Friday, August 3, 2012

Fir Lake Tetraplodon

A quick trip up to Fir Lake and back.  Found Tetraplodon mnioides in two places.  All the quad traffic here might hurt it.  Saw Pellia and Conecephalum growing in the middle of the trail.

6 miles 700 feet elevation gain.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Misadventures on Upper Lebar Creek (snow lake)

View looking up from the meadow

I‘ve been wanting to reach a lake that I can see on Google earth.  I thought the route would be up past Staircase, but then I realized the lake is just north of Mount Tebo.  So today I had a go at getting to the lake by heading up the Lebar creek drainage.  I had a good GPS route in hand but instead of following my GPS I confidently headed up the wrong branch of Lebar creek, or something like that.  But I did not realize my mistake until I got home and could see my track on my computer.

After leaving the road I headed up the hill following Lebar creek.  The undergrowth was not too bad and the going was fairly easy for an off trail route.  Before long I reached a beautiful meadow.  The meadow had lush growth and I could hear water everywhere.  There was a very strong smelling plant in the meadow that I think was in the mint family.  I crossed the meadow on a meandering route and eventually started walking up a dry creek bed.   Eventually I decided it was time to cut up the hill to the right and head into the timber.  I turned way too soon. 

Where I hoped to top the ridge

The woods were pretty but very steep.  There were many signs of a fire going through there in the past.  At one point I realized I was too far to the right so I went to the left and had to go down into and back up a small ravine and then back into the woods.  Eventually I began to hit large rocks and the terrain was getting steep.  I was still in the timber and it was hard to see where to go next.  I was only ¼ of a mile from the saddle and only had 300 feet left to gain but the route began to get too precarious for me.   I also had begun to get eerie feelings near the start of my hike.  I decided to go back home. 

  It's been a long time since I've had such an eerie feeling in the woods.  Before I left for my hike I told a friend that I was a bit scared but he was able to encourage me to keep going by telling me to frame it as a scouting mission.  I don't have a lot of experience going off trail and this entire route was off trail so I think that is what was bothering me.
Now at home I can see that I went way off course.  I might go back up there again with a better track log.  I would love to have someone to do it with me.
3 miles of bush wacking with 1,000 feet elevation gain.  I got a good all body workout.  This was probably worth hiking  6-8  miles on a good trail.

My intended route is in pink
my actual route is in purple


Devils club that I had to walk through

Watering the dog not far from where I turned back

The view heading back down the dry creeek bed

Strange growth on a blueberry

Lebar Creek

Beautiful Patches