Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trip Report: Hiking the Red Pine trail

I enjoyed a nice hike on Friday up to Red Pine Lake. I started just after 8:30. The weather was gorgeous and after about half a mile I was warm enough to take off my jacket. I had been up this trail up to the lake, then over the ridge to White Pine Lake and down many years ago. I had gone up this trail recently a couple of times either with limited time, and thus not making it to the lake, or with my young grandkids in tow, some of whom weren't quite up to the hike. So, I was determined to make it this year, weather permitting.
There is always a nice touch of light in the morning.
I always like the fact that I'm hiking in "the wilderness".
About a mile or so up the trail, I rounded a corner and saw a huge buck moving up the trail ahead of me in the same direction I was going. He went behind some brush that lined the trail and I tried sneaking up on him to get a pic. As I neared the place he had vanished I continued moving slowly for about ten minutes, finally figuring I had lost him. Just seconds after I began hiking normally again, I rounded a curve to see him still ahead of me on the trail. This time, after he went around a turn, I sped up, thinking that I might still get that pick. Unfortunately, I must have spooked him because I never spotted him again.
The sun just peaking through the trees is always a nice image for me.

Here is the sign you would see if you were coming from Maybird
The trail splits here. To get to Red Pine, you continue up the left
side of the stream. If you cross the bridge, you'll end up in
Maybird Gulch. 

An old mine dump partially covered with snow.
I continued on up the trail and the higher I got, the icier the trail got. I started looking for a hiking stick as my trekking poles had been borrowed and I still didn't have them back. I found a stick, not perfect, and pretty heavy, to use to help me keep my footing across the ice. I found that I had better traction if I left the trail and hiked up through the snow that hadn't been packed down as much.
There was quite a bit of ice, and quite a few people had left
the trail to try and avoid it.
In roughly 2.5 hours I made it to the lake. I had been passed on the way up by two women who were planning on doing the Pfeifferhorn, and a guy coming down who had already been up on that peak and was heading home.
When I got to the lake, I sat there and ate some snacks, admiring the scenic beauty of the surrounding peaks. I looked over at the ridge that separated Red Pine from White Pine and knew that today wouldn't be the day that I'd duplicate that hike that I'd done with my dad, siblings, and friends in the early 1970s. The way up to the ridge was steeper and longer than I'd remembered it and it looked rather intimidating considering how tired my muscles felt after slipping and sliding on the icy trail.
If you look closely in the middle of this pic you can see the two guys
fishing. The prominent peak is Little Pfeifferhorn.
Two guys were fishing in the lake and I thought about walking around to where they were and asking them how the fishing was. I ended up not doing so, again, my tired legs not wanting to go to the trouble. About that time I was wishing I had come with a hiking buddy to kind of spur each other on. I need that sometimes and while I normally hike alone on a regular basis, to me it's just as fun or even more fun to hike with a friend.
Yours truly taking it all in.
I took some pics of the lake and peaks and then headed down. I found my stick that I had left once I reached the flatter part of the trail near the lake, I was glad I had picked it up again just a little later as I stepped on some ice and my feet went right out from under me. The only thing that kept me up was my arm strength on that planted stick.
I ditched the stick when I felt I no longer needed it (you can see it lying across the trail in the Maybird fork picture above), and made my way down the rest of the trail. There were two more deer of which I caught fleeting glimpses, further up in the brush, when I left the trail for a minute.
The rocks where my son Ben and I had stopped with my grandkids
to eat lunch back in the summer.
I continued on down and soon I was back at the parking lot--maybe a little bored, now that the hike was over, but looking forward to the next adventure and thinking about the last one.

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