|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.