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By Foot
Most Impressive Hiking Views: Part 4 of 9: 9/9/2022
© 2022 James LaFond
These describe an extremely limited portion of the country, as almost all of my hiking has been done in Baltimore City and County, and at night, getting back and forth from my rental and my job from 1980 thru 2017.
-1. Reeds Meadow in the Uinta Mountains about two miles west of Mirror Lake, where I have hunted mushrooms with Bob. There are creeks and ponds, elk beds and moose wallows. The walker is surrounded by three mountains, one to the east and two to the southwest with the trail to the Cuberant’s winding west. This will be a setting for the novel Wife, a location that was accessed only by horseback when Bob’s father ran sheep in these mountains in the 1930s.
-2. Bald Mountain Pass, the east bench, about 10,000 feet up among alpine currents and elk beads, with a view to the neighboring Wasatch Mountains.
-3. Smith and Morehouse Canyon, about 9000 feet up along the side hill on the deer paths, below the flat meadow mountain above where cattle are grazed. From here, while picking Oregon grape and hunting mushrooms, I could see over the evergreen forest down onto the reservoir lake.
-4. Hoyt’s Mountain, on the first and second of six peaks, looking down over Kamas Valley to Rockport to the north and Parley’s Summit Pass to the west, with the sun rising over my back from the east. This helped a lot with a mental map of the valley. The lowest front elevation, which takes an hour to get to on the switchback, is one flank of the mouth of Smith and Morehouse Canyon, from where the Weber River issues.
-5. The top of Seymour’s Canyon, on Hoyt’s Mountain, between the second and third rise, where the trail descends from the scrub oak down into the aspen and thence to the rock slides where the trail winds downward between the mountain and the low front hills.
-6. Lookout Mountain, Colorado, above Golden, with views into the Rockies and down over the plains. The tourists ruined it. But some of the women were so cute they made it into the novel Ranger? as distressed human property…
-7. The upper meadow and creek gorge of a tributary to the Provo River in a place called Murdock Basin, Uinta Mounatins, Utah.
-8. The overgrown logging road from Ravensdale, Washington up along the flank of Mount Mc-something, affords a view of the deeper Cascade Mountains over the Ceder River Watershed both north and east. This feature was used as a setting in the novel Night Song of the Nords.
-9. The utility road over the shoulder of this front mountain of the Cascades, described above, takes the walker 3.5 miles in to Page’s Flats, a walk I prefer to take in the snow, a walk I took often while writing Night Song of the Nords.
-10. The redwood covered Santa Cruz Mountains I have hiked once, walked once [see photo at top right of site’s main page], and have visited by car once for coffee in the small town of Ben Lomond built over a mountain creek crossing. The redwoods obscure a distant vista as much as eastern woods. But there is a pleasant scent and a feeling of solitude, especially since California hikers are often Asians that are terrified of feral yetis. I will use this town as a setting for Longshank Cain.
-11. A fifteen minute drive from Ben Lomond, one appears in the beach bum town of Santa Cruz, where palm trees replace the redwoods and seals and sea birds mix with humans. This will be an excellent scene for my Elder Earth novel, Slaver.
-12. The Oakley trail follows the pleasant Weber River through part of Kamas Valley and has provided a nice place to walk and contemplate. As well, a dirt road named Democrat Alley, to the south of a little town named Wooden Shoe has provided places for me to walk and consider dialogue between characters and mull over historical questions posited by Bob, who has read thousands of books. During this walk I was once passed by an executive protection detail, with professional goons guarding some persons of power on a Sunday drive.
-13. Walking south on Foster out of Southeast Portland to the train platform over the Interstate #5 interchange, to get a view of Mount Hood through the wire fence three stories over the road, is a ritual of mine. I used this vantage in a scene for the novel By Gaslight.
-14. My longest hike was done between 5 and 10 on a Monday morning, after a night’s work, eastbound, on U.S. Route 40 from Middle River to Edgewood, MD, in January 2011, with bronchitis. It hurt and I never looked back, it being uphill all the way.
-15. My most satisfying hike was in 2 feet of snow in I think 2003, from Fort and Lawrence in South Baltimore, to Loch Raven Boulevard and Deanwood in Baltimore, County, after a night’s work.
-16. My longest Baltimore City hike was from South Baltimore to North Boundary and Lynch in Baltimore County, after 2001 summer rains flooded out the downtown bus lines.
-17. My most pleasing hike was In late January, in two feet of snow, from Northeast Baltimore to Middle River, Maryland, after work, by night, one Saturday in January 2010.
-17. My toughest hike was in 3 feet of snow, during a blizzard, from Belair and White to Loch Raven and Deanwood, by night, on the Wednesday following the above Saturday storm.
I have always treasured a walk in the Bantu abating Baltimore snow.
By Road
author's notebook
By Street
thriving in bad places
into leviathan’s maw
book of nightmares
your trojan whorse
barbarism versus civilization
under the god of things
dark, distant futures
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