I spent Wednesday evening hiking over the pass between Granite Flats and Alpine. This nine mile hike is quite rigorous with a lot of vertical and skirts Box Elder Peak, the 11,100 mountain shown here. The last two hours were on a rocky trail, in the dark, with no flashlights - a lesson in preparedness. Our search and rescue teams have been very busy this year. I'm glad that we didn't contribute to their workload. The Wasatch Mountain Club has rated the Box Elder Peak hike anywhere from a 10.1 to an 11.9 in difficulty (well above their 7.5 average for hikes in the area). Going up to the divide is an average gain of 982 feet per mile compared to 606 feet on the Aspen Grove Timpanogas trail.
I was surprised by the new look of Recreation.gov this morning. Along with the new look, there is a new supporting site: Recreationmaps.gov. It's a great start, but there are still some flaws and shortcomings with the map search. The Department of Energy also unveiled a new website. I certainly welcome that, since I was getting tired of the old site.
Two articles on blogging appeared in this morning's issue of the Deseret News:
The National Resources Defense Council has been criticizing the Bush administration on a wide range of environmental issues, claiming neglect of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Much of the implementation and regulation of these issues has been given to the states. I checked out ECHO (Enforcement and Compliance History Online) for current compliance actions in Utah. The site integrates with EPA's EnviroMapper and lets you drill down and identify compliance activities.
Jim Stewart is making progress in planning Intermountain eXchange 1, a conference focused on next-generation wide-area network issues affecting the intermountain region. Governor Leavitt is scheduled to provide a keynote address.