Liberty and I were thrilled with the snow. The marker near the trailhead showed it was 5' deep! It was crisp dry powder...and the thermometer said 17º! No matter, we bundled up and headed out.
This was the maiden voyage for these snowshoes. Mark and I bought them at Costco last winter, but then never had an opportunity to try them out. They were great. So much better than the rental ones we've always used before. They never slipped off once, had great traction, and are very easy to adjust and maneuver. Liberty used Mark's snowshoes.
A quick Kodak moment at the trail junction, where we leave the PCT and take the spur trail to lower Twin Lake. Only 1/2 mile left to go, and most of it will be downhill from here.
The weather was gorgeous. In spite of the cold temperature, we weren't uncomfortable. It really helped that there was no wind except up on the ridge above the lake. The sky was so blue! Not a cloud anywhere (until we got back to the car...but who cares by then?).
Heading down towards the lake, Bird Butte in the background.
Here's lower Twin Lake, not too far from where we camped last August...
...another view of the lake, with Bird Butte in the background. And speaking of birds...
...here's the welcoming committee at our lunch spot. These gray jays obviously know where the hikers will be sitting for the lunch break!
We were surprised to see even one of them, but there were actually several. We eventually counted 6. We also saw a huge black raven just before we left the lake, and some junkos (I think?) in the woods along the way, tap-tap-tapping the bark of trees.
They weren't shy at all.
They landed on my hand several times to take bits of sandwich. Not much coaxing needed...these were hungry fellows!
Can you tell we had a good time?
I think I took about 40 photos with trees and snow and blue sky. It was all so amazingly beautiful. Given the likelihood of gray days in this part of Oregon, we were so very grateful to have scheduled our hike on a lovely lovely day. It's the only day we could both go this week...and it was perfect.
Back to the trailhead. That's the depth marker with the snow at 5' - funny to think that I'd be standing 5' in the air if all the snow suddenly melted! (Which maybe it will - it was all the way up to 31º by the time we got back to the car. A warming trend, for sure.)