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YOU'RE FIVE HOURS FROM PARADISE: Click the Arts & Life index for a link to a photo story on how to plan your Yellowstone getaway. / Photo by Shauna Leavitt
Today's word on

Friday, September 9, 2005

Scene: Calvin and Hobbes are reading the newspaper.

Calvin: "I like following the news! News organizations know I won't sit still for any serious discussion of complex and boring issues. They give me what I want: Antics. Emotional confrontation. Sound bites. Scandal. Sob stories and popularity polls all packaged as a soap opera and horse race! It's very entertaining."

Hobbes: "Then commentators wonder why the public is cynical about politics."

Calvin: "You can tell this is an in-depth story because it's got an article next to a chart."

--Calvin & Hobbes by cartoonist Bill Watterson, 2005


Heavy spring rains make Wind Cave Trail enticing even to non-hikers

Carol Wong makes her way along the Wind Cave Trail. / Photo by Shauna Leavitt

By Shauna Leavitt

July 11, 2005 | Waist-high grasses and fast-flowing spring waters, caused by heavy rainfall, have made the Wind Cave Trail more appealing.

A wide variety of native wildflowers and trees add beauty and shade to the hike.

The thick vegetation can make it difficult for drivers to see the Wind Cave trailhead sign from the road. The trailhead is on the south side of U.S. 89 (400 North in Logan) approximately 4 miles up the Logan Canyon across the road from Guinavah campground.

At the beginning of the trail, hikers will find Forest Service markers that provide information about the hike, geological formations, vegetation, and safety warnings. Each hiker should have a water bottle, sunscreen, hat and sturdy shoes.

Sturdy shoes will be appreciated by the hikers as they ascend 900 feet within 1.3 miles. The trail is often steep and rocky, but the majestic surroundings make it easy to forget the challenges.

Hikers will find a wide variety of native plants and trees, sweet fragrances and majestic mountain views including the east side of the China Wall formation. If hikers brings binoculars they may see hikers on the opposite side of the canyon conquering the difficult Crimson Trail.

The view from the trail. / Photo by Shauna Leavitt

It will take the average adult 1 1/4 hours to hike up to the Wind Cave and 45 minutes to hike down.

During the ascent, the curvature of the mountain and the tall trees hide the largest cave from the view of the hikers. It is not discovered until the hikers are standing on top of it.

The climber then descends into the cave, which has a large opening at both ends and a steep floor. The large south opening of the cave makes a natural frame for the green mountainous scenery.

An unexpected fact about the Wind Cave is it was formed by water, not wind. Underground water dissolved the soft limestone into caverns. The Logan River eventually uncovered the caverns.

If hikers prefers to stay in the cool shade they can start the ascent after 5:30 p.m. If there is a chance the hikers will still be on the trail after dark, they should bring a flashlight. The steep, rocky trail would be difficult without light.


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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