Oil in Mt. Timpanogos?

February 19, 2016

During the RARE II Wilderness Assessment process, and during the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s and 1980s, wildcatters along the Rocky Mountains spine of the west would say we couldn’t rule out any area as having no oil unless we drilled first.

But no one’s found oil in Timpanogos.

Instead, we’ve found Timpanogos in oil.

Mt. Timpanogos Millennium, by Adam Abram (b. 1976). From Tweet by Don Ruggles (@DHRuggles) and @TeresaVeiga1

Mt. Timpanogos Millennium, by Adam Abram (b. 1976). From Tweet by Don Ruggles (@DHRuggles) and @TeresaVeiga1

It’s an interesting view of the mountain, from the southwest. At the right of the picture is Provo Canyon. The body of water must be the Provo River, but in a serene state I think could not have existed at any time. The bluffs shown past the juniper trees are unfamiliar to me.  I’m guessing the artist, Adam Abram, has idealized Timpanogos as the Mormon pioneers might have found it. The area portrayed is probably part of Orem, Utah, today — covered by housing tracts and power lines.

Anyone know? A topological map covering the mouth of Provo Canyon to where the river enters Utah Lake might offer much more specific information. I don’t have one of those at the moment.

Compare it with this photo of Timpanogos (in late summer) by Bob Walker of Orem, 2012:

Utah's Mount Timpanogos looking Northeast; Provo Canyon to the left of the photo. Photo by Bob Walker.

Utah’s Mount Timpanogos looking Northeast; Provo Canyon to the left of the photo. Photo by Bob Walker.

Almost update: I went looking for Adam Abram. You can hang a print of his Mount Timpanogos Millennium for under $30 (a bargain).

Abram explains his painting:

I grew up in the shadow of beautiful Mt. Timpanogos.  This mountain, towering over Utah Valley, stands at 11,749 feet above sea level and once rose above the shores of ancient Lake Bonneville.  Its name is a Paiute word meaning “river of rock.” My goal as an artist was to memorialize my favorite mountain with a 19th century style similar to the Hudson River School. In the process of creation, I did studies of several trees from around the mountain and painted them in.  Sadly, those trees have been torn down with the growth of business and home development. This painting is a tribute to the beauty and majesty of this incredible mountain. This painting won 3rd place in the prestigious 2007 International ARC salon.

I’m not alone in loving that mountain. Who knew?


Alpine Loop? Try Utah’s, gentler, prettier than Colorado’s

August 6, 2008

Utah’s canyons have so many pretty spots. Taking visitors through them I always heard about how no one expected such beauty in the desert. So I was excited to see the headline in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News about taking the Alpine Loop.

Autumn aspens in Utahs Alpine Loop - Wikimedia photo

Autumn aspens in Utah's Alpine Loop - Wikimedia photo

Prettiest drive you can make in a day. Start out in American Fork, head up American Fork Canyon, cross over to the backside of Mt. Timpanogos — you’ll see aspen, pines, fir, some of the prettiest streams you’ve ever seen anywhere. Some years back the Utah Travel Council had a spectacular poster showing the colors in the fall — about five shades each of red, gold and green, aspen and cottonwoods against the balsam and Douglas fir and a few scattered pines. Stop and hike up to Timpanogos Cave National Monument. See where the glacier was on the east side of Timpanogos.

End up passing Robert Redford’s Sundance Ski Resort, and down Provo Canyon (when I skied there it was $6.50 for a full-day pass; have the rates gone up?) — finish up with dinner in a good restaurant in Provo (or drive the 36 miles back to Salt Lake City and have world-class sushi at Takashi).

Alas. The article was about Colorado’s Alpine Loop. Who knew Colorado even had one by that name?

I suspect the Colorado version is less-traveled. The author took a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Utah Travel Council photo of the Alpine Loop showing some of the autumn colors -- not the great shot from the long-ago poster, alas.

Utah Travel Council photo of the Alpine Loop showing some of the autumn colors -- not the great shot from the long-ago poster, alas.

Utah’s Alpine loop is paved the entire way, closed maybe only during a winter of very heavy snow. If you’re just passing through, you can do the drive in three hours or less, easily. If you have a day, grab a picnic, and spend some time stopping to enjoy the mountains.

(Go see Rich Legg’s photos of the east side of Timpanogos, here.)

Some time I’d like to check out the Colorado version. Odds are that I’ll be back in Utah County before then, however, and odds are you’ll be closer to the Utah version than the Colorado version, too.

You know the old saying about “take time to stop and smell the balsam, and ooh and aah at the aspen?” The Alpine Loop is what the aphorist was thinking about. Theodore Roosevelt would have gone there, had he known about it. You know about it now.

Windleys Google map of Utahs Alpine Loop, around Mt. Timpanogos

Windley's Google map of Utah's Alpine Loop, around Mt. Timpanogos


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