Sunday, December 13, 2009

breaking trail

Today we walked up the Falls Creek trail in our snowshoes. This is the trail that eventually climbs to Legore Lake, the highest lake in Oregon. Jerry wants to play hockey on this lake which I think would be kind of fun. We climbed above the waterfall, the first people to hike on the trail since the new snow. Below us fog was filling in the valley; intermittent snow filtered through the trees.

I have a destination problem, which means that it is hard for me to turn around. I really, really wanted to make it to Legore Lake even though we didn't have a shovel (for clearing off the snow) or even our skates. Also, we discovered, all we had with us were the clothes we were wearing and a bottle of water. And three dogs. Jerry had to go work at Fergi and it wouldn't have been smart for us to keep going. It is winter after all, and only yesterday has it gotten appreciably over zero degrees. So we got above the mountain mahogany band but not to the first meadow, the halfway point, or to the old miner's cabin.

It was a good idea turn around: we were only at about 6,000 feet and the lake is just below 10,000. The snow is probably several feet deep up there now. The lake, most likely slumbering under a blanket of white. In my lake skating experience, conditions have to be right for the perfect sheet of glass. Most times they freeze unevenly, with treacherous bumps. Twigs can freeze into the ice, tripping the unwary. Wind is the key.

So most likely we would have been hungry, cold, unable to skate and coming down in the dark. In the old days I would have gone for it but I seem to have acquired some element of practicality. (I remember crossing the straits from Mackinac Island to Round Island in an open canoe, armed only with wine coolers. I don't remember us having life vests. Hopefully we did).

Legore Lake, I'm coming back someday. Sleep on.

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