Thursday, July 24, 2014

Damfino Lakes

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.
Damfino Lake
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.


  1. I do admire your determination. Addictions will do that won't they?
    And I would much, much prefer rain to bugs. Which bite me. Often.

  2. you are stubborn, er, determined, er, addicted! :) you make me laugh, though. bless all of you!

  3. Great idea with the clear umbrella! Yes you are addicted but what a great activity to be addicted too:)

  4. Gee, I can't think of a worse hike. It is hard enough hiking in dry weather, but to hike in the rain with snow on the ground? No thanks.

  5. The trail head must have been pretty high . Hiking in last winter's snow at this time of year is serious. What are you betting that this snow will actually melt this summer?

  6. That's El Camino that Shirley MacLaine hiked and wrote a book about, right?

    You people are hardy souls!

  7. Does the snow ever melt there or is it still in the process of melting. I am amazed with the snow - yep, you ARE ADDICTED DJan and you just love it don't ya. The get ups are interesting with the umbrella and smart move with the poncho type protection - just wondering if that would restrict movement, but apparently not. Lovely Photos and nice days experience.....just to keep you in shape for jumping outta planes in the next few days, eh. Cheers

  8. I can't believe I'm going to type this...even THINK about typing it....but that snow and rain [and rain gear] looks marvelous!!! :::sigh:::

    I understand your's great for the soul, the mind, the body...and besides great outdoors and fresh air.

  9. I don't think I've ever seen hikers with umbrellas before. Amazed at the amount of snow still on the ground.

  10. One advantage of the rain--no bugs! LOL! Rain, snow, and good friends. Perfect for testing out rain gear. :)

  11. I don't think there is a 12 step program for that since it is a good addiction. You all are certainly determined.
    I would not be looking forward to the next buggy hike. Maybe rain might help keep them down then also.

  12. You have more determination than I would! 50 miles is a long way to travel, so I would have be out at the first sign of rain. (Which probably would be a good thing, as I would have complained the entire time had I gone, making it EXTRA fun for everyone else).

    But then I don't live in the Pacific Northwest. I know you folks are a strange and rugged species impervious to wretched weather and other impediments that lesser mortals would take as a sign to curl up in front of a fire. (Or at least go to an INDOOR gym or something).

    Some great pictures though, so thanks for letting me go on the hike vicariously without having to don a raincoat!

  13. Addiction or determined, I think anything outdoors is a fun adventure..especially hiking up the mountains.

  14. You have a way of showing pictures and describing a hike in rainy weather that urges people like me to jump in and enjoy outdoors even in rain. May you always be this lovely active person and pass along to your readers some of the excitement in life we tend to overlook.

  15. We were on Whidbey Island on Thursday with almost no rain.
    You are an intrepid bunch of hikes, that's for sure.


I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.