Loan Oak Loop – Layton, UT

This was probably the first difficult (for me) hike I’ve had in a couple years (I’m also 70+ pounds heavier). I was a soaking wet mess when I finally made it to my car (rolled down the windows on the way home and swear I almost got frostbite on my back – mind you it was 80* outside). This was the “Loan Oak Loop” trail above Antelope in Layton Utah. Click the link to see my review of the trail, and details about the trail.

I really didn’t take many images at all because BUGS! Flying, crawling, webs, and foliage galore! I swear I inhaled more bugs tonight than I have in my life. I remember doing part of this hike a couple years ago and turned around when I hit the foliage. It was so thick that my legs were basically mud and green scuffs when I took my shower tonight. Would NOT recommend this hike at night with a bright headlamp on.

Back circa 2020-2021 when I was basically falling apart inside and struggling to forgive myself for normal things most people don’t give a second thought to, these hard hikes were therapeutic in a sense. Hike hard, make it hurt, and let that be your punishment for what you feel guilty about. Tonight, my mind really didn’t follow a path, I didn’t feel anything working through the process as I was struggling not to fall on my ass or face down some of the more difficult parts of the hike. I just worried.

I worried that if I did fall down and got conked out for good, what would my kids do until the Air Force, VA, life insurance, and my Will were figured out? How would they know what do to with my body (Kids, do as you wish, I’d be dead, it wouldn’t make a difference to me what you did – just don’t bury me in an lds cemetery)? Weird stuff like that. I have no idea why, but those are some of the thoughts I was listening to as I was stumbling, slipping, and huffing down the trail inhaling bugs from the air. Oh, and wondering if a stroke, or a heart attack was going to get me first because, shit!

Here are two of the bugs I saw tonight. I “think” they are the same species, but one is male and the other is female? I dunno, the smaller one has pincers on the end of its little front sticky outty legs. I call the big one a “Sand Baby” if I remember right. I remember them when I was a kid, and a few years ago hiking from the 29th Street Trail Head. I’ve just never seen them on the trail this early in the summer.

I did stop and take a picture with my Pentax pointing a little south, and another pointing a little north. Here they are (and one from my cell phone – Cell phones don’t have the dynamic range of a camera). Side note, I edited the camera images with the latest release of DarkTable (4.8.0). SO GOOD and it seems it is always getting better (Works in Linux, mac, or microsoft).

And with that, I am going to go crawl into bed and hope the 800mg Ibuprofen I snarfed down lets my aches and pains dull enough to sleep well.

Next weekend is my mom’s side family reunion up in Idaho (My grandma on my mom’s side). It is usually a nice time with them folk. A little sippin’ the beer, a little shootin’ the shit, and a lot of “remember when”. I wasn’t as close to this side of the family as my dad’s side, but his side is also substantially smaller. I have no doubt I will have a few short stories, and a bunch of pictures to post on here. Lets hope it is as pleasant as last years.

Have the day you deserve, and if it doesn’t turn out to be the way you wanted, maybe change your attitude and you’ll do better next time.


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