|Mel at Damfino Trailhead, and yes it's raining|
We were scheduled to hike up Hannegan Pass today, but after setting several records for rainfall in the area yesterday, with rain continuing all night long and into the morning hours, I really wondered if anyone would show up besides Al and me (I am addicted, after all). But lo and behold, there were actually six of us, showing up to drive fifty miles to hike in the rain!
|Al, Mikey, Rich, Chris, and Mel (I'm behind the camera)|
Al suggested that we consider hiking up the Damfino Lakes trailhead and possibly to Excelsior Pass if we were able, instead of Hannegan, which is exposed to the sky for most of the way, not in trees like this hike would be. We were all in agreement, and we headed up to the trailhead. Surprisingly, there was nobody else there (smile). Rich and Chris actually were excited by the rain this morning, since they are going to walk the Camino de Santiago
in Spain next May, and are in the process of getting their gear ready. Rich has rigged a clear umbrella that is hooked to his belt so he can still use his trekking poles, and Chris is trying out a poncho setup. Both will need some tweaks, but today's hike helped t hem to figure out the next steps.
|Running into snow|
We had not gone far before we began to run into snow. The lakes were behind us, though, and we hoped that maybe we could make it all the way to the pass, which is only a 6.5-mile round trip. But no, we began to have issues trying to find our way through the snow, and the farther we climbed, the more snow we ran into.
|Trying to find the trail|
This is as far as we got. The pass is about a mile straight ahead, but there was no way we were going to be able to get there. Plus, the idea was to have a nice day in the wilderness, and so far we had done just that. We turned around to find a sheltered spot in the trees for lunch.
|Our standing lunch spot|
Nobody sat down to enjoy lunch; we simply fueled our bodies and started our trek back down. We did notice, however, that the rain had begun to diminish, and by the time we actually started back, it was almost nonexistent. We only covered a scant five miles or less, round trip, but part of it was through snow, and most of it was in some serious rain.
These small lakes are surrounded by pretty boardwalks, and we've enjoyed this hike many times before. If you're at all interested in what the hike is like on a nice day, you can read this link
for more information. WTA tells how the lakes got their name, and has some nice pictures of the view we didn't have today.
But none of that really mattered: we got out in the wilderness, enjoyed seeing the beauty and having a chance to test out our rain gear (mine needs some work), and now we are home safe and sound. Next week is Yellow Aster Butte, which can be one of the buggiest hikes we do, and I'll be ready for it. But today, no bugs! They were all hiding out under the leaves, I think.