Perhaps I'm just not meant to ever climb Flat Top -- the highest point in the Oquirrh Mountains in northern Utah. On my first attempt, I tried to take a shortcut to the top and got chewed out by an angry property owner. On my second attempt, with my brothers as company, we got mired down in deep snow and eventually ran out of energy and daylight.
My recent 3rd attempt ended with the same result. Using Google Earth I mapped out the most direct route that skirts around the private property. One thing I couldn't see in the aerial photography however was all of the low oak brush that lined most of my planned route. After tangling with the brush for a couple of hours, it was clear that, once again, I was going to come up short.
I didn't want to ruin the entire day, so I decided to retreat and head over to Timpie Valley in the northern Stansbury Range to look for the elusive "dancing red man" pictograph.
I haven't completely given up on Flat Top, but I'm not going to try it in the winter again.
On the way over to Timpie Valley, I noticed a small plaque bolted on a rock next to the highway that I'd never seen before.
While I was aware or much of the information on the plaque, I didn't know about the remains of one of the oldest roads constructed in the Tooele area. This road is clearly visible on the other side of the modern highway, and was built a full 10 years before silver was discovered near present-day Stockton by Col. Patrick Connor's (Steptoe's successor) men. The bit about the fault-created bench and glaciers coming out of Silcox Canyon are very doubtful, however.
The view from Timpie out over The Great Salt Lake's glassy waters toward Stansbury Island was a treat.
I only have a few vague clues as to the whereabouts of the pictograph. I know it's in a protective cave or overhang, and from pictures, it appears it is painted on one of the bright white Paleozoic quartzite layers rather than the gray limestones that dominate much of this northern part of the range.
I spent several hours searching every cave I could find but still came up empty. I've thought about contacting someone who has been there for directions or GPS coordinates, but I've decided it would be much more fun to keep trying to find it on my own, not to mention more rewarding when I finally do stumble upon it!
Above: a rare arch in dolostone.
Above: I'm not a big fan of anything that has more than four legs, but I'm curious about what kind of spider this is -- tell me if you know.
Below: right at the 5100' Bonneville highstand (reached about 15,000 years ago), all of the limestone ledges are encrusted with this white, porous "coral rock". It makes for some interesting photos.
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