Recently I took my dog Trudeau on an excursion to Dimple Dell Nature Park in Sandy, Utah. This adventure was extensively researched and pre-planned, by which I mean that I was looking for directions to somewhere else on Google Maps and found myself wondering what that big block of green was over there and whether it might be of some use to me in attempting to exhaust my dog, and so I decided to take him there completely on impulse.
Exhausting my dog is, in fact, something of a personal mission of mine. It never works out — he always out-staminas me, the bastard — but he likes to allow me my illusions and I find it diverting to seek out new adventures on his behalf. Because it was raining off and on even in the valleys that day, there was no way that I was going to attempt any mountain trails, but Dimple Dell looked promising, since according to the maps it ran right through the middle of residential areas. Our duties discharged and errands run, we drove on toward the trailhead (well I say we, but I was driving, because no matter how much he begs I am not going to give Trudeau the keys). The Granite Park Trailhead was surprisingly easy to find, and from there we had plenty of options, with several small dirt tracks branching off directly from the trailhead and a single large, well-maintained, woodchipped path which soon revealed itself by way of signage to be the North Rim trail. Figuring that it would be very difficult for me to get lost on such an expanse of trail (difficult but not impossible, because it is me we’re talking about here), we stuck primarily to the North Rim trail.
Although the wood chips undoubtedly make for a nice dry trail even on wet days, I found the footing far too spongey to be comfortable — it’s just enough like walking on a sand dune to tire you out. Trudeau had no such qualms, but he also spent most of the walk sniffing things, peeing on things, and trying to engage other dogs in fisticuffs, so he probably wasn’t paying much attention to the footing.
Despite the fact that Dimple Dell is apparently 644 acres in total, the sections of trail that we covered felt more like a neighborhood park than a wilderness trail. The trail truly does run through neighborhoods and often winds along the back fences of houses, which is not always a pleasant experience when there are dogs in there and you have Trudeau along, because as mentioned previously, Trudeau is kind of a dick.
Still, the walk was quite pleasant, with some beautiful views of the very close Wasatch range, and more distant views of the Oquirrhs.
We didn’t spot much in the way of wildlife, unless you count lichen…
…and a few scrub jays, which insisted on staying just far enough away that I could barely get a decent photo, even with my longest zoom.
There was also a dog in a backyard, which I heard but never actually saw, which made a growling sound that was eerily similar to that of a mountain lion and which nearly gave me a heart attack. Oh and also a few kids in a backyard, one of whom leaned over his back fence and shouted to his friends for a good five minutes, “DEER POOP! THERE’S DEER POOP BACK HERE! HEY YOU GUYS, I FOUND SOME DEER POOP!” So one must assume that there are occasionally also deer, but I never saw any. Nor their poop, for that matter.
All in all, it was an enjoyable way to pass an afternoon, and it warmed up enough that I wished I had in fact pre-planned (water would’ve been a good idea) and Trudeau almost seemed a little tired by the time we got back to the trailhead. We could probably spend weeks covering all of the trails in Dimple Dell, which branched out like spiderwebs along the ridgelines and valleys, but since we don’t live in that area — and I prefer more well-packed trails — we probably won’t be frequent visitors, no matter how attractive the lichen is.
[Edit: WOOHOO, thanks WordPress for Freshly Pressing this entry, and thanks to everyone for visiting! If you'd like to read more on what it's like to live in Utah and how it can turn you into a homicidal maniac, you might also be interested in one of my most recent entries, It's Just Like the Road Warrior, Only with Minivans. I hope you'll stick around and read a bit more!]