Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hiking in the Hometown Turf

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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Approaching Rock Creek drainage - so green!!
     Back home for less than a week and we are off to re-acquaint ourselves with our own backyard.  To combine a visit with Bill & Pat Fessel, we decide to hike up the Rock Creek road toward Eilertson Meadows.  We take the truck so we can drive as far as possible on the rough road (beyond the last of the houses it gets a little uglier!)
     We stop and visit on the way up so we don't interfere with nap time coming home!!  It is good to see our friends in 'recovering' health!  We take our leave around 11:10 to head on up the road.
     We haven't been up this way in some time.  Rick has occasionally snowshoed on the lower sections in the winter, but to drive clear up past the Kilamacue Trailhead....it has been awhile!  The road is rocky, but navigable.  Unsure, however, we only go about a half mile beyond the graded gravel and, finding a place to turn around and park, we opt to stop there.  As it was...we could have gone up the whole way!
Rick fields a stream down the
middle of the road. 
     The weather is blue sky clear and cool, warmer in the sunshine!  Not many flowers are out yet.  In fact, all we see all day are some dandelions, a few balsam root on the lower stretches, and tiny wild strawberries and buttercups.  The road is shady, the creek roaring.  No lack of water at the moment in this tiny part of Baker Valley!  Many branches are just budding out with new growth of leaves - alders and the larch trees.  The lacy needles of the tamaracks are so soft and bright green right now.  The road is a steady uphill climb until the 2 mile mark and the unmarked trail off to the right heading steeply up to Kilamacue Lake.  Beyond this trailhead, the Rock Creek Road levels off for another mile and a half to the cabin at Eilertson Meadows.

Eilertson Meadows

   The meadows seem to be shrinking...or the trees are growing.  (Maybe a little of both!)  Water is a torrent of power flowing beneath new bridges and through huge pipes.  But with all that water, the meadow seems dry - autumns dead foliage is still hiding all the new green plants trying to push their way through.  We enjoy a light lunch, gazing at snow on the mountains and exploring the environs around the cabin.  (I have done a little internet research and can't figure out WHO actually owns the cabin!)
     We are accompanied on the way back down by an army of butterflies: orange, blue, and a dark maroon black one with a white stripe on the bottom.  Pretty.  Saw a grouse on the way up, otherwise, not much wildlife today!

Saturday, May 11, 2013
Click HERE for Rick's pictures

Hoffer Lake breakup

Hoffer Basin area
Hello there! 

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