Interesting Surprise on Powerline Loop, so Different in Summer
We were surprised that a biker pulled up too; otherwise, no one else parked at the top yet. The biker said he was headed out on a 50-mile mountain bike day ride. We marvelled at that, when our hike was around 3 miles totatl.
As we started on the trail, it was already confusing where to go with people staying in the campground. We cut across by the picnic tables and found the service road headed toward Showdown. Along the way, we surprised a doe, quickly crossed over and then to our surprise, crossed again in front of us, very slowly, curious.
The first part was a bit brushy, but then it the trail was very straightforward on the plow roads of the ski hill. Just before we hit O'Brien Park, we had a bit of blow down to step over but really not bad. Once we hit the bottom area, where we usually have lunch, Katie had the brilliant idea to hike the meadow to the stream and then head up the powerline from there. Well, it wasn't such a great idea as we were in a swamp; but the flowers were pretty, probably due to the wet. There were many many shooting stars, their magenta heads bobbing in the wind along with green and white bog orchids and elephant heads..
As we made our way through the much toward the powerline, we abandoned the thought of going over to where we see the stream poking out from the snow, but we found a pond instead. But it was really a deep underground spring. What a surprise. No wonder the area was so wet. The spring created a deep, crystal clear pool that we gazed into for a while before getting to the hard part: climbing up the powerline.
Once we made it up the steep hill, it was very quick back to the cars. But we noticed a lot of construction and a rerouting of the road. We think the Forest Service must be adding more sites in the campground. The fence and a new higher road are being developed.
At the very end of our trip, two snowshoe hares, now turned brown for summer, jumped out by us. As we reached the parking lot, we realized we didn't get out a moment too soon as the parking lots were filling up with trailers of ATVs. We just missed the motorized crowd.
The drive home was a bit scary as so many ATVs were being driving on the highway and could only go about 35 mph. But we really coudln't pass because truck after truck pulling RVs or trailers of four-wheelers were coming the other way. Welcome to hiking on a weekend.
We arrived home around 12:30. A nice morning walk in the mountains:
Who went: Karen, Katie, Susan