Stephanie has recovered enough that she is being released Friday afternoon. Instead of looking at these mountains that hug the hospital to the east…today we drove over them through Big Cottonwood Canyon. But first…Stephanie.
Tuesday night before her mother fly back to Arkansas the next morning, Stephanie took us down to the training room and showed us how she was able to walk with out holding onto the rails. By today, she was able to walk around the hospital floor without aid, even jogging just a bit. Tomorrow she has a full morning of training, and by 3 or 4 she should be checked out. She will have to take it easy for a number of weeks, and keep her athletic activities down for a few months, and it is very difficult to read and think still…but out patient training will help with all of these areas over the next few weeks.
We have had an itch to get up into the hills to see the change of the season. We are not far from Big Cottonwood Canyon, and I knew one could drive through the canyon eastward all the way to either Park City or Midway this time of the year. During the winter, the snow is so deep to do this. Most people take I-80 because it will take three times longer going up this canyon and over to the other side.
But for Autumn colors, this is a perfect route. Once on the other side, we headed south to Provo Canyon, then cut over to Sundance and the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway. All in all, a 100 mile drive which took us around five hours.
It did not take long for the colors to show up right along the road.
And the mountainsides were full of green and yellows and tans with a big blue sky above dotted with puffy clouds.
This is the Solitude Ski Resort area. Both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons have various ski resorts…and of course, the 2002 Olympics were held in Salt Lake City with events going on in both canyons, and up at Park City.
As we got close to the summit, we stopped for a quick potty break where the views were just gorgeous.
And the higher we got, the more spectacular the views were.
The road had many many switchbacks…and Marcia did a spectacular job of getting pictures when all I could do is stop or slow down long enough for her to get the shot off. Once up over Guardsman Pass…the traffic was nearly null. But the traffic was not that bad at all headed up the canyon overall.
And the road is wonderful up to the summit…after that, it is still a paved road, but a rough paved road.
We have now reached the summit, and our descent down to MIdway has begun.
If you have never seen the Aspens in Fall up close and personal…this is the type of drive you just have to do. It won’t last long…a good storm and these trees will be empty. We ran into a few patches where the trees were empty, but there are plenty of patches with these bright yellow colors clinging to the trees.
As we get closer and closer to Midway, the Aspens disappear, and we start to see reds along the mountain side.
Here is shot of the rough road to Midway…with the reds of the Maple Trees.
As you get into Midway, the views all around are just wonderful….
And as you come into town, you get a great reminder that Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
It is views like this that make me wish that I had never given up golfing!
Here is a view of Deer Creek Reservoir that I had never seen before.
We are soon past Sundance, and driving the Alpine Loop. Marcia has had scenic overload, and takes a quick ten minute nap. This route, which I have driven a few times before, is more crowded…and the narrow roads make it hard to get good pictures.
This route has Aspen Trees too. It also has a parking area for hikers wanting to try to summit Mount Timpanogos, and the Timpanogos Cave National Monument. The later is easily reached by going up through the American Fork Canyon from I-15 near Thanksgiving Point…where it is only 18 miles from I-15, and the road is very wide and well marked from the Interstate up to the Caves.
Well, that raps up our one and only Day Trip that we snuck in while Stephanie was in the hospital. Not sure about our plans now….as Scarlett says in Gone with the Wind….”After all... tomorrow is another day.“