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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Senior Hiking # 374 - Beehive Lakes Trail 279

45° - 36°
Oct 11, 2010…Beehive Lakes…tr #279 …
hike # 374 - By Betsy

After a week or more of rain, the forecast for today was to have some sun but it was cold and windy. Clouds hovered over the mountains toward the north where we were headed. The plan was to go back to Beehive for the fourth time this year, and go up to the saddle on the ridge above the lake. I thought we had already done this but the mouse in my pocket kept saying we hadn’t. The last time we did this hike it was 87°. At the trailhead, the Pack River was roaring, full of water from the recent rains. I was glad I switched to my warmer sweatshirt with the temperature at 45° as we started out.
The trail was wet with running water everywhere…and slick and muddy. Hmmm...I wondered to were we going to get across Beehive Creek? As I was in the lead and was the first to get to the creek, I thought when I saw it, no way am I going across this. The fast running water was scary to think about crossing on the few rocks available to get to the other side. When Jim got there, we surveyed the situation and of course, he just went right over. I pondered other ways over but they were too dangerous so tried his way, the only safe way over, hesitating and moving very cautiously. It wasn’t falling in the water and getting wet so much that concerned me as slipping on the wet rocks and hurting myself…not to mention that if I went down over the side, it is a long way down and I would be unconscious…or dead… by the time I hit the bottom! I made it over without incident and checked for possible slippage carefully before trusting the three rocks but it scared the daylights out of me. For the first time in a long time, I did not bring my extra pair of socks…water seeped into my boots on the crossing and I could feel wetness. Grrr…..

We got up the steep trail to the lake in three hours, the wet and muddy trail slowing us down considerably. Twin Peaks above the lake were totally fogged in so we aborted the plan to go up there. It was cold and raw, and I just wanted to make a little fire in the fire pit to get warm. At least I was smart enough to wear long pants…Jim wore shorts! He forgot his warm mittens but at least had his light wool gloves which did nothing for cold fingers.

We walked over to the ‘bear box’ to get out of the light wind to sit and eat lunch. My hands and feet were very cold, and got out my HotHands for the trek down. By now it was 36° and falling…just a nice fall day…ha! I doubled up on jackets and Jim put his on as well. He refused my extra set of HotHands…it would have been hard to get them into the close fitting gloves and it wouldn’t do much for the cold fingers anyway.

As we got down off the huge granite slab, we met a couple hiking up…what a surprise that was to see anyone on this gray day. They had been planning to go up the saddle today too but we gave them out thoughts on the conditions up at the lake and they said that they decided already that they were not going to do it either.

Left home 9:20Started up 10:20Got to lake 1:20 (3 hours)
Left lake 1:45
Got to truck 4:10 (2 hours, 25 minutes)
Total miles hiked 10 miles
Total hiking time 5 hours, 50 minutes

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