Field Notes: On the Wild Uintas

8/15/2013 | Amy Tibbals
Stacey Jo Rabiger

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Field Notes: Go Up, Get Wild, Keep It Mild

Camping in the Unitas is akin to killing, like, 12 birds with one stone. Major conflict of interest there, but that's not really what I meant. A Uintas overnighter is basically a road trip, a sleep over, a dinner party, a hike, a walk, a meditative break, and a hundred other things...each of which are delightful happenings in and of themselves. Thus, in the interest of filling our cups, Stacey Jo and I cruised slightly beyond Mirror Lake and found a sweet spot for the night before venturing to Lilly Lake the next day. It was a perfectly-brief and briefly-perfect jaunt, and my advice to you is simple: before summer's end, you should make a point to get in on the good wild. This is the magic hour -- days are toasty and nights are crispy -- but, before you go, a few reminders/notes to make your tiny trip a little more worthwhile:

1. Pack a book. Not just any read will do, though. Rumi poems are the order of the day [or whatever gets you all one-with-nature and such].

2. Let go of the plan, Stan. Whatever your name is, ease out. This adventure came with no set destination, which made it all the better. As long as you have the basics [food, tent, matches, wine, wood], you'll be so, so fine.

3. Find an SUV. Or borrow mine. The campgrounds are busy these days, most notably on weekends when the world is off work, and forging one's own trail is advisable. Thanks to our off-roader, we landed on a beautiful spot in the middle of nowhere without a soul in sight.

4. Take a pal. I took two, but I ain't you. Whether dog or human, a campfire is best enjoyed with another soul. Added bonus: Pearl learned to swim on this particular trip. That's the beauty of the woods...more time and patience for new tricks.

5. Breathe good 'n' deep. Take a bunch of these babies. The air is oh, so fresh and so clean, clean. Then act accordingly. Dance, sing, march, lay, skip, or jump. A little childlike behavior in the mountains never hurt anyone. Disclaimer: do not leave children unattended in the woods.

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