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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Senior Hiking #351

May 3, 2010…back to snow and the Nordic trails … hike #351 
By Betsy

The forecast was for very high wind and snow in the mountains and rain in town. Hmmm…what to do. We had planned on going down to the shore line again today before the water pool raises but not in this kind of mess. I like blue sky and photo ops for lake and mountain top hikes. So we got out the snowshoes again and headed up to the now closed Schweitzer. We parked up in the regular lot and braced ourselves against the wind. The village looked like a ghost town.

We decided to do the entire Overland loop today but start from the opposite way that we usually do. The wind was wild but luckily it was not too cold though I needed three layers on my head and my neck warmer and I was thankful I put on another long john layer. I did regret wearing regular hiking boots instead of the snowshoe boots…I was slipping and sliding around so much in the overboots. Since we thought we might decide to not do Schweitzer and go to Gold Mountain instead, I wanted good walking boots. Oh well.

We had the gamut of weather today…blizzard-y snow, then sideways sleet…then the sun would peek out and go back behind the heavy clouds again. Just after we started up, we heard a very loud thunder clap…I was glad I didn’t get to see the lightning bolt which most likely preceded it. There were no wildflowers to be seen this day. The heavy wet soft snow was difficult to walk in at times, sticking to the bottom of the snowshoes and making each step weight twice or more what it should. I said the hiker’s prayer a few times today…”Lord, if you pick ‘em up, I’ll put ‘em down." We found a sheltered spot in the trees to have a snack and then later, when we finally got to the old shack which we pass every time, we “broke” in, sat down and had our lunch. It was so nice to be out of the wind. I also took the opportunity to tighten my boots. We restrung the wire which held the door shut before heading out again into the wild wind.

Again we had the blowing snow, then wind, then sun, then blowing snow again. When the sun came out the first time I had to get my sunglasses was not only blinding me, but zapping my energy, as it always does. The one thing I could have used today was my sun hat but who knew!

There were not a lot of animal tracks…I was surprised. Just a few moose tracks, but we did see a good bear track…the first one this season. He/she had come up the bank of the left, crossed the trail and went up the bank on the right. By the time we got down the wind must have been blowing at 50 mph!

Left home 10:30
Started up 11:00
Got to truck 3:00
Total miles hiked 7 miles
Total hiking time 4 hours

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