Thursday, November 14, 2013

Damn fine hike

Al starting up the Damfino trail
Al sent out a feeler earlier this week to the Senior Trailblazers to see if anybody would be interested in maybe making one more High Country hike this season. After all, the snow has begun to fall in earnest up there, but the Canyon Creek road has just been reopened after being closed for three years. This gives us access to several trailheads, one that we really missed visiting: Damfino Lakes. In response, twelve of us showed up at the Center today! These tiny lakes got their name, supposedly, this way:
The lakes purportedly received their name many moons ago from a ranger's response to a query as to what they were called. His answer: "Damn if I know." (from Washington Trails Association website)
Whatever, the trailhead is located at the end of a long road, at an elevation of 4,300 feet (that's the start we were hoping for today). However, we had to leave our cars at 4,000 feet and walk a half-mile to the trailhead, very little of which was snow-free. It's usually a short hike to Excelsior Pass (you can read more about it on that link, if you want), but we didn't bring snowshoes and had to navigate much heavier snow than we anticipated.
There's a lake under that snow
Nobody was unhappy, however. We were dressed for the weather, and other than having moments when we would posthole through the snow (that means stepping onto what you think is solid ground and sinking in to your hip), it was breathtakingly beautiful, with little breeze and reasonable temperatures. We kept going upwards, but the going just got harder as the snow got deeper, so we stopped for lunch before reaching our destination, thinking maybe we would go a little farther afterwards.
A bit of snow, eh?
But we didn't go very far. Once we ate lunch, several people just wanted to head back down to the cars, and a few of us walked out another five minutes or so. I kept hoping that the skies would clear, because the low clouds would come and go, bathing us in sunshine and disappearing just as quickly. I looked up at some snow-covered trees and got this shot.
Blue sky, snowy trees
It was simply a beautiful day, the snow and the company making it especially wonderful. And we had a couple of new hikers, and one old friend who has returned! I was thrilled to see Fred back, after what seems like forever. Ron has hiked with us occasionally before, but this was Hank's first time with us. I hope they all come back, since they added their own special flavor to today's hike.
Ron, Hank, and Fred
We had a lot of fun, and afterwards we all met at Graham's store in Glacier for coffee and (for some) ice cream. I'm afraid that, even as much as I love ice cream, it doesn't sound all that enticing when I've spent all day walking on snow and ice! On the way back, we saw the clouds were still coming and going.
View from Canyon Creek road
By the time we reached Bellingham, however, it was clear, for the most part. Never mind, I wouldn't trade my day in the High Country for anything! It was very special, a damn fine day.
:-)

26 comments:

  1. the name makes me laugh. :) glad none of you got stuck - or at least had 11 others nearby to help pull you back out! :)

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  2. Brrr. It looks cold, but lovely. I'm happy for you that you got in another high country hike. The weather looks uncooperative now in the near future.

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  3. Wow! Do you folks have snow! None here yet! Beautiful pictures as usual!

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  4. Pretty hike, glad there is snow for you to enjoy! Very Christmas cardy:)

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  5. Oh my. And a damn fine post too - thank you.

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  6. Damn if I know -- that is a cute name. Lol. I don't really care for snow, so I probably would have passed up this hike. Nice to see your photos, though.

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  7. One word for your images....EXTRAORDINARY

    One word for the history of the name....HILARIOUS

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  8. Love the origin of the name. I will never forget it now.
    Haven't ever been "post holing" and it sounds pretty tiring. However the beauty of the snow brightened my day.
    Ice cream?? Now those were hearty souls.

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  9. Great Photos DJan and there certainly is lots of snow up there - a damn fine lot of it, Eh. We have had a few sprinklings here and a wee bit more but waiting for the first big storm that will mark winter and stay. I am sure it was more tiring to wade hip deep in snow on your hike and I like that shot up at the tree, clouds n sky - NICE.

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  10. wow...all that snow...its so gorgeous....i want some...think you could box some and send it my way? smiles.

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  11. Fresh, pristine , new snow has a beauty all of it's own. Hiking through it is another thing. As long as you're not the lead hiker it's not too bad. Knee deep or hip deep is not pleasant.

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  12. Love the snow pictures, glad you got to go on the road since it was opened recently. Wonderful pictures!

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  13. Beautiful scenery, great photos, and a rewarding hike. Sounds just about perfect.

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  14. That's a LOT of snow. Kudos to all of you for trekking through this stuff!

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  15. Funny story how the name was started. I don't blame you for not eating ice cream after trudging through the snow, but you sound like you enjoyed the hike immensely.

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  16. Beautiful scenery as always, but nothing would induce me to walk in snow where I might go in up to my hip! Heaven forbid, No way!

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  17. Jan - great job, narrative & photos both - thanks!
    enjoyed the day with you and the gang

    Hank

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  18. Love that first picture... could be on a Christmas card! You guys are brave souls, but I have to admit it is beautiful.

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  19. Your hikes and photos are always so beautiful to see.

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  20. Funniest name yet!
    If I sunk down to my hip they would find me in the spring. LOL! I am jealous of the beautiful snow, though. Been cold enough here for so long we may as well have some insulating ground cover. ;)

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  21. I couldn't do hikes like this. I'd need a new wardrobe as I don't have clothes for hiking any more, especially cold weather gear.

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  22. That is the most original, fun name I've ever heard. These are such gorgeous photos, DJan! I can almost smell the fresh air and pine.

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  23. Ha, I love the name of the lakes. That was quite a crowd on your snowy hike. I had heard the Cascades were getting snow last week and now I can see it. I love your snowy shots DJan, I am getting tired of all the rain here.

    No ice cream on a snowy day? When I lived in Anchorage my friends and I would go out sometimes late, in the snow, well below zero and visit our favorite ice cream parlor. The parlors stay open late up north.

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