Mount Timpanogos

Written by  //  February 19, 2011  //  MEMORIES  //  No comments

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Mount Timpanogos is a gigantic peak in the Rocky Mountains that sits just east of the Utah Valley (the cities of Orem and Provo, a bit south of Salt Lake). The peak of Timpanogos is always snowcapped and the size of the mountain makes it a favorite landmark among local residents. There’s even a legend about some Indian girl that died up there, because if you look hard enough at the mountain’s ridge, it looks kinda like a dead Indian girl lying on her back. As a child I remember thinking, “Maybe she’s just sleeping.”

Although I’ve never done it, you can hike to the top of Mount Timpanogos, which seems to be a popular thing to do. My brother Preston tells me from experience that if you take a yogurt up, it’ll explode in your backpack as you near the peak, due to pressure. This makes me glad that my eardrums are stronger than a yogurt top. Interestingly enough, I went to Mount Timpanogos Elementary School and there is even an LDS temple in the Utah Valley called the Mount Timpanogos Temple. In fact, it was the first temple I ever went into, during an open house before its dedication, and was where my favorite (only) sister got married.

There are a series of caves underneath Mount Timpanogos that you can hike up to and tour. I went once with my brother Tadd and a girl he was dating. The hike to the cave was nice because Utah-people who were really anxious for other people to walk up and take a look at their little cave took it upon themselves to pave the entire trail up with an eight-foot-wide path of asphalt. Talk about getting back to nature!

The cave is full of stalactites and stalagmites named after people who banged their head on them. There’s one nook in particular that you have to crawl through that has been cheekily dubbed “50 stitches” or something, because of how many people have accidentally banged their head while crawling through. You’d think people would successfully avoid such an incident, seeing as how the tour guide always rattles off a little spiel about how you’re not supposed to hit your head on that part. But, people still hit their head: “Oh, people banged their head? Well…. not me.” Thunk!

The best part of the cave tour is the end, when you’re able to run down the side of a mountain a little faster than you might think is wise because you’re on an 8-foot-wide asphalt trail. I’m not sure whether or not the fact you were just stuck on a walking-cave-tour that was a little longer than you had signed up for makes the run any more enjoyable. However, after wandering through a cave for a couple of hours, the smell of mountain air certainly enhances the feeling of freedom as you whiz down the side of the mountain at full speed.

The moral of this story is that mountains are cool and that sometimes people bonk their head on the cave tour after being told not to bonk their head on the cave tour.

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