Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mythical Creatures

Date Placed: September 16, 2012
Letterbox: Traditional
Carvers: Various
Planters: GreenJello and Johnny Lingo
Location: Mill Creek Canyon, Salt Lake, Utah
Status: Active

Miss Alaineous couldn't believe her good fortune as she explored trails in lower Mill Creek Canyon. She was able to spot many amazing mythical creatures as she hiked around!

She stopped in the east end of the first pullout to the right after the stone pillars. It seemed a fitting way to start the day, finding a "theme" behind the rock that sat to the right of the utility pole.

Heading up Rattlesnake Gulch on the Pipeline Trail, she stopped briefly to look at the map of where she would be hiking. Not far from that point, she noticed a rocky outcropping to her right. Climbing up to the first flat section, she surveyed where she would head next. But wait... what was that she saw eastward down below the top tree? There seemed to be something hiding at the bottom of the stone V. After spying the Mermaid's Steed, she wondered where the Mermaid might be. She headed up to the second flat section, and was amazed by the view. Then a sound came from the north-northeast, where a lone boulder group sat. It appeared that the rocks almost dribbled down the hill toward where she stood, ending at a point. Ah! The Mermaid.

Continuing back on the trail, she soon came to a social trail on her right that lead up over a small embankment to open into a stone amphitheater. Once in the clearing, she noticed a tree on the north side that had interesting snake-like roots. She knew it would probably be best to be careful, as Medusa likes snakes. Further along the trail, a boulder on the left side appeared to be scorched black by the breath of the Fire Dragon. Good thing the tree next to it seemed to escape harm. She decided it was time for a water break, and stopped at a flat rock that was perfect for sitting. It was next to a rock that jutted into the trail. While she rested, she observed a Faun sitting up to her right, just behind the second large rock. After her break, she resumed her hike. A giant, majestic boulder was on her left. She climbed up to the top, and noticed a rock cluster to the southwest. There was a Griffin guarding the west end of the rocks. She skipped past the giant boulder in the pathway, and soon reached the dividing sentinel. To the left and up to the first switchback corner afforded incredible views; to the right and on the north end of the dividing presence, Pixies were known to hide under mossy boulders.

Miss Alaineous decided to start up the trailhead at the top of Church Fork next. She got lucky today (probably because she started so early) and nabbed one of the coveted parking spots at the top of the road at the beginning of the trailhead and didn't have to add on the extra walk from the main road. What luck! She started up the trail and crossed over the small stream (so pretty!). Soon, she had choices. She decided to head left first. At the Y, she took the left trail. Soon enough, a 6 foot size flat boulder was on her right. Curiously enough, it was shaped like South America. Even more curious was the Phoenix hiding under Chile. She continued on the trail, enjoying lovely views of the canyon, when she spied a Pegasus quietly waiting in the tree just up above the end of the metal curve.

Heading back to the Y, she wanted to take the other fork. Just before going down that part of the trail, she noticed a Fairy sprinkling magic dust around a large hollow tree on the right hand side of the trail. Continuing on up, she saw a group of large scattered boulders on her left. The large one closest to the trail had another even larger one right behind it. And behind that one was a cute Mischievous Dragon! She kept hiking up, and stopped to look at an amazing pine tree on her left with an interesting exposed root system. Just for fun, she began counting from the tree. 128...129...130 Oh, look! An almost hidden social trail on the right! She ducked under the branches to find a lovely small waterfall scene, with a small pool. So pretty! It was almost magical... wait! There was a Djinni sitting at the base of the tree. Magical, indeed!

With one last trail to explore in this area, she headed back down to the base of the Y and crossed the bridge to the left. Following the trail up and around, there was a well-traveled social trail to her right that lead to a rocky overlook of the canyon. A stately Sphinx was on the left, just where the rocky area began. She continued on, where some safety fencing started. At the top of the first set of fences, a lookout juniper tree stood. Gollum was nestled in its roots, surveying his precious view.

Desolation Trail seemed to call to her. She started up the path, and hiked for a bit. Not particularly far into her hike, she spied a large boulder on her left, almost like a lone watchman, right next to the trail. It seemed the perfect location for a Gryphon to be perched. Yes, there was one, nestled up in the tree behind the boulder. Continuing on the hike, she was grateful for some advice she had been given previously: "When life gets rocky, be sure to choose the right." Heading ever upward, she happened upon a most unusual site: it appeared that there were some trees growing right out of the rock that was jutting into the trail. It was difficult to see where the rock ended and the trees began. There was quite a lot of rock-- it stretched around. At the far end, there seemed to be a little "cave" up about seven or eight feet from the trail. She climbed up to take a closer look. Moving away some smaller rocks in the hole, a Cornish Pixie flew out! She started hiking again, up and up and up, until finally-- the overlook! Heading down the path to the rocky outcropping, she noticed to her left a darker grey rock with lots of orange lichen on it. It kind of stood out. She headed down behind it, and found the Dragon quietly surveying the valley below from the north end of the rock.

Burch Hollow was her next stop. She started up the Pipeline Trail in this section, and headed up Elbow Fork. This trail always reminded her of a snake, the way it curved around. Funny enough, as she rounded the first of the u-turn shaped "coils" in the trail, she saw a Sea Serpent hidden in the tree grouping on her right, next to the trail. At the third u-turn, she noticed a two-trunked tree off the trail to her right. A Chupacabra waited within. At the curve of the fourth u-turn, a Centaur stood quietly in the multi-tree grouping on her left. She rounded the sixth u-turn and a long, rounding rocky curve. As she continued, the trail finally started to descend slightly. Right before it started to ascend again, she saw a very large flat grey boulder off to her left, almost hidden in the clearing. Stopping there, she looked around the clearing. Heading back about 8 steps, she saw to her right a multi-trunked tree that reminded her of a many-headed Hydra.

To finish off her fun day, Miss Alaineous decided to stroll down the boardwalk next to the creek. There was a Unicorn in the elbow of a small section of boardwalk that branched off the main one, at the second set of stones leading to the stream from the faux falls. She then spotted a Hodag lurking beneath the boardwalk at the top of the black stone stairs at the end of her walk.

Carving Credits:

Many thanks to the awesome letterboxers across the country who carved for this series. Please be sure to leave a nice comment when logging your finds to let them know you appreciate their generosity!

Mythical Creatures: GreenJello
The Mermaid's Steed: Dancing Pecan
Mermaid: Slick Kitty
Medusa: Dizzy
Fire Dragon: Electric Medic
Faun: Hosmer's
Griffin: Red Paisley Quilter
Pixie Petals: GreenJello
Phoenix: Rowe-vers
Pegasus: Mosiac
Fairy Dust: Angel Kisses
Mischievous Dragon: roly-polies
The Djinni: GreenJello
Sphinx: Katie Lindsay
Gollum: SZSRocks
Heraldic Gryphon: Funny Mingo
Cornish Pixie: GreenJello
Dragon: Aiphid
Sea Serpent: brandicat
Chupacabra: SchmedlyO
Centaur: Red Cruz-sader
Hydra: Aiphid
Unicorn: tchr lady
Hodag: By Four If By Sea

Notes: There is a $3 per car fee when leaving Mill Creek Canyon. Bicycles are free. Dogs are welcome, and can go off-leash on odd-numbered days.

No comments:

Post a Comment