Because it's summer, and because we live in beautiful Utah, we decided to go camping about a month or so ago. There was quite a group that we pulled together, and we had decided to go up to Mirror Lake up past Heber. We all work and have school and the like, so we were going to meet at 5:15 to leave at 5:30 so we could drive the hour or two up to the mountains, and then hike to a lake and set up camp before dark.That was the plan.
Unfortunately, things seldom go as planned. Due to peoples' lives being crazy, we left an hour or so late from Provo and we headed up the canyon. We were meeting up with someone a little past Heber, and he was running a little bit late so we decided to go back into Heber to pick up a quick bite to eat. We parked along the main strip next to a variety of fast-food places and split up. Some went to Wendys, some went to Sonic, some went other places. Because this was going to be quick, right? The whole concept of fast food. But no. It took 45 minutes for people to get their food at Wendys, and somewhat less than that for those of us who chose the Sonic option, but regardless, what was supposed to be a quick detour ended up taking an hour.
Well, with spirits still high we collected our extra person, dropped his car off in Kamas, and headed towards our destination. A half-hour later we go under I-80 and realize that we had missed a turn off way back when. The only one in the group that had actually gone up to Mirror lake had gone 6 years earlier and wasn't 100% clear on the directions. So a different car took the map and the lead and headed back.
We found the turn off we had missed and headed up into the mountains. We finally reach the parking lot at the trail head about 11:00 and we load up, take a quick picture and head off.
Ten minutes later: But wait... this doesn't really look like a clear trail. Are we sure we went the right way? Nope. We totally had gone hiking off randomly without a trail. We all backtrack and then re-start the hike. On the right trail this time.
So some people in the group were pretty experienced backpackers, and some of us are decidedly not. But everyone was really good about keeping the group together for the first few hours of hiking. About 2-ish, when we figured we were getting pretty close to where we would be settling down for the night we decided to split up. The 'fast' hikers were going to go ahead and set up the tents and get a fire going, and the 'slow' hikers (and those nice enough to stay with us so we didn't inadvertently wander off a cliff or something) were going to haul our worthless carcasses the rest of the way somehow. Fast forward about 40 minutes. We were sitting down, taking a rest and eating a few well-deserved granola bars and fruit snacks, when all of a sudden a few guys from the 'fast' group come upon us from behind. Without their packs. Somehow they had gotten off of the trail without realizing it, but had run into a nice little lake so had decided to set up camp. After quite awhile they realized that the rest of us hadn't made it there yet, so they sent a few people to investigate. Who found where the trail had turned but they hadn't. So they continue up the real trail and find us. We had hiked about 20 or 30 minutes more than we had to. *sigh*
We hike back, and help finish setting up camp. It's around 2:30 by the time we all settle down around the fire. Some of us busted out the S'mores making goods, and others bust out the tinfoil dinners they had carted in. We all had a good time and don't make it to bed until around 4 in the AM. Wherein we discover that we had miscalculated the tent/people ratio. Four girls ended up sleeping in a 3 person tent. Yikes!
My sleeping bag says it was rated to 30 degrees, but my feet were cold pretty much the entire night, and the ground was really hard. Which explains why I decided to give up on trying to pretend to be asleep around 7 o'clock. I was the first one up and decided to go and wander a bit with my camera. I had a lot of fun with my macro setting and got some really great pictures just as the sun was coming up. After an hour or two I headed back to camp, and joined the others in their breakfast efforts. After which we packed up camp and hiked out. Because we were meeting our ward group to go inner tubing down the Provo River at 3. Where I almost got myself killed... but that's another story for another day!
It was a quick trip, but ended up being a lot of fun! Good times!