Pine Creek Dayhike
Story lines. How to present the days happenings? I sorted through images from the other day to see where they might lead.
The underlying theme for the day was one of sheer beauty. What a day. It was another day for a high country hike. I stretched the distance. Now up to five miles. This one, about 3400 feet elevation gain too. Its not the longest hike, but with the vertical involved, its not a casual stroll.
First up, Pine Creek Falls. It was quiet this early. Later, it gets busy with day hikers wanting for a photo. Not surprisingly, I was the first one on the trail. Then again, not too many folks are up at three.
The Pine Creek area burned in 2012. The fire took out a goodly amount of timber in the drainage, leaving charred tree skeletons. A dense undergrowth of vegetation carpeted the formerly vacant forest floor. Remove the tree canopy, let the light in, and stuff grows. Bedstraw, arnica and spirea flowered profusely. Their white or yellow flowers contrasted sharply against the blackened timber.
I walked in on a shaded trail. It was a steady, sweat free grind. Reaching the lake, I was greeted by the sun and the slight, comfortable breeze that welcomes in summer mornings. Occasionally, the lake surface would still. Fish were rising.
How lucky can one be?
How lucky can one be?
More impressions from the day. Blue sky. Mountain peaks. Remnant snow. Wildflowers. Reflections. Serene scenes.
A little inspiration.......from "Rocky Mountain Suite - Cold Nights in Canada" by John Denver:
"Clear waters are laughingthey sing to the skythe Rockies are livingthey never will die"
At least I hope not. A world without mountain grandeur would be a sad place indeed.
And then....fishing..... The fish? Yellowstone cutthroats. Not the biggest, but scrappy. And pretty. Now three years old, they arrived via airplane as two inch fingerlings.
After catching enough, it was time to recline. Engage in contemplation....
The hike out. Down, down, down. The trail winds through rock and meadow and burned timber. I've always thought that the hike out took a lot longer than the walk in. Then again, hiking out in mid afternoon, through open burned timber, on a west facing slope can get pretty toasty. Its important to stop at the various springs and filter water. Drink up.
There was one more stop to complete the day. Marks In and Out in Livingston. I hadn't been there in a year. I had a powerful hankering. Burger, fries and chocolate shake. You know, the requisite fortifications for a trail weary hiker. I finished eating, tossed the food wrappers, got into my car and was smugly thinking "what a great day!"
Then the car wouldn't start.
Huh? I pondered my fate. How was I going to get home? After twenty minutes it turned over. As it turned out, some internal computer needed to be reset (I figured it out when I got home.)
I can still say, "what a great day!"