Monday, February 18, 2013

Prairie Perfection

I am so glad I did not cave in when I began waffling this morning on whether to hike Prairie Mountain or not today.  I was all gung-ho at first to the point where I was ready to head out the door.  I turned around and found a few little reasons to occupy a bit of time and during those moments, I began to have a change of heart and almost talked myself into staying put.  It is the Family Day Holiday and when I came to my senses, I could not let this Holiday just pass by with nothing to show for it.

Even during the drive to the trail head, I debated whether I was making a wise choice.  It was dark & cloudy, it was cold & windy, it was icy & slippery.  When I reached Allen Bill, the  fog lifted, the wind died down, the sky turned blue and the sun came out.  There was nothing stopping me now, there was no turning back!

While I didn't turn back , I did turn around,  in fact,  I did a lot of turning around today.  This was what I saw when I turned around for the first time today.  This was the view behind me as I walked the road towards the trail head.  How about those clouds!
The sun was still on the lower side while I was climbing through the trees.
When I turned around to look, I just had to capture what I saw.
By this point, I was down to wearing only one long sleeve shirt with the sleeves pushed up.  I put my gloves away and my hat never did make it out of the pack.  I expected at this open area, I would have to bundle up and fight the wind.  That would not be happening today!   I could see four folks far up ahead and the trail they made was the only portion of disturbed snow.  The rest of the ground cover was pure.  
A short distance before reaching the summit, I met those four folks who by now had their summit visit and were already descending.  When they passed by, I turned around to look and could see no others coming my way.  You know what that means!  I got to own the summit!  I stayed! I played!  

It was so sunny!
It was so warm!
I took many summit shots hoping there would be one with the flag flying. 
There wasn't enough of even a breeze.
I'm upright and jolly while the flag hangs limp.
By now two others were in sight as they made their way toward the summit.  I enjoyed my ownership time and was ready to pass off my 100% share.   I turned around for one last look, and was happy to see the waving flag!  I believe it was waving good-bye!
Before descending into the trees, I turned around yet once again.
I was in awe of such perfection on Prairie Mountain today.
It didn't take long to get back to my car.  The snow through the trees on the way down was wonderful. I stayed out of the way of those heading up and I blazed my own trail through pure powder.  By the time I got to the car, I was hungry and ready for lunch. 
I geared down, then layered up and strolled across to Elbow Falls area for a spot in the sun to dine.  I brought my star filter along and tried it for the first time outside.  The sun was so bright and the snow crystals were sparkling, I was curious to see how the filter would work.  I love how this turned out!  I even like how there is a tinge of green in the stars.  Each star has six perfect rays.
meadow of marsh mellows
Not quite perfect but very pretty!  
ripple & reflection
I am so glad I did not cave in when I began waffling this morning!  
I would have missed an amazing day!
Prairie was Perfect!

6 comments:

  1. Very neat with that star filter. If you're looking for more really sparkly snow, head to the area between Mount Engadine Lodge and the Mount Shark Trailhead. That area always has the sparkliest snow.

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  2. Wow, really breathtaking scenery. Here in Africa we don't see something like that. Thanks!

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  3. totally have to do this some day on snowshoes. Would love to do a real snowshoe summit hike.

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  4. What did you use to hike up? Snowshoes?

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    1. Hi Leana, I used microspikes, exactly like the new ones you have to wear trail running. I don't know if there ever is enough snow on Prairie Mountain to snowshoe. The microspikes worked perfect on Monday at Prairie Mountain but did not work that great on Saturday. The snow was so sticky that it stuck to the bottom of the microspikes and every few minutes I had to kick of a couple of inches of build up. I hope you get lots of use out of your microspikes!

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