The washed out road to Fir Lake was converted to trail and it's pretty ugly now, but it is really easy to bike on with all the alder trees gone. Maybe it won't be so ugly in a few years. Normally in January it is buried in snow, but this is such a strange year. There is no snow at all at Fir Lake and I could not see any snow on 3,900 foot tall Chapel peak.
I opted to take my bike since the trail is too ugly to hike down right now and since there is no snow. This hike is just 4 miles in the summer when the wild life gate is open. In the winter it is a 9 mile hike and normally requires snow shoes.
I started my hike at 10:10 and I knew that a friend might be behind me. I did not want to wait for him to pack so I took off earlier and we went in separate cars. I did not know for sure that he was coming until he caught up with me.
I decided to follow the old road down to the outlet for the first time ever. Before I had always followed the old road up to the inlet. By taking outlet route I was able to get the the lake faster. I parked my bike on the trail and walked down to the lake on the old road bed.
When I reached the lake I saw that the only way to get sun would be to cross over the outlet or inlet stream and get to the other side. I opted to cross the outlet but it was a bit scary. I had to cross on ice covered logs and I did not have my trekking poles. It was a bit dicey, it was scary but it seemed doable. Too bad I had a total 180 degree Diva failure right in the middle. That is always quite dramatic, but there was nothing I could do about it while standing on an ice covered log in the middle of the creek.
I am so done with being a diva!
It was so sunny and nice on the far shore, my friend and I enjoyed a long lunch together and I brewed coffee for both of us. Then the sun went down and it got real cold real fast, so we packed up and left.
Video trip report here:
When I was recrossing over the log jam one log broke off under my feet and I got both of my feet wet. Then Patches got stuck with her back half under water and her front paws up on a log. She whined for me to come get her. Great.. I really did not want to go back out onto those icy logs, but I also did not want Patches to die there. So I took of my pack and my camera and headed out to save her. As luck would have it, she saved herself just as I was starting to climb out onto the logs; I did not have to risk getting wet again.
Riding back down the new "trail" was fun, it was all down hill and it was so smooth. It's a nice butt ugly new trail, with a good surface, I don't totally hate it anymore. A bad ass mountain biker could have a blast bombing down it, but I had to go slow because Patches was running behind me and I'm not a bad ass mountain biker.
We got back to the wild life gate at 4:30. I'm glad that the days are getting longer now and giving me more time to hike.
9 miles RT with 800 feet elevation gain.
I will only count 4.5 of these miles as hiking miles in my calculations.
|Algae or aquatic liverwort?|
|This is what the road looked like before it was converted to "trail"|