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Friday, September 24, 2010

Senior Hiking #369 = Harrison Lake Trail 217

42° - 51° Foggy

Sept 6, 2010…Harrison Lake…tr # 217…
hike # 369
by Betsy

The weather was supposed to be around 61° with partly cloudy skies…NOT! Instead we had very overcast sky with fog all around us which only got worse the closer we got to the trailhead. It was a bit on the chilly side…we wore long pants today and I put on my jacket, pulled up my socks, put my hood up and we both wore our ragg wool mitts. A few raindrops hit the windshield. My voice recorder didn’t seem to be working but it was…guess I need to read Joe Blow’s instructions. In order to not get shot at…it is now hunting season…we wrapped our orange vests around our packs.
A short way up into the trail, we saw a blue jacket lying on the side of the trail…and met its owner a short time later as he came down. He had his ear buds in for tunes and his bear spray on his belt! He told us that the sun was out up at the lake...he lied! It was not. The fog only increased as we hiked and when we got to the spot to turn off trail, we decided against it due to the thick fog. The plan was to go to Harrison Lake and from there go over across the granite and up to the ridge to see the plane crash wreckage and the sign up above. But because we couldn’t see much in front of us much less the views, we nixed that idea and went straight to the lake, where we found ourselves completely fogged in. However, every thirty seconds, the fog would move around just enough for me to get a few nice shots.

As we were eating lunch, a young couple walked into the lake…ready to take on the ridge as we were. After chatting a bit, we convinced them to walk up the steep boulder side at the end of the lake…they went for it. We have come down that way in the past. It was now 42°…and my hands were freezing even with heavy Ragg mittens. Out came the HotHands which we both carry year round. We tried to think of something else to do…the hike to the lake is just too short to turn around there. Since the views were non existent, we just walked down the connecting trail, the other and longer way into the lake from Bonners Ferry, and all the while the temperature kept dropping. Don’t you just love global warming??? Summer lasted about ten days this year.
On the way down, I spotted a beautiful red mushroom...of course I had to photograph it. We got sprinkled on a bit just as we were getting to the end and came close to digging out the raingear but took a chance that we could make it out which we did. Driving home and back out in civilization, we saw a large bear crossing Upper Pack River Rd…but it was too fast for me and was gone before I even got the camera out. He was a big boy.
 (Bears dig at logs to find ants)

Left home 8:30Started up 9:30
Turned around 1:30?
Got to truck 2:30
Total miles hiked 9 miles
Total hiking time 5 hours

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