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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Senior Hiking #366 - Beehive Lakes Trail 279

87° HOT!Aug 16, 2010…Beehive Lakes…tr#279 …hike # 366

The plan was to go back to Beehive Lake trail a third time and try for the saddle on the ridge between Twin Peaks, even though we have done it before but a bit to the east. It’s all the same to me…a ridge is a ridge is a ridge.
But I agreed, even though this is usually a very hot trail and the temps were predicted to be close to 90°. If I learned anything in the last 50 years, it is that when Jim gets something in his head, it’s best to just go along with it because nothing will change his mind.
There was one rig at the trailhead, (Washington plates!) a guy who we met coming down as we were headed up. He said no one else was up at the lake but it had been pretty busy over the weekend. I carried the bear spray on my belt today. On and on and it got hotter and hotter, and steeper and steeper. The huckleberries were few and far between…I would say I only found and ate 10. The bears will not have an abundance of the purple gems this year, at least not on this trail. The four big snags are still there but we have now had a lot of practice getting over them, adding huge rocks along the sides where necessary.
I was leading as usual, and noticed Jim lagging behind quite a lot and he needed to take frequent rests to sit down. We were traveling at a snail’s pace as in baby steps. He was completely overcome with the heat but would not ‘say uncle’ so we kept moving albeit slowly. I thought for sure he would say he had had enough when we got to the steep, hot and sunny granite but no. However we needed to find a clump of trees for him to lie down. I ate my sandwich thinking this was where we would turn around. But it was not to be…he said nothing. After about 30 minutes we continued on up to the lake where we rested some more and I took lots of pics. This is a great lake to photograph…the water color is always amazing. And this time there was no one in my favorite photo op spot, another couple passed us on the way to another campsite on the lake. We only said hello as they were too far away plus we weren’t really in a sociable mood. (We noticed their rig later…more Washington plates! Washington folks just love our mountains and trails!)

Heading down, and knowing it would be a slow descent, I paced myself as I stepped more carefully than usual over roots, snags, rocks, bear grass and whatever, on this ‘not such a ‘foot friendly’ trail. As if heat exhaustion was not enough, Jim took a hard fall, tripping over a root, and then getting his poles twisted between his legs. I heard the thud and as I turned around he was still rolling, muttering some x rated words. I was not allowed to talk or take pictures but a single hand gesture told me he was okay.
 After catching his breathe, we continued down, and I was again permitted to talk. To keep a better eye on him, I put him in front for the way down…this also avoided having to stop every 30 seconds for him to catch up. Probably a good thing as I tend to walk too fast for conditions on the way down. It took long to get down and as soon as we got into the truck, we blasted the A/C.

Left home 8:25Started up 9:30Got to lake 12:30
Headed down 1:30
Got to truck 3:35
Total miles hiked 8 miles
Total hiking time 6 hours, 5 minutes

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