is beautiful with lots of waterfalls and wildflowers, but the fall colors here are spectacular!

Wild flowers up a side canyon on the base of Haystack Peak.
These Indian Paintbrushes were next to the white flowers above. We hiked up to see the waterfall and I found these.

This is the lake at the topish end of the North Fork Strawberry Creek. There are some pretty huge salamanders in this lake. I thought they were fish at first, but the lake is too shallow to support fish through the long, hard winter. My brother Adam and I finally decided they were salamanders after quite a bit of glassing with our binoculars. This picture was taken in the latter part of June this last year. The lake sits just below the 8,500 foot mark in elevation.