Hiking the Barrier Beach / Jewell Pass / Barrier Lookout / Prairie View Loop today was as ideal as it gets for checking back into reality hiking. Maui seems like a dream now and I only have magical memories of hiking on that Island. Today seemed magical in a whole different way. All the things that go into making a fine time were at the forefront. We started with a cool calm morning walking the shoreline of Barrier Lake. I call it Barrier Beach. Guess I am not fully back yet!
We planned on completing the loop in a counter clockwise direction but when we arrived, we quickly changed our mind and decided to enjoy the long stretch of wide open first before heading into the trees. I knew those reflections would not be there mid afternoon. Along the way, I had my first crocus sighting of the season. My friends have already viewed many in the past weeks so were not as enamoured as I. Those dew drops would not be there mid afternoon, so another good reason to be going clockwise.
This was my first time on the Jewell Pass Trail since it had been reconstructed after that June Flood. Long stretches were icy and slippery, no problem though for us, we of course had our microspikes with us. It is that time of year when you don't leave those at home. We reached the rocky outcrop Prairie View lookout spot. We only saw a solo hiker along the Jewell Pass Trail but there loads of folks at this lookout.
We quickly bypassed here in favour of making our way right up to the Lookout for lunch. It was nearing noon and we were hungry. Hungry for a more quiet place too. We shared the summit with thankfully only a handful of summiteers. This is my summit shot. I am not ready to give up the flower in the hair thing.
Mr Lookout was home so no venturing up onto his veranda.
The views were spectacular. Right now at this point in time, I am loving my reality. The sun was warm, there was no wind, I could see forever and my favourite kind of clouds even greeted us.
enjoying our lunch time view
Our summit visit lasted about 45 minutes. We didn't want to leave but the reality of it is, we had to get on with our day. More folks were arriving and it was their turn to enjoy what we just did. That picnic table was just vacated by two gentlemen and their best friends. Now that's a prime dining spot.
On the way down, we took time to enjoy the views from that rocky outcrop.
Barrier Lake looked like a jewel.
At the end of our hike, I took a moment to admire the surroundings and was reminded of the beauty in my mountain playground. Spring is here, the snow is melting, and I am excited for the upcoming hiking season. I do love this kind of reality, it makes me feel like I am "on top of the world"!