Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sheep & Rae Lakes September 22, 2018

Mid September means to get out there before the autumn colors are gone, to get out there before the snow falls, to get out there before you need to check road & avalanche conditions, to get out there before the gates close. Already it's the last day of summer and the colors are mid cycle, the snow has fallen, roads were reported snowy & icy and there has been an avalanche incident.   The pressure was on to get out there!  So what did we do?  WE GOT OUT THERE!  
The plan of attack for today was to catch up on each others life's happenings, have fun, laugh, OH and hike.  Seeing autumn shades was our interest and we knew we could find that at Elbow Lake, Sheep Lake and Rae Lake.  While it's all about larches these days, we got a double dose with colorful ground cover too.   We arrived at Elbow Lake to see campers braving the unseasonal weather conditions.
 The sky was scattered with blue which afforded us amazing reflections.
 We worked our way along the Big Elbow Trail.
My favourite place along this trail is where Tombstone Mountain comes into full view.  
It was sprinkled with white gold and framed on the bottom with a line of low lying cloud.
The clouds were moving in & out, around, up & down quickly.  At moments in time different areas were lit by light.  Then at seconds in time various mountain peaks peeked through those motion-filled clouds.  The oranges and crimsons and golds could not have been more beautiful.
 the views were jaw-dropping & wide-smiling spectacular
We opted to head towards Sheep Lakes first so carried on by many trail markings that would have taken us to Rae Lake.  I always wondered what it looked like up on the ridge area where the Sheep Lakes are.  We followed the trail for a short period of time.
 The scenery up here was absolutely lovely!
We stopped by the Fish & Wildlife Cabin.  No one was home.  It was not boarded up for winter yet so I imagine someone will be by in the near future to close up shop.  At first we considered this as our lunch spot but then decided we wanted out in the open where the views were.
 We visited one of the Sheep Lakes.  
There is a row of mountain peaks in the clouds above the line of trees.
You just have to picture that, I was not quick enough to get a photo before the clouds came.
We exited the trees to the ridge overlooking Tombstone area and Desolation Flat off in the distance.  This was a perfect spot for our group photo.  The sun felt warm and there was no wind, yet the clouds  still did their motion-filled thing.
Somebody said jump!
So what did we do?
We jumped!
It took a few takes... get where we were each in a happy place!
 dining time
 We left the Sheep Lake area behind!
Back out on the main trail, we found one of the many markings that would lead us to Rae Lake.  
This area had more snow and this was where the larches were.  
Rae Lake looked beautiful.  Someone calls this lake "the jewel in the bellybutton of Mount Rae"!  This certainly is a valuable jewel of a place.  We arrived at the lake where it runs off into Rae Creek.  We headed to our left and hiked around the full lake.  This is looking across to where the creek leaves the lake.
 a location shot on the opposite side of Rae Lake
 incredible reflection
 reflections are a few of my favourite things
Having hiked around the lake, we then found the trail and ascended the hill away from Rae.  Heading off on this trail would give us that big loop option.  We talked about how pretty this is and how it would be nice to stay the night here one summer.   Good-bye Rae Lake, I will see you again!
The trail we took that led us away was snow covered, over grown and we were drenched from the wet bushes and branches.  Also it was full on rain for much of the balance of the hike.  What did that matter though.  We were in our happy place, which is where we were all day, and we had another happy place to get to.  That happy place was in dry clothes, in a warm place and a full belly.

We dropped into Woody's Pub.  There was no Florentine Steak or Italian Red Wine on the menu so for me a tall order of onion rings, mashed potatoes, a rack of ribs all paired with a light pale ale would have to be suffice.   The catching up on life's happenings, the fun and the laughs carried on all day and we brought it into Woody's with us.
If you are still with us to this point in our story, you are now well aware WE GOT OUT THERE!  I am so happy we carried through with this day considering the forecast we were presented with.  We went prepared for anything and everything and even though we were more than dampened physically, we did not let this dampen our spirits!

Thank you for today!


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