|First time strapping on snowshoes this season|
|Sending an Ok message with my spot at lunch time|
|On last mushroom blast|
Big Creek Trail to big rock. I hit the trail at about 10pm; I was later than usual because I had been waiting for my hair to dry a bit before leaving the house. There was snow in the parking area so I decided to pack my snowshoes. The main goal of this hike, other than fun in the snow was to retrieve my game camera. I did not feel the need for snowshoes until I got to the Ellinor connector trail. Even then I did not need them for floatation; I needed them for traction for my bad ankle. It’s hard to sprain your ankle on level ground with snowshoes on. It felt really good to get my heavy snowshoes off my back and onto my feet.
The seasonal stream that I normally depend on for water was dry, but I’ve learned not to trust that stream so I tanked up at a rivulet just past Big Creek instead. I really thought my seasonal stream would be running with all the rain and snow, but I did not take any chances. I think something about that streambed has changed and I am now writing it off as a water source.
I passed my off trail game camera at about 11:30, but left it for the trip back. I made it to the over look by noon. There was a couple of feet of snow on the ground behind the bench but the snow all around the bench was well packed so I was safe taking off my snowshoes for my lunch break. At the over look I brewed tea and ate a turkey sandwich. Just as I settled down to drink my tea, I heard the voices of two hikers headed for the over look so I leashed up Patches the pound dog. But the hikers did not come to the overlook. Later their footprints showed that they had bypassed the over look both on the way up and on the way back.
After I left the over looked I started heading up again. In the winter I like to have my lunch before I have finished my elevation gain. Hiking uphill after lunch warms me up, where hiking downhill after lunch can leave me cold for the rest of the hike. That said, I had two sweaters and arctic gloves that I never put on.
I hiked up to the big rock near the upper Ellinor trail head. There was a nice thick layer of snow up there, it was really beautiful. I had a blast hiking in the snow and breathing in the clean air. I wanted to go all the way to the upper trailhead and I was not worried about hiking out in the dark, until I remembered that I needed to retrieve my game camera on the way down. I did not want to be searching for my camera in the dark so I turned around at the big rock.
I got back down to my camera at about 3:45. When I found my camera I saw that the lens and the sensor were covered with snow and the flash did not seem to be activating. Those made me think that the batteries were dead. But when I got the camera home I found that it was working fine and it had taken 22 pictures of me and my dog and nothing else. Oh well, better luck next time I guess.
I finished my hike at about 4pm and it was getting dark in the woods at that point, even though the sun did not set until 4:30. 9.5 miles with 2,400 feet elevation gain
The inside of my left ankle hurts a little bit, I managed to stress it some with my snow shoes on but I never actually sprained it. Well maybe I sprained it to the inside a bit on unlevel ground. Physical therapy helped a lot but I still think I might need surgery on that ankle.
I had to wear my raingear for the entire hike. It either rained or snowed on me all day long. My hair never got a chance to dry. I wished I had packed my Seattle Sombrerro.
I kept my DSLR camera slung around my neck and over my shoulder but under my rain coat for the entire hike. I brought my 18-105 vr lens and kept the UV filter on. I never bothered with the polarizer. I also left my big external flash at home.
The trail was so well packed that I did not need snowshoes but was glad to have them for the extra stability and traction.
9.5 miles with 2,400 feet elevation gain
travelled about 6 miles with snowshoes on
|Pistol butted tree|
|This nice new bridge STINKS from 1/10th of a mile away|
|In my element|
|frozen deer cam lens covered with snow, no good pictures|
|Fall oyster mushrooms|
|What a difference a few weeks makes|
|Two weeks earlier|
|Snow in the parking area|