Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sledding at the Rock Glacier and Swimming in Brown Lake

 My friend Jenny had some visiting nieces, and I had a day I could take off work, so it was time for two moms and eight kids to head out for a hike. We've done most of the hikes in the area, so we wanted a way to get the kids excited. So we decided to go sledding at the rock glacier and swimming in Brown Lake.

That was enough to get them hiking. And then they were happily talking to each other, and the miles passed quickly.

I pointed out some SPLAT verbenone that had been applied to a limber pine. This synthetic pheromone mimics the scent that mountain pine beetles give off when they have invaded the bark of the tree and the bark is full. Basically it tells the incoming beetles to pick a different tree. This tree is being protected because seeds from it are being tested to see if they are resistant to white pine blister rust, a non-native pathogen. If they are resistant, then this tree could help start many more trees that are resistant.

We had some fun poses as we got up to the bristlecones.

I love the beautiful colors and lines of their wood.

Even the roots are amazing. And roots are often exposed because they've been there thousands of years, and the surrounding soil has eroded away.

We didn't stay in the bristlecones long, though. We continued up into Wheeler cirque to see the rock glacier.

I had to pause to admire some beautiful wildflowers. The pink ones are in the saxifrage family, white-daisy ones are Erigeron leiomerus, and the white matted ones are Phlox pulvinata.


And then we were there! On the east side of the rock glacier, we found some nice snow patches. It turned out to be slipperier than we expected. 

Which made it good for sledding! Even Jenny and I gave it a try.

We found garbage bags and backpacks were good items to slide on.

We kept at it for quite awhile.

Eventually, though, we headed back down the trail. You can see Brown Lake from the trail, but there's not a trail to it, so we had to step carefully on the moraine, which has lots of big boulders that like to move.

Eventually we got to the lake. It's obviously brown in color.  It's also not very deep. I walked all over it and found the deepest spot to about 1 meter (3 feet).

Even though it's not deep, it sure has a scenic background!

The water was quite pleasant in temperature, but the rocks in the lake were covered with algae and very slippery. We found it was better to crawl around than risk falling.

Eventually it was time to get out.

The hike back was easy, and we even managed to bring back all the kids!
Jenny was much better about posting this hike on her blog in a timely manner. Oh well, I guess better late than never!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great Photos! One of my favorite times this summer :)

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