|Trekking poles at the Lost Lake junction|
Lost? Lost Lake, that is. We were never really lost, although we sure did miss having Al with us. Our leader was feeling a bit under the weather, so nine of us Senior Trailblazers headed off without him, on a hike scheduled to take us to Lost Lake. Without Al, nobody really wanted to lead. The person most likely to lead us in Al's stead is Steve, who has plenty of experience, but he naturally hikes much faster than the rest of us, so if he were to lead (as we know from experience) he'd take off, turn around after awhile and find that none of us were anywhere in sight!
|Amy, Steve, Karen, Fred, Mikey|
I ended up hiking first, setting the pace, but I was unwilling to make any decisions. At the junction we discussed whether we wanted to simply do an out-and-back hike or make our way around the lake, as we would have done with Al leading. Steve hoped we would have a view, so we took the longer route, hiking up through clearcut. Although we knew it was supposed to rain, it hadn't made an appearance by this time, so off we went.
|Baker in the distance, storm clouds overhead|
Steve was right: we did get a view, but the wind was blowing hard, and it wasn't comfortable at all. And to make things worse (this happens sometimes when nobody is watching), we missed the turnoff that Al usually takes, and suddenly, Steve realized that we were a bit higher than the lake.
|Lost Lake below us|
We decided to take the faint snowy trail through the clearcut area to get back down to the lake, which was not much fun, but the recent cold weather meant that there was moderately firm footing down the trail to the lake. My knee sure doesn't appreciate steep terrain, especially when I'm going down, but there was nothing to do about it. When you're out there, you deal with it.
|Three wise guys|
We noticed that three of us were wearing red jackets, and with the green surrounding them, I couldn't help but ask for a seasonal picture. Steve, Doug and Fred were all more than happy to comply. We made it to the lake in time for lunch, and we speculated that in three hours of hiking we had covered quite a bit of ground. With no GPS (or Al) to tell us how far we'd gone, we gratefully stopped at our usual spot and enjoyed a quick lunch. Still no rain!
|Lunch spot at Lost Lake|
As the wind blew across the lake, we discussed that the lake looked rather strange. We figured out that it's because there is a thin film of water over ice! The recent cold weather froze much of the lake's surface, but warmer weather apparently melted the top layer. Or that's what we speculated, anyway. The water was definitely odd looking.
On the way back, we admired the design made by the frozen ice in this waterfall. By the time we were back on the trail that we knew well, most of us were anxious to reach the cars before the spitting sky opened up in earnest. And you know what? It didn't really start to rain until we got back! It was perfect timing, with nine of us having hiked more than ten miles and who knows how much elevation gain and loss. It was enough to make me very happy to be inside, writing this post. We had fun.