August 28, 2019

Miller Hill

Taking George to meet George.

Miller Hill

One of my favorite things about living in Utah is how easy it can be to get out of the city, and get outdoorsy. Last week was one of those days where Drew and I got to take advantage of that proximity to nature. With the kids back in school, Cindy took advantage of her new found freedom to head up American Fork Canyon to do some paddleboarding on Tibble Fork. She had purchased a week-long pass to the canyon, and on the last day of the pass, she wasn't going to be able to head up the canyon, so she suggested that Drew and I use it.

I loaded one of our ATVs, George into the back of the truck, and headed in to the office for the day. The plan was that Cindy would bring Drewski over later in the afternoon, and then the two of us would head up the canyon to get some riding in before dark.

(And yup - we name our machines. This one is George H. Foreman. Our Honda Foreman.)

When Cindy arrived, Drew hopped into the truck, and we hit the road for a short drive from the office to the canyon. Even with the traffic we encountered, it only took us just under an hour to be up the canyon, and unloading the machine for a ride.

Once unloaded, we rode for a while, just cruising up the main forest road before pulling off onto one of my favorite trails up here, Miller Hill. This trail is one of many in the area with a bit of history to it, but this one is most notable for also being the final resting place of George Tyng. I'll leave some links to more info about George below which you should take the time to look into, as it's an interesting story. The summary though, is that in 1901, George and his sons began prospecting on Miller Hill. It took a few years for that prospecting to pay off, but it eventually did, and things were looking pretty good for Mr. Tyng.

However, one fateful day in January 1906, an avalanche swept down the mountain, taking out George's cabin, and him with it. He was eventually buried on a small knoll near the cabin he spent his time in while on the mountain. I've been up there a few times, and every time I think about how difficult it would be to find a more beautiful final resting place.

Back in March of 2016, Expedition Utah offically adopted the trail. Among the service projects done up there to clean and maintain the trail, one of them was to rebuild the small fence surrounding George's gravesite, and clean up the surrounding area. I was able to be able to participate in the gravesite project, and was looking forward to seeing the state of the site, but also to show Drewski and tell him the story.

We rode up up the trail with no problems, just enjoying ourselves along the way. Once at the top, we took in the view, and just relaxed for a bit. We took some time hiking around a bit, and climbed up to the openings of one of the mine entrances.

Eventually, it started to get dark, so we saddled back up on the ATV, and began the descent back down to the truck. By the time we got back to the truck and loaded up, the sun had set, and it was a bit dark. The previous weekend, I had installed a new set of light bars on the truck, so it was a good opportunity to test them out, and they worked great, lighting up the trail until we got near Tibble Fork and it wasn't a good idea to be using them anymore. We got home a bit later than planned, but had a lot of fun in the process, and really, any time spent together exploring is a win.

If you're interested, here's more info on George Tyng and his time in American Fork Canyon: