OGDEN -- If you hiked Skyline, or Beus Canyon, or perhaps the Bonneville Shoreline Trail over the past three months, you've probably run into a skinny little guy with a scraggly, white Brigham Young beard, worn round-toed leather hiking boots and a really cool walking stick.
That would be Henry Knauber, who is 92 and has spent the summer hiking here, there and back again all over Weber and Davis counties.
Makes me tired just to hear him tell it, and I'm not 92. Waterfall today, Skyline yesterday, Bonneville Shoreline tomorrow.
Usually he hikes alone. This has been known to bother total strangers.
He doesn't look a day over 80, but when he mentions he is 92, people do a mental double-take, give him their phone numbers and ask him to call when he gets home, just so they won't worry.
Henry does call, but he doesn't worry.
Hiking is what he does. He has the sure-footed and steady gait of a practiced walker that takes him over rocks, around trees, up hill and down dale.
Hiking has kept him healthy, he believes. Hard to argue: He uses glasses for reading, takes one pill a day for cholesterol, if he remembers, and can hike five miles without strain.
He admits to preferring the downhill trails, but that's just a preference. When we did Gib's Loop along Ogden's bench Wednesday morning, he handled the ups and downs better than I.
Henry lives in Wiconisco, Pa., but spends his summers hiking the West. In Utah he stays with his friend Ida Davis, of Roy, who worked at the same place in Pennsylvania he did many years ago. Her husband and his wife were still alive then, and they were all good friends.
Ida and her husband moved to Utah. Now Henry and Ida are widower and widow, retired and still good enough friends that, when Henry stays at Ida's, she makes sure his clothes are color coordinated, fusses over his meals and worries if he's not home on time.
"I feed him and it just disappears," she says of her meals and Henry's thin build.
"It's all that walking," he said.
Henry didn't always hike. During World War II he was in the U.S. Army. "I'm a veteran of three D-Days," he said, and there are not a lot of guys left who can make that claim.
He was in the thick of it. As a member of the 1st Infantry Division, the "Big Red One," he invaded North Africa in 1942, Sicily in 1943 and France in 1944.
He started hiking in his late 40s because "I just enjoyed getting out and going," he said, but the late 40s is also when many people -- I did -- decide whether to be a couch potato or not.
He decided not to. He's a member of a hiking club in Pennsylvania and even has a trail named after him because he built it.
He discovered hiking out West when Ida and her husband moved to Utah in 1965. Henry and his wife came to visit.
"When I got out here, I hadn't been in the mountains before and I thought, man, that's good hiking out there."
He wasted no time.
"My brother-in-law came with me, we hiked down into the Grand Canyon," he said, camping out at the bottom.
In the morning, his brother-in-law's leg was injured, so Henry had to hike up and send down a mule.
He retired from work when he hit 63, which gave him more time to hike. His best guess is he's done 20,000 miles, but who knows? He doesn't keep track.
"The Appalachian Trail is 2,000 miles," he said. When you add in all the ups and downs of even short trails in Weber and Davis counties --Indian Trail three times this summer alone -- they add up.
He got here in June and will head back to Pennsylvania by Labor Day. In between, he's been all over.
He pulled out a much-folded, annotated Weber Pathways trails map and pondered the squiggly lines that go up and down Mount Ogden, Ben Lomond, around Ogden.
He doesn't just hike, he studies. At the 29th Street trailhead, he pondered signs about Malan's Peak and the old restaurant that used to be up there.
"I read about this in a history of Ogden," he said. "They cut that road up there themselves and hauled people up." The Malan's road is now the trail he tried to hike a few weeks before but the steepness turned him around.
He spent a couple days, and several rolls of film, hiking up the sides of Ogden Canyon where a large irrigation pipe spans the canyon. He figured people aren't supposed to be there, but at least all he did was take pictures of the graffiti his predecessors left.
When he's not hiking, he and Ida drive around and look at stuff.
"She likes to go to Wendover," he said, and said that's where they would be today.
"But he has to go hiking before we go to Wendover," she said, and he agreed.
So this morning, if you get there early enough, look for a slight older gentleman with a white beard, well-worn hiking boots and a ready smile starting out at the Art Nord trailhead below Snowbasin and down Wheeler Creek.
"There's that nice hike through the trees, all downhill, and it comes out at Pineview Reservoir," he said.
That's where Ida will pick him up and away they'll go.