Sunday, April 29, 2012

Up to the Snow

 I'm taking fire training this weekend, so I took Friday off so I could spend more time with the kids. We decided to go up the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive at Great Basin National Park, as the road had recently opened and I was eager to look at the high country. Anna and Evan joined us, and on the ride up I thought the trees looked funny. We took a second look and found that they had icicles on them! We pulled over to take a closer look.

 Apparently the weather had been just right after our recent snow to make these wonderful decorations on nearly all the trees. It was spectacular.

 We had thought about walking the quarter-mile nature trail, but we weren't the best equipped for snow, so opted instead for the recently plowed but still closed Wheeler Peak Campground.

 The kids liked finding their very own icicles.

 The walking was easy until we  got to a shaded, icy patch.

 We found that it was so icy because the creek had jumped its banks and was making a new channel through the snow. The kids threw snowballs into the water and watched them float downstream.

 The water had carved a two-foot canyon through the snow and ice. It was moving fast and sure looked cold!

 Around on the other side of the meadow we found a bit of color.

 The snow might have only melted in this spot a few days ago, but the plantainleaf buttercup (Ranunculus alismifolius) couldn't wait to catch some rays.

 The aspens didn't look like they were even thinking about leafing out. Even so, this spring is so different from last year! We had so much more snow and cold all the way into June last year, and this year the campground is already plowed out before May.

 On the way back (amid complaints from Desert Boy that he was starving--I think he's going through a growth spurt!), we wrote our names in the snow and made footprints. Desert Girl and Evan had their shoes on the wrong feet, so their footprints were a little strange looking.

 Finding the biggest icicle was a fun diversion.

Then we made it back for a big snack break. Afterwards we weren't quite ready to leave. We still had to take out the sled.

 The boys nearly crashed on their first run together.

 Evan doesn't look too sure of this bigger hill. It's slightly higher than the picnic table behind them that's mostly covered with snow.

 Then Desert Girl decided she wanted to get in on the fun.

 Their expressions are priceless!


 I'm not sure if these kids know how lucky they are! I grew up in such a flat spot that I called a three-foot high rock on the other side of the block my mountain. These kids have such an awesome backyard!

It's cooled off this weekend, but I don't think the snow will be around for much longer. This could be the last sledding trip for awhile. It was great to have one more winter adventure and then descend 5,000 feet in elevation and enjoy the warm spring weather.

Hope you're having a good weekend!

6 comments:

G. Robison said...

I was going to say - isn't April just a tad bit early to be making your way up to Wheeler Peak campground?? I've been there in June and the road wasn't even clear yet........

Too warm, too soon. Not a trend I like to see.......

But the pics are great. One of my favorite places in the world for a picnic. Better still if beer and watermelon spend some time in the creek (properly pronounced "crick") to chill!

Anonymous said...

Another small moment tale from the west. Thank you.
Beautiful photos.

The Incredible Woody said...

Yes, those kids are very, very lucky! And seriously, those icicles make the tree look like it is ready for Christmas.

jhami said...

That looks so much fun. There's more snow up there then I thought. But still kinda sad looking compared to last year.... kids had fun it looks like. Great photos!

jhami said...

That looks so much fun. There's more snow up there then I thought. But still kinda sad looking compared to last year.... kids had fun it looks like. Great photos!

A said...

Yes, we still remember our sledding and snow play up there last...July, wasn't it?

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