June 10, 2007
Lakes, Beautiful Lakes
Thursday afternoon we drove to Famous Lake With a Woman's Name. Many years ago, my Aunt Seashell had visited this lake; she said it was one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. And the lake was just incredibly beautiful, with green water that reminded me of Pretty Colour Lake back at home, surrounded by stark mountains of rock and ice. But the shoreline was filled with tourists, so we found a quiet hiking trail that took us up a steep wooded slope.
One of the cool things about hiking in the mountains is that you get to walk through different microclimates, areas that have different vegetation based on the such things as elevation and which way the slope faces. At the higher elevations, we hiked into snow. A small lake nestled into the top of the mountain was still mostly frozen, although the snow and ice were melting everywhere, with streams and waterfalls rushing through the woods everywhere we went. The air was warm enough for a t-shirt, but we slipped and slid through snowbanks on our way back down the trail. I kept thinking how fun it would be to come down on a plastic toboggan.
The hiking trails smelled wonderful everywhere we went: stands of Douglas fir, western red cedar, and spruce. On Friday, we hiked around a lake into a basin that reminded me of the southwest desert. The low area wasn't yet covered with plants: it was mostly bare with a few stunted trees just clinging to the soil. We'd been hiking in a misty rain earlier in the day, so when the sun came out from behind a cloud, we took the time to sit down in all that sunshine and soak in the heat.
Posted by jo(e)