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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Senior Hiking #350

60° (Sunny)

26 Apr 2010…Maiden Rock to shore again…Tr #321…hike #350 (By Betsy)

The overcast sky eventually turned to hazy sun as we drove to the trailhead; temps were also a lot cooler than last week’s hike along the shore. I wore my sweatshirt jacket all day to fend against a light cool wind. The plan today was to hike down the Maiden Rock trail, a 2 mile steep descent to the lake, and attempt to walk down the shore to Evans Landing. We’ve done this hike twice before several years ago and the steep hike back up to the top is always a killer.

The beginning of the trail on this old Indian trail is quite pretty, meandering down thru dense old growth cedars. Surprisingly we saw patches of ice and snow in the low areas…I was wondering why my nose began to get cold! Crossing Maiden Creek, which begins from a spring about a half mile from the start of the trail, was not too difficult. What caused the most apprehension was the slick moss covered stones across its width. The last mile is as steep as we remembered…it would be so difficult without trekking poles…I never know how people hike without poles anyway…we can hardly walk without them any more. Getting old is not for sissies! Believe me when I say this was steep.

We saw so many wildflowers…lots of trillium, yellow and purple violets, Blue Eyed Mary, yellow mule ear, and the older purple trillium.

Finally down at the beach...of course, no one was there in spite of the fishing derby going on up in Sandpoint. There are three boat buoys, a fire ring, tables and an outhouse. We have never seen anyone at either Maiden Rock or Evans Landing, both of which are only accessible by boat or foot down the steep mountain trail. And of course, the huge Maiden Rock is right there in your face!

We had a snack and headed down the rocky shore line, but after getting thru the first boulder rocks, it got easier to walk on, and not as difficult as last week. We noticed so many sun bleached bones lying around today, and the pebbles and stones seemed so much smaller and smoother. Possibly prevailing winds made bigger waves and washed small carcasses up on to the beach when water is up. The lake must be wild during storms along this section. Ocean conditions do exit on our gorgeous 60 mile long lake which has depths of over 1000’. People have gotten lost and into trouble and some have died in the process because of boating or sailing in high risk conditions. It is a lake where conditions can change in 30 minutes and should always be respected.

Not even half way down, we were stopped in our tracks. A huge section of vertical rock jutting vertically down into the water prevented us from getting around. So we just stopped, ate our lunch, took pics, took in the view and got ready to head back. On the way back I picked up a few more wave smoothed stones. I also took my gloves off and put my hand in the water…yikes…it must have been 40°. I could only keep in for a nanosecond! Back at the beach, we ate some sugar snacks for energy for the two mile relentlessly steep climb back up to the top, which is always tougher than coming down.

Left home 9:30

Started down 10:15

Got to lake 11:25 ( 1 hour 10 minutes)

Headed down shore 11:35

Back to Maiden 1:20

Started back up 1:30

Got to truck 2:55 (1 hour 25 minutes)

Total miles hiked 7+ miles

Total hiking time 4 hours, 40 minutes

Elevation gain/loss 1169’ in 2 miles

P.S. For those who have been reading my reports for almost 7 years, know of Rosie, my 3 lb Yorkie. Rosie died this week, way too soon, and I will miss her terribly.

R.I.P. Rosie Ann 1997-2010

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