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Note: Over the years, our family has done a lot of backpacking and hiking in Utah, and some of our best memories have come from these experiences. At times, I would take the children together; other times, I would take them individually or in pairs based on their ages and abilities. As Josh notes in his story back in 2003, this was a very special time for us, not simply for the place, but with whom we shared the adventure. He actually wrote and entered this story in an art festival, and he was very proud of his ability to describe the events so clearly. Unfortunately, this was one of the few trips where I didn't take a camera.

Backpacking with My Dad to Silver Lake

By Joshua Davis

One of the happiest days of my life, if not the happiest days of my life, was when my dad took me backpacking up to Silver Lake in Utah County, Utah.

We drove to Granite Flats up in American Fork Canyon, and got our gear out and up the trail we hiked. We hiked a bit, crossed a stream, and came to a wilderness sign. My dad thought we were halfway there (we were only one- eleventh of the way).

We hiked some more, crossed a little stream. We hiked some more, and saw wild raspberries. We hiked even more and saw two moose. We hiked more and saw a water fall. And we hiked and hiked, and FINALLY, we were there.

We hiked around, and chose a camp site. We didn't notice the small holes in the ground where we would pitch our tent. We pitched our tent right over them. We met a few people who were waiting for a scout troop. They showed us where a freshwater spring was.

They said it was so clean that it didn't need to be purified. We purified the water just in case!

Wonderful! Excellent! Fresh and Cool! The water fit all marvelous descriptions!

Stunning! Superb! I poured it over my tongue and let the fabulous water slosh in my mouth. It makes me think where bottled water companies like Arrowhead get their "Mountain Fresh Spring Water"

We carried the water back to camp. We got out our portable backpacking stove and cooked a box of Macaroni and Cheese that we brought with us. Then we cooked up freeze dried corn. We topped our meal off with chocolate fudge mousse at dusk.

We packed up for the night, climbed in our tent, and went to sleep. We awoke to the sound of birds singing, fish jumping, and the light breeze blowing in the trees. We climbed out of our tent and whipped up some instant oatmeal.

Then we filled a day pack with all we needed for The Hike: The hike up to Silver Glance Lake; the lake above Silver Lake, which I would later call: Hidden Lake.

The hike up was much steeper then I thought. It was merely one mile, but it felt like five. We took a break a few times, then we met a couple of people behind us. They were heading up to Silver Glance Lake also. Huffing and puffing, we hiked together to the top. The people we met went fishing, and we took a swim in the freezing water of the lake. My dad guessed that the water was coming from another lake above.

Prepared for our journey down, we saw Granite Flats; where we started. With a few trips and stumbles, we went skidding down the mountain.

At the bottom, we started to put away our tent. Then as we picked up our tarp, a swarm of yellow jackets spun out of the holes in search of the criminal. Apparently, we'd kept them prisoners for a day. We retreated back, for we didn't want to be stung. Once we got them calmed down, we finished packing up for the trip down that I wished could be delayed: The trip Home.

We were half way down, with raspberries on each side of us, when we reached the little stream. We stopped, and got our purifier out and pumped water in our water bottles. The water wasn't as sweet as before, but still better than tap water. My dad started up his famous stories. That day's story was called "The Great Adventures of Joe."

We started hiking some more; my dad told his stories as I listened. We paused every now and then to take a sip of water, and start hiking again.

Time flew and suddenly we saw our car. I hardly noticed the wilderness sign on the way down. It was like one minute we were at the stream, and another we were at the bottom. We took off our gear, hopped in the car, and drove down the canyon. We drove down the canyon, down from Granite Flats, down from Tibble Fork, down from Timpanogos National Monument, and to Wendy's for the traditional Burger and a Frosty, and never since nor before have I had a Better Experience.

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