Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dooley Mountain Snowshoe

FRIDAY, January 4, 2013
Cute couple in front of Jed's Knoll. 
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     A glorious day of sunshine, clear skies, and COLD temperatures beckons us up to the summit of Dooley Pass in the afternoon to enjoy the sun and the views!  And the solitude and silence!  There were times when we stopped and stood.....and heard absolutely NOTHING!  No wind, no birds, no planes....nothing but God in his glory.  Later, we did hear a couple airplanes and a helicopter, and perhaps a snowmobile in the distance.  
Rick pauses on road to gaze.....
     Our route was well packed down.  Rick and I had cross country skied up this road 8 days early, and Rick and the three boys all snow-shoed up last Friday.  Much easier not having to sink into 8-10" of powder!!  We arrived at the quarry site, where roads branch off.  Saw where Rick and I turned around on the skis.  We continued on up Ebell Creek Road to the viewpoint where Rick, Jed, Jack, and Luke turned around.  This was Jack's WOW point!  
Wind sculptures
     The road would have been tougher at this point, except a snowmobile came over the top from Trail Creek and has been up this way - several days ago, but at least it blazed a path and packed things down a little!  This is a windblown section of road and we love the snow sculptures that line our way.  Little mountains, fins of snow, pockets, and ridges.  It makes for interesting and more difficult walking, but amazing artistically   This section also passes a hillside of orange colored rocks (which always appear RED to us with our darkened glasses) which dance out in contrast with the snow.  
Orange rock section. 
     We had to shed a little clothing a some point - the uphill workout was warming us up and the wind we expected on this section didn't materialize today.  And finally....our hands were warm!  That took awhile!  
Wonderful snag in the snow
     Early in November we hiked this route, following a side logging road up the hillside of Jed's Knoll (It's a long story, but Jed, Andy, and Ally thought they were climbing Dooley Mt. and climbed this un-named peak instead.  It is actually higher than Dooley in elevation! So we call it Jed's Dooley or Jed's Knoll!)  We intersect with the Trail Creek Road at the cattle guard and then follow that road back down to the quarry area.  It makes a nice loop, and in the sunshine, the views south are spectacular!  Unfortunately, no snowmobile or other snow-shoers on this section, so Rick broke trail!  I followed, grateful my fingers had warmed so I could pull out my camera and actually take pictures!  (Impossible with heavy ski gloves on!) 
     We stopped at the Cattle Guard to snap a few pictures, including a panorama, and then trekked the mile and half back to the truck non-stop!  Beautiful outing!  
Panorama from cattle guard!