Fireflies in Utah County

I spent the evening on a hunt for the rare Utah fireflies.  It was magical and worth putting up with all the mosquitoe drama.  Fireflies were unheard of west of the Rocky Mountains until a few years ago when a few populations were discovered in Utah. From what I've read online, researchers are perplexed and excited as they are trying to learn more about these populations. 

I live for perfect summer evenings. To me a perfect summer evening is a simple thing. There are many things that help create the perfect summer evening, but for me it usually includes: a pleasant group people, a stunning sunset, warm air that is just starting to turn cool, and being in the middle of nowhere. Here is the last post I made about perfect summer evenings. It's been busy year and I didn't post much of them, but I'm happy to report I've had plenty, just no time to post about them. They are good for the soul. 

The photo below has a multiple choice caption: 

A) Raise your hands if you saw the fireflies tonight!
B) #SaguaroCactusImpressions
C) We trust our deodorant
D) We don't flipp'n care if our deodorant is working... Die mosquitoes!


Salt Creek Canyon- Canyonlands/Needles District

Memorial Day weekend I went on a 4 day backpacking trip in the Needles district of Canyonlands (Moab). I went with some family and friends. The hike covered nearly 40 miles and took you though a lot of the ruins left behind by the by Fremont Indians. We got rained on everyday, which is pretty unusual for a May in Utah but the water was much needed and we made the best of it. 

This is a video my sister and brother-in-law made for this trip

Day 1

Setting up the shuttle and getting ready to hit the trail.
We had sunny skies for the first part of our hike right as we got to camp a thunderstorm started up. We ate dinner under a rock shelter down the trail from our camp and by the time we were done the worst of the storm had passed.

With the worst of the storm gone, we wandered around camp a bit and took in the sunset

 Then we quickly scrambled down the rocks once we heard, saw and felt thunder and lightning strike down the canyon a bit. You could hear and feel it echo around the canyon. It was a couple miles a way but you don't just stick around on a high exposed slab of rock with that in proximity. 

Day 2

This was our lunch spot on day 2. My sister brought a cucumber to split and it was a nice treat. Funny how a small thing like a cucumber become so much more desirable when backpacking. 

I saw this plant only once on our hike. I didn't know what it was, so I shaped a photo and looked it up at home. It's called a Monument Plant (Frasera speciosa). According to the plant info it usually blooms in July-August so seems this plant is about a month or two early.

We found this really cool cave/crack in the rock. It was in the shape of a cross. 

We got rained on four a good amount of time during the afternoon. We had a nice little flash flood right as we got to the "all american man" rock art. Turned out to be a nice hideout though. 

After setting up camp, the sun broke (mostly) and we went off to find a water hole to purify some liquid refreshment. Every now and then a sun spot would come out and we would quickly lay out and warm up.  

 There were a lot of salamanders in the water hole too. We counted at least a dozen.

Attempts to get Some sunset photos. Not a spectacular colorful sunset but the views of the canyons were great

Day 3

Our trail followed Salt Creek Canyon for most of the time. This was one of my favorite days. The sun was out for most of the day. We still got rained on pretty good but the sun was out a lot more and dried us all out and that was nice for a change.

Angle Arch was a side hike we took after setting up camp. 

We found this really fun hole in the rock that we let our imaginations run with.  This is my to-to rock.

Cody's potty rock. 

Golden hour back at camp

Day 4

We got up the next morning and started our hike our to the cars. We stopped at what we called the the "Teva panel"

Approach to peekaboo rock. In case your were wondering what filter I used on the above photo let me share a quick trade secret. Just stick your phone down your shirt, making sure to put the lens toward your body. The sweet will quickly give that 70's soft filtered look that Instagram onlywishes it could replicate.

The trail goes through this little arch in the rock. So cool.

One of the lasts views on our way out. The trail keeps you up on the rim there for a while. About an hour later as we were about 2 miles from the car, the rain made it final appearance and it was a dumper. We contemplated finding shelter and waiting it out but decided to just bull through it. Flash floods in the desert are really cool I learned.