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Hiking Through the Summer Storm

July 27, 2010

A buffeting wind brought in the weather.  The house shook with it from 5am, the whistle a constant alarm, impossible to sleep through.  Our days are numbered here in Idaho for this summer and it was our houseguest, Amy Warner’s last day.  We had decided on a hike up to Boulder Lake, one of those high alpine lakes that is carved out of stone at the top of 3-4 hours of uphill climbing.  Tim and I got up 

Amy Waynar and me-Warm on the uphill

there a few years ago, but this time we could come from the other side of the range before intersecting the final approach to the lake.  As we drove out to the access road, huge rain drops fell on the windshield and soon intermittent wipers were not enough.  We bumped along a rocky dirt road, Tim and I both undaunted by the weather, but soon Amy asked the question.  “Are you really taking me out on a hike in this rain?”  We assured her that is was great hiking weather, the forest would provide cover, it would surely blow over, why, yes, of course we are going. 

Tim Morley

It all proved to be accurate, as was the opposite.  Our ascent was cool and misty, the bursting creek both bubbled and raged along the trail.  Our shoes soaked through, but we were warm from the effort.  Multiple piles of animal scat covered the trail, including a fresh dump of bear poop.  After several hours, we reached the saddle that would take us over, now unprotected by the trees, the wind continued with its mission.  We stood on the rocky crags reveling in the view from the top of the world and I noticed a dark black something on the nearest mountainside.  My first thought was that it was a charred tree stump from a lightning strike, but then the stump began to move out and a baby black something was right behind it.  It took only an instant to realize that it was a mother black bear and her cub.  They ran up to mountain and disappeared over the top. 

The sight brought freshness to our legs and a new determination to make it to the lake.  The the spectacular show of wildflowers in every direction offered similar encouragement.  As we crossed to the other side of the saddle to intersect the lake trail, the storm caught up with us.  We continued down the far side to look for a sheltered place to stop for lunch.  We settled for a small grove of spruce trees, the fallen needles a dry soft seat for our cold wet bottoms.  Dried up sandwiches never tasted so good, as did the juicy cherries and still cold drinks.  Soon we began to shiver despite our jackets and multiple layers and realized that the final climb to the unsheltered lake would have to wait for another day.  The uphill to return to the saddle was just the effort we needed to warm us to the core before our long downhill.  With tired legs, sore feet and feasted eyes, we arrived back at the bottom of the mountain, the satisfaction of a feat accomplished quieting each of us, our shared adventure a tangible memory in the fabric of our friendship. 


5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2010 6:32 pm

    Stunning scenery in your last photo! Absolutely beautiful. Your hike was obviously worth the effort! We don’t have bears in the UK. That must have been a wonderful sight.

  2. Amy Waynar permalink
    July 28, 2010 3:50 am

    What a great clip of our fantastic journey up and down the mountain trail!!! It was beauty at its best. Can’t wait to do it again soon!!!
    See y’all soon!! Love to you both ;=)

  3. joannehuspek permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:13 pm

    Fabulous photos!

  4. Eva permalink
    July 28, 2010 11:55 pm

    How exciting! I am sure dad wanted to bring the bears home, as he did with buffalo and crocodiles!! Haha. Love you.

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